5 Mindset Tips From San Diego

While on my flight home from sunny San Diego, I was lucky enough to sit next to a gentlemen named Cale that was not only highly involved with sports specific training, he was also highly involved with learning and teaching advanced techniques in mental toughness and mindset training.

It’s such a small world sometimes that you run into people like this that are so well in tune what you think and talk about.  It was like it was meant to be that I sat down next to him on the plane.

Anyways, Cale and I got to talking and discussing different things about the importance of mindset as well as how in this day and age, there are way too many people, especially young athletes coming up the line that are simply “big wussies” as Cale put it.

I couldn’t agree with him more!

When things get tough, people go soft and it’s happening all too often these days.  Don’t be one of the people that joins these “wussies”.

I often speak about training aggressive and in order to do so, you have to be able to keep going hard when things get tough.  This is where some of your best results are waiting to be unleashed are at.

Cale was speaking about Bruce Lee and his abilities to use his mind to make his body do extraordinary things.  I couldn’t have agreed more.  While Bruce Lee was in phenomenal shape, I don’t believe he could have accomplished half the things he did without the amount of mind power and mental focus he had.

bruce lee

Bruce Lee was able to do some amazing stuff!

Anyways, I wanted to share a few ideas Cale shared with me I know will help you push your results forward.

1) Feed The Right Fire

There’s a few different fires that burn within your mind.

The “hot red” fire, which is a fire that wants to grow, burn hotter, and expand to help you push forward and ahead to more success.  This fire isn’t afraid to burn out of control, but the only issue is, you have to feed it and unleash it yourself.  This fire doesn’t grow in strength on it own and you must decide within your own mind to feed it.

The other fire is the “cold and contempt” fire.  This fire wants to stay contained and under control and it doesn’t want to be unleashed.  It would rather burn small and stay under control and contained then to grow uncontrollably.

These two fires represent both your fear and desire of overall growth.

I’ve heard this type of explanation used with “the two dogs” as well where one dog is a scared, weak dog, one that would rather walk away from a fight then run towards it while the other dog wants to be unleashed.  The second dog wants to be challenged, but the tough part is, you must choose to feed the right dog just as with the right fire.

What many people do is feed the wrong fire and the wrong dog.  We don’t have to make a conscious effort to feed the cold fire or scared dog.  Our minds do that via default.

That’s where you have to train your mind to feed the right fire and dog.  In tough times, like when you’re in the middle of a brutal training session, that cold fire and that weak, scared dog start wanting to be fed.  If you don’t make the decision mentally to resist these two, they will win and you will ultimately lose.

Make sure to feed the right fire and unleash the right dog.

2) Win Small Battles

This thought is pretty basic and will help you with both longer duration workouts and bigger goals.  The whole idea with this is to chip away at your goals with tiny hacks.

Instead of trying to eat the whole elephant in one bite, cut it up into smaller pieces and eat it that way.  You accomplish more in the long run.

Use this same mentality when attacking your goals and workouts.  For me, let’s say I have to get in 20 mins of a brutal circuit composed of different kettlebell and sandbag movements.  I can A) look at it a say, damn I got 20 mins of this!  Or B, say I’m going to attack this circuit 1 min at a time.

By simply breaking this workout up into smaller pieces, I’ve given myself more hope and confidence.   Whenever you look at something and see it as a large daunting task, you’ll more then likely lose confidence and get overwhelmed.  Instead, win small battles within the war.  The war is the 20 min circuit.  The battles are each of the 20 mins broken up into 1 min sections.  Focus on winning all of the small battles and you’ll win the war in the end.

3) Always Be Ready For Your Fights

This is by far the most important and the simplest of all the 5 tips I’m giving away here.  Before you go into any fight, you MUST have won the fight inside your mind first.

If you have any vision of losing or disbelief within your mind before you go into any type of fight (and by fight I mean training session), you had already lost.

You must be able to see yourself being successful in order to reach your full potential.

Always make sure you see yourself winning.

4) Only Accept The Truth – Never Lie


One of the worst things you can do is lie to yourself.

In a tough workout, only you can honestly answer the question of if you went your absolute hardest.

Did you give it your all in that session or did you take it off?

If you continually find a way to lie to yourself, you will be cutting yourself way short of what you’re ultimately capable of achieving.

Don’t be afraid to be a little hard on yourself and critical about your performances.

Recognize your successes, but also acknowledge your failures and setbacks as well.  This will only put more pressure on yourself to improve and continually force you to make more progress overtime.

5) Don’t Be Afraid To Suffer – Gain In Loss

Now, with everything I’ve said above, this is one of the biggest keys to achieving success.

“Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion!”

One of the many great quotes said by The Greatest, Muhammad Ali.

muhammad ali

You must be willing to sacrifice being comfortable in order to make gains in the end.  Getting results isn’t always the easiest road.  There will be rocky roads and extreme barriers to cross and the only way to get over it will be to step out of your comfort zone a bit and go through a little bit of pain.

Most people give up when things get a little tough and they have to get away from being in a zone their used to being in.

People that can consistently push through their pain barriers will be the ones that make the mot ground in the end.

Even when you don’t achieve what you are striving for and lose, you gain in the end.

As one of my biggest mentors Zach Even-Esh likes to say, “Get comfortable being Uncomfortable!”

This is the TRUTH and if you honestly want to make accelerated gains with anything in life, not just your fitness, you must be willing to suffer just a little bit.

Go ahead and drop your thoughts and comments below!  Let me know which of these 5 tips resonates with YOU the most.

Live and Train Aggressive! 


Get Strong, Jacked, Athletic! Go 110% H.A.M. TEST
  • Shredded and Strong NUTRITION Tips
  • 31 Hardcore Cardio Rountines
  • KILLER Workout Videos
  • http://Aggresive,HardcoreStrength Nelson

    Great Articule Travis… Growing up in the 50’s The Strength of family and Sports was everywhere. But so was Drugs and Alcohol. My older Bro. and I were involved with the Cup Scouts and Boy Scouts, we played sports and grew up watch Steve Reeves ( Hercules ) Jonny Weismuller ( Tarzan ). Now even with all this I was one of the last in my group to fall into the trap and started to do the wrong thing. I was embarrassed for myself and family. I needed to get back to my strength from within, at 17 yrs old 1972, I graduated from high school and joined the Marines during the Vietnam War. I felt I was the best and needed to be part of the best. Today after learning the pit falls that life brings, I have shown myself and others that one can change thier ways if you want to change. Thank God for the strength of family growing up I have stay away from drugs for over 35 years. I stayed away from alcohol for 8 years in the 1990, started to drink again but when I retired from the Post Office 8 years ago I stopped again. Today I am drug and acohol free. This articule hits me right in the heart where I have been there and done that, so I am proud to say I have been down but you can’t keep me there, I will get up again and again. Today at 58 yrs old I use my inner stregnth to keep me focused in Training. Excercise is my Drug today, I need it, I want it, I can’t be with out it.. To The Strength That Resides Within.. Stay Strong, Live Strong and Grow Strong… PS / My older Bro. Nick never used drugs and is a retired NYPD Det SGT with IA ( Internal Affiars )… Herc.

    • forgedstrength


      You are a true warrior!

      You’re stories are great and truly inspiring and I highly respect you for sharing them.


  • Eric Leos

    Great article!! It couldn’t come at a better time because I was in need of motivation! Trying to stay focused on training and diet but lately I have been feed the wrong fire/dog. Granted I have been relaxed and comfortable something just eats at me inside to do something different. Just want to say thanks for helping! Good luck with the crossfit games.

    • forgedstrength

      That’s great to hear Eric.

      Grow the right fire man! YOU must be the one to do it.


  • Smitty


    You’re a beast. Great article man. You are operating on a whole different level which is why you’re successful.

    • forgedstrength

      Thanks Smitty!

      You’re a BEAST!

  • Pingback: Mud Race Training / How to train for a mud race |()

  • Pingback: Training Like A Man and Kicking Ass / Tips On How To Lift Like A Man |()

  • Miko Dee

    Get comfortable with being uncomfortable… Embrace the Suck. Results come from outside of your comfort zone. Boy, is taht accurate. But what is better than that miserable screaming soreness in your muscles after a particularly nasty workout… that pain reminds you that you are live and your body can do amazing things, but only if you push far.