Skip to content

5 Step | Choosing a Pilates studio doesn’t have to be scary

  • by

When you grab your phone and start looking for a local Pilates class or studio, it can be intimidating. But once you know a little bit about it, choosing a Pilates studio or class isn’t that hard.Not all studios are created equal not all certifications and teachers therefore are created equal , I’ve worked with other Studios teachers gyms ,what-have-you particularly Pilates for the sake of today I was exposed to all the different models and a bunch of different certifications disclaimer , this is not an argument for classical versus contemporary Pilates for those of you watching who already know what Pilates is .I am a strong believer in the fact ,and that there is room in the Pilates world for both mindsets 。I think that we can all love and learn from each other as we work toward our same goal of helping people live their best lives,this is however an argument or contemporary in classical Pilates versus the onslaught of other stuff out there that really isn’t Pilates.


Today Pilates studios are everywhere, there are mega reformers,there’s TRX Pilates, pop Pilates,  our Pilates bio so like yoga, Pilates fusions and so many more a bunch of people take the original Pilates work and infuse it with their own creativity ,which is exciting and fun and cool however it’s created a really confusing image for the masses as to what Pilates is as a result people have compartmentalized and put it in the same pool as yoga.

How to find a perfect studio because the fitness world has somehow gone from a small puddle of people 20 years ago to this massive ocean of options today ,there are apps influencers gyms studios collectives videos programs that all promise this six-pack and sexy confidence outcome.They can’t necessarily back up all the time ,so while I don’t have a lot to say about the generalized overabundance of fitness options out there ,I do have a lot of information,what to look for when trying to find your perfect Pilates studio .I can’t stinking wait to share, so let’s do this and gang .


TOP 5 Step for Choosing a Pilates Class

Use these tips to get the most benefits and enjoyment from Pilates – a unique mind-body workout.You will need Mat or reformer class preference Certified instructor Fitness level knowledge and research of local options.Always consult a physician before attempting to do any exercise or exercise plan.

Step 1.

Choose between mat or reformer Pilates classes.Your body provides resistance as you perform exercises on the floor in the mat class, and the Reformer is an advanced piece of equipment on which you can perform more than 100 different exercises.Mat classes often use equipment such as an exercise ball and elastic bands.

Step 2.

Choose a certified Pilates instructor, required to have had intensive education and training,especially for classes that use exercise equipment.

Step 3.

Opt for group classes if you’re a beginner or want a more social experience.Hire a personal instructor or take a classwith just a few students for a more rigorous workout and a one-on-one approach. If your class is very large, schedule a few private lessons to help you progress.

Step 4.

Find a class that suits your level of fitness and experience.If you’re a yoga buff or have done Pilates already, look for a more advanced class; if you’re a couch potato, head to beginner classes.

Step 5.

Shop around to find classes that fit your schedule and budget.In addition to health clubs and Pilates studios, try the YMCA, local community center, and continuing education options at community

colleges or universities. Did you know Joseph Pilates never trademarked his exercise system, but a physical therapist trademarked the name in 1997.The trademark was ruled invalid in 2000.


4 Tips-HOW Choosing a Pilates Class

How to choose online platform that is right for you and also how to just set yourself up for success 。These four tips are what you need to consider , what you need to actually require in your search to get truly beneficial Pilates , avoid things that are more Pilates influenced 。

Number one

Certification and credibility a teacher certification and experience are crucially important, not only should a teacher be completely transparent when asked about their certifications, but a Studios website should have a very clear page with their teaching staff and their credentials, while this isn’t a post commenting on specific certifications and their merit, I do suggest looking for teachers who are 500 our minimum comprehensively trained teachers, those comprehensive certifications should require more than just coursework examples being observation soft practice or practical hours involved.

Number two

What prerequisite or suggested private sessions, Pilates is so much more than just doing the movements as you get deeper into the work ,you’ll realize there are muscles you have never worked before because you didn’t know how and those muscles are what make all the difference ,so in order to truly benefit from mat or equipment work, you really need to take the deeper dive with a teacher one-on-one the pieces of apparatus, are no joke the potential for injury if not only practice inappropriately, but taught improperly is no stinking joke when people say I tried Pilates ,but it like hurt me the injury was not because of the Pilates repertoire the injury was either a teachers lack of attention to detail a client’s lack of understanding or a really unfortunate combination of the two please,please take the time or the money to do it right to learn the work 。So you can truly benefit from it and avoid injury find a studio that either requires or strongly suggests one-on-one sessions,with their teachers and if the studio does not offer one-on-one sessions with their teachers, find another studio like not even joking on that the whole nother level of no 。

Number three

The energy and the ownership at the end of the day,Pilates is so much more than just going through the motions as stated before and fortunately and sometimes unfortunately, you have a lot of options when you walk into a studio, you should feel safe and welcomed you should feel that your teachers are but incompetent in what they’re doing sometimes you might feel a little intimidated seeing all of these Springs and platforms and petals and all these things everywhere, but that’s a totally different feeling than not feeling welcomed not feeling safe two totally different pages when you walk in you should be able to meet the owner who is also a teacher either on your first day or within your first couple of sessions because believe it or not。Pilates has proven to be potentially profitable,and that has so many piece franchise models have picked it up, the result is that you can walk into a studio ,where the owner is not necessarily a teacher ,the result of that is that hiring teaching and business decisions are being made for the teachers and clients by someone who doesn’t necessarily understand the needs of either 。That’s just no good ,such as but not limited to someone who doesn’t know the work, trying to find high-quality teachers when they don’t know the difference between a lolita’s legacy a balanced body and a pop pilates certification also not good all of this just because they fought the franchise rights to this studio model 。

Number four

Looking at an online platform that you actually want to consider is the accountability portion because when you’re doing something online it is really easy to be able to do it anytime which is like its point the point is that you it’s easy to do at any time but that can be really hard  because if you don’t have the accountability like you would ,you’re going to a class so for example today, i’m going to go to in-person class so i have to be there at four o’clock, i have to make sure ,i have time to drive ,i have to make sure i’m there you know all the things ,i have that accountability if i don’t show up i wasted money with an online platform, it’s really easy to put it off till tomorrow. So what form of accountability did they put in place to make sure that you were successful。Of course, guys,this only really scratches the surface of potential criteria to look for however, it’s enough to get you started and you might be surprised how many studios these criteria filters out again。


HOW choosing the best class level?

Today we’re going to be discussing choosing the best class level for you ,i think this is an important conversation to have or something to think about because different studios different systems or schools of pilates often have different ways of leveling their classes , if you come in kind of cold to a studio ,it can be confusing it can be not uniform in terms of like what class you want to be in .So i have some experience as a teacher at club pilates as well as a contemporary trained teacher ,but someone who works with classically trained teachers,.So i can offer some insights into the ways that class levels are often described and ways to think about class levels ,and then hopefully when you go to a studio you can of course talk to the people who work at the studio,so they can help you get into the right class or the best fit of a class for you ,but also ways that you can kind of think about class levels and maybe progressing in your class levels or just finding the right spot to be for you。

If you’re in the united states club pilates is a franchised pilates studio where the structure is corporate ,but there are individual studio owners and studio owners may own multiple studios in an area ,or they may just own the one studio, but it’s nice in that there’s some structure within that studio system.So i do see how that’s kind of a nice plus if you were to travel to another state or you know visit another neighborhood and then go to a studio,there is some uniformity across leveling there. So i kind of want to share with you how club pilates breaks their levels down one thing that club pilates offers that i think is really great is an intro class,and that you can try a 30-minute sample class that is about at their 1.0 level and that’s what they call their beginning level。I think that the words beginner intermediate and advanced are useful in terms of classification but are also very limited. You can be in a quote beginner class, but also be capable of doing advanced exercises for the purposes of classification .We’ll say that their reformer flow 1.0 or any of their classes that are at a 1.0 level are their beginner classes. If you check out on their website or talk to any of their teachers they’ll let you know that ,  1.0 level class is a foundational class it’s called 1.0 foundations and there’s different ways of thinking 。

About what is a foundational part of pilates one of the things you’ll experience in class is the majority of the exercises will take place either lying down or sitting on the reformer because that’s a little bit more stable ,especially for lying down you’re getting feedback from the carriage ,so your body’s not really loose in space you’re getting a lot more feedback the props ,and that you’re using are often supporting you and offering support in the exercise things。like maybe using that little stability ball,between your knees when you bridge or using that stability ball behind your pelvis when you’re doing like an earthquake ab series where you’re leaning back into the ball ,and then doing some arm movements and kind of that isometric abdominal contraction that you do when you do those kinds of exercises that stability is at the forefront as well as in terms of the speed of the class it goes a little bit slower the teacher is explaining things a little bit more and we’re going over the foundation of pilates we’re talking about spine shapes , we’re talking about breathing and we’re talking about really the foundation what you’re going to need in every other pilates class ,that’s what we call our 1.0 level classes。

If you’re new they’re a good place to start the instructor is going to tell you more about the equipment cue more of those transitions for you ,so that you get a good grasp on the system 。The equipment all of that stuff club pilates is of course an equipment studio so they’re working with reformer chair springboard and then auxiliary props like the trx the bosu the jump board stability ball ,we’ve got free weights that we throw in there magic circle stuff like that 。So that’s how they’re breaking down those classes 1.5 classes could be reformer flow 1.5 could be cardio sculpt 1.5, i mean technically there’s center imbalance 1.5 。those are all different class ,types reformer flow is their strength training class ,which is just you know 50 reformer ,50 other things cardio sculpt is going to be using the jump board it’s going to be about 50 jumping and 50 doing other things center and balance is the stretchy one ,and then control is their bar fusion class which is 50 on the reformer 50 on the bar,but even within those levels in a 1.0 level class,we’re again talking about foundations whereas ,when you go to 1.5 which they call progressions,we’re focusing a little bit more with kneeling exercises on the reformers, so we have a narrower base of support。 We’re a little bit more unsteady, we’re throwing in some coordination challenges ,where your arms or legs are doing things at the same time we’re doing some unilateral work ,where you’re working just one arm or one leg at a time in our 1.0 classes。


We would probably focus on bilateral work ,where you’re doing the same thing with both arms at the same time , we usually recommend that you’re going to stay at that 1.5 level once you progress and are hanging out there before going to the 2.0 class which they call evolution and in those 2.0 classes .we have this idea that we kind of know what we’re doing on the equipment. So the teacher is going to go a lot faster they’ll go faster in a 1.5 than they do in a 1.0 and they’re going to go pretty quickly transition pretty quickly through a 2.0 ,there will be standing exercises both on the chair and on the reformer and that’s not to be a barrier to taking those classes by any means .Just knowing that we want you to have a strong foundation a strong you know body awareness a strong support network of muscles, so that if you are standing on something that is unstable ,you are stable even though it is not stable they do have a class beyond that that is 2.5 mastery class, but we actually the studios i teach at anyway they don’t have a 2.5 class ,the way i understand that class is to be more of a workshop , really breaking down exercises and getting into the nitty-gritty of it .So it’s actually i want to say that it’s less of a workout ,but it’s not as much about accomplishing all of the exercises. With a lot of coordination challenges and like quickly transitioning ,you know doing the quote hard stuff unquote, but it’s really breaking stuff down and more kind of a workshop idea .So i’ve actually never taught or taken a 2.5 class at club pilates.

But that’s the kind of the general idea of it now within all of those levels.,of course, you are not going to flounder alone the instructors are going to give you options in every class level to take things to a more challenging place or to take things to a more supportive more stable place.So even if you are you know comfortably at the 1.5 level you,you know understand those exercises and stuff if you were to take a two the goal isn’t to be perfect at all of those level two exercises ,before you take a level two like you take the level two to try and do those exercises ,you don’t have to be perfect at them you might be trying them for the first time as a teacher, i can tell you that we are gonna give options i feel like students know and you as a person taking class will probably know if you’re really really out of your depth the goal is for you to feel successful。So those class levels aren’t there to limit you but to kind of give you an idea of what you’re getting into ,so that you can work in a place that you’re comfortable because yes to challenging yourself but it’s like challenging ,but doable like we want to push ourselves and move ourselves along not because the goal is to do you know standing on the reformer exercises ,but you just know what’s gonna happen if you take a level two and you stand on the reformer, you’re not gonna like be surprised you’re gonna be like 。

Classes and exercises you’re going to be focusing on are the foundation of the mat work, which is exercises like the hundred the roll up maybe a half roll up or half roll down depending on what we’re doing focusing on like the shape and ​rolling like a ball or the ab series also called the stomach series.You’ll be doing some spine stretch forward maybe a bit of swan or swan prep and your side kicks now if you go to a beginning pilates mat class, obviously you’re not going to just do those exercises you could probably do those in like 20 minutes.But all of the work you’re going to be doing is going to be that again foundational beginner introductory to pilates shapes way of moving way of breathing and keeping exercises simple  getting to really. Like the core of the exercise not just like the core like working your abs ,but like what is the primary goal because even the fanciest exercise has a kernel that is a beginning level skill right 。So really focusing on building those skills that body awareness in beginning classes or intermediate classes is going to introduce unilateral work。

where we’re using one arm or one leg at a time we’ll start to introduce some rotation exercises ,like saw maybe corkscrew maybe corkscrew without the inversion bit of corkscrew as well as teaser i would also say like single leg kick double leg kick probably we’re getting a little bit more extensiony , we’re also doing xercises that require a bit more strength ,advanced exercises are going to be your inversions and things that require a lot of coordination。 I think of like on the reformer like the exercise coordination where there’s a syncopated rhythm, we’re doing something like that, of course, that’s going to be more advanced things like shoulder bridge things, like roll over things ,like jackknife or you know open leg rocker where we took that rolling like a ball that we worked on in our level one class or a beginner class , now you know can you do it with straight legs obviously much harder, those are going to be classified as more advanced exercises now i mentioned this in the first bit,but something like shoulder bridge which the classical pilates shoulder bridge version is definitely advanced,but there are benefits to doing a bridge even if it’s not that full-fledged straight leg lower lift shoulder bridge that’s in the classical work like you can do a bridge ,that’s either a neutral bridge or an articulated bridge in a beginner class ,and that’s why these frameworks are so limiting because every body’s a little bit different 。What is easy for you might be an advanced exercise and there may be a beginning exercise, that is just like really tough because we all have aptitude, we all have things that click with us really quickly and things that we kind of have to figure out over some time ,so again i’m sharing this with you not as a limiting thing。


Do you have a favorite Pilates studio? What else would you add to the list?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *