Training vs. Working Out

OK, so I guess I have your attention.  You are here because you want to find out how to get results in your fitness routine.  

So, what's the difference between "working out" and "training"? Working out means you probably don't have a plan or a goal, you just slapped together some exercises you found on the internet. Working out also means that you probably don't pay attention to your rest days and recovery between sets. Anytime I hear someone tell me they workout 7 days a week I know they are not "training". When you are "training" you carefully schedule rest days (both active - easy walk with your dog, and passive - complete rest days) and you go to the gym with a plan to reach a specific goal.


Training is about improving yourself everyday, focusing on specific exercises that will help you improve your performance and reach your goal.

Finding a good coach can also help you reach your goals and keep you accountable. If you are not doing the things you need to do to reach your goals, a coach can help keep you on path. I remember the biggest impact hiring a coach had with me. Everyday I would think what I needed to do but kept getting confused or frustrated thinking I wasn't doing enough. Then I would receive weekly training programs and I followed it to a T. All of a sudden I wasn't questioning what I was doing, I had the confidence in my coach to help me get to where I needed to be. I was no longer just working out, I was training with a purpose.

It's easy to get caught up in all of the latest and greatest workouts published in magazines or on YouTube. Take Men's Health for example. Every month they come out with a new workout that promises to get you ripped by summer. Sure they are good workouts (put together by good coaches), but are they helping YOU reach YOUR goal. Odds are that they are not. They don't know what your goal is.

One of the hardest things to do is stay consistent with the program. You can't change after a few weeks, or worse, quit. If you are working with a coach it should be simple, just follow the program written for you. yes it's that simple, just follow the program. If the training is geared towards your goal you WILL reach your goal.

Another important aspect of "training" is to keep a training log. This can be as simple as recording your sets, reps, and weights for each workout. A good progressive program will increase one of those every few weeks (if not every week). I also have some of my athletes track their sleep, bodyweight, mood, and willingness to train each day. Tracking your physical and mental progress will only help you further your career as an athlete. Tracking your progress is only useful, however, if you look back on it to make adjustments. Otherwise, you are just working out without knowing if what you are doing is working or not.

So now what? 

Stop working out, contact Rugged Athlete, and start training.