Group Training vs Personal Training
By Benchmark Webmaster | on Nov 20, 2017
Having provided personal training services for many years, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to improve people’s movement - an absolute essential for a healthy life. This has particularly been the case when there is the time and space provided by a one-on-one session between the personal trainer and the client. I’ve found that the one-on-one session allows the extra time to really correct form and adapt the session to every individual person’s needs.
On the other hand, large group training sessions have alarmed me at times. Whilst it’s not always the case, I’ve found on occasions that when a large group training session goes downhill, there can be dysfunction everywhere. It often feels like people are rushing movement to speed up or be ahead of others and the focus of the session always seemed to be on who could get the most “smashed”.
When I ran my own group training sessions I often would feel very rushed and honestly, I would at times get stressed that I couldn’t make everyone move the way that I felt they should be on a particular exercise. As a trainer, my focus is on achieving client goals - and one of those absolutely has to be avoiding injury.
Now, there are certainly many pros to group training which offset the cons I’ve just mentioned. The biggest advantage has to be the ability of people to get more out of their training on a weekly basis, as they can financially afford to attend three or more sessions a week, as opposed to the cost of hiring a trainer one-on-one.
In addition, many people thrive in the motivation gained by being around like-minded people, with a group pushing you on to greater heights during your session (as well as often actually encouraging you to turn up on those tough, rainy mornings!).
Unfortunately though, the reality that comes with the homogenous nature of most large group sessions is that it is really difficult to provide controlled, programmable sessions. What does this mean? Essentially, the large group training environment has traditionally meant that it’s very hard for the trainer to ensure that clients are slowly working on adapting to a movement and then adding load or another variable.
The Benchmark difference
So, how do we at Benchmark Canterbury address these risks of group training, whilst embracing the benefits? We have developed a small group training system that I feel has worked out all of these flaws. Importantly, we keep the sessions small, allowing the trainers to provide focus on individual clients where needed.
We start off with a movement and strength screening to gauge where each member is at in terms of their strength, flexibility, fluidity and confidence. Using this screening, plus the individual goals identified by each member, we fit the member into the right session to suit them.
A real point of emphasis for both Mitch and me is not to “smash” our members, but instead to focus on quality, effective training - aiming to both educate the mind and train the body.
Get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more about the Benchmark Canterbury approach to small group training and we can arrange a time for you to visit our brand new gym.