Beginners Guide: Get Mentally Prepared for a Tough WOD

Imagine you get to the box, and people start to talk about the WOD, how many reps another athlete scored, how much weight they expect to lift, how hot it is and how stressed they are. Other members ask how you’re going to break down the reps, if you are going to get a good time or if you like the programming.

Before you know it, you’re second guessing yourself, you’re thinking about beating someone’s score, you’re complaining about the WOD or you’ve become flustered. You head into the workout focused on the variables that you can’t control, which may cause you to feel less confident and less driven.

If you don’t constantly remind yourself of your own purpose and your own focus, then you will be guided by others and your environment.

It’s human nature. We all have desires, and we are often influenced by the opinions of others, social norms, our surroundings, advertisements and our competition.

Do not fall into the habit of walking in the gym and heading straight to the whiteboard to base your goals off of someone else’s score. It’s not helpful to think about who you ‘need’ to beat, ‘should’ beat or ‘have’ to beat. If you get caught up constantly judging your success based on how you rank on the whiteboard, you’ll regularly feel disappointed. Don’t chat with others about their plan and their goals until you’ve run through your own mental prep.

Preparation Strategies for a Strong WOD Mentality

1. Walk into the gym and immediately remind yourself of why you’re there.

2. Think about what you want to focus on today to be a better you.

3. Check your journal or think about recent performances that are related to the WOD.

4. Set a couple of goals for the workout based on what you have done in the past (or have not done, or want to do).

5. Once you’ve taken the first 4 steps, you may, or may not want to check out your competition and the whiteboard scores to give yourself further motivation and encouragement.

Regularly remind yourself of your goals, mission, purpose, intentions and focus. Constantly bring your thoughts back to your ‘why,’ and what you want to do with your time, energy and effort. The more you can do this, the better.