Are you working out or training? - Project180

Are you working out or training?

More importantly is there a difference between the two?

I see working out is simply going and moving your body without a specific goal in place whereas training you’re working with intention and working towards a goal.

In the last 12 months I have come to realise there’s a difference between the two and for the most part it comes down to the focus and intention with which you approach what you do in the gym. I’d like to share this in the hope you will look at your gym time with a new light and perhaps even with a new purpose.

Are you someone that rocks up to the gym because you feel you should be doing something but you end up hating every minute of being there or show up only to complain the whole time or perhaps even have trouble getting out of bed even though you intended to go to the gym?

In the past when I have gone to the gym it was for no other reason than to move my body and burn calories, to hopefully get “skinnier”. When I would rock up it would be painful, I would complain without thinking at times and it was generally not the best experience. I was working out because it seemed that this is what I was supposed to do. I had no goal and no real intention.

I’ve now realised that there is a bigger picture because I have set goals. I know why I’m training. Here at Project 180 we encourage you to have something bigger to aim towards and then train to achieve those goals.

Setting goals that are bigger than just losing weight will make all the difference to your training – I’ve learnt this from personal experience.

Years ago I would weigh myself every morning when I woke up, hoping that I would see the magic number on the scales. Often I wouldn’t even know what that magic number was and be disappointed because low was never low enough. I’m sure we’ve all been there especially us girls.

I would then go to the gym and smash myself with high intensity workouts that would last for at least 45 minutes. I would couple this with limiting the amount of food I was eating throughout the day which often lead to binging on whatever I could get my hands on in the afternoon in a hangry moment which inevitably lead to more hating myself and that never low enough mystical number I was chasing every morning on the scales and so the vicious cycle would repeat.

I was never happy because that magic number was never low enough and I didn’t have a why. I had no idea of the science behind training and nutrition and would often get my advice from such stellar sources as Instagram (who’s leanest or most famous must know the most right? Forget genetics and qualifications. How many followers do you have? How skinny are you? Do you train anyone famous?). It wasn’t until I started following a program and seeing a Sports Dietician that I realised exactly where I was going wrong. I needed to stop this emotional rollercoaster and get off.

I explained to someone recently why we don’t use scales. On a set of scales you see a number, that number reflects the total weight of your body. It doesn’t tell you how much muscle you have, what your bones weigh, or even how much water you’re holding. It just gives you a number – in your head you see that number and depending on what it is it has the opportunity to make you happy or sad. The worst part is some days you could hop on the scales feeling amazing, like you’re kicking goals and doing well to only be told by the scales that you’re “wrong”

This is why we prefer set goals and train towards those goals here at Project 180. It can start with something simple like wanting to increase your deadlift PB by 10kg or improve your 2km row time by 20 seconds. Once you have a goal you can work back from it. First work out how long is it going to take to get to that goal and how much time do you have? Then ask yourself what classes are going to benefit you the most? Lastly what actions do you need to take to get there?

While you’re busy working towards the goal the magic happens, you’re focused on getting to that end state of an extra 10kg on your deadlift, you’re consistently attending classes and you begin to fuel your body correctly, you start to go to bed earlier to attend the early classes you begin to cut away massive benders on the weekend so you’re fresh for Monday. There’s a whole mindset shift. You no longer have to go to the gym, you now get to go the gym.

The results of that is you start moving your body more on a daily basis. You’re consuming better food, your sleep routine improves and your weekend becomes more productive resulting in a better lifestyle but also means you’re becoming a better human, the best version of you. This is great not only for yourself but the people around you, your kids, your partner, your parents, your work colleagues. A happier you has the power to influence happiness in those around you (and you thought you were just getting a sweat up huh?).

Project 180 is built on three pillars – Fitness, Mindset and Adventure. We truly believe that through those 3 things we can build better humans, better communities and make a real difference in real lives of real people.

When you decide to set bigger goals in the gym, everything else starts to fall into place. It begins with small things like wanting to hit certain PB’s then it builds from there. The goals are measurable and they become memorable (I remember the excitement a few months back when numerous girls hit the triples on deadlift for the first time – the 100kg plus club). They also give you a reference point if you’ve been away for a while and want to recommence your fitness journey.

With that reference point you can build a new plan. Seek progression not perfection. Find the why and start to train with purpose not simply work out because you feel society wants you to be skinnier.

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