First of all, what the hell are ‘Semi-Private’ and ‘Small Group’ coaching sessions, and how do they work?
Semi-Private Coaching sees between two and four clients all training at the same time. Each with their own individual programme and paying around 40-60% of a normal 1-2-1 PT rate.
Small Group Coaching sees between five and eight clients all training at the same time. Each with their own individual programme again and paying around 20-40% of a normal 1-2-1 PT rate.
You might think that you prefer 1-2-1 PT the most, but read this column to the end before making your mind up.
- It has been well documented and scientifically proven for many years that human beings are more likely to adhere to something if they are part of a group. This means that by training with other people you are less likely to cancel sessions, less likely to be late, less likely to turn up in the wrong frame of mind – therefore the chances of you achieving goals and succeeding will be dramatically increased immediately.
- 1-2-1 personal training can be quite awkward at times, for both parties. I’ve delivered tens of thousands of these sessions and almost every single one will have had an awkward moment where either I (the PT) has run out of small talk or they (the client) has had a shitty day and just doesn’t want to talk about things. Being part of a group means that if you want to be a bit quieter some days then you can be, if you want to be more chatty you can be, and if you want to meet new people and make new friends then you certainly can. Being closely connected to a few more people makes the gym a much more fun place to be.
- It is nice to have a personal trainer because they tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. But there will be times when you go on holiday, times when they go on holiday, times when you are working away and times when they/you are ill and cannot get to the gym. If you rely on them 100% then during the 5-10% of the year when they are not there you will be screwed. A poor PT teaches you to be completely dependant on them. A great coach teaches you to be self-sufficient, so you can spread your wings and cope by yourself… just in case. Being part of a small group gives you a little bit more independence, whilst improving your competence and confidence around the gym.
- A busy personal trainer might be doing 30 sessions per week. If they are good they will have clients doing three sessions per week which means they can usually only help 10 people at once. Also, if they really are good they will be able to keep their clients for years. A PT that is worth giving your money to will be able to count how long their clients have been with them in years and will probably have a waiting list.
- There is an elephant in the room here…1-2-1 personal training is expensive. £30-40 per session soon adds up. Let us not forget that you should be doing three sessions per week to stand a chance of making any real improvements. At £40 a session you could soon be £500 a month out of pocket which is a fair chunk of cash for anyone. You could be saving a fortune, getting more sessions in, improving your independence, increasing the likelihood of success and allowing more of your friends/family/colleagues to benefit from their expertise too.
Seems like a no-brainer to me.