posted on May 14, 2020
Are you Working out or Training? We’ve all heard both of those terms used hundreds of times, but what do they really mean, and is there a difference? These two terms can be both subjective and objective in their own ways. Neither one of them is better than the other, and they both hold a purpose in your daily routine. It really comes down to the individual and their overall goals. To dig a little deeper, let’s define the two.
Training is the term typically used when there is a competitive goal that is planned for a specific day or event. Typically, a program is designed and organized around that day with the purpose to yield the best results possible. With this, you would design your program by starting from the day of the event and working backwards. Each training session would include purposefully selected movements with the intent of achieving a specific goal for that given day. On the flip side, working out is typically used when there is no competition or event planned, and you simply want to stay active, feel good, and work towards accomplishing some personal goals. You may still have a timeline for specific things, but you are mainly enjoying the process, and going with the flow. Workouts typically aren’t planned backwards for month in advance. They can be planned a week at a time, a day at a time, or even on the fly. That’s the beauty and joy of workouts. You can be as creative and individualized as you want.
So now the question is, when is it necessary to train, and when should you be working out? Well, that’s something only you can answer, and it depends solely on your priorities and goals. I do however recommend that at one point or another every individual train to participate in some sort of event or competition. This can be as laid back or as serious as you want. A 5k all the way up to a marathon (or beyond). A local push/pull charity meet or a full powerlifting meet half way across the country. Either way, participating in a competition will provide you with a great opportunity to set goals, challenge yourself, and overcome obstacles in a way that can only only be achieved when you put yourself outside of your comfort zone. By signing up and circling the date on a calendar, you understand that you have a specific amount of time to focus all of your attention to achieving your goals. There’s no better feeling than when you cross the finish line the day of the event, and realize that you achieved exactly what you set out to do.
However, it is unrealistic to train this way year round. Every individual needs down time in order to rest, recover, and reset the body and mind. This is where working out can be very beneficial. Take this pandemic for example. With the closure of gyms and businesses, now is a perfect time to have fun and challenge yourself in new ways. Your workouts can be completely different from anything that you’ve ever done. They should be fun, low stress, and an opportunity to set some new personal goals. No one knows how long this will go on, and there are no scheduled competitions in sight. If you were one of those people who had a competition scheduled, understand that it may be quite some time before you’re able to compete again. There’s no sense in continuing to train hard for something that is still uncertain. Step back, take a break, and focus on things that you have potentially been missing out on. Wake up and plan your workout on the fly. Get creative, try something you’ve never done, and go with the flow.