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Personal Training vs. Group Fitness: What is the Difference?

You are on the way to changing up your fitness routine, or maybe you have never picked up a weight before and you're ready to give it a try. Great! Now it's time to personalize your fitness routine for you. So do you start with a personal trainer or join a group exercise class?

Here's why both are great options. Depending on your needs, health and goals, there are pros and cons to both. We break it down for you. Keep reading.

Personal Training

Getting with a trainer has many benefits especially if you have specific needs such as a past injury, back pain, mobility limitations or specific problems with your health. If your doctor has given you the thumbs up to exercise, finding the right personal trainer may be the best option. Here is what you need to know about personal training: 

Accountability - Some of us struggle with self-motivation. Your personal trainer keeps you accountable and motivated by getting you on a regular schedule, checking in and you are more likely to work harder during workouts and not skip one.

Meets Individual Needs - Whether you are recovering from an injury, have special limitations or specific goals, a PT will focus on those and create a workout routine for you. It would be a safer option if you chose a personal trainer who can help design a program to meet your needs. 

Flexibility - Your PT will get you on the schedule based on what works best for you. An exercise class is a set time and format so it is harder to keep up. With personal training, it is easier to schedule around work, kids’ sports and your busy lifestyle. Your trainer will have multiple times available and more flexibility. 

The Whole Package - It's everything you could ask for: a safe space to talk and exercise with no judgment; an individualized workout; a motivator and an experienced, professional coach all in one. A personal trainer can put you on a cardiovascular or strength-focused exercise plan that suits your ability and moves you along slowly. You’ll have gradual successes, lowering your chances of getting discouraged which can give you better and longer lasting results. 

Higher Cost - One con to personal training is that you get what you pay for - individualized training, results and focus plus use of the entire facility plus monthly In-Body scans does cost more than a group fitness program. You may want to check your budget and goals and see which is best for you. 

Group Fitness Classes

If you are more of a self-motivated person who loves to be surrounded by a group of other motivated people in a fast paced environment, group exercise may be for you. You may know your limitations and don’t mind following along during an hour-long exercise session and working out for you is maintaining a healthy lifestyle while gradually increasing your overall cardiovascular health and strength. Here is what you will get out of group fitness classes: 

Lower Cost - Probably the most obvious advantage of group fitness vs. private training is that it is significantly cheaper, since the cost is split among many students.

Support: Some people have difficulty staying motivated to keep working at fitness.Being surrounded by others with the same fitness goals as you may make it easier to keep going and can actually be the motivation that you need. 

Attention - Although the instructor will do her best to modify moves from beginner to advanced, you do miss out on that individualized attention from her. An instructor has to attend to a handful or more of people in a one-hour class, so it makes it difficult to get your individual needs met. Go in knowing your limitations and use the modifications given to you by the instructor or take breaks when you know you need them. 

Different Levels - Working out with people in a group setting can motivate you to reach new levels or discourage you, depending on how you look at it. There will be people working out with you that are inevitably ahead of you with respect to their fitness goals, and some who are below your level. It is ultimately up to you to take this as a grain of salt and decide if this is an environment you enjoy or not.

Fast Paced - If you like a fast-paced environment with music and community, you may enjoy signing up for that group fitness class you have been eying down this year. 

At the end of the day, you need to look at what it is your are going for - specific, faster results to meet your individual health goals? Improving an injury? One-on-one focus? Or maybe you just want to get out of the house and spend an hour for you, whether you are walking, taking a class or weight training with a friend. Your ultimate goal is to maintain your healthy lifestyle or try something new. 

Personal training and group fitness classes each have their benefits and depending on what it is you want and need will be the outcome of your decision. Can you do both? Absolutely! Need more information? Contact us today to learn more about our personal trainers, fitness classes, small group training and more! 

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