Time to read (approximately): 2 minutes

Play, Training, Practice, Workout, and Exercise

Lets…Play, Training, Practice, Workout, and Exercise,

What is the difference between using the words training, practice, workout, exercise, and play when communicating movement?

These words are used differently, depending on who you are speaking to.

At first I thought there was a difference in terminology depending on who you were talking to and about;

For us everyday folks words like workout, exercise, and play are often used.

Athletes were assigned words like train and practice.

Progression of Words

When I took gymnastics they did not use the word play, exercise or workout.

Yet, we were little kids trying to touch our toes and not fall over.

We practiced gymnastics, and if you were competing, then you trained for a meet.

Dance was all about practice and performance. I guess “performance” is what makes it more of an art than a sport.

Since I took dance, competitive dance is popularized. Maybe, their words have changed to include “training”.

Professional Words

When I started to read about the professional side of personal training, I came across the separation between “working out” and training.

Working out is associated with an everyday Jo(anne) going to a gym and getting on a tread mill or doing a lifting circuit.

Their goal is to go to the gym and move.

Training is to purposefully train for an event or competition goal.

Training takes into account progressing to improve skills over time, to peak at an event.

Attention is paid to eating, sleeping, recovery, not just the time doing your sport.


With increased popularity of average people doing road/cross country running races, triathlons, Cross-fit, cycling, etc.

A switch from “working out” to a “training” mind set has become more popular too.

Most people have a day job. So, very few compete at the elite athletic level.

Elite athletes are prepared to make the personal, bodily, and time sacrifices required to compete at that level.

Bit Better Coaching is influenced by a training mindset, since it includes nutrition and recovery. We also look towards play to stay motivated.

Have fun playing, while getting in your training today. Cheers!!

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