The latest trend in fitness centers is group personal training. Rather than being tortured solo by a gym guru, you can now sweat, stretch, lift and cry tears of humiliation in front of four or five other individuals. The fellow exercisers may be male, female, your best friends, your spouse, your neighbors or complete strangers. It doesn’t really matter so long as there is a group. The hope is that you will feed off of each other, motivating and inspiring one another to do one more rep, stretch one inch lower or sweat for five more minutes. In theory, it’s great. And for many, it works wonders, providing them with a method to stay on track and continue exercising, but for others, it creates a less than ideal situation.
For the overly competitive and the easily defeated, group personal training is a recipe for disaster. The first group is driven to cut corners and ignore safety in the name of finishing first. They will do halfway push-ups, barely bending their arms so that they can complete the set of 25 before anyone else. They will, if they are male, see women beside them doing better or as well as, and immediately search for a way to prove their manliness, perhaps with an extra ten pounds, which their muscles are not equipped to handle. The other group, the easily defeated, sees their fellow exercises, notes their skill, decides that they could never be as fit and gives up before the first sit-up uncurls. Both lose sight of fitness, blinded by the biceps beside them. The question is, are you in of those groups?
It’s a tough question to answer, because no one wants to admit that they are too competitive or not competitive enough. But if you are considering group personal training, it is something you have to determine. Otherwise, you could very well waste your money. So think back to all of the games you’ve played, all of the competitions you’ve entered into, and think about how they ended, regardless of if you were the winner or loser. Ask yourself questions such as “Have you ever been driven to cheat shamelessly simply because your five year old niece was beating you at Candy Land,” “Did you ever run victory laps around the house after finishing your homework before your brother,” or “Have you ever simply given up because the outlook didn’t look promising?” Answering yes to any of these questions is a sign that you may want to keep personal training personal and not invite others to join you. Answering no means that you may be ready to join the next big gym craze and exercise with five of your favorite people. Either way, get to the gym and exercise.