Pilates Teacher Training
Thinking about becoming a Pilates Instructor? I often get asked where is the best place to go for Pilates teacher training and what the differences are between Pilates teacher training programs. So this blog will outline the choices I usually recommend when asked!
What are the different Pilates teach training certifications?
Most Pilates teaching programs will have 3 choices: matwork, reformer, or comprehensive/studio (which may also be a diploma) - what's the difference?
A matwork qualification will allow you teach Pilates mat classes.
We know that lots of people just want to teach reformer, but if you ask our teachers who've done mat and reformer training - they'll probably all recommend you do a mat course before your reformer course. Why? Pilates mat is the foundation of Pilates and all the apparatus exercises are essentially a variation of the matwork. It gives you an excellent grounding in Pilates and is incredibly useful any time you need to make modifications on the apparatus if clients have injuries or issues.
Pilates mat can of course be done anywhere - so it gives you the option of running your own classes and teaching online.
A reformer qualification will allow you to teach Pilates reformer classes. Reformer classes are hands down the most popular way for most people to do Pilates and this is probably where most of the teaching opportunities are.
A comprehensive/studio qualification will allow you teach the full Pilates repetoire on all apparatus - matwork, reformer, cadillac/trapeze (our towers are a half version of the cadillac/trapeze), chair and barrels. It will allow you to teach group classes as well as privates/semi-privates using all the apparatus. Comprehensive training dives in to much greater detail on everything and will include working with injuries and special populations. Completing a comprehensive training
How do I pick a course?
The first thing to decide is what you want to teach - whether it's mat, reformer or studio.
The second consideration is around your available time and the learning system that works best for you. All courses will have a different delivery style and face to face hours commitment - so it needs to fit your learning style and your other life commitments.
Some courses such as Polestar course will be primarily face to face hours whereas other courses such as PITC courses have a blended delivery style - combining face to face classes and online learning. Some comprehensive/studio courses allow you to do blocks individually (The Pilates Workshop) and others commit to the entire comprehensive/studio course (Polestar).
Some Pilates schools are global like Polestar and Stott and others such as PITC are Australian (PITC is based in Perth but run courses all over Australia). If you plan on teaching overseas it's worth double checking that the qualification you pick is recognised overseas.
If you have a look at job ads for Pilates teachers you'll start to notice that the job ads often mention particular courses and qualifications - which may also help you decide the best option for you.
Why do I have to do so many hours?
In my opinion, the best courses are the ones with lots of hours on self mastery, observation and apprentice teaching. The only way to learn to teach is to actually teach and by doing apprentice teaching (and observation hours) you can do so under the guidance of another teacher, who can give you feedback - other ways to cue or correct, alternatives and modifications you can give, other ways to plan and flow a class. Teaching clients/friends and not just other student teachers is also essential in my opinion. It's a very different experience teaching a real beginner versus another teacher training student who knows the exercise.
The courses that do this teach their graduates how to teach not just the exercises.
Choosing a course is one of the most important decisions you'll make as a teacher as aside from learning, it will be the start of your Pilates community and many of the teachers you train with will become part of your Pilates network.
Where can I go for Pilates teacher training?
There are plenty of options out there and I don't know all of them. If you've got a teacher you love - ask them where they trained. Our teachers have done their training with Polestar, Stott and PITC. These are all courses we would recommend as we're quite familiar with them! We've had quite a few student teachers from Polestar and PITC as that is where the majority of our teachers have done their training - many who've ended up teaching at the studio!
The other options we recommend looking at are Body Organics Education run by Carla Mullins and the The Pilates Workshop in Wollongong with Tamara O'Reilly which runs Balanced Body training, who are both phenomenal teacher and trainers.