Not So Great Fitness Debate - Group Fitness Classes vs Team Training Camps
Updated: Apr 18
With the growth of boutique/studio facilities that specialize in singular programming like indoor cycling, pilates/yoga/barre, boot camp and HIIT, there are now more than ever so many choices for you to get fit and see results. The terms “group” and “team” which for years have meant the same thing in fitness now are two very different concepts.
Gone are the days of the gym or fitness centre being the only game in town. Now there are fitness programs everywhere and for the average person who just wants to become fitter than they were yesterday it can be overwhelming.
Do you go the “safe” route and join a gym or do you try the latest trend and go to a boutique club?
Do you just chuck it all and either workout on your own at the gym with a fitness app or personal trainer or stay home and do your workout alone online or by video?
As a fitness/dance instructor, team training coach and personal trainer and educator I can tell you that I’ve been a part of all of those workout options above as both a participant and instructor/coach and they are all great.
What is Group Fitness? What is Team Training?
Group Fitness – The goal is to have a large number of individuals working together at the same pace/beat for the entire workout.
▶️The instructor models the exercises along with the group usually staying at the front of the room for ease of view of the participants.
▶️The instructor coaches to the participants with general statements that could benefit all but depending on the class, hands-on correction is not always feasible or in the essence of the program.
▶️The program is usually non-stop which allows for participants to drop-in to different classes, not always led by the same instructor.
▶️The drive is to finish that singular class together as a group, the level of competition between participants is low to none.
▶️The instructor will encourage everyone to finish together as well as channeling into one’s personal drive.
Team Training – The goal is to have a smaller number of individuals working together but at their own pace for the entire workout.
▶️The instructor is actually called a coach and demonstrates the exercises once then moves amongst the group for hands-on motivation and correction.
▶️There is usually “homework” and monitored progress check-ins that include celebrations with the group once the program as a whole is completed.
▶️There is a small level of competition but it’s always encouraged to compete with one’s self.
So, which one is better?
Clearly there are benefits for each and every way to work out.
As a group fitness instructor for 30 years non-stop, I’m going to have to go to bat for any program that gets you out of the house and working out with others – Group Fitness!
Everyone moving together, to the beat is just the best; but the benefits to group interaction in exercise go beyond the physiological changes more people are looking for.
Working out with others in a group provides motivation, structure, proper form, variety, accountability and fun.
The same can be said about working with a personal trainer but of course the difference in most cases is financial.
So, if money is a factor, then that’s another benefit of group/team workout programs.
But the biggest benefit of working out with a group or team is the results you’ll achieve.
Research is always being done to determine the effectiveness of different workout formats including studies that show working out in sync or social bonding increase pain tolerance and enhance athletic performance and ultimately excellent physiological (body composition change) results.
Not all classes are created equal.
If you come across a program where there are no bonding techniques used (i.e. challenge groups, incentives etc.), you may not stick it out and therefore not get the results you desire.
Don’t give up though; look for a program that holds you accountable, encourages you to stick to your program. The more contact or social support that you can get, the greater the benefits.
Of course, you get contact and social support from a personal trainer but just think … one trainer is great but one instructor or coach PLUS ten more people cheering you on, excited to see you and happy that you are reaching your goals and that you’re helping them to reach theirs too is even better!
So, really the answer as to which one is better is …
Whichever program you enjoy and stay committed to. THAT’S the one that will give you the most and best results!
Oh, and you may end up doing both at some point because in order to continue to see results and not plateau, your workouts need to be periodized and change every so often.
But that’s for another post😉.
Still not sure which one will help you meet your particular goals? Contact me and I can answer any questions you may have:).
Interested in a fitness/wellness consultation or have some questions about nutrition and your current fitness program? Join any of my groups online (Facebook) and/or pick up my book, How to be Fit for Life - Eight Proven Steps to Reaching Your Fitness Goals, Getting Results, and Living the Fitness Life for more help with your fitness journey. And please feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have:).