leg workouts
Source: CrossFit Inc

How to Improve your Mindset for Crossfit Performance and Life

"Mindset is 100% a developable skill. No question about it." - Julien Pineau

What I’m going to say may offend you. It may upset you and it may make you want to find me on Facebook and send me abusive messages (as people have done in the past).

Before that though, I want to let you know three things:

  1. My purpose isn’t to piss you off. In fact, it’s to inspire you to be the best version of yourself possible; as an athlete and as a human being. So please just push through the resistance you may get from this message and ask yourself this question: “What if he’s right? What would that mean for my training and my life as a whole?”
  2. If someone had told me this 7 or 8 years ago, I would have laughed and told them where to shove it.
  3. This isn’t just me who believes this stuff, it’s actually the foundational belief of many of your favourite coaches and athletes. So I’ve peppered the piece with a few quotes from guests on The Alpha Movement Podcast (my side project/love)

There is NOTHING standing in the way of you achieving everything you want. Nothing apart from what’s going on in your head.

(I’m taking a liberty and assuming your objective right now ISN’T winning the CrossFit Games).

An explanation is needed: every action you take, whether beneficial or not, is a result of a belief you hold. If you decide to go to the gym, the belief that facilitated that could be that it will PR your back squat.

If you eat well, it could be because you believe that it will help you drop some body fat and feel better (or let’s face it, look good naked).


But what about beliefs, true or untrue, that are holding you back?

Side note: a lot of the beliefs we hold about what’s holding us back used to be true, but aren’t now. Just consider that…

What if you believe you don’t have time? Or that you don’t have the money, the experience, the luck, the support network, the coaches, the equipment…

That’s just surface level shit. What if, in your heart of hearts, you believe you’re lazy? Or that you’ve never achieved anything you’ve set out to achieve anyway, so what’s the point? Or that you’re weak? That you don’t deserve it? That you aren’t WORTHY of being the person you so desperately wish to.

You are a product of the beliefs you hold

Here’s the kicker – most of the time, you have no idea you even believe this. It’s all subconscious so you don’t even know this is what’s holding you back.

What’s more, is that you’ve been burying these beliefs DEEP into your subconscious – the stories you replay in your mind. The “failure” from years back that you still torment yourself with, what she said to you, missed opportunities etc.

open athlete workout

Keep working

© Ryan Edy

Every bump in the road now reinforces that belief – you have “proof”! The more deep-set a belief, the harder it is to change.

I’m sure you can think of plenty of examples in your own life. Now what do you do about it?

Well, in just the same way as in training, nutrition and recovery, a lot of the issue is worked out once we actually understand our situation with more clarity. In order to get from A to B, understanding the location of point B is not enough.

You’ll be pleased to know, the process of hearing your beliefs doesn’t involve handing over £hundreds and laying on a couch whilst reliving every single “failure” you’ve had until now. In fact, it’s free and it takes about 3-5 minutes per day.

This is the way to find your limiting beliefs

“People that are clear headed achieve the things they want” – Chris Moore

Spend a few minutes writing down every thought you have. No matter how seemingly irrelevant, self-deprecating, stupid or painful it is to do so, get it out on paper. Don’t judge, censor or limit it. Just get your thoughts out.

It’s best done first thing in the morning, when your conscious brain is still decaffeinated and blurry. Pen and paper. 3-5 minutes of quiet. Write.

Do this for 7-14 days and then look back on it. Note down what comes up frequently.

Look, if you’re dubious about this process, I understand! I was too. I spent a good 3 years butting my head against a wall (not getting where I wanted to be, self-sabotaging and beating myself up about it) before I finally accepted I should try it.

So this is what I recommend: try it for 7 days as an experiment. At the end of the 7 days, see how you feel. What’s the worst that could happen?

This could appear too simple to be effective, but consider this last quote from a true Brahmin, Chris Moore: “The most elemental things are those that change lives”

Jami Tikannen

James Fitzgerald

Julien Pineau

Dom D’Agostino

10 Reasons why Visualisation Techniques will make you a Better Crossfitter