If you’re a member of a health club, chances are that you have seen small groups of people working out together with a personal trainer. This is not group ex classes, and not one-on-one personal training.
Small group training (SGT) is a popular middle ground between packed group ex classes and costly individual personal training sessions. Debuting informally a decade or less ago, it’s now a very big deal at health clubs nationwide. And it makes sense, as it generates revenue for clubs and fitness professionals and gives exercisers a more affordable way to benefit from the expertise of a trainer.
Now, if you simply want to pop in your earbuds and hit the elliptical or treadmill alone, then maybe SGT isn’t a good fit for you. Or if you are a diehard group ex groupie, perhaps SGT isn’t your game plan. But for people who sometimes struggle to get to the health club, or for those who are bored or unmotivated with their workouts, SGT is a great way to mix things up and benefit your body and mind.
If you’re not a member of a health club, check with your local community recreation center or nearby personal training studios for SGT.
Here are some reasons to give SGT a try:
- Value – Let’s face it: personal training can be pricey if you continue over time. After your gym membership fee, you may not want to shell out more cash for one-on-one workouts. SGT costs are more reasonable because they are split among 3 or more exercisers, and up to 15 to 20, depending on the session and the number of trainers involved. And most clubs offer a volume discount if you buy a package of sessions.
- Individual attention – Even though you are part of a group, a good trainer works with each SGT participant individually at times, correcting form, offering feedback and demonstrating modifications and progressions. You won’t get lost here like you might in the back row of a large group ex class, and your workouts benefit as a result.
- Accountability – You’ll be less inclined to blow off a workout if you know that there is a group – and a trainer – expecting you. Plus, paying for SGT typically inspires better adherence.
- Camaraderie – There’s something about sweating and struggling together that fosters bonds, empathy and support. Whether you join SGT with your buddies, or don’t know anyone in the group, the shared experience tends to result in laughs, grunts, cheers and maybe even a friendship or two.
- Results – Even if your SGT doesn’t include a pre- and post-fitness assessment, you can be sure that you’ll know how many push-ups you could do or how much you could lift at the beginning and at the end of the session. Results are a powerful motivator.
- Variety – Today, multiple options exist for SGT, such as:
- Boot camp – This can be traditional calisthenics, tire flipping, pushing sleds, jumping on plyo boxes and more.
- Circuit training – Clubs often use functional fitness frames that have different stations where participants perform various exercises, such as battle ropes, medicine ball throws, pull-ups and suspended body weight moves.
- Weight loss – Designed to stimulate weight loss, these can be less intimidating for the deconditioned and typically include a nutrition/diet component.
- Specialty sessions – These target the bride-to-be, seniors, pre/post-natal, teens, women-only and athletes.
- Athletic conditioning – Designed for competitors, such as triathletes, runners, obstacle course racers, golfers and others to improve their skills.
- Martial arts – From kickboxing to boxing, jiu-jitsu and capoeira, these offer new skills and physical challenges.
Get friends, family, or co-workers together and try small group training for a motivating way to workout! Stay Fueled.