If you don’t know the difference between working out and training, you are most likely working out. This is not inherently good or bad. Most people do not really know the difference between working out and training which is why most are working out.
Although they can look fairly similar, a workout and a training session are more than just semantics. Depending on what your goals are, both methods can get you and in most cases it is just a matter of preference. Also, just because you hire a personal trainer, doesn’t mean they have an intelligently designed training program, often they are just putting you through workouts.
Here are some of the more subtle difference between the two.
For a workout most people judge how good a workout is based off the calories burned and lately how it seems people are also using heart rate monitors to see how high they can get their heart rate up and for how long.
For a training session; reps, sets, resistance, power, heart rate, perceived effort, time, distance and calories are all used to determine how good the workout is. In most cases we at Synfully Fit, use calories burned to determine how many calories we need to refuel with after the training session.
A lot of trainers/facilities are now incorporating heart rate monitors to guage how hard you are working and to challenge yourself or to compete with others to see who can out work whom.
In a training session, heart rate is used to determine where we should be training. Depending on whether we are looking to improve or maintain aerobic capacity, improve the anaerobic system, improve alactic power, recovery workout, or to manage over all stress levels, heart rate monitors are used to make sure we are working on what we are intending on working on, and not just trying to outwork someone else, who’s goals may or man not be the same as ours.
Workouts are typically designed to get you to sweat and work as hard as you can without taking into consideration the individuals present condition, accumulated weekly volume and/or stress, what they are doing in the near future or dozens of other variables.
Training takes into consideration all the variables listed above, plus what the actual training goal is. Are we in a strength training block, an aerobic capacity block, power or strength endurance block, weight loss/gain block, body sculpting block, or a maintenance block. Even if you are looking to just lose weight, you aren’t really just interested in losing weight, you want to lose fat, and keep your lean muscle without looking unhealthy. To accomplish that you will move through different training blocks in a specific order to help you achieve and maintain the desired goal.
Pros of Working Out
It gets you moving.
You can do it with little to no equipment
It can be progressed and regressed for your individual needs by a good coach.
It’s a start
Pros of Training
More structured and individualized.
Easier to see what is working and what is not.
It is a more comprehensive plan.
It allows you to see progress other than what the scale says which can help keep you engaged until your weight loss goals begins to materialize.
Again a training program is not necessarily better than doing workouts, they both can get you to where you want if applied appropriately. The biggest difference is that with a training program you can see what works and what doesn’t work for you, as an individual, more so than workouts can.
One last thought on weight loss. Regardless of whether you workout or train you will probably lose some weight from the beginning, most of that is going to be water weight. If not done properly you will begin to lose lean muscle mass, along with some fat mass. The problem with lose lean muscle mass at the same time is that lean muscle mass is part of your metabolic engine, the smaller metabolic engine you have the less calories your body will burn on a daily basis. This in turn makes it harder to continue to lose weight or maintain that weight loss without dropping calories even further and/or increasing you workouts time and/or intensity.
I hope this helps.
Get Healthy, Get Strong – Lose Weight, Syn On!