If you don’t know where you are going, how will you get there? Programming for small group training effectively requires planning not only for the teacher and the studio but also requires educating the students. How do students know what class is right for them? What is the expectation for them to progress to the next level and feel successful yet challenged in a group class? By informing students as to what it means to move to the next level, you empower them to take a more active role in their process and to own the work more. You also set the stage for successful teaching since class levels define what the content and objectives are. It is motivating to have clear goals and with spring in the air and summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to maximize your group offerings and motivate students to re-commit to their practice. Below are definitions of each skill level to help students select the class level that best suits them. Try posting this on your bulletin board or including in a newsletter to get students excited about learning more about their Pilates practice. Offer them a challenge and encourage them create new goals. Involve them in the process and watch them grow in their practice.
Novice — No prior Pilates experience and no injuries. The main goal at this level is to learn introductory mat & reformer exercises and understand how to initiate and stabilize from the Powerhouse.
Beginner — Knows the order of introductory mat and reformer, and has taken a minimum of ten classes at the beginner level.
Advanced Beginner — Proficient at basic mat and reformer exercises, knows the order, transitions, and equipment set -ups (including changing springs, foot bar, & head rest)
Intermediate — Able to do Teaser I (mat) and Short Spine Massage (reformer). Learning the intermediate (PPS-II) order and knows all basic (PPS-I) transitions and equipment set ups.
Advanced Intermediate — Proficient at Swan Dive (mat), full Tree, and Long Spine Massage (reformer). Learning the advanced (PPS-III) order and knows all PPS-II transitions and equipment set ups.
Advanced — Knows the entire advanced (PPS-III) system, all transitions and equipment set-ups and is preparing for the super advanced work.
developing both their mind & body so they can engage themselves in activities with greater vigor
Part of developing the mind is for them to learn the work; I mean teaching students to really own it. In Joseph Pilates’ studio, he required his students to learn the exercise names, springs, orders along with precise execution including rhythm, transitions and their own particular modifications. He encouraged — no, he demanded — that they learn the work. It was all part of the discipline of learning Contrology. The studio was a place students came to learn Contrology, plain and simple. And they saw tremendous results!
Students of Mr. Pilates were taught to be self-reliant, take responsibility for what they were learning and not depend on him to provide repeated reminders. Mr. Pilates understood discipline was a two- way commitment and his high expectations elevated students to realize higher levels of their potential.
Mr. Pilates was ahead of his time in many ways and his message of self-responsibility is as timely today as it was more than 60 years ago.