Put it in the bank
I was explaining to class the other day about my philosophy about training. I told the class that out of 10 days of work at the gym, 9 of them are dedicated to “training”, while the other session is dedicated to “competition.”
“Training” refers to the purpose of the session, where in this case, it would be to prioritize what you will get out of the work or how it feels, vs any PR’s you get or leader-board status from the workout (trying to come in first in class). When “training”, you are “putting it in the bank” and the work you are putting in will have it’s pay off down the road. Even if the workout calls for intensity, or for you to find a heavy single, your priority will be to hit the single with good technique and, if during the session, something takes a turn and you feel you should work some finer points of the lift or movement, you adjust the session accordingly. “Training” is to delay gratification and be more focused on the process than the end result. Good process will bear good results.
The other session is “competition” and whether it be a lifting session, a workout of the day, or just a hard ass 5k you do out your back door, the purpose is to see where you are at. You want to see where you’re at individually, and also against other people. I think it’s in our nature (establishing dominance or something) as humans to want to see where we rank among our peers…Competition is in all of us!
The reason I think “competition” should be done about 10% of the time is because you can’t take the money out the bank (trying to set records everyday) everyday and expect it to be there for long. You’ll either burn yourself out, stomp your confidence, or end up hurting yourself.
Train 9 days. Compete 1 day. Not an exact science. But, let that stir around in your head and see if it helps you.