We have experienced a major shift in the fitness industry that is creating dramatic change in how the average fitness consumer interacts with certified personal trainers and group fitness instructors. The past five years has seen many changes and new exercise formats, with the one consistent trend being the explosive popularity of group-based workout formats. From CrossFit and indoor cycling to yoga and Zumba, participants are flocking in droves to group-based workouts that are fun, challenging and, most importantly, extremely effective.
The benefits of small-group training have been addressed in previous blog posts by myself and ACE Senior Consultant Jonathan Ross, and one thing is abundantly clear: Small-group training is here to stay and is having a significant impact on how fitness services are being delivered. Not only is the number of fitness studios offering small-group workouts growing exponentially, a number of the largest health club chains are adjusting their business plans to feature small-group training solutions for their members. This has led some in the industry to ask: Is small-group training going to replace one-on-one personal training?
The very short answer is yes.
The longer, more nuanced answer is that personal training will continue to be a service offered to those customers who prefer working independently with a trainer and can afford the hourly fees. However, I believe that small-group training will replace one-on-one personal training as the primary method of how health club companies deliver fitness services to their members. While I do think personal training provides many benefits and is definitely here to stay, here are four reasons why I also think that small-group training will become a more vital component of how fitness services are delivered to the average fitness consumer.
1. Economic. In response to the recent economic environment, many personal trainers began to offer workouts for small groups, which allowed them to charge less money per each individual while increasing the amount of money they earn per hour. For example, instead of a price point of $ 65 for a one-hour training session for a single individual, a trainer can charge $ 20 per person for a small-group workout, which allows them to work with six or seven people at a time, nearly doubling their per-hour income stream ($ 120 for a group of six as opposed to $ 65 for an individual). From a participant’s point of view, small-group training allows him or her to receive the benefits of working with a qualified fitness professional at an affordable price point. For the larger health club chains that feature monthly membership prices below $ 50, small-group training becomes a cost-effective solution for members interested in receiving support for reaching
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