Good or Bad?…Small Group Personal Training

Something crazy happened at my gym…

I was open for just a few weeks and I realized I could make a lot more money with small group training. 

Luckily, I had not gotten too far. I only had 2 clients…Mike and Mike. 

I trained the first Mike at 7 AM and the second Mike at 8 AM.

They would see each other every morning and completely ignore each other, almost as if the other did not exist. 

Both were really good dudes.

I broke the news to them that I was moving to a small group model and was going to partner them up. 

I also told them they would have to pay me less money per month. 

Both were smart business guys so I think they understood the move. 

But they were hesitant. 

They both expressed their concerns about not getting enough attention, if the workouts would be personalized enough, and if the other people in their group were going to be at the same level.  

They also expressed concerns about not being able to use the equipment and having to wait in line like they did at their last gym. 

The night before the first session, I barely slept.

I was super concerned about this move as I had done 1-1 for close to 7 years…this was my first time running a system like this.

As a new business owner, making changes was not something I was used to. 

The first session came and Mike and Mike started their warm-up.

No words. Not one. 

We got to the main part of the workout…even when they had to hand dumbbells to each other, not a word was spoken between them.

I wanted to crawl out of the window. It was the most awkward hour of my life. 

They left when the session ended and still not a word. 

I was expecting a call from both of them to say, “Put me back in 1-1, I don’t care what it costs, I’m not working out with other people.” 

But the calls never came. 

The second session wasn’t much better.

But in the third session, I could see some hope. 

In the fourth session, they started busting each other’s chops and you won’t believe what happened in the 5th session.

We used to do an exercise called dirty dogs. 

You get on all 4s and lift your leg out to the side…like a dog pees on a fire hydrant. 

This was the exercise they were always busting each other about.

While one of them was doing the exercise, the other guy tackled him and wrestled him to the floor.

This is a TRUE STORY; you can’t make this stuff up.

They both literally rolled over on the floor laughing hysterically. 

After literally not believing what I just saw…this was the moment I knew small group training was going to work.

13 years later, my gym has run over 1 million small group sessions and has generated over $10,000,000 in revenue from small groups alone. 

I’ve helped dozens of gym owners convert to this method of training and I’d say that 85% of the members in my mastermind run the small group personal training model 

This model is brought up all the time in our weekly conversations.

We address things like: 

  • Scheduling 
  • Equipment
  • Staffing
  • Programming
  • Facility layout
  • System Development
  • Pricing
  • Transitioning to small group
  • The art of coaching small group
  • Staff Development
  • Template vs Individual programs

In fact, when a new member joins our mastermind we have a call called the profitable model call.

This call takes a look to see if their current model will yield high profits per hour. 

You can get into these conversations here.

Vince Gabriele  

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