The purpose of this short blog is to help people understand the difference between exercise and training. Both involve physical activity, are hugely beneficial to the health and well-being of the participant, but will subsequently result in different outcomes. The concepts are worth exploring because too often the terms are used incorrectly and interchangeably. People often ‘workout'; exercise and training both use workouts, but the concepts are not the same. Once you understand and commit to training as oppose to exercising, performance related results can be surprising.
Exercise is physical activity that is done for the sake of it, usually to maintain fitness, burn calories, have some fun, is usually the same or very similar each time it’s completed and is often done to satisfy the immediate needs and enjoyment of the participant. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with exercising, it has huge benefits for the health and well being of anyone. As an example, a friend who is a cyclist rides pretty much every day, rides approx 250-300 miles per week and 15,000 miles per year. He generally does the same few rides, occasionally does some big routes and maintains a good level of fitness. His health and well being take a huge positive influence by his physical activity. He takes immense pleasure from his rides and has a real affiliation with being a cyclist. This is exercise.
Training on the other hand is a means to an end, and not an end itself. We train when we have definite performance objectives in mind and training is therefore necessary. It has a purpose and is intended to achieve short, medium and long term goals. It is about a planned process (not isolated workouts) that generate definable and measurable results. Long term improvement is the real objective of training. It takes time and patience; planned systematic specific progressive overloading workouts accumulate overtime to produce the desired outcome and achieve goals. Each and every workout has a value that when the sum of all parts come together will generate the final accomplishment. It is important to appreciate that this does not mean that each workout will not, or can not be enjoyable, it just means that we try to ensure workouts are always another piece of the jigsaw that make up the big picture. For example, another friend who is also a cyclist has applied this approach over the last couple of years. He does far less in terms of hours/miles per week as the aforementioned cyclist, but has systematically applied training principles to his workouts. As a result of this approach, from a relatively low level of fitness he has become a dominant force in regional and local Time Trail events. This is training.
Fastest Highest Strongest works with people with both Exercise and Training programmes. We devise plans and workouts according to what the participant wants to accomplish.