The Human Form | Part 2: Small Group Training

It’s the most personalized group training I have seen in Columbus.

Since my incredibly detailed assessment {The Human Form |Part 1: The Assessment}, I have been coming in twice a week for small group training sessions. I’ve been dying to tell you all about how it’s going, but every time I try to put it into words, it ends up sounding like everywhere else. But it isn’t like anywhere else.


Starting Off

Once I went through the required assessment sessions, I gained access to the hourly small group training sessions. The trainers put their newly acquired knowledge of my personal goals, movement patterns, health concerns, aches and pains, and preferences into a truly personalized workout. Scheduling is easy on MindBody and classes are offered weekday mornings, late afternoon, and evenings. Saturdays are a little different; more on that another day.

Michelle, who assessed me, created a card, which categorizes what stage of progression I am at for a given exercise. This is one of the ways information from the assessment is communicated with the team of trainers, and how they ensure personalized service. My hip hasn’t made a full recovery (yet!) and causes me pain with hamstring tension, and so under deadlifts, it is noted that I am to keep my knees bent more. Everyone starts off working on form, and as the trainers, who are keen observers, see you improve, you move onto a more advanced and/or heavier progressions. They have set weight loads and rep ranges that help determine when it’s time to move up. You probably get the impression by now that I’ve been at this whole fitness thing for a long time and, for the most part, know what I am doing. I like to think I have a pretty good handle on proper form, body awareness, and knowing how to achieve the right intensity of work. When I came in for my first session and peeked over at the card they made up for me and saw all greens (learning the form) I quietly sighed and figured I would breeze right through this. Hah.


My First Session

It was a lively morning! Each hourly time slot varies in popularity, and apparently I picked a well-liked session. They kept apologizing for how busy it was, but honestly the energy was great and there couldn’t have been more than a dozen people.

Each session begins with a whole-group warm-up. By this time I was getting the idea that they do things differently, but still, I didn’t know how wonderfully different this warm-up would be. We found our breath and I tried once again to get the proper sequence of ribcage movement to support my movements. It takes a lot of concentration! There were trunk rotations with a foam roller that gave my spine and chest a welcomed stretch. My favorite part was holding a light kettle bell behind my back with shoulders down and back, ribcage drawn down to activate abs, jaw closed, rotating head in all directions. I was experiencing some neck pain and nothing helped as much as this did. I say “was” because, spoiler, working with The Human Form for the past month has helped resolve it! I can now look into the back seat at red lights to see what weird things my kids want to show me without hurting. Mom win!








After about 10 minutes of big group warm-up, clients get divided into groups of no more than 5 per trainer. Everyone follows essentially the same workout of the day, with each small group occupying a different space in the gym and rotating which grouping of exercises they are on. So, I could be working on Romanian dead lifts and TRX rows for 3 sets with my group while another group elsewhere is working on squats and side planks, then we all switch places.












There’s always an extra challenge at the end, like ball slams, bike sprints, or rope slams. My grip isn’t great, but I’ll take these over running any day. IMG_5172







I went in chomping at the bit and ready to get my butt kicked. The style of weight training I am used to elsewhere emphasizes advanced total body resistive exercises alternating with high intensity cardio intervals that leave me drenched and exhausted. At The Human Form, every time we switch to a new set of exercises, the trainers take their time to teach every nuance, emphasize the correct muscle activation, and instruct on alignment. I believe in this in theory, but it felt new and foreign to me. I am usually the one struggling to keep up with the group, but this was totally different. This journey is all about experiencing new things and bringing you variety, so I kept an open mind. Moving into what I had done hundreds of times, I grabbed a heavy weight and began dead lifts as I knew them. James came over to make adjustments and quickly identified at least 4 things I could do to improve my form, preserving my joints and increasing my effectiveness. When he swapped my weight for a lower one it was such a blow to the ego. Do you know what though? With the lighter weight, I was able to think about how and when I was breathing (which was different than I had done before), the placement of my shoulder blades, the distribution of weight in my feet, and keeping my shoulders back. Whew! Turns out backing down on weight isn’t a bad thing, but it was a mental struggle for me. I went through the rest of the workout with the beginner versions of every exercise. I know I know that I was learning a lot. In fact, I couldn’t believe someone like me who is experienced with weight training and generally free of injury could learn so much in a group training session! I would be lying if I didn’t tell you it was hard for me to slow down and essentially re-learn technique on the basics. The readout on my apple watch wasn’t as satisfying am I am used to. BUT, as I was driving home that morning, I noticed that I felt different. What was it? My muscles felt nicely fatigued, but nothing hurt. Is it possible that I have subconsciously become tolerant of a small degree of pain in pursuit of torching calories? It made me question if my workouts really even align with my current goals. I want to be strong and pain-free. I want my joints to work for decades to come so I can be like that fit 70-year-old I see at the gym. I want to maintain a healthy body composition. I know I can do that if I have high quality strength and cardio training. If I can teach myself to do them separately, which will be a challenge, I may be able to do both of them better than before!


This place is definitely one-of-a-kind and most certainly special. Adjusting to a new style is good for the mind and body. I feel incredibly confident that a person with zero experience working out, or someone with training who is looking for a more personalized option, could come in here and get a detailed, safe, educational workout that progresses right along with them. I have at least a dozen more things I want to share, but I will leave that for another day. So stay tuned, friends.



Discover more on their website.

The Human Form Columbus Personal TrainingThis post is brought to you in partnership with The Human Form. The opinions and thoughts shared here are all mine.


10 Replies to “The Human Form | Part 2: Small Group Training”

  1. This seems like such a good concept. I am both intimidated and unsure of my form and often feel like the bootcamp style classes go so fast that I’m just doing whatever I can likely, (in poor form) to keep up with the instructor. This concept totally seems like the perfect place for me to check out – and I trust your advice and wisdom in all things fitness! Can’t wait to check it out 🙂

    1. lindsayfgoodman says:

      I think you’d really get an idea of it from the two week trial

  2. Wow, what a comprehensive post. I am sure this will be very helpful for someone looking for a a new workout/training option in Columbus!

    1. lindsayfgoodman says:

      Thanks. I hope so. They’re so great

  3. This program sounds pretty incredible. A personalized workout with support sounds so much better than winging workouts at home. Good luck with your workout journey!

    1. lindsayfgoodman says:

      Thanks. It’s definitely a big step above that, but as long as you’re moving your body thanks you

  4. Wow! This place looks amazing! And great pics by the way!

    1. lindsayfgoodman says:

      That means a lot coming from you

  5. Such an interesting way to look at it!! Fit is also a state of mind? In that it can more than just working out? Whole body wellness needs to my new goal!

  6. Wow, what a detailed, passionate post! Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

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