Peer Power- Semiprivate (Group) Training Is it for you?

Along the years of training people of all ages, I have often wondered at the unique blend of training experiences that seems to help people thrive and expand. Call me curious, but figuring out what people need to thrive is one of the thrills of teaching.  It is a truly marvelous thing to partake in a group session that is openly collaborative. When people are in sync with one another and reflect shared values that are positive, the energy in a room is palpable. This heightened energy is what my friend refers to as Peer Power. Peer Power is one of the natural byproducts of a harmonious group. 

Join me as we take a closer peek at what goes into group training, when to join a group, and whether or not its for you. 


To define the setting- Semiprivate (or group training) in our studio is a shared session between a teacher and 2-5 clients. Equipment,non- equipment movement sequences, breath work and tactile props as all used in a group semiprivate. The session is an appointment and is priced by head count in the session. 

The cost relates to the amount of information and work required between the client and teacher. In smaller sessions, we are teaching from the ground up many times, building a practice, solving problems for clients with orthopedic issues, or developing the work for particular situations, environments, and life applications.This work is highly personalized to an unlimited amount of detail. The cost of semiprivates are also higher for a teacher with specialized training and/ or if using specialized equipment where there has been an investment of effort/time/money to bring the opportunities to you. 


Why do semiprivates work? 


Our groups are not taught to the lowest common denominator in a session. They are, essentially, an extension of your personal workout as crafted in our Intro sessions.  

The Pilates Method was created for personal training- private practice and offered in large group workshop type of scenarios (summer camps, enrichment sessions for athletes/performers). In our world today, this has evolved to include the small group training model for the cost of sustaining the practice over time and for peer power. 


The hitch? – Personalization 

The work was not really designed for every person to simply go down the list of exercises and do them exactly the same. All over the method there are examples of this personalization. You may need/have a different set up of an exercise than someone else, or what to do when you are progressing and need challenged but the group is not unified in this? 

In a nutshell, Pilates and GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® workouts are in their heart personal practices. But, they work so well in a small group training model we needed to decide how we run groups. What level are they? What does a client need to know to thrive in a working group? How do we keep a good rate of progression in them? Versus taking a class for years and clients never feeling that they meet goals, or change mobility or improve? 


For all of these reasons and more, we use the semi private style of group training.

When to join a group? 


 A client needs to know their basic way around the equipment to set up their exercises before taking a semiprivate.

 Why? Its safer and too time costly to the lesson to teach every set up from step one every time for every person. That work is more effective and efficient in privates, duets. 

A client needs to sense (feel) their core activation and connect muscles within their body. 

Why is this?

 For initiating the motion in a safe way. Stability in our bodies comes from internal actions. If a client cannot “feel “ there – then their bodies will compensate with other movement patterns. That becomes a deterrent for progress. 


We all have our own compensation patterns or “misuse” from being imperfectly perfect humans.We come to class with open minds and hopefully open hearts to unlearn and learn. If you add poor quality movement on top of what you start with, it can be a recipe for no progress or a much longer, tougher route to unlearn what is needed and then learn forward. 

Should you join a semiprivate (group)?  

It all depends on where you are in your health/fitness journey and what is happening in your body/mind/heart- presently. Yes, its a great way to practice once you have some basics under your belt. Especially if you are looking for ways to add training to your budget and sustain it over time. It is also a catalyst for change when mixed with private training due to the memory recall and independence stimulus. 


No- if you are bothered by others differences in working. 

No- if you don’t “sense” motion in your body easily or are afraid to try new things. 

No- if you have orthopedic issues going on in your body and you have not learned how to move safely with them. 


Peer Power

Groups in our studio sometimes workout together for years. I have seen friendships blossom and a new client make deeper connections and relationships with others because of sharing a workout time. There is a timeless wisdom at work when people come to class with an open mind and work on themselves. Their hearts clear, minds clear and motion unites them in a grounded human way. I enjoy each of my duos, trios, semis weekly as I get to watch them expand into new directions and get healthy together. Its really amazing. Peer Power can be a missing link to motivation and overcoming challenges. 


I hope this provides you with clarity and inspiration when choosing your session types. 

With our studio,  groups are designed for :Accessibility, Personalization, and Progression. 


Lesley Davenport