The Difference between Exercising & Training

By 23rd November 2016Articles


Exercising and Training are the same thing right? Not exactly, they are of course related but there is a major difference between the two. After reading this blog you will understand the distinction between the two and how actual results and progress in your fitness levels depend on training not just exercise!

Lets define the two terms…..



Exercise is performing a type of physical activity mainly for the effect it produces today, right this moment. There are many terms for this in the fitness world such as feeling the burn, getting a pump, feeling out of breath, burning calories etc. It is activity done for its own sake to make you feel like you have accomplished something at that particular moment in time. Exercise may also involve doing exactly the same thing every time you do it, or doing something completely different as long as you feel like you have worked out. Exercise will improve your health and fitness, make you feel good as it releases endorphin’s and triggers a whole load of positive physiological changes in the body. However if you have a particular objective goal in mind such as losing weight, getting stronger or increasing your cardiovascular health, exercise alone may not be enough….training is necessary.



For those who have very specific goals in mind such as athletes in particular, training is necessary. Training is exercise performed with a particular long term goal in mind. It is about the process of achieving that goal, not just the activity performed at the particular time. Training involves planning, programming and the meeting of certain objective short term goals for each particular workout which are like stepping stones toward that long term achievement. You want to know that you are getting closer towards your goal, so you need objective evidence that you are progressing.

Training allows you to achieve your fitness goals in a more efficient manner, and allows you to know if your are moving towards your goal. I am not criticising exercise. Like I said for most sedentary individuals exercise performed little and often on a regular basis is just what they need to improve their health. Most gyms and personal trainers specialise in exercising rather then training. Most people are not athletes and do not care about achieving this level of results. Most people simply want to lose a bit of weight, shape up, or get a bit stronger. Exercise of course will achieve that goal to a certain degree.

With all that said, if training is utilised instead of simply exercising, those who have have simple goals such as to ‘shape up’ will achieve those goals quicker and surer, and will have some evidence that they are improving along the way. If you are using exercising alone you do not no for sure or have anything concrete to determine if you are getting better, stronger, leaner etc. You need to be able to determine this. This is achieved my using certain fitness benchmarks such as strength increases or improvement in lung capacity, which can all be tested. Using these result one can amend the particular routine to make sure that you are on the right track. This is where programming comes in.

With all my clients I make sure that all their sessions involve basic barbell movements and…training. Simply achieving ‘the burn’ or ‘feeling out of breath’ is not enough. I want to make sure my clients are moving towards there goals in the most efficient manner, and that includes specific goals being met every workout. In this way my clients achieve there goals, safely, steadily and efficiently.