The inspiration for this entry comes from last Sunday’s experience when I hosted a face-off between my Tuesday “Rock Stars” (team blue) and Wednesday “Hot Mamas” (team red) Booty Camp groups.

I was witness to some AMAZING results in all participants and just a little bit of camaraderie and competitiveness led individuals to surpass not just what she/he thought possible – but what I believed possible!

Some of the incredible results included: slowly-paced, full push-ups lasting over 4 minutes; isometric (holding) planks for 5 minutes!; fast paced burpees lasting for over 4 minutes (two of the six people who lasted this long were over 40!); and wall sits with a partner back-to-back for 5 minutes! We were all excited to see some of these amazing accomplishments just “happen” and we had a great time doing it. Of course, not every workout can be (nor should be) competitive, but it did inspire some more ideas for me.

Here are a few approaches I recommend to help you push beyond your usual limits, make you work harder, leading you to better and more visible results:

Participate in group activities: If you like group sports, join a team. i.e. exercise groups where you have to outrun someone to score (soccer, basketball…), race someone (running, biking…), be quick in agility (tennis) or join a boot camp in which there where are many “areas” to compete.

Compete with yourself: if you are not in a position to do this in a group setting, choose 8 challenging exercises and time yourself doing each one (a timer set at a minute can be very helpful). The next time, do the same workout and try to beat your previous number of repetitions within the same allotted time.

Find a role model: I do this one – I have an awesome colleague, Kristie, an amazing runner, unlike myself, so sometimes if I see her on the treadmill, I’ll get behind her and try to match her speed a few times during my run. She is so absurdly fast that even doing this for 1 minute a time at her level makes me feel super accomplished!

Turn your regular jog with a friend into a mini-race: several of my clients have running partners and they meet a few times a week to run together- why not make one day a race? Or partially a race? Nothing wrong with a little friendly competitiveness. You can choose a prize: the winner chooses the route next time, the winner sets the next running time, etc…

Oh, and did I mention that you will have fun? My groups were so exhausted but they did not feel a thing; the adrenaline just unleashed some feistiness – and everyone got an INCREDIBLE workout! Try it and tell me what you think.