Four Factors to Consider for Your Small Group Training Approach
About the Author: Keith Smith is a Life Fitness Academy (LFA) Global Master Trainer based in London. He has been a part of Life Fitness for more than 20 years.
There are very few facilities globally that are not delivering some form of group activity to their members in a space situated on the gym floor. With this growth, the need to continually refresh ideas, keeping this modality of training varied, is essential.
In order to develop this type of training, there are factors that need to be considered that may lead to new approaches and different client groups being energized by the group exercise experience.
There are no defining numbers for SGT, any number between two and six exercisers keeps the quality of interaction and individual attention high and hopefully drives an outstanding experience. But there are logistical issues to be considered including the size of your space, the amount of equipment you have available, the time of day you are teaching (is the facility busy, and will there be a lot of traffic moving through the space?).
The aim of the session.
There's no component of fitness that’s not suited to SGT. You can have a mobility session, a power session, a HIIT session—SGT can be anything.
The key questions for the trainer are:
- What do members want?
- How do members want it?
- When is the most appropriate time to deliver it?
Once the SGT teacher has this information, they will be better able to support exercise choice, exercise order, work timings, rest timings, and intensities.
Who is the target audience?
Every member is different. They have varied thoughts and feelings towards their exercises choices. Trainers who want to deliver something different need to look at what is already happening in SGT, and change it. If there are already SGT sessions taking place in the facility, look at the members who are NOT taking part and ask why.
SGT training has many benefits to the participant, from elements of competition to the situation where there is less direct focus on exercising. People buy for themselves and taking part in a certain session is purely an emotional decision. There are likely more members not taking part in the most popular SGT in a facility than taking part, which proves that you don’t need everyone to like what you do to be successful.
Who am I?
Part of the uniqueness of a trainer comes from our personal values. Guiding principles act like a compass, they represent what is most important to us. Being aware of our values is not only about how you want to be perceived by others, but it also gives clarity on how to drive your SGT brand.
Small Group Training is here to stay, and an important way to create energy in a facility. Members want different experiences within the same place. Small Group Training needs to offer different, having the same types of sessions only attracts the same types of exercisers.
Adapted from Personal Impact [A. Vickers, S. Bavister, J. Smith]