Are you Training or Working Out?

Training and working out, same thing right? Not at all! There is a difference between these two, the biggest difference is the mindset and preparation before even entering the gym, field, court, or weight room. Even the definitions of the two words show differentiation.

Training : a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession or job; the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.

Work Out: to bring about by labor and exertion

For athletes, going to the gym and working to the point of exhaustion is not a sustainable or an effective way to improve in any category. While training to exhaustion can help with conditioning it will eventually lead to overtraining and potentially cause poor movements and nagging injuries. Pavel Tsatsouline, Russian Kettlebell expert, said in his book Simple & Sinister:

“The purpose of a training session is to store energy in the body rather than exhaust.”

A training session has a specific purpose and should be part of an entire program with end goals in mind. Elite basketball trainer, Alan Stein of Pure Sweat Basketball, made a great point on what effective training looks like:  

“ Training is when you follow a systematic, progressive plan with measurable goals. Training is purposeful and consistent.”

If you are a serious athlete looking to improve your performance take the time to plan your training. What is it that you need to improve in? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Knowing where you are today and where you want to go are two of the most important questions to ask before starting any training program.

If you are unsure of this, ask someone you trust or hire a professional to help guide your efforts. An effective training program allows for adjustments based on how you feel. Listen to your body, if you feel sluggish or exhausted before your session even starts that might not be the day to do heavy or explosive lifting. Lighter lifting focusing on technique or a mobility session might be what your body needs for that day so your training can be sustainable. If you feel ready to go and energized than that is the day to train with greater intensity or volume.

Are you training or working out

As stated before your training should not drain you, doing more reps is not always better sometimes more is just more. Doing 100 box jumps when 20 would have sufficed is a waste of time. Take the time, set your goals and plan out a sustainable training program. Once your program is set attack each and every session with the mindset of getting better!  

If you are interested in a complete athletic performance program or have any questions please email,

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