Training, exercising, working out, they’re all the same aren’t they? If like me you follow far too many athletes and brands on social media, you will have seen Nike’s latest slogan of ‘Stop Exercising Start Training’. The first few times it popped up I scrolled past without a second thought. However the more I saw it, the more it caught my attention and got me thinking. Am I training or just exercising? What’s the difference? Am I training people or just giving them a workout? Again, the more I thought about it the more I liked it! Not just a slogan but as a question. I think it’s an important thing to ask yourself.
The Difference Between Exercise & Training
A google definition search bring up the following results:
Exercise – Activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.
Training – The action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behaviour.
Whilst the google definition refers to an external ‘teaching the action’, the main thing here is the focus on a particular skill or behaviour. The point of exercise is to improve your health, fitness and quality of life. However, if you are an athlete (whether it be recreational, amateur or professional), you are not simply looking for a better quality of life. Yes, exercise is good for everyone. But as athletes we want to be continually improving and developing the skills and behaviours needed to excel within our chosen sport.
No doubt you play your sport because you love it. As a result you will hopefully have a decent understanding of the game or event. Use this to your advantage and start to break it down. How long is it? What kind of movements are required. You can then look at your own performance within these parameters. The game is ‘X’ minutes long, you normally tire around ‘X’. You play prop, props spend a large amount of time squat/bent forward, pushing with the legs and pulling with the arms. Knowing the game will allow you to match the demands of the gym to the demands of performance.
My Philosophy with Personal Training
I have a range of clients with a range of goals and abilities. My personal approach is always to focus on training over exercising. Exercise is a fantastic beast with countless benefits. As a result, I use it as a vehicle to support and encase the training. Being specific with exercise allows for effective, efficient training routines and workouts.
My view is to view everybody as an individual with potential. The best way best way to reach maximal potential? Train don’t exercise.