What Is The Relentless Mindset?

relentless strength training bangor maineAt Relentless Strength Training we place equal weight on three key areas of focus:  Smart Training, Supportive Nutrition, and the Relentless Mindset.  If you only have one of these key areas in line you will probably experience only the bare minimum of success.  If you handle two of the three then chances are you’ll make enough progress to be noticeable.  However, in order to reach any sort of higher goal and to live life on your best terms you’ll need to embrace all three of these areas and throw in a dash of our fourth principle:  Kaizen (small, consistent improvement).

Today I want to focus on what I mean when I speak of the Relentless Mindset.  While I could just boil it down to “the focused and relentless pursuit of success”, I think it’s worth breaking it down a little further and seeing what makes the successful mindset training at Relentless tick.

1.  Holding a Growth vs Fixed Mindset.  This idea comes straight from Dr. Carol Dweck’s landmark book “Mindset”, which is recommended reading to all Relentless athletes and made a huge impact on my life.  I recommend you read the book, obviously, but here’s the main thrust:  People have, and can choose to have, either a Growth or a Fixed Mindset.  A Growth Mindset is one where you believe that you have the potential to greatly improve your life, abilities, and situation through your own focus and work.  A Fixed Mindset, on the other hand, believes much more that you’re born with certain abilities and if you don’t have the base level of talent then you simply won’t get there.

For example, a Growth Mindset athlete would believe that even if they don’t run fast now, they could train and learn how to be faster.  A Fixed Mindset athlete, on the other hand, would believe that if you weren’t born fast, you’d never be fast.  This is a real-life example as many old-school coaches still believe that.  The truth is actually that they just don’t now how to train athletes for speed so they can only work with the naturally talented.  Behold, the Fixed Mindset in action.

At Relentless, we discard that Fixed Mindset and instead focus on Growth.

Relentless Mindset2.  Find the weakest link in the chain and make strong.  The human body, and much of our lives, can be thought of as a chain.  Like all other chains, our chain is made up of different links.  These could be body parts such as the hips, hamstrings, or calves, or they could be parts of your life such as your sleep schedule, nutrition, relationship with your spouse, or time devoted to playing Fallout (or whatever is the current big video game).  Each link has a purpose and has its own strength.

Speaking about a chain only being as strong as its weakest link is a bit cliche, but it’s still true.  If something is going to limit your success as an athlete or as a person, chances are it’s the weakest spot on your chain.  When we practice the Relentless Mindset we aggressively seek out and focus on those weak links, whether it’s weak abs keeping you from holding strong positions or we’re talking about your off-the-wall sleep schedule that leave you feeling unfocused, tired, and unmotivated all day.

Once we’ve identified a weak link we target it and work on developing it into a strength.  As a result, that which was weak is now strong and the entire chain becomes stronger.  After one link is strengthened, it’s time to move on to the next weak link.

3.   Seeking out challenges and overcoming them.  In line with finding the next weak link, those with the Relentless Mindset look to find ways to challenge and improve themselves.  Improvement rarely comes without adversity and challenge and so it makes sense to seek out wise challenges in order to learn and improve from conquering them.

relentless strength challege4.  Learning from failure.  Not all challenges attacked will result in victory.  Honestly, I would suggest that if you win all challenges then perhaps you’re not picking big enough mountains to climb.  There’s a lot to be learned from missing the mark a few times, often more than from succeeding.  When you don’t hit a goal then it’s important to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and then dissect exactly what happened.  This is how you learn and get better.

5.  Get off the island.  I think we’ve all been guilty of feeling like we have to do everything 100% ourselves, but one of the big parts of having a Relentless Mindset is realizing that while you are ultimately in control of and responsible for your life, that doesn’t mean that you live as an island, isolated from the outside world.  Instead, being part of the Relentless family means that you train with other like-minded people.  To gain the most from this group your focus should be turned outward and on making everyone around you better.  As a result, you’ll have a group of people who are doing the same thing and focused on making you better.  How much further will you go with a team in your corner?

Just like it’s pretty hard to out-train a bad diet or eat yourself to a fit, strong body, it’s very hard to reach your goals without a strong, healthy, and agile mindset.  If you practice these key components to the Relentless Mindset you’ll see how quickly the other pieces of the puzzle fall right in line.

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