The Power of Perspective and Dangers of Comparison in the Gym


"How on earth do you Bench 'x' kg?!"

- One of our tribe members asked me this yesterday when comparing his Bench-Press to my Bench-Press. He has only been with us for a short-time (less than 9 months) and has come from barely being able to press the bar, to now being able to complete 80KG for multiple reps.

I replied...

"I started Bench Pressing in 2010. Since then I have worked on it consistently and progressed slowly week by week. It’s now 2018 and what I can lift now has taken me 8 years to achieve."

I also went on to comment...

"That's taken me 7 years of dedicated training and I literally haven't missed a beat since first starting in the gym. It took my longer than 18 months to be able to rep 80kg on my own and here you are, within 9 months doing it already.”

I continued...

"You're in your first year of training ever. You already participated in a fitness based photoshoot, while it took me over 3 years to build up the confidence to do so.”

There are many members at PPS who in a short amount of time, have achieved great things. Some do photoshoots, some even compete in powerlifting competitions within their first 12 months of lifting.
I myself have competed in many powerlifting and Bodybuilding/Physique competitions. However I didn’t do my first powerlifting competition until 2016, which is 6 years after I first set foot in the gym.

Braden is one of many PPS members who has participated in a PPS photoshoot

Braden is one of many PPS members who has participated in a PPS photoshoot

The Power of Perspective

At this point; I am really trying to put it into perspective, how much this member has achieved in a very short amount of time at PPS. If you are reading this, the chances are  high that you have found yourself in a similar situation.
It’s great to have role models or people you look up to for inspiration, but can be dangerous when comparing yourself to others, especially if it leaves you feeling negative about yourself

This member had achieved in 9 months what had taken me years, many of our members have done the same.

To help put this even further into perspective…

Lifting and body composition is my passion and hobby. I therefore prioritise it and I operate a business which allows me to do so. I don't have a family or kids and admittedly am extremely dedicated to the cause.

Yeah I'm a busy man, I have the PPS business along with my managers/partners (3 gyms now), I coach/consult online and am in a long-term relationship.


Many of you reading this are in full-time employment, working very long hours and answering to higher powers who always put immense pressure on you.
You can't dictate your own schedule like I can. Many of you are engaged or married, and have young families (this in itself is a whole job which doesn't allow sick days or holidays).

Be Careful who you Compare Yourself to...

I believe many of you, face numerous hurdles that I haven't experienced and haven't been able to fully relate to. I and many other trainers out there, have it a lot easier than you all in terms of lifestyle and barriers to overcome.

For the most part, I assume you don't prioritise training, nutrition and body composition as much as me (I know you have goals but I mean to the extent I or others like me do). So although I live and breath this lifestyle, to the point where my passion and my business are a packaged deal…

' Bec had competed in her first Powerlifting competition within 9 months of starting at PPS

'Bec had competed in her first Powerlifting competition within 9 months of starting at PPS

I've been training consistently for over 8 years now and don’t get me wrong, what I have achieved is great...
But with all things considered and put into perspective...
What our clients (and you reading this may) have achieved in such a short time frame, with everything else going on in your lives is truly extraordinary

These guys can take what they have achieved in the past 6-18 months at PPS and multiply it by 6-8 years, this will give an indication of how much they have the potential to achieve in this time frame.

Don't Forget to Reflect

This is a simple exercise you can do right now as you read this...

Now let that sink in for a bit and remind yourself of this; every time you get frustrated by a small set-back in the gym, or every time you feel you  aren’t making fast enough progress. When comparing yourself to others, especially on social media, take these sort of factors in to account. Take a step back, look in the mirror and reflect on what you have achieved and don't be ashamed to be proud of that, while not forgetting that this is still the beginning for you.

The possibilities are endless...

I never reached out and asked for help for, upon reflection I wish I had. Our clients are taking the most direct route possible to their chosen destination, under our guidance. I took the windy road. We all still get there in the end, but you now have the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and get there a lot faster than I.

Don't bother comparing yourself to anyone else, the variables are too great and you'll never know anyone's real back story. Don't forget to put things into perspective and focus on what you can control, which is your own journey.

Click here to book your FREE initial consultation, body composition scan and personal training session (valued at $149) and kick-start your journey today.

Johnny Allen-Howes
Director/Manager - Physique Performance Specialists