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June 22, 2021

Working Out vs. Training

We throw around the term “work out” to describe showing up at Vero Strength on any given day to perform the program, but what we are really doing is TRAINING. There is a big difference between working out and training, so what is it?

When someone does “work” it often means they just come in to do some movements and sweat. There is no long-term performance goal - the main objective is to feel exhausted. There may not be any regard for movement quality and intensity is often glorified. It’s quantity over quality. Think boot camps, Orange Theory, or random CrossFit workouts. Oftentimes, these workouts are written the night before or even the day of. Soreness makes people feel like they accomplished something.

On the other hand, there is TRAINING. A training session is one that is an important step in a larger plan. You are working towards a goal in the future, typically it’s getting stronger (or even maintaining strength, balance, etc as you age). Single training sessions vary in intensity, movements executed, etc. to strive for balance and well-roundedness. Extreme soreness is never the goal, as it will only affect your other training session. Quality over quantity.

Take for instance our training phases, the current one being German Body Composition (GBC) (a deeper explanation can be found here).

When we designed this phase, there were major considerations:

  • GBC strength circuits are written first, as they are the priority. There is science behind this style of training.
  • Knowing that GBC circuits are intense, we adjust other training sessions to complement these and not take away from them.
  • There is regard for overuse (like too many squats, too much hingeing, etc.).
  • We’ve been keeping the aerobic capacity sessions simple and relying on machines to elicit a response so there’s less wear and tear on the body and your central nervous system isn’t in the gutter.
  • Because we perform an intense “test” on Saturdays, Fridays are focused on movement quality and prehab/rehab-type exercises (knees over toes, accessory, etc.) instead of intensity. Too much intensity wreaks havoc on the central nervous system (I can do another blog post on what can happen here!).

Our training phases aim to create an adaptation. Movement quality is key - you must practice correct movement mechanics in order to build strength in those positions. If you don’t get into these positions, you will never achieve them. That’s where you will see changes in the body.

People who simply “work out” - the gym hoppers, people who take lots of HIIT classes, etc. - may see results at first (we call these newbie gains), but they will eventually plateau.

People who perform well-thought-out programs will continue to see results as time goes on, whether it be strength, muscle mass/definition, movement quality, or mobility. This is because movements and intent are varied every 4-8 weeks.

A final word on training. Some days, people may think they didn’t “do enough” especially if they’re newer and are fixing movement issues before going heavy. This is not the case. Exhaustion and soreness aren’t indicators of a good workout. Consistency will give you results. It doesn't happen overnight. Trust the process.

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