On the surface, training and working out might sound one and the same, but they are actually very different. In this episode of the Move More podcast powered by Omega Sports, Dr. Scott Jablonka from Carolina Movement Doc answers some of the commonly asked questions on the difference between working out and training. Is there even a difference? What should we expect from either one? Dr. Jablonka helps you decide what is right for you and then explains the difference between training vs working out.

“When you’re in the workout stage of life, getting in those quick sessions may be the ticket and it makes for a better quality of life.”

Listen to Dr. Scott Jablonka’s full episode on The Omega Sports Move More Podcast.

Training vs Working Out: What's the difference?


One of the main differences between working out and training is the amount of involvement. Let’s say, for example, you’re looking to sign up for a marathon or a CrossFit competition. Once you’re signed up, you automatically have a goal, and with that goal comes discipline and a regimented lifestyle. Aside from your rest days, you’re out there training hard and not just from the exercise alone. A regimented lifestyle revolves around when do I train, when do I eat, and when do I sleep? For serious athletes, most will meet with a registered dietician to make sure nutrition is always on point. Blood work will be taken to ensure hormone levels are on track, and they’ll even begin monitoring their sleep cycles – needless to say, your life will be scripted out. For a collegiate athlete, it’s just another day in the life.

Training vs Working Out: Soccer player training

Working Out

Most of us will fall under this category, but what is working out? For starters, it is the opposite of scripted; some may even label it as inconsistent. Inconsistent or not, the important thing is making it to the gym. So even if it is three days a week, that’s still a major win! Take Dr. Jablonka as an example; when his new baby boy came into the world, priorities shifted. His new goal was keeping his baby alive and healthy. Since there is new precedence to acknowledge, working out a few days a week is now the norm, and that’s okay! The option to revert back will always be there down the line when more time has been made in your schedule. Why? Because we have control!

Training vs Working Out Research

Hitting the gym 1-2 times a week may not seem like a lot, and some may even ask if it’s worth it. Well, the answer is yes, it’s absolutely worth it! There are benefits that come with working out, even if it’s in small increments. A 2016 research done by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry titled, “The Effect of Exercise on Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis” concluded that physical exercise appeared to improve depressive symptoms in adolescents. It is important to note that this study was done on adolescents, but what are adolescents if not young adults? Depressive symptoms can (and have) happened to a lot of us. So even just getting in small amounts of exercise can improve your overall quality of life.

“When the stresses of life weigh you down, lift it.”

A second study done on Sleep Journal looked at the effects of weight lifting exercise on sleep quality. Results concluded that weight lifting was effective in improving subjective sleep quality. Lack of sleep may often correlate to depression, so in a way, you’re getting a 2 for 1 deal. You get a better night’s rest, and your quality of life improves tremendously.

How Much Exercise for Positive Effect?

The good news is that anyone can do this. 30 minutes is all you need for exercise to have a positive effect on life. It doesn’t even have to be a consecutive thirty minutes; you have the option of breaking it down throughout your day. Often times we get home from work feeling sluggish with no motivation. Dr. Jablonka would argue that this is the best time to go out and exercise. Just going for a 1–2-mile jog can dramatically shift your mood because how many times have you returned from a workout feeling worse and with regret? Never. No matter what your expertise is in fitness, the most important thing is to get out there and move more.

Want more movement tips from Dr. Scott Jablonka? Listen to older episodes of our Move More Podcast.