Smart alternative to personal training

Small group training is a real international trend and booming in the fitness industry. Where lies the charm and fascination of this fitness trend?


Many members in fitness clubs often consider working out with equipment to be one-sided and boring. In addition, many instructors must adhere to a gym’s clear philosophy and are therefore too limited to implement varied programmes. This could be one of the reasons why people are open to trying something new.

Furthermore, you always train by yourself in the gym, so the motivation soon subsides. Small group training provides an exciting alternative in order to re-motivate unsatisfied members and to turn the training into a highlight.

The training consists of functional exercises involving various equipment such as kettlebells, cable pulleys, weights, rubber bands, punching bags and classic bodyweight and gymnastic exercises. Most training takes places in groups of four to 12 people, so that all participants can still be supervised by an instructor.

Circuit System

The training also benefits from a certain group dynamic and is a lot of fun when more than four people participate. Therefore, a circle system with a post is often chosen as the suitable organisational form.

With this kind of group training, it is possible to address many different target groups, such as seniors, athletes, teams, martial artists, job-specific exercisers (police, fire-fighter, etc.) as well as overweight people, and it also allows for preventive training with back pain patients.

Small group training can take 30 minutes to an hour.  Depending on the goal, it should be decided how high the intensity and training volume is: how long individual exercises and pauses should be, or how high the load (weight) should be.

The most popular training methodology is the circuit system, as this allows the instructor a good overview and the individual exercises can be varied individually. Thus each participant trains at his level and never feels over-challenged or under-challenged.

From a financial standpoint, small group training is a lucrative source of income in the fitness industry. In addition to traditional group exercising, new participants can be addressed this way.

In my opinion, there is still a very high psychological barrier for new entrants, especially for men, to attend such courses, although they could surely achieve more rapid successes with such functional exercises.

Meanwhile, many personal trainers have become aware of this trend. Because many fitness enthusiasts cannot afford a personal trainer, a personal trainer can also offer his services to people with a smaller budget.


Professional Training

Objectives and advantages of small group training:

  • Motivation of participants
  • Better care compared to group fitness classes
  • Efficient training of all healthfactors
  • Target group oriented training possible
  • High calorieconsumption
  • Stamina will be trained
  • Positive peerpressure
  • Coordinative component is improved
  • Each participant is in action thanks to circuit organisation
  • Training is possible in the smallests places.


– Marco Hirsiger

Hirsiger_MarcoThe writer is head instructor and lecturer at SAFS. His qualifications include a diploma for sports instructor (Basel), Bachelor in Health Sciences, Master in Sports Sciences. He is Crossfit instructor, P6 Hexagon Master Trainer, Swiss Olympic conditioning coach, athletic trainer and performance sports coach.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *