Building Mental Toughness

By John Hermiz

In Rest Day/Theory

January 13, 2012

PDF Article

Swedish CrossFit trainer John Hermiz says to get mentally tougher, you have to stick to your plan—in or out of the gym.

My first encounter with CrossFit was about two years ago. It was dramatic, ugly and changed my naive self-image of being in shape.

Soon after the workout started, I was in complete shock. My heart was racing. I thought, “What the hell is happening?” and “I can’t finish this workout.” I believed these thoughts, and subsequently my emotional state was affected.

I was terrified, stressed and anxious. Of course, that didn’t help much. Because I was in a group, quitting wasn’t an option, so I saw the damn thing through in a near-death experience. Then I crawled into the fetal position, where I stayed for another 10 minutes.

My ego was bruised. How could I consider myself fit when I couldn’t handle a workout like that? I decided to change my ways and have since followed a CrossFit regimen that has done wonders for my physique. Interestingly enough, there has been a side effect to my changed exercise routine, as well. CrossFit—in combination with techniques I learned while studying to become a psychologist at Stockholm University—has developed mental toughness.



5 Comments on “Building Mental Toughness”


wrote …

Insightful paper. Very applicable to life. Thanks


wrote …

I have found my CF "don't quit" attitude has become part of my daily attitude at work and home. Really helped watching others at CFR, Murfreesboro, TN, working beyond time limits and pushing for new PRs. I am far more mentally tough now than I was almost two years ago because of CrossFit.


wrote …

And this folks is why CrossFit is better than any personal trainer, globo gym experience. Learning how to use our experiences in the box to better our lives in ALL places is why I keep coming. Oh yeah, I look and feel better now too!

Great article!


wrote …

Brilliant article! I definitely find cf helps me to face other challenges in life and adopt a mental toughness approach and never give up, even when negativity offers an easy way out!


wrote …

I love this. I can relate to every sentence, every word. Thanks.

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