While doing some intervals the other day, I was pondering various Facebook group posts I’d seen where they start by saying “It’s not much by your standards…” or similar. I only compare my intervals (speed, how I feel, how hard it feels, etc.) to my previous interval training sessions. Likewise I compare my lifts to my previous lifts, and my bodyweight. With all the bragging on social media, I think the concept of compare yourself only to you seems to have been lost.
Who cares if you can “only” deadlift 20kg (an empty Olympic bar)? If it’s better or similar to what you have achieved previously, or you are recovering from an injury, then that is good. If you weight 20kg (I know, silly example) its 1x bodyweight. A lot of people can’t do that! It’s important to maintain perspective.
I’m currently repeating a three-week DUP cycle in my strength training. Mostly because I can’t afford to push my strength gains at the expense of my kettlebell work right now. But also because it didn’t at all feel easy the first time around. And what is awesome is that the same lifts (on the whole) are feeling more composed and much more attainable this time around. I’ve also increased accessory work (weights mostly) since I felt I could. So overall my volume has increased, and my form has improved. This is progress!
I have friends who can lift heavier than I can, run faster than I can, but so long as I lift and run better each time I try then I am happy. I’ll happily celebrate with my friends when they do a new PB, regardless of what I can do. Don’t be the bitter overly competitive one. Compete only against your previous self, and enjoy having supportive friends who equally celebrate your progress and lift you up when you are struggling. Of course when it comes to proper competition, it goes without saying, give it everything. Everyone for themselves 😉
Celebrate your own progress. You’ve worked hard for it!