Different approaches to personal training

May 8, 2024

Everyone likes to approach fitness in their own way so naturally taking different approaches to personal training is sensible to best accommodate your clients’ needs. It often comes down to the overall fitness objectives and personal preference of both personal trainers and clients.

In this guide we’ll focus on the range of approaches personal trainers can take depending on the situation. Comparing the benefits of group and individual training as well as face-to-face verses online training. From a business perspective being as flexible as possible can give you a greater breadth of clients to appeal to but taking a specialist approach can also benefit from higher paying niche training.

What are different styles of personal training?

Personal training encompasses various styles and approaches, each tailored to different fitness goals, preferences, and individual needs. Frequently a training plan will include a combination of multiple approaches, focusing on striking a balance of fitness benefits.

Strength Training

Building muscular strength can be taken to improve endurance and protect from injuries. Exercise includes using resistance, weights, resistance bands, and bodyweight exercises.

Cardiovascular Training

Cardio exercises emphasise activities that elevate the heart rate, such as running, cycling, swimming, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Improving heart health can lower the risk of heart disease and high pressure but is also good for weight management, improved respiratory function, increase metabolism among other benefits.

Flexibility and Mobility Training

For clients looking to improve their joint health, help their posture and general movement focusing on flexibility training will help these goals. Exercises concentrate on improving range of motion and joint flexibility through stretching, yoga, and mobility exercises.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This alternates between short bursts of intense exercise and periods of rest or lower-intensity activity, optimising calorie burn and cardiovascular fitness. Great for weight loss and overall fitness benefits.

Bodyweight Training

Relies on exercises using the individual’s body weight for resistance, such as push-ups, squats, and planks. It benefits core strength, can improve balance and overall strength.

Circuit Training

This approach is good for versatility as it involves moving through a series of exercises in a circuit format, targeting different muscle groups for a full-body workout. It works well as a group activity and can be easily adapted to provide variety.

Sports-Specific Training

Tailored to the requirements of a particular sport, you may need to have specialist knowledge of your clients’ fitness needs. Training exercises will incorporate enhancing skills, agility, and conditioning relevant to the chosen activity.

Post-Rehabilitation Training

Customised for individuals recovering from injuries or surgeries, training will focus on rebuilding strength and mobility in a safe manner. This style may also require more specialist techniques and knowledge of injuries to ensure exercises are providing benefits not harm.

Mind-Body Connection Training

Integrates practices that enhance the connection between mental and physical well-being, including mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises.

Holistic Wellness Training

This approach considers overall well-being, addressing not only physical fitness but also nutrition, stress management, and lifestyle habits.

Technology-Enhanced Training

As technology develops utilising fitness apps is common, with many people tracking their exercises with watches, equipment and virtual platforms to enhance the experience and provide workout guidance and track progress.

Group Personal Training Verses Private Training

Personal trainers may have preferences for group classes or one-to-one training based on various factors, and these preferences can be influenced by both the trainer’s style and the client’s needs.

Benefits of One-to-One Training

Individual Attention:

Allows the trainer to focus entirely on one client, providing personalised attention and tailoring the workout to individual goals and needs.

Customised Programs:

Enables the development of a specific and detailed training program that aligns with the client’s fitness level, preferences, and any health considerations.

Faster Progression:

With personalised attention, trainers can more closely monitor progress, make necessary adjustments, and facilitate faster advancements in fitness levels.

Client Relationships:

One-to-one training often fosters stronger trainer-client relationships, as trainers get to know their clients on a personal level, understanding their motivations and challenges.


It is easier to adapt the workout on the spot based on the client’s energy levels, feedback, and any unforeseen circumstances.

Benefits of Group classes

Community and Motivation:

Group classes create a sense of community and camaraderie among participants, fostering a supportive and motivating environment.


Group sessions are generally more cost-effective for clients, making fitness training more accessible to a broader audience.

Variety and Social Interaction:

Participants benefit from a variety of exercises and can engage in social interactions, making the workout experience more enjoyable.

Structured Schedule:

Classes often follow a set schedule, providing consistency and structure for participants who may prefer routine.

Competition and Accountability:

Some individuals thrive in a group setting with a bit of healthy competition, which can enhance motivation and accountability.

Energy and Atmosphere:

The collective energy in a group class can contribute to a positive and energetic atmosphere, boosting overall morale.

Online verses Face-to-face Personal Training

In recent years personal trainers have had to adapt to growing demand for online training sessions. This can be an efficient way to hold a group class but lack the involvement and atmosphere you get face-to-face. As with anything people have preferences either way and likewise there are benefits for both.

Benefits of Face-to-Face Sessions

Hands-On Instruction:

Face-to-face sessions allow for direct, hands-on instruction, where trainers can physically correct form, demonstrate exercises, and provide immediate feedback.

Real-Time Adaptations:

Trainers can adapt workouts in real-time based on the client’s energy levels, physical cues, and any immediate concerns or preferences.

Personal Connection:

In-person training fosters a more personal connection between the trainer and client, contributing to a strong trainer-client relationship.

Motivational Presence:

The physical presence of a trainer can be motivating and helps create a supportive atmosphere during workouts.

Access to Equipment:

Trainers can utilise gym equipment and facilities during face-to-face sessions, providing a broader range of exercise options.

Benefits of Online Sessions


Online training offers flexibility in terms of scheduling, allowing trainers to work with clients across different time zones and accommodating busy lifestyles.


Both trainers and clients can participate in sessions from the comfort of their own homes or any location with internet access, making it convenient for all parties involved.


Online sessions often eliminate the need for travel expenses, making it a more cost-effective option for clients.

Global Reach:

Trainers can reach a broader audience and work with clients from around the world, expanding their client base beyond geographical constraints.

Technology Integration:

Online platforms enable trainers to incorporate various tech tools, such as video demonstrations, fitness apps, and virtual communication, enhancing the overall training experience.

Recorded Sessions:

Trainers can record sessions for clients, providing a valuable resource for reviewing workouts, instructions, and progress.

Adaptability to Home Workouts:

Online training is well-suited for home workouts, bodyweight exercises, and minimal equipment training, making it accessible to clients without access to a gym.

Outdoor Verses Indoor Training

Benefits of Indoor Training

Controlled Environment:

Indoor facilities provide a controlled environment where factors like temperature, lighting, and equipment availability can be managed easily, allowing for consistent workouts.


Indoor spaces are typically safer from external hazards like extreme weather conditions, uneven terrain, or traffic, reducing the risk of injuries during training sessions.


Indoor facilities often offer more privacy, which can be beneficial for clients who are uncomfortable exercising in public or prefer a more secluded environment.

Access to Equipment:

Gyms and fitness centres are stocked with various equipment, enabling trainers to incorporate a wide range of exercises into their clients’ workouts to target specific muscle groups or fitness objectives.


Indoor spaces can accommodate a variety of workout styles, including weightlifting, cardio, group fitness classes, and specialized training programs, allowing trainers to cater to diverse client needs.

Benefits of Outdoor Training

Vitamin D and Fresh Air:

Exercising outdoors exposes clients to natural sunlight, which boosts vitamin D levels and improves mood. Fresh air also enhances the overall experience and can lead to increased feelings of well-being.

Variety and Creativity:

Outdoor environments offer a wide range of terrains and natural features that can be incorporated into workouts, such as hills for incline running, benches for step-ups, or playground equipment for bodyweight exercises, fostering creativity and variety in training sessions.

Mental Health Benefits:

Being surrounded by nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to improved mental well-being for both trainers and clients. Outdoor workouts often feel more enjoyable and refreshing compared to indoor routines.

Functional Training Opportunities:

Outdoor settings provide opportunities for functional training that mimics real-life movements and challenges, such as running on uneven surfaces, navigating obstacles, or performing exercises that utilize natural elements like rocks or logs.


Outdoor training eliminates the need for expensive gym memberships or facility fees, making it a more accessible option for clients who may have budget constraints.

Get personal trainer insurance with Protectivity

Whatever training approaches you implement as a PT having suitable personal trainer insurance in place is necessary to cover your clients’ safety and your own. That’s because you never know what might happen, whether it’s an accident or injury to a client, an injury that prevents you from working, or loss, theft or damage to your equipment.

Protectivity has years of experience insuring personal trainers just like you. Our cover includes personal injury, equipment cover, public liability, and employer’s insurance if you run a business that employs other people. With our affordable, flexible policies, you can take your business to the next level with confidence that you aren’t at risk of long-term financial stress.

Take two minutes today to have a closer look at our affordable, flexible personal trainer insurance policies.

Bee Ingram

Content Writer for Protectivity Insurance

This blog has been created as general information and should not be taken as advice. Make sure you have the correct level of insurance for your requirements and always review policy documentation.