Exercise vs. Working Out

If you know me…you know I’m at the gym every Monday through Friday from about 5am until 7am.  I have a good 90 minutes of exercise where I end up being gross, disgusting and sometimes a bit on the smelly side.

You know what though…I am ok with that.  Why?  Because I know that I spent my time wisely and I “worked out”.  What I did that morning (especially if there is a slight stink) was worth it and my body would not only be stronger but healthier.  I don’t get smelly just sitting on the couch, checking my e-mail or watching my favorite shows…do you?

Today I saw something at the gym that left me a bit on the puzzled side.

Two women recently started working with a trainer, pretty sure it is a mom and daughter.  Are they at the gym?  Yes.  Are they working out?  Hmm.  Not sure on that answer.  Here is why…

Going to the gym or exercising = you are physically there.  If you are at home exercising…you are doing the motions and finishing the task that you have, whatever is on the list or in the video that you might be doing that day.  You might have some distractions around you that seem to be pulling you though.  Let’s say…the phone rings.  If you are exercising you will pick up that phone and talk, maybe even while you finish up your last few things on your exercise list.  Maybe you are riding an exercise bike and reading is something that you like to do while riding.  Nothing like getting a great story read while exercising, right?!

Working out has a bit of a different definition.  Working out means that you are pushing yourself, challenging your limits and making your body work hard.  When you are done with your exercises you know you have accomplished something great and you are proud of yourself.  If that phone rings, you are not able to answer it because every breath you are taking is going towards moving that blood in your body and there is some huffing and puffing probably going on.  If you answered the phone the person on the other end may just call 9-1-1 for you because they can tell you aren’t able to talk and seem short of breath.  Reading a book on the bike is not even a question.  You are doing intervals, climbing up some pretend hills and are focused as you are working hard at moving those pedals and keeping up that pace.  If you had a book in front of you there would be drops of liquid on it because you are sweating on the pages.

The two women that I saw were “at the gym” and there wasn’t any type of “working out” going on.  Even with a trainer they are not pushing themselves as hard as they can, and that is their choice.  How do I know that these women are just “at the gym”?  When I noticed these women the other day they were walking from one side of the gym to the other with their trainer leading them.  The trainer was walking to another room and kept going as these two women all of a sudden stopped in front of a tv.  Side note:  at 5am the news is the same news as what you see at the 10pm time slot and sometimes even before that.  Nothing changes.  The breaking news story that these women abruptly stopped to watch was an old story but one that they seemed to be very interested in because they were not moving.  After a minute of watching the tv the trainer showed back up at their side, stared at the tv and then just looked at them with a very interesting look on her face.  You could see the thoughts going through her head, “where did you go?  We have stuff to do right now and watching tv is not one of those things.”

These women are paying someone to train them.  These women get up early in the morning a few days a week to “go to the gym” and meet with this trainer.  Would I say that these women are pushing themselves and having a “workout”.  Not at all.  They are finding excuses not to workout.  Physically they are there but mentally they are not ready for this change.

If exercise was important to them, they would ignore everything around them and listen to their trainer.  They would push themselves to lift one extra rep or try a weight higher than what they did before.  If this process was important to them they would be at the gym on days when they weren’t meeting with a trainer too.

If exercise is not important there will always be an excuse that you can find.

Did I find results because I “went to the gym” or because I had a “workout” while I was at the gym?  I have people asking me what I do for exercises and to put it simply…I workout.  I have never read a book or talked on the phone while exercising.

Question is…are you ready for change or are you ready to just find an excuse?

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