January 21, 2018

Exercise v Training – Whats the difference?

If you REALLY want to hit your fitness and body shape goals in 2018 then you need to stop exercising and start training!

Stats suggest that more people than ever have gym memberships yet stats also suggest that more people than ever are overweight or obese. Then there are also people that try as they might just
aren’t achieving what they want. Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 17.44.06

So whats my beef with EXERCISE? Im a Personal Trainer surely Im supposed to be promoting this?

Well here it is ….. Exercise tends to be activity just for the sake of it!

It’s usually undertaken by someone that has no specific goals or certainly not very clear ones.

Exercise is interchangeable so it doesn’t really matter if you go to Spin Class, Body Combat, a jog or Zumba you’ve exercised and do you know what, thats a million times better than sitting on the couch doing nothing.

However there was a phrase I heard years ago on a business course that said “If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there”.

If you want to get better at Sport, at a specific activity or achieve a specific outcome you need more than just exercise you need a training program. This is the primary reason I don’t do pay as you go classes, its virtually impossible to get someone to a goal if you don’t know when they are showing up or you can’t progress the group because for half of them it could be their first session.

It’s also the reason I get really frustrated with goals like “tone up a bit” or “lose a bit of weight”.

Action Point 1.  Set a specific target and find a training program that will take you closer to that target

To the casual gym goer Exercise and Training may look the same but they are not. A training program will take that Target you set in action point 1 and break it down in to smaller goals. For example if you came to me and wanted to squat 100kg we wouldn’t put you straight in the rack with weight on the bar. We would teach you how to squat, look at how you moved and then build you up gradually to that goal.

If you’ve been doing the same thing week in week out with no increase in volume (number of reps), or change to routine , increase in speed or distance or time and theres no specific smaller goals working towards a bigger goal then what you are doing is exercise not training.

You may see some progress from this but it won’t be as quick as you would like it to be and it will be by luck rather than plan.

One thing that I see a lot in the industry at the moment (and that I hate)  is PTs and Instructors “smashing” clients with tough workouts. Im all for dishing out tough workouts but there has to be a purpose to it. If not its just random exercise!

Action Point 2. Identify smaller goals that will take you towards you Specific target set in Action point 1

Coming from a sports background one thing that I have always been told by coaches is “become excellent at the basics” get the fundamentals right before trying advanced strategies.

Have you noticed that all professional athletes have coaches. Can Mo Farahs coach beat him in a Marathon? No ! So why have a coach?

A. The coach has knowledge, experience on how to hit specific targets
B. The coach can get an athlete to do things he or she wouldn’t do working on their own.

Coaches will also get you to work on your weaknesses, lets be honest we all have our favourite exercises that we would do every session if we were left to our own devices. mt2

Action Point 3. Find a coach that has a track record of achieving results like the kind you want

Most people I work with are busy. They may have stressful jobs kids to deal with so we need to have a plan to make the most efficient use of their time. If Mrs Jones who sits in an office most of the day and a car the rest wants to “tone up and lose weight” sitting her on a spin bike (tightening her hips up and only really working her lower body) is a really poor use of her time.

While Im on the subject of pointless things , whats with Boot Camps sending people off to “run a lap” as warm up?? How does that prepare you for doing press ups, Im getting side tracked.

Action Point 4. Decide how much time you have to devote to your goal and make sure you use it efficiently.

When you “exercise” success is often gauged on how sweaty, sore, tired you are after a workout. We’ve all seen the cringey facebook statuses haven’t we!?

When you are training success is gauged by actual stats, how many reps, rounds, kms, Kgs you worked with.

Action Point 5. Keep stats, track and monitor progress even if its only for your own use



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