Let’s face it, the weight room is fueled by testosterone and guys who want to be the best at what they do. Some men who lift can ignore what others are doing but others can be very observant of people’s progress; this sometimes leads to jealousy and a hindrance to your workout- but only if your ego allows it.
You will hear many experts say ‘’leave your ego at the door’’ and there is much sense behind this philosophy. So let’s have a look at the pros and cons of competition in the weight room.
• You can use other people’s progress as self-motivation to improve, seeing somebody do what you aspire to do makes it seem more achievable. It is good to have a role model; whoever we are.
• If you have a training partner, the camaraderie and healthy sportsmanship can help you support each other in achieving your goals.
• It can teach you a solid lesson that you should never over estimate yourself; nor should you underestimate other people.
• You can waste a lot of time trying to impress people who don’t care much for what you look like. They are in the weights room for the same reasons as you, not to spectate on your progress.
• It can impede your performance. The mind and muscle connection is so important and requires 100% concentration. How are you ever going to break your 1 rep max if you are too busy checking to see how heavy the guy next to you is lifting?
• Showing off- this ties in with the previous point. A lot of guys want to up the weight and show that they are the strongest guy in the room. Sloppy reps, swinging your body and dealing with weights you cannot handle is NOT going to get you anywhere.
Remember that the only person you need to out-lift is yourself, trying to impress others should not be your primary motivation or what holds you back. If you focus solely on your own progress, you can continue to improve for many years to come. If you are going to pay attention to what others are lifting, then concentrate on the pros of what has been discussed in this article. The gym is a place we go to work our muscles not our ego.