Working Out vs. Training (Mon 5/3/10)

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Lots of CrossFitters are training for the upcoming CrossFit Games in L.A. this July. Many others are training for other reasons, but none of them are working out. They do “workouts” (one word, used as a noun), but they aren’t “working out” (two words, used as a verb) – they’re training. There is a fundamental difference here that warrants explanation, and lucky for you I’m just the fitness nerd to attempt to translate that explanation into something relatively understandable.

On the surface it may seem like a simple matter of semantics (and perhaps it is), but to me there is a definite difference between the two. To me, “working out” is something you do on your way home from work to wind down at the end of a long day. You stop by the gym, grab a magazine, spend 30 minutes on the elliptical catching up on the Hollywood gossip, maybe wander through the free weight section and try a set or two of something you saw in an article entitled “The REAL Secret to Killer Abs” in that magazine…you get the picture.

But “training” is different, isn’t it? Training implies you have a goal – something specific you’re working to achieve. If you’re training you’re taking what you’re doing seriously, and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. In fact the discipline required to achieve that goal isn’t even necessary because you would never consider doing anything that doesn’t directly support your endeavor. That’s what it means to train.

Professional athletes train – they don’t “work out”. Spec Ops teams train, they don’t “work out”. There is a definite purpose there for both groups, and neither is interested in what kind of music is playing or what the person next to them is wearing during the workout because they’re simply too focused on their goal to waste any valuable energy on that crap.

The difference between training and working out is seen in your attitude toward what you’re doing, and anyone who watches you train will instantly know that you’re not doing it just to have something to do. Discover how great you can really be when you stop “working out” and start training. Come on over to the dark side, Luke – we’re a bunch of badasses who make fun of people who read “Killer Abs” articles.


Front Squat 5-5-3-3


1000m Row or 100 Double-Unders
24 Ring Pushups
12 Pistols (alternating legs)
750m Row or 75 Double-Unders
20 Ring Pushups
10 Pistols
500m Row or 50 Double-Unders
16 Ring Pushups
8 Pistols

Training The Pistol (pt. 1)
Training The Pistol (pt. 2)
Training The Pistol (pt. 3)


30 second handstand (total time)

*If you can do a handstand against the wall, you may not use the wall for this cash-out. If you cannot do a handstand against the wall, you will practice the handstand progressions.

  • Reader #7

    Well I personally would go for the level 1 cert (and am also thinking about doing it myself) but then sine having an AAFA cert sounds like it might help you out at your job, I would say do that one then take the crossfit cert later on down the road. but then again im sure the crossfit leverl 1 cert wouldn’t hurt your job ether. so i dont really know what to tell ya man. sorry