I guess I really should have titled this post “mind over the bar” as that is exactly what this post will be about. Welcome back to another motivational Monday. Today, I’ll be discussing one of the worlds hardest strength competitions, the Iron Maiden Challenge. I will actually start with the Iron Maiden Challenge itself, and revisit some key things I took away from the event in terms of the mindset you need for this challenge.
The Iron Maiden challenge is a strength challenge that was born out of the male version , called the Beast Challenge. Female Participants are to do a strict 1 arm military press with a 24kg, a pistol squat with a 24kg kettlebell , and a pull up with a 24kg kettlebell around their waist (just so you know, the male version requires the exact same lifts with the 48kg beast kettlebell ). You are allowed 2 attempts per lift. If you miss any lift entirely, you lose the competition. Over the weekend, I had nailed every single lift in the challenge. . .except the pull up. With the pull up you need to get your throat to the bar. I was off by a centimeter.
1 centimeter. 1. Centimeter.
However frustrating that was for me, I didn’t let the miss really mess with me mentally. There are a few reasons for that.
1). I was unable to even pull a 12 kg correctly 12 weeks ago. In practice, I had hit the 24kg without a problem. So. . .the strength is there. The fact of the matter is that I was able to go from 12 to 24kg in a fairly short amount of time. THAT is very awesome!
2.) My pull set up was not solid enough. There is something to say about performance based jitters, and when you fail to set up a solid hollow position with a 24kg weight around your waist. . .well. . . you’re asking for trouble in your traps. Read more about that here. The good news, I got myself up high on that bar to chin level. It was just a last little pull I needed to make it officially official.
3.) I now have more time to focus on that last tiny hang up of the pull. When you train for Iron Maiden on top of your certification, you have A LOT to focus on. I think for me, it can be difficult to stack goals on top of goals. the good news again though is this, I passed my Level II kettlebell certification with flying colors and now have more tools to address this tiny little centimeter. After all, it’s only a centimeter.
You can’t let one small hang up (literally in this case) get the best of you. Focus on the process of getting yourself to your goal. When you see how far you have come and take a step back to savor it all, you’ll realize that all you need is that one final pull to get you there 😀
I may be off my level II prep work now, but I will not let the Iron Maiden challenge go. It’s only a centimeter, and in a few months, you can be sure that I will retest this again.
Mark. My. Words.
Until next time. . .
Master your instincts!