Exercising and training might sound like the same thing, and we all have done both, but there is one big difference between them: commitment. Commitment to yourself, to the workout, to the process and to your goals. It is not uncommon for us coaches to see people in class who are worried about the past, or the future. These people tend to under-perform in class and, therefore, not get as much as they could from it. Life is hectic and people are often incapable of fully living in the present moment.

We all have exercised before. It could’ve been a pick up game with friends, where we just wanted to have fun, or going for a run on a nice day to get some exercise in. Most of us have also trained. It could have been from competitive sports, where we did drills and were focused on what we wanted to improve, or from long distance running training, where we were conscious about the distance, time and pace we ran at. It is clear that in training there is also a mental effort added to our physical effort.

There are obvious benefits to exercising. But for true and meaningful progress, we must TRAIN. We must be present when we exercise. Knowing the intent of each training session and following it with your best effort is just as important as actually doing the workout.


Many things can impact our presence in training. Work issues, phones and social media, personal issues and other distractions usually keep athletes from being as engaged in the training session as they could be. In CrossFit it is essential that we remain focused for multiple reasons. There is technique in every moment, if we want to move efficiently and safely we must be focused on what we are doing. Also, each workout has a specific stimulus for athletes to follow. If you go really hard in the beginning of a 20 minute AMRAP and get to fatigue after 4 minutes you didn’t really train for the desired stimulus. And finally, in CrossFit we aim to train body and mind. Remember the 10 General Physical Skills? A few of them have to do more with your brain than your muscles (coordination, accuracy and balance). You can’t really train them if you are not making a conscious effort, while being present during training.

It is not easy to stay completely focused on an hour long class, and if you struggle with it let one of our coaches know and we will be happy to help you. We are not in this business just to get you moving. We want to help improve every aspect of your life, and training instead of exercising is a step toward it.

by Coach Matt