Personal Training vs. Group Fitness
You’re thinking about taking steps towards a healthier you, which is great. Fitness training can help you live longer, look better and feel better — and it’s even more important to take control of your fitness as you get older.
While you’re looking at your options, you may find yourself considering whether to opt for private training vs. group fitness classes. Which one is better? Which one is right for you? What are the differences between group training and individual training?
Group Fitness Pros:
- Cost: Probably the most obvious advantage of group fitness vs. private training is that it is significantly cheaper, since the cost is split among many students.
- Support: Some people have difficulty staying motivated to keep working at fitness. Being surrounded by others with the same fitness goals as you may make it easier to keep going.
Group Fitness Cons:
- Attention: You get what you pay for. The cost of a group fitness class is divided, but so is the instructor’s attention. When an instructor has to attend to 45 people in a one-hour class, there’s not much room for getting your individual needs met.
- Loss of Confidence: While having other people working out with you can be supportive, inevitably there will be people in the group who are ahead of you with respect to their fitness goals. If you are having trouble keeping up with the best students in the class, it may make it easier to give up.
Personal Training Pros:
- Individualized Attention: When you have private training, it’s all about you. You can get the maximum benefit from your training because the instructor is focused on you and how you are doing.
- No Scaling: In a group class, you may have to modify your workout because you are ahead or behind what the rest of the class is able to do. With private training, the workout is specifically geared to your needs.
- Individual Goals: You probably have specific goals when it comes to fitness. Perhaps you are trying to rehab from a sports injury. Maybe you are trying to lose weight or increase your endurance. Perhaps strength training is your focus. Whatever it is, your personal trainer can devise a specific plan to help you meet your goals. You can’t get that in a group experience.
- Responsibility: If you miss a group fitness class, there’s a good chance no one will notice. When you engage a personal fitness trainer, you are responsible for working towards your fitness goals, which can be motivating and inspiring.
Personal Training Cons:
- Cost: Private training is naturally more expensive than group training. However, in terms of value, you will probably find that personal training has the edge.
Example of Personal Training vs. Group Fitness
Let’s say your goal is to improve your cardiovascular health. You can join a spin class, which will help you with aerobic exercise, but if this is something you struggle with, the class may get ahead of you quickly, which can be discouraging. The teacher will probably do their best to help you keep up and you may be motivated to keep coming back by the others in the class. But you may not see results quickly.
On the other hand, a personal trainer can put you on a cardiovascular exercise plan that suits your ability and moves you along slowly. You’ll have gradual successes so you won’t get discouraged and will probably have better and more lasting results in the long run.