Below are common mental adjustments athletes need to learn when they try competing at GRID for the first time. You will need to change your mindset a bit to be the best you can be on the GRID.

Adrenaline is good.

Picture this moment. It’s minute 12 of a 20 minute AMRAP. You’re in a ton of pain, and dragging through the movements, each one more painful than the last. You still have 8 minutes to go and it sounds like forever. All of the sudden, like a miracle sent from heaven, your favorite “lifting song” comes on.  You get a shot of adrenaline, tingles in your scalp, and you lunge for that bar like it’s a PVC pipe. You go HAM for the next 30 seconds, fresh as a daisy, in zero pain.

The problem is, pretty soon your body remembers its crushed and brings you back down to earth. It’s usually before the song is even over (depending on how much you love it). You’re back to finishing the last 6 minutes under extra fatigue and in more pain than ever. We all know and love that adrenaline shot but should you tone it down next time? Is tickling that red line a good idea in the middle of 20 minutes of hell?

The beauty of GRID is that almost every time you are on the floor, it’s that 30 seconds of going HAM under complete adrenaline high, and then you get off the floor. The set sizes are short enough that your body doesn’t have time to catch up and realize what’s going on and bring you back down to earth. Also, as you toe that start line ready to enter the GRID, the anticipation and focus on CRUSHING your assignment, not letting your team down, and gaining reps on the other team going next to you is about 10X what your favorite lifting song could ever provide. No more worrying about coming out too hot and burning out early. 

Forget 80% effort.

It’s so rare that we actually feel what 100% effort is. Besides maybe short run or row intervals… when do we regularly experience that? Actually going 95-100% for 8-15 reps, and then resting, then doing it again is so rare that most of us don’t really know what it feels like let alone find it intuitive.

nicole and marcie

If this is true for you, try this: After you are warmed up tonight, take your training partner(s) and do 10 burpee box jump overs for time. I mean AFAFP. If you are not used to it, it will not be fluid. You will stumble at points, awkwardly land at points, maybe even trip over the box (be careful). It’s because you haven’t felt that feeling enough to know how to handle it. It will just take a little practice. Try it again tomorrow, and the next day. It will get easier once you get in the right mindset and get your body used to moving FAST and doing so efficiently. There is no conserving energy, or avoiding red line… it’s only: “how can I make this movement as fast as humanly possible?” It will also make you pay attention to the nuances of the movement a lot more than if you are moving at 80% speed. Just like the nuances become more important during a max lift than an 80% lift. Efficiency and explosiveness become everything.

Let someone else do that last rep or two.

If you are grinding out your last few reps with your face looking like it’s got a snapchat filter applied to it, you are moving slower than your teammate could be doing it. In the first year of the NPGL you would still even see pros do this during real matches. We are so ingrained to hang on to those last few reps to get them done that it’s hard to change that mentality. Just remember, most of the time it is much faster to drop the bar, jump off the rings/wall, etc… and let your teammate finish up (that’s what you have teammates for) than to grind out those last 3+ reps. FAST is the entire goal of GRID.

Rest should NEVER happen on the GRID.

Reps should ALWAYS be happening. If there is ever a point where reps are not being completed for more than a few seconds, one of two things needs to happen. Either you need to change your strategy to have a fresh body there to take over, or you need to change divisions. Don’t be afraid to transition a lot, that’s part of the game.

The ONLY exception to this thought process (and really the others above as well) is during races ( the Triads or Biads). Those are the only races where you may not always have a fresh body available and so it may be more necessary to conserve some energy at times. This race is designed to be crushing… it’s still only a few minutes long but taxes short term engine extensively and the strategy becomes how to minimize taxation early on, via your unique teammate capabilities and shorter transition times, to allow maximum output later in the race. You will go to a dark place in this race.

Have questions? Email us.

Micah Macbeth
Director of Competition


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