Last weekend, I attended Dallas Mania, a three-day fitness conference put on by SCW. As always, it was a great show and I’ve already been
torturing showing my clients all I learned. The best session I attended was “The Art of Successful Small Group Personal Training”, a lecture taught by Fabio Comana.
We all know the story of the three bears, right? The bed was too hard, the bed was too soft, the bed was just right. This is exactly how it is with small group personal training. You get the benefits of the group dynamic – accountability, motivation – combined with the personal attention of a personal trainer. It’s just right!
Comana describes small group personal training as a “hybrid between one-on-one personal training and group fitness exercise, blending many of the positive attributes that each present.”
Small group personal training is often a win-win option for trainers and clients: it presents a cost-effective option for personalized attention. This is not to say it doesn’t have challenges. Small group training still must be differentiated from group fitness classes, which are typically included in a club’s monthly membership fee. Trainers must be able to demonstrate their value to justify the added cost. Additionally, there are challenges to managing multiple clients who may be at different fitness levels and make sure they all receive an appropriate and challenging workout. Plus, once you factor in that each person has a different personality, learning style, etc. – things can get a little hairy.
One of the major differences that needs to exist between training and group fitness, according to Comana, is the music. Comana says “Personal and group training is generally more coaching and direction with music accompaniment. In group fitness, music leads over instructor cueing.”
The real crux of Comana’s lecture came with the critical point to make your clients feel celebrated and part of your tribe. Suggestions included recognizing levels earned via ceremonies, incentives to refer friends, and overall, make them feel successful and part of a family. I am already brainstorming and researching ways to put these great ideas into motion.