MAC Blog

MAC Blog

Fad or Fiction? - September 2018

Jason Deranian - Friday, September 07, 2018



Small-group Personal Training

By Jason Deranian


Jason Deranian is MAC’s Fitness Director. As a devoted Personal Trainer and health enthusiast throughout his adult life, Jason created MAC’s fitness philosophy to prioritize expertly developed exercises over unfounded wellness trends. Here is his take on this month’s featured fitness craze.


Whether you exercise regularly or are working out for the first time, the key to reaching your goals really depends on two factors: Purposeful exercise and consistency.

Consistency is the foundation of any successful workout plan. Consistency can depend on your level of commitment to your goals. Like anything else in life, the more you do something the better you will be. If you have aspirations to become a great golfer, it would make sense to practice and educate yourself on the game. This holds true in exercise as well. I know most of you are thinking, 'I know that already, easier said than done'! I get it, not everyone is a professional athlete or feels that exercise comes easily. Working out, exerting yourself, and pushing yourself to levels you didn’t think possible requires a lot of willpower, support; and, let’s face it, it may not always be fun when you get started. Unfortunately, these are the things you need to get the results you’re after. The good news is we have a solution to some of the obstacles: Small-group or semi-private training. The benefits of semi-private training, which landed at the #2 spot for ACSM Top Fitness Trends of 2018, can’t be ignored.

Let’s start by defining semi-private training. We define it as having two to ten participants within a session, and we love keeping groups to a maximum of five people. Let’s not confuse semi-private training with group exercise. While group exercise has a lot of benefits, semi-private training is specifically designed for the individuals in the session. Our fitness professionals are uniquely trained to handle multiple fitness levels at once, so it doesn’t matter if you’re just beginning or you’ve been working out for years. The level of individual attention from the trainer remains equal within the group. When you are part of a small group with likeminded people who all have goals (they don’t have to be the same goals), you are likely to see a healthy shift in your overall mindset toward exercise.

If you've ever been to the gym and found yourself not knowing what to do, looking around to see which machine looks the least intimidating or you’re performing an exercise and not sure you’re doing the movement correctly, then working with an expert fitness professional should be part of your wellness plan. Fitness professionals are the experts to help guide you through the uncharted terrain of the exercise world. They can help you identify the most effective and appropriate approach.

The Reasons
  • Motivation: Most people find it's much easier to stay motivated if they are with other people and not just by themselves. If you're interested in getting in better shape, then find a group of friends or fellow gym goers who are interested in achieving similar goals. You do not need to be approaching exercise from the same place, nor do you need to be at the same level of fitness. Research shows that members who are involved in semi-private training are more likely to stick with it too!
  • Support: When you reach a difficult stage of your exercise program or you are facing some adversity, having people there alongside you to share in your experience and encourage you can be the difference between a successful exercise plan and one that tends to fizzle out over time. Share in your challenges and your successes with your fellow group members, and be supportive of their efforts as well. Agreeing upon a set of policies or group rules can also help you to stay focused and on track. 
  • Fun: Almost anyone will agree that exercising alone can become boring and tedious. When your exercising is boring or tedious, you might be more likely to give it up before you have the chance to fully benefit from the training program. Having other people there to talk to can keep things light and help you have a good time while exercising. 
Another way semi-private training improves exercise is the variety your trainer can bring to your routines. Working with a knowledgeable fitness professional can improve your workouts and keep you challenged as you progress. Proper progressions help prevent both boredom and plateaus.

With all of the benefits, how could you not want to keep coming back? When you are consistent with your plan and stick to a well-constructed program, you will get results.

Questions about MAC's Fitness Department services? Contact Fitness Director, Jason Deranian.