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Fit Tip: Get Competitive with Cardio

I have a competitive edge. I don't know if it stems from having older siblings, but if I'm doing the same task or activity as someone else, you can bet I'm secretly trying to beat her.

I've noticed that while this is not favorable in many aspects of life (driving, anything involving my husband, etc.) it does have an advantage in fitness. Here's how I work it: I'll step on the treadmill around the same time as the person next to me and I'll tell myself that I'm going to last longer than he does. When the anonymous and unknowing male gym member finally steps off and I'm still going, I feel triumphant and pleased that I worked for five more minutes than I had originally planned. Granted, when attempting to harness your competitive side, you still need to listen to your body and know your limits, but this is a fun little way to motivate yourself to go a little longer than you normally would.

Have you ever done this? If so, share below!


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koreansugar koreansugar 9 years
totally do this all the time!
bella85 bella85 9 years
I do this all the time and I win ALWAYS *g*
Lo-Lo291303 Lo-Lo291303 9 years
Yup, I'm pretty darn competitive. If I'm running outside and have taken a speed-walking breather, I'll start running again if I see a fellow runner. Also, at the gym I'll up my speed a bit if the person next to me is working hard. I also like to put on a facade of ease when I'm practically DYING during my runs. I try to make it look effortless like I'm in the best shape ever, but in reality I'm about to pass!
MsYuppieScum MsYuppieScum 9 years
I do this all the time and beating a man (especially if he is younger) gives me an extra thrill.
eclecticFLgirl eclecticFLgirl 9 years
This is SO me. When I work out with/around others, I can always push myself a little more. I don't even think about how tired I am; and I end up doing a lot better than I would have if I was by myself.
tatsauce tatsauce 9 years
Hell yeah I do this. It's one of the things that gets me motivated. I especially like when I see other women my age just sitting in the weight room waiting for their boyfriends to tell them how to do an exercise and I'm lifting away doing all these sets from Women's Health mag. Dumb girls. I can be a show off with push-ups too because I know not a lot of girls can't do them the "man way".
mahalobeauty mahalobeauty 9 years
I'm so guilty of this. Especially when it's someone the same weight as me or even when it's the big bulky athletic guy. It makes me feel good that I ran or walked longer than they did.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I do this too, admittedly. When I was out running once, I passed a guy that was running (he was keeping a pretty good pace, too). Later on, we ran into each other again on another street and he actually said "Wow, you're really've been running 5 miles at least, right?" It felt really great, especially since he was a good 5 or 6 years younger than me and pretty good-looking, lol.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 9 years
I totally do this! I also use other methods like running through an entire show, or until a commercial break, or the end of song. I say whatever works man.
saritabonita saritabonita 9 years
ajaj i was just telling my little sister of how i can't stop doing this at the gym. i try to go faster, and longer than the guys next to me (i pick guys just for the competition jaja) but one time i noticed the guy next to me was using me as competition too, so, i just stopped trying to "beat him" and kept going at my own pace. but yeah, its motivating to see yourself going longer than other people, and I also agree with lolababy, its nice to have a person that you can admire for their athletic abilities.
lolababy575 lolababy575 9 years
I do this from time to time when I'm on the track at our rec center - it's nice to see several people get on and then off the track while I just keep trucking along, it really motivates me to keep going! But there's always someone that makes me realize I can still do more - one girl at the track just flies through her miles. It's nice to feel good about what I did, but it's great to have a person that you can kind of admire for their athletic abilities.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 9 years
If I am feeling like getting off the treadmill, and the person next to me was on before I got on, I tell myself, "How can you get off the treadmill when he/she is still on and was there before you!" So I stay on until they are done or after.
kara57 kara57 9 years
Guilty! I absolutely do this. The person doesn't even have to be next to me. I was discussing work out plans with a coworker the other day said he was planning on running 5 miles when I was planning on running 2. Well, once running, I decided I couldn't let him show me up, so I ended up running 5 miles too! I think it's great....anything to keep me mentally strong and pushing myself is awesome.
zabrow zabrow 9 years
i do this all the time at the gym. i get excited if i can burn more calories than the girl next to my on the elliptical, too.
limolady limolady 9 years
Great idea!! Thanks for the comment.
alethia037 alethia037 9 years
I am not so competitive with the people around me, because I am usually either the only one in my gym or the only one on the road, but I am competitive with myself. Each time I run, it has to be for either a minute longer or a tenth of a mile farther than the last time.
limolady limolady 9 years
I do this all the time. As a female at the age of 53, it makes me feel good to outlast the 20 & 30 somethings on the elliptical and treadmill. Hey, whatever it takes to get me to exercise works for me!!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Glad to know that I'm not the only one!
lisseth0221 lisseth0221 9 years
OMG!!! I do this ALL the time. I always look for a treadmill next to the big beefy guys and I try my best to keep up! I really I feel I work harder when I do! Glad I'm not the only one who does this!
jdeprima jdeprima 9 years
I do this all the time! When I run outside, I always get a little thrill when I pass someone, especially if it's a man.
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