The psychological element of performance in CrossFit® workouts became glaring apparent. When two nearly identical athletes were paired off to compete at a seminar in Seattle, one of them walked up to the muscle-up rings and said, "I've never done a muscle-up before. I'm going to get my first one." The other admitted that he'd never done a muscle-up either. "there's no way I can finish this workout," he said.
The first guy got his first muscle-up, then nine more. As he finished the workout, his friends came over to congratulate him. "Aw, thanks guys," he replied. "I knew I could do it." His opponent didn't even come close to doing a muscle-up and gave up. When his friends came over to commiserate, he replied, "No worries, guys. I knew I couldn't do it."
Watching this scene unfold, Glassman pulled Amundson aside (his star student). "You know what, kid?" he said. "The greatest adaptation to CrossFit® is between the ears." That statement seemed to hang in the air between them. It lodged in Amundson's mind. It changed the way he trained. He stopped working from the outside in -- building building physical strength in order to become confident. He started working from the inside out: building courage, forbearance, serenity to boost his physical performance...
Every time he made improvements in these trials of will, his athletic performance spiked!
GLASSMAN'S PUNCHLINE: I don't think it's because you're more physically fit. I don't think that you just increased muscle mass or contractile potential of muscle. I think it has more to do with your courage, your confidence and your determination, and your ability to persevere. Those qualities are what we attribute to good people. Good people are accountable. They have perseverance. They're determined. What you're doing in these workouts is, you're becoming a different person. Every time you're going faster, you're becoming a different person. When people get their first muscle-up, it's not just because they're stronger and quicker than they were before. There's been a mental shift as well. It can take years to get a first muscle-up. It takes a minute to get the second one.
Transformation Requires two Things: A) Deep understanding (how important the psychological component is) and B) The willingness to sacrifice comfort is what makes all other gains possible.