Working out Versus Training—Are You Working out or Training?

Written by Taco Fleur
Edited by Sean Wells


Is there a difference between Training and a Workout!?

Yes there is.


When you’re training, you’re getting specific. This means you’re training a specific exercise, or group of exercises—either under the guidance of a trainer or yourself—with the specific aim of getting better at it. The goal of the training can be improving technique, getting more reps, or using more weight, but training is all about having a predetermined goal, and a predetermined way to get there.


By contrast, when you’re Working Out, you’re performing a test of your general fitness. You’re using the training you’ve undergone, and the aim is to get your sweat on while you find out what specific areas you could improve (i.e. train). In a workout, the focus is not about improving technique; it’s about maintaining technique despite all the grind and fatigue. The goals are to get a pump, feel exhausted, do more reps, beat a time or beat someone else.

In CrossFit, you could say the workout is the WOD, and the training is the EMOM or those sessions done with your coach in private. Because of the focus on improvement, training should always be performed slower than a workout; in training, every single rep should be scrutinised by your coach or yourself and the mirror—in a workout, you’re just going for it.

So if you’re only participating in WODs all the time, the fact is you’re just working out, not training to get better. This means you’re probably not making progress as quickly as you could, and might even be getting injured more frequently than you should.


If this sounds like you, take some time out, take a step back and ask yourself what your goals are. Trust me, it’s time well spent—you’ll never get there until you know where you’re going!


Want to train to get better at the Kettlebell Press?
Check out Master The Kettlebell Press or Kettlebells in CrossFit.


Check out the history of the kettlebell

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