For competitive functional fitness athletes, competition is a skill. It takes practice. An athlete competing in the sport of fitness needs more than just training. They need to play their sport. Here are seven reasons why.

ROMcast provides bite-sized chunks of health, happiness, fitness and performance. Presented by Exercise Physiologist and Scientist, Coach and Director of Range of Motion, Dan Williams.
Enjoy ROMcast? We’d love if you could rate or review our show on iTunes or Stitcher, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss future episodes!
SHOW NOTES:
Episode Transcript:

For competitive functional fitness athletes, competition is a skill. It takes practice. Just like someone playing team sports needs more than training for ‘match fitness’, an athlete competing in the sport of fitness needs more than training. They need to play their sport.

Competing is a skill and an art. And these are the top reasons to compete more:

  1. Competition will teach you things you may not otherwise learn. There are lessons in a competition setting that just cant be learned in the comfort and familiarity of your usual training ground.
  2. Competition will expose your weaknesses. There’s no room for cherry picking and avoidance on the competition floor. It can be a great tool to bring a weakness to your attention, as long as after the competition you Respond, Don’t React, to Competition Failure.
  3. Competition pits you against your competitors. It can be a great test of you progress, the result of which will be the confirmation that you’re on the right track, or an indication you need to make some changes.
  4. Competition is a craft, a skill. It will allow you to hone your tapering plan, your pre- day plan (read What to do in the Days Before a Competition), your game-day nutrition, your pre- and post- event routines, your mental approach.
  5. Competition is stressful, and to get better at dealing with stress, you need to practice… dealing with stress! Undergoing these challenges builds willpower, resilience, grit and positive self talkwhich will serve you well when things go wrong in the future.
  6. Competition forces you to self-modulate your arousal levels, to fire yourself up when you need firing up, and to calm yourself down when you need calming down. The perceived enormity of the event can play havoc with an otherwise focused athlete, and putting yourself in a stressful environment can make you better at controlling your emotions. Read Bite Size Mental Skills Drills for Improving Performance.
  7. Competition is an opportunity to play the sport you train! It allows you to show everyone (and most importantly yourself) how hard you’ve been working. And playing sport is fun – if you let it be!

So don’t shy away from competition. It’s an opportunity to grow as an athlete – and the benefits are much more than the sum of its parts.

Recommended Reading:

Correct pacing strategies become even more important. Not just because of our knowledge of the energy systems and their role in energy production (and eventually, physical output), but also because our effort impacts our psychology, and our psychology impacts our output. And ultimately, we can increase our performance.

ROMcast provides bite-sized chunks of health, happiness, fitness and performance. Presented by Exercise Physiologist and Scientist, Coach and Director of Range of Motion, Dan Williams.

Enjoy ROMcast? We’d love if you could rate or review our show on iTunes or Stitcher, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss future episodes!

SHOW NOTES:

Episode Transcript: 

Pacing workouts in functional fitness is now widely being accepted as an integral part of performance optimisation. In our article “CrossFits Number One Biggest Pacing Mistake“, we talk discuss that:

“CrossFitters face one major problem in trying to develop correct strategy and pacing strategies. They make the mistake of trying to use an energy system that’s too intense for the workout they’re doing. As a result, they reach a threshold and the byproducts of the energy system inhibit their ability to stay in that system, they ‘hit the wall’ and intensity (and therefore output) drops.”

We’re talking about pacing here purely in the context of the physical, but there’s a strong mental element that stems from correct pacing strategies, and by entering the psychological state it can give you, you’ll go full circle and further optimise physical performance.

The psychological benefit of pacing stems from the absence of pain and discomfort. Sure, discomfort is an inescapable part of maximising performance, but incorrect pacing increases discomfort, which prevents us from entering our optimum performance state. It keeps us out of flow.

Flow is an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform at our best. It is the optimal level of arousal to maximise performance of a skill. In his book ‘Happier’, author Tal Ben-Shahar explores the links between pain and flow, and proposes a method for shifting out of the ‘no pain, no gain’ mindset, into the ‘present gain, future gain’ mindset:

“…studies of flow show that the ‘no pain no gain’ model is based on the myth that only through extreme and sustained exertion can we attain our optimal level of performance. Rather, there is a specific zone, the line between overexertion and underexertion, where we not only perform at our best but also enjoy what we’re doing. We reach this zone when our activities provide the appropriate level of challenge, when the task at hand is neither too difficult or too easy.”

So correct pacing strategies become even more important. Not just because of our knowledge of the energy systems and their role in energy production (and eventually, physical output), but also because our effort impacts our psychology, and our psychology impacts our output. And ultimately, we can increase our performance.

Recommended Reading:

How can we improve our diet by 80% while only putting in 20% of the effort?

ROMcast provides bite-sized chunks of health, happiness, fitness and performance. Presented by Exercise Physiologist and Scientist, Coach and Director of Range of Motion, Dan Williams.

Enjoy ROMcast? We’d love if you could rate or review our show on iTunes or Stitcher, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss future episodes!

 

SHOW NOTES:

Episode Transcript:

The 80/20 rule (or the Pareto Principle) can be seen everywhere.

20% of your customers take up 80% of your time.

80% of a business’ income comes from 20% of a business’ products.

80% of a country’s wealth is in the hands of 20% of the people.

20% of your enjoyment comes from 80% of your possessions.

Your wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.

The numbers might not be exact, but the premise is sound. 20% of one thing can cause 80% of the outcome.

Nutrition is no different. What’s the 20% of food you eat 80% of the time?

Often, a complete nutritional overhaul can be daunting. Daunting to the extent that it’s a barrier to beginning the journey of diet improvement. People perceive the ‘perfect’ diet as so far detached from their current eating patterns that it’s unattainable, and they give up.

The problem is, they go after the 100%. They go after perfection, perceiving anything less as a failure.

The solution? Turn the 80/20 principle loose on nutrition.

If you look at what you’re eating, you’ll notice there are two problems. Either there’s something missing (more healthy, nutrient dense foods), or there’s too much of something (less healthy, often processed, nutrient sparse foods). Look a bit deeper, and you’ll notice some patterns. You’ll notice things are being repeated. Maybe you don’t eat any protein with breakfast. Maybe lunch always contains highly processed foods. Maybe you don’t eat vegges with dinner. These three examples may only comprise a small portion of your total nutrition, but the impact they have is huge. They might be the 20% of your diet that causes 80% of the problems.

So what can you do about this? Well, for a start, identify the things you consistently and repeatedly do. Identify the patterns in your behaviour. These are habits. These are the examples of where making a small change will have a major effect. Too often, people chase the one percenters – the tiny things that have a tiny effect. Willpower is finite, so don’t waste it on low value changes. Instead, look for the lowest hanging fruit that has the greatest effect. Look for the 20% of things you can change that will impact 80% of your health. They’re not hard to find – you’ll notice them popping up again and again and again.

Recommended Reading: