Private vs. Group Fitness? How to Choose What's Best for You

Private vs. Group Fitness? How to Choose What's Best for You

There is definitely a lot of debate and discussions around pros and cons of private vs. group fitness. 

Which one achieves better results? 

Is the commitment higher in groups than individually? 

Which one makes the most sense for clients? 

Which one is the most cost effective? 

Group fitness dates back to the 70s and 80’s. Long gone are the days with Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda-inspired aerobic workout and Jazzercise classes, succeeded by spinning and cycling, Body Pump, and Tae Bo classes in the 90’s. Then, in the last decade Yoga, Pilates and Zumba became a hit, followed by boot camps, and later, CrossFit group classes. There are CrossFit, Orange Theory and F45 gyms cropping up everywhere, the trend seems to be increasing with time. 


Hiring a personal trainer for private fitness classes is a pretty intimidating process for some people. The one-on-one work for most people can be uncomfortable at the beginning or embarrassing even. Private fitness classes, at least here at Benchmark, are always a judgement-free zone. We want to help you get to your goals as quickly and smoothly as possible. Our goal is to push you to your own comfortable edge, to challenge you and achieve whatever it might be that you are striving for. Here’s some reasons why you might choose private training:


With a private fitness class you can be sure that you are doing all the movements properly, reducing any possibility of injuries. As well, you will learn how to isolate specific muscle groups to tone and sculpt areas that you are looking to address. These valuable skills will last long after the sessions are over. Push past your plateau and get the results you have been looking for. 


Let’s face it, unless we are super motivated or have our own personal cheerleader, its hard to stay focused and kill it each and every time. A personal trainer is your best buddy in the gym, always pushing you to your limits, finding strength where you might of doubted your abilities and finding ease in exercises you might have been doing incorrectly. Did you know personal training clients often see 50% better results as individuals working out alone at the gym? Maximize all those hours you’ve spent on improving yourself by making sure you have all the support you need to truly thrive. 


Another point to mention is that often personal trainers take the role of therapist, life coach, motivator, friend and cheerleader. You can make personal connections in group fitness but the deep personal relationship is much harder to form. The individual training model gives people an edge by addressing multiple factors to health instead of just training. 


It’s possible that private fitness just isn’t your thing or is not financially available to you. This is where group training might be more beneficial and fit your needs. Whether its yoga, HITT circuit, CrossFit or pilates training classes you will always find something offered to suit your personal interests. There are a few different reasons why you may prefer group fitness over personal. 


If you are the type of person who loves connecting to community and socializing as a means to motivate and inspire themselves, group training might be just right for you! The energy of a group, that unity, is usually much more powerful and motivating by getting your sweat on together. Looking to make a few more friends who share similar interests? You will definitely stumble across a few if your going regularly to classes and seeing those people might be your way to stay accountable. If you prefer less hands-on individual adjustment and find one-on-one communication with your teacher potentially intimidating, group training allows you to take a bit of a back-seat instead. 

Group fitness also tends to be less expensive and less committal than private training. As personal training is a larger investment, it might be good to start out with group training to get a great foundation and add in a few private lessons to improve form, address personal concerns that are specific to your body and learn new routines that might not be shown in the classroom. 


There are a few flaws with group training though that you may want to be aware of. Often, an hour or 45-minutes is not enough time to develop quality strength development and all the skills.  There is no attention given to each individual's personal development in group fitness, leading to slow improvements at a certain point in your fitness journey. Since the intensity is self-regulated often that push we need to get past the dreaded plateau is not always possible in group training. On the opposite end however, there is always going to be a few people who push too hard. The coach can only give so many corrections, if a group of 20+ is in the room, someone is bound to injure themselves at some point or another.


We all have our own unique needs and differences. A 35-year old mom is going to have different goals and approaches to a 22-year old pro athlete or even a 60-year old senior. Often times group fitness can only address so many of these needs for all the students in the room, no matter how good the instructor might be. 

Here at Benchmark, we offer both private and group fitness classes to residents. Finding whats right for you may take trial and error but ultimately its up to you to decide at what point you want to use the tools that are available to live your best life! 


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