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Questions About Becoming a Pilates Teacher

Posted Aug 04 2008 7:15pm

I recently had someone drop me a contact request for Pilates Teacher Training information and thought she had some great questions that might be helpful to post in my Centerworks Pilates blog. 

 Think I may turn this into a regular section and update & add posts with questions as they come in.

It’s so important that students interested in making the transition from client to Pilates teacher ask good questions and gather lots of information before making the decision about who to enroll with for their Pilates Teacher Training Workshops and apprenticeship. 

With the commitment of time, energy, and finances it takes to invest in your Pilates education - you want to be sure you’ve found the best program for you!

There are lots of great teachers and programs to compare.  Each has a different format for teaching the information, varying philosophies about the Pilates Method, slight or huge differences in how the exercises are executed and/or body placement (example being the controversy over the classical Pilates scoop vs. neutral spine,) and may provide varying degrees of support and assistance while you’re developing your teaching skills - learning how to cue, spot, and design safe and effective Pilates workout programs.

There are differences between programs in how many of the exercises are taught, and which pieces of the Pilates equipment - Reformer, Trapeze Table, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector, High/Electric Chair, Low/Wunda chair, small barrels, pedi pole, foot corrector, tensometers… are actually covered in the Teacher-Ed program.

Q: Is it important to get certified in both mat and machines pilates?

A: For your first question - YES, in the long run to be a Pilates teacher you should be trained in both Matwork & equipment.   The Pilates Method is a system 1/2 is Mat, the other 1/2 is the work on the equipment.  There are a lot of people who are just teaching Matwork - that can be an ok place to begin, but there’s a lot more to Pilates than this - and for many people the mat exercises may not be safe or appropriate, where there’s tons of things they could be doing with the equipment to improve their health. 

A well-qualified Pilates teacher that knows the whole Pilates system will be able to direct clients into the safest and best Pilates program and choose the right exercises to help them get avoid injury and get results.

Q: How much money is it to become certified? 

Answer:Fees for teacher training programs vary as each provider has their format broken down differently.  You need to budget not only for your workshops - but for lessons, classes and an apprenticeship for hands-on training to gain the experience you need under the guideance of a senior teacher.  It’s best to look at the whole picture when comparing programs.  I generally tell people that completing Pilates Teacher-Training is like getting a 4-year college degree in a year.  There’s that much to learn, and you’ll have expenses.

Q: Is it better to start teaching these classes at a young age if possible?

Answer:It’s not important that you begin teaching at a young age.  There are some teachers that start at 18, and others who begin training in their 50’s and older.  What’s more important is that you are an experienced Pilates student (preferably at at least a high intermediate level on both Matwork & equipment) before you enroll in a Teacher-Training program.  The more personal experience you have before you begin the process of learning how to be a teacher - the better!

Q: What types of certifications are available and how does your certification compare to the others out there?

Answer:You’ve got lots to choose from when selecting a training program.  On the market you’ll find everything from a $39.95 online Pilates “certificate,” a 1-weekend only Pilates workshop, to comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training programs requiring one, two, or more years of study. (Please don’t opt for either of the first two on this list!) 

The cost of my program is comparable to other comprehensive programs available on the market. Follow this link to find more information about theCenterworks Pilates Teacher-Education Program.  

You might also check out information from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)to search for other programs.  You get what you pay for - cheaper & faster may not be the best route for a great education. 

It’s important to compare not only the price of a Pilates workshop, but location & travel expense, # of students in workshops, apprenticeship requirements, is the work taught on all the equipment, do you like the presenter, agree with how they teach, and feel like it’s someone you want to learn from, ect… 

I am in the midst of revising & updating my website - and will have additional info up to help people learn more things to ask so you can effectively compare programs.  Please check back soon & you should find more up on my site.

I hope you find this information helpful!  If you’re reading this blog and have other questions on the topic of Pilates Teacher Training, or other Pilates-related topics… Please drop me a comment - I’d love to reply.

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