This week we are honored to have SEALFIT Founder and CEO Mark Divine back on the show. We discuss what it takes to develop mental toughness and great, high functioning teams, which is exactly what you need to be unbeatable.
I’ve never put much thought into SEAL training, other than the obvious stuff. Like anyone I can see that doing hundreds of sit-ups in ice cold ocean surf sucks. And I cannot imagine running up and down the beach for miles and miles while holding a giant log over my head.
These folks are beasts!
But the truth is that this is all entry level, “Discipline 101” type training for this profession. These are real Warriors, like any you’ve ever studied in history class, true badasses.
But it’s really important to know that they are not tough just for the sake of it. This true purpose of all that hard training is just as obvious as the intensity… SEAL’s suffer together and learn to depend on one another in situations where failure is simply not an option.
The surf, the swimming with bound hands, the squats and team jogs with that heavy log overhead – These are all superb tools and methods for forging unbeatable teams.
A log might not seam like an advanced training tool, but in any ways it’s much more advanced than the barbell. During a very tough WOD you might perform endless repetitions of thrusters, just as an example. It’s very hard, sure. But you are free to drop that barbell at any time, right?
Most people do. Once things get really heavy…really hard, they take a quick break and get back under the load. That’s just fine for the gym, but that won’t do in battle. It’s not good enough when people are depending on you. It’s not good enough if extraordinary results are required. When 5 people hold a load overhead no one can quit, no one can showboat.
It just takes one failure for the log to come down, for the mission to end.
The mission of SEALFIT is to bring these lessons of toughness to the gym and everyday life.
Again, some of the methods and tools will appear familiar and obvious, especially to SEAL fans. The WODs are typically built around a team effort, a large challenge that can only be completed if everyone works together and keeps up their share of the work. The tools include barbells, rings, medicine balls, and of course, the logs. But there’s one more that deserves special attention.
If you want to be unbeatable, start with your breath.
Think about your next brutal training session. What would be the first thing to fail? It’s not the muscles, right? Very few people ever quite a thing because they truly got fatigued. Rather, the first failure point is always in the mind. At some point focus and attention break, and the body quickly follows. The best way to keep your mind sharp and unbeatable is to master your breath. It’s not an easy thing to do, but like any skill it comes the more you work at it.
Here’s what you should do the next time you face a really tough WOD or challenge. Use the Warrior breath, as Mark describes.
Before you take on the next training session, the next interval or repetition – the next critical effort – take in a rapid and forceful breath through the nose. Hold it briefly, then quickly exhale. Repeat that cycle for upwards of 10 rounds, holding the final breath for approximately a minute or so.
That rapid breathing pattern will stimulate your sympathetic nervous system to finish the fight. The deliberate pace and final hold with clear and reset your mind, allowing you to focus on what must be done, your mission, instead of the temporary discomfort. That’s a skill that could make all the difference in your training and your life, just try it and see.
Mark, it’s always a pleasure to spend time with you. Thanks for the guidance.