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Sports Performance | Personal Training

Personal Training vs. Group Exercise Classes: Which One Is Right For Me?

June 29th, 2022 | 3 min. read

Personal Training vs. Group Exercise Classes: Which One Is Right For Me?
Jesse Douglas

Jesse Douglas

Director of EW FIT // Motion Specialist // Certified Fitness Specialist // EW Motion Therapy Homewood

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It can be overwhelming to start a new fitness journey. With so many options on the market, finding the things that work best for you might be a trial and error process. Two options are group exercise classes, like a spin class, Crossfit, or Zumba, and personal training, which gives you undivided attention from a trainer. But which one is suitable for your goals? And which one should you pay for? 


While personal training is often more expensive than group exercise classes, the benefits can make the extra money worth spending. At EW Motion Therapy, we offer both small group classes and private training options in fitness, Pilates, yoga, and balance. Our trainers often work alongside our highly skilled, in-house physical therapists so they can better help you create an individualized fitness plan to work toward your goals. Even if you decide not to do training or a group class with us, we still want to compare group classes to personal training to help you determine what direction you want to go with your fitness journey. 


This article discusses the benefits of group classes and personal training and offers some ways you can offset costs. With this information, you can make the best fitness and health choices.


Should I do a group exercise class? 

If you’re looking to make friends and enjoy a community fitness experience, then a group class could be a fun option. You can make new friends who can encourage you along the way and hold you accountable for your goals. Anyone would agree that a spin class or a Zumba class is much more fun with more people - it’s a high-energy, fast-paced environment that encourages pushing yourself and celebrating even the small wins. Also, joining a class with seven other participants can be more affordable.


However, suppose you have a previous injury or preexisting condition. In that case, it may be harder for a group class instructor to keep that in mind while keeping programming consistent for everyone. As fun as the class may be, the exercise progressions the instructor chooses might not be the best plan for everyone in the class. Most instructors can keep your injuries in mind, but still, you may increase your injury risk by doing a group class, especially if you have been hurt before. 


Should I do personal training? 

When you develop a fitness plan with a trainer, no matter what injuries or conditions you have dealt with in the past, a personal trainer can meet you where you are and develop a training plan to accommodate your needs. You have your trainer’s undivided attention and time, so even if you are a fall risk, you can have the extra supervision and expertise you need to exercise safely. You can even go to a training session with a recent injury - the most competent trainers can change your exercises to work around the painful/injured area. 


The one drawback to personal training for most people is cost - prices for trainers can vary depending on whether they work independently or as part of a larger facility. Before you completely disregard the option, think about what you are paying for. You get an expert’s undivided attention and an entirely individualized plan that prioritizes your specific goals - that can be worth a lot of money. But it is also essential to consider the trainer’s personality and how you work together. Training sessions are much more fun if you enjoy your trainer’s company. If you start with someone you don’t like, do not feel married to them - there are plenty of trainers out there, and with a little more research and asking around, you can find the trainer you trust.


How can I save money? 

Now you know more about group classes and personal training, and which one might be right for you. While group classes are generally more affordable, some trainers/facilities offer price packages for personal training with a certain number of sessions to help decrease cost over time. When you find a facility or trainer you enjoy, asking about price packages or virtual sessions is never a bad idea. 


The fitness world can be a confusing one to step into, but with the proper guidance, you can work toward your goals in an environment that is both safe and fun. At EW Motion Therapy, we cap all of our group classes at four participants, so even while you are in that group environment, you can still get the individualized attention you need to exercise safely. If you are interested in training with us, click the button below to download our personal training self-assessment to see if our program is a good fit for your needs.

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