Is Group Training worthwhile?
One of the most challenging aspects of training local athletes in a group setting is to create programming that addresses the needs of the entire group.
There is no “one size fits all” program, and anyone that says otherwise is either lying to you, or simply ignorant.
The best way to improve performance is to do individual programming.
Individual programming takes into consideration the athlete’s training purpose, age, gender, experience level, training environment, schedule, ability to recover, physical limitations, and preferences.
But, unless you have a VERY specific training goal, group training may be a better option.
It’s cheaper, has lots of variety which keeps interest and consistency higher, and the competitive nature of it typically yields higher outputs than training alone.
Group training is rarely the best programming, but for most athletes its good enough to build a decent level of base fitness.
If we ran the most effective training program we could design to build strength and endurance we’d only have a handful of athletes after a few months.
This is because the most effective training is often the least pleasant to execute.
Variety can be a slippery slope because it removes one of the our most powerful programming variables: Progression.
Progression involves the gradual and consistent application of intensity or volume and to progress training you must do the same modalities or exercises again, and again, and again.
For many, improved performance is just one of the reasons they train. The camaraderie and community of training together has just as much value as the actual programming.
When we really boil it down most athletes are looking to improve general strength and conditioning, look better naked, and challenge themselves mentally with other like-minded people.
Most middle age adults could care less about their Back Squat 1RM or their 5k time. Most just want to be competent, healthy, and have an attractive physique.
If you fall into that category, then continue with group training as its more cost effective and fun. If sport / job performance takes precedence over everything else then Individual Programming is the way to go.
Looking for Custom Programming for a specific event or endeavor? Email Coach@atomic-athlete.com and we’ll get you set up.