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1-1 Personal Training vs Small Group Personal Training



SGPT stands for Small Group Personal Training and is, in basic terms, Personal Training carried out in groups. It can be anywhere from 3-6 people led by 1 coach and is fairly different from a bigger instructor-led class of 10 or above. Then you have 1-1 Personal Training which is just the trainer and one other person. In this blog, we'll be discussing why 1-1 is probably more what you are looking for and why it’s pretty much the only thing we focus on here at Portside PT.

The main difference…

The main difference between the two is the attentiveness of the coach and the amount of people in the session. Although there are some benefits to small group training, 1-1 will always outweigh them, especially if it is true focus, personalisation and quality that you're after.

In a 1-1 session it’s you, the client, and your Personal Trainer. You’ll get 100% attention to detail and can work to the best of your ability on that particular day. If you’re struggling with a movement, have to work around an injury or would like a bit more knowledge on a movement pattern, even something outside of the actual PT session, your coach and trainer is all ears and hands-on until you're satisfied with the outcome.

For this reason, 1-1 training is likely an ideal option for many if you don’t want to share with others or if you don’t want to have less focus on you, your injuries, your mobility issues or your overall goals! Afterall, you likely want to be getting the most out of your sessions and 1-1 PT will ensure that you do. Not just that, but your trainer can tailor each and every session depending on how strong you’re feeling, how you’ve slept, how stressful work was that day.. The list goes on! Your Personal Trainer is someone you can rely on to meet you where you’re at as soon as you walk through the door.


A big point to consider here is the cost of small group personal training and 1-1 Personal Training. You can certainly expect small group training to be cheaper than 1-1 Personal Training as you’re part of a group and therefore getting less focus, time etc. compared to working with a Personal Trainer.

Small group training might sound like a good choice for a lot of people but for others, there’s more important reasons to use a Personal Trainer.

  • Higher focus on you

  • A more personal approach to training

  • The ability to amend training based on injury/needs on the day

  • Access to your coach outside of sessions via email/text

  • Help with and advice on Nutrition goals in/out of sessions

  • Can master and take time to learn and implement movement patterns

  • Effective training, focusing on your needs, goals and fitness levels

Less Injury risk

All eyes are on you. Your coach will know how your body moves, your strengths and limitations as well as only pushing you to your limits, ensuring you get the most out of each training session in a way that suits you as an individual.

With this in mind, because you'll be coached from the ground up effectively and optimally your injury risk will definitely be reduced.

In most SGPT sessions, there will only be time for the session itself and members can stay back to stretch if there is even space to do so. But, you will likely find most sessions to be 50-55 minutes in duration without stretching included at the end at all.

Here at Portside, sessions run for a minimum of 55 minutes and there is always a focus on adequate warm up/stretch as well as stretching relevant muscles and areas at the end of the session too.

This will helps massively with recovery and ensures that those little niggles and pulls are kept at bay!

Personal time with your Trainer

For that hour it is just you and your trainer. You will likely develop a professional type of friendship and be able to confidently rely on and trust one another. This will help your journey as there is a level of trust set and you know that you are truly cared for and anything you say is taken seriously and implemented where relevant.

It is the PT’s job to make sure you are happy, having fun and getting the most out of your sessions. All we expect in return is just as much input outside of the sessions on nutrition, sleep, recovery and training.

Unlike in small group training, having a Personal Trainer you trust means that if you have an issue, a concern or want to talk, your trainer will be there for you and will help in any way they can.

Working Towards Goals

Speaking from experience, a lot of SGPT facilities will have a workout for the day on a board/screen and ALL members must participate in that session regardless of goals, needs and fitness levels. It can then be slightly adjusted for each person as necessary, but relies heavily on the trainer to have the knowledge necessary. But, ultimately you will still do the same session with slight adjustments within the same movement pattern.

With 1-1 Personal Training you have a bespoke programme made entirely for you based on initial goals set between you and your coach. Favorite movements/body parts will likely have been discussed and implemented in an effective way that will yield the results that you desire.

This way you know exactly what you're training on the day and it can be amended where necessary to suit your ongoing goals.

This is another great way of ensuring you're both on the same page as goals and focus areas can be continually reviewed and updated when necessary. This keeps the sessions fun, engaging and challenging but most of all, personal to you.

Get a Personal Trainer and a Coach

We use both these terms fairly frequently and we actually mean quite a different thing when we use them. A trainer is someone who prescribes exercises and movement patterns, guiding clients through workouts, advising on habits and putting things in place to help the client make physical progress. A coach is someone who helps motivate clients throughout various aspects of their health, fitness and wellness as a whole, encouraging good habits and checking in frequently to provide accountability. Naturally, our 1-1 sessions act as those check-ins each week so that means you’re not just getting someone who helps you work out, you’re getting someone who will help you make those small improvements to your life without you even noticing.

So when you come on board with Portside PT, you’ll be more than covered when it comes to support, motivation and guidance!

We love 1-1 Personal Training and we always will!

Hopefully, you found this blog useful and if it is something you have thought of or wondered what the main differences were, this should clear things up!

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