How can I choose the best Pilates Personal Trainer?
If you are looking for the best Pilates personal training experience here are a few tips that you need to know
There are a number of styles of Pilates out there, and with more Pilates studios popping up ubiquitously, it is increasingly difficult to choose who to train with.
Although Pilates personal training is a very personal choice, you need to be informed on what you’re buying. Sure, one needs to click with the instructor at a personal level but at the same time quality of instruction needs to be a priority.
In order to understand how to chose, you need to know what Pilates is really all about!
Classical, Dynamic, Contemporary…What is the difference?
30 years ago there was just one style of Pilates and that was the Pilates classical repertoire. The classical Pilates repertoire was and still is, complex, choreographed, comprehensive; uses a variety of pieces of equipment (Mat, reformer, chair, Cadillac, barrels), and is based in a methodology set out by the late Joseph Pilates.
The advanced work was created for dancers, professional athletes, gymnasts, and requires extreme flexibility and strength and control, and when you see it, you can see why almost only dancers and gymnasts can achieve it. It’s not for the faint hearted.
Then came STOTT PILATES in 1988 and revolutionised the Pilates world updating the original method by incorporating modern principles of sports science and new knowledge of body biomechanics. STOTT PILATES, anatomically based method, preserved the original Pilates exercises plus adding more levels for different abilities. Although still being classical Pilates, the method is better described as “Contemporary Pilates”.
The “Dynamic Age” of Pilates started about 10 years ago. Only a decade ago the strength and fitness world discovered that the Pilates reformer is a piece of equipment that provides a unique way of working out without adding muscle bulk. Studios in the USA and Australia started to emerge giving birth to the “Dynamic” reformer classes.
Generally, dynamic Pilates studios recruit gym trainers and teach them a few moves on the reformer and teach classes inspired on the classical repertoire and on strength training. The repetition takes you to muscle overload, makes you feel the burn, sweat and strengthen. Once again, these exercises are inspired in the classical repertoire, but do not follow the order of the original Pilates repertoire nor teach the classical methodology or principles. These classes only use the reformer, not the full Pilates equipment, nevertheless, the workout is challenging and thus very popular among newcomers to Pilates.
So nowadays there are various styles of Pilates, just as they are various styles of yoga, or dance.
What is the difference between choosing a personal trainer based on Pilates style?
Classical Pilates courses (Classical and contemporary) are usually rigorous courses that can take years to complete. These courses require learning the vast repertoire in all pieces of equipment and levels, hours and hours of self-practising, teaching others, observation and both a practical and theory examinations.
In contrast, dynamic Pilates courses are usually in house reformer-only courses (taught by a studio in house), can be completed in a weekend or two. These trainings are usually provided by dynamic reformer studios. The original Pilates repertoire is not taught, nor any of the above requirements need to be met. Although these stand-alone courses are not usually recognised as level 3 by a body or accreditation, such as REPS in the UK, they provide the students with an accreditation of “Dynamic Reformer Instructor”
- Choose the right Pilates Style for you
Do you like to feel the burn right away, get toned quickly, but perhaps not need to focus so much on principles, methodology or precise technique, but still get an intense workout? Then Dynamic Pilates might be right for you. The movements are challenging, but not aimedAre you the type of person that likes a journey? The classical repertoire you focus on what you are doing. You will learn a method, technique, philosophy and repertoire that will progress you to achieving total control of your body. Focus on breath, concentration, control, precision, fluidity. The movement aims to increase your spinal mobility with the aim to move like a dancer.
If you like all of the above, then the classical method might be your thing.
- Always Choose Certified Pilates Instructors
When choosing a Pilates personal trainer, you must look for someone that is fully certified. Having a certification by an accredited Pilates brand or a body recognises the qualifications and expertise of Pilates instructors in the UK is important. For example, REPs provides a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed National Occupational Standards. STOTT PILATES certified instructors are recognised by REPS in the UK after they have completed their certification. Interestingly, many Pilates instructors nowadays are REPS certified, but not for their Pilates education, but because they were gym instructors first. They might have done a quickie certification in house with a studio, but nonetheless, their Pilates certification is not recognised by REPS. It’s worth to ask your prospect instructor about their level of certification and who they did their training with before you decide.
• Fully Certified Instructors For the icing on the cake, if your instructor has the full certification in all levels, meaning, training in all the pieces of equipment (Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, Essential, Intermediate, and Advanced), you will be instructed by someone who has undergone a complete education in Pilates. This person is likely to understand the broader scope of the method and progress you to the more complicated advanced exercises. Choose wisely.
• Experience Your instructor may have just qualified and may need some time to season. But don’t let this put you off. If he/she holds a full certification, you are in great hands. However, having experience teaching goes a long way in any discipline.
• Charisma and personality This is probably the easiest to find and you are probably the best judge of character.
Core Kensington hires only STOTT PILATES® certified instructors for group classes and fully certified instructors for personal training sessions. Our instructors are highly qualified and some hold advanced qualifications.
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