The Switch: From Working out to Training


My whole life I’ve always been in the gym to accomplish something – extra gains in the gym meant bigger gains on the court (and the field). Every rep I did or every sprint I did was all part of the bigger picture of winning games.

But that life is far behind me now (like 4 years .. OMG I’M OLD!), so wrapping my head around what “working out” is, is something I really have to dissect and evaluate. The way I see working out is maintenance. You’re doing this for your own sake and there really aren’t goals at the end of the tunnel. Yes, of course, you have goals on how you want to look or how many calories you want to burn, you can go in thinking “hrm, what should I do today?” and still accomplish what you need. It’s the fundamental aspect of a healthy lifestyle – the “need”.

Training. Training is the “want”. Training requires you to modify your social life in order to get the time in the gym that you need. You’re focused, you’re intense, you’re engaged. It makes pushing your body that one extra mile or one extra rep or those 10 extra pounds necessary. It’s no longer about how you look, its about how you perform. There is intention, drive, purpose.

Now that I’m training for a half-marathon, I finally understand the difference. When I was working out, I didn’t worry about stretching or icing as much. I just drank my recovery drink and went on my merry way but now that I’m in training, I do not want to risk any injury. I make sure to take good care of my joints (icing my knees after runs), ensuring I get enough calories to sustain me on longer runs – no longer counting calories as closely as I was, getting adequate rest, hydrating more consciously, and putting so much more focus into keeping my body and muscles healthy so I do not have any hiccups.

One more lap. One more minute. One more rep.