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About that soul destroying workout

Nicole Cowell motivation training wod workout


I like to think that I train hard every day but some days you just strike those workouts that crush your soul. They take every part of your being to finish and leave you feeling exhausted mentally and physically. Yesterday I experienced one of those soul destroying workouts. You know the ones where you question your existence and why you are doing this to yourself.


The training session didn't start off the best for me. I was on the 4th training day in a row, which is not normal for me as I would normally only do 3 before I have a rest day but this weekend was different as it was a "mock" qualifier weekend so we trained 4 days in a row in case we have to for the Masters Online Qualifiers in a couple of weeks. So 4 days in a row training and I was already tired. My shoulders in particular felt fatigued and tired. First part of the session was some strength work - building to a heavy power clean and jerk. This part was ok - not amazing but ok. As I said before my shoulders were tired so the jerk was my weakest link - nothing amazing happened here but all was ok given how I was feeling.


The 2nd part of the day is where the trouble started. Now this worked looked ok on paper. I wouldn't say it looked easy but I certainly didn't think this was going to be horrible. 


Here was the workout:


3 rounds (15 min cap)

50 ft single arm OH DB walking lunge (50/35)

20 deficit HSPU (4"/3")

10 C&J (185/135)


Unfortunately for me I also made a couple of errors that made the workout harder than it should have been.


Mistake 1 - Deficit depth

We didn't have any plates that easily made 3" deficit (we had 2.5" or 4") so I went with 4" thinking it is good to train a bit harder. Little did I know how horrible this workout was going to be and that 1" would've made all the difference!


Mistake 2  - Missing the time cap part

I didn't notice the time cap comment. I only saw the 3 rounds. Unfortunately for me I put myself through the pain for 7 or 8 mins more than I had to.


So the workout starts. The lunges are actually ok and the easiest part for me.

I get through the HSPU - I break them into sets of 6 and 5 early and the first set isn't too bad.

Then we get to the C&J. Well 135# isn't light but OMG they felt like I was going for a PR lift every single damn time!! I had to psyche myself up to do singles and grind through them and this was only round 1!


It is at this point it starts to get real and a whole host of random thoughts start to go through my mind


  • Can I even finish this workout?
  • I am going to get smashed on the leaderboard
  • Maybe I should've eaten more carbs this morning
  • Why is my jerk so bad
  • Maybe a push jerk will be
  • Should I put my belt on?
  • Just do one lift a time
  • Every bad part of my technique is coming home to roost now
  • Stop looking at the clock
  • The 12 o'clock class is going to start soon. You might have to stop.
  • This wasn't supposed to take this long
  • F@#K!!!  This workout is HORRIBLE
  • You need to get stronger
  • Drop under the bar
  • Be aggressive
  • That wasn't aggressive
  • You think you are fit!
  • If this wod is in the qualifier I am screwed
  • Keep going
  • Do not fail a lift
  • F@#K!!! 2 MORE ROUNDS!!!


You get the idea! So this continued for over 20 minutes!! 


As I mentioned I missed the time cap note and finished all 3 rounds of this horror story. I did get crushed on the leaderboard as there are some amazing athletes in my group but I didn't care as I was happy to finish & finish with no failed reps. Afterwards, it was also refreshing to see that everyone thought it was horrible and was one of the hardest workouts we've done in a while.


It is now the day after and my shoulders are heavy and sore. Luckily today is a well earned rest day and I got to thinking about what happened yesterday and what I learned:

  • Everyone no matter your ability will experience that soul destroying workout everyone now and again
  • If you are feeling horrible in a workout then chances are others are too so hang in there
  • It is a huge accomplishment to just finish these workouts
  • Teaching ourselves to switch off the mind and keep going even when every part of you is screaming to stop is always a good lesson
  • Think twice about doing something "harder" than how it is prescribed as it may come back to bite you!
  • Reread the workouts!!
  • I have to be a better athlete now right??


Train hard everyone & here's to pushing through those soul destroying workouts and coming out the other side a stronger & better athlete.


Liberte Lifestyles Owner Nicole Signature




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