The Problem with DIY Fitness, Large Group Classes, and Traditional Personal Trainers

Warning: I am going to talk about different fitness modalities and give my uncensored opinion that some are better than others.  That said, I think any attempt to move your body and take care of yourself is admirable, and any form of movement is better than being sedentary.

Anytime someone is interested in being a personal training client in my gym, I start with a free strategy session.  I don’t really have a “sales” process as much as I have a “let’s see if we are even a good fit” process at the gym.  Most gyms sell aggressively because they need to replace a steady stream of disappointed clients constantly.  Most of my clients stay with me for quite some time so I have no need to force it if we aren’t a good fit.

Over 10+ years of personal training, I have easily had thousands of conversations with people about their goals, what they’ve tried before, and what didn’t work.  I’ve learned a lot and it has definitely informed the unique approach that we take at On Target Fitness.

Here is why we take a different approach from the big commercial gyms:  Most commercial gyms are essentially just a room full of stuff.  If you happen to know what to do with the stuff that’s one thing, but most people are not born knowing how to workout.  It’s also well known at this point that commercial gyms bank on the vast majority of their members never even using their facilities.  Even if you’re motivated enough to show up, most people just get lost in the gigantic space, maybe do the elliptical for a bit, and then bail out before they embarrass themselves.  Without knowledge and guidance, most exercise equipment is as useful as car parts are to someone who isn’t a mechanic.  It’s really the knowledge that makes the equipment useful in both cases.

Here is why we take a different approach from large group classes:  We used to do them, so I am definitely not bashing them.  I always liked the energy of group classes but found other aspects lacking.  Classes are a step up from a commercial facility because now you are getting some guidance.  However, with 30 people in a room, no matter how talented the instructor, you just aren’t getting a lot of individual attention.  If you have any restrictions, odds are you aren’t going to have a good experience.  Because they never know who is coming to a given class, the workouts are generic.  One workout has nothing to do with what you might do another day and there is no logical progression.  Again this setting can work for some for a bit, but I have talked with a lot of people who didn’t get the attention they needed and didn’t see the results they were looking for.  At the end of the day the workout is like an in person workout DVD.

Here is why we take a different approach from traditional 1 on 1 personal training:  It sounds oxymoronic, but my small group personal training is most like traditional 1 on 1, just done in a small group.  What I love about personal training is the programming and the coaching.  All of our programs are custom written for you based on your goals, ability levels, and injury history.  From week to week and month to month, you get fitter in a systematic way.  We stopped doing 1 on 1 personal training because scheduling is a nightmare, there is no community, it’s expensive for you, while ironically the trainer doesn’t make enough money to live.  The trainer not making enough money means they work too many hours, get burned out, and aren’t present during their sessions.  The number one feedback I get from new clients that came from a 1 on 1 environment is that they get more attention from us.  It’s amazing what happens when you set trainers up for success!

Here is what sets us apart: I have built my gym from the ground up with your success in mind.  With our unique approach to personal training, you get your own custom written program and we expertly guide you through it as an individual.  We guarantee our small group size and schedule your sessions on a recurring basis so you never lose your spot when things get busy.

But wait!  There’s more!  I don’t think it’s just my job to give you a great workout.  Yes, we’ll do that and we’ll have some fun BUT…I think it is my job to help you move meaningfully towards your goals.  To that end, all of my personal training memberships include nutritional support.  I don’t believe in leaving you to the wolves in the gym and I don’t believe in leaving you to the wolves in the kitchen.  I truly believe that if you lift hard (at your level), walk daily, and eat real food, your life will be immeasurably better.

When you are ready to see what our unique approach to personal training can do for you, fill out the form at the top or bottom of this page and I will get in touch : )

Serving Portsmouth, Kittery, and the broader Seacoast community, we help people finally get in shape, feel confident, and have all day energy, even if getting everything done is a constant struggle.


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