Training Vs Competing

Training Vs Competing

by Coach Clark Hibbs

I was listening to Ben Bergeron’s podcast the other day. It’s a pretty good show… although I don’t hype his show as hard as some other folks might, he still has some great things to say (and by some, I mean a lot).

One of the things he talked about was training vs competing, and it really hit home for me as I see so many people have this internal struggle daily in the gym. Are you here to train? Or are you here to compete?

We’ll talk about the internal struggle in a second, but let’s talk about training vs competing.

-Showing up each day willing to learn
-Putting technique and mechanics FIRST
-Keeping the intention of the workout in the forefront of your mind (fun fact: it’s not always to go as hard as possible)
-Holding the movement standards and completing all of the reps
-Keeping range of motion full
-Recognizing when form is breaking down, and taking the initiative to lower the weight to correct the form
-Asking coach for advice on how to improve
-Running your own race, not worrying about others

-Showing up trying to claim the top spot on the board, or trying to beat “so and so”
-Sacrificing form and mechanics to eek out a few more pounds
-Shortening range of motion just to go faster
-Keeping your eye on others as you workout
-Doing whatever you can no matter what you might look like just to get a few places higher on the leaderboard
-Redlining everyday, going as hard as humanly possible, and crushing yourself into the ground just to get the higher spot

I think you can already recognize the internal struggle.

So many of us go into the gym with the expectation of training… but we end up finding ourselves competing. I mean, look at the lists above…

TRAINING sounds like the right thing to do. Training is how we’re going to get better. Training is how we’re going to make some solid progress with our fitness.

Competing ends up being what a lot of us do, even if we have the best intentions of training.

Instead of doing what’s best for us, we get caught up in what others are doing and try to out do them. Instead of keeping it lighter today because we’re feeling tired or sore or we’re nursing and injury, we throw caution to the wind and go as hard as possible because, damn it, we have to be towards the top of the leaderboard. Instead of focusing on you, you focus on others… be it their scores, or what you think their opinions of you might be if you don’t go as hard as usual.

Let me ask you this…

When you go into the gym, are you training? or are you competing?

I won’t lie or sit on a high horse. Competing is fun, especially when you have a group of people that you love to throw down with. Competing is not a bad thing at all (in moderation!). Hell, depending on who’s in class with me when I’m working out, I might look right at them and say, “I’m going to try and beat you today.”

But competing every time you come into the gym? Well, that’s not what we’re after… because if you compete every day, you never dedicate the time to actually get better.

Next time you go into the gym, flip your mindset when you hit the training floor.

You’re here to TRAIN.
You’re here to perfect your technique.
You’re here to stay safe.
You’re here to learn.
You’re here to make progress.

After all, we call it the training floor, not the competition floor ????

Use each day to get better, not to compete.

-Clark Hibbs


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