Exercising is different from training. Going to the gym or going for a run is great; you’ll definitely get in better shape by doing those things, but without a definitive result in mind, you’re not really training. To reach your fitness goals, you’ll need to start a training plan, maximize movement efficiency, and make your life more conducive to overcoming any obstacles that may get in the way of achieving results.

“One of the biggest pitfalls I see a lot of people make is they think showing up counts, and that does not work,” says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S. and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, MA. “Having a purpose in training makes a profound effect on everyone’s programming.”

Follow Gentilcore’s eight tips for improving athletic performance and put an end to “just going through the motions” once and for all.