Signing up for Pilates instruction is the first step towards a healthier you. At Sheppard Method Pilates, in Westwood, we want to support you every step of the way. We know you have questions about private instruction vs. group classes- Which is why we’ve created this easy guide to help you compare the benefits of each option and decide which is right for you.

First, let’s take a look at the benefits of each option: Group Pilates vs. Private Instruction


Benefits of Group Pilates

Motivation Boost

When you participate in a group session, everyone works together toward the same goal. Many find that they end up working harder, as they’re encouraged by everyone around them. You’re able to see your classmates push themselves toward the goal, and that encourages you to push yourself. A study published in the Journal of Social Sciences found that participants gravitate toward the exercise behavior of those around them. When you join a group of people that are all pumped and excited for their workout, their attitude is likely to rub off on you. A group workout is fun!

Social Opportunities

Joining a group class provides opportunities to get to know new people. Even if you don’t make a lifelong friend, ten minutes of small talk before class begins can be a real social boost to your day. Living in a big city, we are surrounded by people all the time, and yet, it’s easy to go about your day without having any social interaction. Pilates classes can give you an excuse to meet new people in Westwood that share your interests. 

Bring a Friend

Pilates classes are a great way to meet new people, but if you already have a friend that you’d like to spend more time with, Pilates can be a great activity for you to do together. Is there someone you greatly admire for their dedication to fitness? Invite them along- working out with friends can boost your dedication, and be lots of fun. Mix up your coffee or lunch dates, with an activity that gets you, and your friend, moving.


After a few sessions, your classmates will get to know you. That means that if you decide to skip a day, they’ll notice and ask where you were. Group classes can be a great way to stay on track with your exercise goals because you have people keeping you accountable. The group is going to miss you if you stay home, and that can feel really good.


Benefits of Private Pilates Session

Personalized Instruction

With a private workout, the instructor is able to give all their attention to you. That means they’ll be able to focus on helping you get the correct form and posture down- something that’s especially important to avoid injury. A private instructor will also be able to create a workout that’s tailored to your individual needs, so you won’t be stuck just doing what everyone else is doing. Do you have questions? With personalized instruction, you’ll be able to get answers to all of your inquiries, without taking time away from the class.

If you’re new to Pilates, a private session will give you the opportunity to learn and perfect your form, before being exposed to the pressure of a group workout. 

Freedom From Competition

The competitive nature of group sessions is awesome when it encourages you to push yourself a little harder, but it can also be a negative if you’re constantly comparing yourself to everyone around you- and find yourself lacking. If you’re someone who’s likely to become discouraged in a group setting, then private instruction may be perfect for you.

Accelerate Faster

Working with a private instructor allows you the opportunity to progress at your own pace. You won’t be stuck using class time to wait for everyone in the room to catch up. Because of the individual attention, you may find you’re able to progress to more advanced exercises quicker than in a group, and that can mean losing weight faster.

No Intimidation

In a private workout, you don’t have to worry about impressing others. It won’t matter if your shirt rides up, or you make a funny facial expression. The instructor is there to help, not to judge, so you can be comfortable to be yourself. Focus on you and your needs, without having to keep up or impress anyone around you.



Which Should I Choose – Group Pilates vs Private Instruction?

In addition to the benefits listed above, consider each of the following points when deciding which option is right for you.

Consider Your Personality

Do you enjoy spending time with lots of people, or do you prefer the quiet solace of a private workout? A study by the University of Alberta found that extroverts prefer more group exercises and high-intensity workouts, compared to introverts. While this really isn’t a surprise, it’s an important factor to consider when choosing private instruction or group classes

Do You Have Any Special Needs?

If you have an injury that may need special attention or awareness when working out, a private instructor will be able to assist you in creating exercises that will benefit you- without doing any further damage. For example, if you have a bad knee or a previous shoulder injury, they’ll be able to work with you to strengthen the muscles around that body part, while being careful to avoid additional injury. If you have special medical needs or an injury, always discuss any changes to your workout with your medical provider.

Do You Get Distracted Easily?

Are you someone who is likely to get carried away with conversation and forget to focus on your body? If you think that other people are going to be a distraction from your workout, then private instruction may be for you.

What is Your Schedule Like?

While we offer a large range of class times, they may not fit into every schedule. If you have specific time needs that aren’t fulfilled by our class schedule, by working with a private instructor, they may be able to schedule you in for a time that better suits you. With private instruction, you aren’t tied to the time needs of everyone else in the class.


Schedule Private Lessons or a Group Class Today

At Sheppard Method Pilates, we offer a wide range of group classes in the Westwood area, as well as personalized instruction to fit your needs. A customized Pilates plan starts at just $195 and will get you working towards your goals. Contact us to discuss your options and schedule a class or private instruction today.