Training Vs. Working Out

train or workout

It’s almost the New Year, which means that soon people will start thinking about trading out delicious pies for protein and picking up a gym membership. This also means that in a few months, many of those same people will be frustrated and unmotivated, and the gym membership tag they were once to excited to use will be just a plastic decoration on their key ring.

In the past, I’ve been asked how I stay motivated when it comes to fitness, and I’d be willing to bet that this is a common phenomenon with Fit Crew clients. Whether you’re a professional athlete with Niels, a personal training client with Andrew, or a group class warrior with Tori, Judy, and Andre, there’s a level of discipline and motivation that is inherently different when it comes to our clients compared to the average person. You can notice it from the moment you walk in the gym and it carries over into the conversations we have once the gym is locked up for the day.

So what’s the difference? What’s the secret to the motivation and dedication at Fit Crew? The answer is pretty simple, and if you’re a client already, then you’ve likely seen it on the website, in advertisements, or even heard it at the gym:

We Don’t Workout, We Train

Boom. That’s it, really. It’s a five-word statement that sets us apart and contributes to the success of our clients. You could say it’s a matter of semantics, but in reality training and working out are two completely separate concepts that fall under the umbrella of physical activity. The main difference between the two lies in intent, and intent is key when it comes to motivation.

“Working out” or “exercising” is the most common type of physical activity. It’s a random approach to fitness and health, and while it contributes to overall health and wellness, it’s hard to sustain long term. It is being physically active for the sake of getting tired and sweaty, without a clear goal in mind. Most people who “exercise” will walk into a gym without a plan; they watch TV while on the elliptical, hop around on a few machines, grab some free-weights to try and get a pump, maybe try out a group class, take a shower and sit in the sauna, then leave. They come back the next day and do the exact same thing over again- or they might stay on the treadmill for an extra hour to try and work off a heavy dinner from the night before. Unfortunately, even if they do stay consistent long enough to see results, their results will plateau, leaving them bored and frustrated.

“Training” on the other hand is where the fun and satisfaction comes in. It’s not so much about what you’re doing in the gym; it’s about why you’re doing it. Training has a performance objective in mind. It involves picking a long or short-term goal, and then compiling specific movements and workouts in a way that will help you accomplish that goal. When you train, you structure a routine to take your skills and performance to levels that wouldn’t be attainable by just wandering around a fitness center and doing what you “feel like”. When you train, you have to have a bit of grit in you. When things get tough, you become tougher. If your goal is to successfully complete a new movement, smash a PR, or finish a workout within the cap, you know you’re going to have to work for it, and it likely won’t be easy. If your goal is health and longevity, you understand that 20 minutes walking on a treadmill every day isn’t going to do it. If your goal is to be the top performer in a marathon, a lifting meet, or an athletic competition, you understand that you won’t get there overnight and that there is a method to the madness- a calculated process. It is the process of training that brings the results, and for many of us, it is the process that we fall in love with. A PR may feel great, but it feels even better when you look back on the weeks and months of hard work that led up to it.

This difference between working out and training is why Fit Crew’s group workouts are so varied, yet consistent. While you’ll never do the same workout twice, you may notice a focus on rowing for one period of time and then plyometric the next. It’s why over the course of a year you may find yourself miraculously getting your first double under or pull up (it wasn’t a miracle, really). It’s why you’ll start performing even better in your tennis matches or hitting PRs in the gym. It’s why your once stubborn pounds will come off, week after week. Focusing on training works, and it keeps our clients coming back.

If you’re “working out” and finding that you don’t have the motivation to keep it up, or you aren’t seeing the results you want, then it might be time for you to change your mentality and give training a try. You won’t find anyone staring at a TV or talking on the phone while on an elliptical in our gym (we don’t even have TV’s), but what you will find is a group of motivated and dedicated individuals who share the common goal of wanting to be better and do better, and a team of professionals that are there to support and guide you.

Happy training!