Training for Warriors: The Mental Aspect

Training for Warriors: The Mental Aspect

This past weekend I spent two days at the Parsisi Speed school going through the Training for Warriors Instructor certification that was put on by Martin Rooney. Anyone who has ever heard Martin speak or spent any amount of time around him will know they guy is a constant ball of fire about anything and everything that has to do with training. His passion runs deep for this type of stuff and in turn he makes everyone he talks to about it want to learn more. 

The whole weekend was spent learning his “Training for Warriors” system. Many might think we spent the whole time just learning the technical aspects of some lifts. That’s somewhat true, we did go through the finer points of some exercises and even worked out a “little bit” to get the hang of the programs basics. But what we spent the most time on was the mental aspect of training clients and training yourself. This is a round up of the three most important lessons I picked up this past weekend.

1 – The “Gray Area” is where YOU are made

“Paleo is the best diet ever, you NEED to be on it!”

“CrossFit is the ONLY way to get a good body!”

“The only way to get huge guns is to choke yourself with a belt while you do 10 sets of 83 curls at 95.684% of your one rep max! If you can’t do that you’re a PUSSY!”

Everyone has their own ideas about what will get them to where they need to go. The bad thing is, most of these ideas are poached from the inside of a magazine and no thought is put into it after that.

Alwyn Cosgrove always tells people that everything works and everything only works for so long. I don’t care what you do, but if you keep doing only that and don’t think about it, you will stall and get frustrated.

Taking thoughts, concepts and ideas from other people isn’t the problem. The problem is people not questioning them at least a little bit and asking “why”. Nothing is black and white, and when you approach things like that you won’t progress, and more importantly you fail to create yourself. Your identity, what you stand for, any type of creative thought is made when you step out of Black/White and move into the Gray area.

Be an individual. Ask questions. Think for yourself.

2 – Don’t take the whole bottle of aspirin

When I saw Martin speak at the “Learn By Doing” seminar put on by Perform Better a few months ago he mentioned this too. When someone has a bit of pain and is going to take some aspirin to ease it, what do they do? They look at the label, see what the recommended dosage is, and then if they’re not a pill junkie, they will take the recommended dosage.

What happens when you take more? If it’s just a little more, you won’t see much of a difference in it’s effectiveness. If it’s a lot more you’ll get sick, probably throw up and could possibly die.

Well, people are “taking the whole bottle” when it comes to training, and sometimes coaches are prescribing the entire bottle. More isn’t better and rarely does it pan out to give you the effect you thought it would.

I’m guilty of this too. Plenty of times I’ve seen my workout be prescribed as “6x40yds with 5 minutes rest” and I’d try to do 12 of them with 3 minutes rest. Eventually I ran myself into the ground and I wasn’t getting any faster. Eventually it comes down to quality over quantity…

If you do quality work, you don’t need to do a lot.

If you do shitty work, you need to do a lot to get close to the guy who does quality, but then you burn out and get left behind anyway.

Don’t take the whole bottle.

3 – Your life as a sailboat

Over and over again throughout the weekend, Martin would ask us “where is your compass pointed?” He wanted to know a) what would stood for and b) were we on track. To drill this concept into our head even more, he brought up a picture of sailboat and essentially said that the getting the life you want to live is summed up in this picture.

The compass, the sails, and the rudder are all needed to get the boat to it’s destination. Without just one of these it’s either sitting dead in the water, wandering aimlessly or getting pushed in whatever direction the wind happens to be going at that moment.

This is how I broke it down…the compass is our goals and what we want to achieve in life and business. If we don’t have those set then anywhere we end up is OK because we never decided.

The sails are the values you choose to live by.  If you want to be 4% body fat and you don’t care about how to get there (your values) then it’s too easy to get drugged up on every type of steroid in your pursuit. Will you get there? Maybe, but I guarantee it won’t be fulfilling or worthwhile.

The most important one though is the rudder. Without the rudder the sail boat is at the mercy of the current, and without your rudder your at the mercy of everything around you. The rudder is the actions you take to meet your goals. I’ll use the 4% body fat example again. That’s your goal, but you consistently go to Taco Bell late night with your friends and pound chalupas down your pie hole. Is your rudder pointing you in the right direction?

This stuff is simple, but it’s by no means easy. It takes work, dedication, and the ability to get comfortable with uncomfortable situations. These three lessons were just a fraction of the knowledge I got over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean these three can’t help you get what you want.

Where’s your sailboat heading?

Train like Warrior, live as an Alpha.


Arrows, Pills, Sailboat