What you should know before choosing a Pilates studio

You’ve heard about Pilates, and you are ready to give it a try.  The next step is an important one.  Choosing the right Pilates studio can make or break your experience.

When entering into any exercise program, the experience and quality of the training is of the utmost importance.  Because of the unique nature of Pilates, and the lack of oversight in the industry, it is extremely important that new students research potential studios before making a decision on the perfect fit for their individual needs.

The following tips for choosing a studio should help you get started on the right path:

How long has the studio been in business?  Experience matters.  A well-established studio means repeat clientele and a solid reputation.  Before paying for services, review the business’s history and read testimonials.

Is the studio equipped with all of the equipment necessary for the complete Pilates experience?  Pilates is a very complex form of exercise that requires specialized equipment.  Beware of studios that cut corners by offering limited services.

Is the studio sanitary? Tour the studio before committing.  The environment should be clean and well maintained.  Pilates is usually done barefoot and equipment is shared throughout the day.  Make sure the studio has a strong focus on cleanliness.

How comprehensive is the instructor training?  Be sure to ask if the instructors are certified on all of the equipment. Each piece of equipment offers unique exercises that are chosen for the individual client’s needs. Instructors should be proficient in the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels.  A respectable studio will be willing to give the name of the program that each instructor has attended.  There are many certifications out there, but few are considered reputable within the industry.

What are the studio’s requirements for joining a group setting?  If the studio is looking out for your benefit, and not a quick sale, they should require at least one introductory session before allowing students to join a group setting.  Making sure students are adequately prepared for a group shows responsible instruction and professional integrity.

Is the consent form and questionnaire in depth enough to highlight a client’s potential needs?  It is essential that the instructor is aware of any conditions or injuries a student may have.  Improper programming can lead to injury.

Does the studio’s schedule work with your schedule?  If making appointments or scheduling classes becomes difficult, chances are you will not be consistent.  Make sure to choose a studio that fits your scheduling needs.

Finally, trust your instincts.  After visiting a studio and talking with instructors, you should feel at ease and excited about getting on your way to wellness!