Are you training or are you just working out? Do you know the difference? One will help you to reach your fitness goals, the other may or may not. Knowing the difference between the two can determine success or failure.
It’s a subtle difference really. Training takes into consideration what you are trying to accomplish. Everything you do in the gym is based on what you need to do to improve and reach your goals. Simply being in the gym is not enough. Randomly putting together a series of exercises, no matter how hard you work them, is no guarantee that you will make the changes you want. There is a way to train for different aspects of fitness like power, strength, growth, speed, weight and fat loss, agility, etc. And while there is some overlap and general improvement that can be made from “working out”, if you really want to get the best results then you must “train” to get those results.
Start by honestly assessing where you are. Next, decide what you want to do and where you’d like to be. You may want or need to work on or improve in multiple areas. You have to decide if they are compatible and can be addressed at the same time, (like improved power and agility) or if you need to focus on one thing more than the other right now (like getting leaner over building size or strength).
Working out can be random and can give you some general improvements towards some of your goals. But if you really want to maximize results, you must focus on training to improve. Training isn’t random. It is a controlled, specific approach you take to get from point A to point B. It involves choosing the right exercises, rep ranges, rest periods, training techniques, training frequencies, nutritional approach, etc., to support you reaching your goals. Whether you’re trying to get leaner, build strength, prepare for a sport or athletic event, improve your appearance, maximize your health, etc., there are choices you can and should make about what you do and how you do it that will make reaching your goals a lot more achievable.
It’s really not hard to train effectively. You simply have to constantly stay aware of what it is you’re trying to accomplish and make sure that the things you are doing in the gym are in line with that. That will keep you from spinning your wheels. That will make sure that your workouts are an effective part of a training program which will get you where you want to go.
Photo: Terry Goodlad