Workout of the Day

When Heavy Is More Than Just Heavy


You can bet that Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has a laser-like focus as he rounds a 90-degree corner at 80mph and then accelerates back to 150mph in a matter of seconds and weaves through tight bends in the track. You can also bet that as he makes a gentle right turn in his SUV on his way to Starbucks on a Tuesday morning, he is far from laser-like in his focus.

Call it flow, call it being in the zone, call it whatever you like — we see this same focus-demanding-circumstances situation play out in extreme sports like big wave surfing, in high-caliber financial decisions, in the midst of rescue personnel pulling survivors from a raging building fire, and, as chance would have it, it can even be accessed in our training in the gym. It’s a sort of do-or-die scenario (sometimes, quite literally) that pushes your mental and physical capacities far beyond the ordinary.

But just as Lewis Hamilton isn’t in any sort of flow or extra-ordinary state of focus and performance when he’s driving to pick up his morning coffee, you are unlikely to experience such a state when you limit your training to the calm, comfortable, and routine. A 95lbs barbell on the back of a 600lbs squatter, for example, will demand no such elevated state. Bring the weight to 595lbs, though, and stepping under the barbell demands a new level of focus. Now there is risk, uncertainty, and a minute margin for error, all of which condenses into an effort that requires you to occupy the boundaries of your capacities.

While you may excuse yourself from such a practice by insisting that you never intend to squat 600lbs, race a Formula 1 car, or ride a 40 foot wave at Mavericks, you are not immune from the transferable benefits garnered from pushing yourself into a zone of necessary focus. You are training to get better after all, aren’t you?

Let’s not forget that “heavy” is a tool not just for physical strength, but to develop mental and emotional strength, too.

- PS


  • 8 rounds, every 3 mins, complete:

    • 400m run

  • *record fastest and slowest