Exercise Vs Training: Five Steps To The Next Level

Stop spinning your wheels and get on the road to competitive success. Stop exercising and start training! Learn the difference here.

My introduction to exercise came in the form of a Body by Jake 110-pound weight set and bench that I received as a gift when I was 12. At the time, I was very interested in sports and pro wrestling, but I had very little clue as to what I was supposed to do with those bars and plates. Naturally, my first "workout" consisted of taping my name over the bench so that it read "Body by Biss."

Figuring that the answer was to be found in practice, I started working out before school and after. Aside from this routine, though, there was very little structure to what I was doing. I just figured more of everything was better. During the winter I would run to wrestling practice several miles away and then run back and lift weights. My best friend began to complain that all I ever did was work out and eat. What was all that exercise for, though? What, exactly, was I trying to achieve?

You probably couldn't have gotten me to admit it at the time, but the "what" I was trying to achieve was actually a "who." I emulated the wrestler Bill Goldberg. He was a man-or a character, to be more accurate-who was feared by his peers, and everything he did looked powerful, intense, and stoic. I wanted to be big like him, lean like him, and strong like him.

Eventually, my adolescent dreams evolved into concrete competitive goals in bodybuilding, and later in strongman and powerlifting. It was only once I added this element that I realized that doing everything all the time wasn't good enough. I needed a rigid program to match my passion. I needed to stop exercising and start training.

If you don't know the difference between these, listen up. It could mean the difference between conquering a bucket-list goal and sitting at home wondering what the hell went wrong.

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Training Has Primary Goals

Exercise is activity for the sake of activity. This doesn't mean that people who exercise don't have goals, but rather that the activities they use could probably be substituted for one another. Like the old saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there." Examples include a group fitness classes or anything you do to "break a sweat," or the countless joggers who hit the bricks just to be, um, healthier. In the exercising environment, what you do isn't that vital. What's important is that you do something.

Exercise is activity. Training is specific activity with a clear purpose.

Let me be clear: There isn't anything necessarily wrong with this approach. But if you want to get better at the physical activities you enjoy, or if you desire to see a significant or specific result carry over into your life, you need more than activity. You need a destination, and "healthy" and &