What is the difference you ask? Attitude and Intentionality. Training is as much about attitude and your intentions as it is about action.
#1 Intentionality is key because training is specific and will not happen by accident. In order to train with a program you need to set some specific goals and begin to develop the skill set you will need if you are going to achieve them. This may sound like school or homework at first, but the truth is without this initial thinking through them we won't experience the freedom that comes from being fit and healthy (think learning grammar as a step to poetry). This learning process that seems painfully slow in the beginning also helps us stick with a program because there is always more to learn. Training requires practice, dedication and patience. The reward is high and the payoff is commensurate with the time and effort put into it.
#2 Your attitude toward the thing being pursued is extremely important as well. The mindset of merely exercising has little more than the current desire to propel it onward. When you engage in training you are always envisioning a specific goal and taking specific steps to achieve that goal. The longevity and power that can come from the attitude connected with training is far more effective than the notion of mere exercising because it is good for you.
Exercising is like a diet. You can gear up for a time and commit for a while, but somewhere along the way the fervor fades a bit. Training does more than elicit a favorable response from the body, it also changes the mind as well. It fosters a sense of achievement and confidence in those willing to undergo a training regimen. This sense of accomplishment and confidence are often more rewarding than the physical benefits that can be seen and measured.
Here are some necessary questions CrossFitters should ask themselves:
- What are my goals?
- What are my weaknesses?
- How often do I train my weaknesses?
- Am I willing to change my diet to achieve my goals?
- Have you communicated your goals to coaches, friends, family etc...?
Answering these questions can help you avoid the exercise trap where you aimlessly do workouts without any real reference points for what you want out of it!
Where should you train? CrossFit is the best training program I have ever come across both in its efficiency and scope. It is also complex and takes a lot of time to do well. There are a few considerations to take in before picking a gym to attend:
- Do they have a beginner program? If yes, keep them in consideration, if not, keep moving.
- Do they break down movements into progressions? Sometimes trainers will just lessen the weight being used instead of changing a movement or teaching a progression. Beginners need to be taught the progressions of the movements before they begin to do them under load.
- Are the coaches invested in the class and in the individuals? If yes, then they will be responsive to your needs, if not, keep moving.
- Do you like the vibe of the gym? There's an intangible sense or vibe that a place possesses and you should listen to it. Pick a gym that feels right to you based on location, personality, etc...