Nothing like a meal to motivate you!
Deep down I’m sure we all have a fear of failure. When I was fighting I wasn’t so much afraid of getting hurt as I was of losing. I really hated losing and still do. In high school and college I got nervous as hell before a basketball game because I really didn’t want to lose. The sport meant so much to me, and I had worked so hard to become a better player that I got butterflies before every game because I wanted more than anything to play my best and for my team to win.
As I got a couple fights under my belt I began seeing boxing in a different way. I didn’t get the butterflies like I got in basketball, maybe it’s because I was older and understood that if I did the right amount of work, odds are were that I had a pretty good chance of winning. And if I had done everything under my control to make sure I was the best prepared fighter walking into the ring, then I couldn’t do anything else, and whatever happened, happened.
Even though I may have lacked that pre-fight fear of losing or nerves, I had it in abundance when it came to my training, which is something I have figured out how to carry with me even though my sports days are over.
I think all guys thrive on competition and its important to bring that competition into your workouts. Use that ‘fear of losing‘ that we all have to our advantage, can help take our workouts to a whole new level.
Here are a few tips:
1. Find competition
Get a lifting partner. Everyone will say get someone who’s stronger than you, and yes, that’s a great person to aim for, but it’s not completely necessary. If you find someone at your same level or even at a lower fitness level then yourself, you can still compete. Test yourselves before you start a program, and again every month or two. If you start with better numbers than he does, you’d better not lose any ground!
2. Keep tabs on yourself
What did you squat last week? Keep a journal of the weight you’re lifting, the reps you’re pumping out, and if it’s a part of your program, the time of each set as well. Make sure you’re at least trying to beat your previous best every week. You may fail, but at least try. Then next week you might succeed.
I try to progress each week in either the weight I lifted, reps I pumped out in a certain time, or simply the reps I was able to complete; or all 3 factors at once. The key is that I compete against myself. That competition added an aspect to my workouts that got me results. If it weren’t there, I don’t think I’d be walking around at over 180 pounds right now.
3. Set shorter goals
I like 3 month goals. It’s enough time to see results but to also keep things fresh at the same time. Bust your arss for 3 months, see where you’re at, take a vacation or a week off, then get right back to it.
It’s important to compete on different levels. Compete against someone else, a friend or lifting partner, compete against yourself and your previous bests, and compete against a goal or a test. Being supremely motivated to gain lean muscle was tough at first because I had spent my whole life competing in sports. But when I figured out how to add competition into my workouts, I was really able to push my body and my mind to new levels.
What are some other ways you can add competition into a workout?