Three Small Group Personal Training Tips!

In this article, I will be discussing what small group personal training is and how you should go about organizing and executing small-group training sessions.

The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to your personal training. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.

If you’re interested in group training certifications, make sure to Group: take the quiz to see which one is the right one for you. Let’s jump into the article.

Small Group Personal Training Tips - It's a Win-Win Situation! 1
Small Group Personal Training Tips - It's a Win-Win Situation! 2

Are You Ready for Small Group Personal Training?

Small Group Personal Training Tips

Most people get confused about the differences between small-group training and group exercise classes. I’m guessing that your gym has a group exercise room.

This may be where people take exercise classes such as Pilates, step aerobics, or yoga. The instructors of those classes hold a group instructor certification.

You do not need a group instructor certification for small-group personal training. However, it wouldn’t hurt if you did. (Here is a review of my ACE group certification).

You should get a group instructor certification if the class is too large. I know many people that do small-group personal training holding regular personal training certifications.

There are many similarities between the two. Typically, anywhere between three and ten individuals participate in a small-group session – if you have more than ten individuals, it will be hard to focus on everyone’s form.

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This type of training is extremely beneficial for both the clients and the trainer. The clients pay less money, and the trainer makes more money. How cool is that?!

Now let’s jump right into my tips for personal training with small groups!

Space and Equipment Requirements

Although you do not need the same amount of space as a full class, you still need plenty of room, especially if you have ten people. Most gyms have designated areas for small-group training.

If not, then closing off a small portion of an area designated for open functional training exercises would work correctly. An even better solution would be to work outside. If it is beautiful and sunny, this is always the option that I prefer.

If you work for yourself, you can do these small-group sessions in a park or even at a beach! The next thing you’ll need is the right amount of equipment.

You want to have all of your clients doing something at all times. You need to make sure there is enough equipment so that everyone is doing some exercise during the entire class.

I typically like to do these types of sessions in a circuit training fashion. Unlike classes where everyone does the same exercise simultaneously, I want everybody to do something different.

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This way, I do not need ten elastic bands or 10 TRX straps. I need one of each piece of equipment! This is exceptionally efficient, especially if you buy all your equipment.

small group training

Make Sure Your Workout is Prepared Before Going into the Session

Sometimes personal trainers do not come prepared. I have seen plenty of trainers make up a workout on the spot. This makes them look unorganized and is very unprofessional, and wastes the client’s time.

Small-group training workouts are pretty easy to write out. You should have two to four different circuits planned depending on how long the training session will be.

You will also need between 3 and ten different exercises depending on how many clients you have. Preferably all of your clients in your group will be approximately the same fitness level.

If this is not the case, you must know how to progress and modify or regress all of your exercises to meet your client’s needs.

Figuring Out the Perfect Price Point for Your Clients

Both you and your small group of clients will benefit from these personal training sessions. If you typically work with these clients one-on-one, they are already used to paying much more for your services.

I’m sure they would be happy to pay half the price that they usually do. Of course, the exact figure you choose will depend on how much you usually charge and how many people are in your group session.

The more clients you have in the group, the less money they will have to pay. I typically ask for $10 each if I have ten clients. That is $100 for me! If I have five clients, I might ask for $20.

I still make $100 for that hour! If your clients like how you handle small-group training, make sure to have them spread the word. Word of mouth is the best way to get more clients.

Conclusion: Is Personal Training with Small Groups for You?

These are three great tips to get started training with small groups. I know plenty of trainers who only do small-group training because they can make so much more money.

Not only do they make more money, but it is a whole lot of fun! This is why people love taking classes. The energy of the people surrounding them, and having a great workout, is addicting. I highly suggest you try adding group sessions.

You might never go back to one-on-one training! Now get out there and get fit! You should check out some of my other articles in the personal training tips section, such as personal training for beginners and personal training for seniors.

Also, if you are interested in group exercise, you might like my aquatic exercise certification review and my article on how to become a spinning instructor.

I also suggest you check out my article on how to become a health coach! Happy personal training!

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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2 thoughts on “Small Group Personal Training Tips – It’s a Win-Win Situation!”

  1. PTPioneer User

    What is the best qualification for Small Group classes up to say 12 people? Group Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer? Can a Personal Trainer take groups up to 10 in an outdoor setting if it’s for their own business ie not in a gym? Thanks!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      If you are doing small group personal training and I usually consider that to be 10 clients or less, a personal training certification will be better than a group Instructor certification.

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