Group Training v. Personal Training: Which is Right for You?

Group Training v. Personal Training: Which is Right for You?

So you wanna get fit.  You want to hop on a health train and go all in: investing in you and your health and your future.  Alright, chica.  High five.  Let’s do this.  Ok Google, show me my options. Hooooly cow - that‘s a lot of choices.  Ok, how about a 10-mile radius from where I am?   Yikes.  Still so many.  Gyms, studios, yoga, spin, cross-training, boot camps, personal trainers… and they all say they’re the best deal and will get me to my goals fastest and easiest.  What to DO?!?!  


There’s really no best option for everyone, just like there’s no best food or outfit or retirement plan for EVERYONE.  There are pros and cons to everything.  So let’s figure out your WHY, and maybe it’ll point us in the right direction.  


What are you looking to accomplish?  What are your wellness goals?  What do you like to do? What revs you up?  Is your workout a time for you to tune out the world and turn your gaze inward?   Or is your workout your one chance all day to have an adult conversation?  Anything in your health history that might affect your choices?  What about your history of sports participation or lack thereof?  No better or worse answers here, just lots of variables to consider.  


So do you join a group or go it alone?  Let’s weigh pros and cons and see where we stand.  


Individual Training

Solo, you do you.  You get to pick each day what you’re going to do, and you adjust the time and place and equipment to suit you.  But what do you do?  Go for a run?  Bike ride?  Park workout? You can train all your systems for better health: strength, flexibility, cardiovascular… how much of each depends on your goals and you get to pick!   


BUT, you’re on your own.  Sometimes it’s hard to know how to progress, change, challenge or adjust if you’re out there flying solo.  What if you wanted to build some upper body strength but all you could think to do were push-ups?  What if you had access to a weight room but never went, not knowing where to start?  What if something hurts?  ...Oh... it’ll probably go away... um, it isn’t going away… now what?  


Hire a Personal Trainer

Hire a personal trainer?  They can guide you around the weight room and make up interesting workouts to keep you entertained.  (This is huge.  It has to be fun, or at least interesting for you.) And maybe if something hurts they can help you still workout without making it worse, but what if he or she doesn’t know about this stuff?  The fitness industry is vastly variable with respect to education and training.  Some trainers took an online course, others have masters degrees.  But say you get hooked up with the one you like, seems knowledgeable, and you get going.  Maybe there’s some new stuff once in a while or maybe it’s different every time.  Probably you sweat a ton and man, that’s worth the price!  But many of us normal people cannot afford a 1-on-1 session once a week or maybe a few times a month.  Guess what?!  Not enough to make you any progress.  Hmmm…   


Group Classes

What about the multitude of classes at the gym: boot camp, spin, kettlebell, etc.?  People always seem super sweaty after that.  Maybe we try that, huh?  It’ll be fun.  Looks interesting.  


And I bet it’s totally different that’s what you did before, which is novel and fun and you’re proud since you stepped out of your comfort zone!  Fist bump.  So in a group, there’s some guidance. You don’t have to think up exercise routines, or search YouTube for hours you don’t have in order to come up with some variety.  They think it through, you follow, and you sweat.   You pick your class that suits your interests and goals and you show up when scheduled.  Ba-da-bing.  


BUT, most likely the class is formatted ahead of time, and the adjustability of the workout is changing the size of the dumbbell you pick, or the speed at which you jump rope or spin.  Often these classes are gigantic, crowded, and high-paced.  Often the leader of the class is charged with timekeeping, cueing, performing, and in some cases, choreography.  In a sea of sweaty faces, they may not see yours, or your triumphs or struggles.  How do you know what to do if an exercise isn’t working for you?  What if you can’t keep up or follow the cues?  What if you don’t hear what she just yelled out since you were grunting through that last push-up?  Or what if it’s not fast enough, challenging enough, or fun enough?  What if you’re not getting anything out of it?  


This is affectionately called a fitness roller coaster.  You start chugging up, accomplishing, learning, growing.  You love it.  Then you fly downward - maybe it’s the holidays or summer vacation hits or you get sick.  You turn a corner and whip in another direction into something new and exciting.  But that gets stagnant too after a bit and you slide down again.  Then you loop upside down and it’s thrilling since you’re finding new challenges and getting better in ways you didn’t seem possible.  But momentum carries us here, and we inevitably change course again. The same analogy can be drawn with nutrition, which some people call a diet.  Ups and downs.  Successes and failures.  Gaining momentum only to lose it again.  


Personalized Group Training 

So what to do?  What if there was a combination?  Some way to take the pros of individualized attention, activity selection, goal setting of the individual training option and blend it with the plus side of group training with cost-effectiveness, community support, and workout variety?  


Welcome to Kaia FIT.  We do personal training in a group environment.  Our coaches go through extensive training in human movement, anatomy, corrective exercise and physical screening.  They learn how to format workouts to offer many many options as to the pace, intensity, range, and load associated with each exercise.  The workouts are never the same but always challenge.  We train for full body beautiful movement and long-term health.  We include all energy systems each time and can be considered cross-training for competitive athletes looking to add variety to the training routine. The individual is honored, given opportunity to practice goal setting (point B) and physical screening and health history (point A) to identify the most efficient roadmap from A to B.  The group is a team, with accountability and support.  


When you want your kale and eat it too, we’re here for you.  


Yours in sweat,
Coach Carina

You can find more information from Carina Abrams over on her on Instagram @drivesportslab or on her YouTube Channel Drive Sports Lab!


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