How to Choose Your Pilates Personal Trainer


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 classes out there, and with more 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 do your research on what you’re buying. Quality of instruction needs to be a priority as well as clicking with the instructor at a personal level.
In order to understand how to chose what you[re buying you need to know what Pilates is really all about.

Pilates Styles. Classical, Dynamic & Contemporary

Thirty 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,  comprehensive and follows a methodology with sets of exercises. The original method”refers to the original exercises and principals set out by the late Joseph Pilates and utilises a variety of pieces of equipment. The floor, reformer, chair, Cadillac, barrels.

Classical Pilates

Joseph Pilates created his method to train for dancers, professional athletes and gymnasts. The advanced repertoire is quite extreme and demanding. Therefore, it requires extreme flexibility, strength and control, and when you see it, you can see why almost only dancers and gymnasts can achieve it. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted.

Contemporary Pilates

In 1988  revolutionised the Pilates world and updated the original method by incorporating modern principles of sports science and new knowledge in biomechanics. While preserving the original exercises STOTT PILATES® added evidence-based concepts to the method. Therefore, this method is better described as Contemporary Pilates. This contemporary method added more modifications to the original work in order to suit people of all levels and abilities.

traditional pilates

Dynamic Reformer

The “Dynamic Age” of Pilates began about 10 years ago. The strength & fitness world discovered that the Pilates reformer was a valuable piece of equipment that could be used with a fitness focus. The reformer provided a new way of working out intensely without adding muscle bulk. Studios in the USA and Australia started to emerge giving birth to “Dynamic” reformer classes and bringing the Pilates reformer to the mainstream fitness world.

Dynamic Pilates studios recruited gym trainers, taught them a few moves on the reformer inspired partly on the classical repertoire and integrating strength training elements. The new elements were fitness style exercises and timing for increased intensity. The timing increases repetitions, taking you to muscle overload, making you feel the burn, sweat, strengthen and lose weight.

dynamic reformer classes

Dynamic reformer takes inspiration from the classical Pilates, but does not follow the original order of classical exercises nor teach its methodology. Dynamic classes only use the reformer and not the full Pilates equipment. Nevertheless, the workout is challenging and very popular among newcomers to Pilates and fitness enthusiasts.

The different styles of Pilates add variety and benefit different people, similarly as do the various styles of yoga and dance.

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 instructors to learn the vast Pilates repertoire in all pieces of equipment and levels. To become an instructor the aspirant must complete hours and hours of self-practising, teaching others, observation and both a practical and theory examinations. After completion the instructor gains the Full certification diploma.

In contrast, dynamic Pilates courses are  usually in house reformer-only courses. Training to become an instructor for dynamic reformer is often completed in a weekend or two. Courses taught by a studio in-house do not teach the classical Pilates repertoire.

In addition, these stand-alone courses are usually recognised as level 3 by an accreditation body such as REPS in the UK and provide students with an accreditation of “Dynamic Reformer Instructor”.

Choose the right Pilates style 

Do you like to sweat, feel the burn right away, losing weight and getting toned quickly? Dynamic Pilates will be right for you. You won’t need to focus so much on choreography but will get an intense workout.

Looking to increase your mobility and strength working in multi planes? Contemporary Pilates will certainly be your suit. 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 dance.

Choose fully certified Pilates instructors

We recommend that you look for someone that is fully certified when choosing a Pilates personal trainer. Its important that your instructor possesses a certification by an accredited body. 
For example, in the UK, REPs provides regulation for fitness professionals and ensures that they meet the industry’s National Occupational Standards. Equally, the STOTT PILATES® certification is recognised in the UK. Furthermore, the Register provides STOTT PILATES® instructors the accreditation of “Pilates Full Certification”.

Most Pilates instructors in the UK are REPS certified. But not for their Pilates education, but because they were gym instructors first.

full certification

Ask your prospect instructor about their level of certification and where they did their training with before you hire them.

d instructors

Experience in teaching goes a long way in any discipline. If your instructor has recently qualified, they may need some time to season. However, if he/she holds a full certification, you will likely be in great hands.

Charisma and personality

This is probably the easiest quality to find in an instructor, and you are probably the best judge of character. Lastly, make sure that you gel well with your instructor.

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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