Recently, I’ve had some clients ask me what I thought about the Pilates classes at some of the gyms in town. I’ll be honest: I don’t know. I have not been to that gym, nor have I taken that instructor’s class. What I do encourage my clients is that in order to truly benefit from a Pilates practice, they should take classes by a certified trainer.
From my experience, there are a lot of certifications available that trainers can get by taking an online class, and they usually don’t require any hands-on training. In my eyes, this is the lazy way to go about becoming a coach/personal trainer/instructor. A trainer should be teaching you how to enjoy movement, while also keeping you safe from hurting your body. How can they learn this with a quick online course?
Sure. I had to start somewhere. And my start was much different. I chose to earn my Pilates certification with Peak Pilates, which is rooted in classical Pilates, and prepares trainers to instruct a range of individual clients and group classes, and modify exercises for special populations. They have helped me become a great instructor, as well as inspire others to learn how to teach. The Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certification is a 500-hour program that trained me how to correctly teach and perform the classical mat work and equipment exercises. And, by comprehensive, it meant I had to attend multiple hands on trainings out of state (Ennis, Montana) over long weekends, take quizzes to access my knowledge of each module, log multiple hours of practice teaching, log multiple hours of my own Pilates practice, as well as log multiple hours of watching others teach, which often meant that I had to go out of town as well. And, at the end of my final Pilates comprehensive class, I had a written test where no study materials were allowed.
I am also a certified TRX Suspension Training instructor, which has taken roughly 30 hours to achieve, and I still have one more level to obtain. For this certification, I’ve had to travel out of state (near Denver, Colorado) for hands-on trainings as well.
In order to keep these certifications, I am required to keep up with continuing education hours: 14 every two years for Pilates and eight every two years for TRX. And, just so you know, these trainings aren’t cheap. I’ve spent more than $8,000 on these certifications, and invested about 600 hours of training time. In fact, I’m currently 10 hours over on continuing education, just so I can bring new and different Pilates focused classes to the Gillette, Wyoming community. I don’t feel that I’ll ever know it all, and I fell that the more classes I take, the better I can serve my community, and my clients in my ever growing studio.
I’ve done this to make me a better instructor. I’ve done this for my clients. I’ve done this so people feel better, and don’t get hurt. In my eyes, this is what separates the strong from the weak, so to speak. I’ve made an (ever growing) investment of money, time and, yes, energy.
There are so many options out there for exercise classes, and it’s really quite important that you enjoy the movement. My advice to those looking for a great experience with Pilates: do your homework. Ask your trainers what certifications they have and where they have gone for training. Make sure that they receive some hands-on training and that they are continuing on their own fitness education.
I can confidently say that all of the instructors at Ignite Pilates are certified in what they teach. They have all gone to some hands-on training sessions, go through the continuing education, and attend classes to further their own fitness journey. Check out what classes we offer today.