Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Eye Up the Competition; Trends That Spin Class Rival Is Not the Enemy -- It's the Motivation You Need to Work out Harder, Says Phoebe Luckhurst

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Eye Up the Competition; Trends That Spin Class Rival Is Not the Enemy -- It's the Motivation You Need to Work out Harder, Says Phoebe Luckhurst

Article excerpt

Byline: Phoebe Luckhurst

RIVALRY is potent and consuming. Its power derives from its unique alchemy: crucially, the emotion is a mixture of admiration and hatred. This pair are two of our most feverish, intense emotions and duly, the effect is intoxicating, the rage, occasionally, blinding.

But everything is contextual and rivalry can also inspire you. For example, while your professional rivals can inspire you to Google "how to get away with murder", in the gym having a rival can turn you into a slaying machine. Most fitness devotees will have one. Perhaps it's that lean machine who always books the spin bike next to yours, and whose lightning legs seem to be setting you a challenge with every pedal stroke; maybe it's that sylph who picks the mirror next to yours, and catches your eye every time they add another 5kg to the barbell. You clock them, and you match them, blinking plump beads of perspiration out of your eyes as you do it.

The effect on your routine is remarkable. You used to stroll 4km on the treadmill once a week, mainly to watch Little Mix videos on VH1. Now you're a disciple of four classes a week, and throwing yourself into them with exhausting zeal.

For example, last week, after noticing my "rival" had picked up a heavier sandbag than me during a circuits round, I did the same the next round. My arms burned for days afterwards. A friend confesses that she always picks a spin bike behind her rival's: watching her Continued on Page 30 Continued from Page 29 accelerate makes her inexplicably furious -- before she adds resistance and speeds up too. Another friend said he's been pegging his process in the gym to a muscly rival's for years. The result has been some serious gains (and a few dizzy spells).

Obviously, you have to be careful.

But as long as you don't over-exert yourself, then rivalry can create strength you didn't know you possessed. "There's nothing like a little healthy competition to help you unleash your greatest potential on the gym floor," agrees Alex Shepherd, manager of Equinox. "Competition is really about coming together to bring out the best in one another. Hitting the gym and keeping an eye on your peers not only keeps things more dynamic and lively, it can create better results. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.