Personal Training Versus Group Fitness: Is One Better Than the Other?

Personal Training Versus Group Fitness: Is One Better Than the Other?

Personal Training Versus Group Fitness: Is One Better Than the Other?

Children will be heading back to school soon, and that means there are plenty of parents who might have some kidless time on their hands. Many parents start exploring their options regarding personal trainers or group fitness in Highlands Ranch. We don’t lack for choices in the Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree/Centennial area, but the question is: Is one better than the other?

The simple answer is that the option you’ll stick with consistently is probably going to be the better choice. But there are pros and cons to both.

Personal Trainers

If you want to maximize the impact of your fitness efforts or if you are training for a specific event, a personal trainer might be right for you. But there are pros and cons.

The Good

  • Your personal trainer will design an exercise regimen appropriate to your current fitness level and your ultimate fitness goals.
  • You develop a relationship with your trainer that can make workouts fun if you fit well personality-wise.
  • One-on-one training can help you push your limits.

The Not-So-Good

  • It can be expensive. You’ll pay more for individualized training sessions than you will for a group fitness class. 
  • Personal trainers have all levels of training and skill—and some are underqualified. This can greatly impact your results.
  • A personal trainer can have ideals that differ drastically from your own, which can result in burnout—and maybe even giving up on fitness altogether.

Group Fitness

Group fitness classes abound in the Highlands Ranch area, and it really boils down to finding something you enjoy. As with all things, there are considerations.

The Good

  • Small groups can be great for accountability and motivation. It’s a lot easier to phone in a workout when you’re by yourself, but when you are working out with others, it will push you and keep you accountable.
  • It’s more affordable. 
  • You still get individualized help with a small group fitness class. At Manic Training, there is always a coach nearby to help with your form or to provide modifications of movements when necessary.
  • It can be easier to learn new things because you can watch others.
  • There is a camaraderie and socialization with group fitness, which can make working out more fun.

The Not-So-Good

  • If there are 20 people in a group fitness class, you won’t get the one-on-one attention you would get with a personal trainer.
  • You’ll have to schedule your workouts to match class times, which can sometimes be a challenge fitting in classes around work and family.


Wondering what is right for you? Why not try Manic Training? You can get a week for free. Find out how Manic Training gets its members “ready for life” with unique group fitness workouts in Highlands Ranch, Fort Collins, and Steamboat Springs you won’t find anywhere else. 


Manic Training Member’s Tough Decision Might Help Others

Manic Training Member’s Tough Decision Might Help Others

Manic Training Member’s Tough Decision Might Help Others

At Manic Training, we love the challenging workouts—or maybe it would be more accurate to say that we love to hate them—but this place is more than just a gym in Highlands Ranch you drop into a few times a week. There is a strong sense of community at Manic Training—as indicated by the many activities that take place outside of the gym. 

It can be tough to get to know your fellow Manic Training members with any real depth in a 60-minute sweat fest. That’s one of the reasons coach Scott Jones and founder Pete Beuth started a series of podcasts. There is seemingly no end to the inspiration we can draw from our fellow athletes, and Lindsay Fitzgerald’s story, which is one of courage and bravery, is no exception. Be sure to listen to Scott’s podcast with Lindsay for the whole story—and read on for some highlights.

Falling Out of Fitness

Colorado native Lindsay has been with Manic Training for just over a year. If you are an “early up” member, you probably know her personally. This mother of three young children—ages 10, 7, and 4—wasn’t unlike plenty of other women who fall out fitness because they are busy taking care of a growing family. Although she had been involved in cross country and soccer during her formative years, Lindsay cites the “black hole of parenting” as the main reason she hadn’t been active in a while.

Stints at Orangetheory and Burn Bootcamp warmed her up for the Manic experience, which she says has gone a long way to get her back into shape.

But this is where Lindsay’s story takes a turn.

A Frightening Diagnosis

When Lindsay was just 23 years old, her mother was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. When her mother had testing done to find out if she carried the mutations of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes, and the results were positive, Lindsay decided to get tested as well. She learned that she too had these gene mutations, putting her at a high risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer in her lifetime.

In her twenties, Lindsay started getting annual mammograms and MRIs to ensure that if there was anything to see, it would be detected early.

This was around the same time she met her soon-to-be-husband Judd, and they talked about the ramifications of her BRCA+ results and what it might mean for her future.

A Difficult Decision

Last October, Lindsay underwent a preventive double mastectomy to greatly reduce her chances of developing breast cancer. She also had a reconstruction immediately afterward. This is a major surgery with a long recovery period, and a follow-up surgery was also needed a few months later to make cosmetic improvements to the area. 

Lindsay has made huge strides with her recovery in the ensuing months—and greatly missed her “away” time when she couldn’t be at Manic Training. She admits, “I was in a funk,” stating that even cuddling with her kids was off limits during the initial healing process.

She has returned to her workouts—albeit with some modifications from the coaches along the way—and feels pretty close to having made a full recovery. In addition to working out at Manic Training, she and her husband also participated in Ragnar earlier this summer with the rest of the Manic athletes.

“Beast mode” is a term we fondly label our fellow athletes when they are powering through a Manic workout with particular strength. We think it’s safe to say that Lindsay has taken “beast mode” to another whole other level!

Are you interested in finding out what Manic Training is all about? Sign up here for your free week trial. There is no other gym in Highlands Ranch that offers the same kind of workout you’ll find at Manic Training. And the community is pretty special too!


Maintaining Fitness While Vacationing This Summer

Maintaining Fitness While Vacationing This Summer

It’s one thing to get to your gym in Highlands Ranch consistently when you are following the same routine day after day. But summertime has a way of interfering with consistency—both in life and in your workouts. Maybe you’ve got some trips planned, and it’s easy to let your fitness get derailed. It doesn’t have to be that way! With a bit of planning, you can maintain your healthy habits, no matter where you are.

Pack a Jump Rope

A jump rope is easy to pack because it doesn’t take up much room in your suitcase. If you’re stuck in a hotel with outdated gym equipment—or no gym equipment—you can get a decent workout with a jump rope. (Here are some ideas for 15 jump rope exercises you can do.) Take the jump rope outside with you for a workout with a view!

Do Bodyweight Exercises

No gym? No weights? No problem! You can get in a killer workout just using your bodyweight. Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push-ups, and burpees can be done anywhere. (Bunnies, anyone?!) Throw a few resistance bands into your suitcase for a bit of variety. A quick Google search of “travel WODs” will give you an endless number of workouts you can do while you are on the road.

Plan an Active Vacation

As we say here at Manic Training, “train in to adventure out,” and with the state of Colorado as our backyard, there is no end to the adventures to be had. When you make hiking, biking, rafting, or climbing the focal point of your vacation, you won’t have to worry about losing any fitness while you are away from the gym.

Watch What You Eat

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you need to eat like a jerk. Enjoy some indulgences while you are away but make good choices the rest of the time. If your hotel room has a refrigerator, take some time to hit the local grocery store to stock up on healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit, and veggies. If you are on a road trip, pack a cooler with healthy options so you can avoid stopping at fast food restaurants.

It can be tough to stay motivated to exercise when you are on vacation, but with some planning ahead, you can maintain your fitness while you are away from your gym in Highlands Ranch.

Are you new to the area? Looking for a gym in Highlands Ranch? You can try Manic Training for a week for free. Find out how Manic Training gets its members “ready for life” with unique workouts you won’t find anywhere else.

4 Things to Keep in Mind When Working Out With an Injury

4 Things to Keep in Mind When Working Out With an Injury

Injuries from workouts are a rare thing at Manic Training, thanks to watchful coaching to ensure movements are done properly. But sometimes injuries can happen from activities we enjoy outside the gym—or, y’know, from reaching up to get something off the closet shelf.

An injury doesn’t have to mean workouts need to come to a grinding halt, however. Here are some tips for workarounds when you still want to hit it at the gym but not impede your body’s ability to heal.

#1—Ask Your Coach

One or two of Pete’s whiteboards are almost always on display at the Highlands Ranch gym during workouts, listing modifications to work around injuries. Whether it’s suggesting lighter weights or a different movement altogether, Pete, Scott, Julie, Karrie, and Mike are always available to provide options for you. Just ask!

#2—Keep Your Nutrition and Sleep On Point

Never underestimate the body’s own healing powers. Give it the fuel and rest it needs to recover.

#3—Know When to Tough It Out

There is a difference between pain and a true injury; know the difference so you know when you should truly rest—or whether modification will work. Don’t let pain be the start of a slippery slope that turns a few days off into a few months—or even longer.

#4—RICE When Needed

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation—also known as RICE—is a great way to reduce pain and swelling and help to accelerate the healing process. (Note: Don’t use heat on an acute injury because it can actually increase swelling, making the injury worse.)

If you have been suffering from chronic injuries from your workout of choice, it may be time to give Manic Training a shot. Not only are injuries during workouts rare at this Highlands Ranch gym, but the workouts are designed to strengthen every part of your body to make it less susceptible to injuries in general.

Try us out for a week for free!

Beers with Craig Weber – A man, his dog, big mountains, and bigger perspective!

Beers with Craig Weber – A man, his dog, big mountains, and bigger perspective!

This was an interview between Pete Beuth and Craig Weber at a local microbrewery in Littleton, Colorado.  Enjoy!

Craig is a humble member and devotee of Manic Training.  Intent on enjoying the outdoors and his personal time, he can always be found with his loyal companion Levi (Golden Retriever) in tow. While life can be complicated, adventurous, stressful, productive, and frustrating, when it comes to time outdoors with man’s best friend, it can only be happy and satisfying.


So Craig, we know you best as the guy who is always out running, hiking, etc with his faithful Golden Retriever.  Can you tell us a bit more about your athletic background and how you got to where you are now?


Ha! Athletic background? For starters, I was really small growing up. Like 120 lbs as a senior in high school small.  I played multiple sports, but was never really good at any of them. Wrestling? Wasn’t good. Baseball? Wasn’t good.

As I got into college and then grad school I got more into individual sports such as climbing, skiing and hiking on my own, and kinda adopted a Buddhist outlook – “Pain is inevitable, suffering is voluntary.”  I got into distance running around 1983/1984. My first marathon I ran under 3 hours. I ran a 36 minute 10K at one point. I was pretty fast in my early 20’s.

After school I moved to California and became more of a beach bum slob. Lot’s of parties. Was going to the gym just to try to “bulk up” because I was on the beach.  More of a pure vanity thing.


Things began to change in 1988 when I married the love of my life, Deborah. We’ll be married 31 years this year.  We had our first child, a son, Taylor, in 1989. That same year, my mother died of cancer @ age 52. That left a hole and caused me a lot of introspection. We left Los Angeles and moved to Colorado in 1993. Much of the next few years went by living the “suburban life” with 2 more children, daughters, Morgan and Reagan.

Things changed drastically in 1999….


Before we get into these drastic changes, we want to ask you “What brought you into Manic Training? What keeps you coming here? And what would you tell other folks your age who are looking at their fitness options?”


Before my beginning at Manic, my fitness and workouts weren’t focused… I ran quite a bit, lifted a few weights, but never did anything worthwhile or truly productive to help my fitness as I aged.  I thought all I do is run a bit, bike a little, but don’t do anything full body. I went to 24 Hr Fitness for a while. How pathetic! I never did anything worthwhile. I’d find a machine, say “that looks fun”. Do it a little, then move along. Nothing was ever done with a purpose.

It was at that point that I found Manic Training while searching Google under “HIIT gyms”.  It seemed great, in that it was halfway between work and home. My first workout was EYE-OPENING. Luckily, I had discovered early in life that I had one possible advantage over my peer group in that while I’ve never been great at any one thing or sport, I’m pretty good at being uncomfortable for long stretches of time, and I don’t mind getting wiped out or exhausted.  It simplifies life in those moments. From a workout standpoint, Manic training was right up my alley. It’s your own experience, but in a group setting. Meeting Pete sealed the deal.

IMG 4308 - Beers with Craig Weber - A man, his dog, big mountains, and bigger perspective!


So, now that we see how and why you got into Manic Training and why you immediately thrived here, can you tell us more about the big change in your life that happened in 1999?  It seems to lead right up to your start at Manic Training very well…


In 1999, one of my buddies, living in Anchorage Alaska called me and asked if I wanted to go climb Denali.  Wait what?, I mean sure! This got me laser-focused on getting fit with only 1 year to train. I trained on Long’s Peak, joined the climbing club in Estes Park, at the Colorado Mountain School. I learned to ice climb, learned mountaineering skills. Not to mention, I began running my ass off again. There were three of us making the attempt, and as the novice, I was afraid of holding the group back, so I was training hard, and staying focused so that I wouldn’t be the “weak link” of the group. In May 2000 I managed to summit along with one other in our group, and from that point I made it imperative to keep fit.  There were several other adventures and climbs mainly in South America, but in 2004 I stopped with the extreme stuff to spend more time with my 3 kids, as my wife was increasingly concerned about what would happen if I were involved in a major incident.

As you are aware, I’m always on an adventure with my dog, Levi.  But what you don’t know is that before him, I had another awesome 4-legged companion named Kody.  We did a lot of climbing together. He was an Aussie Shep – Golden Retriever mix. We’d go on a huge hike up a 14er, and he’d come down off the scree slopes with his paws all ripped up, and go jump into the stream to relieve the pain. He had kind of a Buddhism mentality too (pain is inevitable, suffering is voluntary). He was awesome, and I was devastated when he passed.  I wasn’t sure I could ever have a dog again, and running and climbing wasn’t the same. During the time that Kody was around, I’d also dabbled in a few other hobbies including paragliding, got my pilot’s license, kayaking, road biking, sprint triathlons, etc.

denali summit - Beers with Craig Weber - A man, his dog, big mountains, and bigger perspective!


So, after all that you had done and that you went through with Kody, what made you get another dog, and how did it end up being the awesome Levi that we all know so well?


Believe it or not, my wife Deborah and daughter Morgan were at a mall, and they saw a litter of puppies in the window of a pet store.  They determined that they “had” to save one from that place, and that I “had” to have one. They came home with the Levi. I wasn’t so sure, but we all know how that turned out. He’s become my best friend.  I started enjoying trail runs again.

A couple years later I had decided “I’m going to do an Ultra”, and so I signed up for a “beginner” 50 mile race at Chatfield Reservoir. It was 4 laps, 12.5 miles each lap.  After about 36 miles I started questioning my sanity! After the Ultra I tapered my training down and began casual trail running with Levi. It was also that that point that my athletic and adventure focus began to shift once again…


So at this point, you are in your early 50s, and you’ve recently gotten your second dog, Levi, who is still with us today…what is the big shift that you are referencing?


Throughout my life I’ve felt privileged to have the means to view living from “different perspectives” whether that be from a paraglider looking down on the earth, or from behind a scuba mask deep down in the water, from the top of a mountain on a mountaineering expedition, or freezing, or terrified, or any other of the interesting adventures that I was fortunate enough to try.  I work in an office, a wholly unimpressive existence when compared to the “edgy perspectives” that I valued so much. Ultimately, however, I began to consider that I was being “selfish” by chasing all of these individual pursuits and adventures. Throughout all of this I’ve been forever grateful to my wife, Debbie and kids for putting up with me.

Now, with Levi as my new adventure companion, and my age speeding towards 60, I’ve mellowed a lot with respect to high maintenance adventuring.  We started running together in 2011. We do weekly 10-12 mile runs all winter together, and much shorter in the summer due to the heat. We like Kite Lake, outside of Alma, where we can summit four 14ers in a day-  Lincoln, Democrat, Cameron and Bross. The miles of terrain we’ve covered together is awesome!

Levi likes everything I like, but he has a few “quirks”. For example, he HATES riding in cars, he can’t walk across a bridge (he’ll find a way around), and he’s very wary of stairs.  We share such a cool bond. In 9 years, we’ve probably averaged close to 500 miles per year. Often times, I let him decide which way to turn when we come to a split in the trails.

image001 - Beers with Craig Weber - A man, his dog, big mountains, and bigger perspective!

Three years ago, Levi blew his ACL while running through a snowbank. I took him in, and in dogs its called the CCL (Canine Cruciate Ligament), and it was completely torn. So, he had what is called a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Operation), which is where they cut off part of his tibia bone, reposition it, and screw it back together with steel pins, to reduce the stress on his ligaments and knee in general.

I was sitting in the vet’s office in tears, wondering if I’d hurt him forever, and if he’d ever be able to run again. It ended up being about a 6-month recovery for him.  Luckily, he recovered well and we’ve since been able to resume our trail runs and hikes.

IMG 5595 - Beers with Craig Weber - A man, his dog, big mountains, and bigger perspective!

All of that brings us to today, with Craig, a member at Manic Training, and Levi, his trusty companion who often hangs out outside the gym, watching us while we all work. (Especially watching Craig while he works).


Like I said, “I think (tell myself) I manage being uncomfortable, and embrace pain” better than some.  But every Manic morning I still feel anxiety, as I often arrive early to see what’s going on in the gym before my class.  I drive by slowly, peering in, and my anxiety kicks up a couple notches. But I always go in. I’m introverted and not much of  socializer, not good at small talk, but I enjoy the atmosphere and people that are at Manic (we’re too exhausted for talking!). I like everyone in the classes, and constant encouragement from friends I’ve made like Rachel Short and Jesse Adamy.  They’re always good for at least one high five, mid-workout, no matter how uncomfortable they both are. I love the people at Manic Training! You and Scott are fantastic trainers with great wit and humor. This gym is unique and special because it’s owner (you) is heavily vested in the success of the business and the clients. Its class based…individually driven, but motivational by working out with others. It’s not just a “workout of the day” where you come in and do it on your own. There are others, right there with you, in the moment, making it worth it.  It’s much more stimulating.

With all that being said, the true uniqueness lies in the fact that we do the workouts inside, but take part in so many outdoor events and that, to me, is super cool.


Craig, is it true that you have a new tradition over the last two years that you intend to continue?


Yes, my birthday is in January. Two years ago, after watching the “penalties” inflicted on birthday members, I decided that rather than having the coaches at Manic dream up a painful something “extra” at the end of a workout, I was going to start a different custom.  So instead, I come in and do the 5am workout, and then hang around and repeat the same workout at 605am with the rest of my friends. That’s my present to myself – “Pain is inevitable, suffering is voluntary.” It’s been a valuable outlook throughout my life and definitely applies to Manic.

craig james core trainer - Beers with Craig Weber - A man, his dog, big mountains, and bigger perspective!

From Craig:

A closing note, things I think:


*Pain is inevitable, suffering is voluntary.”

“Be nice to people. I don’t care how smart you are if you aren’t nice.”

My email signature: “Craig – start out slow & taper off – Weber”


Craig, thanks for taking your time to tell us all about your fascinating past and path into and through the doors at Manic Training. We look forward to many more adventures with you and Levi in the days, months, and years to come.

How Do Fitness Trackers Impact Fitness?

How Do Fitness Trackers Impact Fitness?

How Do Fitness Trackers Impact Fitness?

Activity trackers have been around for a decade, with early versions such as the original Fitbit worn clipped to the waist. They have come a long way since then, and their popularity has only increased as they have become more technologically advanced. Now many trackers, usually worn on the wrist, can make phone calls, send and receive texts, and much more.

If you take a look at Manic Training members at our Highlands Ranch gym, it seems that almost everyone has a Fitbit, Apple watch, or some other type of gadget on their wrist.

But what impact, if any, do fitness trackers have on your fitness? Let’s take a look.

#1—Fitness Trackers Can Motivate

Let’s face it: Many of us lead a pretty sedentary life. Not even a Fast Friday Manic Training workout can counteract the damage we might be doing to our bodies by spending most of our time sitting at the computer. (As “they” say, sitting is the new smoking.) Fitness trackers, however, can be set up to remind us to get up and move at regular intervals. Keeping track of your steps each day to reach that ubiquitous number of 10,000 is also a good thing.

#2—Fitness Trackers Can Help You Set Measurable Goals

If you’re coming off the couch into the fitness world, a fitness tracker can be a great way to help you set goals that are actually achievable. You may not be a top-notch athlete after a month, but you might hit 5,000 or 10,000 steps for the first time. This is a great way to establish good lifestyle habits.

#3—Fitness Trackers Can Help You Monitor Your Health

These days, many doctors are even recommending mobile health technology as a way to track resting heart rate, sleep cycles, calorie burn, and other data. Although trackers aren’t 100 percent accurate, they can detect trends that provide useful information to the wearer as well as medical professionals. (Some people even claim that activity trackers helped save their lives: Read here.)

If you are looking for more motivation to improve your fitness, bring yourself and your fitness tracker to Manic Training, your Highlands Ranch gym. In addition to Highlands Ranch, we have locations in Steamboat Springs, Fort Collins, and East Greenwich and Wakefield, RI. All offer a free week trial.

Your SEO optimized title page contents