There is not another fitness program that I know of that tracks performance in the manner that CrossFit does. Any successful person or business in life tracks performance so why would your exercise be any different? Tracking performance is key to improving fitness, and improving your fitness is the best way to see results.
Like intensity, performance is relative. You are only capable of what you can do, and sometimes people are just better than you. In any type of athletics or exercise, this is one of the hardest things for people to get over. It is easy to make excuses about someone beating you, “They cheated,” “They have done this for longer,” “They do a lot of extra stuff,” “They have more time to prep,” the excuse list is endless. As cliche as it sounds, the only performance you should be worried about is your own, because someone else’s performance is not going to make you better whether you beat them or not.
I believe that if you are continually increasing your performance, you will also increase the results that you see. Those results could be weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, mental growth, athletic gains or anything else in the fitness realm. Performance is improved by increasing your capacity and applied intensity to a particular movement or movements. An example of building capacity in a movement would be increasing your max pull-ups from 4 reps to 12 reps. As your capacity increases so will your performance in workouts that involve pull-ups. As you learn new movements, you do them slower, but they still find a way to leave you out of breath. As you get better at them not only can you do more reps faster but you are not as out of breath when you finish.
I don’t think that people should focus solely on where they are finishing on the leaderboard each day, but I do believe that people should be trying to improve their workouts each day. Too many times people say, “I don’t care about the whiteboard,” and causes their overall workout to suffer. You should care about the whiteboard and how you are doing. You should always be trying to improve at the things you are not good at. (strength, double unders, pull-ups, etc.) You should continuously strive to refine movements and learn new ones. (ex. Kipping pull-ups to butterfly pull-ups) As your capacity increases so will your performance, this is increasing your fitness. As you improve your fitness, you will enjoy the way you change both physically and mentally.