New fitness trend good for you and your wallet



Posted on December 28, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

Marty Hoberg is a workout buff. So is Allison Pelot. Neither can afford a personal trainer so they decided to share one.

"I've been doing mini-group training for six months now. This is really the only way I could get interaction with the gym members and a personal trainer," said Hoberg.

"This way I can be with the trainer and get the training I need for a discounted price," said Pelot.

It's simple: Instead of one-on-one sessions, a trainer takes two or more clients, and charges each less.

"If they normally charge $100 an hour, if they give that person a 25 percent discount and bring a friend and give that person a 25 percent discount, then each one of the clients is paying $75, which is a significant amount of money, reduction in their typical cost," Walt Thompson Ph.D. of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Thompson says the economy may be one reason for the popularity, but it's not the only one.

"You motivate each other, so if I'm going to go with you to a personal training session, you tell me you're not going to go, I'm going to try to motivate you because I want to exercise," he said.

Personal trainer Nash Tehrani says mini-group workouts tend to be more intense.

"People are generally very competitive by nature and very social creatures, too, so a lot of times people enjoy the social interactions with friends or meet new friends and the competitive factor is a big plus," said Tehrani.

Participants agree.

"It's much more dynamic, much faster paced, so I feel like it's an excellent workout," said Pelot.

"I'm pretty much hooked on it," said Hoberg.

Mini-group fitness classes are offered by many gyms.

A recent survey by the American College of Sports Medicine shows that mini-group personal training is becoming a trend worldwide.