Working Out VS Training

When you walk into a Fitness Center, you see a lot of people working out. Some people are probably in the free weight section pumping out dumbbell curls, others are on the treadmill getting in their 8 miles for the day, and more are in the aerobics room getting their dance on (or pilates on, or yoga on, or barre on…).

But, if you really, really pay attention, you’ll notice that, while most people go to the gym to work out, some people go to the gym to train. Well, that doesn’t make sense, aren’t those the same thing?! Yes, but mostly no…

Last week, we were having a conversation during one of our Team Meetings and one member of our Team, who’s trained with us for 3 or 4 years as well, brought up the idea of working out VS training. He said that, before he started training with us he would go to the gym to work out. He’d walk in, do some stuff on the machines, hit up the elliptical and finish off with the sauna, same basic routine, no defined path. But once he started with us, he came in with a purpose, hoping to get one more rep than he did last week or deadlift 5 more pounds. Now, he comes in to train.

This got me thinking. Is there something to this?! At first, it simply seems that this an argument of semantics. Partly, that is what’s going on here. But it’s much deeper than that.

Speaking semantically (I guess that’s a real word), working out is exercise without purpose. Sure, you want to accomplish SOMETHING, whether that be fat loss or general fitness. To get the results you really, really want from your exercise routine, there should be something more than fat loss or looking good naked.

Training, on the other hand, is exercise with purpose. Whether you’re a runner who is constantly trying to improve their 5-mile time, or a mountain biker who climbs steeper and steeper mountains, you have a purpose. I know what you’re thinking…” What if I am not training for a marathon or training for a weight lifting competition?! What am I training for then?!”. That’s a fantastic question, which requires an equally fantastic answer…so here it goes…

You’re training for LIFE!!!

This is what I mean by “purpose”. Most people workout because they know they should. That’s certainly a great start. Moving, after all, is ALWAYS better than not moving. Exercising with purpose will help insure that, as you get older, you don’t start to fall apart. During the aging process, our bodies are constantly fighting us: you lose muscle, you lose cognitive function, your hormone production slows down. It’s an uphill battle.

But this doesn’t HAVE to happen!!

If you move often and move with purpose, you’ll see things happen that you couldn’t have imagined. Find something you enjoy doing and do it the best that you can! There will be days that are harder than others and it won’t be an easy road all the time. Start training and you’ll be surprised at the progress you make within your personal goals.

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