Do You Exercise or Do You Train?

You go to the gym, scan that piece of plastic, go through the motions, go home to the family, and check it off the to do list. How are those results going for you? There is big difference between training and working out. Thousands of people update their status while they’re at the gym, pose in front of mirrors, and text their girlfriend, all at the same time. My friend, you are exercising at best, not training.


Training is when you exercise with a purpose. You have a plan, you have specific goals, or you have an event you are getting ready for. If you don’t have goals, whether it’s in the gym, or in life, you will get nowhere. Training involves having specific goals, with a specific workout you follow each day. When you train, you don’t just check it off the list. You’re focusing on your next set, that’s why your cellphone stays in the car. You feed of your workout partners, you don’t turn gym time into social hour. Last week you did 200lbs, this week you’re doing 210lbs. You know you did 200lbs last week because you wrote it down in a log of some sort. The excuses of being early, being late, being too cold, being too hot, or to busy? They don’t exist That my friends is training.

If you want results you have to stop just exercising and you have to start training. Here are my steps to success in order to start training, not just exercising:

Set out specific goals:

Losing weight is not a specific goal. Neither is gaining muscle. I am talking specific goals. You want to run a sub 5 forty by the combine. You want to jump 30 inches by basketball season. You want to be able to wear size 8 pants. You want to complete your first marathon in October. These are specific goals. Think of 3-5 specific goals, and get them on paper. If it’s not on paper, it’s going to get pushed aside, just like everything else if your busy life.

Find a workout partner/motivating atmosphere:

The gym is a chore for some people. If you are just going to the gym, just to do it, you will get nowhere. Find an atmosphere or a person that motivates you. All the fancy equipment in the world does nothing, if you’re not motivated to use it. Find a workout partner, join a small group training style gym, or hire a coach. Whatever will keep you motivated, use it.

Make a plan/Get a plan designed:

Listen. I don’t tell carpenters how to build houses. I don’t tell electricians how to wire a house. They are experts in what they do. When I need a house built, or  a house wired I call them. Why should the fitness industry be any different? I don’t expect you to know how to design a safe and effective program for yourself. Just like there are bad plumbers, there are bad coaches. But, just like you call the good plumber when the toilet goes to shit (no pun intended), call a good fitness expert to design a safe and effective program. The human body is complex, don’t assume you know what you’re doing.


So there you have it. Are you ready to start training? Good. Stop just going through the motions. Checking it off the list will not get you anywhere. Each time you workout, it should have a purpose. You should always be training with a purpose.



About Spurling Training Systems

At Spurling Training Systems, our focus is on providing a superior athletic conditioning experience. The combination of expert training, time spent understanding your specific goals and customized program development is what makes Spurling Training Systems a unique and effective training experience for athletes of all ages, levels and abilities. Doug is the founder and owner of Spurling Training Systems. He graduated from University of New England with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Exercise Science. He has several years of experience as both a personal trainer for general fitness and a strength and conditioning coach for athletes. His certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) include Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).
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