A major mistake that is made all too often by people who are trying to lose weight or reshape their body is to focus on either building muscle, or burning fat, but not both.
Most people also make the mistake of concentrating too heavily on cardiovascular training to burn calories, rather than on building lean muscle tissue, which will ramp up your metabolism and cause your body to burn more calories while you are away from the gym.
The Problem With Exercise
There is a world of difference, philosophically speaking, between the terms exercise and training, especially as it relates to your goals.
Exercise is what you see most people in the average commercial gym engaging in. Random, frantic activity with the sole purpose of getting as tired as possible, with the hopes that this will further their goals. Exercise seems to be a goal unto itself, with no regard for tracking anything, and will result in no recollection of the weight used or how many sets and reps was performed of an exercise last week or last month.
As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Gauging how effective a workout is by how sore you are the next day, and not by your numbers, is a sure way to get frustrated with your lack of progress and give up on your goals. Soreness and how you feel may lie to you, but numbers do not lie. They reveal, without exception, whether or not you are improving and progressing.
Training, on the other hand, is exercise with a master plan in mind. There is a well thought out reason behind every exercise or combination of exercises, the amount of load used, and the amount of volume for the entire day’s workout. Every exercise, set and rep is recorded on paper, in order to give an accurate account of what went on into that training session. Workouts are planned out in advance, so you know without a doubt exactly what must be accomplished that day in order to ensure your continued progress.
So the question remains, are you training or are you exercising?
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Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.