Make an Educated Choice in Pilates Training Part II

Why choosing Pilates Training goes beyond Price Shopping

Some of you may have read my blog on Making an Educated Choice in Pilates Training. In the first blog, I explained there are different streams of Pilates. It is important to understand that not all Pilates studios teach the same method of Pilates nor do you get the same training in a gym or community centre.

Pilates mat class

Why is your choice of where to train more important than the cost of the classes?

The Pilates industry is not regulated. What this means is you could choose to train with someone who claims to be a Pilates teacher who has little or no formal education or may have only on-line training or who may only be a Personal Trainer or ex-dancer without any formal certifications in teaching Pilates. (I was approached by a Personal Trainer requesting to take a few classes so she could teach Pilates.) This is, of course, ridiculous not to mention unfair to you and the teachers who have spent hundreds of hours in formal training along with updating their education in Continuing Education workshops.

What do Pilates Teachers Study?

Learning to teach Pilates in the Classical Method with up-to-date musculo-skeletal information is in-depth training in Anatomy and Anatomy of Movement along with the study of teaching and performing over 500 modifiable exercises. Each exercise must be understood in terms of alignment of the whole body throughout the exercise. Being aware of the common challenges and how to modify an exercise is very important.

Beyond that, properly certified teachers study the body in Continuing Ed workshops in order to work with clients safely and to keep their education up-to-date. Others go on to study the body on a clinical level to work with special populations and physical issues.

Teachers who study posture and gait analysis and muscle imbalance assessment are able to design programs specific to your personal needs. For example, training a person with an anterior tilted pelvis requires a different approach than training someone with a posterior tilted pelvis. If you have back pain, the teacher must have the training to work with you for your personal issues.


Many boomer and senior clients need special attention for a variety of issues some of which are postural deviations, osteopenia, osteoporosis, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, patella femoral syndrome, shoulder, knee and foot issues along with replacements etc. too numerous to go into here.

Many younger clients are also experiencing a variety of issues such as “text-neck” and postural problems related to working on computers all day to mention only a few things. Younger clients come in with a variety of physical issues that require specialised attention also. It is important to work with a teacher who has the formal training to work with muscle imbalances and how to assess your needs. Pilates Reformer Class

What are the Streams of Pilates?

Classical Pilates, Classical Pilates with up-to-date musculo-skeletal information, contemporary Pilates, gym style Pilates and various combo classes such as Yogalates etc.

Strictly Classical studios follow Joseph Pilates original repertoire.

Classical Pilates with up-to-date musculo-skeletal information, which is what I teach, is the classical method updated with what we now know to be the best approach to training. In our view, Joseph, known to be 50 years ahead of his time when he designed the Program, would be following up-to-date musculo-skeletal information if he was alive today.

Contemporary Pilates, in my personal experience, did not include many of the fundamentals of classical Pilates and paled in comparison to the training I received in classical Pilates with up-to-date musculo-skeletal information at Body Harmonics Pilates.

Gym style of Pilates, where you drop into classes teaching exercises beyond your physical ability such as “Hundred” is a recipe for hurting your neck. It is important to learn the Pilates method in a structured way in order to build your body’s ability to perform each exercise correctly. Large group classes are not the same as training in a small group with personalised attention. You should not be hurting your neck to perform abdominal exercises.

Pilates Reformer Class

Price Shopping for Pilates Classes is Like Comparing Apples to Oranges

With the lack of regulation in the Pilates Industry, you could pay the same for a teacher with little or no formal training as you pay a teacher with a comprehensive background, who has studied in depth. You need to check teacher’s certifications. You can then check the certifying body to see what they actually studied.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. After all you are trusting someone with your physical health.