mental. (repost from 10/28/10)

    “Mental Endurance”
    Part 1- Disciplined, continuous movement through fatigue.

    Reaching a point of discomfort and fatigue that expands beyond the borders of what most people will voluntarily subject themselves to is an ability that often needs to be developed, much like learning a physical movement. “Mental endurance” is the tool in our toolbox that enables us to reach those points, and subsequently reach the elite levels of strength/ power/ proficiency/ fitness that we strive for in our type of training.

    As in many others, everyone that trains in our gym knows and has demonstrated correct form for all the movements they are asked to perform. They have heard the same cue’s likely too many times while learning them, and have been asked exhaustively to refine them.
    When that is the case, sloppy, unfocused movements mixed with un-specific rest periods and topped with some self-pity show a lack of (or at least a lack of application of) mental endurance, not physical comprehension.

    Fatigue in training is accounted for, of course, but it is not an excuse for poor form; just as speed is not a substitute for good form. When good coaching is present and fundamentals are sound, poor form most often originates in the brain, and that is one muscle we can have good and warmed up before ever entering the training room; Not even entertaining the option of accepting substandard movement from yourself should be a deliberate choice made prior to even warming up. If mechanics suffer during a period of fatigue, use your physical comprehension of the movement to stop, breathe, and right the ship. Continuing with poor form may FEEL like you’re “gutting it out”, but it is actually a lazy, potentially dangerous cop-out.

    Pursuit of the mastery of the movement you are performing is a goal I hope people will strive for. Completion of the short interval of training at hand is our short-term goal, and the people that complete it with the most impressive strength, intensity, power, and efficiency are 100% of the time those that have paid the utmost attention to the mental and physical details of each and every aspect of the task.