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Are private sessions better than a group Pilates class?

Are you new to Pilates and wondering where to start? Whether it’s a group Pilates class or a private session with a Pilates instructor, it’s important to find the workout that works best for your body, schedule and budget. Let’s dive into the difference between group and private Pilates sessions. 

Your Schedule 

Group Pilates classes are often scheduled, with a set time and place. Private sessions can be arranged at your convenience. A private Pilates session is a great way to get in touch with what works for you and how the practice feels in your body. Ultimately you have to listen to your body and do what works for you. If you are looking for more in depth attention to a particular issue you are having (ie. weak hip flexors causing you pain, post-surgery rehab or find yourself requiring many modifications) it may be worth making an appointment with a certified Pilates Instructor who can help address any issues affecting your body. 

Group classes are more wallet-friendly 

Group classes are cheaper than private sessions, and they’re more flexible. You’ll save money on a group class, whereas a private trainer will cost you an hourly rate of anywhere from $60 – $200/hr. But if you’re looking for that one-on-one experience, or if your schedule doesn’t allow for multiple sessions per week over a long period of time, then a private Pilates session might be right up your alley.

Working out alone isn’t for everyone, some people need the energy of group classes

Group classes are great for getting a good workout, but if you prefer more one-on -one attention or have the class specifically customized to your body, private classes would be a better option for you. In group classes, you need to remember that every BODY is different. This means exercises will feel different between people. For example, I personally don’t love planking but could do ab curls, open leg rockers, roll-ups and roll overs for hours! I know many people who love planking but would prefer to never do a roll-up. We are all different and our bodies will be challenged in different ways. What might be challenging for you – doesn’t mean it is challenging for others (and vice versa). 

If you find multiple exercises in a group class a struggle it may be wise to invest in one on one sessions to get the most out of your Pilates workout. 

On the flip side, when you’re exercising with others, they can become your motivator and inspire you to push yourself further than if you were alone.

Group classes allow students to move together which can be incredibly motivating! Seeing others put forth their best effort will channel your inner Olympic athlete. This can be very inspiring. Plus if you have a competitive spirit this will be an extra push to keep going when the exercise challenges you.  



In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether a group Pilates class or private session is right for you. The best way to make that decision is by trying both out and seeing what works best for your body, schedule and budget.

Christine Kirkland is a Certified Pilates Instructor offering online Pilates classes. She specializes in helping adults to increase their balance, strength, mobility and feel their best every day. Sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all things Pilates including fitness tips & free classes by visiting her website here