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NBSV 019: When comparing ourselves to others can be useful, and how to do so like a scientist


The idea that it’s always a bad thing to compare our fitness levels and physiques to others is BS. Comparing yourself to others can be extremely useful, if you challenge yourself to think like a scientist. I’ll show you how in this episode.

We’re going to use the critical thinking and research skills used by scientists when they conduct literature reviews, and apply them to comparing ourselves to others - especially when we’re doing so in order to set fitness and physique goals.

What I’m sharing here is how to compare yourself to others so it benefits you, rather than undermines your self-worth.


If you'd prefer to read rather than listen, here's the episode turned into a blog article!


Important topics and points you don't want to miss:

>> Step 1: Look for trends across many data points whenever possible. In scientific literature, we shouldn’t make conclusions about anything just by looking at a single study. What we want to do is look at the literature as a whole.

>> Step 2: Make sure you’re not comparing apples to oranges. What situation, exactly, are you comparing yourself to? And how similar (or different) is it to your own?

>> Step 3: watch your language! The way we talk about things and the words we use matter. Language can affect how we - and those we’re speaking with - perceive something. Shaming, guilt-tripping, or hating your way to fitness is not a psychologically healthy - or fun! - strategy.

>> Bonus tip: turn aesthetic goals into performance goals! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with training because you want to change how you look. Who doesn’t want to look awesome?! I’m not in the business of imposing goals on anyone, so I won’t suggest not training for looks. However, I am going to suggest adding in some performance-based goals - or even training entirely for performance if that suits you better.

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