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Need Your Help

hey everyone, i will be presenting a speech on why i think people should try to participate in some kind of athletic event per year. so my question for people that practice something ie running, weightlifting, golfing etc, but do not compete, why do you not compete? And for people that compete, what are the reasons you like to compete, what have you found that you enjoy about competing? for instance improve on pr’s, meet people, make friends etc. your help is appreciated. thank you

I don’t care to compete but I did do an unsanctioned gym meet last year, and there will be another one this year. The only reason is because people I respected asked me to compete each time. Hope that helps!

I thrive on competition. When I don’t have it - or at least when I’m not training FOR something, or towards something that I can personally quantify then I find that I simply don’t have nearly as much passion in whatever it is I do. I’ve also found that when I compete at a recreational level - unless there’s alcohol involved and it’s something like kickball - then chances are I’m going to actually train for it and be the best I can be at it. I have a very hard time simply just doing something and not competing at it. I’ve also found that some of my best friends are very competitive people that enjoy actually competing (not just being competitive at arbitrary things like how many wings you can eat). Usually these people are driven in other ways as well and I think that’s what brings us together - people that are striving for something more than what they are.

I also think that competing against oneself and competing against others has two different motivating aspects - which I can’t really explain. But I find that when I’m simply competing against myself - such as in the gym with training PR’s I’m motivated and I desire to improve but I don’t get anywhere close to the adrenalin going or the rush and enjoyment that I do when I’m competing against others.

I compete to show myself how far I have come and that I am still improving, getting better each day and setting PRs. Plus, you can’t beat the atmosphere of a meet and that one of a kind meet adrenaline rush!

I will just say that my reasons are nearly identical to LM’s…pretty much nailed my thoughts exactly

[quote]grettiron wrote:
I don’t care to compete but I did do an unsanctioned gym meet last year, and there will be another one this year. The only reason is because people I respected asked me to compete each time. Hope that helps![/quote]

but why do you not care to compete? i need some type of reason so i can try to persuade people from the point of view of “they do not want to compete in an athletic even once a year.”

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:
I thrive on competition. When I don’t have it - or at least when I’m not training FOR something, or towards something that I can personally quantify then I find that I simply don’t have nearly as much passion in whatever it is I do. I’ve also found that when I compete at a recreational level - unless there’s alcohol involved and it’s something like kickball - then chances are I’m going to actually train for it and be the best I can be at it. I have a very hard time simply just doing something and not competing at it. I’ve also found that some of my best friends are very competitive people that enjoy actually competing (not just being competitive at arbitrary things like how many wings you can eat). Usually these people are driven in other ways as well and I think that’s what brings us together - people that are striving for something more than what they are.

I also think that competing against oneself and competing against others has two different motivating aspects - which I can’t really explain. But I find that when I’m simply competing against myself - such as in the gym with training PR’s I’m motivated and I desire to improve but I don’t get anywhere close to the adrenalin going or the rush and enjoyment that I do when I’m competing against others. [/quote]

i feel the same way and think the same way. i feel if people were to compete in something they would be more likely to remain active and train for whatever they do. people exercise all the time but they have no end goal thus they don’t put forth the effort because there is no reward. if you were told that homework is optional, would you try or even do it? probably not. competing is what actually made me want to get better and stronger.

so far so good. thanks for responding. also i would like to invite others to post.

LM is pretty much the reason I ever started competeing. Before my first meet last year I was just too nervous to make that jump to the platform. There is not a PL gym within an hour from my house (and I didn’t find that out until searching hard) and nobody in my area even knows about it so it’s really something I’ve had to go out and do on my own. I put myself on this forum probably in hopes that someone would eventually push me to do a meet and that’s what ended up happening.

Now that I’ve done a meet and met some cool people I feel more comfortable with the atmosphere of individual competition. When most people grow up playing sports it’s usually in a team setting. When I played football it was always follow the team, listen to the coaches, and perform. In a recreational setting for an individual sport (PLing, WLing, jogging…) as an adult it’s all left up to the trainee to: find meets, pay whatever fees there are, travel, COMMIT… This is a pain in the ass for most people. When I tell people the cost of my meets they look at me like I’m crazy. I think if someone practices something and loves it, all they need is a little push and some guidance. For me in all honesty is was this forum. I put myself out there and a few very kind people pushed me in the right direction. I think I did it subconsciously, but now I can see what I was doing.

i dont compete because my total is that of a 12 year old chinese girl, not that it matters a great deal to erryone else, but id like to compete with something that is at least reasonable. When ive checked my personal checklist of goals then im going to compete.

interested to see final write up. make sure you post.

[quote]2-SCOOPS wrote:
i feel the same way and think the same way. i feel if people were to compete in something they would be more likely to remain active and train for whatever they do. people exercise all the time but they have no end goal thus they don’t put forth the effort because there is no reward. if you were told that homework is optional, would you try or even do it? probably not. competing is what actually made me want to get better and stronger.[/quote]

If homework were optional it would come down to need. Would I need to do it to pass the class? If so, then yes I’d do it, if not then no I wouldn’t. This was my general approach in college where homework was generally always optional.

One of the issues with the gym and training/competition is that many people can’t quantify what they’re doing. It’s a very arbitrary goal such as “I want to look better”. This isn’t something that is necessarily inherent to the gym, it’s simply an underlying issue that many people have a problem with - they are unable to set definitive goals for themselves in anything they do. I’d argue that if they were more capable of setting a definitive goal such as:

I will save $1000 instead of I’ll save more.
I will only have alcohol once a week instead of I’ll drink less.
I will study 2 hours a night one of which will consist of doing homework and reviewing the current material and one of which will consist of reading the next chapter instead of I’ll study more.

The issue isn’t competition, but an inability to make definitive goals.

In terms of the gym and training it’s intertwined with competition in a unique situation that results in bodybuilding and may be the only “sport” that does so. In bodybuilding the goal cannot really be definitive because the judging is so subjective. You can’t say “I’m going to go win the Arnold” because ultimately you’re place is left up to another to determine whereas in powerlifting you can say “I’m going to total 1500”. It’s defined and much less arbitrary. That’s one reason why I believe powerlifting appeals to the average gym-goer more so than bodybuilding. It’s something most people can identify with easier and thus can actually define the goal.

In conclusion, it’s not just competition that makes one better it’s a combination of:

Identifying with and defining goals - the new to fitness person can’t identify with squatting a grand but they may be able to identify with squatting 225.
Defining path to goals
Meeting goals in competition

[quote]jacob-1310 wrote:
i dont compete because my total is that of a 12 year old chinese girl, not that it matters a great deal to erryone else, but id like to compete with something that is at least reasonable. When ive checked my personal checklist of goals then im going to compete.

interested to see final write up. make sure you post. [/quote]

I’d encourage you to compete anyways. You’ll find the experience rewarding and motivating to yourself. I know after I did my first meet my passion for training shot up and this past year has probably been the most dedicated and well thought out year of training because of it. You’ll find that the powerlifting community is extremely supportive and it doesn’t matter if you’re squatting 225 or a grand the competitors get behind you and support you and it really drives you to push yourself even harder in the training. I wish I hadn’t waited so long (I had a similar mindset to you) - I wouldn’t be surprised if my total would be 100+ more lbs if I had simply competed earlier.

[quote]2-SCOOPS wrote:

[quote]grettiron wrote:
I don’t care to compete but I did do an unsanctioned gym meet last year, and there will be another one this year. The only reason is because people I respected asked me to compete each time. Hope that helps![/quote]

but why do you not care to compete? i need some type of reason so i can try to persuade people from the point of view of “they do not want to compete in an athletic even once a year.” [/quote]

Not entirely sure. Zero competitive drive? I just don’t care. I like lifting because it’s fun and an escape from the world. Also, getting stronger is difficult and it’s satisfying to make progress. It has nothing to do with a desire to lift more than others or win.

I’m kind of in the same camp as grettiron… I just have very little desire to compete formally. Now If I were to train with one of you I would do my absolute best to “one up” you in a friendly way of course. I guess I realize that no matter where I am in my strength game I am stronger than a shit load of guys and a shit load of guys are stronger than me. Another reality is that we - strength training people, are actually a very small group of people. You like soft ball, there’s a hundred church league teams around me, runner… I can run with people. Cycling, I can meet up every Saturday at the bike shop for a club ride. Strongman or power lifting… finding someone to train with around here is like Indiana Jones finding that crystal skull in the jungle lol.

I guess in the end it boils down to priorities. I have not made competing a priority in my life.

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:

[quote]2-SCOOPS wrote:
i feel the same way and think the same way. i feel if people were to compete in something they would be more likely to remain active and train for whatever they do. people exercise all the time but they have no end goal thus they don’t put forth the effort because there is no reward. if you were told that homework is optional, would you try or even do it? probably not. competing is what actually made me want to get better and stronger.[/quote]

If homework were optional it would come down to need. Would I need to do it to pass the class? If so, then yes I’d do it, if not then no I wouldn’t. This was my general approach in college where homework was generally always optional.

One of the issues with the gym and training/competition is that many people can’t quantify what they’re doing. It’s a very arbitrary goal such as “I want to look better”. This isn’t something that is necessarily inherent to the gym, it’s simply an underlying issue that many people have a problem with - they are unable to set definitive goals for themselves in anything they do. I’d argue that if they were more capable of setting a definitive goal such as:

I will save $1000 instead of I’ll save more.
I will only have alcohol once a week instead of I’ll drink less.
I will study 2 hours a night one of which will consist of doing homework and reviewing the current material and one of which will consist of reading the next chapter instead of I’ll study more.

The issue isn’t competition, but an inability to make definitive goals.

In terms of the gym and training it’s intertwined with competition in a unique situation that results in bodybuilding and may be the only “sport” that does so. In bodybuilding the goal cannot really be definitive because the judging is so subjective. You can’t say “I’m going to go win the Arnold” because ultimately you’re place is left up to another to determine whereas in powerlifting you can say “I’m going to total 1500”. It’s defined and much less arbitrary. That’s one reason why I believe powerlifting appeals to the average gym-goer more so than bodybuilding. It’s something most people can identify with easier and thus can actually define the goal.

In conclusion, it’s not just competition that makes one better it’s a combination of:

Identifying with and defining goals - the new to fitness person can’t identify with squatting a grand but they may be able to identify with squatting 225.
Defining path to goals
Meeting goals in competition[/quote]

i agree with a lot of this. however i’m doing a persuasive speech that doesn’t have to be all that in depth. i really agree it’s a combination of those things, but i think preparing for some kind of competition would help set your goals and would make defining a path to those goals easier. so if you were to compete in a 1600 meter run, you could say you wanted to run a 6 min mile. that goal is easy to identify with so you can define a path to get there. however if you said your end goal is a 4 min mile, and you weren’t going to compete until you reached a 4 min mile. it’s not so easy to identify with and you really have no idea of a path to get there. basically your thousand pound squat example. i think we are on the same mindset, a lil more in depth than what i need for my speech but i like the discussion.

to jacob. follow LM’s advice, just compete anyway. people that say they are going to compete when they hit a certain number, normally don’t compete. people tend to become better after they compete. you will not be the weakest person ever on the platform and people don’t care what you are lifting, they just see you have the balls to get on the platform and they immediately have respect for you. you will meet great people, you will probably receive some good advice and hopefully it will be a great experience that will help you in the long run.

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
I’m kind of in the same camp as grettiron… I just have very little desire to compete formally. Now If I were to train with one of you I would do my absolute best to “one up” you in a friendly way of course. I guess I realize that no matter where I am in my strength game I am stronger than a shit load of guys and a shit load of guys are stronger than me. Another reality is that we - strength training people, are actually a very small group of people. You like soft ball, there’s a hundred church league teams around me, runner… I can run with people. Cycling, I can meet up every Saturday at the bike shop for a club ride. Strongman or power lifting… finding someone to train with around here is like Indiana Jones finding that crystal skull in the jungle lol.

I guess in the end it boils down to priorities. I have not made competing a priority in my life. [/quote]

i like this lol. so would it be fair to say that you would enjoy the company of other people with similar interests? this is a good reason to go to a competition(of any kind), you get to meet and talk to people that have a similar interest, all gathered in one spot. i personally have always enjoyed talking to and meeting other people at meets, whether they have been golf meets, track meets or powerlifting meets. does this seem like a valid counterpoint?

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
I’m kind of in the same camp as grettiron… I just have very little desire to compete formally. Now If I were to train with one of you I would do my absolute best to “one up” you in a friendly way of course. I guess I realize that no matter where I am in my strength game I am stronger than a shit load of guys and a shit load of guys are stronger than me. Another reality is that we - strength training people, are actually a very small group of people. You like soft ball, there’s a hundred church league teams around me, runner… I can run with people. Cycling, I can meet up every Saturday at the bike shop for a club ride. Strongman or power lifting… finding someone to train with around here is like Indiana Jones finding that crystal skull in the jungle lol.

I guess in the end it boils down to priorities. I have not made competing a priority in my life. [/quote]

Haha, yes friendly competition is fun… like getting one more rep that your training partner. But it’s because I like to see him squirm, not because I’m trying to feel stronger. Good points all around, especially about there always being people much stronger.

  1. I’m a competitive person
  2. I generally feel much better overall when I’m pursuing some sort of hobby(takes my mind off school)
  3. I love the adrenaline rush “when it all comes down to this moment.” Sort of the defining moment of the competition, where you either succeed or fail, where it’s all up to you, e.g. 3rd attempts, 10 foot putt for the win, etc. I can’t really describe it better than that.
  4. When you succeed and all the work and preparation you’ve put into this has been realized and you just let the moment wash over you. I think, in this moment, you get to see the most honest and real version of that person. This is one of the reason I love powerlifting, you get to be a little more loud and emotional than golf lol.
  5. In my last training cycle, I probably made more progress in the 2 months between signing up for the meet and doing the meet than in the 5 months prior.

Probably many more reasons than these, but probably 3 and 4 the most. All the emotion of preparing for a meet then competing and letting it all out on the bar.

No one has mentioned ego yet?

It may be difficult to admit, even to ourselves, but it’s nice to show off the results of all this hard work. Or the term I think describes it better, its nice to validate results. Any horses ass can tell you he can lift X pounds. Can you do it in a meet with judges?

And on the flip side, for newer lifters it may not sound easy on the ego to go into a meet and lift the same as a “12 year old chinese girl”. Or in less extreme circumstances, most people are never really content with their numbers, and don’t want to compete until they are. I think you can guess where that cycle can end up.

As for me personally, I compete because it’s a method of accountability. I am very capable of consistent hard work, but I might not do it without that meet date staring me in the face.

And I agree with what everyone else said heh.

[quote]2-SCOOPS wrote:

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
I’m kind of in the same camp as grettiron… I just have very little desire to compete formally. Now If I were to train with one of you I would do my absolute best to “one up” you in a friendly way of course. I guess I realize that no matter where I am in my strength game I am stronger than a shit load of guys and a shit load of guys are stronger than me. Another reality is that we - strength training people, are actually a very small group of people. You like soft ball, there’s a hundred church league teams around me, runner… I can run with people. Cycling, I can meet up every Saturday at the bike shop for a club ride. Strongman or power lifting… finding someone to train with around here is like Indiana Jones finding that crystal skull in the jungle lol.

I guess in the end it boils down to priorities. I have not made competing a priority in my life. [/quote]

i like this lol. so would it be fair to say that you would enjoy the company of other people with similar interests? this is a good reason to go to a competition(of any kind), you get to meet and talk to people that have a similar interest, all gathered in one spot. i personally have always enjoyed talking to and meeting other people at meets, whether they have been golf meets, track meets or powerlifting meets. does this seem like a valid counterpoint?[/quote]

Absolutely. I enjoy getting with people and doing stuff. I would be more apt to go with a friend to compete my first time as I would for any activity. I’ve been to several events “cold” and all of them resulted in me not meeting lasting friendships of any sort. Not because people were rude or disinterested just folks don’t take in new friends usually at this stage in life. (I’m 39)and another thing that proves very difficult for me is my job. I work 12 hour shifts that flip flop back and forth between days and nights, I got 3 kids with activities and a horney ass wife… haha just kidding… I’m lucky to train myself much less meet with others. Another factor in my “loner-ness” is that I live in a very rural area. Exercise around here is liftinf the most food in your fat ass mouth at the all you can eat buffet and waddling back to your SuperDuty F- 350. lol. Recently I have come the closest to getting a training partner. A guy I work with has gotten into crossfit. well his squat and deadlift are horrendous so he comes to me for advice. I have been working with him and he has improved. now he’s trying to get me into crossfit saying I’d be a beast lol ya right…

But like I said, I haven’t made competing a priority or I would somehow fit it into my “hectic” schedule. I say “hectic” because I’m positive that someone reading this is busier than my sorry ass and they compete… I’ll close by saying this. What drew me into “power lifting” was that I generally am a loner. This activity lets me compete against me every week which is what this is all about anyways. I would absolutely agree that meeting other people would help me beat me but for me it’s just too much hassle.

Good luck on your speech.