How to Choose the Right Pilates Instructor Certification in Denver, Colorado
“A certified Pilates teacher creates and implements safe and effective individualized programs for apparently healthy clients to improve health and fitness through exercise and physical activity. The goal of a Certified Pilates Teacher is to impart the knowledge skill and confidence for clients to exercise for a lifetime.” - The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA®)
Many companies offer Pilates instructor certification programs around the world. Some programs, like Polestar Pilates®, focus on rehabilitative Pilates, while others are strictly geared towards dance or general fitness. These training programs range from one weekend to over a year. So how do you know what program is right for you?
- What are the industry standards?
Much of the industry is regulated by the Pilates Method Alliance or PMA®, a professional association and certifying agency for Pilates instructors. For the past decade, fitness instructors from around the world have worked together to create a unified community, to share knowledge and information, and most importantly, to establish the practice of teaching Pilates as a profession. The Certified Pilates Teacher (CPT) examination through the PMA has been designed to measure skill and knowledge level based on 450 hours or more of lecture self-study, and assisted teaching hours on all apparatus and all levels of mat.
- Where are the comprehensive training courses located?
At Firehaus Pilates in Denver, Colorado, we stand with the Pilates Method Alliance and believe a well-rounded comprehensive program should consist of approximately 450 hours of training. A program of this level will often take close to a year to complete. The PMA® has a list of schools who have programs that meet these requirements, but we encourage those looking at obtaining their Pilates instructor certification to do their research and decide what program will best fit their needs. It’s also good to look at the locations of each school as the added travel costs can be an unexpected financial burden.
- What program best fits your needs?
Not only are comprehensive Pilates certification programs a huge time commitment, but they are a financial investment. Finding the right program to fit your needs is extremely important. What type of facility are you looking to work in long term? There are a lot of instructors that work in a strictly fitness environment like a health club or gym, while a lot of smaller Pilates studios work with clients ranging from general fitness and weight loss to high level fitness and professional athletics. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who work in a rehabilitative environment like a physical therapy clinic or similar. Though all qualifying programs have the same basic standards of education, each program has its niche in the industry.
The Pilates Instructor Certification Training Process:
While Pilates certification programs vary to a certain degree, they all tend to contain the following:
Lecture – The lecture portion of the training is typically in a large group setting, 1 weekend a month or on a routine schedule set up by the programs educator. This time is to learn all the basics of Pilates exercises, the movements of the body and how to look for movement faults, so you can better assist clients towards their goal of whole body wellness.
Practical – Learning and practicing exercises and proper equipment use is the most important part of your training. Being able to safely and effectively execute an exercise and guide another person through an exercise is what this job is all about. Most programs hold practical study sessions after the lecture portion of the training. This is often done in a large group setting where you can practice on other students prior to teaching an actual client.
Self-Mastery – Being able to demonstrate an exercise is often a huge part of your client’s ability to learn and master an exercise themselves. To experience the movement in your own body first is important when you’re trying to connect with a client later. Each training/certification program has a requirement for self-mastery of all the exercises in the repertoire.
Student Teaching – Finding friends and family to practice your new skills on will only help in your growth as a Pilates instructor. We recommend practicing on those that have minimal health/body issues as your knowledge is brand new and skills are at a beginner level. Most training courses require a specific number of student teaching hours.
Final Exam – A final exam is required as it is incredibly important for a highly skilled practitioner to observe your skills and test your knowledge to ensure you are ready to start safely practicing and building your Pilates career!