Training Vs Exercise: What's The Difference?
Exercise and training are pretty much the same thing, right? Think again.
There’s actually a big difference between exercise and training. Since having a baby, I’ve really come to appreciate the distinction.
Starting again with my fitness has shown me exactly why I aim for training instead of just making time for exercise.
- What is exercise?
- What is training?
- Why I train instead of exercise
- Consistency is key
- How to set fitness goals that work for you
What is exercise?
Exercise is physical activity that raises your heart rate above its normal resting rate.
Along with your heart rate going up, you might also sweat, or start breathing more heavily.
It also means you’re exerting yourself more than you would if you were performing day-to-day activities.
Exercise is typically something you’d do for its own sake, without a particular goal or target in mind.
Exercise can be really enjoyable too! Hiking, swimming, riding a bike, or playing sports with friends are all great ways to break a sweat and get some exercise!
What is training?
Training is physical activity that is driving towards a specific intention or goal.
I don’t usually include running in my workouts, but when I hear people say they’re training for a marathon, it instantly makes sense.
I know they’re working out in a structured way that measures their performance and tracks fitness progress.
They’re also training to build strength and endurance for a specific purpose — to run a long-distance event, often within a desired time frame.
Like other aspects of fitness, training is about striking a balance between progress and recovery. If you overtrain and don’t allow yourself to rest, you could be setting yourself up for injury. You could also actually see a decrease in your performance if you’re training too hard.
That’s yet another reason to make sure you enjoy your rest days!
Why I train instead of exercise
With my postpartum return to training, I absolutely knew there were things I wanted to achieve with my fitness after having a baby. I was able to do 15 pull-ups in a row before I was pregnant, so that was one goal I had in mind.
As much as I’ve enjoyed feeling stronger with each postpartum workout, I need a sense of purpose when I go to the gym. It’s essential for me to measure my progress as I work towards a goal.
I’ve set myself the target of 15 pull-ups in a row by December this year. At first, it was difficult to even complete one, but because I’ve been training with a goal in mind, I’ve been able to slowly build back up from there.
When I was at Bondi Beach recently, I went to the outdoor gym there for a workout. I did seven pull-ups in a row, and it felt amazing to know that my training is paying off. I’m SO much closer to my goal.
It’s taken a LOT of hard work and training, but I can’t wait to see the results!
Consistency is key
I’ve talked a lot about fitness motivation and the fact that it can be fleeting!
When it comes to health and fitness, a consistent approach is what actually creates progress towards your goals. You can skip one workout, just don’t give yourself an excuse to skip another one. Stick with your workout plan. You’ll only ever regret the workout you DIDN’T do.
That’s why I rely on my habit of training and scheduled workouts to help get me through on the days when I’m NOT feeling it.
How to set goals that work for you
Exercising for its own sake can be a lot of fun, but if you are after performance results it’s best to follow a plan, which has the sole purpose of getting you where you want to go.
However, there are some good reasons you might need to take a break from training too. Listen to your body. If you are feeling the effects of fatigue, training again (just because it’s in your schedule) might not be the best thing for you.
Exercise could be the best way forward until you start to feel stronger and ready to train again. It’s all about doing what is right for YOU!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.