Personal Training vs Group Training – Which is Best for You? (Part 2)

Personal Training vs Group Training - Which is Best for You? (Part 2)

Last week we looked at hiring and working with a personal trainer – what to look for when hiring a personal trainer, costs, benefits, etc. This week we’ll look at group training.

Which is Best for You?

Group training has seen a rise in popularity over the recent years. This can be due to factors such as economics and a desire to socialize. Working out in groups can be more motivating and energizing. It offers encouragement by virtue of shared experiences in a group dynamic.

Let’s look at what group training can offer and what to look for when deciding to join an exercise class.

Group Training 

There are two main classifications of group training:

  • Traditional Group Exercise – has larger numbers of participants and is usually taught by the instructor working out along with the class.
  • Small Group Exercise – usually has 10 or less participants and is usually NOT taught by the instructor working out along with the class. 

1Things to Look For in a Group Training Program: 

Student to Instructor Ratio 

  • For large group training, there are usually 10 or more participants in the class. This cuts down on the time and attention the instructor can give each participant.
  • For small group training, there are usually less than 10 participants in the class. This helps the instructor provide more one-on-one attention.

Personal Fitness Level 

  • Do the classes match your own personal fitness level? If you’re too far behind others you become discouraged and if you’re too far ahead you will become bored.

Initial Assessment

  • Does the instructor speak with you individually, noting your personal information such as reasons for taking the class, goals you want to meet, do you have injuries or liabilities the instructor should know about?


  • The instructor should do a reassessment of your progress and status every three months or so.

Measured Results

  • Are you seeing tangible results?

Appearance of Instructor

  • Basically, you don’t want an instructor who is not in the same kind of shape you want to be in yourself.

Education of Instructor

  • While there are various types of certifications and experience, national certification is recommended. Ultimately, though, group training the focus is usually on how involved the instructor is in the success of participants.

Conducting the Class

  • The instructor should be giving the class undivided attention and feedback.


  • Consider the cost of the class and its location (gym, fitness center, etc.) and how it works with your budget.

Advantages to Group Training:

  • Cost – Group training is significantly less expensive than personal training.
  • Increased Accountability
  • Healthy Competition
  • Socialization/Motivation – 2Working out with others with similar fitness, health and/or weight loss goals provides support, encouragement and sense of community

Group training keeps exercise fun and energetic and motivating. Exercising with a group of people who share your goals makes it more likely you’ll meet those goals.

3You will benefit from personalized coaching, targeted and customized programming to meet your needs and ongoing accountability from your trainer and fellow group members.


  1. “The 5 Factors to Getting the Most From Group Training”  Liz Mamesh
  2. “Benefits of Group Personal Training” Heather Jackson
  3. “Small Group Training – Define Fitness”



Image Credit:

Post by Andrea Rogers