Your friend has been begging you to go with her to her yoga class for weeks. You know you’ve been digging in your heels, but maybe you’re not quite sure why the idea of group exercise doesn’t sound appealing. Should you entertain your friend’s wishes and try out a group fitness class? Will you see results through group fitness, or should you opt for personal training instead?
Though group fitness tends to be quite popular — especially for those who don’t want to invest financially in their fitness journey beyond the monthly membership fee — personal training is safer and offers superior results.
The following are some of the reasons you may want to engage in personal training rather than group exercise.
A personal trainer can do more than provide fun workouts for participants. The primary role of a trainer is to keep their clients safe by ensuring they’re exercising with the proper form and alignment.
Since you’ll be getting one-on-one attention from your trainer, you’ll have their undivided attention, and they’ll be able to correct any instance of improper alignment and anatomical form. In this way, a personal trainer can help you reduce your risk of injury.
The nature of group fitness requires a one-size-fits-all program. The design of workouts depends on general fitness principles, and you can’t ask the instructor to stop and individualize the workout to your unique abilities and limitations.
The opposite is true with personal training. Your trainer will evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and will adapt your goals and workouts to your body type, base level of fitness and health history. A personal trainer can also customize your workouts to your wish list, such as your goals and what you want from your workouts.
While you’ll likely find upbeat music, mantras, encouragement and entertainment in a group workout, you won’t receive the step-by-step motivation you would in a personal training session. In contrast, a personal trainer will encourage you through each move by someone who knows your strengths, weaknesses, needs and goals.
Your personal trainer will keep track of all your results, big and small, and acknowledge your efforts. For most, this positive reinforcement is a more powerful motivator than the loud music and strobe lights of group exercise.
Motivation is essential to establishing and sticking to a consistent workout routine. We’re all only human, and our intrinsic enthusiasm fluctuates. Life gets in the way and disrupts our gym routines, or the shine of a new workout routine starts to fade. A personal trainer can provide you with the motivation you need when you can’t muster enough of it on your own. Knowing someone else is as invested in your fitness journey as you are will make you more likely to stick to it.
Similar to a lack of motivation, if we don’t see the progress we’re hoping for, our enthusiasm begins to dwindle. Then, we start showing up at the gym less and less.
To establish and achieve results, you’ll need to set realistic goals. It can be tough to do this on our own. By working with a trained fitness professional, you’ll be able to determine what goals and timeframes you can realistically work toward.
If something sounds too good to be true, it is. A workout that promises movie-star results in only a few weeks can not only be impossible to achieve, but it can discourage you entirely when you don’t see those dramatic changes. A personal trainer can help you avoid setting yourself up for disappointment by giving you realistic expectations and achievable goals, along with encouraging you and tracking your progress.
What are the disadvantages of personal training?
The most notable drawback of personal training versus group exercise is that personal training tends to be more expensive. Because you’re getting one-on-one attention and an individualized fitness plan, you need to pay for your trainer’s time and attention.
While most gyms offer free group fitness classes with the monthly membership, personal training is usually an added cost.
If you tend to feel pressured by someone watching and guiding you, personal training may be an uncomfortable experience. Maybe you prefer the ability to blend in with the crowd in a group setting. Your personal trainer won’t let you do less than your best, but you might be able to get away with slacking a bit in a group fitness class.
Is group fitness all you need for a successful fitness journey, or should you incorporate personal training into your routine? If you’re struggling to decide between group exercise and personal training, take a look at the following pros and cons of group exercise to help you make your decision.
What are the advantages of group exercise over personal training?
Group exercise typically comes at a lower price than personal training. If you’re working with a tight budget, group exercise may be the better option for you. Gyms like 5 Bridges Health & Fitness include group fitness classes as part of the monthly membership, and personal training is an extra charge.
You may feel less pressure in a group setting than in a one-on-one setting with a personal trainer. You can learn the steps to a dance routine or movements to a workout without feeling like people are staring at you every second. You’ll also be able to learn from the examples of other participants.
What are the disadvantages of group exercise?
In a group fitness class, an instructor must divide their attention among all of their participants. One instructor can’t give every participant all the safety and supervision they need or correct all issues with alignment or form. When you participate in group exercise, you won’t receive much one-on-one attention from your instructor.
While you may save money initially by engaging in group fitness classes, if you suffer an injury as a result of your exercise in group classes, the cost will likely end up being higher than what you would’ve spent on personal training.
Not only can an injury cost you in dollars, but it could also cost you your time. An injury can throw a wrench into your fitness journey, stalling or even undoing the progress you’ve made.
What will the cost in terms of money and time for rehabilitation be after a torn muscle? What about a herniated disc or a dislocation? The loss of productivity, the downtime and the cost of receiving health care for your injury makes the comparatively lesser cost of personal training well worth it.
Unless your budget can’t accommodate it, personal training tends to be the better option for most people. Then again, if you think you can’t afford personal training, what happens if you get injured? Though personal training incurs more upfront costs, it can also save you money in the long run by teaching you proper form and how to stay safe during your workouts.
Still not sure which is the better option for you? You can try out both group exercise and personal training at 5 Bridges Health & Fitness. Get started today at 5 Bridges Health & Fitness by filling out the form below or by signing up for a membership!