Why Semi-Private Group Training Is More Effective Than One To One Personal Training

Why Semi-Private Group Training Is More Effective Than One To One Personal Training

Hi guys, Gareth Rossi here, owner of Gravity Fitness, Raheny, Dublin 5. At Gravity Fitness we cater for a range of health and fitness services. The main two services we provide are semi-private personal training and team training (fitness classes). We also provide sports massage therapy and physiotherapy with our Chartered Physiotherapist Nic Lalor (www.hqphysio.com).


This week’s article centres around recent research showing that semi-private group training is more effective then your old school 1 to 1 personal training. At Gravity Fitness, our semi-private group training includes a maximum of 4 people in the 50-minute session. We run a monthly programme with the warm up changing each week, to include various mobility and stability exercises and movement patterns. Our annual program is broken down into 3 blocks (4 months each). In each session we have approximately three circuits, with 2 exercises in the first circuit, two exercises in the second circuit and three exercises in the final circuit. The first and second circuits have four sets and the final circuit is 3 sets followed by a coach’s choice finisher set (high tempo, low weight) to give that metabolic hit at the end. The first month we focus on strength endurance, 16 – 20 repetitions depending on the exercise. Month two the focus moves to a strength phase of 12 repetitions decreasing down to 10 repetitions in the final week of the phase. Month three, repetitions go down to 8 – 10 for a heavier lifting strength phase and onto 5/6 repetition range for the final month for maximum strength. We then repeat that whole process twice again over the year. Each month the exercises change, and we progress or regress the exercises to suit everyone’s ability. There is an option of setting out personal goals with the coaches at the start of each month, be it fat loss, muscle strength, improved diet, improved flexibility, squatting ability etc.


Recent research (see below) has shown that training in small groups of 1 – 5 people (50-minute sessions) results in greater exercise efficiency, increased self-motivation, and is associated with greater self-reported health and energy. It also showed that this exercise model provided a context for social ties and positively impacted adult commitment to exercise, regardless of gender or fitness level.


Having launched the semi-private group training model 6 months ago and having worked as a personal trainer for the past 10 years doing 1 to 1 personal training, I believe the semi-private model to be far superior. Clients attend more sessions per month and workout at a higher intensity, being pushed and supported by others to achieve the goals set out for themselves. Additionally, there’s more bang for your buck as you get more sessions per month when compared to 1 to 1 personal training. As the research has shown, I have also noticed the greater social aspect and increased interaction among clients. In addition, clients have noted that they have increased energy levels, due to being able to attend more sessions per week/month. Come join us for a 30-day trial and see the benefits for yourself!


Sharing a personal trainer: personal and social benefits of individualized, small-group training (2017). The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 0 (0). 1- 9.