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.