Tips for finishing a Metcon when all you want to do is quit!

Let’s be honest, Crossfit is effing hard! There are days when just getting to the gym feels like an impossilble goal…let alone actually working out when you get there.

And I swear, those are always the days when the Metcon has 4,000 manmakers…or burpees in it. When, if it were socially acceptable, you would just curl up on the gym floor and cry like a baby.


collapseLast night was one of those nights for me. The metcon was: 15/12/9 Manmakers (RX 20kg men/15kg women) and Pull-ups. (seriously, who invented the manmaker…there are some evil, evil people in this world).

Just looking at the board make me tired, let alone the idea of lifting those d*mn dumbells over my head a kazillion times.


the only bad workout

Right? Right.

But it’s nights like last night where Crossfit becomes a mental game.  It’s not about crushing the WOD, sometimes, its just about finishing the WOD, or even just doing the WOD if there’s a time cap.

As I was panting my way through the 4 million or so (at least it felt like that many) manmakers, I had to rely on a few tips I’d picked up along the way to make sure that I didn’t just give up before the timecap.  So I thought I’d share some of the tricks I use in my head..and outside my head…to help me keep going when I really just don’t want to.

1. SCALE!!! Sure, maybe some days you can do the RX weight. That day isn’t today. Pick a weight that you know is going to be challenging but that won’t destroy you. You can go balls to the wall another day…today is just about survival.  Choose a weight that you know  you can do the workout with. It’s important to have a feeling of success when you are struggling with motivation.

2. PACE!!! Rich Froning (perhaps you’ve heard of him? – Whassup Rich?…call me??..anyway…) is the king of pacing. If you watch him he will consistently use the same speed throughout a whole workout. Don’t use up all your energy in the first few minutes…especially if it is longer metcon.

3. BREAK UP YOUR REPS (or have a plan) if the number of reps is 15, break it up into manageable sets. Plan when you will break and how long you will break for.  To 3 reps, take 3 breaths and start again…over and over.  Not only will this help you not want to barf up a lung, but it will also keep you mind busy trying to remember what you plan was and will distract you from the h*ll that you are currently in.

4. COUNT DOWN INSTEAD OF UP: I don’t know why this works but sometimes counting down from 15 to 1 makes it seem like there are less reps..also it’s exciting when you get down into the single digits.

5. SUBSTITUTE A MOVEMENT: Now a lot of people might disagree with me here…you know, the integrity and intention of the WOD and all that…but sometimes you have to change a move.  I’m not saying to do this all the time, but if you are having an off day and there is a movement that you just can’t wrap your head around doing that day, change it for something you like.  Because for today, it’s only about getting the workout in, getting it done and not quitting.  Put in something you like. There will be plenty of time to do thrusters ad nauseum another day.

Those are some of the tricks that I use to get me through a metcon. They might not be for everyone but:

look in the mirror

It’s all about you, and  your success in the gym. And sometimes that success just means getting something done, somehow and someway.

What about you? What tricks do you use to get you through a tough metcon?


2 Responses to “ Tips for finishing a Metcon when all you want to do is quit! ”

  1. jennifer says:

    All such great tips!

    The biggest one that I have picked up is breaking things up into sets; going in with a plan and sticking to it. The first round is always going to feel great, but you need to pace through the whole thing so you don’t die at the end!

  2. Panos says:

    Every time I want to quit or give up I take my shirt off. It’s my declaration (to myself) that I’m not giving up.

    That’s my mental game and it always works for me.

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