What is Your Workout Missing? Competition

Exploring Intensity

What is Your Workout Missing? Competition

Whether it’s Jobs vs. Gates or Brady vs. Manning, competition has been at the heart of many exceptional accomplishments. But the power that can be harnessed by rivalries doesn’t stop at inventions or pro sports — it can also help us improve when it comes to exercise.

This Outside article shows that studies of people who have a serious contender in their event or sport experience better performances. The reason is something we all have felt before — our heads go into a different place when we can put a face to our goal. Instead of just focusing on a personal best, we do better when we envision our rivals just a few steps behind us.

If you don’t have an opponent who can give you a boost, there are virtual races in which you compete against other people. And some fitness studios show stats on a board or screens with data showing how you compare to those around you. Another effective method: find a gym partner and create a friendly competition between the two of you.

One minor downside to competition? When people compete they sometimes push themselves too hard and end up injuring themselves. So always make sure you have winning in mind, but not to the point where it’s the most important thing in the world.