Circuit Training for Groups

Shawna Kaminski makes training affordable and approachable for those who might not otherwise try it.

Subject: Shawna Kaminski

Company: Kaminski Fitness Consulting, Calgary, Alberta

Types of Clientele. Kaminski has a variety of clients ranging in age from 12 to 70. The majority of them are women aged 30–50.

Offering Small-Group Workouts. Kaminski specializes in conducting group circuit training classes. Why? “Most people would benefit from some kind of personal training, yet it’s out of their reach financially,” she says. “My goal is to make personal training more affordable, while providing the best possible workout in a reasonable amount of time.”

Circuit Training Format. Kaminski offers six group circuit training classes per week out of her home gym. “I have 12–13 stations,” she explains. “I vary the stations for each class, so there’s rarely a workout that’s the same. I arrange exercises by muscle group, doing compound and multijoint exercises first, followed by single-joint exercises. The group circuit training workout lasts approximately 50 minutes. All clients train at the same time and rest at the same time. This setup increases clients’ comfort levels because they don’t feel anyone can watch them. All members train at their own fitness level by varying the amount of weight they lift.”

Preparing Clients for Group Circuit Training Workouts. While some clients have weight training experience, others have none. “Prior to beginning any work with a new client, I do an extensive interview with her,” she says. “I explain the workout and the gym’s set-up to the client so that once we get into the gym, she’ll have a good idea of what to expect. If the client is comfortable, we start in a group setting. If not, then we begin one-on-one. In the group class, I take the client through each station, demonstrating and coaching. In the meantime, my other clients are doing their own work, and I can coach them as well. I ensure that I have only one new client every few classes. After the first class, I shadow new clients for as long as necessary.”

Organizing Her Classes. Kaminski sets up a schedule for group circuit training classes a month in advance and e-mails it to her clients. “Clients either sign up in the gym or e-mail me their intentions,” she says. “This way I can ensure I have a minimum of four and no more than 12 participants per class.”

Why Clients Like Training With Her. Why do clients appreciate Kaminski? “I love how I’ve learned that I can do 10 seconds of anything and I can lift two more of anything,” says client Rowena Robinson. “I’ve lost 55 pounds; I’m at the weight I was before I married 13 years ago; and I’m trimmer than ever. I have my self-confidence and self-esteem back. I went sailing and was able to winch harder than either guy with me.”

Personal Trainer/Teacher Connection. Kaminski is a physical education (PE) teacher, with degrees in PE and education and an early-childhood diploma. “Working as an elementary-school PE teacher has helped a great deal in training my fitness clients,” she says. “Teaching young children requires me to break down an activity to its most basic elements. With patience, I am able to simplify complicated movements and language to a fitness client’s comfort level without being condescending.”

Biggest Challenge. Lack of time limits what Kaminski can accomplish as a trainer. “I’d like to add more classes and devote more time to this business, but life as a wife, mother, teacher and personal trainer is very busy,” she says. “I have many more ideas for expanding my business, but these will have to wait.”

Why Her Clients Inspire Her. When Kaminski sees clients make a commitment to their own health and fitness, she “gets goose bumps. If I feel I’ve been a part of a client’s physical transformation, I feel as if it’s my own success as well. I know and understand the bonus of feeling good in my own skin. When clients catch on to this concept, it makes me want to reach out to people even more.”

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April Durrett

IDEA Author/Presenter
April Durrett is a contributing editor for IDEA Fitness Journal.
November 2005

© 2005 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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