When most people think of mindfulness workouts, their brains beeline it straight to yoga. But, if high-intensity training is more your thing—Spartans, we’re looking at you—rest assured that pushing the intensity is one of the best ways to boost your mental acuity.
After all, mindfulness is all about being able to tune into your body, stay mentally engaged in your workouts, and use your mental strengths to help you achieve things that would otherwise be impossible, explains Spartan SGX L2 coach Percy Reynolds, CSC, CPT. That’s true both in training and when you take the start line. “Practicing mindfulness during a race—letting go of the past as well as not worrying about what lies ahead—keeps you conscious and focused on the obstacle of the moment,” he says.
To test and get your mental matters in check, try out this high-intensity RAMP workout, courtesy of Reynolds. “The changes in load, plane, pattern, and tempo all require an athlete to maintain a level of awareness and mindfulness,” he says. “Each round of the circuit is set up to start with slow, intentional, purposeful movements to improve strength and motor recruitment, and as the circuit progresses, we back off the load and tempo and finish with more anaerobic fast-paced and plyometric work.”
High-Intensity Workout to Build Mental Strength
To perform the workout, perform the below circuit five times through, resting for 3 minutes between rounds or until your heart rate lowers to below 120 bpm. And it should go without saying, keep your head in the game, focusing on maintaining total-body control and using perfect technique with each rep.
(2 Reps Per Side)
Stand with a KB on the floor slightly behind your knees, flex your hips, and grab the KB with one hand. Extend your hips to lift the kettlebell to a front rack position. From here, brace your core and lower down into a squat. Let your free arm extend to your side for balance. At the top of the squat, release the KB back to the floor. That’s one rep.
Suspended Eccentric Row
Set up a suspension system with your shoulders under the anchor point and your feet in front of you on the floor with your knees bent and soft. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes. Row the handles toward your waist. Pause for 1 second at the top, then lower back down over the course of 4 seconds. That’s one rep.
Stand with a sandbag or pancake outside of one foot, then squat and rotate to lift it with both hands. While coming to a standing position, raise the bag and across your body to raise it over your shoulder. Circle it around your head, then lower to tap it to the floor outside of your opposite foot. That’s one rep.
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, and brace your core. Hinge your hips and place your hands on the floor. Hop your feet back behind you to get in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and core still braced. Row your chest to the floor, then press through your chest and triceps to raise out of the push-up, focusing on maintaining a rigid core the entire time. Jump your feet back toward your hands, then raise your hands from the floor and drive through your legs to jump up as high as possible. That’s one rep.
10-Meter Shuttle Sprints
Set two cones or kettlebells on the floor, 5 meters apart. Start in a crouched position with one hand on the cone, then sprint as fast as you can to the other cone, touch it, and sprint back. That’s one lap.