I’m competitive. I’ve had people accuse me of it like it was a crime and I’ve had times when it has been used as a kind of praise. I can admit that it has its good side and its bad side. When it comes to fueling my drive to reach my workout goals, it’s a definite fitness advantage.
Being competitive to reach fitness goals doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m competing in any formal way. I don’t need to be signed up for a competition or race – though these can be great, too. In fact, being competitive doesn’t even necessarily mean that I’m competing with someone else, though again, that has its benefits.
I can be competitive with myself, trying to break my previous personal bests, I can compete with someone else at my gym or my girlfriend, or I might sign up for a local event. They all have their advantages, the best of which is to push me to do better than I would have on my own.
After all, when you’re up against someone else – or many someones, or your past self – you’re not only trying to do your best, but you want to be victorious. Not meeting your goals isn’t just letting yourself down, it’s letting someone else take the glory from you. You can’t let that happen! That’s exactly why competitiveness is such a huge fitness advantage.
Here are some great tips for making sure you’re using your competitive spirit to get the most out of your fitness goals. I use them all the time.
Know your competition’s goal.
Races are easy since you want to reach the finish line first. However, if you’re competing with a friend, you’ll want to decide on something specific. Is it the first person to lose a certain amount of body fat? Complete a certain challenge? Lift a certain weight? Know what you need to do to win.
Know what you’re competing for.
The best competitions have a prize. This can be anything from money (a friendly wager, not something that will hurt your wallet) to treating the other person to a movie or a dinner, or maybe it means you’ll just get awesome bragging rights. When you have a prize to aim for, it makes it all the better.
Create a strategy.
Once you know your goal, you need to know exactly how you’re going to reach it. Be realistic and keep injury avoidance in mind so that you don’t end up overdoing it. Remember to factor in issues like time, nutrition and exercise. Reaching a fitness goal is more than just exercising.
Track your progress.
So many people miss this step. Usually, I don’t mind because it gives me a serious advantage over them. But for you, I’ll share my secret and that’s to track my progress. When you do this, you’ll have a much clearer image of how you’re doing. You’ll be able to see your strengths and weaknesses and work to get the best out of both.