It’s well known that CrossFit is a type of training that can help you reach huge improvements in terms of physical fitness after a minimum period of a few weeks.
- Improvement of BMI (body mass index), as it promotes weight loss.
- The weight lost is largely body fat.
- Increases muscle mass.
- It improves aerobic capacity as it works on endurance.
So far, it seems like the perfect sport: the main goal of many people who start a physical activity is to lose fat and gain muscle. But besides the physical training, there are other skills at play in CrossFit too: mental strength.
Consistency is trained in CrossFit. And what is it exactly? The dictionary defines it as the determination and perseverance of the spirit in resolutions and purposes.
And this is precisely one of the facets that is trained with this sport. The consistency to carry out training that can be unappealing, with a tough number of repetitions, or the movements themselves, the amounts of rounds… for one reason or for several. Or because you know how the standard movement of an exercise should be for it to count as a repetition, and for whatever reason you make the effort to try it and a repetition doesn’t come out, so you know that you shouldn’t count it, because it’s not valid, and even though you get tired, you should do it again so that it counts.
It may not seem like a big deal, but if you do CrossFit you know that it’s up to you how rigorous or demanding you want to be on yourself, and these little things make the difference. But because the training is also predetermined by your coach, it’s something that you know you have to do, even if it’s not the kind of training you would have chosen on your own.
That’s why it creates great athletes. Because part of the training depends on a coach, and not on you. People who are not professional athletes, and have to plan their training, have a tendency to avoid exercises that they’re not good at. So, obviously, we don’t see improvement in the aspects that are not trained to improve.
Planning our training on our own would surely make us less consistent, especially, as we have said, in what we don’t like
Of course, this can happen in any sport you can think of. In the fitness room you have a schedule to follow, which either your fitness instructor has done or you have decided you’d follow after searching and analysing on the internet.
Every training a challenge
But normally you face the training alone, and unless you’re a professional sportsperson – we always talk about the general population level – you will have more incentives to skip this or that, and make small modifications or adjustments.
When we face things that we don’t like, we need put ourselves in front of them, and, in the end, with more or less strength, get past them.
This characteristic has many benefits, and it’s not only that you get to finish the wod like everyone else in class, even if you did not like it. It’s something that you take with you to other aspects of your life outside the box.
Example of Mental Strength
For example, a typical CrossFit wod: Karen.
This wod consists of 150 wall ball shoots (throwing the medicine ball against the wall and reaching a previously established height) in the shortest possible time. Boys with a 9kg ball and 6kg for the girls.
Who would like to do 150 repetitions of a movement? Even if you like Wall Balls, you’re not going to like this training.
Imagine if you don’t like this particular exercise (like a waiter). What happens is that during the 150 repetitions you say to yourself, several times, “I won’t be able to”, and then you change to “I don’t want to do so many” and “If they can do it, of course I’m able to”, and then “Come on, of course you can”.
And when you finish the training, although you’ve fought with your mind at the same time as your body, you will have come out stronger as an athlete.
CrossFit helps you build mental strength
The “good” thing about this sport is that it is multidisciplinary, there are many movements, and also that, since it is trained at high intensities, and you’ll often find yourself saying “I don’t like the wod”, but you end up doing it anyway. And each time you’re winning a little big battle.
It helps you to build mental strength in a different way when faced with stressful issues outside the training environment. To be mentally strong, attack the problem and be resolute. You learn to overcome the pain and know that you can do it. That like other times, you can be victorious, because in the end hard work always pays off.