American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

Interested in hiring a personal trainer, but concerned about the cost of one-on-one training? Sharing the sessions and the cost with others is a growing trend. Small group personal training can help you reach your fitness goals without breaking your budget.

Where Can I Find Small-Group Personal Training?

Finding a certified personal trainer who offers group training may be easier than you think. According to a 2010 IDEA Health & Fitness Association survey, 84% of responding personal trainers currently offer semi-private training (at least 2 clients share) and 57% offer small group personal training (at least 3–5 clients share). If you’re not sure whether your gym or trainer offers small-group personal training, ask. Most trainers are willing to accommodate a shared session.

How Much Will it Cost?

One-on-one personal training fees range from $40-$100 per hour, sometimes more, based on the region and the trainer’s education, certifications, experience, and skills. In contrast, group personal training is usually offered at a much lower hourly rate, depending on the number of participants. In a small group of five, for example, each person might pay $15–20 for an hourly session. Most trainers offer advanced purchase packaging, which helps maximize savings and commitment.

What Are the Benefits of Sharing a Personal Training Session?

group Most groups are formed according to fitness levels and such goals as weight loss and post-partum fitness, for example, so you’ll exercise alongside others who share your goals and interests. When you train with a small group, you’ll receive a level of social support you won’t get by working out alone or in a solo personal training session.
Many people prefer working out with a small group. It can be much more fun and motivating than exercising alone. Your group members will cheer you on, inspire you and encourage you to stick with the program. And because you’ve all gone through the trouble of coordinating your schedules, they’ll expect you to show up.

Are There Any Cons?

Sharing a personal training session means your trainer won’t be able to give you the one-on-one attention you can expect in an individual session. That may or may not matter to you, depending on your goals, the trainer, and the size of the group. Also, your trainer won’t be able to modify your workout every session, so you may not progress as fast as you would with one-on-one training. Some people prefer individual attention, and others prefer the camaraderie and encouragement they get from exercising with other people. Keep in mind that scheduling for small group personal training sessions is often less flexible than for individual sessions, because the needs of three or more people, including the trainer must be considered.

Give It a Try

If what you’re doing right now isn’t working, it’s time to take a different approach. Small group personal training can give you the accountability, group support, and professional expertise you need to take your fitness to the next level while keeping expenses down. If you don’t like it, talk with your trainer to determine if one-on-one training or a different group would be a better fit.

Additional Resources

ACE- How to Choose a Personal Trainer

IDEA Health & Fitness Association

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