Beginning a strength training regimen can feel daunting or intimidating to someone without much experience in a gym. Hiring a personal trainer can be expensive. With the recent popularization of CrossFit and HIIT training groups, the concept of group strength training has spread throughout fitness culture.
While CrossFit as a movement has proven to be popular among some exercisers, the intense workouts and culture can be a turn off for someone looking for a more casual exercise experience. This is where group education for strength training basics can be beneficial to your members and your bottom line.
LEARNING IN A GROUP SETTING
It’s common to see group exercise programs in aerobics, cardio, and functional training. This is because group work can be motivating and inspirational to exercisers. Athletes benefit greatly from being able to observe one another, especially in a strength training environment.
For a seasoned trainers’ perspective, we turned to Kim Hamilton, Advantage’s Business Development Manager and Escape Master Trainer. “In any group, there are people that are more technically efficient, and seeing that example makes others strive to do better and understand the benefits of moving better. For example, if you’re doing something that’s complex, like an Olympic lift, the benefits of moving with better form mean that you can lift more and not injure yourself. Seeing someone else perform the lift can help you teach the form and push yourself in different ways.”
In addition, the group training environment can instill an overall sense of commitment and dedication. “Accountability is the number one motivating factor in group training – people enjoy the fact that there are people around to build a community and push them to do better.”
“Everyone wants to feel like that they have some sense of community – that’s why group training is great; they’re working out with their friends. For example, I was teaching a group class at 6am. They were all parents, and they wouldn’t stop talking like it was cocktail hour. People meet people in group exercise classes because there are barriers being broken down – you’re sweaty, you’re vulnerable, and you’re struggling through something together, building a bond in a unique way,” Kim explains.
DRAWBACKS TO GROUP WORK
“In terms of group training, people can be intimidated very easily. They create these high expectations for themselves where they have to be doing what everyone else is doing. It’s important to understand that strength training is a process, and not something that comes overnight. You need to be humble enough to start from square one and work your way up.”
There’s always a chance that a the lack of individual attention given to each student can cause lapses in form and technique. While the instructor can spend a small amount of individual time with each person, they cannot commit the same amount of attention that they would in a one-on-one session. In addition, different group classes can have different cultures, and depending on personal preferences, a group class may not be the right fit for everyone. In that case, it’s still great to offer the ability to meet and train one-on-one.
It's no secret that a large majority of gym memberships go unused, primarily due to lack of engagement leading to inspired workouts. Group training in various specialties is a perfect way to boost motivation and retention in your facility.
Business Development Manager + Escape Master Trainer
Kim is focused on building relationships by sharing professional, in-depth knowledge of relevant and on-trend fitness solutions. She also facilitates and strengthens client partnerships by becoming a go-to resource for fitness facility planning and consultation.