The Benefits of Small Group Training

Yesterday, I had the privilege of exhibiting at the Starbucks Health & Wellness Fair, a 2-hour event at Starbucks HQ. The event showcases some of the companies in Seattle offering health and wellness options for partners (employees) of Starbucks. I noticed at the event there are two major buckets of fitness options: corporate-run boutique studios or big box chains such as CrossFit and 24-Hour Fitness.

I can dig into CrossFit another day, as there are many benefits to the CrossFit model, and class size varies depending on the studio you visit.

Today I want to focus on some of the benefits of a smaller class model. And when I say smaller, I’m talking in the 8-12-person range, big enough to get the “group energy effect” but small enough for the trainer to individually assess, correct and push each member of the group. To get a bit more of an objective view on this, I asked my members whether they like the smaller size of our classes at Accelerate.

“I love the smaller class sizes because I develop great relationships with the other members who consistently attend at 5am. They keep me accountable. They notice when I’m not here and they ask me why. That keeps me coming back.”

“For me, 10 people in a group class is the absolute max. I actually prefer 4-5 people because you get even more personalized attention and you can try new things, new weights, new exercises without feeling self-conscious.”

“I feel exposed in a class of 10 people. I can’t hide. In a class of 20+ people, it’s so easy to fade into the background. So many times, I’ve walked out of those bigger classes wishing I pushed myself harder. That never happens at Accelerate. Brandon is on your ass.”

You can see the different benefits exposed in each of the three quotes. One member likes the smaller size because of the relationships and camaraderie among the whole class. The second member prefers small for focused attention and freedom to try new things without insecurity. And the last (very honest!) member speaks to something I hear often. Members appreciate being seen and pushed. And that includes corrections on form and weight.

Members of class hold a squat while each one sprints on the Air Assault Bike.

One of the drawbacks of small group training is it is often more expensive. The same goes for personal training. At Accelerate, I can assure you this is not due to lighting, décor or the extra amenities you’d be offered in a boutique studio. You’re paying for our trainers who know your name, are engaged and present for every moment of the class. And because everyone is working together, there aren’t big segments of time where one side of the room is prioritized over the other.

If you came to see us at the Starbucks Wellness event, we loved meeting you and hope to see you in one of our (small) group classes soon.