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Training for Health or Competition

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What are you training for? 

Health? Or Competition? 

Competitor: Someone who is participating in an athletic contest, additionally – there is a difference between someone who competes with the intent of winning or doing better than all others – and someone who has the intention of simply participating. With every level of competition it requires a certain amount of responsibility.

Health: The condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially: freedom from physical disease or pain

So you want to be Healthy.

When it comes to health and training practices, in the fitness market right now there are a lot of coaches prescribing workouts with no intent behind it. They really aren’t sure on a deeper level why they are giving clients a certain prescription.

When it comes to high intensity work. The market believes they can get it, or deserve to do it simply because it exists.

A few traits of work that is too intense for the individual

Kipping with no prerequisite strength to control upper body deceleration.

Using adrenaline to get the work done in a workout

Max lifts with shitty mechanics

Mechanical fatigue in aerobic environments

Huge applause and falling down after daily workouts is what this looks like.

If you take someone and assign this work to them, after a few months by comparison to the long game approach they may have a higher capacity, be a little leaner, and higher fitness numbers than the long game person. So it would seem that the high intensity model makes sense. 

But very often they’ve created difficult compensatory behaviors and mechanics that will be hard to undo, and will peak their ability very early on, leaving them to spin their wheels having to take 10 steps back in fitness if they want to make progress. 

The market prefers fast gains over a short term

rather than 

Consistent progress over the course of years and years

The latter doesn’t sound as sexy. 

Most coaches today are being told by the market that they NEED to be giving high intense stuff out or the market will move down the road to someone else to get it

When in reality when it comes to health, the most important things are proper resistance training protocols, sustainable aerobic work, behavioral interventions, and nutritional changes. 

But when you bring that to the market they are like…”Nah, don’t wanna do it”

So what is a coach to do? Give people what they want (unsustainable intense activity) and fast track them? 

What we prefer to do is educate you. What intention should look like for the long game. 

The goal should be autonomy 

Where they client can fend for themselves when it comes to consistency in keeping solid basic lifestyle habits, and making exercise a daily and important part of life.

What does that look like?

Focus on basic lifestyle guidelines

Your behaviors

Physical challenges that are just out of your reach – not 10 steps ahead

Resistance training and sustainable activities

NOT Painful unsustainable work

Now there are people who could use doses of unsustainable work. A Sports Competitor, Police, Swat, Firefighter, Military, etc.

But don’t put the cart before the horse.

Don’t think that if you are any of the above that you should be doing unsustainable, painful work if your stress cup is already full.

Meaning they don’t have those boxes checked. They may have

Bad lifestyle practices

Poor nutrition Choices

Unfavorable body composition / health markers

Adding stressful training on top of that, adds more stress onto an already stressed system.

Okay, so you are competing

Are you participating or competing? 

It’s the difference between 

casually kicking a soccer ball around on the weekend with your kids, then signing up to play in a high school soccer game. 


Positioning your lifestyle habits, training, and goals to meet that of the level you intend on competing at. Then preparing appropriately and competing.

Its understanding

The sport are you competing in 

The demands of the sport

What is required from you on all fronts, both in and out of the gym

Where YOU sit in comparison to what is required of the sport when it comes to your genetics, resilience, movement quality, sport specific KPI’s, fitness IQ, intent, etc

What it takes to bridge the gap between where you are, and where you want to be

Depending on the sport, you may have to first have the prerequisites of everything we mentioned in health – passing through health and into performance. You don’t skip good behaviors to get to elite performance, and if you do – you may not be there long.  

From there, high levels of performance in the sport may be closer to sickness than health due to what is required of the athlete to always be pushing toward their maximum potential. 

So what are you training for?

Health, or Competition?