Shrugged Collective

Mind Gainz: The Psychology of Strength & Conditioning

What do top athletes think about before they train, before they compete?

We can’t help but imagine what it’s like. In every backyard ball court around the world, there’s a kid daydreaming about hitting the game-winning shot. Under pressure, with everything on the line.

As adults we are no different. We are fascinated by competition highlights and athletes that overcome circumstance to perform at their best. Even in the gym, as we anxiously prepare for tough WOD’s and heavy lifts, we tend to emulate and take our clues from the strongest people in the room.

But there is a secret to top performance. Something observable, something you can discover for yourself with enough time, repetition and shots taken. And it’s also the answer to our question.

What do the best athletes in the world think about in that moment, when everything they’ve worked for really is on the line?… In truth, nothing much at all. That’s a powerful skill that you can learn.

I hope you enjoy this show. Please, watch and share this episode with a friend who could use some mind #GAINZ. Everything you need to perform at your best – and I do mean everything – is already sitting right between your ears.

Train hard, be focused,



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Chris Moore is a writer, recovering meathead, fledgling raconteur and rabid imbiber. He's also cohost and resident potty mouth on Barbell Shrugged, a weekly podcast devoted to Crossfit, strength, fitness and all things brash. His experience is drawn from over twenty-years spent training for and competing in American Football, Powerlifting, a bit of strongman and a dash of mixed martial arts. Also, it's possible that he's had one too many cups of coffee. A caffeine fever is a hell of a thing, you know?


  • Awesome episode! It reminded me of why I love listening to this and Get Change so much(looking forward to a new one of those as well). I can’t wait to implement the “switch” idea instead of the usual “i’ll try my best” both in the gym and in my lab. Cheers!

  • Just a heads-up: your podcast is updating sporadically (if at all nowadays) on Stitcher.

    All other podcasts are updating normally, so was wondering if it’s something on your end?

    Miss listening to barbell shrugged on the move and hope you guys can sort it out!

    • We release the podcast on a feed that goes out to all providers. So, it’s nothing we’ve done. For some reason Stitcher isn’t updating. We’ve contacted them.

      • Thanks for the reply Chris.

        Good to know you’ve chased them up – hopefully they’ll sort it out soon and I can get back to taking you guys into the squat rack with me again!


          • That’s OK. I think Mark and Silent Mike are great dudes. You should listen to them all the time. That’s the cool part about podcasts. You can get around and take advantage of lots of viewpoints.

          • Lol!

            By the way, the bench episode arrived fully formed and awesome right on time.

            Keep up the great work and have AJ on regularly, he’s been great on these episodes…

  • I know it’s supposed to be about S&C, but I think this episode will help me resolve some issues in my life outside the gym… Thanks, guys.

  • I just want to hang out with you guys. These are the only podcasts I listen to through and through. They remind me so much of why this is my passion, why I share it with the people in my life, and why I don’t ever want to quit–just evolve. We are by nature *movers* and *thinkers*.

    As someone in her formative years, I’ve been working through that self-talk and I’ve seen myself at least improve in that area, and that’s a positive thing for me. Thank you for making it even more clear that this is the thing I need to be doing and that I just need to keep doing the thing. Burn the questions.

  • Hey guys! Listen to all your shows and have a lot of respect for all of you and what you do. I have my master’s in sport psychology and really appreciated this episode. You all did a great job talking about the importance of mental skills training in fitness. “Flow in Sports” was one of my readings in college and have a deep respect for this concept. I also focused my thesis and studies on action sport athletes. Thank you for sharing, “The Rise of Superman.” I have yet to read this book but going to buy ASAP. I think it would be extremely beneficial for you and your viewers to contact Dr. Wade Gilbert to talk more about Flow and to pick his brain about coaching science. He was one of my professors in school and has made a huge impact on my life.

  • Hey Chris,
    My coach at Crossfit Blue Diamond turned me on to your podcasts and this episode in particular, and I am glad she did. I am struggling with double unders and find my rope tends to take flight many times throughout the metcon. I had also, on 09 SEPT gotten passed over for Sergeant by a kid with 7 years on the job compared to my 26 years, so I was starting to get into a really negative mindset. Listening to you guys and the psychology of sports theory, as you mentioned, can not only be applied to whatever sport your into, but to everyday life as well. I listened to this particular podcast twice while I was cutting my grass yesterday and found my mood starting to change. This morning, I PR’d my squat clean. This is huge as I am 49 with wicked bad knees, specifically, no cartilage under my left knee cap. I hit 165 with a bodyweight of 175. Next up, bodyweight Squat Clean. So just wanted to take a moment and thank you all for what you’re doing. You may not know what affect you have on your listening audience at times, but I can say, it’s been a positive experience for me so far. Looking forward to listening to more of your podcasts. Thanks! You fuckers ROCK!

    • Man, that’s incredible to hear. Your are right – Mindset is everything. If you can stoke a positive and powerful mental outlook, you can do whatever you wish. It’s true. Glad you’re discovering that now. My best, Chris 🙂

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