By Brittany Baldwin
The FIU Wellness and Recreation Center offers both group fitness classes and personal training services to all members. Patrons often ask me which area they should focus their time and attention on to see the best results.
I encourage users to consider the pros and cons of each program to determine which best suits their needs and budget.
Group fitness pros and cons
For those with financial limitations, group fitness classes are the best solution. These classes are free to all members, take place regularly throughout the day and come in a variety of formats to capture a diverse audience.
I recommend group fitness if you’re someone who performs well with a healthy dose of competition and finds motivation in group settings.
Those with very limited or non-traditional schedules may find group fitness classes inconvenient to attend regularly, as classes are scheduled according to peak hours of usage.
Those with very specific fitness goals may also find less benefit in group fitness. These classes are designed to increase participant’s overall level of fitness and may include members at all fitness levels, so the programming will be less personalized and goal specific.
Personal training pros and cons
Conversely, personal training programming is designed specifically around your goals, needs and schedule, so you’re more likely to get exactly what you’re looking for out of each session.
Since personal training is conducted one-on-one, your trainer has the opportunity to devote his/her undivided attention on you and address any specific questions that you have. For this reason, many clients report learning a great deal more about health and fitness when working with a personal trainer.
Those with very specific fitness goals (such as training for a fitness competition) can also expect to see results at a quicker rate because the fitness programming is designed specifically with your goals in mind.
However, if you’re someone with limited financial resources, personal training may not be the best option for you. Consistency breeds results, but this does require a financial commitment.
The fact that there is no buffer to occupy your trainer’s attention from pushing or challenging you may also be daunting for some.
A combination approach
Personally, I’ve experienced the greatest success in my fitness journey by utilizing a combination of both fitness program options.
Meeting with a trainer 1-2 days per week and attending group fitness classes on my non-training days has been both a budget and time friendly option for me. Therefore, I encourage anyone with the ability to maximize use of both services to do so.
For more information on personal training and group fitness, please visit: https://studentaffairs.fiu.edu//health-and-fitness/recreation/mmc/index.php
Brittany Baldwin is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor who currently works as the assistant director of fitness at the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center at MMC. This article is part of an FIU News series featuring Baldwin’s perspective on health and fitness.