Personal Training or Group Classes?

Personal Training or Group Classes?

I get this question alllllll the time: what's the difference between personal training and group strength and conditioning classes, besides the obvious? Why should you choose one over the other? Which one is better for you?

While I can't answer that question for you, I can give you a rundown of what the same and what's different to help you decide.

Let's start with the similarities. 

The Trainer

Except in rare cases of illness or pre-planned family vacation, I am the trainer for both 1-on-1s and group classes. While I'd love to have a team in the future, Fierce Mama Fitness is just me, Alexis. So you're stuck with me regardless. 😜

The Method Behind the Madness

Whether I'm working with one person or with ten, the guiding principles are still the same. I design programs within the framework of your goals, while also keeping it as practical and functional as possible. What does this mean? If you're a mom, you spend 90% of your time picking things up and carrying them around and putting them down. What do we work on? Squatting, deadlifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying. 

You Choose Your Own Goals

Our group classes are highly personalized, especially compared to a other group fitness class you might take at the gym. Everyone has their own program, chosen from several different "tracks" depending on your goals. We have programs for new moms, pregnant women, moms building straight-up strength, and moms interested in high-impact exercise like running and jumping, just to name a few. I don't decide what your focus should be -- that's totally up to you and I support you 100% in whatever goal you're working towards.

We Talk about Vaginas

I mean obviously.

The Differences

I've Got My Eye on You

This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your outlook. I, personally, used to be terrified of attending group classes and was so much more relaxed if it was just me and my trainer. For other people, that much laser-focused attention is not what they're looking for. But if you have an injury that you're rehabbing or any special pelvic floor considerations, you'll often need very subtle form adjustments that are much easier and quicker to make if it's just the two of us versus me watching five or six or ten people at once. 

On-the-Fly Adjustments

While I always make program adjustments for both group and 1-on-1 clients (like, if your shoulder is bugging you, I'm not going to shrug and say, "well, your program says to bench press, sucks to be you"), I make SO many more changes to workouts for my personal training clients depending on how tired you are, if you're sore or not, or even if you just feel like doing something different than what I had planned to do. If there are any skills you want to learn, like swinging a kettlebell or squatting with a barbell or anything like that, we can take more time to break it down since it's YOUR session and no one else's. 

Extra-Super-Special Programming

Personal training clients get their own individual warmup based on what the workout is that day, whereas group classes all do the same general, full-body warmup before grabbing their own programs and getting rolling. And while personal training workouts may be based on workouts that my group clients do, they're tweaked almost beyond recognition by the time they're ready to go. This, I would say, is both the biggest difference and the biggest benefit to personal training versus group classes, especially for anyone with specific exercise considerations: pelvic organ prolapse, recent injury or surgery, training for a specific race or event, or if you're just looking for something more tailored to you than group classes.


The community of our group classes is the best around, bar none. These moms are the kindest, funniest, most supportive people I've ever met. That's a HUGE perk to the group classes, although I do try to make opportunities for everyone to get together, personal training clients included, by organizing dinners and other moms' nights out. On the personal training side of things, you get to attend any and all group classes for free. 

Budget and Schedule

For pricing and group class schedule, check out the services page. I have a lot more leeway with scheduling personal training clients and can much more easily work around your schedule. Budget is always a consideration, and personal training is more expensive because of all the reasons listed above. Do I think everyone should spend the extra money for personal training? No, I don't. Group classes are a better fit in terms of goals, personal, and budget for many people, and, as those of you who have met with me in person can attest, I never try to push people into personal training. Hard sells make me feel icky and it's just not something I'm interested in doing. 

So what's it gonna be?

Set up a FITSTART session so we can get together and talk about it! You can also take our handy dandy little quiz.

Happy Birthday, Fierce Mama Fitness!

Happy Birthday, Fierce Mama Fitness!