I’ve had a bee in my bonnet all day today man (people still say that right?!).

Like this but not as calm

You see I’m doing a lot of coaching at the moment and work around the community to build up the RM family and get the RM gym set up.

So I’m taking the guys through their paces.

This is not hard work, at least not for you guys, but these lads are suffering.

Essentially they are soft as shit.

These aren’t guys aren’t new to rugby either, it’s not like I’ve just picked them up off the street and put a bar in their hands. They’re lacking a bit of drive.

Now we’ve talked TONS about goal setting and mindset. But what we haven’t mentioned is that mental toughness – the ability to dig in – is a skill and can be trained just like any other skill.

I’m going to talk you through how because I’ll be damned if any of you buys are going to be as soft as the group I saw today.


Mental toughness is a collection of attributes that allow a person to persevere through difficult circumstances (such as difficult training or difficult competitive situations in games) and emerge without losing confidence. The term is commonly used by coaches, sport psychologists, sport commentators, and business leaders.


“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it ‘character in action.’” – Vince Lombardi (if you don’t know who Vince Lombardi is look him up. He’s kind of a big deal.



It’s the ability to keep going when things get hard.

How do you train it? You make stuff hard.

You know why AMAP reps are featured in the gorilla protocol? Because they suck, they’re hard and they make you earn the right to lift more weight. In my world more iron on the bar is something you have to earn.

This is today’s take away points and what I want you to try and do:

1) Sack up and stop being a pussy

2) When it’s time to put in the grind you put in the grind

3) It’s not someone else’s fault. Take responsibility.

4) Sack up and stop being a pussy

5) See point  1 through 4


5 steps to building some toughness. BOOM

Lets put it into gym work.

Strength – Do not give up on a lift unless there is technical failure. But only when it’s called for. If the program calls for you to go hard, a 100% effort an AMAP effort you bust your balls and put in that effort. If you’re not going all out then you don’t. Walk walk sit sit remember.

You have to bring it when it’s game time brother.

Conditioning – This is for me the real hard stuff. Lifting weights is fun conditioning, for me, is the devil.

The same rules apply. When you are asked to go hard don’t EVER be the first to give up. I’m going to say it again DON’T EVER BE THE FIRST TO GIVE UP. 


Then don’t burn yourself out when you need to.


This is my go to 3 top mental toughness drills

Tug of War – 5 rounds with 30 seconds rest in between. Grab a thick rope and go head to head against your partner. It’s not just mental toughness here, your whole body and lungs are going to be screaming. Get ready for pumped forearms, a pumped back and inability to breathe. Don’t be the first to give up. even if you slip get up and go!

Truck/Sled push up and slight incline – Do this with a mate in the car because it’ll roll back. This is hard, every step is hard. Set a distance though and hit it. Grab a partner and see who can hit it quickest. If you’re using a sled use a weight that scares you a bit, sack up and do it.

Breathing Squats – This is old school sickness. Load a bar with your 10 rep max and brace yourself. Do 1 rep, take a breath, do a rep take 2 breathes, do a rep take 3 breathes and keep going until you hit 20 reps. This is a killer and my favourite. My advice here is do not do it less than a week before a game and to keep a bucket nearby.

That’s it my friends. A chance for you to set the bar high.

I want to know any drills and challenges that you boys do as well. Help me add to the arsenal.


p.s. This is why I’m crazy excited about our Academy set up. We’re having regular challenges for the guys on there. We’re testing all sorts of stuff out and we’re going to hold them to get better every week. Here’s what I’m saying.