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Additional Insights from Professionals on Small Group Training


JohnBaudhuin headshotwebMad Dogg Athletics®

Mad Dogg Athletics has a number of unique small group training solutions that draw from over 20 years of experience in combining equipment, programming and instructor education. When we first developed the Spinning® program, we quickly realized that the success of any program is based on cultivating a team of instructors that are well-trained and understand the nuances of bringing equipment into a small group setting. While it may be tempting to bring indoor cycling bikes, kettle bells or stability balls in without much thought around programming, great programs that create excitement and engage your members need more than just equipment.

Our Spinning program and line of Spinner® bikes is a good example of the types of equipment-based programs that we offer. Our Spinner bikes offer unparalleled quality and functionality and we empower our facilities by providing the best instructors and programming in the world. We work with health clubs to provide the guidance, resources and support needed to make each program as successful as possible.

We do the same with our Peak Pilates® line of equipment, programming and instructor education. Our Ugi® ball and program offers a 30-minute intense interval training class using the weighted Ugi ball. The UgiFit class combines strength, cardio and core training, and is ideal for small group training. Another great solution is our CrossCore® Rotational Bodyweight Training system that offers a unique twist to the bodyweight training market, along with a comprehensive instructor development program. As with all of the equipment that we offer, programming is the key to giving your members a safe and effective training experience.

Small group training is great because it provides personal trainers and other fitness professionals a more cost-effective way for people to gain the benefits of personalized instruction. While many individuals are more than willing to pay $100 or more for one-on-one, others prefer the camaraderie of a small group for a fraction of the cost.

Small group training provides an opportunity to expand the revenue-generating programs at your facility and tap into a larger pool of members. It is a great way to connect members to your facility, provide expert instruction and help your members achieve lasting results — all of which improve member retention and satisfaction.

Clubs should choose products that are functional, versatile, approachable and most importantly, tied to a great program. Why invest in the hardware if you don’t have the software to get the most out of your capital expenditures? It’s easy to implement a couple of new programs for the cost of a single treadmill. If clubs are willing to commit to the products, education and programming, there are dozens of great programs that will resonate with your members.

John Baudhuin is the CEO of Mad Dogg Athletics. For more information, call 310.823.7008 or e-mail press@maddogg.com



For over 30 years SPRI has carried some of the best functional fitness products available for group exercise, personal training and athletic performance training. Our products complement any SGT session by bringing a level of versatility that is only possible with the functional, portable and personal products like SPRI offers.

Based on the goals of each training session, there are many products available to help clients have the best possible experience. Balance and stabilization needs can be met with products such as the SPRI® Step360™ Pro. SPRI’s premium speed ropes are excellent for warm-up and interval activities. Our patented and highly durable Braided Tubing rubber resistive exercise products are perfect for achieving total-body muscular strength and endurance goals. The development of power can be addressed with The QUBE™ soft plyobox, as well as SPRI’s Slam Ball. And our newly developed Strands™ product is an essential training tool for the enhancement of mobility both before and after your training session.

Select training products that accommodate unrestricted freedom of motion in all directions, such as weighted balls and kettlebells. In addition, look for products that provide variation of load or intensity, which can be achieved with adjustable load weighted vests, weighted bags and sleds. Products should also accommodate all ability levels and body types, with options such as variable size and shape foam and textured rollers.

With the popularity of high intensity training programs such as CrossFit, there has been a rise in popularity of the following SPRI products: Oversized Medicine Ball, Dead Weight Slam Ball, Training Ropes, The QUBE™ Soft Plyobox, Performance Sleds, Premium Speed Ropes and Performance Rollers, and Massage Balls.

In any successful SGT session you will find an exceptional instructor leading the way. The most successful instructors I know posses excellent coaching skills that bring out the best in the group and each participant in the training session. Excellent coaches bring individuals together and form a “one team, one effort” unified community. The great coaches provide a supportive stage that fosters a team-building dynamic, bringing out the very best in the team and each athlete on that team, while all the time remembering  to have some fun, healthy self-competition and team-building surprises along the way.

SGT provides an energetic group dynamic with a personalized approach. This is done by making sure that your SGT session contains three critical components: One, coaches must have a connection with the group as a whole. Two, athletes must have a connection with other athletes in the group. And three, some athletes must be able to step up and act as coaches themselves when put into sub-groups. These three instructional dynamics ensure that each athlete on the team is having his or her individual needs attended to, while forging a strong bond and sharing a few laughs and smiles with their team members.

Greg Niederlander is the director of product and program development for SPRI. For more information, call 847.968.7942 or e-mail greg.niederlander@spri.com.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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