Which Kind of Training is the Fit for You?

With so many fitness options on the market, it can be overwhelming to know which is the right fit for you. Should you be in a small of large group?

With so many fitness options on the market, it can be overwhelming to know which is the right fit for you.

  • Crossfit
  • Pure Barre
  • Group Training Classes like Les Mils Body Pump
  • Private Training Gyms
  • etc.

The option that is right for you depends on your goals, motivation and budget.

Decide for yourself. Learn some of the general differences between group and private training.

Behind the Scenes of Fitness Training

When I started out my training career, I took an internship at the Lake of the Ozarks. In that internship, I worked with people of all backgrounds.

The youngest client may have been about 13. The oldest client was at least 88. I also had the pleasure of training small and larger groups.

The smallest classes had about 2-5 people in them. The largest class I lead had 18 people. Some of that was a scheduling error, the cut off was 16.

None of those clients paid a different price, though you would think so.

I continued on at that facility for another year and a half. I always wanted to do things a little differently, more like the way I do now.

There is definitely a difference in quality between small and large classes.

Nick Tumminello provided a great analogy in his article: How to Choose a Personal Trainer: Myth Versus Reality

To paraphrase; group training is basically adult PE class. If you’re more concerned with feeling motivated and entertained than it’s a good fit for you.

Are you already motivated? Do you want a more individualized approach based on your needs and goals? Then semi-private and private training is for you.

In my own experience this holds true.

Groups In the World of Factory Gyms

A good, fun training experience is something that we all want. Workout solely to eat what you want? Tuminello says you likely fit the group category.

Group training is more about managing the flow of the session. Group training is only concerned with that part of training.

When a class is larger, by nature there are some constraints:

  • There's only so much space in a room.
  • Equipment may be limited.
  • Exercises that are more complicated need more attention. They get left out.

In a more niche fitness studio, this might be tenable. At a large gym, you might be in a diverse class with people twice and half your age.

For the trainer this changes the way decisions are made. If I want to perform a certain exercise, I need to think about who will be in the room.

These are some of the reasons why programs in group classes might seem very general. They have to be fitted to the limitations of the entire group.

You've likely noticed when one person didn't seem like they "fit" the group.

None of this is to say that I am against group training. If you can find ways to make your large group small, you also gain from having a larger community.

In a group of 20 people, you're likely to find someone you connect with that has skills you don't.

How Can Group Training be More Individual to You?

Group training isn't evil. There are ways to try to make it more individualized, they manage in college athletics.

Things need to be easy enough for everyone to do. Some modifications may be provided for more advanced attendees. This is where progressions and regressions come in.

An example squat progression:

  • Wall sit
  • Bodyweight onto Box squat
  • Bodyweight Squat
  • Goblet Squat
  • Back Squat
  • Front Squat

If the group is performing a bodyweight squat, step it up with a goblet squat. If the exercise is too hard, switch the exercise to a simpler one. You could also opt to go at your own pace.

Still unsure about which is right for you? If you don’t care about changing your eating habits or the way you look, then large group training might be a fit for you.

Group training is very popular because it is a more affordable option. Some group classes are as little as $7-15 per class.

The Competitive Edge in Personal Training

Private and semi-private training is about coaching the individual.

In a private studio, the exercise planning and selection options can seem endless. You can pick exercises that move you across entire rooms.

At a more traditional gym, you need to plan your workout around the gym. Some of your time will be spent waiting on machines.

When your trainer puts together your plan in a private setting, it's usually a better plan;

  • You can focus on the exercises you need to work on first, not the machines that happen to be free.
  • Because there is exercise freedom, the plan can more closely fit your goals.
  • Private studios often have smaller budgets. There's less money for edgy equipment that might not work.

Obviously with less clients, there is room for more attention to detail. Everyone can get the benefits of high-quality, personal training in a semi-private setting.

Before You Forget, Compare Nutrition Options

Something that you should also put into consideration is nutrition. I address this in my business, but, not all programs do.

It's a complete diservise and you won't get results without addressing your eating.

Of the places that do, some choose to address nutrition in an individual or group format.

Some common ways that personal trainers approach nutrition include:

  • Individual coaching
  • Small group nutrition meetings
  • Transformation contests
  • Online programs
  • Local business partnerships

All these have benefits and drawbacks. Some of the same benefits and drawbacks of private and group training fit here.

Sometimes you may not need the full attention of your coach. There may be a helpful curriculum for you to follow along with.

Occasionally, all us have a burning question. Sometimes you need someone to give you their full attention.

Hybrids exist, you might be able to do some private and some group training.

Pick a training and nutrition option that fits you well.

Phone: 1-573-443-1495