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STOTT PILATES® Instructor Spotlight: Bob Andersen

Dr. Bob Andersen
– Athletic conditioning and performance training coach 
– Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer specializing in CORE – Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training
Co-founder, Victory Pilates Education Centers

Dr. Bob Andersen is an in-demand athletic conditioning and performance training coach. With a background in Exercise Science and a history of working with aspiring Olympic and professional athletes, Bob specializes in how to train the body to move faster, more powerfully and more efficiently. Though Bob started out as a strength and conditioning coach, he augmented his considerable education and skill set with STOTT PILATES® training to create an even more powerful method of sports training. Bob is now a Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer specializing in CORE Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training, and gives workshops around North America in addition to running Victory Pilates Education Centers, a successful Merrithew Licensed Training Center based out of the Pilates Center of Omaha in Nebraska, with his wife and STOTT PILATES® Lead Instructor Trainer, Wendy. 

Here is Bob’s story.

 Pilates was never the goal for Bob Andersen. A collegiate athlete, Bob’s first love was the mechanics of the body—how it moves, how to make it more powerful and how to make it move faster. “Athletic and performance training suits me, it’s what I like to do,” he says. Finding Pilates was a happy accident. “I got in through the back door,” he says. But once inside, Bob took over the party. And it all began when he and his wife decided to open their own business.

Both Bob and his wife Wendy hold degrees in Exercise Science. Not long after graduating, Bob found work as a performance coach, and Wendy began teaching at a high school. But both were ambitious and eager for something more. Victory Pilates was born of the desire to immerse themselves fully in fitness, and before they could move into working in fitness full-time, Wendy decided to train as a STOTT PILATES® Instructor. The plan was for Wendy to teach Pilates, while Bob would use his experience to provide performance training and athletic conditioning to clients.

While Wendy was going through Instructor Training, she found the perfect body to practice on in Bob. A lifelong learner, Bob was continually asking Wendy what she was doing, and why. This picking apart of the Pilates method proved to be both beneficial and challenging for Wendy, who soon told Bob that he needed to take Pilates training to find out the answers for himself. So he did.

Though he didn’t train as a STOTT PILATES® Instructor initially, through Wendy, Bob found that the STOTT PILATES® philosophy dovetailed nicely with his own strongly-held beliefs and practices about responsible exercise and the importance of knowing why you are asking a client, or yourself, to execute a certain movement. “It was always an easy connection between Pilates and what I do,” he says.

“We knew where we wanted to go, but we had to learn how to get there.”

When Merrithew® introduced CORE Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training, Bob was one of the first to sign up without having completed his STOTT PILATES certification or training. He is now a Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer specializing in CORE Athletic Conditioning and Performance Training, and leads workshops and courses throughout the US and Canada. From the beginning, Bob and Wendy blurred the border between STOTT PILATES and performance training, with Wendy sending clients to Bob and Bob sending clients to Wendy. Taking one step at a time, they slowly built a solid business that married Pilates and performance training. It was an organic process, says Bob, one that, instead of exploding, grew at a steady pace over years. “It was a lot of trial by fire,” Bob says. “We knew where we wanted to go, but we had to learn how to get there. You learn as you go.”

A key lesson was to look to others who had successfully gone before, says Bob, and find the reason why it worked for them. He and Wendy enlisted the help of business coaches and mentors at various points throughout their careers to guide them through the process.

“Don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “You can follow other people’s blueprints.” 

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