Know Your Fitnemesis
Written by: DCCF-Member Phil Newton
There’s a lot to be said about the power of competition as a motivating factor in your fitness. Just about anyone you ask who’s been in a comp will tell you about hitting that PR on game day because of that surge of adrenaline from being there in front of a screaming crowd. What if I told you that you could harness that energy in your day to day training?
One of the major components of improving your fitness is to push yourself past your comfort zone. If you aren’t uncomfortable, you aren’t growing. Well I’m not here to feed you platitudes and cool catchphrases to put over a stock photo of a sunrise, I want to give you a trick that will help elevate you to the next level.
There is a pretty solid consensus that suggests if you treat an objective as a game, you are likely to try harder and give yourself more satisfaction from your smaller incremental successes. Thereby making it easier to achieve greater long-term results. Look at some tips from Navy SEALs on how they handle the rigors of their training. We aren’t pushing ourselves to the brink like they are usually, but there’s a lot of good that can be taken from their mentality.
As with any game, it’s only fun if you have an opponent. My suggestion to you is, find a fitnemesis at the gym. You may be familiar with the concept of a frenemy, a fitnemesis is a similar arrangement but also a wholly different affair. They are a rival for you to compete against in the game of fitness you are creating for yourself. But that doesn’t mean that you dislike each other. Actually quite the opposite!
This new training partner of yours could be at your level of fitness, could be a new member fresh out of Elements, or could be a coach or one of the competitors. They could be a regular in your class, a person you hang out with outside the gym, or a name you see regularly on the whiteboard or in our awesome app that you haven’t even met in person yet. The important thing is that they are/were/will be present and you can use their effort as a gauge to measure your own. Not whether you beat them on the workout, but rather if you achieved your expectations of your performance. You could have several folks who are your fitnemesis. All of them at varied levels of fitness to get a broad data set to compare your fitness level.
The best part about this, is the other people DON’T EVEN HAVE TO KNOW.
Since Carl Duvall came to Derby City he’s been my Fitnemesis. He’s stronger than me in almost everything, and to beat him on a metcon, I need to sometimes go to that dark place that I rarely see outside of the Open. But I’ve used just about everyone for this purpose at one point or another. Coach Evan and I will discuss how he performed on a workout and I’ll try to beat his score; though I usually won’t, sometimes I’ll have a good day and rack up a “W”. I will often even compare myself to Lexi. I know she’s gonna kill me in every workout, but my goal isn’t to beat her; it’s to never get doubled. If she finished a workout in 6 minutes, I better not take more than 12. If I finished in 11:59, I won. If she got 20 rounds, I’m after at least 10. If I get 12 rounds to her 20, then that nerd got schooled by a VERY mediocre CrossFitter.
You should lose these challenges you make for yourself sometimes, that’s what encourages you to continue to improve. When you do lose, it exposes a deficit in your fitness that you can work on. And since you have a fitnemesis who just did better on the workout with those movements, you already have someone you can talk to and ask how to improve!