Fun and Fitness: Getting fit as a group

Throughout the first semester, we've discussed a few of the latest trends in the fitness industry. Crossfit has seen a huge rise in popularity over the last few years, while TRX seems to be the most hyped up act of training as of late. Many of Fanshawe's programs are up for review soon, and as we know, many of them include feats of physical fitness that the students need to accomplish. Paramedics, Police Foundations and Fitness and Health Promotion students make up the majority of these physically active students.

However, the Fitness and Health students in particular happen to be on both ends of the fitness spectrum. They have to learn how to perform it, and they have to teach it accordingly. Personal training has been at the forefront of the fitness industry for many decades. However, as time passes and advances are made in training techniques and technology, we've really had to re-think the game.

A good friend of mine made the move out west to Vancouver years back. When I asked him what his main motivation was for doing so, his reply was quite simple. He said he had built a network ahead of time in which he could train groups of hockey athletes. He wasn't even a big hockey fan, but the fact that he had a guaranteed clientele in big numbers was enough to sell him on the move. Lastly, his final reason made all the sense in the world: why train one person at a time when you can train 10 people at a time and make 10 times the amount of money?

And if you take a good look at it for yourself, it seems to be where a good bulk of the industry is headed. Group training is everywhere. Crossfit and TRX, as mentioned, are based around a group training aspect. Walking groups, running groups and weight training groups often follow the same principle. Even personal training, which has followed a one-on-one format for decades, is now often sold in packages, which can include five clients at a time.

It wouldn't surprise me to see a group focused training course implemented into the Fitness and Health Promotion program or even Continuing Education for that matter. It's one thing to learn the core principles of training and become effective at teaching it. However, how does one effectively teach an entire group of varying abilities? How do you effectively control an entire group and command their respect? And, above all else, how do you effectively build rapport with everyone involved so that the foundation is laid down for an overall positive experience?

These are qualities that you cannot put a price on. Leading a group of aspiring athletes and trainees transcends the limits of the fitness industry. You build traits that lend themselves to job promotions, being a competent teacher in a school board, leading conferences and having the ability to speak in front of large groups. The possibilities are endless.

One-on-one training will always be around. However, there is no denying the massive appeal of reaching more enthusiastic clients in the same amount of time, where camaraderie plays a huge motivational team factor. Not to mention, in terms of a business model approach, it makes absolute sense!