When it comes to hard training you need to have toughness.
You need the physical toughness to deal with the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles with every rep and to deal with a rapidly beating heart after a hard set of sprints.
You need the mental toughness to tell yourself that your last set of squats after previous 9 sets of squats is doable and that you will be the one to do it.
When physical fatigue and mental doubt creep into your training session, you will find out exactly how tough you are.
When I performed and completed the Lunges of Death it was a pure exercise in mental and physical toughness.
Mentally I felt sharp the whole time but my body (lower back) gave in to the extreme physically fatigue the first time.
The second time around I was physically tougher and more equipped to handle the fatigue.
The moral of the story is that even through extreme physical and mental fatigue you have to find a way to succeed.
I have seen so-called tough trainees be exposed at the first sign of fatigue and doubt.
I have witnessed folks quit workouts halfway through the session.
I have witnessed people cut sets short because it was becoming difficult.
This behavior is pathetic. Quitting or running from a challenge makes you a stone cold coward. You are now walking around with a yellow stripe on your back.
I would rather you attempt to complete a challenge and fail instead of you quitting halfway through.
I would rather you try to do your last set even when you are fatigued badly and only get 7 out of 10 reps you were supposed to do.
Toughness doesn’t have a look. Often the biggest and most muscular meatheads in the gym tend to be the ones who will routinely run from real challenges.
Why do they run you ask? It is the fear of getting folded or looking like they are struggling.
If you are training hard at some point you will get folded. Everyone gets folded including me.
But this is how you become better. Success requires struggle.
Think about the great Allen Iverson for a moment.
He was undersized in a league full of giants. Did this deter him? Not at all.
He played through injuries and through being on bad teams. You knew every night he was going to show up and give maximum effort.
He never let those challenges stop him from becoming the player he knew he could be.
He accepted this challenge. If he was a weaker minded individual he could have easily accepted that he was a smaller player and let the rest of the league walk over him.
But his mental toughness and physical toughness could not let this happen. This is mindset is what separated him from other players who may have been bigger or stronger but they had no heart.
The bottom line is that the more challenges you accept, the tougher you will become mentally and physically. My training program is set up in a way that ensures that you will face challenges every time you train.
You are not going to win every single time. But you can learn from your losses and come back better next time.
Every time you fail and respond you will develop toughness of character.
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