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Save money with group personal training

December 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
During the holidays, it's not uncommon to put on a pound or two. So the desire to hire a personal trainer seems like a good idea, if the price is right. But if the times are as tight as your pants, there's a new fitness trend that's good for your waistline as well as your wallet. Marty Hoberg and Allison Pelot are both workout buffs. They would each love to have their own personal trainer but can't afford one. So, they decided to share one using a group training membership.

"I've been doing mini-group training for six months now," said Hoberg. "This is really the only way I could get interaction with a trainer and some of the gym members."

"This way I can be with the trainer and also get the training that I need for a discounted price," said Pelot.

It's simple. Instead of one-on-one sessions, a trainer takes two to four clients together and charges each for less.

"If they normally charge $100 an hour, if they give that person say a 25 percent discount and bring a friend and we'll give that person a 25 percent discount, then each one of the clients is paying $75, which is a significant amount of money, a reduction in their typical cost," said Walt Thompson Ph.D., American College of Sports Medicine.

A recent survey by the American College of Sports Medicine shows this mini-group personal training is a trend to watch.

"It's happening all over the country," said Dr. Thompson. "Actually, it's happening all over the world."

Keep in mind group fitness classes aren't the same as group personal training. With group fitness classes, you've got movement and music with about 20 to 30 of your not-so-closest friends. But with group personal training there is usually no more than six to eight people, so the instructor can pay close attention to your workout.

John Whitman of Focus Self Defense and Fitness in Culver City says the friendly rivalry provides better fitness incentives as well.

"So you're getting the personal attention, you're improving your form, your technique, your knowledge, like working with your personal trainer, but at a much less expensive cost and with the fun of a group," said Whitman.

"You motivate each other, so if I'm going to go with you to a personal training session, and you tell me you're not going to go, well I'm going to try to motivate you to go because I want you to exercise," said Dr. Thompson.

"It's much more dynamic, it's much faster paced, so I feel like it's an excellent workout," said Pelot.

While prices vary across the country, Whitman's gym offers monthly unlimited group situations at around $100 to $150 a month, which is helpful to those watching their wallet.


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