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Exposing Weaknesses: The Key to Building a "Tough as Nails" Fitness Mindset

Exposing Weaknesses:
The Key to Building a "Tough as Nails" Fitness Mindset**

If you are someone who competes or trains for an athletic event at any level, you have probably noticed that your training, and more than likely, the event itself, is the ultimate truth teller when it comes to exposing your weaknesses. As athletes we tend to train our strengths more than our weaknesses because they are familiar and within our comfort zone. The extreme truth teller in my fitness journey has always been the Crossfit Open and the beginning of mountain bike race season.

If you’ve spent any time on a trail or in a gym with me, you may have noticed that I’m a bury my head in the grind and get the job done kind of an athlete. My strengths are blacking out during a hard workout or ride and tapping into a part of my brain that doesn’t take too kindly to the words “quit” or “I can’t”. That’s all fine and dandy until the real higher level skills come into play. When it comes to grinding hard and finding that extra gear, I’m just as good as the next guy, but when it comes to the higher level skills, I find that I lack the commitment to go outside my areas of expertise and practice and work on weaknesses. Guilty as charged. That’s not to say that I don’t work on my handstand pushups or ring muscle ups or fast technical downhills, but I definitely feel that I do not give them the extra effort that it requires to master them. 

When the workouts for the Crossfit Open quarterfinals were released this year, there were two that were right in my wheelhouse, and then two that I knew would expose my weaknesses. A heavy barbell movement and a gymnastics series took me from striking distance to the next round to “Do you even Crosssfit bro?”... I quickly realized that not working on my weaknesses with intention was a big mistake. What a great learning opportunity that was for me.

In this post I discuss the priceless lesson of why grit and effort alone may not get you to that next level of fitness excellence, and why exposing and training your weaknesses is not only important, but essential for growth, resilience, and long-term success.

**Why Expose Your Weaknesses?**

Exposing weaknesses in fitness serves as a catalyst for growth and improvement. By acknowledging and addressing areas of weakness, athletes can tailor their training programs to focus on those specific areas they need to improve on, leading to more balanced and well-rounded fitness. Exposing weaknesses builds humility and self-awareness, crucial qualities for personal development and resilience. It allows athletes to confront their limitations head-on, pushing past comfort zones and unlocking untapped potential.

**Overcoming Fear of Exposure**

Athletes at every level fear exposing weaknesses due to their concerns about judgment by others, their perception of failure, or their sense inadequacy. However, it's essential to recognize that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but rather a testament to courage and your true authentic self. By embracing vulnerability and being transparent about areas of weakness, athletes create opportunities for growth, learning, and support from others.

"Embrace your weaknesses, for they are the stepping stones to strength." Unknown

**Practical Exercises to Help Expose and Embrace Your Weaknesses**

  1. **Self-Assessment:** It’s time to be honest with ourselves. Conduct a thorough self-assessment of your fitness level, identifying strengths and weaknesses in various areas such as strength, endurance, flexibility, and mobility. This exercise promotes self-awareness and lays the foundation for targeted and constant improvement.
  1. **Feedback Loop:** Create a supportive and safe environment and community where members can give and receive constructive feedback from peers and coaches. By asking your community for feedback, you gain valuable insights into areas of improvement and receive encouragement and guidance to address weaknesses effectively. Remember, a supportive fitness community can provide invaluable motivation, accountability, and camaraderie on your fitness journey.
  1. **Challenge Sessions:** Organize regular challenge sessions where members of your community are tasked with tackling exercises or movements they find challenging or intimidating. This hands-on approach allows athletes to confront their weaknesses in a controlled and supportive setting, fostering confidence and resilience. Take time before or after a workout, or whenever time allows, to get together with friends to work on each other's weaknesses. This extra time and effort is invaluable to getting to wherever you want to go.
  1. **Progress Journaling:** I would encourage you to keep a progress journal to track your fitness journey, including successes, setbacks, and areas that need improvement. Regular reflection on your progress highlights patterns, trends, and opportunities for growth, empowering you to take proactive steps to address your weaknesses. Understanding where you are in your journey helps identify what you need to do to get to the next level. Identify your starting point and track milestones along the way, remembering to celebrate even what you perceive to be a small accomplishment.
  1. **Mindset Training:** Incorporate mindset training exercises into your fitness routines to help you develop a resilient and tough as nails mindset. This may include visualization techniques, positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with like minded people, identifying your values, and reframing setbacks as learning opportunities. By cultivating a growth and solutions oriented mindset, athletes can approach and embrace weaknesses with a sense of optimism and determination. 


In closing, exposing your weaknesses is not a sign of failure but a pathway to growth, resilience, and personal development. By embracing vulnerability and addressing areas of weakness head-on, athletes can unlock their full potential and achieve lasting success in their fitness journey. Through practical exercises and mindset training, individuals can start to develop the courage and resilience needed to confront weaknesses with confidence and determination. Remember, the path to greatness is paved with challenges, and it's through facing and overcoming weaknesses that we truly become Tough as nails”.

For more information on how you can take your fitness experience to the next level by developing a “Tough as Nails” mindset, take a few minutes to look into my Mastering the Mental Game: A 30 Day Fitness Mindset Reset Program, where I take you through a 30 day mindset training experience where you will:

  • Engage in daily exercises designed to strengthen mental resilience, focus, and positive thinking.
  • Learn effective goal-setting techniques tailored to your fitness journey for sustainable progress.
  • Learn to incorporate mindfulness into your fitness routine by enhancing your awareness during workouts.
  • Engage in self-reflective tasks to identify and address limiting beliefs that may hinder fitness success.
  • Free Access to a private group area for members to discuss wins and losses in a nonjudgmental community environment..

Click here to sign up for FREE

Looking forward to seeing you on the inside track






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