Profitable Pilates:

Everything But the Exercises


by Lesley Logan

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About the book

Are you interested in becoming a Pilates Instructor? Then I literally wrote this book for you! When I was a studio manager I had to turn a bunch of potential teachers away because they didn’t have the qualifications we needed, and that broke my heart… so I wrote this book to help those who are looking to become a Pilates teacher. It’s a bit of history, an explanation of how to compare teacher training programs, and the foundation of business tips that you’ll need to get started after your done your certification. Enjoy!


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Chapter 1

So you want to be a Pilates Instructor?

“Contrology {Pilates} is complete coordination of mind, body, and spirit. Through Contrology, you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body, and then through proper repetition of its exercises, you gradually and progressively acquire the natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.”

~Joseph Pilates

When deciding if you want to become a Pilates Instructor it is important to understand what Pilates is, and where it came from. Having an understanding of its history may not help you decide if you want to be a Pilates instructor, but it will most certainly inspire you to be the best instructor possible.

Pilates, first introduced to the public in 1925, is a system of physical exercises, created by Joseph Pilates. Pilates emphasizes mental and spiritual conditioning to assist in strengthening the body.  Joseph Pilates believed in focus, breath, creating movement that required thought and control, assisting in the movement of oxygen throughout the body, bringing flexibility and alignment to the spine, and improving coordination and balance. Movements that are not always big, but should be precise and intentional.

One of the unique qualities of Pilates is that it can be practiced on many different pieces of equipment, in different environments, with varied styles of teaching. It was originally experienced on a mat, but developed into a system taught on machines with straps, handles, and springs used for resistance training (or assistance) depending on the clients’ needs.

So who can do Pilates? EVERYBODY! Joseph Pilates believed everyone should be doing his work. It’s not just for dancers or those needing to work on flexibility. Whether you are young, old, fit, weak, tight, strong, it doesn’t matter. The beauty of his work is its adaptability to each client’s needs and goals. Pilates is not a one-size-fits-all workout. You, as the instructor, tailor the method to the client in front of you. With very few limits on who Pilates is good for it leaves a large market for you as a future teacher to take part in. There are lots of people out there who need Pilates in their bodies and you can be the one to introduce it to them!

Choosing the right teacher training program will be one of the most important decisions in your Pilates career.  There are countless programs offered around the world and so many questions to ask. Here are some considerations when you are researching and questions you should ask potential programs:

  • Is the program you are looking at based on the teachings of Joseph Pilates?  If you can trace the lineage of your teacher trainer back to Joseph Pilates, you are probably in the right hands.
  • What is included in the training program? A basic mat certification is necessary for any level of Pilates teaching, but if you want to be more than a mat Pilates instructor you will want to be trained to teach on basic apparatus such as the Reformer, Cadillac, and Wunda Chair.
  • Do you need to have taken a certain amount of Pilates sessions to enroll?
  • How long will it take to complete the program?
  • How busy is the training studio where you will be doing your apprenticeship hours?
  • Does the teacher training program fit the style you’ve experienced? If you’ve been taking classical pilates, a contemporary program might not be the best fit for you and vice versa. You’re more likely to enjoy learning the type of Pilates you are currently taking.
  • What teaching opportunities do graduates from the program have? Some programs allow graduates to teach at the location, others might not have the space to hire every graduate. Some programs don’t translate to other studios and other equipment. Make sure you know your options before you buy.
  • Keep costs and expenses in mind. Program costs can vary. And you can’t really compare any program based on price. But, make sure you know what additional expenses you may have that are not included in the registration fee, such as travel.

All of these concerns and so much more will be discussed in the first chapters of this guide.

Is teaching Pilates lucrative?  Before you begin a new business or career, it’s a good idea to find out if it will enable you to make a living! The answer to this question is completely up to you. For me, and the hundreds of teachers I coach, it is absolutely profitable. But, like any business, there are factors that depend on your ability to make money.  Your effectiveness as a teacher combined with your ability to “sell” Pilates to your potential clients will be the recipe for what you consider success. Where and who you teach are also factors in this equation, as well as your ambition and investment in your career.

Some questions to ask yourself or research could be:

  • Where can you teach?
  • Do you want to teach at your own studio or in someone else’s? Will you pay them a rental fee or will they pay you an hourly rate?
  • What is your own financial bottom line? How much do you need to make and how much are you willing to teach?

Pilates teachers can make anywhere from $17.50 an hour to $200+ an hour, depending on the type of session, environment, and client. It is a huge salary range. Part of the goal of this book is to help you as a prospective teacher discover where you might best feel at home, not only as a teacher of Pilates but also as a business person, comfortable with the financial aspects and personal requirements of devoting oneself to this profession.

At the beginning of this career, it might feel like there will be a lot of money going out before any money comes in. Don’t let that stop you! You will be learning an amazingly vast method that transforms the lives of people and will most likely transform your own life too. And, like any business, there are expenses to get started. 

If you can approach Pilates as a business and have awareness of your own monetary needs, there is no reason why you can’t make money. Whether you want enough money to just break even or want to be rolling in the dough is up to you!

As Pilates becomes increasingly popular, and more people are made aware of its benefits, the opportunities for Pilates teaching careers are expanding. Up until the last few years, one could only experience Pilates at private Pilates studios that were few and far between, and mostly in metropolitan cities. Now, you can find Pilates almost everywhere. Fitness facilities have added Pilates to their group fitness schedules. Some high-end gyms have even built full Pilates studios within their properties. Many dance and yoga studios also offer Pilates mat classes. Cruise ships have added Pilates equipment to their list of on-deck activities! Many teachers have built home studios or virtual studios.

If you are someone who is trained in Pilates and is comfortable in an office setting, the doors to a medical office or physical therapy center could be open to you. Pilates is being actively used in hospitals, physical therapy practices, chiropractic clinics, sports injury rehabilitation centers, and athletic training facilities. The benefits are that you, the instructor, have a relatively set schedule, and the office books the sessions for you. If you like the security and schedule of the 9 to 5 life, that’s still available!

Over the last century, Pilates has come a long way from Joseph’s studio on 8th Avenue in New York City. Joseph Pilates hoped for his work to be experienced and practiced by everybody, everywhere. With the help of devoted teachers, and the popularity of celebrities and top athletes crediting their performance to Pilates, his work is more popular than ever.

Your Pilates career is waiting for you.

“Have a personal Mission of exactly what it is that you want to accomplish as a Pilates instructor and always be on your own path to healing yourself through Pilates.”

-Amy Taylor Alpers, a teacher of 23 years.

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through chapter 1.

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Why I Wrote This Book

You are amazing!
Success starts here!
Raise your rates!
Create your dream schedule!

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