Working Out vs Training...What's the Difference?

I hear people talk about working out and training like they are the same thing. Lately, I have been thinking about the difference. These are my thoughts in comparing the two... If you go to the gym to workout, your goals are most likely to burn some calories or get your heart rate up. A wide variety of activities could fit this mold. There is little thought into what you will do at the gym. People who like to keep exercise fun often stick to working out as opposed to training. The problem with working out is that once you finish your workout, you have achieved your goal. There is little thought about what you do once you leave the gym. Basically, working out doesn’t take much thought or preparation.

If you train, however, you have specific goals that you want to accomplish, usually in a specific time period. Training involves thought and preparation, which is why most people who are serious about achieving a goal hire a trainer. Training involves working out - - workouts that are planned in phases with progressions. When you go to the gym, you know what the workout is that day, and you know what future workouts will be as well. Training also involves thought and preparation outside of the gym. Recovery and nutrition are huge (and often underlooked) factors in training. Those who train understand that the benefits of working out are limited when recovery and nutrition are not handled correctly.

Most people think that athletes are the only people who train. However, anyone with a fitness or health goal should be training instead of just going to the gym with a the goal of doing a workout. If your goal is to lose fat, you need to know the path to get there. Going to the gym and looking for a different machine to stay on at a comfortable pace for 30 minutes is probably not your best bet. If you are serious about a goal you want to achieve, take time to plan your path to success (or hire a professional to plan it for you).

Here are some tips to plan out your training:

What is my goal? - - You need to know what you are trying to achieve before you can start planning what you need to do to accomplish is. Is it fat loss? Is it to improve your vertical jump? Different goals will require different paths.

How long do I have to get there? - - This is also a question to determine how realistic your goals are. If you want to lose 45 pounds, that’s great. Trying to do it for a wedding coming up in 2 weeks is probably not realistic. Make sure you allow enough time for yourself to be successful. If you are an athlete, you have to know when your season starts. Starting 2 weeks before your season will not allow for significant performance gains. Plan ahead!

What do I need to do at the gym? - - What will your workouts look like? This is where a professional really comes in handy. You can definitely research the web or read books to get some decent programs, but having a trainer perform a Functional Movement Screen to assess your movement patterns can help you workouts not only be effective, but also improve your long-term health.

What will I need to change about my lifestyle? - - Again, specific factors are related to your goal. However, just about every goal you can think of will require optimal recovery, nutrition, and possibly supplementation. Having a BioSignature modulation is a great start towards your goal. The BioSignature can provide a hormonal profile and a body composition analysis. No matter your goal, it is important to get adequate sleep and sufficient protein intake.