Comparing Your Way to Performance Breakthroughs

I’ve found great benefit over the years in comparing myself and my physical capacity to others. It’s lead to numerous breakthroughs, a willingness to attempt things I thought were impossible, and the setting of many personal records. And while comparing can be detrimental if you use it to judge and bring yourself down, the upsides are incredible powerful.

Here are the top 4 reasons that comparing your performance to others will work to your benefit when CrossFitting at CFLA.

1. Gives you context. How fast is fast? How many is a lot? How many push ups should an able-bodied man or woman of 35 be able to do in one minute? What does it mean to be strong? These are some of the questions that most people that work out never know the answer to. I should know… before starting CrossFit, it was me. I went to the gym for years – and never really knew the answers to questions like these. It seems like such a no-brainer now… get context first – it helps you fill in all the other details for your training.

2. Lets you know where you stand relative to others. If you’re at all competitive, nothing feeds your fire more than knowing one or two of your buddies can do more _________ in 2 minutes than you can (fill in the blank with squats, burpees, sit ups, push ups, pull ups, etc). It’s a primal instinct that helps each of us get better – looking around us, seeing someone that can do something better than we can and aspiring to do the same. Careful… this can also lead to self-judgement, if you say to yourself “but I can’t…” and focus on the negative.

3. Gives you something to shoot for since someone is always better, faster or stronger. There is nothing like having a specific number to aim for that you know is possible. Whether its a specific time for a particular distance, a specific weight for a particular movement, or a specific time for an workout as Rx’d, a number gives you something to organize your workout around and has lead to many breakthroughs and personal records.

4. Gives you some “handles” on workouts. When you check the whiteboard and see the average times and weights others are using for a particular workout, you immediately get an idea what you’re in for. This gives you some assistance in selecting the appropriate weight, planning your strategy for just finishing, or figuring out how you’re going to organize your rest during a workout in order to set a personal record.

Now, there is a negative side to any comparison you make to others… the judgement that comes along in thinking you are less than, not enough, unworthy, incapable, or only a value to the community if you perform at a certain level or look a certain way. This is your ego talking…and it’s got a lot of pull and influence on your life. And while you might make those judgements, holding onto them not only won’t serve you, it might make you quit showing up.

My advice? Use comparison to the extent that it helps move you forward… and if you find yourself going negative, do what some of or members do, ignore the boards, take “smiley faces” as times or scores, and simply enjoy the journey.

 Tuesday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

For Time:
     5 rounds of 5 strict pullups & 10 pushups
     1 Mi Run – perform 50 squats @ halfway point (~Princeton & Arizona)
     2 K Row
     1 Mi Run – perform 50 squats @ halfway point (~Princeton & Arizona)
     5 rounds of 5 strict pullups & 10 pushups
**45 min cap**
**See 10/30/14**

Wednesday’s Workout

A) 4 RFR on the 4:00
300m Row
Max Effort Wallballs to 10’
**3min Cap each round**

B) 3 Position snatch (high to low)

10 Deadlifts (50%)
12 Kipping CTB pullups
**5min Cap**

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