It’s a motivational push heard all the time from school sports growing up to those inspirational YouTube videos. I don’t know where I stand on it though. As a more logic thinking person I don’t like the idea cause I know it isn’t realistically possible to give 110%. At the same time, as a coach I recognize that there are scenarios where people seem to push past what they perceive as their limits.
Of course it’s known there’s no going past 100%, that’s just not how math works, but I’ve been in those situations where it seems like you can. During the Open and in competitions, or other high pressure situations, where you all of sudden hit a 20+ pound personal record that you haven’t come close to in a year or take minutes off the time you got in practice. If I do follow logic and accept there’s no going past 100%, then what does that mean for the effort I’m giving in training everyday?
It sure feels like I gave my absolute all when I was laying sprawled on the floor for 10 minutes after finishing that workout. Yet doing the same thing on a competition floor I may be able to blow it out of the water. From person to person the difference in performance will vary of course, but some people can have huge differences. I call them “game day athletes”. There’s nothing wrong with being able to push it a little more when the pressure is on, but counting on it as a sure thing can be a problem.
Getting content with the “I’ll do it when the pressure is on” idea can be an issue when it stops us from pushing the pedal in training. I know I’ll always end up performing better when there’s eyes on me, but I don’t count on it as a sure thing. I make sure to train for results that I would be happy with on the competition floor. When finding that heavy lift it doesn’t make sense to stop at 235 and think “I could probably do 250 if I really wanted/needed to”. If you want to hit 250 when you need to then you need to hit it that day too. I don’t finish a metcon with the thought that I could take another minute or so off.
Training should happen at that ceiling of what feels like 100%, and even with that you’ll probably still perform better some days. I don’t think its wrong to say that some scenarios are gonna cause you to break that ceiling though. More appropriately I think it’s some scenarios, with eyes on you on a competition floor with the pressure on, that just have you working in a taller building.