Start with what you do out of it.
It seems that everyone is an expert at using the gym to train for resilience and developing “mental strength”.
Don’t get my wrong, I’m all for it. During my time at Gym Jones (one of the pioneers in this area) and in the lead up to it I was put through some pretty gruelling training sessions that had me on the brink of giving up at any moment. But that was the game, to push yourself to the point where you didn’t think you could physically carry on, and then mentally finding a way to make it through. That is part of where the ethos of “The Mind is Primary” was born. Train the mind and the body will follow.
The issue is, that in many cases I see now the method used to get you to that point has very little, if any physical carry over to a meaningful task. Sure anyone can put together a bunch of exercises and make them hard. But how do they make you better?
Intelligent programming will incorporate movements and energy systems that are relevant to the goals at hand, not just make a workout difficult.
Beside this, consistently flogging yourself everyday with no sense of overall plan is a fast road to no where.
Each training sessions needs to be an individual piece of a much larger puzzle. You may not see the whole picture straight away, but in time as you put more pieces together. The picture becomes clearer.
Which also leads into the usually forgotten aspect of “The Mind Is Primary”. True mental strength and resilience is more than a once off effort. It’s doing the little things day in, day out. Knowing when to push and when to rest. Following a program through to the end to get a result, not changing after getting bored 3 weeks in. Eating for your goals, recovering well, sleeping 8 hours. These are the things that take mental resilience to do consistently well. Anyone can work hard for 60 minutes during 1 session. Few can work hard for the 23 hours outside of that.