Pilates is one of the most versatile, effective, challenging and fun exercise programs available in the fitness industry. Every aspect of fitness and athletics is improved and enhanced by including a Pilates regimen into ones program. Of course Pilates is great stand alone exercise option for many reasons. The number of Certified Pilates Teachers in New England and especially Central and Eastern CT is lacking. The number of untapped potential Pilates clients is significant. This is good news for anyone who is thinking about entering a Pilates Teacher training program. You want to know that there will be clients waiting for you when you complete your training. I am in a few networking groups and I repeatedly hear about the need for qualified, hard working Pilates Teachers.
If you are considering enrolling in a Pilates Teacher Training Program, there are a few things to consider. You want to make sure your training fits your lifestyle, goals, and objectives as well as prepares you to rise to the top in the industry.
When deciding which Pilates training program is best for you, consider these three key factors:
- The training program’s curriculum style and focus.
- Your goals as a Pilates teacher.
- How the training program is administered and your ability to adhere to the program.
Training Program's Curriculum and Focus
There are three main options when it comes to Pilates teacher training programs.
Comprehensive Teacher Training:
Traditional, or more similar to Joseph Pilates’ intentions and design, is a Comprehensive Training Program, which offers training across all major Pilates apparatus (Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Cadillac/Tower, Chair, Barrels and other Props). The education is then segmented by level, for example Beginner Level across all apparatus listed above. This training is essential for working in a Pilates studio environment, and I recommend this approach if your goal is to is to teach the full spectrum of the Pilates method. Additionally you’ll be the most versatile and well-versed in all levels and apparatus. Traditional Pilates studios structure their education in this way. The benefit of the Comprehensive model is that after your 10-12 month training program, you will be prepared to teach Pilates to anyone on any Pilates apparatus in any environment.
The Module Approach:
There are apparatus based modular trainings, such as a Reformer Course, Cadillac/Tower Course, Props Course, Mat Course all “a la carte”. This option may suit you if you want to focus on a specific piece of apparatus or if you only have access to certain apparatus. For example, you may be interested in working at a gym that has a mat space as well as Reformers. A Mat Training Course and Reformer Training Course may work for you. A draw back of this type of training is that you will be limited in what type of class or session you can teach. You may not be able to work with all clients. For example you may encounter a client whose needs and goals require them to work on a specific type of equipment that you may not have training on.
Mat Training Only:
Another option in the industry is Mat Only training courses. Some people see this as a beginner level training. However in my experience the Mat exercises can be some of the most difficult to perform and to teach. A beginner teacher usually doesn’t have the skills to successfully take a group of individuals through a Mat class. The reality is that often Mat training is offered as stepping stone to full apparatus training. In fact, the Pilates apparatus was designed to assist and resist the body into proper efficient form for the mat work. Mat trainings are usually shorter in duration, ranging from a few weekends to a month and are less expensive than a Comprehensive training program. Many Pilates studios, like mine do not hire “mat only” teachers as they do not have the knowledge and expertise to work with the wide variety of “bodies” that enter our studios. Mat teachers are a good fit for large Pilates studios and gyms that have also have equipment teachers and group classes that can be offered from beginner to advanced levels.
Stay tuned for Part II of "Selecting a Pilates Teacher Training Program.