Y’all already know how much I love a good competition. And, that doesn’t just stop at races and strongman competitions. My competitiveness extends to every workout.
Let me expand here:
There’s a girl I train with. For the sake of the story, let’s give her a name. Oh, I don’t know, let’s call her “Heather”or perhaps “Jen.” She’s stronger than me, she’s faster than me and she’s my competition. Really. At every workout, I want to get one more rep than she does. If she does 15 overhead presses, I want 16. If she does the tire flip in 20 seconds, I want it in 19.9.
Some people may see this as petty or unnecessary comparison. But not me. I see this as a goal. See, I don’t dislike “Heather” or “Jen.” She’s actually quite fantastic. But she’s the one that’s just a little quicker, a little stronger and a little faster than me – and that pushes me to get better.
It’s great to train with someone stronger than you. It makes you reach to get at their level. It gives you a point to progress towards. If you’re the best, sometimes it’s harder for you push yourself that little extra – and that little extra is exactly what you need to have the edge when it comes to competition day.
Here’s a little example for you: When I started running several years ago, I started training with someone who was quite a bit faster than me. I had to really push myself to even keep up with her (slowed-down for me) pace. Not to mention I huffed and puffed the whole time doing it. But, at every run, I pushed myself to keep up with her. I didn’t stick with my easy, normal pace, I pushed myself to keep up with her faster pace. And, it didn’t take long pushing myself until I was easily running her speed and chatting with her while we ran.
Gyms can help bring out the competitive side in everyone. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Know when you’re on the treadmill and about to slow down and the girl beside you increases her speed? There’s no way you’re slowing down now. You have now officially entered a race. Game on.
When I run a race, I try to single out one person that’s just a little farther ahead of me. And I use that person as my target that I want to beat. Does it always happen? Nope. But does it always make me pick up my pace and push myself harder? You betcha.
Whatever you’re doing: weight lifting, Jazzercise, strongman or playing chess – push yourself to get better. Find someone that’s just a little better than you and start training with/against them. Heck, your gym competition doesn’t even have to know that you are competing against them. Just watch them, use them as a target and try to do better.
Guys, this isn’t competing for the sake of beating HER, it’s competing for the sake of pushing ME. Gym competition is awesome. Embrace it. Harness it. Use is to make yourself better.
I truly hope my secret gym competition does great. I truly hope she gets stronger. Because the stronger she gets, the harder I have to push to reach her.
So, to “Heather” or “Jen,” thanks for pushing me. Thanks for being strong and giving me a goal, a target and awesome competition in the gym. It’s making us both better.