Private Training vs. Group Pilates: What’s the best way to #practice Pilates?

By: Carla Ricalis

When new clients reach out to book Pilate sessions, they’ll often ask the difference between training privately or within a group. Today we’re talking about some of the key advantages and distinctions between both.

And while the landscape of indoor group training has changed due to pandemic realities, there are still plenty of reasons why a small group class (for us right now, virtually) combined with a focused, customized private session is the ultimate win-win scenario for optimizing your workout routine. 

Private & Tandem Training

Customized Workouts

If you’re someone who wants details and precise programming catered to you, training privately or with a friend is the best way to receive constant and long lasting results. 

Customized workouts with your specific needs and goals in mind is the intention of private training and while you pay more in comparison to group classes, the investment is worth it. 

If you’re coming to Pilates or Yoga because of an injury or any other type of restriction that’s preventing you from optimal movement, private sessions are a wise choice because your trainers’ focus, advanced prep work and attention is designed to meet your needs specifically.

Fully Equipped Pilates Studios

Within most fully equipped Pilates studios the advantage of private training is that all of the Pilates equipment will be regularly incorporated into your workout. This translates constant variety, challenge and progressive programming that will optimize your strength, balance, mobility and coordination

Getting to know your potential 

Working privately with a trainer means they’ll get to know your specific needs, limits and capabilities; they’re able to get a real sense of how you can be pushed and when, what works for you in any given session and what doesn’t and how to adapt or modify the program overall so that each class is ending with you feeling accomplished and stronger. 

Many clients will start with private sessions to get the foundations of what they need to focus on before moving to a group class setting. 

But more often than not, most clients will maintain a weekly private training session and incorporate in at least one weekly group class, giving them the best of both worlds. 


  • Individualized workouts catered to your needs and goals
  • Same days/times each week providing greater commitment and priority to your fitness
  • Opportunity to train on all Pilates equipment
  • Rapport with trainer who knows how to push you safely and efficiently
  • Constant, long lasting results based on your abilities


  • More expensive than group classes
  • Attention is constantly on you (sometimes it’s great to just be lost in the crowd of a group class!)

Group Classes

The indoor, group class training model has definitely changed during the pandemic and will continue to do so as customer confidence about indoor group classes continues to find its footing. 

But there are plenty of fantastic options that have evolved as a response to this including virtual, outdoor and small group Pilates or Yoga classes. And there are great advantages to participating.


First off, the affordability of group classes provides more participation opportunities to those who are a bit more budget conscious. This means doing more than one class a week is a viable option, which is a great return on our investment. 

Group Energy and Friendships

There are also intangible pluses of group class training; like the energy created by a group of like-minded individuals coming together with the positive intention to move, focus and feel better collectively. 

That’s something that can re-energize and motivate you for the rest of your day or even your week while providing the opportunity to meet new people, network and share experiences with others. 

These are things that were always part of group class training. But now, more than ever, they’re crucial for our well being and health, especially for those who have felt more isolated during the pandemic. 

Options for Different Schedules

Generally speaking, most group classes will fall within prime times. So you’re bound to find one that works whether you prefer early morning, mid-day, after work or evenings. 

Unless they’re a limited series of classes,  most classes are a drop-in format. So the commitment is minimal and you can move around to different classes each week based on your schedule and energy.


  • Affordability
  • Flexibility (drop in format)
  • Group class energy & friendships
  • Options for every schedule


  • Classes often catered to group description (limited individualized modifications)
  • Often limited equipment is used
  • Programming can become repetitive especially if class is large
  • Specific corrections to the individual is limited (especially in big class settings)

Interested in more information on what’s best for your needs? Send us an email at and let us know a bit about you and your goals! We can help you make the right choice.