Sunday, June 21, 2009

Competition in Training

com*pe*ti*tion (kom-pi-tish-uhn)
  1. The act of seeking, or endeavoring to gain, what another is endeavoring to gain at the same time;
  2. common strife for the same objects;
  3. strife for superiority; emulous contest;
  4. rivalry, as for approbation, for a prize, or as where two or more persons are engaged in the same business and each seeking patronage.
There is much to be gained from physical fitness training and conditioning that is surrounded by a competitive atmosphere. Competitors do not just go through the motions of a workout. They push themselves to their limits, and then some. Why? Because competitors want to WIN.

Workout partners tend to push me to my limits. They make me want to dig down deep to rip out an extra repetition, or go a little faster. This is especially true when my partners and I are going through the particular workout simultaneously. The challenge of beating someone forces a better performance. For me, my competitor is not even always in the same room. Knowing a partner of mine is going hard in his/her gym is enough to push me. I recognize I'll have to email or call him/her with my results when I go hard.

Then there is that inner competition. It's a contest against yourself. For some, it's weight loss. For others it's reaching a personal record for a certain benchmark workout. Others set out with lofty goals to accomplish. (On some days, that 500# tire is my challenger.) Online jounals such as Beyond The Whiteboard or Logs It All keep soloists pushing for more. An inner fire drives the competitor to reach goals and maximize performance.

Competitors do NOT simply do it for the pure sake of doing it. They have a purpose, a plan, and a commitment to excel. Competitors wake up early or stay up late to exercise. They know their competition is not hitting the snooze button. Competitors work through the discomfort, the pain, and the gasping for air. Why? Because somewhere their adversary is doing the same...and maybe harder, faster, and longer. Competitors win! even when they lose...

If your workout sessions are not fueled by friendly competition, you are missing a critical piece to the puzzle.

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