Learn to lift in a group! 4 reasons why:
Weightlifting is easily top 3 on the list of things I love. Behind family and my wonderful fiancé of course. Sometimes I question the order... but I would put money on you loving it too if you tried it - in the right setting.
Weightlifting is a sport in and of itself. You may only stumble across it by accident once every 4 years or so when flicking through the 'red button' option during the Olympics. I was the same. Luckily for me, however, I was exposed to weightlifting during my time at university as well as odd bits here and there during other educational adventures in Sweden.
If you know weightlifting at all, you'll have heard of Eleiko. Possibly the most famous brand of weightlifting equipment and apparel. Their home in the sleepy, south Swedish town of Halmstad is the location of not only Eleiko's main factory but also a display gym which hosts strength and conditioning courses every now and again. I've been there a couple of times while learning under the tutelage of Charles Poliquin. It's like a sweet shop for anyone remotely keen on the gym.
Great equipment certainly helps inspire a love of lifting. The quality and feel of Eleiko bars and plates is noticeable, even to novices. At PerformancePro (my main site of coaching in central London's west end) we have several bars and most of our plates are Eleiko. At my other home in south west London, I coach groups of lifters and crossfit athletes. Not quite Eleiko but the bars and plates are also top quality and feel great to lift with.
Equipment aside, why should you come and learn lifting in a group setting?
1. You learn from seeing. In a class setting you get the extra benefit of watching other lifters. You see them succeed AND see them fail. This is priceless education and speeds up your understanding of each segment of each lift. You can take whats good and change whats bad but importantly you can use the coaching cues that every other lifter gets too even if they don't strictly apply to you. It all adds up to knowing more and widening your experience in less time.
2. More repetition. Typically in a one to one setting you can spend a lot of time without the bar in hand as you have to rest between sets and can end up not achieving much during this down time. Sure chatting is nice but it isn't the most productive use of time, especially if you're paying to learn something. At least during the group training you can watch other people lifting while you rest.
3. Atmosphere. All gyms have a certain culture and consequent ambience. Some lend themselves really well to training in groups and supporting and encouraging each other and others can leave you feeling a little solitary. Both places I work have great atmospheres and everyone knows and cheers each other on, especially important when trying to hit personal bests and big lifts. Training alone or even in a 'globo-gym' can be soul crushing and devastatingly uninspiring.
4. Competition. Whether you enjoy competing with others or not will decide how you progress in the sport of weightlifting. At the end of the day it is a sport and in competing you are trying to win. The biggest reminder I can give you however is this; you should be competing against yourself. Whether you also compete against others is irrelevant and a personal choice. To participate in weightlifting and to practice to try and get better at it (the literal definition of training!) you are making the choice to compete. To beat your previous performances. In a group setting this is heightened and brought to the forefront. You can compete in so many ways, not just in the load on the bar. Who can go all session and not miss a lift? Who can beat their previous best by the most weight? Who can hit their 90% total for the most reps? Competition drives progress.
If it were all about the things you lift rather than the way you lift them I'd say "come see me at PerformancePro to learn weightlifting" but I'm not*. At PP, I coach one to one and this works perfectly for strength and conditioning and personal training. For learning the olympic lifts - the snatch and the clean and jerk - I much prefer to coach in a group setting. This isn't for my benefit, I get more financial gain from one to one coaching.
There are several benefits to YOU, THE LIFTER, by learning during group sessions.
*(I wouldn't turn down an athlete that REALLY wants to work with me at PP, just that my advice is come to group coaching)*