I would like to share this video of a lecture presented by a Professor of exercise physiology, Professor Tim Noakes. Professor Noakes studies what the human body can and what the human body can not do. The lecture was on Character, Self-Belief and the Search for Perfection. It does go for an hour but it is extremely interesting, he provides evidence and examples of how the human body can achieve great things when we truly believe in our selves to achieve a task. Professor Noakes has worked for the South African Springbok national rugby team, other university rugby teams and has a passion for running. Some of the stories give great examples of the power of self belief, from an exercise science perspective. One story of the greatest come back in Rugby history, a team that defied the odds and become champions. I found this lecture gives insight on how we can motivate our athletes, our co workers, subordinates or kids to believe in them selves and pursue excellence.

I watched this video last Sunday as I completed the weeks programming. The following Tuesday’s workout of the day was, 7 minutes of as any repetitions as possible of JUST burpees!!!!! A burpee starts in a standing position and requires you to lay flat on the floor, stand up and then jump off the ground. Now if you have ever done a burpee you would understand how hard 7 minutes of burpees would be, if you have never done one, I challenge you to complete 10 repetitions and you will then understand how hard seven minutes of this one movement would be.


What I found after last Tuesdays workout of the day was remarkable. At the start of the workout at least 5 people said the number of burpees they hoped to complete, myself included. Then all five people scored exactly that number. Not one rep over or one rep under, they scored exactly on the number they predicted on completing. I do not think it was a coincidence, that the people that picked a number scored exactly that number. If you watch the lecture above it will explain why. For myself I wanted to get 102 repetitions, it was my previous score and I wanted to match it. I had 102 in my mind I had said it out allowed, I had predetermined what I was going to achieve and by doing so I had limited myself to that exact number. I scored 102 reps right on the buzzer. Not one rep over or one rep under. Now if I had of said 107 and believed in myself that I could achieve 107, I am confident I would have got 107. For everyone else that completed that 7min AMRAP I believe they would have scored higher if the numbers they had of picked at the start where beyond their capability.

With all that said, it is just a workout and a really shit workout. It doesn’t matter if you can do 70 burpees in 7 minutes or you can do 75. There is way more important things in life than burpees. By just completing the workout you are achieving much more than the average population will ever achieve and you will live longer healthier lives for it. But how many other things in life are you placing limitations on yourself by your own thoughts. Noakes tells the story of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike and how he started his company selling runners from the back of a car at track meets. Phil was a runner and believed he was going to start a shoe company that sold runners around the world and he would have the largest sales for shoes than any other company in the world. Phil said this before he had even sold one pair of runners, but yet he believed in him self.

Think of things in your life that you limit your results by your own thoughts. It could be in your training, profession, parenting or your school work. If you truly believed in yourself, how much more could you achieve.

What would you do different in your life if you knew everything was going to be okay?