The Unbroken Mind

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Don’t Forget the EIE Challenge this week is to prepare all of your meals at home…No eating out!

Thursday February 13


Fire Hydrants
Wrist Mobility
Reverse Snow Angels

Warm Up


Hollow Hold, 30s
10 Bar Taps
Handstand Hold, 30s
10 Scapula Push Ups

Gymnastic Strength

 4 Rounds:

12 Arch/Hollow Swing on High Rings – rest 60 seconds
:45 Chest to Wall Handstand Hold – rest 60 seconds
3 Rope Climbs – anchored, as fast as possible – rest 60 seconds

Notes: Sub Rope climbs with 3 Rope lowers.


15 minute AMRAP:
10 Ring Push Ups
10 Candlestick to Pistol – 5 each side
10 V – Ups
:30 Hollow Hold – accumulate

Notes: Sub regular push ups as need for the ring push ups. Use a light weight or go to deck squats for the Candlestick to Pistol. Tucks for the V- Ups.

Cool Down

Cobra Stretch
Banded OH Distraction
Couch Stretch


17-year Old does Karen Unbroken

Hello PCF Family. Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to introduce myself. I have been a member for about a year now and I am happy to announce that I have started coaching group classes this month. If you see me around the gym, please introduce yourself. I am looking forward to getting to know you all and seeing you progress!

I’d also like to give you fair warning that if you are attending a class that I am coaching, I will assume you are there to become not just a fit athlete, but a better human. I will not let you coast through a workout unless you expressly tell me “I am just here to go through the motions and get a workout in, leave me alone dude”.

One observation I made on Monday coaching Karen is that some of you, even you competitive athletes, do not want to test what this resilient piece of carbon technology we have each been blessed with is capable of. This is a problem that transcends the gym. For some reason, we as a species listen to this little reptilian part of our brain that seeds limiting beliefs in our head. Ever get 1 mile into a 5k and start the negative self talk? Tell that little lizard to shut up, and shatter the limiting beliefs it imposes upon you. This is incredibly difficult to do when your body is tired, but if you can do it you will not only make gains in your athletic performance, but you will be cultivating a skill you can use when the going gets tough outside the gym.

Now back to my Karen analysis. We as coaches we told you to make a plan for work/rest and stick to it, but I saw far too many experienced athletes doing 15 sets of 10 with too much rest. If you are new to the gym, this 15×10 plan is a great approach to Karen, and you should do EVERYTHING in your power to stick to your plan and shut that devil on your shoulder up for the next <12minutes. If you are an experienced athlete and you chose this strategy, I think you severely limited yourself before the clock had a chance to count down from 10. What were you afraid would happen if you did bigger sets? Think about it for a second. Is the fear rational? Probably not unless you were afraid of aggravating a preexisting injury.

I know sometimes it is hard for me to take an honest look at what I am capable of when going 100%.  We all want to think we are invincible, and some of us create an excuse when we’re not. Sometimes that excuse manifests as a mid-workout “well I am really sore from yesterday so I’ll just go 80%” or a “tomorrow’s WOD looked more fun so I’ll just scale it back here and go hard on that one”. I’m guilty of this thinking, but far less frequently because I have been consciously working on squashing that type of thinking and behavior.  I want to help you end this thinking as well because limiting beliefs are poison. To do this I need to illustrate a point, which to some will look like I am tooting my own horn (maybe I am… celebrate every win), but I have the best Karen time in the gym by about 40 seconds.

I know I am not the most capable athlete in 2 of the top boxes in the world. If you held a gun to any of our advanced athlete’s heads and told them beat my time or die, they would definitely go sub-5minutes. I do however think I have a strength developed over time that gave me the edge without the aforementioned ‘PR or die scenario’, and you can cultivate it too. That strength is what I consider the ‘unbroken mind’.

I will start to intersperse some posts to help you develop the ‘unbroken mind’ with my normal nutrition deal. I think it is a skill that is important for every member to develop because of its transferability to success in other aspects of your life. It starts today with this challenge: next time you see a benchmark workout, see how far you can get into the WOD unbroken.

Author: Matthew Walrath

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