To get the most out of our training (best results, most enjoyment, not burn out) it’s best if we spend the right amount of time practicing, training, and competition.
Practice is work we do with a low heart rate and low load, and is used to develop skill, timing, coordination. The mobility work we do every day in class, and the Coach Led Reps with a PVC Pipe is all practice. Learning to get your first handstand or pistol largely comes down to practice too.
Training involves a moderate to high heart rate and load. We build strength, speed, and stamina/endurance here. We get fitter here essentially. We increase our aerobic capacity by running at a steady pace, not a race pace. We get stronger by lifting at about 70-85%, not by testing our max. Most of the workouts we do at CFI are training workouts.
But we also have competition days. These are objective focused, and we’re looking for a “win”. For example, today I’m going to go for 10 pull ups in a row is competing, same as “I’m going up against Sam in the noon class.”
Where we can drift from training to competing is in search of numbers. “I’m going to see if I can string my toes to bar in sets of 5” is training. The outcome is you’ve learnt something. “I’m going to get 10 toes to bar” is competing, because it’s purely outcome focused.
It’s fun to compete, and that includes throwing down with your friends. About 10% of the time is where it’s beneficial to do so. More than that, and we can limit our growth and enjoyment.
When we’re out to beat someone or prove ourselves, there’s an natural ceiling to how far we can go. It can also foster some negativity in you. What happens if you don’t live up? As Seán put it “then you’ll be sad.”
What’s in our best interest in competing with people, instead of against them. This goes back to the latin roots of competing, which mean “to search together.” Competing with means using your team mate to better yourself. “I’m going to keep up with their pace because it’ll push me to be faster.” “If she got her first pull up so can I.” This is what we mean when we aim to push each other to be our very best.
All parts of training have their place, and through a combination of practice, training, and competing WITH we all get the most out of our hours!