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Awesome Online Tool for Pilates Instructors

Posted May 17 2009 10:02pm
If you're a pilates instructor thinking of opening your own studio, or if you already have a studio and plan to rearrange or buy new equipment, this is the ultimate planning tool designed by a genius that you only thought existed in your dreams!

On Balanced Body's website, http://www.pilates.com/, there is a planning tool called "Pilates Space Planner". This tool allows you to layout all the equipment you have, or hope to buy, in a bird's eye view. You can add your desk, lighting, mirrors, waiting area, and almost anything else you can think of finding in a pilates studio.

The absolute best thing about the Pilates Space Planner is that it has every piece of pilates equipment in detail and with correct measurements, along with an outline of how much space you'll need around it, so you know you're not over-crowding your studio!

Here's how to find and use the Pilates Space Planner:

1. Go to Balanced Body's site,
http://www.pilates.com/.
2. Click on, "For Professionals".
3. Click on, "Space Planner".
4. Click, "Launch Space Planner".

You are brought to a page where you can plug in your room measurements. Once you do this, the space planning page appears, where you have a virtual blank slate that is the exact size of your potential studio.

You'll see on the left that you can choose any piece of pilates equipment and drag it over to your studio. Once in place, you can rotate, enlarge or decrease the size, and duplicate it if you plan to have more than one. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

You'll also find when looking through the pilates equipment options that there are other types of furniture that you can put into your virtual space, such as kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and even patios. You could use this to layout your whole house! These options would be awesome if you were planning your studio within your own living space.

When I was moving and planning my new studio space for Rhinebeck Pilates, I used this planner and basically became obsessed with it. I even got one of my clients who was moving her office to become obsessed with it! We would print out our plans each week and compare notes. I must admit, it was ridiculously fun.

When Planning Your New Studio, Be Sure To...

-Accurately measure your actual space. And, don't forget to account for windows and doors. Measure the window length and the swing of the door if it opens into your space. The Pilates Space Planner allows you to accurately depict the swing of a closet door, for example, so you know it won't hit any of your equipment when you try to get in the closet.

-Laying out the lighting in the studio is so important. Imagine laying on your back on the reformer, are you looking straight up into a blinding light? Or, if you are standing on the Cadillac, are you about to have your head chopped off by a ceiling fan?

-Don't forget all the extra small pieces of equipment you'll have, such as Small Barrels and Long Boxes. Images of these can be found in the Pilates Space Planner, so don't forget to leave enough space for them, wherever you plan to store them.

-Accurately measure all your "extras", such as your desk, benches, locker room cubbies, rugs, etc. The basic sizes that the program gives you may not match your furniture in reality, and you will be very disappointment when you move in and see that your desk does not fit!

Explore the Program and You Will Find...

-You can show, or hide, all of your measurements, including wall measurements.
-You can create an entire locker room, waiting area, office area, or bathroom.
-You can add many different types of fitness equipment.
-You can delete, copy, rotate, enlarge, or decrease anything you put into your space.
-You can email your plans to anyone you want.
-You can change or customize the color of anything you place within your space.

-You can layer everything to show that the ceiling lights are hanging above the reformers, the rugs are under the reformers, etc.
-You can add people, pets, and even little slippers just for fun :)

Minor Problems with the Program

-Since this plan is a bird's eye view, the one thing really lacking is measuring things having to do with ceiling height. I did not find a way to use this program to make sure that the height of a Cadillac would fit in the space. And then, to make sure that someone could stand on the Cadillac and not hit their head on the ceiling. This measuring had to be done in reality on my own Cadillac. If you're planning to buy a Cadillac and don't have one to measure in real life, I would highly suggest double checking to make sure you have the ceiling space!

-I love ceiling fans, and planned to have three in my new studio. However, there is no image for a ceiling fan in the Pilates Space Planner. I found this to be disappointing, because it should be there! There are so many detailed options that the lack of a ceiling fan is odd. I decided to create my own ceiling fan by selecting the "Coat Rack", which kind of looks like a ceiling fan in the bird's eye view, and enlarging it to the measurements of my real ceiling fans. It worked out really great!

-This isn't really a problem with the program, but it might be a good idea to double check the equipment measurements if you are not buying Balanced Body equipment. Of course, the measurements they use are for their own equipment. So if you have a different brand, particularly if you're planning a very small space, it might be good just to double check that the measurements match.

Here is the plan I ended up using for Rhinebeck Pilates:



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