Being a warrior is not about the act of fighting, it’s about being so prepared to face a challenge and believing so strongly in a cause that you are fighting for that you refuse to quit.”
Richard Machowicz, Unleash The Warrior Within
There are 2 aspects to training success. The first, and most readily observable, is the physical aspect. This involves the practical application of the principles of effective training.
This is the “how to”.
The second aspect is much harder to identify, but there is no denying its existence. This is the mental aspect of training. It includes your reasons for training, your goals, and your attitude toward, and during, your workouts.
This is the “why”, and the “want to”.
The “how to” can be acquired rather easily from many sources, and comes in the form of books, video, audio, and live seminars and classes. In statistical terms, it can be considered the dependent variable, since any workout will obviously consist of some form of a training program.
The mental aspect can be viewed as the independent variable, the “make or break” factor that can mean success for one trainee, and failure for another, who are both using the exact same training regimen.
The “why” and “want to” are not available in your bookstore. They only come from one place-inside of you.
In his book High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, Mike describes what I’m talking about here as “an attitude befitting a hero”. He goes on to say “Once he enters the gym, all else is forgotten and he is transformed into a valiant warrior with girded loins, ready to do battle with the weights.”
(I’m not exactly sure what girded loins are, but it sounds pretty warrior-like).
It stands to reason that somebody who chooses Rock Solid Fitness’ training program as their “how to” should also choose a High Intensity mental attitude to go with it, if he wants to get the best possible results.
I call this high intensity mental attitude the warrior mentality.
Having a warrior mentality means viewing your workout as a challenge-not something to be feared, but something to be conquered.
A trainee with a warrior mentality does not take the easy way out by mindlessly going through the motions with a sub-maximal weight, which is tantamount to surrender. He views the workout as a battle to be won, no matter how high the cost of effort and fatigue.
He enters the gym with a feeling of aggression toward his goals, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings as he shuts out distractions and demonstrates single-minded focus and resolve to take out one target at a time-his next exercise.
But what if the trainee isn’t naturally warrior-like? Is he just fated to have sub-par workouts, and therefore sub-par results?
Cultivating a warrior mentality is a skill, and like any other skill it can be learned.
The foundation of this mentality is, as Richard Machowicz said, “believing so strongly in a cause that you are fighting for that you refuse to quit.” In the case of your training, the “cause” is your personal reason for training in the first place.
Take some time periodically to review your training goals, and why you are committed to them. What does training mean to you personally? Why is it important to you to include this activity in your life? Why is getting good results meaningful to you? Answering these types of questions will reinforce the commitment in your mind, strengthening your resolve.
The more intensely you care about the outcome of your workout, the more intensely you will train during that workout.
Visualization is another valuable technique for developing a warrior mentality. Take a few minutes before your workout to sit somewhere quiet by yourself, close your eyes, get real relaxed, and see yourself in your mind’s eye tearing through your workout, setting new personal bests on every exercise. Picture how you expect to look and feel, in the most vivid detail you can imagine. Once you open your eyes and enter the gym, strive to recreate your vision.
Listening to music or reading something that you find uplifting and motivating can also help you program yourself for a highly intense workout.
Completing successful workouts will provide you with positive memories that you can access to psyche yourself up for future workouts. As they say, “nothing succeeds like success”.
Take the steps necessary to cultivate and maintain a warrior mentality, and you will consistently win your battles in the gym and ultimately be victorious in your mission to achieve your training goals-and for that matter, any other goals you strive for in life.