Group fitness training: what it is and why we love it

25 November 2020 Alicia Turner
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2020 – a year that we will always associate with isolation and social distancing. Yet, the number 2 trend forecasted for 2020 by Fitness Australia was Group Training. So, how did this play out?

Thanks to technology and applications such as Zoom, trainers were able to get tech savvy and still deliver their much-loved group classes from their home to their loyal clients’ safe spaces.

As restrictions begin to lift and we start to see and enforce the new normal of the fitness industry, again group classes are highly sourced. Even with restrictions making group classes tricky to roll out in gyms and outdoors, the use of ticketing systems, booking online and enforced social distancing has proven to not be a concern to those clients that love their group classes.

Let us take a closer look at group fitness: what it is, why clients love these classes so much and how these classes can truly make you successful as a trainer.

Group training or group fitness is when a trainer is training any more than five clients at the same time. Numbers below this we define as small group training. To be a group fitness instructor in a controlled environment you will need your Cert III in Fitness, however if you wish to take your classes outdoors you will need to have your Cert IV in Fitness. To enhance your skills in group training (both indoors and outdoors) you can complete further study through short courses such as FIA’s Group Exercise Instructor course.

Group training is a win/win for both client and trainer, as the reasons why clients are drawn to group training are the reasons that make group fitness so successful for those that implement it into their offering.

For clients, group training is fun, motivating, encouraging, can hold you accountable, social, all while allowing you to reach your goals. For the trainer group training can bring about an uplifting atmosphere, may be financially more viable, allows you to create a community and rewarding watching clients grow, develop, make friends, and achieve.

There are a few factors that contribute to the making of a truly successful group training class:

  • Atmosphere: The atmosphere of the class needs to be uplifting and exciting to motivate people to smash some goals together. You can create this through giving your clients a happy, positive, and high spirited welcome that sets the mood for the session.
  • Organisation: Many clients are time poor, and getting in, starting on time, and hitting a solid session can be priority. Make sure you are there before your clients arrive. Have your equipment set up, know your program, and make every minute count.
  • Sense of community: Group training can provide a real sense of belonging to some people and lifelong friends can truly be made. Where possible, incorporate partner or teamwork. Let the cool down be an opportunity for people to get to know one another. Celebrate wins together and organise social events around times such as Christmas.
  • Know your clients’ wants and needs: It is important to deliver a class or program that your clients want. Do they like a HIIT class each session or do they enjoy a bit of variety (one class boxing, the next strength, followed by a HIIT). Based on your client’s lifestyles, what time slots suit them best? Corporate clients might enjoy the early morning before work or lunch break slots, mums might enjoy the mid-morning start. If you are unsure, ask them either face to face in a gym or send out surveys to similar demographics. The length of class will also determine your client’s availability to the session, be it 30 minutes , 40 minutes or 60 minutes, again it needs to fit in with your clients day and what they can attend.

Done right, group training can be enjoyed by all and allow you to profit more than you may have been delivering one-on-one training. If clients are seeing your training as their new normal, then you can be sure that you are creating an environment that they not only love and see that their goals can be met through, but they also feel very comfortable within.

So, see if group training could work for your business and potentially watch your business take on a new normal.

Alicia Turner

Alicia Turner

Senior Trainer & Assessor

Alicia holds her Certificate III & IV in Fitness, Diploma of Fitness, a Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition and is currently completing her Master’s in Public Health.

Alicia has specialised in small group training for 8 years in both a corporate and outdoor training environments. She has been a mentor to many Personal Trainers starting out and lives and breathes the health and fitness industry.

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