Practice- Performing movements and exercises at a low heart rate with the intention to move perfect.
Training- Performing movements and exercises at an elevated heart rate with the intention to move well while building endurance and strength.
Competition- Performing movements and exercises with at high to max heart rate with the intention to finish the most rounds or with the fastest time.
Which of these do you do most often when working out? Which of these should you do most often? The answer might seem obvious, but when you think about it, are you Competing more than you realize?
For most people (those not competing in a sport), we do not need to Compete at all. It definitely can be fun to do on occasion, but Competing too much can be detrimental to our progress and health. Moving with proper technique is better for our bodies and allows us to become faster, more flexible, and stronger. It may not be bad to have your knees cave in slightly on those front squats for one day, but when that happens each day it can result in injury. That might present as soreness, a mild strain, or a major injury, but all can happen when technique is compromised to get a better score.
To put things in perspective, in Ben Bergeron’s podcast Chasing Excellence, he explains that Katrin Davidsdottir (2x CrossFit Games Champion) only Competes during Regionals and the Games; which is 7 days out of the year. Every other day throughout the year is spent either training or practicing. Now, for us normal folks we can handle a bit more competition as we aren’t striving to be the best CrossFitter. It is healthy to Compete once a week. Pick a day where you want to go all out and try to beat a certain somebody. The rest of the week should be spent Practicing or Training as those serve you the best in overall health and wellness for the long haul.
Practice and Training will give you the best results. You will be able to work out more, you won’t be as sore, you will see continue to see improvement both cardiovascularly and in your strength, and it can help your mind relax. Don’t get caught up in competing constantly. Practice movements, Train them to be perfect, then use them to Compete.