How to Set Up Your Group Workouts for Maximum Success and Profitability

FVT boot camp action!

You’ve probably heard that training folks in a group setting is the way to go.

That it’s more fun for your clients, that they’ll stay longer and get better results.

And that you have more leverage than training folks one-on-one, so at the end of the day, your clients pays less and you make more.

All VERY true. This is why at FVT boot camp and personal training we have moved from about 70% one-on-one/30% group-based training to 10% one-on-one/90% group-based training at our facility in the
last two years. And we have more than doubled the size of our business in the process.

All this being said, it is a little trickier to train folks in a group than to train them one-on-one. It takes some special considerations. And if you do things WRONG, before you know it, folks are getting bored and frustrated with their workouts, NOT getting the results they should be, and leaving in droves. ¬†And all of a sudden you’re out of business.

BUT it doesn’t have to be that way – IF you follow my tips ūüėČ ¬†Here are three simple¬†things you can do to set up your group training workouts for maximum success:


1 – Make workouts both challenging AND fun

You NEED to make your workouts challenging. This is what your clients came to you for. If they wanted an easy workout they could do it on their own. So don’t be¬†afraid to push them.

At the same time, you also need to know how to scale your workouts and exercises properly for clients of all different fitness levels – which takes study and time and¬†training experience. You have to know how you can push someone who, for example, can’t lunge yet with perfect form or get their feet up smoothly coming out of a¬†burpee¬†(this is a topic we’ll cover in a future post, BTW).

You ALSO need to make your workouts FUN. ¬†The reality is that your clients probably don’t like exercise as much as you do. ¬†So if you do the same thing every time, they are going to get bored. ¬†And end up quitting.

So make your workouts fun. ¬†Program them intelligently over time and don’t just do random stuff each day, but also do partner drills, relays, etc. to get folks interacting w each other and having a good time. ¬†THAT will get your clients to stay longer, keep paying you money, and referring all their friends! ūüėČ


2 – Keep exercises simple (but not easy)

Simple exercises work best in a group setting.  They are easy to teach, you minimize injury risk and you just end up minimizing general group training chaos.

Now I did NOT say easy. I said simple.

Full Turkish get ups, for example, in MOST large group settings just don’t work. They are too technical and it ends up taking too long to teach the movement and it slows the class¬†down, etc.

Burpees on the other hand are an example of a movement that is relatively simple to teach technique-wise but is quite challenging to perform.

If in doubt, keep it simple.


3 – Use timed sets instead of reps

One basic thing I never thought of when I first started teaching groups is that having everyone starting a set at the same time and do a prescribed number of reps is a bad idea.

In other words, if you have, say, ten folks all do 15 body weight squats at the same time, some folks will finish sooner than others. Some folks will use great form and take their time, others will rush through it. Some folks may even cheat and do less reps than you tell them to!!

SO Рto work around this Рa good strategy is simply to use timed sets. So instead of 15 reps of body weight squats, you just have folks do as many squats as possible in 30 seconds. Then you rest and move on to the next exercise.

Simple tip but SUPER helpful to know, especially when you are just starting out.

To sum up, I truly believe group training is the way to go … but you have to make sure you know how to set up the workouts for maximum success. Hope this article¬†helps you. Let me know in the comments section below. ¬†And I’ll be back soon with more great fitness business content!

– Forest

Be Sociable, Share!
This entry was posted in workouts. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to Set Up Your Group Workouts for Maximum Success and Profitability

  1. Krista Schutz says:

    Thanks for this info. I’m just starting out as a personal trainer, so I really appreciate the insight. Right now, I am about 80% one on one and 20% group/bootcamp. By far, the bootcamp is providing the bigger income for our family, but I struggle sometimes with the idea of not being able to give them that personal attention and only just needing to give them a good workout.

    • admin says:

      Hey great to hear from you Krista!

      You are right it can be harder to get that personal connection in the group setting.

      One thing we do at our training center is semi private training which has been an awesome sort of “in between” offering. We do groups of 2-5 folks, put them with other people who have similar goals, etc. – and it’s been a hit.

      Something to consider anyway.

      Hope that helps!! And thanks again –


  2. Jeremy D. Murphy says:

    Hey Forest!

    Great info here! i’m planning on setting up a group personal training facility as soon as i find the nice space like yours. Hey I was wondering, you seem to send out an email once or twice a day with some great tips and ideas. I’ve bought several of the books you promoted. How are you coming up with all this stuff? Do you write these emails yourself? if so, where do you find the time?

    Thanks again, looking forward to your response!

    Jeremy D. Murphy
    @Fire Fitness1

    • admin says:

      Awesome to hear from you Jeremy!

      I do man, I write all the emails myself. As you know I also publish guest posts from other fitness experts on my sites once or twice a week as well.

      At this point I devote probably two or three hours a day to the online stuff and another five or six to the studio. When I was getting the studio going though it was probably twice that – now I have things rolling and some other trainers doing some of the training etc. so that’s how I am able to have the time ūüôā

      My advice for what it’s worth would be to focus on one thing at a time – like the studio – really get that rocking and rolling, and then move on to your next project or whatever else you have going.

      Hope that helps man. And thanks for leaving a comment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *