Working Out vs Training

They might sound the same but there is a difference!


Working Out

  • No overall plan or structure

  • Focus on one workout at a time even if there are many in a week

  • General or non-specific improvements to fitness and skill

  • Quality of a workout rated by calorie burn or sweatiness

  • May include a wide range of different types of workouts depending on personal preference

  • Exercise for its own sake, or just for fun!

  • Motivation, or lack of, plays more of role


Training

  • Preparing for a specific activity, usually a competition or event

  • Planned, progressive, periodised (meaning main focus will shift through different phases of training)

  • Using stats from individual training sessions to assess how performance is progressing and find specific areas to improve on

  • Likely to include some cross-training but specifically chosen to support the main training focus

  • More focus on discipline, mindset and mental strength which may form part of the training


There is of course some overlap between the two. An athlete in training would hopefully still find a lot of what they do fun (otherwise it will get really hard really quickly!) but will rely more on discipline than motivation to get started. Someone mainly exercising for health and fitness may still put the effort in to improve in a particular area, their 5k time for example, but in a less structured way or without a specific race/event in mind.


It depends on your individual goals which one would suit you best. You might go through a structured training phase for an event then relax and freestyle it more.


For those training phases or to help reach a particular goal it can be helpful to work with a coach, someone who can provide a structured plan, give feedback and support all the way through the process.


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