If you're a competitive athlete, for the context of this nonsense let's assume you’re a powerlifter. Which pretty much negates the competitive athlete definition.
Here is where your true insta-stalker self can go hog wild. Essentially, you're looking for as much comparable information as possible. How long have they been lifting? What was their background before lifting? How strong were they when they started? How long have they had a coach?
A lot of these could provide instant rationales as to why they might be better than you. In a sport where gains are almost comparable to compound interest, the longer you've been at it, the better you tend to be. A process that you can optimise and expedite to insane levels, with the amount of amazing information on all topics available through the wonder of the internet. If they've been lifting, and competitive for 5 years more than you, it stands to reason that they'll be better. They've literally had more training sessions, more chicken rice and prayers (brother!)
The next level down, which can be particularly motivating, is looking at their specific lift videos and seeing how you hold up. The caveat to this is that you must be of similar body type, height, levers. If they are stronger than you, and Jesus lean, water cutting just into the 72s, and your walking around at a soft edged 71.5 that would be the first port of call.
f you are in a similar boat, then we can get back to the lifts. Let's say they out bench you by 10kgs, what do their accessory lifts look like? If there a significant difference in how much you can dumbbell bench compared to them? If so, that could be an avenue to explore. Especially if it holds true with your own needs analysis.
- Missed my 3rd bench about an inch off the chest.
- Person in 1st smoked theirs and it was 10kg heavier than mine.
- Person in 1st is repping 10kgs more than my best 8 reps for sets of 12 on Dumbbell Bench.
- Conclusion, I could probably do with more chest work.
Could you correlate this information sans, Insta stalking? Yes. I'm just giving you a rationalisation if you do it anyway! Like most things, how you use the information is the key here.
'X Person is this much better than me, I may as well not bother, may as well give up, they're probably on drugs.'
This way of thinking is useless, I mean that literally. It has no use.
Whereas ' X person is this much better than me, why? What do they do differently? Are we comparable? Maybe I should try this, because they do something similar?'
This way of thinking, generates questions and ideas. Which are much more useful. Even if most of them are instantly shut down, exploring even a few avenues could lead to a total lightbulb moment. Let me be clear, this isn't a green light to copy exactly what your favourite lifter on the gram is doing. It's meant as a useful method for generating possible progress routes. You still must be objective in your choice of comparison, and even then, take it with a pinch of salt.
As always leave any negative feedback or dank memes in the comments below. @atsapproved on all social media, creepin on your fitspos all day.