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Working out vs Training

Now, this may be a surprise to you but training and working out are two very different things. The average American is told they need to work out to have a healthier life and the qualifications for a healthier life are made of arbitrary numbers. No one actually knows what their own body needs until they experiment. Every single human on this Earth is unique and we have the opportunities to create a lifestyle around our uniqueness. If I told you today you will die of a cardiac arrest unless you start training for a marathon, at this moment! Actually, your lungs will explode if you don’t learn how to surf and rock climb by the end of this week! This month, if you don’t average 10,000 steps daily, your eyes will fall out! Ridiculous statements but are they so different from what you see on a daily basis?



The idea of a workout is the same for everyone due to social media, previous trends, and our environment. When you go to your most used search bar and type in “Beginner workout” a generic plan is pulled up right away. There is nothing wrong with the plan provided here (https://www.gnc.com/health-articles-tips/beginner-workout-plan-total-lean.html) but the person who wrote this, did they write it for you? Anyone can follow along with this program and do it for weeks upon end with no issue but then what? What happens when you hit your “peak?” What is your next phase for your workouts? What is your reason for starting this program? Did it line up? Why did you even start this? Does your back still hurt? Did you lose weight?


All questions I’ve asked myself in the past when I started online plans for mobility, conditioning, strength training, and running. I’ve studied and created hundreds of different workouts & training plans for friends, family members, clients, and group workout classes and to write one for myself is too much work (I’ll explain this in another post). I’ll find a “popular workout plan” and follow it for 1-2 weeks, I get bored and realize that I have no attachment to the workout. No explanations, just moving my body to move it. I’m just working out to work out.

Have you ever just gone for a drive to drive? Just meditated to mediate? For the most part, you have a reason to do the previous unless you need to go mindless but there is still a reason. You go for a drive to clear your head after a stressful day. You began meditating because you realize that the world is too much to handle and learning how to control your mind is better than breaking down in tears or punching a wall. For a majority of different aspects in your life, you have a purpose, sometimes you may not realize your purpose/meaning but there is one, I promise. Let’s bring purpose/meaning to your workouts, now you are training.


Are you perfecting your surfing, let’s work on your planks and barefoot engagement. What about playing with your kids, you want to be able to keep up with them in everything they do, so let's get some HIIT training in! Training is working towards a goal, training is purposeful and rewarding!


“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“A workout without a plan is just movement.” Donovan Stewart



Your plan doesn’t need to be detailed but you are intentional with everything you step into. Elite athletes are ahead of the game because a majority of them have coaches who will guide them in the right direction. The athlete will trust the plan and commit to finishing it, once completed, the athlete will have achieved the goal they originally set out to complete or will go back into the dungeon and see what was missing in the gap. It’s rare that everything goes perfect and it can be devastating but it is all a learning experience. With training, programs are developed with roadblocks in mind, no coach is unprepared for a hurdle to over come. It’s hard to accept that not all training plans are perfect, I wish they were. I have let down plenty of clients in the past because what I was doing didn’t align with who they are and we couldn't overcome the obstacles. It took me some time to understand that no coach is perfect, and no fitness enthusiast will get it right the first time but having the athletic mindset of training vs working out will keep one foot in front of the other and get closer and closer to the end goal. Your coach wants to see you succeed, they will work with you and understand you, and they will reassure you that you are not alone on your journey to completing your goals.


To conclude, meet with a coach and get a personalized plan. Begin the experiment of what works and what doesn’t work, allow the coach to remind you of your “why” and even if you are not looking to hire a coach. Spend some time creating your own plan using the template below. You are capable of reaching your goals, this will support in getting some fuel on the fire and get you moving.


I want to reassure you, that you are not alone on your journey.


- Coach Donovan



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