The answer I’m hoping for is B: sprinting full speed as you're running into a battle with a lion. Although there is no wrong answer to the question, in the gym, those who answer B appear to be those who attack workouts, and not just go through the motions. Yes, there is a significant difference between the two. Those that answer A: running away from a lion, are not a lost cause, but they have some serious potential to grow through the mental aspect of my training model.
If you have truly pursued a life in the gym where you have strived to increase all your 1RMs and attack every workout, then I assume you also attack life. As a strength coach, I do not accept an athlete that just goes through the motions during a workout. I expect, and make sure all of my athletes attack every opportunity I present in front of them. If they don’t, after enough time, they just don’t come back and I am ok with that.
Picking Your Spots
Not every moment of training is 100% intensity and attacking. There are very few athletes that can maintain this for a long period of time. I can't maintain that sort of intensity through a 14 hour day 6 days a week, regardless of coffee consumption, so I wouldn't expect my athletes to do the same with every minute of every workout. But this is why new athletes come in, this is why we have DNS and movement work, and this is why we have learnining moments. I can’t get all amped up and jump around when explaining how to improve loading on an athletes left side to improve a faulty ipsilateral movement pattern to fix a “weak” backside of a swing. I can however get jacked up while a kid is crushing a 7 second eccentric squat with 85% of their 1RM. There are highs and lows of every hour of a training session.
A Day in The Life
This is just a brief clip of a day of training at 1RM. I am constantly learning from my athletes, and constantly finding more information about them. Many coaches claim, I included, that every exercise is an assessment of movement. But the mental component is often just as important to assess. The lessons we learn and provide through training do not just carry over in the gym, but also into life.
The athlete who inspired me to write this article knows who he is. He also knows that it is my mission, to change his approach to training, so he attacks and gets fired up during each exercise and each opportunity. If you lift scared, you’ll live scared, and you’ll fail. Attack your training, attack your life, and you will succeed.