Exercise VS Training

Written by LeeAnn Hriniak


February 15, 2021

We all know we are supposed to “exercise,” but what about training? What comes to mind when you hear each of these words and what’s the reality? Many clients initially come into the gym with this idea to exercise more, however, they also have a goal in mind.

There are a few components where these two terms vary greatly. Intention, time, and outcome.


While both exercise and training have positive intentions of improvement, exercise is associated more with simply moving. When we are looking to discover intention, we can ask the question, “why?” Why are you performing this movement? Why are you combining these movements?

Exercise is usually a move for the sake of moving while training is progressive. Training takes into account that over time you will get better, be able to perform more complex moves, and progress with heavier weights as you continue to put in that intentional effort.


Time can be broken down into session times and program times. When discussing exercise, you will usually only find yourself discussing how long you ran on the treadmill or did a workout. Maybe you’ll even say you worked out for a season of time like a month.

However, when it comes to training, the amount of session time matters a bit less than what you do with that time. With training, a prescribed amount of volume is given with the goal of achieving it in the prescribed amount of time the client has. Along with this, training also has a prescribed phase time. Without getting into too much detail, there are macro and micro cycles that take into account months and years of work to help the client continuously challenge themselves so that they achieve results.


The ever popular before and after pictures flood the internet and social media sites to promote relatively short term diets and exercise guides. While it taps deep into our desire to get quick results, the truth is that many of these results come from an accumulation of effort over years before the individual packed on some pounds. Chances are, if they have rock hard abs, bulging biceps, and developed quads in their after, they have been training for years.

So, if your goal is to have a developed physique, training should be your main focus, especially from the beginning. However, it’s never too late!

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