Should You Workout With Friends?
Working out with a personal trainer has become extremely popular in recent years. Once just the luxury of celebrities and professional athletes, now personal trainers are available to almost everyone. But would you benefit from sharing a personal trainer with friends? Or is solo the only way to go?
Money, Money, Money
Exercise aside, a key consideration is cash. In general, if you are sharing a personal trainer, it’s going to be cheaper.
Some trainers just allow you to split the cost of a one on one session between attendees. However, some charge more for a group than a one to one because there are more assessments to make and needs to consider in their planning. Even so, it almost always costs less to train in a group. So if your workout needs a boost but your budget is tight, this could be a decision maker for you.
A key consideration towards training in a group is deciding who that group will be. Personal trainers are often tied to one gym, so if you don’t know anyone at your gym you could be stuck. Resist the temptation to rope in a couple of people you spot in the changing room, or to book on to a group training with some of the trainer’s other clients.
You need to know the fitness levels of the people you’re working out with. If you do group personal training with someone who has far less stamina than you, you’re not going to get a worthwhile workout. Equally, if you are just starting out on your fitness journey, you don’t want to feel you’re your confidence has been smashed by someone semi-pro. Share a trainer with someone on a similar level to you and you won’t be frustrated by the end of your session.
Similarly, you need to choose a group that have similar goals to you. You don’t want to group together with people on a serious mass gain when all you want is to burn as much as possible. A personal trainer is all about pushing you and introducing new things to your exercise regime.
See You Later, Motivator
Group training has the added advantage of giving you an extra portion of motivation in each session. If you all have a touch of competitiveness in you, you’ll all push yourselves that extra mile towards your goals.
Additionally, if you can be guilty of the last minute ditch on your workout, group training could help. You’ve paid for your slot, and often trainers (like most professionals) will still charge you at least a percentage of your costs for the last minute cancellation. Not only that, but you’ll have the added level of incentive that you would also be letting down your friends if you decided to hit the sofa instead of the gym.
One of the key aspects of personal training is the focused attention of an exercise expert. Most trainers that offer group sessions limit the number allowed in order to preserve this aspect of the sessions. Groups of around 3 people are the norm. If there are too many of you, you may as well just attend a class at the gym for the level of focus you’ll get.
Beware, a friend that is very fond of the limelight could be detrimental to your group workout dynamic. You should share a trainer with someone that you can be confident will allow you to share the attention and focus of the professional you have paid for.
The best way to test a potential training group is simple. Work out together at the gym before you book a personal trainer. If you have a great workout, then step it up and book a session together!