The Unexpected Way I’ve Improved my Training Performance paleo primal crossfit mindset gym fitness mental attitude-min

The Unexpected Way I’ve Improved my Training Performance

Since I started considering the mental aspect to Training, I've found I can achieve more reps, better reps, faster reps and lift heavier weights.  It still amazes me how much of the hard work is down to my mind and not my body.

I thought I was doing everything well in my Training Sessions; I had the right mental attitude, the right pre and post workout Paleo nutrition and was focusing on good form in everything I did.  Well, almost everything…

I've been talking about the mental aspects of training at great length with a friend, who recently came along to an interval training session with me.  After the session he commented that he'd noticed in the rest between activities, my posture completely changed.  I would put my hands on my knees and look towards the ground.  I hadn't realised I adopted this position until it was pointed out, but after noticed that it was my default rest position after a high intensity set.  I also noticed when forced to pause a run by traffic lights, I’d also drop my shoulders and look to the ground.

I've been noticing a lot of other people in the gym adopt their own version of negative posture during their sessions too – sometimes even sitting down or lying in a heap on the floor!  It seems I wasn't alone.

The Unexpected Way I’ve Improved my Training Performance paleo primal crossfit mindset gym fitness mental attitude-min

“Slumped” positions like this enable the muscles to relax, which feels like a good idea, especially during a hard tabata session.  However, it’s logical that putting the body in this position signals that you are tired and resting.  When the rest ends a few seconds later, this is not an easy position to come back strong from.  In this position, lung capacity is significantly smaller, making it harder to intake as much oxygen as the body requires – making the rest period even less effective – and the following activities that much harder.

Since this revelation, it has been so easy to change my posture in the rest between high intensity activities.  As soon as I have finished my reps I stand up straight and tall looking straight ahead, never down.  I've found this posture makes me feels strong, focused and ready to get onto the next exercise.  It’s actually hard to think negative thoughts about being worn out and not able to lift any more when I adopt this posture.

How is your posture between sets?  Have you found changing how you stand – or think – has improved your performance?

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8 replies
  1. Emma
    Emma says:

    I do Crossfit and the majority of people lie on the ground in a puddle after they finish a WOD, I know however that there is no way in hell I’d get up again if I did that, so the most I ever do is sit on a box, or I just stand up and stretch. Once I’m down that’s it!

  2. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    It’s funny because I noticed that a lot of people do in some way rest by sitting or flopping over, but, not to talk my self up, when I was taking boxing they knock that out of your head by making you do pushups every time you do something as minor as leaning on a wall during the workouts, so I had just been, out of habit applying that to my Crossfit. Between workouts of set, I just walk in a circle around the room or something to that effect.

  3. Mike
    Mike says:

    I play squash and I have at times, when the match has been going on for a while, tend to lose a bit of balance and posture between points (walking to get the ball for example). I try to knock that on the head, walk firmly, don’t trip over my own feet etc. It’s probably more important in this context because you don’t want to show your opponent signs of tiring.

  4. Sylvia
    Sylvia says:

    I like this very much and will take notice next time I go walking….I know my competition dart playing partner always goes walkabout between points, & I was always taught when I was playing to never shake my head in annoyance if I missed what I was aiming for, as it then gives your competitor the edge…..with my approach, I have to be relaxed & happy, but my partner has to be intense & focussed! 2 differing ways of approaching the same thing….but I have prompted him to be mindful of this when he next plays……..I have, in the past, when I was doing Aerobics remember that many of us would slump over in between different exercises…..
    What a great topic…well spotted, Suz’s friend….I, for one thank you.

    Sylvia x

    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks Slyvia! That’s so true about not showing any weakness. It must add in an ectra complication having a partner as you have to consider their actions, as well as your own!


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