Mental Focus – Endurance vs. Strength (New Video)

In the video below, I provide an update to last week’s video where I discussed the significance of focusing on the task at hand. In this follow up, I discuss some of differences that exist when psyching yourself up for a strength workout vs. an endurance session.


“Motivation is the fuel, necessary to keep the human engine running.”- Zig Ziglar

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  1. There is this faculty of mind/body: relaxed concentration. For a person in this state time seems to slow regardless of the speed of activity. Picture a competitive lifter who drops the weight instantly. He just did not have it on that attempt. Next attempt he reties his shoes, deliberately hands off his warmup and slowly (it seems to him) walks to the bar and nails the lift. Or a baseball batter who grips the bat so strongly that blood seeps from it. He wants to hit the ball 5km. His savage swing results in a foul ball, pop up, or swing and miss. He steps out of the box, grabs some dirt and scratches his groin. He is trying to reach the zone ef relaxed concentration. Next pitch: game winning ground ball. The virtues of relaxed concentration regardless of rage, power or motivation are often key to maximum success in all walks of life espepecially parenting. This is a lesson from sports.

  2. Ross, you’re one instense individual! Great insight and vid. I’ve been juggling lifting and running for 30-years plus now and when you concentrate on one activity a little more it is often at the detriment to the other. If you’re trying to add pounds to a demanding lift like a deadlift or a squat you don’t want to drain yourself with 5-10 mile runs that might take away some explosiveness and strip some muscle away. I read an article in some “Cross-Fit” magazine saying that many “Cross-Fitters” are relatively “weaker” in runs than the other exercises. The article went on to say they would consider a great prototype for a fit “Cross-Fit” athlete would be to deadlift 500-600lbs and run a 5-minute mile. No suggestion on the poundage of the athlete, but for us “Clydesdales” out there deadlifting 500-600lbs might be reachable but running a sub-5 minute mile for a 200 pounder is smoking. Of course deadlifting 500-600lbs for a 155-165lb cardio machine is just as daunting a task.

  3. Definately agree with these sentiments.

    For lifting, I do find that “getting a rage on” is beneficial.

    If out on the road, I often find myself zoning out of my body completely — I find that this helps me zone out of discomfort and think of my body as a machine. It’s a different type of focus.

  4. Wonderful!
    Love how every time Ross pounds you on the head with the basics, some exciting and totally practical understanding emerges. that’s because he does first, talks later.
    Great teacher.

    Ross, I bet that crazy 9m run didn’t interfere with your DL gains after all. With your attitude and badassery it probably even have helped.

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