Group training is everywhere. And if it’s not where you are, it soon will be. In theory, it is a clear win-win-win scenario. Clients pay less, trainers earn more and every one still gets great results. However, like communism and parenting, theory is different than application. I’m concerned that we are enticed by the dollars (as with most industries) and missing the follow through required for effective small group training. Take a look at these common mistakes and you will avoid disappointing clients and your bottom line.


  1. Pump the Breaks


It’s easy to embrace how lucrative and efficient small group training can be. However, limiting class enrollment to ten people is not alone enough to justify the higher price point. Extra work must be happening outside the studio to deliver value and justify the price to your small group clients. It should offer as much of the one on one personal training experience as possible. Bring the tailored, attentive elements of training to the small group experience. Do you assess and reassess? Do clients have clearly stated goals? Are you available for follow up and questions? These are all important considerations. Because even if clients can’t articulate it, they will feel that there is an imbalance in what they are getting for their dollars and that is bad news for your bottom line or reputation.


  1. Did you think it through?


Is your specialty class the right size and environment? Are you a seasoned trainer? (I’m not thrilled about novice trainers leading small group – too many variables to manage and not enough exposure to different scenarios.) Are the details of the class clearly laid out and adhered to? Be clear on what you offering and why. Small group training, specialty group classes, traditional group class instruction and semi-private training are all different offerings. Think about which scenarios are best for different clients and goals, market it and stick to it. This thoughtfulness and clarity will appeal to clients and significantly improve retention.


  1. Are you standing in your clients’ shoes?


Understandably, many consumers are confused. They approach your facility (or website) with an idea of what they want to accomplish or enroll in, but probably don’t understand the kind of training best for their goals and experience level. Now that you are clear on what you offer and why, you need to explain and illustrate this to the client. Ensure they understand the details of the training including, but not limited to: class size, instructor qualifications, program design, general class demographic, and expectations outside of the gym – both yours and theirs.