Training vs. Exercise

strength training in Guildford surrey

don’t hold up your results
by making
the past mistakes I did!

I trained in gyms for many years and made mistakes and I trained at home for a few years and made some mistakes there too!

My mistakes meant that for a long time, too long, I didn’t get the results I wanted, despite putting in a huge number of hours, following fitness trends, reading health magazines and buying nutritional supplements.

My mistake was not understanding the difference between exercise and training. These words seem to be used interchangeable, yet the results can lead to REMARKABLE differences in the outcome, as I have found.

Let me explain them to you now, so you can start getting the best results from your time in the gym.

exercise & training defined
1. gym exercise

The difference between gym exercise and gym training

Exercise Explained: Exercise is an activity that you do for the way it makes you feel in the moment of doing it. It can be on a treadmill or a bike, it can be in a fitness class.

It gets you hot and sweaty and you may even feel the burn in your muscles as you are doing it.

Most of the time when you walk into a gym, what you are seeing is people doing exercise.

They will hop from one machine to the next, doing a bit of this and that starting with some cardio and maybe some stretches. Exercise can be unplanned, spontaneous and if it’s in a class with others a lot of fun and not boring.

The problem with exercise in this way is that you don’t make the kind of progress you could by training. You’re just hoping you might arrive where you want to be.


Training deadlift in the gym

Training on the other hand is targeted and quantifiable.

Training Explained: Training involves a plan. You have a desired destination and the map to get you there. The map is your programme. The programme details which days you train, what exercises to do and how much weight should be used for each one.

The critical thing in professional programming is that it is designed by a good coach and specifically tailored to your current level.

how to get
professional results
in your gym training

I select specific exercises and then make a week by week programme that is specifically planned to challenge a person’s ability level and thereby push them to the next.

The result is my clients progress as they adapt to each new level of training.

That is proper planned training. The art and science comes from the programming you establish through your own research or the guidance of a good coach.

Either way results will arrive and usually with the use of simple and effective exercises combined with some straight forwards nutritional guidance.

Exercise does burn calories, but its unquantifiable nature can leave you wondering for a long time if you are ever going to get where you truly want with your goals vs. the time you are spending in the gym.

So, the next time you walk into the gym, take note of who is writing things down. That’s a sure sign of someone who is training not just exercising.


If you have hit a plateau or are wondering if you are performing exercises correctly or in the way to get you the best results then you have a couple of options.

You can reach out to a professional like myself for guidance. I offer a free consultation in most cases via phone, FaceTime or in person if you are based near me (Guildford Surrey UK).

books i recommend

If you prefer to find things out for yourself and do your own research and planning then I’d like to recommend a few of the best books out there to get you started

If your goals are strength gains for athletic performance or just general well-being for the rest of your life: Starting Strength 3rd Edition by Mark Rippetoe.

If your goal is physique first and strength second then: Thinner Leaner Stronger for Ladies.

Bigger Leaner Stronger for Men. Both books 2nd Editions by Michael Matthews.

In a long journey of trial and error, I can honestly tell you that these are simply the best books I found that got me started with proper results driven training.

When I coach and advise people I use guidance from all those texts and more.

start your training journey now

If you’d like to switch from exercising to training then you can preview my services and contact me with any questions via the link below.