It is completely natural to focus our attention on performance and compare it to others. How much can we lift, how fast can we do something, or how long can we perform? These are all very common questions that people ask themselves on a daily basis in the world of sport and fitness. However, too much emphasis upon output and productivity can be detrimental, and you just might be missing the bigger picture. As leading personal trainers in Ascot and Sunningdale NK Fitness explain how to avoid the performance trap.
The problem with an output only focus
Don’t misundertand the message here. Having specific and measurable goals is so important to achieving success. Because performance is measurable it is clearly an obvious ‘go to’ when setting out your goals and it can be incredibly powerful too. In fact, failing to set specific goals is a major cause of people not realising them! So what are we actually saying here? As leading personal trainers is Ascot and Sunningdale we are saying that there needs to be a balance.
Let’s illustrate our point with an example. Step counters can be incredibly powerful for incresing peoples daily activity levels. 10,000 steps seems to be the magic target number. However, research has proven that most people ditch their device within 6 months? Why? Failing to achieve the target 10,000 steps becomes demotivating, and feeds negative emotions. Over time, the narrative becomes ‘it’s too much, and I can’t achieve it’.
Whilst it may sound ridiculous, this is common across all forms of exercise. People reach a point where their output focus which drove them on in the early days, now becomes a negative. Now, we all know that doing something is better than nothing. Performing 6000 steps in a day is better than none at all, so there is no logic to only having output as the performance goal.
Working Out vs Working In
Exercise and working out is important but we are not machines. We need to give back to the body as well as squeezing new levels of performance from it. As leading personal trainers in Ascot and Sunningdale we like to use the concept of ‘Working In’ when describing processes that can help rejuvinate the body.
Obvious ones include those associated with recovery, such as sleep, mobility, and nutrition. However, taking time to enjoy the experience of exercise and performance cannot be underestimated either. The social interactions and the way that exercise makes you feel are just as important as the activity itself. In our experience, these are the variables that will keep you coming back for more.
Take time to give back to yourself when you next exercise. Focus on you and forget the social media comparisons. It is what it is – tune in and enjoy it.