What small group training is, how training in a small group can be beneficial and why trainers and participants love it.
There are many benefits to small group training, and it persists as a popular style of training because it allows personalised attention for each participant from the trainer, but also for those attending to have some level of autonomy and privacy throughout the class.
Training in a small group provides a very balanced style of working out that appeals to a wide variety of people, and it has so many upsides that it continues to grow in availability at a steady rate. Many people are choosing to supplement their regular solo exercise routines with small group training classes, and are choosing this style over private personal training or larger classes because of these great benefits.
What is small group training?
Small group training is an exercise class of any type that has more than 3 participants, but less than 10. One-on-one training is called personal training, and groups of 2 or 3 are referred to as semi-personal training. Anything larger than a group of 10 is simply classified as an exercise class.
Specifically at Transcend Health, our small groups are capped at 4 people. Even better, everyone who attends our small group service has their own program, based entirely on their needs and wants!
How is small group training different from other types of classes?
The specific number of participants in small group training seems to be a fitness class sweet spot – you get the best of all worlds in this style of class! While the number of participants certainly make it different to other types of exercise classes, the main factors that make it different to other types of training come down to the level of attention given to attendees and their ability to foster a truly enjoyable social environment with a healthy dose of camaraderie and support.
Why should small group training be part of your exercise repertoire?
Including a small group training class in your regular exercise schedule is great way of mixing things up and avoiding movement stagnation. When you exercise alone most of the time it can become incredibly easy to fall into repetitive exercise routines, because continually cooking up new ones takes time and effort – carrying the mental load of needing to develop your own exercise program is immense! In fact, it can be such a big job to keep an exercise program fresh and effective that it supports an entire industry. Continuing to get great results and make progress from your work out routines means changing them up regularly.
Transcend Health helps their clients by creating exercise routines and programs that suit their unique needs, and small group training is an important part of that. Their specialisation in physiotherapy and exercise physiology creates a strong structure behind the classes that promotes safe movements and recovery from injuries, while still making great progress towards physical goals. There are a huge number of reasons that the Transcend team is so passionate about small group training, but here we can explore the break-out stars of small group training.
Motivation and accountability
Everyone struggles with having enough motivation to do all sorts of things, especially things that can be painful, uncomfortable, or boring. Some of these things could include eating well, getting to bed on time, cleaning the house, grocery shopping – and definitely exercising!
While there are certainly plenty people who genuinely enjoy exercise, a lot of the time this is because they persevered in finding a form of exercise that they enjoy and stuck with it long enough to get past some of the initial discomfort. When you train in a small group you’re able to have conversations with each other throughout and this can be really motivating. It’s tough to have this dynamic in a bigger class, and personal training offers only the input and perspective of one other person – your trainer. While getting motivation from your trainer is great, getting it from others that you view as being on the same level of fitness as you is a different feeling altogether. Knowing your work out buddies with be in class not only motivates you to attend because you associate it with something positive, it also helps keep you accountable.
When you train in a small group you get to know your fellow attendees pretty well, and many people will form friendships or at least become genuinely friendly with one another. If you attend a class regularly, the others will notice when you are absent from a class – they might even give you a little bit of hassle for skipping it when you turn up to the next one!
This not only makes you more likely to turn up to class and stay accountable, feeling like you will be missed by those you like is awesome and generates even more motivation to attend.
Making friends and deepening relationships
The number of people involved in small group training seems to be just right to encourage strong bonds and friendships. People are so nuanced and varied that we don’t just make friends with whoever we’re put in a room with – there has to be some shared connections or interests for us to hit it off with someone.
When you train in a small group you are presented with a number of people to choose from, but not so many that the task of getting to know everyone seems daunting. Personal training doesn’t offer that option, and semi-personal training might see you train with one or two other people that aren’t really your style. Getting to know 10 people well over time by attending group training is an easy task, and the chances of there being a couple of people in that group that you really vibe with are very high.
When you make friends in an exercise class, you’re far more likely to attend regularly and you get the added bonus of creating a richer and more varied social life for yourself. Having wider social networks makes people happier and ensures that they get regular exposure to new people, ideas, and experiences.
Trainer attention – just the right amount
Getting the right amount of attention from you trainer in an exercise class can be a fine line, and people’s individual preferences will vary in the same way that their personalities do. When it comes to small group training, it provides a high level of individual attention, instruction, and adjustment – but it does so without making people feel overly crowded or in the spotlight. You trainer can duck over and check in with you, make their suggestions, and then leave you to carry out the improved movements on your own.
This type of teaching is called the EDIP Principle – which stands for Explain, Demonstrate, Imitate, Practice – and is well documented for its great success. It is used to teach all kinds of subjects in a countless number of areas. Giving instructions to the learner, demonstrating the movement, and then allowing them to practice is integral to the learning process. It is also important that participants feel trusted to be able to carry out some things on their own. For those that want extra support, they can ask their trainer during class or integrate some private personal training sessions in their exercise program to help boost their confidence.
Affordable personalised training
The costs associated with small group training are understandably lower than those you would expect to pay for personal or semi-personal training. However, the level of attention received in small group training is arguably fairly high in relation the cost of the class, making it a super competitive option in the fitness class industry.
For those already paying for a gym membership and perhaps for other classes, this makes small group training an affordable choice to add into the weekly exercise budget.
Access to professional advice and shared information
When you train in a small group, you’re in a less formal environment and that allows for conversations between participants and with the trainer. This means that those who attend get the chance to ask their trainer questions, and get great advice from a professional on their individual needs and queries. So much of the time these might be questions that others in the class wanted to ask or will benefit from having answered.
This setting also allows the participants to chat to each other about what is working for them, and new things they might have come across. The size of the group involved in the training perfectly lends itself to sharing ideas, and having enough participants that the flow and injection of new knowledge is constant.
The real bonus is that while participants are sharing their ideas and having great conversations, the trainer is there to dispel any potentially harmful or unhelpful advice people might be giving each other, or to confirm great ideas when they hear them. The professional oversight is priceless in this instance, where the sharing of misinformation is easier than ever.
Where to look for great small group training options
The best place to look for small group training sessions is at Transcend Health, of course! We may be biased, but our team of university qualified health professionals with decades of experience creates a unique offering of expertise and passion.
While your local gym probably does offer some options to consider, make sure to ask a staff member about the number of people involved in the sessions and what style of training it is. For example, is the trainer open to questions, conversation, and learning throughout the class or is it more of a boot-camp style class? Asking for the qualifications of your group fitness instructor is also important as if you have health issues or injuries, a group fitness instructor (Cert 3 in fitness) won’t be able to help you, whereas an Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist can!
Transcend health not only looks after its clients by providing them access to qualified health professionals like physiotherapy and exercise physiology– it also offers small group training, and exercise programs that support their recovery and progress.
The team at Transcend are not only great at what they do, they exude a passion for it that inspires their clients and encourages them to put their very best effort in where their physical needs are concerned – and that supports and feeds their mental needs too, and indisputably crucial factor in success and personal growth. Give the friendly team a call today to make enquiries about small group training or support for injury recovery!