WOD – The Mental Battlefield

Many times we have entered the Box and seen something on the board that strikes fear into our soul. For me it’s Pistol Squats; we all have our DRAGON we need to slay. Avoidance does not lead to success, it’s now time to embrace the suck and prepare mentally for the WOD.


Scaling is your friend, it is not a watered down version of CrossFit. It allows you to get to grips with complicated movements and allow you to learn through movement. Your Coaches can give you every cue known to man but until you feel it you will never learn it.

Have a plan for your WOD. Lets take a 21-15-9 WOD into consideration. The elite and the experienced will blast it unbroken. For the newer people reading this, try break it up into 3 times 7 for 21, 3 times 5 for the 15 and a 5 and 4 for the 9. Don’t have a prolonged break between your numbers; give it 5 to 10 breaths depending on experience/fitness level and get back to work.

The jump from scaling a WOD to Rx-ing can be daunting. The loads and movements will tax you like never before. Staying focused on the task at hand, that being to complete the WOD Rx is paramount.  You have stepped far out of your comfort zone and need to focus on WOD completion and NOT on any great mind blowing performances.

When handling greater loads than before its not a case of moving it for reps but rather a case of controlling it. Using shoulder to overhead as an example, it’s more about receiving the bar rather than getting it overhead. Every time that bar hits you it will sap your energy levels and start eating away at your confidence, the time pressure of CrossFit will get you to start asking “will I finish?” That is the worst thing you can do, take it one rep at a time and zero in on movement quality.

Getting the reps done is obvious in a WOD, how you get them is often overlooked. Too many times the minimal movement standard is met without any great attention to the quality of the reps being performed. You compete how you train. On my Level 1, the staff eluded to CrossFit helping us to not suck at life. Competing was NEVER discussed. We have become carried away with the pursuit of Regionals, adding way more pressure to ourselves than we need. CrossFit takes the complicated movements of gymnastics and Olympic lifting and slams them together and tells you to go fast.

We all need to STOP and take stock of where we are as a region and individual athletes. What are we doing today to succeed tomorrow!!??

Look at the whiteboard and rejoice when something HORRIBLE  arrives. That is the time you truly can get down to the business of CrossFit! We chose this discipline because we want to be different and the best. CrossFitters have such an esprit de corps above all other forms of fitness training, but many are quick to cherry-pick the stuff they are good at. All I can say is DON’T.

Plan your WOD, ask the coaches for advice on efficiency tips, seek perfection along with speed and do your best!!! I guarantee if you do that your CrossFit will explode.

Till next time – Care about your performance.

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