I have started teaching a small number of ladies for group fitness class in a yoga studio. Because the classes are small and they are very consistent, the relationships and structure could be more like small group personal training. I have gotten to know the ladies and can give them specific instructions and modifications. If I wanted to re-frame the class as small group personal training, what would the differences be? (I am not trained as a personal trainer yet, although this may be my next step.) I would think that it would include goal-setting and tracking of the workouts and progress, more measurement of the process and results. How would you differentiate small group personal training from a small size group fitness class?
For me, small group personal training is a group of 6 or less, ideally 4. It doesn’t have to be exactly that size, but that’s a good working size for me to give everyone the attention that they need.
In group-ex, I plan for that hour, and although I have a lot of regulars, in order to accommodate the newer people, I don’t increase the OVERALL fitness level of the activities over time. I add options for my more fit participants, but I don’t have the goal of taking the entire class from point A to point B over the next 3 months. As you mentioned, goal-setting plays an important part of my small-group class. I pay attention to each specific individual’s fitness level and can remind them of their goals and their expected intensity / effort per task if they want to reach that goal. If a client has a specific goal (i.e. one woman is learning how to stand-up paddle board), I am able to add an exercise like a BOSU balance task that will benefit everyone at the same time as it helps her.
BUT, it’s not completely personalized. My client who is stand up paddling has a different goal than the client who wanted muscles in her arms before going to Mexico, and they’re different from the woman with the knee injury who wants to be able to get up and down more comfortably and live in less pain. Each client is sharing my attention.
In some situations, usually when there’s a very small group like 2-3 people who are friends at the same fitness level and similar goals, I can really customize a plan that will get them results as quickly as they would if they trained with me one on one. But typically, since they’re at different fitness levels and with different goals, although they will results from group training, they’ll get them more quickly training solo with me.
Small-group is a good way to introduce yourself to personal training and see if you enjoy it.
I agree with Nancy’s answer to this question.
Small group personal training is limited in number, some work with groups of up to 8 (I like to limit a small group to around 5).
The major differences are the price point and the level of individual coaching you are able to provide. Larger groups require you to spread your focus to keeping the group moving and on task while periodically allowing for some sparse individual attention.
Smaller groups are a higher price point and generally a higher level of coaching. It also allows for more specific goals. Maybe there are 4 ladies that specifically want to work on building their glutes (build a booty program) this could be a specialized group to cater to that need. A larger group would more likely have more generalized workouts while still working in individual goals
Hello Karen Mikolainis,
The main difference is the individual attention, and tracking of workouts and RPE for personal training compared to the group tracking their own workouts and being responsible for staying in their own training capabilities.
With that comes much more work on your own time for personal training as compared to group training. How we communicate during the classes is another major difference.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
you have already figured it out in your question: “goal-setting and tracking of the workouts and progress, more measurement of the process and results” in your own words.
Often, small group training has a time frame with a beginning and end, and it tends to be for a group of people not open to everybody.
To me 3-4 people is considered a small group personal training. 6-8 people I consider it a small group fitness class. The numbers are different for each trainer, but once the group starts getting to large to keep an eye on all of the participants equally, then it becomes a class (no matter how you call it). Personal training means that you can devote your whole attention to that client or clients with no distractions until they reach their goals. If you can’t do that, then it’s not personal training.