Earlier this week I talked about how compassion can play a role in working out. There’s definitely an appeal to working out with others. As you probably know, I have experience teaching both. As a personal trainer, it’s easy for me to tell someone about the benefits of private training over taking classes. It’s a question that I and even my clients get asked a lot, so I thought I’d talk about it here.
Taking classes is a great way to get into something new. If you’re just starting boxing, for example, taking a class gives you a taste of what to expect going forward. Working out with others is also great for motivation when it comes to conditioning—use others as a way to push yourself and feel comfort knowing that you’re all suffering together. Camaraderie really can make your workout fun. The downsides to taking classes are that you won’t be getting undivided attention from the instructor. In some cases, that’s fine. But in boxing, form and technique matter a lot when it comes to preventing injury and seeing improvement. You also run the risk of starting out with bad habits if they’re not caught and corrected. When I teach classes, I try to catch that as much as I can and give as much instruction as possible when I see that someone is new. But I can only do so much.
Private sessions, on the other hand, are all about having things explained to you when you need it. It’s your time to work on form and technique, work on whatever you’re having trouble with or wanting to improve. It’s a workout catered to you. If you don’t feel like you’re making progress on your own, a personal trainer can help you set goals and workout routines. Not to mention that having someone who’s knowledgeable about this stuff can make your life so much easier. All you have to worry about is showing up and following instructions. With boxing, having someone who knows what you need to work on and what your strengths are can make a huge difference. From what I’ve seen, people who only do classes usually cap off skill-wise after a while. Meanwhile, people who have trainers will continue to improve and learn because they have someone guiding them.
The biggest deterrent that people have to personal training is cost. But it all depends on what your priorities are. Private training and classes will both push you in conditioning, but personal training can help you pick up on what you feel like you’re missing from classes. It all comes down to what your goals are and what it’s worth for you to reach them. Everyone’s needs are different. See what works for you!