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Small Group Personal Training

By +Carolyn Richardson on Jan 22, 2012 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

Either your routine is getting old because your fitness level is improving, or you’re simply in need of a new fitness environment. If you paid for a personal trainer to kick start that New Year’s Resolution, you may be pondering an alternative by Fall. If you’re conflicted about your gym and group classes and in need of a boost, you can get the best of both worlds through small group personal training.

Pick Your Team

Some of us need some assurance when it comes to working out. Unlike those who play pickup basketball, we need to know who we’re playing with, how long we’ll play, and what rules to play by. When you think of a group class you may wonder what the instructor’s like and if there will be too many people in the class, and more importantly, if the workout itself is too easy or too hard. With small group personal training, you pick who you want to workout with and as a collective team you guide the course of your workout experience more than you would in a gym group class setting.

New Location

Being a part of a familiar group of exercise enthusiasts means you can opt for exercise excursions. Even if your personal trainer won’t change your meeting location, the group you are a part of may be mobile enough to carpool and get some exercise in between personal training sessions. Because you generally know each other’s fitness levels, you may feel comfortable enough to try out new ways of working out, or even meet up to do more leisurely physical activity like taking a walk in the park or biking around town. Play is an integral part of staying physically active, and you may discover new ways to play in a small group setting.

Personal Enough

While a personal trainer can give you one-on-one attention, the sense of community you get in a small group may be the best combination of motivation and instruction. When you’re doing a weigh-in with a trainer, sure you feel that sense of accountability, but when that same measure of anticipation is felt by a fellow group member, you may find you push a little harder to reach your goals. In the way of instruction, sharing the continually changing routines of a personal trainer can also help you prevent exercise burnout. When you see someone else getting stronger, running faster, and looking better, you are challenged to believe that you can do the same. In a small group, those results are shared openly, making them feel more personal.

Where to Start

Find someone you know continually uses a personal trainer. Ask them if their personal trainer allows for small group training. Gather information about cost, location, and commitment time. When you can wrap your mind around how a small group would work, look for 2-4 people with similar fitness or weight loss goals. This will help you bond better than if you’re the newbie amongst gym regulars. Also, keep the commitment time reasonable, say 2-3 months. That way you can set achievable goals and reassess the format of the small group when life changes come about. You can also judge whether the personal trainer is training the group at a progressive level. If someone needs to leave the group after the initial commitment time, you can open the group to new members. Remember as with anything, working out is not all or nothing. As you reach certain fitness milestones, you can always switch a personal training day for an outdoors activity day, or add a gym class to your regular small group sessions.

Your thoughts…

How could you benefit from a small group personal training session?


I love the idea of a small group training with the same fitness and nutritional program.  Being part of small group provides motivation, support, and accountability for all those in the group.  I sponsor small group training sessions virtually through private FB pages and have found that members who participate have the greatest success and want to continue.

wow, great idea!!

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I love this idea. When I was on the cross country team in high school, it was so much easier to push myself running with a group, and we all benefited from the encouragement. So why wouldn't it apply to other workouts? Definitely checking it out! Thanks!

This is what I need last year.  There were six of us and we worked out as a group twice a week using high intensity weight lifting.  We drink a gallon of water a day, and walked thirty minutes each day.  We also had a special diet for 6 weeks.  I lost 45 lbs, never cheated on the diet, and have kept the weight off for the past year.  I still go to the personal training and I am now starting the group again!  It does push you to be your best, make you accountable in front of the group and keeps your mind set!  Everyone should try itLaughing!

After a lot of work, I was instumental in bringing on-site group fitness class to my workplace. My company is interested in wellness, so half the battle was won. There are a group of about 10 of us that workout 3 days a week after work. I know personally my strength, flexibility, muscle tone have improved. After 3 months, the participants have lost an average of 10lbs each and made improvements in the categories previously listed. It is very satisfying for me to see the positive changes in the health and appearance of those that are taking advantage of this opportunity. Motivates me to keep exercising!

I totally agree. I train small group and we all work on motivating each other. At the same time, the workouts are hardcore but my trainees love that they are all in it together. I too partake while watching them intently so the can see I'm human too.

I totally agree. I train small group and we all work on motivating each other. At the same time, the workouts are hardcore but my trainees love that they are all in it together. I too partake while watching them intently so the can see I'm human too.

I'm a personal trainer working in Hartlepool and can confirm everything in this article to be true. Small Group training is a fantastic way to workout and it takes away the inhibitions some people feel they have when they go to the gym and makes working out more fun when it is done with friends. Highly recommended!

CROSSFIT is a good group type workout.  Its not an easy workout, but at my gym I see all types of fitness levels.  I just thought I would throw another idea out there.

I also agree my husband owns a personal training gym and we do classes. We have from 6-8 people in class and we get the personal attention of a trainer and the sense of community! it is awesome we never met until the gym and now we hold each other accountable and have a good time working out!

My husband & I recently moved across the country.  we moved from a year round sunny environment to snow about half the time.  It is really hard to get out and meet people and to find a small group workout place.  Any advice?

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