I have been taking a lot of group exercise classes this month and it has made me think about the differences between group exercise classes and one on one training.

If you’re just starting to exercise again after a break or just starting for the first time, you may be considering both. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each and I’ll also share with you what I prefer and why.

Group exercise classes are exactly what the name implies – they are exercise classes done in a group setting – sometimes there are two people in the class, sometimes there are 20 or more.

One on one training is private instruction – just you and the instructor.

Group Exercise Classes Or One On One Training: Price

Group exercise classes are usually much more affordable than one on one training. This makes them more accessible if you don’t want to workout on your own but can’t shell out the extra expense for one on one training.

However, if you still want one on one training, without the high cost, look into student teachers or new instructors; they usually offer a discount since they are still learning yet they tend to be quite competent.

Here’s one example if you are in the Los Angeles area: Whole Body Method Pilates (in Koreatown and Mid-City) has student teachers and you can schedule a private with one of them for a fraction of the price of a fully certified teacher.

Group Exercise Classes Or One On One Training: Safety

If you’re concerned about hurting yourself or not doing movements properly, I highly recommend one on one training. It’s possible to find very conscientious instructors in a group setting, but there are still a lot of students to watch and it’s difficult to keep an eye on everyone at once.

This is when one on one training really comes in handy. The instructor can watch your form the entire time and you will also learn more modifications for your body (this is especially great if you are new to exercise or have current or past injuries).

If you can’t afford one on one training all of the time, I highly recommend scheduling a couple of one on one training sessions whenever you start a new type of exercise so you can learn proper form more easily.

Group Exercise Classes Or One On One Training: Relationships

One major advantage of group exercise classes is the social aspect of them. If you attend the same class on the same day and time each week you will likely see the same people a lot. This gives you an opportunity to meet new people and build new relationships.

If you’re looking for a social aspect, then group exercise classes may be the right choice. Of course, if you’d prefer privacy or anonymity, one on one training may be preferable.

Group Exercise Classes Or One On One Training: Flexibility

Is your time limited? If so, one on one training may offer more flexibility to work around your already busy schedule. Often group exercise classes are scheduled around the times that work best for most people or work best for the gym, not necessarily for you!

The convenience may outweigh the cost for you if you can schedule one on one training more easily instead of having to try and fit a group exercise class into your crazy calendar.

Which do I prefer? As much as I love the pricing of group exercise classes, I will always pick one on one training when my budget allows. I have a pretty good sense of my body and form when I workout and yet I still manage to hurt myself and do things wrong in a group setting. That just doesn’t happens with an instructor who is watching my form the entire time.

I also find I get a better, harder workout in one on one training because the instructor is focused on me the entire time and doesn’t really give me the opportunity to cheat or slack.

I also like that the one on one training can be modified around what I want to focus on or work on – whatever my strengths and weaknesses are.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and want to give one on one training a try, check out my personal training website and give me a call for a workout.

Comment below and let me know your thoughts about group exercise classes or one on one training.

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