Many people believe that training and exercising refer to the same thing. In reality, the two are very different.
First of all, both are perfectly fine! The actual difference is your approach to an activity rather than the activity itself. None is superior to the other. The only determinant factor is “what goals do you seek to achieve?”
Let’s begin with a brief description:
This is also referred to as working out. This is when a Sportsperson/individual’s primary goal falls within burning calories, keeping healthy and keeping in shape. There is absolutely no reason for an individual to put any performance pressure on themselves and the movements/activity can be scaled to comfort. The scale down can be either a reduction on intensity (total weight that the Sportsperson moves) or volume (total repetitions/rounds prescribed on the activity program for the day).
The goal is the effect the activity produces today to satisfy the immediate need of the Sportsperson/individual.
This refers to working towards a specific predetermined goal. It could be working to improve a specific element or working towards an event/competition. Training is intense. It requires focus and discipline, absolute commitment and takes a lot of hard work. Another notable characteristic is that it is repetitive. It involves the same activity, done over a duration of time with varying intensity and volume ultimately to derive the desired performance adaptation.
The goal is long term performance with focus on the process.
So, what is your desired goal?
Is your intention and desired outcome as a Sportsperson to get stronger? Perhaps lift more, squat more? Or are you keen on getting faster and more explosive? Maybe you want to run the next upcoming marathon? Or participate in an upcoming competition?
If your answer is yes to any or several of these questions, then you definitely need to be on a training program. Beyond your training program, you will have to be intentional about your fueling and recovery needs and most importantly, commit to the process!
Last but not least, tracking your performance numbers after each training day will be mandatory. It may be helpful to get an accountability manager. This could be a coach if you are a beginner or novice Sportsperson or a training partner for more advanced Sportspersons. Training does get lonely and challenging especially when the intensity numbers go up. The extra motivation goes a long way.
Alternatively, perhaps you are individual who seeks that feel-good endorphin rush to kick start your day? Or to reduce body weight and levels of body fat? You may want to tone your body, achieve better definition and improve overall appearance while improving overall physical and cardiovascular fitness? Then for this, exercising/working out will suffice.
As you embark on either, it is important to set realistic goals, have mini milestones and remember this is a lifestyle.
Enjoy the process as well as the benefits!
Next time we tackle ‘Weight Training’, see you then!
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By Wagio Kariuki
Coach, Uzani Weightlifting Ltd