Do you train or do you exercise? What’s the difference?
The Oxford American Dictionary defines exercise as: “engage in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness”; while to train is defines as: “undertake a course of exercise and diet in order to reach or maintain a high level of physical fitness, typically in preparation for participating in a specific sport or event”.
They sound similar, but they are not the same.
People who exercise are only going through the motions. They don’t have a plan and can often be seen floundering around the gym not knowing what machine to sit at next. They see little to no improvement after months or years of exercise and have no idea why.
People who train are working towards a specific goal. They have a plan to get there. And they track their progress. They are highly motivated and improve exponentially faster than people who only “exercise”. People who train are called athletes. It doesn’t matter if they don’t participate in specific sport because training for fitness is itself a sport.
Training helps you achieve goals.
Goals are necessary for people who want to improve their fitness. Those who only exercise have not taken the time to identify proper goals. Without a goal there is no purpose, no objective to strive for. When you decide to start training, you identify a goal, and then you develop a plan to get you there.
Take some time to write out your fitness goals. After you’ve defined your goals, you can take action towards achieving them.
When you train, you can spend can less time at the gym and see better results.
When you train, you have a plan. When you have a plan, you know exactly what to do. When you know exactly what to do, you can focus. When you are focused, you are much more efficient. When you are efficient, you accomplish more in less time. Therefore, if you have a plan, it is possible to spend less time at the gym and achieve much more.
Training requires you to track your progress.
Tracking your progress is the only way to know if you’re getting better. Keeping a log will let you see trends and identify where you are doing well and where you could improve. Armed with this knowledge, you can refine your training plan to better achieve your goals.
A training log is also a motivator. It’s motivating to look back on it and see how far you’ve come, and it’s motivating to look forward on it and see where you are going.
There is a reason athletes train; they want to get better. Exercise might keep you marginally fit, but you need to train in order to really improve. Athletes and coaches know this. And now you know this. Dump the exercise routine and adopt a training plan. The results will speak for themselves.