What is Small Group Fitness?
Updated: Apr 6
TrainMovePlay is launching a Spring Kick-off Small Group Fitness course soon, so now seems like a good time to get Martin's specific perspective about this type of training. We've been getting some questions like, "What does Small Group Fitness look like? How is it different from Personal Training? Is it for me?"
Martin answers all of these questions, and more, in the interview below.
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What does Small Group Fitness look like?
Sarah: You've decided to start a Small Group Fitness course. Why now? What is it? What does it look like? and How is it going to be set up?
Martin: I've been thinking about it for a while because I've had several clients who want to be coming more often, but for one reason or another aren't able to make it happen. I wanted to offer something that would be more flexible for those people. And also, I've had a long break from coaching groups and am ready to get back to a group atmosphere.
Small Group Fitness at TrainMovePlay will look something like:
A group of no more than 6 people - that's where I think I can give a good group experience and still give every one a lot of personal coaching.
Each session is 45-60 mins. I'm not sure yet what will fit best into people's schedules. I'd like to do at least 45 mins per session.
Eventually, I'll offer more options, but I'm starting out with just 2 time slots each week.
What kinds of exercises are included?
Sarah: What kinds of exercises and equipment are you planning to use?
Martin: We'll use a wide variety of things. No two sessions will be the same. We'll use dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, balls, and also bodyweight exercises. We'll set up circuits that we can rotate through when we want to use equipment that we only have a few of, like, box jumps or the landmine. We'll also do sets of drills in teams or with partners and use games to get the whole group moving.
The focus will not be the same in every session; we'll have some days that are more focused on metabolic conditioning or strength building, and others that focus more on tone, balance, or coordination. One nice part of Small Group Fitness training is that we can hit a wide variety of goals and include something for everyone - that keeps it from getting boring or stale.
How is Small Group Fitness different from Personal Training?
Sarah: How is Small Group Fitness different from Personal Training? Will the people who are already doing PT with you get something different out of the Small Group sessions, or is it more of the same?
Martin: There are pros to both kinds of training - Personal and Small Group, I mean. In Personal Training, I can really focus on one person's specific goals and address their limitations. I can really watch closely their form and technique. I can make sure they are doing everything just right. We can be really focused.
With a Small Group, we can do different things, like more games and circuits. There's a lot of variety. I keep the group small enough that I can still keep an eye on everyone, give everyone tips on form, and check their technique. But there is more energy coming from the group and, hopefully, some fun. And also, they can motivate and support each other. It is super nice when people come with a friend because they already have that built in accountability, or maybe friendly competition, to keep them going.
One nice thing about having some of the same people in Personal Training and in the Small Groups is that I already know their goals and how they like to work. So, I can include things in the group training days that reinforce what we are doing in PT.
How is Small Group Fitness different from Group Fit classes at a bigger gym?
Sarah: How is Small Group Fitness different than the big group classes I've gone to in the big gyms - like Pilates or Jazzercise, or Guns and Buns classes?
Martin: I would say, usually in the bigger classes, the teacher has a routine worked out and will lead that routine no matter who shows up. The class is there and the person has to fit into it. In a Small Group Fitness course, I still plan ahead of time, but then I tailor the plan to who is actually in front of me. Hopefully, I know ahead of time who is coming so I can include things they are working on. I can help people make accommodations right on the spot. I can give tips while they are performing an exercise. Since the group is small, I can be really involved with everyone the whole time.
In big classes, the teacher has a routine worked out and will lead that routine no matter who shows up. In a Small Group Fitness course, I tailor the plan to who is actually in front of me.
Who is the TMP Small Group Fitness course designed for?
Sarah: So, who would you say this course is designed for? Would you say the Small Group Fitness course is just for people who are already doing PT with you?
Martin: Not at all. I like to have this available for people who are doing one-on-one training as a cost-effective way to get in another session every week. Or for people who maybe have trouble coming to their regular time one week - this could be a good make-up option. And also for my PT clients to socialize and build community. But this isn't just for them. Anyone is welcome to join the Small Groups sessions. It could be really nice if friends joined together, or families...
Anything else you want to add about Small Group Fitness?
Sarah: We'll do another post soon outlining the Benefits of Small Group Fitness, but is there anything else you can to say right now?
Martin: Just that I hope this will be a good option for people and I hope we can get some feedback from this Spring course to guide us in developing more Small Group options.
Thanks to Martin for sharing something about Small Group Fitness and how it works!