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  • The Cure for Laziness


    By Travis Steffen on Monday, September 13, 2010in Help & Motivation, Other  

    Competition.

    It drives many of us in one way or another – even if you don’t realize it – and it can literally KILL laziness. It can ignite a motivational fire so bright that you wonder how something that powerful can live in you without you knowing it.

    Travis, I know what competition is, but I’m not into sports really. How does competition drive ME?

    Good question.

    If you’ve ever played a sport, you’re obviously familiar with this one form of competition. However, many mistakenly believe that this is the only form of competition that exists. This is a mistake.

    Have you ever applied for a job, even though you knew there were a ton of other applicants looking for the same job?

    Competition.

    Have you ever made a friendly wager with a friend – physical or otherwise?

    Competition.

    Have you ever seen somebody succeed and wished you could achieve that same thing, if not more? Have you ever wanted to win at something?

    Competition!

    And the big one…

    Have you ever felt jealousy?

    COMPETITION!

    All of us have competed in our lives. Most of us compete in some way every single day. One thing remains very evident throughout our lives – whether you like it or not. We are simply more emotionally and physically invested in something when some form of competition is present. In other words – we just care more when there is a possibility of winning or losing.

    Okay, I get it. But what does this have to do with getting in shape?

    If you read my last entry, you’ll find that I talk a lot about finding something that motivates you, because “I want to look good naked” just isn’t a good enough reason to get your tired ass out of bed in the morning to go for a jog.

    My advice? Find something to train for. Find a reason OTHER than personal appearance and health to get in shape. Make this new reason contain some sort of competitive element. It could be a sports-oriented goal like:

    • Running a 5k (or further if you’re in good shape already)
    • Competing in a triathlon
    • Joining a basketball league
    • Taking up a sport and scheduling some sort of competition
    • Training to hike or climb a mountain

    If you’re not interested in sports, be creative. You can:

    • Make a friendly weight loss bet with a friend
    • Race with your workout group to make the most progress each month
    • Compete in a progress competition (like the one we have here at WB) that awards prizes for those who make the most progress over a certain amount of time

    In any case, make sure you choose something that you actually care about, and that the stakes are such that they actually matter to you. To be blunt, make sure you give a shit. If you don’t, it won’t do you any good.

    Some of my clients are fairly well-off professional poker players. All of them were roommates who wanted to get in shape, but had struggled with motivation in the past. This was the perfect place to inject a little competitive fire.

    As they were all overweight, I decided to pit them in a competition against each other. Here were a few of the rules I set for them:

    • Each competitor put up $1000 (which was a realistic, but still meaningful sum of money for them)
    • The contest lasted for a two month period
    • All competitors had to lose a minimum of 15 lbs.
    • If after two months they did not reach this weight loss goal (following a program designed by me), they had to forfeit their entry fee to the competitor(s) that reached theirs.
    • If a competitor missed two workouts in a one-month period, they would forfeit their entire entry fee.
    • Each competitor had to complete each workout as written. Skipping sets would result in forfeiture of entry fees.
    • Competitors must not cheat in any way (cutting water prior to the weigh-in, fasting, etc.) and must follow the dietary and exercise guidelines I set for them.
    • If all competitors reached the 15 lb minimum, they kept every dime of their money.
    • The competitor who made the most progress in a two month time period won a custom-made championship belt (much like you’d see on a champion fighter or professional wrestler) in addition to any money forfeited by a competitor who didn’t achieve the 15 lb goal.

    What happened?

    The very same guys who couldn’t seem to get off the couch, and sat on their computers eating chips all day virtually transformed before my very eyes.

    Nobody missed a single workout. They all pushed each other and kept each other on track, and each of them completed every workout without skipping a single set. Even after they reached their goals (and all of them did after about 5 weeks), they worked even harder! They wanted that belt – but more importantly – they wanted to win.

    After the competition, they decided to have another competition over the next 2 months – putting that championship belt up again. I believe they’re still competing in a similar way to this day, even though they’re no longer roommates.

    This is just one isolated example of how you can use competition to get the most out of yourself. Nothing works quite like it.

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
    Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!

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