Group Exercise vs Personal Training

Exercise Ladder
In life we do many things in groups.  We went to school in classrooms, joined athletic teams or the chess club.  We go into think tank and typically work in group settings. It’s rare that we should be extracted and worked individually.  There are times for that, but more often than not, most people enjoy a group setting.  There’s camaraderie, motivation, and accountability.  There’s the energy of working with other people in the same room that inspires people to push a little bit harder and not hold back, and to do everything that’s asked of them.  The group is a great way of bringing out more than a person thinks they’re capable of.

1:1 Personal Training

Ideally for personal training I have people meet me individually to improve their performance when I can’t do it in a group setting.  If they have some situation or specific circumstances or limitations that are preventing them from performing all the exercises that I ask in a group setting, I can take them into an individual setting and start working on those weaknesses and limitations.  That is ideally when I would want to have people train individually 1:1.

However, there are other people that just don’t want to work out in a group – it’s just that simple.  Whether it’s intimidation or the energy or they just want more personalized attention, then that’s where the 1:1 personal training comes in.

Advantages of Group Exercise vs 1:1 Personal Training

The benefit of a group exercise class is economically its more affordable – lower hourly rate. Many opt toward the group because of this, but once they enter the group, they find that the other benefits are the camaraderie, the friendships they gain, or the commiserating of the intensity of the workouts to one another.  Human nature is such that we do things in a group, we are not isolationists for the most part.  We look to be around others and there’s many groups that have been doing this for decades now – helping like minded individuals address the same concerns in their lives whether it be a 12-step program or a Group Exercise Class where people are trying to get in better shape, to stay active, to lose a few pounds and to just be happy with themselves and happy with their lives.  If you get people of the same ilk working together, it’s a very powerful experience.  It is one of the benefits of working out in a group.

Psychology of Groups

Nobody wants to be the weak link, the slowpoke in the group.  So a big part of group exercise is that you have to step up to meet the demands of everyone else.  There’s always going to be someone that’s leaving the pack, but there are usually people that are going to try to knock that person off the mountain.  Thus, there’s a competitive edge that’s instilled in a group class – not necessarily highly competitive, but if somebody is doing an exercise, then others are going to step up and do it because there’s an accountability that’s going on.

It’s not necessarily competitiveness in terms of performance.  It is far more often in terms of effort level.  You see other people working hard and because of that a desire to work just as hard or harder is instilled.