Maybe you’re just not sold on the advantages of a Pilates program. Perhaps you don’t know where to begin. Or maybe you’re not sure you have the time or energy it takes to invest in a new program offering right now. Reformers, chairs, ladders, barrels, towers, bands, disks, balls -- you’ve heard of all of this Pilates equipment and you’re wondering if you have the money or the space to get it all. But do you need it all?
PFP has brought in the experts to shine some light. We hope, after you’ve read what those in the Pilates business have to say on the matter, you have a better understanding of what it takes to start a Pilates program and have the confidence to get started. You might be surprised by how simple it can be.
The Benefits of a Pilates Program
Your business is already doing fine with the current classes and training you offer, so what’s the benefit of spending time to get certified and money on equipment to add Pilates?
What benefit does Pilates offer to my clients?
Lindsay: Pilates has become a top choice for fitness instructors because it has no age barrier or fitness requirements. This method of exercise produces longer, leaner muscles, improves postural alignment, increases core strength, balance strength and flexibility, heightens body awareness, and prevents injury. Pilates is not as stressful on the joints as other, high-impact forms of exercise.
Ken: Pilates allows personal trainers to offer a real service differentiator and a potential additional revenue stream. Plus, because the exercise method is so gentle on the joints, it can expand their customer base to include populations they may not have been able to work with before – like older adults or post-rehab clients.
The two barriers that fitness professionals most commonly raise when it comes to starting a Pilates program are getting the proper training and not knowing what equipment they need or not having the space for it.
Training and Certification You’re already busy enough with your work, how can you find the time to invest in classes and get certified? Can you do it in a weekend? How do you know which program is right for you?
Ken: This can be seen as a time-consuming hurdle, but that’s not necessarily true and it really depends on the trainer’s background. While the ultimate goal is to become fully certified, it is the biomechanics of the exercise that are important to understand. For those who have a background in rehab or physical therapy, it might be possible for them to take a weekend training session and begin teaching while continuing their education as needed. But a trainer who has no background in Pilates or proper biomechanics does need to get a more comprehensive education before beginning to teach. However, many education programs are modular and can be done at the trainer’s own speed.
Lindsay: It is important for anyone looking for good instruction or certifications to seek out organizations that provide in-depth knowledge and practical programming options to teach effective group or personal training programs to clients of any age or fitness level. Watch out for ‘one-time’ weekend programs that don’t require apprenticeship hours or proper qualifications of the attendees’ skills before giving them a certificate. Many of the people teaching these one-weekend certification programs possess little to qualify them to do so. The most well-respected certification programs specific to Pilates include observation, physical review, practice teaching, written and practical exams.