Updated: Mar 25
Group personal training has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years as small exercise studios are in and the big box gyms are out. People nowadays want personalised workouts and individual attention without paying the hefty price of one-on-one personal training.
It used to be that doing fitness meant one of three things:
You were a lone wolf gym rat. Did group exercises classes (jazzercise, aerobics, etc.).You hired a personal trainer to whip your ass into shape.
Wikipedia defines a personal trainer as “a fitness professional involved in exercise prescription and instruction.” But in use, the term has become synonymous with one-on-one training, even though customized exercise prescription and instruction is certainly not limited to a one-on-one construct. In recent years, we in fitness have discovered that you can work in a small group and still receive that personal attention and individualized workout.
While it may be the latest fitness trend, group personal training isn’t going anywhere. Why? Because it works and it’s cost effective, especially when compared with its high priced cousin, personal (or private) training.
How Is Group Personal Training Different From Exercise Class?
An exercise class is a formatted class that the entire group follows, You show up and perform the motions that are being demonstrated or cued. A group exercise class is basically choreographed in that the entire group more or less is doing the same thing. In a group exercise setting, the teacher instructs, and the students follow.
Conversely, group personal training is different because of that operative word, personal. Group personal trainers do one thing differently than an exercise instructor - they coach. In a group personal training setting, students are often doing different things at their own customised level of fitness or ability.
While a group exercise class isg much like a choreographed dance, a group personal training class looks like a group of people doing different exercises together at their own rate of speed, intensity, and ability. Group exercise classes are typically larger and limited only by space available, while group personal training classes tend to be smaller in scale. (8-12 people)
The Advantages to Group Personal Training
The obvious advantage of group personal training as compared to one-on-one training is cost. Clients would be paying me roughly £1,000 a month for one-on-one training. Clients now pay £100-150 a month for group training. A lot of people will shell out a hundred pounds a month for good instruction, great workouts, and solid results. Not a lot of people can or will pay a thousand pounds a month for the same thing.
In addition to cost savings, with group personal training you get the added benefit of motivation from both your peers and the instructor. There is more energy in a group setting and even a little bit of good, old-fashioned competition. It’s just human nature that if the person next to you is giving an all out effort, you are more likely to do the same.
In a one-on-one session, if you don’t feel like working hard, you don’t. I consider myself a pretty decent motivator, but I have had plenty of one-on-one clients who didn’t feel like putting forth effort, so they didn’t. Pulling out every trick in the book, even the best trainer can’t motivate an unmotivated person. In a group though, people tend to give thier best.