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how to choose a Pilates teacher training

The Problem with Pilates Teacher Training Today

career advice Jun 04, 2024

If you’ve been thinking about diving into a Pilates teacher training (TT) program, you might want to pull up a chair because we’ve got some real talk to share.

Let's chat about why the current state of Pilates TT might not be all sunshine and rainbows . . . and what you can do to navigate it like a pro.


The Money Game: Why Studios Push TT Programs

Ever wonder why so many studios offer their own TT programs? It’s not just because they love teaching you — although we’re sure they do!

Big studios and chains often use these programs as a cash cow. They need a ton of teachers to fill up all their classes and keep those memberships rolling in.

The TT programs become more about making money for the studio than about giving you a top-notch education. Their primary goal isn’t to teach you WELL . . . it’s just to teach you well enough that you can handle running a group class (private sessions require a much more detailed understanding of human movement).

Because they’re aware of the risk of some trainees dropping out of the training from overwhelm, they expedite the process to get you through the program much quicker than usual.
Imagine being pushed through a super-packed curriculum in just three months. It’s like trying to drink from a firehose!

By the end, you might feel like you’re just barely able to lead a class, but not confident enough to really teach in a way that makes a difference in your students' lives.


The Hard Truth About Becoming a Pilates Teacher

Now let’s talk about the overwhelm a bit more.

Because the truth is this: Becoming a Pilates teacher is no leisurely stroll through the park. It’s a lot of work!

But guess what? Many people don’t realize this when they sign up.

The studios selling these programs often gloss over how intense and demanding it really is.

We’ve heard from lots of folks who felt totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of info and the fast pace. Some dropped out or finished the training but never taught a single class.

This is super common!

In fact, here are some confessions from our online Pilates community:

"Has anyone ever gone through training and realized that they actually hate teaching and don’t want to finish? As I was going through the program I felt pressured to 'hurry up and start teaching' and I lost my passion for teaching."

"This is very common in teacher training programs, and is why many people drop out without completing, or never teach once they finish. Some are explicit about offering it to people who want to deepen their practice, but it does mean you end up with qualified teachers who probably shouldn't be...!"

"Finished teacher training in 2021 and never taught tbh."

"Same. I realized doing Pilates was my passion, but teaching Pilates not so much. Also, my training left me very unprepared to actually teach."

"I believe there were 12 people in my training class and only 3 of us ended up teaching. The comprehensive training can be stressful.”

Sound familiar? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

The solution, in my opinion, is not to expedite or reduce the training even more, but to make you aware from the start that it will be hard and it will require lots of hours of physical and mental work.
Let me ask you this: “Do YOU want to be taught by a teacher who went through a quick, superficial training or an in-depth, thorough training program?


It’s Expensive

Quality TT programs that offer lots of support don’t come cheap. For many, the high cost is a huge barrier.
If you’re someone who’s more interested in deepening your own practice rather than teaching, spending all that money might not make sense. In fact, we would steer you away from TT altogether.
So, what’s a prospective Pilates teacher trainee to do?


Tips On Choosing a Pilates Teacher Training Program

Here are some things you should consider when thinking of becoming a Pilates pro.

Know Your Goals: If teaching isn’t your endgame, skip the full-blown TT. Find a great teacher instead who can help you take your personal practice to the next level. Ideally, find an in-person mentor but many great teachers teach via Zoom now. Invest the money you would have spent for TT in private lessons and save yourself the stress! In addition, sign up for our comprehensive membership which will help you go deeper in your self-practice by providing endless inspiration and education.
If your goal is to turn your Pilates passion into a (part-time or full-time) career, then investing in a great education will save you much headache in the long run. Often higher training cost means better quality training. Or as the saying goes: You get what you pay for.

Compare Programs: Looking at marketing materials of programs can give you a first impression but you’ll really only find out the truth about programs when talking to trainees or alumni. In our Pilates Teaching Tips Facebook Group are currently 11,000 members from different schools and backgrounds. This is a great place to ask about their first-hand experiences.

Go In With Eyes Wide Open: How serious are you about becoming a Pilates professional? To be honest, I’m getting extremely frustrated with the overly cheerful messaging that “Pilates TT is going to be so much fun. You can do it!” It just sets the wrong expectations. Pilates TT will be work. But it will be worth it in the end, as it will open up a long and rewarding career of changing people’s lives. That’s going to be the fun part. But the road to get there is going to be challenging.

Find a Mentor: Having a mentor can make a world of difference. They can guide you, offer advice, and support you through your training and early teaching days.

Check Out Our Pilates Teacher Training

Taking all of the above into consideration, we've created a Pilates Teacher Training program that is thorough, offers tons of individualized support, and is priced reasonably and fairly.
If you're looking to teach Pilates part-time or full-time our program is designed with you in mind. Our program is designed to make sure you’re fully prepared to live out your Pilates dreams with confidence, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

We offer:

Unique Curriculum: We cover everything you need to know, without the rush. You’ll learn exercises on all apparatus, for all levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced). Our curriculum is very different from any other Pilates TT we know. Instead of memorizing a ton of exercises first and then trying to understand and analyze the movement afterward (or never), we begin with teaching you movement skills and then explore the exercises that work on those specific movement skills. When it comes to programming, you’ll immediately know why and for whom you would choose the exercises. Our Movement Skill curriculum will create clarity from day one.

Flexibility: We offer a schedule and pace that match your availability and learning style.

Support: You’ll have access to your own local mentor, a virtual mentor, and a supportive community to guide you.

Fair Pricing: Our agenda - in fact, our mission - is to create extremely well-trained Pilates teachers who are ready to work with anyone and everyone. Because this means more people will benefit from the healing power of the Pilates method. And we get all fired up about that! 🔥Quality education does cost money, but we’re not doing this JUST to make money.
So, there you have it—a little insight into the wild world of Pilates teacher training. It’s not all smooth sailing, but with the right approach and resources, you can navigate it successfully.
We’re past the phase where Pilates was just a fitness trend; it’s a rewarding career path that deserves the time and investment to do it right.

Ready to take the plunge?

Check out our Pilates Teacher Training program and join a community that’s here to support you every step of the way.

Got more questions or need some advice? Drop a comment or email me at [email protected].

Let’s keep this conversation going and make sure you’re ready to rock your Pilates journey with confidence and joy.

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