To be certified in Pilates training, you will be required to pass a written test on basic Pilates knowledge and a practical exam on technique. The Pilates mat certification can be completed with just a little homework prior to attending a weekend intensive for just a few hundred dollars, while the Pilates equipment certification can cost thousands of dollars and involve hundreds of hours of apprenticeship. The mat certification is considered an introduction to Pilates, while becoming equipment certified is considered advanced and specialized. There are very few standardizations in the certification programs, and you usually get what you pay for.
Step 1: Determine Your Audience and Ensure You Have the Skills
Check out the Pilates classes currently being offered in your area at your local gyms, churches, and schools. Make sure that there is a demand for your area of interest. Know your audience. Planning classes for seniors will be very different from offering classes to the general public. You will be most effective working with a group you identify with most. Additionally, know what it takes to motivate people. People require a great deal of inspiration to continue in a workout program. Ask a local Pilates instructor to allow you to apprentice with her for a few classes to make sure you have what it takes to help your clients before you invest in the certification.
Step 2: Decide on Certification
Decide whether you want to be certified on the mat or equipment. If you are already a fitness instructor, mat Pilates can often be combined with the exercise ball and bands or with other classes such as yoga. The mat certification is easily adapted to all ages and fitness levels. Becoming certified on Pilates equipment is more specialized and usually requires attending schools that are often only available in large cities. They require a year of apprenticeship and a cost of around $3,000.
Step 3: Prepare for Written Test
Prepare for the written portion of the test by learning about the history of pilates and basic fitness knowledge. A group exercise or personal trainer manual are excellent resources to make sure you are adequately qualified to administer fitness training. While this is probably a lot more information that you will be required to know for the Pilates written test, it is good for you to know before training others. This knowledge will increase your credibility and give you fitness tips to share with your students during your classes.
Look for schools in your city, or close to your area, to lower your initial certifications costs. You will need these same resources for the Pilates continuing education courses that will be required to maintain the certification. Ask your local gyms what certifications they honor, and make sure the school you select qualifies.
Step 4: Attend a Program
For the Pilates mat certification, attend a weekend intensive certification program. Be prepared to demonstrate your technique. For the equipment certification, contact your local school to find out what their requirements are and what the total cost will be. Since there are very few standards in Pilates certification, your training will be associated with the school you attend so make sure it is credible.
Once certified, you will need to promote your classes. Create a fitness network via many of the online resources, and keep in contact with your students via emails and newsletters. Finally, enjoy your classes and your new fitness friends. Seeing others grow by gaining confidence and self-esteem can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your new endeavor.