Individual vs. Personal vs. Group Fitness

Individual vs. Personal vs. Group Fitness

February 14, 2023

Individual vs. Personal vs. Group Fitness

Do the Benefits of Each Type Differ?

For many individuals, exercise is a personal experience, a daily challenge for stress release, personal growth, and a healthier, happier life. On the other hand, some may prefer to work out with a gym partner, personal trainer, or in a group setting. While each method provides numerous health benefits, you may find one more suitable for your goals.

The different workout styles—individual, personal, and group fitness—are a personal choice. Let’s explore the benefits of each type to determine which one may be right for you.

People in a spin class

Individual Fitness

Individual fitness refers to a fitness routine tailored to meet an individual’s specific needs and goals. This type of quiet routine allows for greater flexibility and customization, unlike a fitness program designed for a larger group of people. Individual fitness routines are entirely customizable and can be tailored to the individual’s current level of physical fitness and personal goals, however, they do often require a more significant time investment.

This exercise strategy may involve strength training movements, intense cardio movements, stretching, and flexibility training. Additionally, nutrition, breathing techniques, and hydration often play a role in individual fitness to maximize the effectiveness of the routine. Due to this fact, it is advisable to consume educational resources and expand your knowledge when participating in individual fitness to maximize your workouts and limit the risk of potential injury.


One of the most significant perks of exercising solo versus in group classes is the ability to focus on the entire body and mind, removing any external influences and zoning in on the workout at hand. “Working out alone can help clear your mind, relieving stress through reflection and physical activity,” shares Tensegrity Sports Clinic’s Physiotherapist and sports trainer, Dr. Jonathan Bae.

Working out alone allows you to train at whatever intensity you desire and make decisions about your fitness regimen that are best for you, not someone else. It also gives you the freedom to experiment with different exercises, push yourself to your limits, and try new ideas without feeling self-conscious or intimidated.

You can also take the opportunity to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, allowing you to focus on something that brings you joy, in addition to your exercise routine. These things can help you stay motivated and provide a more meaningful and enjoyable workout experience.


Another perk of individual fitness is the ability to have total flexibility in your training sessions and schedule. You can choose when and where you train, how long, and how often without worrying about restrictions or fitting into someone else’s timetable. You can also adjust your workout according to your schedule and lifestyle instead of worrying about making it to a specific group fitness class, cardio class, yoga class, or Zumba class at a particular time.

In addition, individual fitness allows you to customize your routine and target specific muscle groups in order to achieve your desired results. You can also adjust the intensity of the workout, allowing you to progress at your own pace and ensure you are getting the most out of your workout. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about competing with anyone else, which can benefit those just starting out on their fitness journey.

Woman with dumbbells

Personal Fitness

Personal fitness is another term for personal training. It is a service that is provided by a fitness professional who can help individuals to achieve their health and fitness goals. Personal fitness training is an effective way to develop and maintain an individual’s overall physical fitness. It includes activities such as strength training, cardiovascular training, stretching, and nutrition guidance.

Personal trainers can help to design personalized exercise programs based on an individual’s fitness goals, current fitness level, lifestyle, and health concerns. They can also provide motivation, encouragement, and support throughout the course of the training program.

In addition, a personal trainer can give advice on nutrition and lifestyle habits that can help to enhance the effectiveness of the training program.

With the help of a personal trainer, individuals can develop an exercise plan tailored to their specific needs and capabilities. As a result, clients can enjoy improved physical fitness, increased energy levels, and better overall health.


Personal fitness classes also promote accountability. You’re more likely to follow through when someone is counting on you to show up for a training session. You can have a scheduled time and day you meet with a trainer each week.

Paige Waehner, CPT shares, “it’s easy to slack off when you’re by yourself, but having someone to challenge you (and cheer you on) can make a difference. A trainer can help you set weekly goals, then check in regularly to see how you’re doing, keeping you motivated and pushing toward your goals.”

You’re also more likely to commit to eating healthy since you are being held accountable by a personal trainer. Many times they’ll even ask you to keep a food journal to ensure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals for your body. Plus, if you miss a training session, your personal trainer will be able to connect with you to understand why and help you get back on track with your health and fitness goals.


A personal trainer provides guidance and motivation and helps with form and technique to prevent injury. Technique is a key factor in any type of exercise and must be mastered before attempting any kind of physical activity. Proper technique is essential to ensure that the right muscles are targeted and that the exercise is done correctly and safely. The trainer will ensure that each exercise is done correctly and that proper posture is maintained throughout the duration of the workout.

Group yoga class

Group Fitness

Group fitness class types include group workouts, bootcamp class, combat class, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), hot yoga, cycling class, and more. They’re challenging classes designed to take your fitness routine to the next level, provide a great cardio workout, and introduce you to concentrated movements in a class setting.

“Group activity may not be a new concept, but it has certainly seen massive international up-trends over the last twenty years with rapidly rising numbers in spin cycling, aerobic and dance-based classes, and the emergence of CrossFit and its tribe mentality,” says Rob McGillivray, personal trainer and founder of RETROFIT.

Group fitness classes are designed for any fitness level, so beginners and advanced athletes can both benefit from attending. The classes can be modified to fit the needs of the individual, whether the desire is simple or intense exercise movements, ensuring the best workout possible. They are also cost-effective and can be a great way to stay motivated and reach your fitness goals with others supporting you along the way.


The best group fitness classes promote friendship and community. They provide a safe, inclusive, and positive atmosphere for everyone to participate and connect with each other. They offer a great way to stay active, meet new people, and build a sense of belonging and purpose for active participants.

Group fitness classes also provide an opportunity to learn about different workouts and exercises, as well as nutrition and lifestyle tips. Group fitness classes are perfect for those who want to get in shape and stay healthy while also expanding their health and fitness network and participating in a fun routine.


Group fitness classes are an excellent way to meet new people and work out with others while also getting the extra motivation you need to stay on track with your fitness goals. “I believe it to be a key indicator that working out in a motivational pack or using it to enhance internal or external competitive performance is fast becoming the preferred form of exercise,” shares McGillivray. With so many different class types and options, you can find something that fits your individual fitness needs and interests.

Additionally, group fitness classes are an excellent way to stay motivated and focused on your goals, as each class has an instructor to provide guidance, proper form, and modifications as needed. While the group setting can be more intense and less individualized, stellar instructors are still always on the lookout for individuals who may require some additional assistance.

Woman smiling while working oout

Which One is Right for You?

Now that we’ve discussed individual, personal, and group fitness in further detail, the question remains—which one is right for you? The answer depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and goals. If you have a hard time staying motivated, group fitness or personal training may be the way to go. If you prefer to work out in solitude for the sake of focus and efficiency, individual fitness may be a better fit.

Ultimately, it’s important to experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to mix things up—try a new class, a different type of equipment, or an unfamiliar exercise, and ask a personal trainer or expert for assistance when needed. You may surprise yourself with achieving more optimal results.

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