Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
November 19, 2018
We all reach those particular moments in our fitness career where going to the gym is the equivalent to going to that job you hate. Sometimes we are just working too hard to maintain and it gets boring. Eating the same meals every day could lead to a bout of cheat days that might turn into a cheat week and then a cheat month and heck….might as well go big and say cheat life. A lot of people find fitness to be a boring and taxing life and you really can’t blame most people for thinking this. No matter what you do with the type of workouts you use or whatever variety of philosophies you have at your disposal, eventually you will get bored. You can stave off some of that boredom with some set goals in your mind, like you wanna squeeze into a certain suit for your wedding day or
you want to be able to give your kids “horsie” rides as long as possible. Eventually, even that becomes boring. So what is a person to do? Well, you compete in something.
There is a big reason where non-championship style events like Ragnar and Spartan Races are becoming such a huge fixture in our society. While some people actually do compete for the top prizes, much of the time it is part of the investment to get yourself fit and stay fit. There is a reason why some people actually start teams and collect fees to keep the juices flowing, because nothing gets you pushing harder and faster when your own money is riding the outcome. And even if you don’t win anything, you know you competed and understand that there are other levels you can take yourself to. There is a reason why we have weightlifting competitions, marathons and even the CrossFit Games. People want to see what they can do and they need to put it together in a competitive format. That is why Parsons Training has been putting together some competitions lately. What started out as a lot of fun trash talk and banter, Parsons Training started the “Battle of the Ages.” The first one was an 18-year-old versus a 60-year-old, and while the 18-year-old won, it was not like the 60-year-old didn’t put a huge effort to keep up. Watching a guy 20 years older than me pound out 53 back squats to stay alive in a competition was pretty awesome. If anything, it was a celebration of hard work and commitment on both sides. Part 2 of the series happened this past weekend where Jon’s 51-year-old brother took on one of the 19-year-old clients. Sure, the 19-year-old won but Jon’s brother (who is 185 pounds) still benched 205 and deadlifted 350. That’s impressive for any age! Plus his brother at least killed it in the rowing competition, rowing a mile in well under seven minutes. Needless to say, it was a fun competition and pretty interesting to watch. While Jon’s brother lost, he at least knows what his limits are and can push harder to topple those. And just saying, it was still pretty impressive.
Another Edition of Battle of the Ages, a big success
There has been plenty of studies to correlate the idea of competition and fitness intensity, but this one was probably the most interesting. http://time.com/4553305/workout-competition-exercise-motivation/The University of Pennsylvania published this study in 2016 and shed some interesting lights within the focus of competition and fitness. While working out with your friends is something a lot of people encourage in the fitness industry, turns out a more chummy and friendly group of workout people actually worked out less and put less effort into their fitness. It makes sense when you think of it, for wouldn’t you rather go get some beers than hit the gym together when you know you are all on the same level? The other group was more informal—a competitive fitness meet-up to put it into better words—and challenged each other accordingly. Well to no one’s surprise, the more informal group worked out 90% more often than the group that was friendly and chummy. Now this does not mean ditch your friends and what not, what this means is you have to have some guidelines and actually use your gym time to push each other. If all you are gonna do is scour the gym for potential mates, then get the hell out and don’t expect too many gains.
So when you are working out with a group of people and fighting for a competition—like both participants in this weekend’s Battle of the Ages 2.0—you can see how both had some pretty awesome results. I mean, I saw a 145-pound 19-year old deadlift 350 and bench 225 while also churning out 30 overhead presses at 115 pounds and 27 pull-ups! That is something to shoot for and also top. The tougher mountain to climb is if you are like me, and you usually work out alone. How does one person stay motivated? http://www.endofthreefitness.com/how-to-train-alone/Amongst the blogs and stuff I searched on the internet, this was a pretty good one. If your goal is just to maintain a workout schedule and burn calories, then that is okay. It’s up to you if you want to have that type of lifestyle. However, if you want real change, part of the equation is getting tough on yourself. Goals and metrics will have to be set, and most importantly, money will have to be on the line. Now why do you say money? Couldn’t just looking good and losing weight be the best reward? That might be a good way to handle your fitness while in a competitive group setting, but what is usually the motivator in a group setting? A prize, whether it be full recognition or a monetary prize or heck, a medal or something. When by yourself, what is the loss. Well, the reason why I was doing so well for so long was due to Ragnar, for when you drop 150+ bucks to run a race as well as skip work time…that is a big investment to put yourself through a sleepless hell. One suggestion the guy in the blog came up with is putting a huge monetary push on your goals. Give money to a friend to hold and if you don’t meet the goal, your friend keeps the money. There is a more real world equivalent to this of course, like losing weight and being fitter to make your insurance premiums go down.
Now you could be one of those self starters that don’t really need a competitive atmosphere to really keep your gains coming. To that, I say good for you! However, there are a lot of people that need some extra pushing to get through the plateaus. It is easy to think movie stars can get their bodies so easily, but on the other hand they still have massive contracts riding on their bodies as much as their “acting.” Yeah, comic book movies are poorly acted…just saying. Anyway, find something that will allow you to push forward with your goals. Or heck, try joining a meet-up to get the juices flowing. Sometimes it just takes a call to your life insurance agent. Whatever you do, find that one little thing that gets you motivated and going.
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.