Teaching Pilates Too Much?
How much is Pilates teaching too much teaching? Can you really teach too much Pilates? Well, this week let’s talk about Pilates teaching and what it means. What really is happening in your Pilates teaching schedule?
I recently saw a post in a Pilates group on Facebook (forgive me I cannot find it now) and I couldn’t believe all the comments that it garnered. The question was very simple “Out of curiosity how many hours are you teaching a week?” The answers started flowing in and I am not sure what I was expecting. But what I saw surprised me. The majority of respondents were teaching 30-50 hours a week! Now, I have managed hundreds of Pilates instructors, coached many more and the majority that I have seen are dealing with teaching enough but with a schedule that isn’t ideal. One that has long days or multiple studios. Schedules that have holes in them and no time for the instructor to have a life. On one hand, I want to say “rock on” you have built a very busy business. But, as a recovering workaholic, I fear that these teachers are headed (if they aren’t already) towards a downhill spiral.
Pilates Teaching and What It Means
Teaching Pilates doesn’t just mean you only have to teach Pilates
There is a lot that goes into a Pilates business even if you do not own a studio. You have marketing, billing, programming, emailing, scheduling and follow-ups. And that just is the simplest list I could make. When you are creating your work schedule you need to block out time to stay on top and ahead of your business so that you not only attract clients but you can retain them. You need to be present when you are teaching but looking ahead when you are putting your business hat on. What holidays and vacations are coming up? Who is going to be away? How many sessions am I losing? If you are teaching 40 hours a week now you have 40 hours of client billing/scheduling and you still have all the other things.
Teaching Pilates doesn’t mean you don’t need to do Pilates
I know you know this to be true but it’s really easy (I hear it all the time) that many teachers skip their workouts because they are too busy. Or, they schedule their session after they have scheduled their client’s session. Even if you are doing a self-workout or one with PilatesAnytime.com you still need to put that in your schedule before you let your clients in. Also, while continuing education is absolutely necessary it doesn’t replace weekly sessions. Get your Pilates practice under the watchful eye and hands of a teacher near you that makes your Pilates soul feel fed so that you can feed the Pilates bodies in your schedule that week
Teaching Pilates doesn’t mean you are just leading Pilates
When you are teaching Pilates your brain is fully present on your client. You have to be seeing what they are doing, noticing where they could go further, and think about what they need to do later on in the session to get stronger and progress. We are Pilates instructors and not superheroes. None of us can just press “autopilot.” We need time for our bodies and minds to balance too. Before you let your schedule overflow make sure you have blocked in your “office” hours, creative hours, your pilates, and then your available teaching hours. So that when you are teaching you are fully teaching.
Teaching Pilates doesn’t mean you are a slave to the client’s schedule
You are the boss of your schedule. No one really knows what is in it but you. So, when scheduling a client instead of asking them when do they want to come in. Tell them when you are available. Practice saying “I have _____ or _____ available. Which one works for you.”
While I cannot say what the exact number of hours a week is good to teach, we are all different and have different needs. What I do recommend is that your schedule is your schedule. If you feel like you are working for your business and it is not working for you then let’s talk.
I cover taking charge of your schedule in my online course here. One of my past attendees of this workshop and previous guest blogger for Profitable Pilates, Andrea Maida shares how much it helped her to take charge of her schedule here.
I am presenting this course as a workshop on October 8th at Vitality Method Pilates in Atlanta, GA. As well as my Converting First Time Clients workshop. There are PMA CEC’s available on these. This workshop will cover: Creating your Ideal Schedule, Filling your Ideal Schedule, and tips to create client consistency. Imagine not knowing if it’s summer, winter, spring, or fall? What if every week you were teaching enough? What if you didn’t overwork some weeks and underwork others? It is possible! And my course covers it. For more information, click here.
Thank you Lesley! Always very insightful. XO
Thank you Noam for reading this week’s blog! Just trying to help teachers continue to love what they do. Xx
Thank you so much, Lesley! I’ve been a personal trainer for years, yet fell into the scheduling trap when I started teaching Pilates. I just wanted to take every gig I could even if the pay was lousy or it was inconveniently located. I’m glad you validated my feelings because I was headed toward burnout! I’m streamlining my schedule now and restoring my sanity! Love your YouTube channel–helped me get through my advanced test
Yay!! I’m so happy my post came your way and that it gave you validation to take back control of your schedule. That’s the best news!
And congrats on passing your exam so glad my YouTube channel helped!
Thank you for reading and sharing your story!
Thank you for this sound article. One sentence regarding the schedule caught my attention “No one really knows what is in it but you.” It sounds obvious, but you don’t need to justify yourself. You don’t need to tell people what is in your schedule.
Thank you again!
Exactly!! Keep in charge of your schedule! Thank you for reading and your comment. Xx~LL
I was part of that conversation on FB and I was astonished with the hours some instructors worked per week, thankfully I’m not one, I have always put the balance between work and rest at the top of my list. I found your article very interesting, thank you Julia
Thank you, Julia, for reading this blog and thank you for your comment. Balance is so important for anyone especially Pilates instructors!