Living in Los Angeles and being a fitness professional is an amazing career that I would have never imagined having growing up as a student athlete. Like most boys I wanted to be a football player or a fireman. However, once I met a real firefighter I realized the hazards of that career path were way too dangerous. So I focused on sports.

My sports dream was cut short due to injuries, but I knew I wanted to be in health and wellness as a profession. Cut to the mid 1990s when I moved to L.A. to strike my fortune in Hollywood. No, not as an actor, but a fitness pro. You see, the pulse of the city is entertainment and all celebrities want to look good (yup, even the character actors).

Lately the landscape of fitness training has changed due to a breadth of reasons, but most specifically the economy and the introduction of group fitness classes. So which is better for you, group or personal/private fitness? Well that depends on your goals.

As a group and private fitness trainer I believe they both have their pros and cons. In my recent experience the private one-on-one training has become reserved for physical therapy or injury recovery. Sure, I still have a great deal of clients who enjoy their one hour to have all the attention focused on them and they can dictate the pace of the workout, but honestly, too much chit chat takes place in the private sessions.

In a group fitness training session the pace of the class is dictated by the instructor. All of my group classes move at an incredibly quick pace or HIIT (high intensity interval training). Generally speaking, you will burn more calories in a group class and you will be using mostly body weight resistance exercises, whereas in a private gym training session you will be using freeweight or cable assisted machines.

Don’t worry about watching the clock in a group fitness class. You won’t have the time and when you do you’ll be shocked how much time has passed and what you’ve accomplished. You want more bang for your buck? Well group classes are a fraction of the cost as a private training session, usually 60 to 75 percent less. What’s more, it’s like a “semi-private” training session anyway as most classes are as few as three or four and usually no larger than 10 to 12. Most of my group classes have turned into a fitness social hour. The group goes to battle together and comes out better, stronger and sweatier. Therefore you’ll have your brothers (or sisters) in arms.

Forget about routine or boredom, as my classes change with every session. You never know what you’re walking into when you enter my class. You’ll learn a new skill from jump rope, suspension training, treadmill sprints, running stairs, light weight or band resistance for body sculpting and many more.

In short, if your mission is to lose weight, tone your body, learn a new fitness skill set and bond with other like-minded athletes, I strongly encourage group fitness to achieve your goals.



Fit bit


Did someone say Chipotle? Sure it might be considered “fast food” but their burrito bowl served with chicken or steak and half the regular serving of brown rice is under 500 calories and truly filling. For the vegetarian in the group, sub fresh tomato salsa for a filling meal under 350 calories. Breakfast is served with a natural punch when you order a fresh-pressed juice from Whole Foods or Kreation Kafe off Montana Avenue. Most of their 16-ounce custom juices are packed with nutrients, filling and under 285 calories.


Thomas Roe has been an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer for more than 12 years and holds a degree in endurance nutrition. Learn more at or call (310) 666-3592.




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