There are a lot of buzzwords making the rounds in the fitness industry and one of the more popular is “experience.” Small group workouts are an experience, but they aren’t a gimmick and they’re worth a look. These kinds of workouts are growing in popularity for good reasons. First, they are an alternative to the traditional big classes that can leave you feeling anonymous and left behind. Second, they are a cost effective way to get many of the benefits of a personal trainer without the cost (source). Small group workouts of 3 to 9 trainees offer a balance personal attention from the trainer and the camaraderie and competitiveness of a traditional class.
Small Group Classes Big Possibilities
Flexibility is a one of the advantages of small group workouts. Just about any workout you can perform as part of a big class or one on one with a personal trainer you can also do with a small group. Circuit training, boot camps, yoga, cardio machines or a combination of these are some of the possibilities (source). More complex combinations or advanced movements become more practical than in a big class because of the increased personal attention. The trainer will have a much better ability to teach new things and monitor your progress. Whether you’re learning burpees, the clean and jerk or how to use an elliptical machine properly your trainer will likely spot any deficiencies and be able to correct them.
Sample Small Group Workouts
Workout A: Bodyweight Calisthenic Circuit
Perform the circuit once to get a feel for the exercises and gauge how many repetitions you can do for the different exercises. You can also set a timer if you have one handy (for example 30 sec. per exercise) and complete as many repetitions as you possible.
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- Sit-Ups or Crunches
- Pull-Ups or Dumbell Rows
- Air Squats or with Empty Bar
Workout B: Cardio Machine Blast
Use at least three cardio machines to a get a complete and more interesting small group workout. Examples include stationary bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, versa climbers, rowing machines and Stairmasters.
- Versa Climber
- Rowing Machine
Try using each machine for at least 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. You might have to experiment with the intensity levels and other features before getting your best workout. Allow only a short pause between machines to take a drink or towel off before moving to the next machine. As an alternative cardio workout your group could perform 4-8 ¼ mile laps at a track. Your pace should be challenging, but not a sprint. Take a minute between laps.