The psychology of wind sprints is just as important as the physiology.
Every football season starts the same way – I have to re-adjust wrong attitudes toward wind sprints. Most rookies believe that wind sprints are punishment, ranking somewhere between actual torture and being forced to read a book. Mindset adjustment is the key – wind sprints are not punishment and not pain…they’re a huge benefit, the difference between getting clobbered and doing the clobbering. Change the focus change the outcome. What you focus on grows. If you believe sprints are a pain, the pain grows until you quit. If you focus on the benefit, your strength and stamina grow. You’ll never quit when you’re focused on what matters.
Wind sprints don’t need mental toughness…they build it. Wind sprints have strengthened the weakest of minds. Most rookies who I have coached come in with minimal mental toughness, ready to cave in at the earliest onset of pressure or discomfort from exertion. Wind sprints change that. But it’s not just about running aimlessly. Even though running sprints is relatively simple, there’s a science to it…the psychology of wind sprints. The key is to focus only on the wind sprint being run. Don’t focus on the next wind sprint or the total number that have to be run. Focusing on the big picture makes the mind think of more pain than it can handle. Thinking of anticipated pain is a leading cause of quitting. Anticipated pain is worse than the actual discomfort of sprinting. The mind has a vivid imagination, conjuring uncomfortable images that terrify instead of inspire. Changing the perception changes the outcome. Re-define what you don’t like to do and you’ll love to do it.
Sprints win championships. Sprints lose fat. Football is a high-risk, violent sport. It’s viscous. If you’re unprepared, you will get cut up to pieces. Work hard and get shredded or be lazy and get shredded. #choiceisyours #respectthegame
Gino Arcaro is a bestselling author who has transitioned from academic law enforcement textbooks to non-fiction motivational book. His first one is Soul of a Lifter. The book is a true story about how lifting is life-saving. Lifting lost souls is a two-way life-saver. So is lifting weights. Soul of a Lifter is about connections between lost souls who become souls of lifters. We all have the capacity to be a soul of a lifter, if we’re willing to lift others. Buy Soul of a Lifter here.
Dip bars are not created equal. Free-standing dip bar custom built in 1985 by designer who claimed the dimensions are perfect. He was right. Nothing beats dips for triceps. Those of you who need to increase your 225-lb bench press for combine testing, do weighted dips. Guaranteed to increase 225 reps. #Neverignorebasics
During my 42-year workout career, there’s been a dramatic change in the fitness industry. A total facelift. And bodylift. I started lifting in 1969 when lifting weights wasn’t mainstream. In fact, I was considered a freak. Lifting weights not only wasn’t popular, it wasn’t considered normal. I was one very few high school football players who lifted weights. I repeatedly heard the myths at the time that getting “muscle-bound” was a negative for sports. That myth permeated every level of sports from the pros all the way down. But lifting worked out for me. Lifting changed my life – athletically, professionally, and personally.
Even though there was nowhere near the fitness information in 1969, there was one major benefit with limited information – emphasis on the basics. The focus was strictly on the fundamentals. And the basics worked out.
We know much more now about lifting and fitness today than ever. Research has taught us volumes about the science of getting in top shape. Depending on perspective, making muscle and losing fat is either complicated or simple. It’s easy to get lost in the abyss of fitness information. It’s easy to get confused about what is fact and what is myth. The fitness industry has grown exponentially since 1969 as a business. One outcome has been competition for the next big thing. It seems to me that there is a race to discover the new secret, the magic formula. Separating fact from myth has never been more challenging.
Here’s one fact – dips builds muscle. Guaranteed.
In 1969, I read an article that taught a simple truth – properly executed dips will build monster triceps and overall upper body strength. The article taught the fundamentals – stance and form, set/rep selection. And when to add weight with a belt and when not to.
Dips worked out. In less than 6 years, I went from an obese, grossly out-of-shape 12-year-old to a member of the 300 club – I bench pressed 300 lbs for one rep when I was 17. Naturally. No steroids, no drugs. One year later, I raised my personal best to 340. Dips played a major role. I have never stopped doing dips. Never replaced them. And never will. Why? They work out. Dips are one of the basics that are transformative.
The photo I posted at the beginning of this article shows a free-standing dip bar that I’ve been using since it was built in 1985. Hundreds of athletes I’ve coached have used it. Take a close look at the handle – Fat Gripz. The handles are wide. That’s the first difference between this dip bar and anything else I’ve ever used. The other difference are the dimensions – the width separating the bars and the height off the ground. The designer guaranteed top-notch results. He was right.
Dips are simple, basic, and transformative. Fact.