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To be your best, it’s imperative that you learn to calm your mind. When you begin to feel pressure or stress, you’ll want to come back to simple, positive thoughts and controlled breathing. To become more centered and focused so that you can perform better, practice these helpful breathing strategies. Each of these breathing practices can be done in less than 5 minutes. If you only have enough time for a few, focused, deep breaths, that’s still better than nothing.

1. Square Breathing – For square breathing, you want to take deep, centering breaths counting up to 4 during the inhale, taking a 4 second hold,  and then exhaling for 4 seconds, and holding again for 4 seconds before you inhale again. Do this at least 5 cycles and longer if you have time to really reap the benefits.

2. Counting Breaths – For this practice, you would simply count your breaths, with a nice controlled rhythm. Take 3 second inhale, and a 3 second exhale then say “1” in your mind. Then inhale again for another 3 seconds, and exhale for 3 seconds, then say “2” in your mind. So you’ll simple count and breathe. Repeating this pattern for up to 10, or 20 is one of the simplest ways to bring your focus back to something you can control, as well as calming your breathing cycle and being...

Enjoy this guest post by Olympic Gold Medalist and 3-time world champion rower Will Satch. In this piece, he talks about how he motivates himself, and that even Olympians struggle to stay motivated.


How to Motivate Yourself After A Break

Finding the motivation to go back to training after a break can be excruciating, the very thought almost hurts. Dark winter mornings, bone-aching cold, and sometimes cracking the ice off the riggers, or worse, breaking up the ice on the lake.


I ask myself ‘why’, at the point the alarm goes off, in what is seemingly the middle of the night, as I’m sure many of you do during the cold British January.

My personal motivation has always come from being horribly competitive and a drive to be the best at whatever sport I was involved with – which I wasn’t. This combined with the fact that losing has never sat well with me. My losses have pushed me on as much as winning did; I thrive on being challenged and I am stubborn.

I won’t accept that I can’t achieve what I want if I invest everything I have.

Peer pressure is also important – to be surrounded daily by likeminded people, all striving toward the same end is hugely motivational.

‘Training with consequences’ (as the boss calls it) is paramount for motivation...

As a CrossFitter, there are a plethora of movements, some that you may fear at one point or another. A snatch, rope climbs, heavy deadlifts, muscle ups, swimming, box jumps…just to name a few. You may be afraid of pain, failing, falling, drowning or missing. You may fear doing something because you’ve been hurt doing it in the past, or because you’ve seen someone get hurt or fail badly.

If you focus on what you’re afraid of, or what you don’t want to happen, you will lose sight of everything you need to do to be successful. This type of negative thinking creates even more anxiety and stress, causing you to doubt your ability to perform.

Have you ever been there?

These fears could prevent you from trying, and from reaching your goals.

You have a choice to make – do you want to let your fears limit you, or will you work to overcome them? Let’s make sure that your doubts, worries and fears don’t keep you from becoming your best.

You must confront fear to move past it.

Sometimes you’ll be able to tell yourself “just fucking go for it,” and you get past a fear quickly. Other times, it may take some time to work through. Overcoming fear is often a process, just like your training.


6 Tips To Overcome Your Fear of a Certain...

You’re getting ready for a big workout or an important event, you start sweating and your stomach begins to turn.  You feel nervous and anxious and you start second guessing yourself. 

Have you ever been there? Where even the thought of an upcoming event or workout gets you all worked up?

Different stress-reduction tactics work for different people. Once you find what works for you, you’ll be able to implement that strategy at the right time for it’s biggest impact. Today, I’ll give you five strategies that will help lower your stress before a big event. Try em out.

5 Ways To Lower Your Stress Before A Big Event

1: Control how you interpret “stress.” 

When you’re getting ready for something important, your body will begin to react and send you signs that it is “getting ready.”  Physical signs like; sweating, rapid heart rate, feeling like you have to pee, and jitters can be interpreted in two different ways and can produce very different reactions. You decide how you respond to your physical reactions. 

  • You can feel your body react and begin to think that means your fears, worries, doubts and anxieties are playing out.  If do this, you view your nerves as negative, it will hurt your performance and your ability to be confident and composed.
  • On the other...

Do you spend more than a couple hours a day on your computer?

Are you a coach, entrepreneur or CrossFitter who has a lot going on?

Are you constantly multi-tasking when you’re on the computer (switching your music, checking social media, answering messages, working on a project, and clicking on all sorts of hyperlinks)?

Do you want to be more efficient with your time?

Occasionally, you’ll get on your computer to just “browse” or do some research with no particular goal in mind. That’s perfectly fine. Other times, you’ll want to put all of your energy into particular tasks, and get things done quickly. Regardless, I’d suggest that you know exactly why you’re opening your computer and exactly how long you want to spend on there.

As a full-time performance coach and owner of this website, I do a lot of my “work” from my laptop. I try to be very efficient with my time so that I’m not attached to this thing. I normally spend 3-6 hours a day on the computer – blogging, checking in or Skyping with clients, programming, creating new products, putting in my own workouts and nutrition on MyFitnessPal and Google Drive, answering emails, and reading or watching CrossFit-related content. If I’m not doing work tasks, I’m likely looking up travel ideas and plans….on my computer.

I LOVE what I do, but I also love to do other things that have...

Occasionally I feature thoughts from individuals who have strong input about the mental side of fitness, training and life. All the other posts on this site are written by me, so I like to highlight other viewpoints and suggestions to keep it varied. I select witty and honest posts, that give you practical tips and advice.

Enjoy this post by George Briones III from Soflete.

Chasing the Impossible

At some point in our lives, we look back and begin to question if we are following the path that we had envisioned. Introspection is a normal and necessary part of growth, and the answers it uncovers often lead to new questions. 

Have you challenged yourself to prove that you are capable of more than what you thought possible?

Most people are comfortable with who they are and what they are doing in life, as a result of complacency rather than self actualization. I am not one to criticize who or what a person does with their life. However, I think it’s with examining our own existence and pushing through self-imposed barriers. I think we could all use that as we move into the new year.

Comfort Zone? What Comfort Zone?

Hi, I’m George Briones.  If you had asked me last year if I would have seen myself out there running 50 miles, I would have laughed and said “Ya, OK!!” I had 5 athletes...

When you’re dealing with injuries or pain it’s important to take care of your body, but you also want to stay motivated to continue to improve. Aches, pain, discomfort, and soreness, are not that fun. You surely don’t want to get caught comparing yourself to where you were before your injury or to everyone else around you. You are you, today, a person who is fully capable of greatness.

Do you find it hard to stay positive when you don’t feel 100%?

7 Keys To Staying Mentally Strong During Injuries

1. Remind yourself of all that IS feeling well. You may need to think of every little thing that you are currently capable of doing with your body. These might be very simple things but they are still very powerful. For example: Your left knee is sprained, you can focus on all the strength and abilities you have with your right leg, your upper body and your basic senses that are still functional.

2. Focus on what you CAN do. Assess what physical abilities you have on each specific day (which may be different than yesterday or tomorrow). We are not guaranteed anything, so it’s important to do your best with what you have at any given moment.

3. Prioritize being positive and focusing on what you can control. I can’t emphasize this...

Motivation is simply your drive to achieve a goal.

Start by choosing fitness and sport goals that excite you and are good for you. You won’t put the necessary training into a goal that isn’t that appealing to you, or that is simply to satisfy someone else.

Understand that your motivation will change from time to time, depending on a ton of other lifestyle factors. You must find what really makes you tick and know how to get back on track. Continue to re-evaluate why you want to train so hard and why you want to improve. Your ‘why’ is literally more important than anything in the world (for everything you do).

The stronger your WHY, the stronger your will. The stronger your will, the more likely you will fight to achieve your goal. Make sure you know WHY you want to go to the gym and how it will benefit you and the others in your life.

8 Tips to Help You Stay Motivated in The New Year

1. Write down your motivations and goals. Get specific about what you want to accomplish, how much time each week you’ll spend at the gym, and all of your motivators for being committed. Be as clear as possible with exactly what your goals are and why you want each of them.

2. Share your intentions with those who can help hold you accountable. Go tell someone, or a...

I recently tried “floating” for the first time and it was a surreal experience. I highly recommend it for driven individuals and athletes.

What is floating? 

Float therapy is a way to completely relax, and restore both your mind and body. You’re floating in an isolation tank, often called a sensory deprivation tank which is a lightless, soundproof tub filled with salt water at skin temperature.

What are the benefits?

Physical benefits include healing, and increased blood circulation, pain management, improved immune function, and muscle recovery. Mental benefits like stress reduction, improved creativity, and increased reaction time are common.

Check out my experience in the video below



For floating in San Diego, check out True Rest Float Spa

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Quality sleep is imperative if you want to improve your mindset, performance and overall health.

You can’t be the best version of you if you’re tired, sluggish, dependent on caffeine or other stimulants, unfocused, lethargic, anxious, or stressed. Getting adequate, restful sleep has to be a priority if you want to make positive changes in your fitness and life.

I recently started sleeping on a tomorrow sleep Mattress, and using the Tomorrow Sleep, Sleep Tracker Data to help me get even better zzzs. I can’t believe how comfortable the medium-firm version of this hybrid mattress is! I thought I was sleeping well before, but I feel even better when I wake up after a night on this new mattress.

Here are 5 tips

1. Get a bed that you LOVE being in. Get the comfiest, most supportive mattress than you can afford. You spend over 45 hours a week in it, and it has a huge influence on your health, so invest in it. Purchase bedding that feels amazing and pillows that are like clouds to you. I like to create a bedroom space that’s simple, comfortable, uncluttered and calming.

2. Track it. For 2 weeks, record how many hours of sleep you get each morning and track it on a calendar or in a note pad. The Tomorrow Sleep, SleepTracker Monitor will help you create more awareness about your sleep patterns and habits, so that you can make the necessary changes to improve it.

3. Commit to...

Benchmark workouts are a staple in CrossFit training and in most other strength and conditioning programs. If you’re taking your workouts seriously, it’s best that keep your scores, times and lifts in a journal or an online tracking system. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to continue to feel and see progress. The main way you’ll know if you’re progressing is by actually improving your score, time, lifts, amount to which you scale a movement, etc. It’s helpful to actually SEE your performance gains.

So, a question I’m frequently asked is, “how often should I retest benchmarks?”

First of all, you know how I feel about the word “should.” Clarify what you mean, read this post.

Here are some guidelines

1. Which ones to retest? Retest the ones that are related to what you’re currently focused on. For example, if your focus is doing your best in The Open, then retest workouts that have burpees, toes to bars, chest to bars, rowing, thrusters, wall balls, barbell cycling, muscle ups – you get the point. If you’re focused on building strength right now, throw in some tests like “Linda”, CrossFit Total, The Other Total, King Kong, etc. If you’re focused on your engine, test your mile run or 5k row each month. Your gymnastics? Throw in Nate or Nasty Girls. You get the point.

2. How often to retest? Retest a...

“Know your WHY.” You hear myself and other leaders say it all of the time.

I encourage you to know your purpose behind doing whatever it is you’re currently doing. Before any event, important day or training session, I suggest you run through a few key reminders why it matters to you, why you want to give it your best and why you want to accomplish your goals.

The stronger your why, the stronger your will. The more connected you are with your purpose for doing something, the more likely you’ll pursue excellence in it. Your why matters.

But, there are also times when asking “why” is a flat-out waste of time. Searching for answers as to “why” something occurred can be a huge distraction, it can send you into a rut and it can paralyze to a point where you become inactive.

See continuing to ask yourself WHY you’re pursuing what you’re pursing is incredibly valuable.

But, continuing to search for why something has occurred (and beating yourself up over it, or staying down for wayyyy too long because you don’t understand how it’s possible) is not helpful.

Sometimes there aren’t clear answers for things events that happen. You get injured or sick. A loved one gets cancer. Someone says something terribly hurtful. You have to deal with something that your friends don’t. Something happens in your life that shocks the hell out of you. Of course you’ll...

To make an impact on others, ya might think that you have to say something profound or interesting. In an attempt to make a connection, you may end up trying to act smart or funny. Or, you try to connect by complaining or gossiping with the other person because I guess that’s an easy way to feel like you have something in common?

One of the best things you can do to make a strong connection and impact others is ask questions. Ask questions that are open and likely require more than a 1 word answer.

  • Instead of “How was your day?” try “What was the best moment of your day?”
  • When you just meet someone, instead of asking “What do you do for a living?” you might try “What does your ideal Saturday look like?” or “What was your first job?” or “What’s the coolest thing you’ve done recently?”
  • Instead of “Did you win?” you could ask “What did you learn?” or “What was the hardest part for you?”

Try it this week and see what happens.

See, one part of making an impact on others is asking them things that they don’t normally get asked. When you get someone to say “well I don’t normally get asked that” that’s when you know you’re digging deeper and making an impact.

The best conversationalists actually don’t do much of the talking, they do as much as they can to find out about the hopes, beliefs, struggles and...

Some people are just natural planners. Some spend A LOT of time preparing by evaluating data, studying strategies and developing specific steps for future events. Some even come up with Plan A, B, C, D, E…. in an attempt to establish a comprehensive plan for every freaking imaginable situation.

This can be a helpful practice, but it can also be very demanding. It can limit your ability to be present, confident and calm. Excessive planning can lead to anxiety, disappointment, stunted creativity, lack of trust and scattered focus. I also have seen “overplanning” actually hinder performance and limit success.

No, I’m not saying that having a plan is a bad idea. I am suggesting that some of us who plan a lot (strategize a lot, prepare a lot and constantly try to decipher what will be the best way to do things) would benefit from offsetting that thinking pattern.

How do you offset your overplanning tendency? Here are some of my suggestions.

  1. Incorporate surprise workouts throughout your training
  2. Practice embracing changes in your plan and looking at them as opportunities to adapt and flow
  3. Focus on winning the inner battles instead of the outcome
  4. Find the benefits in trials, challenges and discomfort that may come when your “plan” doesn’t work out
  5. Reflect on the positives of change
  6. Read, study and pray on how to improve your faith to improve on your ability to trust that you’ll know what to do when you’re in the upcoming...

Quality sleep is imperative if you want to improve your mindset, performance and overall health.

You can’t be the best version of you if you’re tired, sluggish, dependent on caffeine or other stimulants, unfocused, lethargic, anxious, or stressed. Getting adequate, restful sleep has to be a priority if you want to make positive changes in your fitness and life.

I recently started sleeping on a tomorrow sleep Mattress, and using the Tomorrow Sleep, Sleep Tracker Data to help me get even better zzzs. I can’t believe how comfortable the medium-firm version of this hybrid mattress is! I thought I was sleeping well before, but I feel even better when I wake up after a night on this new mattress.

Here are 5 tips

1. Get a bed that you LOVE being in. Get the comfiest, most supportive mattress than you can afford. You spend over 45 hours a week in it, and it has a huge influence on your health, so invest in it. Purchase bedding that feels amazing and pillows that are like clouds to you. I like to create a bedroom space that’s simple, comfortable, uncluttered and calming.

2. Track it. For 2 weeks, record how many hours of sleep you get each morning and track it on a calendar or in a note pad. The Tomorrow Sleep, SleepTracker Monitor will help you create more...

First off, I don’t think that there is such a thing as a “hard” life or an “easy” life. I think we’ll all have our own personal challenges, and we can choose how we perceive life at difficult moments, it’s not all hard or all easy. Everyone has both positive and negative experiences. That being said, the quote resonated with me, I agree with it in a lot of ways.

I believe that the quickest way for us to get healthier, fitter, or better at our sport is to do what’s hard for us. 

That which doesn’t come naturally to you, spend time practicing.

That risk you’re afraid to take, go for it.

That commitment you haven’t taken yet, maybe it’s time.

The movement or skill you really don’t like, hire a coach or grab a training partner to help ya.

The conversation you keep putting off, yea…that one…it’s probably best to have it.

The choice to try and see what happens, even if it’s a lot of “unknown,” go get some support and jump in.

The thing that frustrates you the most, attempt a different way of attacking it.

The decisions that come with the most fear, doubt, concern, worry, dread, or suck….they aren’t easy ones. They often keep playing over and over in our minds, because they come...


A quick wrap up post from my first trip to Madison, for the 2017 CF Games.

This post has NOTHING to do with the CrossFit Games events or athletes, and is just some tips and highlights from the city which will hold the Games for at least the next 2 years. I spent most of the time at the arena from 8am-8pm each day, but had a little time to try the local food, and get out and about.

I’ve been going to the CF Games in Carson for 7 years, and wasn’t too sure what to expect from the change, but what a great town it is!

Best Food & Drinks I Had

Coffee = Hotel Red + Indie Coffee + Dunkin Donuts

Breakfast = Gluten Free Breakfast Sandwiches at Indie Coffee

Lunch = Gyros, Kabobs and more at Mediterranean Cafe (so damn good)  + Chipotle, of course

Dinner = Tacos at Canteen , Stingray Fin, Oysters and Happy Hour at Sardine (best ambiance),  Gluten-Free Pizza at Ian’s, Burger and Salads at Dlux, Short Ribs and Cauliflower at Graft

Dessert = Graft

Hang-out/Drinks = Sardine, Lucille


Other Highlights

Besides the actual events, supporting the athletes I coach, connecting with brands, coaches and fans, and the hanging out with great friends I don’t see often….the best parts were…the gorgeous weather, the green trees and grass, canoeing in Lake Wingra, walking to Picnic Point, running intervals on the UW track and checking out the...

When you have a fitness or performance goal, it’s best to have clear intentions and quality support. But, how do you know if it’s time to get a coach, or try a new program? Here are some basic guidelines and suggestions

You may want to hire a fitness coach if….

  • You haven’t reached a goal you’ve been trying to reach for a while. You’ve been working towards it on your own, but still don’t feel as successful as you’d like to
  • You feel stagnant or like your overall fitness is actually declining. Maybe you’ve seen your progress come to a halt, or your numbers are dropping and you’re wondering why
  • You haven’t been consistent
  • You don’t know how to prioritize your goals to maximize your training efforts. Meaning, you’re unsure about how much of what type of training would be best to help you excel
  • You’re bored with what you’ve been doing
  • You don’t understand your training program and why you’re doing certain exercises, progressions or workouts
  • You constantly beat up, injured, or uncomfortable and you’re frustrated/upset about how your body feels
  • You love learning new methods, strategies, techniques, movements and skills
  • You’re craving a challenge because you realize you’ve been too comfortable with your own little routine
  • You’re not satisfied with your body composition, your health or your ability to do things in your daily life
  • You have an upcoming event, competition or game that you want to be in the best possible shape for
  • You feel...



Throughout your day you’ll have moments of waiting.

You’re 5 minutes early for a meeting.

You’re in line at the post office or grocery store.

You’re waiting for your significant other at the restaurant.


Customer service calls.

Waiting for your training partner.

Sometimes the waiting can be viewed as an annoyance, and you’ll start to feel agitated by the inconvenience.

Other times, you’ll see it as a chance to chill for a couple of minutes, and it’s no big deal.

Either way, when you’re waiting…you have choices. When you start to feel frustrated or impatient, you can use that time, and find the opportunity instead.

Here are a few things to try (and if you’re an athlete these practices will improve your mental game)

1. First and foremost, start thinking “thank you.” If you want to squash frustration, or annoyance, just be grateful. At the very least think “this can be a good thing.” Think of the “waiting” as an opportunity to slow the f down. Even if you’re not really glad that you’re waiting, it will help give you another perspective to look at it as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience to your schedule. Consider all of the things that are positive. Then, try one of the following strategies.

2. Practice tuning into your breath. Try square breathing, 1-2 breathing or diaphragmatic breathing. Hell, just take 5-20 deep breaths and you’ll feel a lot better, and the wait will probably be over or almost over.

3. Count. Sometimes,...

Are you feeling especially nervous about The Open this year?

Is the hype getting to you?

Do you feel pressure from your own expectations and the scores of others?

Are you finding it hard to unwind, relax and sleep well?

Are you over-caffeinated and under rested?

Are you feeling shitty about yourself after seeing others perform?

Do you want to learn how to go through The Open with a calmer state of mind?

If you answered yes to 1 or more of the questions above, ya gotta keep reading.

First off, some worries, frustrations, and doubts are part of doing something that you love and are truly invested in. You can begin to look at your nervousness differently. But, if you’re freaking out and having so many concerns that you’re incredibly anxious or upset most of the week, then it can be different.

You can actually perform your best AND enjoy the experience.

If you’re scanning through social media every free minute you have, and updating the leaderboard all week long, then you’re setting yourself up to be stressed out, overwhelmed and caught up.

If you’re constantly on Facebook groups, chats and texts with those from your box, then you’re likely not creating time to turn off your “CrossFit brain.” It’s a recipe for disaster.

If you’re following what each of your competitors is doing all day on Instagram, watching every CrossFit YouTube strategy video, and only reading fitness-related content, but then wondering why...