The Importance of Competition

Competition can come in many forms, and whilst not everyone who comes through our doors is looking to compete at the highest level, I believe it’s important to find some level of competition for everyone, be it immediate or something to aspire towards.

Look at what you are trying to achieve, if it’s to lose weight, set a target, lose 6 pounds in 3 weeks, that’s competition, competition with yourself. Competition on any level is healthy, it will give your training purpose and structure and ultimately, will lead to results. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.
Clients and members are always saying to me that they aren’t competitive……Give them a challenge they think they can win and you see a completely different side to them, I have never met anyone who isn’t competitive on some level, it’s just about finding that level.

Levels

Arguably more important than the competition itself is identifying at what level someone should compete. There is no point entering someone into a fitness event that is far beyond their ability, this will only end in failure, low self-esteem and lead to that individual having no interest in competing in the future due to embarrassment and fear of failure. Competition can be on a global scale, local, inter gym or even against yourself, and no matter which level you go for the end result is the same, to try and show yourself, more than anyone else, that you can take on these challenges and win. Sometimes you might surprise yourself and finish even better than you thought.

Forms

The form of competition can be so wide and varied, be it to run a sub 4hr marathon, to compete for a sports team or even a personal goal, it’s all competition, you against others, or you against yourself. At The Athlete Centre we regularly compete against other gyms and sports teams, we have beginner events to allow members of all abilities to get involved and most importantly….It’s fun, yeah there’s a competitive edge, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have members who enter the CrossFit open, not because they aspire to reach the CrossFit games, but merely to see where they come over all, if the finish 20,000th in the world one year and 15,000th the next then it’s a mini victory, find some athletes who finish in the same spot as you and see how they compare next year. Alternative forms of competition are also available, for instance at the gym we have a competition going on between a member (BK) and a coach (Theo), the competition is that Theo must be able to Clean and Jerk 130kg before BK weighs 130kg, it’s not for money, it’s for pride and keeps them both training towards reaching the target first.

Honest

Competition keeps you honest with yourself, it keeps you constantly pushing in the right direction. As I’m writing this I’m reminded of the competition with one’s self as once again the PB Bell rings loudly in the gym and fellow members cheer their fellow athlete’s success, for another day at least they have beaten themselves.

The Point

If you aren’t competing, even against yourself, then your training has no purpose, if every day you come into the gym and do 30minutes on a treadmill at 8mph you will get nowhere, whereas if you set a challenge, beat your time, then your training has purpose, you will see improvement and maybe, just maybe, you will begin to enjoy your training. Every workout you do, think to yourself, what am I trying to achieve, what is the purpose, if what you are doing doesn’t reflect the purpose then don’t do it, it’s simple.

  1. Identify the competition
  2. Make the necessary changes to your lifestyle and training
  3. Enjoy it
  4. Succeed and you will feel like you can do anything

EAT, SLEEP, COMPETE, SUCCEED.

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