...and is there a difference?
A resounding “Yes!” Exercising is something one does just to move. Almost everyone who works out exercises, but not everyone who works out trains. The globo gyms and hamster factories across America love it when people sign up in their gyms so they can exercise. Exercising is cheap, unguided mediocrity. Exercising makes people feel good for the short term. After six to eight weeks of exercising, it becomes boring, routine, and lacks the luster of the New Year’s Eve resolution and excitement. Exercising sometimes leads to sweat, but rarely leads to improved health and fitness. Why? Because exercising lacks the intensity necessary to elicit the neuroendocrine response that alters the metabolism and affects the muscles.
So what is training? Training necessarily requires a program of constantly varied, functional movements, performed with high intensity. Training involves weights. Not weight machines, but free weights, i.e. powerlifting and Olympic lifting. Training means that you make a commitment to a true goal of improved human performance. Training requires pushing through barriers – going beyond your limits and pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. Training demands sacrifices so that you can train multiple times each week and continue to train regardless of excuses involving work, family, the environment, and other life obstacles that pull you away from training. Training means tracking your progress by logging your workouts and food intake. Training means going hard, fast, and heavy when you can and not giving up until you reach your goals no matter how long that takes.
The next time you work out, ask yourself if you’re training or just exercising. If the answer is that you’re just exercising, then perhaps it’s time to up your game, recommit to yourself and your training program, and get to work. What have you got to lose? If you’re happy with the status quo, then keep on exercising. If you want to improve your overall health and fitness, then focus your mind and train like you mean it.
(From Ocean City CrossFit, Berlin MD)
Editor's Note: I'm TRAINING! ~Mike