Why You Should Compete Even If You Don’t “Care”

I find that many individuals tend to think that competing in strength sports is solely reserved for the “best of the best”. That there’s no point in trying if you aren’t going to win, you should just leave it to the professionals so on and so fourth.

I don’t think this could be further from the case.

I believe that competing in strength sports can arguably be more beneficial for so proclaimed “casual” lifters, than the serious gym rats out there and here’s why.

1. Training Focus

When you choose to sign up for any of the many different varieties of strength sports out there you are giving your training a very direct focus.

You have to prep for a particular style of competition, with particular parameters, rules, weights, movements, you name it. All of this directly effects how you have to train.

And yes…you could pick your own training goal to focus on without ever signing up for a competition. But it will never match the distinct feel of signing up for a goal that is slightly out of your control. When you sign up for a competition you’re locked in, no changing anything. Whereas with your own training goal you can just keep moving the goal posts back for as long as you like.

This kind of direct training goal, and as a result training focus can be particularly helpful for those that have a hard time committing to a training cycle over the long term.

2. Training Deadlines

Another thing competitions will do for your training is set an exact deadline.

This might not seem like a good thing at first, in fact it probably just seems downright stressful. However, I tend to find that having to be ready by an exact date brings out the best in most lifters.

You know every training session counts. Missing training sessions carries more weight as the competition draws closer and closer, and you have to layout a game plan to determine exactly how you’re going to be prepped come deadline.

A lot of lifters haven’t felt this kind of pressure before, and you may be surprised to find out just how much you can accomplish in a given period of time when the clock is ticking.

3. Competition Performance

Finally, you just can’t match true competition atmosphere.

Having to perform in front of peers is a unique experience which tends to bring out the very best in athletes. While it can be absolutely nerve wracking the unique combination of adrenaline and nervousness tends to produce performance increases that you just aren’t going to find in the gym.

Not only are you likely to surprise yourself with your true performance capabilities, having to navigate all of the nervous energy that is taking part in a strength competition is only going to make you more capable of dealing with the daily stressors that you are going to come into contact with in your day to day life.

Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy

I'm a graduate the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Exercise Science. I’m a local guy (North Penn) and athletics has dominated my life. I've led teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, golf and my passion, long distance running. I've been strength training for 6 years with a focus in power-lifting but have recently stretched to strongman since joining the pride here at the Den. When I’m not in the gym I enjoy, spending time with my friends, music, and relaxing and playing some video games.