Posture of Defeat

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Postures of Defeat

It is said that the First Messenian War took 20 years to concluded. Prior to the conclusion of the war, the Messenian warriors were fatigued and had the unwillingness to continue. For these fighters, they are weak, drained of energy, and most importantly mentally beat and physically defeated. The spartans were able to conquer and take the land they wanted.

Im not saying we need to go to war to develop mental toughness. But does this sound familiar when faced with a difficult situation? Are you the one on the ground, lying in a pool of your sweat, rolling from side to side, agonizing in pain, surrendering to the workout? Or are you the one that is on your feet, walking around with your eyes open and your chest tall, as if you truly accomplished something to be proud of?

This is something to think about following your next workout. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the mental aspect of training and challenging situations that life may bring. Body language is one of those things that can speak volumes about an individual. If your bent over, hands on knees, head hanging down, shoulder slumped forward does this individual sound like their expressing the best version of themselves?

How about an individual standing tall, chest open, eyes focused on the task ahead of them? You know their ready for whatever comes their way.

Postures of defeat are the body language forms of negative self talk. Nonverbal statements that say “this sucks, this is stupid, I can’t do this.” Most of the time it’s the bodies way of closing in on itself. Whether you’ve got your hands on your knees, you’re kneeling on the ground, you’re sitting on the ground or even lying down, it’s our way of saying we feel vulnerable and weak.

Those who approach a situation with their chest up and eyes forward are those who look for solutions to overcome any obstacle placed in there way, while those who don’t end up retreating from the reality of the situation. So how do we change our body language for good?

  1. Support your training partners and people around you. Reminding someone to keep their chest up, eyes up whether it be in the gym or in life.
  2. If you need to rest do it with your eyes open and chest up! Give yourself an internal countdown. Could be like 3,2,1 pick up the bar.
  3. Something i’ve tried implementing myself is not walking away form the bar when you’re fatigued. The longer you rest and walk around, the longer the workout is.
  4. Positive self talk. Mantras you could say to yourself like “full effort is full victory” or little cues like “elbows up” for a front squat to keep you going.

Try to implement next time the going gets rough



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