I am looking at the choices in certification. I want to work with seniors; I’m in my early 50’s myself. But looking at the different programs, I don’t know if it’s best to do group training or personal training? I would like to do both, but I can’t find the right combination geared toward seniors. Group training seems to be focused on classes for younger folks, not what seniors would do.
Hi S. Boyd,
I’m going to take the approach where one is not necessarily better than the other–just serving different needs. As an instructor, you will have multiple people in your class. While this can occasionally present some challenges with watching for individual issues, you can always screen the class prior to starting to identify any areas that may present an issue. The aging population is growing–and the benefits for teaching this population are numerous and wonderful. Classes such as Silver Sneakers are great for seniors and are geared specifically for their needs. We have senior group programs where I work, and I’ve seen a wonderful sense of community and belonging–as well as individuals who are improving their cardio endurance, functional strength, flexibility, and overall health. Not all seniors want or need a personal trainer.
However, as a personal trainer to that population, you are obviously going to address their specific needs and plan a program based on their goals. One on one is very different than teaching a group of people, but that is obvious. You are there to cater to a specific need that client has and will know their limitations.
Again, one is not necessarily better than the other–teaching group fitness is just different than personal training. I do both, and feel like a better fitness professional because of the overlap. They have complimented each other in many ways. However, if I had to pick one to start, I would go with personal training to give you a foundation for this population. The fact that you have a passion and interest in this population will take you far.