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Are you Training or Exercising?

Created on Thursday, 29 July 2010

Recently a client asked me during her workout, "So Aaron, what are you training for?" It came as a bit of a surprise, and it made me think. Am I training, or am I just exercising? Because I think there can be a difference between the two. You can exercise regularly without training for any particular event or goal. If you are training, exercise is sure to be a component. Exercise for most people becomes an ongoing form of training. Once you reach a certain goal that you initially started training for, like reaching a certain clothing size or getting below a certain level of body fat, exercise will obviously be a regular part of life if you want to maintain your achievement. And there's those of us who exercise because we love it.

Fortunately for me, exercise has become a regular component of my life. If I go too long without it I feel cranky, irritable, stressed out, and languid. I've got a great deal of discipline when it comes to sticking to a regular exercise program.

I can only recall about three times in my life when I truly trained for a particular event or occasion. The first was when I was just starting to get interested in fitness, mainly working out. I needed to get stronger so I wouldn't be the weakest kid in gym class. That, plus not wanting to be the skinniest kid is what got me hooked on exercise.
Camp Pendleton Mud Run
During my senior year of high school I started training seriously for Marine Corps boot camp, running every other day, alternating between three mile runs(a component of the Marine's PFT) and six miles (one better than the infamous 5 mile Battalion run) in addition to some serious strength training. The most recent was way back in 2005. A San Marcos personal training client asked me if I would do the Camp Pendleton Mud Run with him. I agreed to it, and added running back into my workout program.

So, to answer my client's question, I had to consider what current goals I have. I'm big on using periodization in my own workouts, and my client's workouts when it is possible. For me, currently I have certain exercise goals, and once they have been reached, it will be time to reprogram my workouts, and set new goals. It's how I keep my workouts fresh, make exercise fun, and how I stay motivated to workout and push myself.

What about you, are you training for a particular goal, event or occasion, or do you exercise as a part of life? Comments are always welcomed.



# Noel 2010-07-31 03:22
Based on the thoughts shared in this article, I would say that I exercise, instead of train. Like you, I exercise very regularly, and want to stay as fit and healthy as possible throughout life. That's really what I do it for, aside from the fact that I love physical activities to death.
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# Aaron 2010-07-31 11:35
Hi Noel,

Thanks for the comment and the compliment.
When you first got hooked on fitness and exercise did you have specific goals?
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# Noel 2010-08-01 02:56
Hi, Aaron,

My goals were pretty much just to keep fit and stay as healthy as I possibly could, same as now.
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