Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Learn the difference between training and exercising or working out. If you want to achieve mastery of your sport, change your mindset and your approach.

Top athletes think about their training in a slightly different way than the rest of us. They usually speak of their conditioning and workout sessions as training. They rarely ever say "exercising" or "working out."

When you train, you are more focused, determined and serious about your regimen than you are when you're just working out. You're working toward a clearly specified goal. You can exercise all you want (and many people do) with no clear goals or intentions other than generally improved physical fitness. But you won't reach your full potential, and you certainly won't dominate your sport.

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Top athletes think about their training in a slightly different way than the rest of us. They usually speak of their conditioning and workout sessions as training. They rarely ever say "exercising" or "working out."

When you train, you are more focused, determined and serious about your regimen than you are when you're just working out. You're working toward a clearly specified goal. You can exercise all you want (and many people do) with no clear goals or intentions other than generally improved physical fitness. But you won't reach your full potential, and you certainly won't dominate your sport.

As you journey on your own path to sports mastery, it would be a good mental discipline to start thinking of your sessions more in terms of training—not just physical training, but mental, too, whether it's reviewing game footage or doing breathing exercises to keep your mind focused.

It's important to be conscious of the highest level of physical fitness and conditioning you can reach and figure out what you need to do to achieve—or "self-actualize"—that. Whenever you train, think of pushing yourself as far as you safely can—every time. Do it enough, and it will eventually become "how" you train.

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Topics: WORKOUTS | FITNESS | EXERCISE | SPORTS | TRAIN | ASK THE EXPERTS | PHYSICAL FITNESS | PHYSICAL TRAINING