- Why has Pilates become so popular in recent years?
Over the years as the fitness industry has grown
and diversified the need for an exercise system that addresses the individual's
needs has surfaced. Unlike mindless repetitive exercise programs, the Pilates
method focuses on the inherent weakness existing in every person. By stressing
core strength and flexibility, and posture, clients see continuing results;
they look better, feel better and are challenged on multiple levels.
- What should I look for in a Pilates Instructor?
The quality and duration of training are the
most important factors to consider when selecting an instructor
or studio for Pilates training. The fact that an instructor is
certified doesn't mean that they have received much in the way
of training. Certifications have been available for years with
as little as a single weekend's training, and some of Joseph Pilates'
original protégé's sometimes certified instructors
with as little as a week of supervised training. The key questions are "how
many hours of training did you receive?", and "who gave
you most of your training?"
Bryan Peters received approximately 500
hours of training, principally from Michael King, the founder of
the Pilates Institute of London. Bryan received additional training
from Alan Herdman, who introduced Pilates to England and established
the first Pilates studio in Houston. In addition, Bryan is certified
by Physical Mind Institute, one of the first national organizations
to certify instructors. Sarah Marquez received approximately 480
hours of training, principally from Bryan Peters. She also has a
Mat work certification from the Physical Mind Institute. All instructors
have had numerous hours of continuing education for local and national
Pilates and fitness experts.
Another key factor to consider is the
instructor's ability to tailor the Pilates Method to the individual
needs of the client. Whether one is seeking general fitness, improvement
of a golf game, or remedial rehabilitation, a good Pilates instructor
should be able to combine knowledge of anatomy and physiology with
the Pilates Method to develop a tailored program that is right
for each individual client. Many certified Pilates instructors
may be able to show their clients how to perform Pilates exercises,
but may lack sufficient training and experience to know how to
modify the exercises so that the client receives the most benefit.
- Can Pilates help my aching back?
If you have
the type of back ache common to people in their forties or fifties,
Pilates exercises and core training are usually quite effective
in reducing pain levels. Many of our clients report that their
back pain diminishes after just five or six sessions
in the Pilates Studio. Without appropriate exercise, as
the body ages, muscles begin to weaken. Other muscles may
actually get stronger to help take up the slack. By
creating a balance in the musculature of the spine and pelvis
stretching and strengthening, back pain caused by poor body alignment
and mechanics is greatly reduced.
- Should I do mat classes, or studio work with equipment?
The primary goals of the Pilates Method
are the development of better posture, increased flexibility, greater
physical strength (especially in the core muscle group), and sculpting
and defining of the body. Studio sessions emphasize work on equipment
with personalized instruction. This provides the most intensive and
individualized study of Pilates. It is important to be aware, that
like instructors, there are various grades of equipment. The reformer
and Cadillac intended for professional studio use are far superior
to those marketed to the private sector. Mat classes are based on
the original exercises developed by Joseph Pilates (the equipment
came later). The format of a mat class, with one instructor and up
to 15 clients, does not allow much individual attention.
While a mat class is an excellent forum
for performing classic Pilates exercises, many clients will progress
faster by being introduced to the Pilates Method through studio sessions.
Depending on their overall fitness level, most clients can benefit
from mat classes after 5 to 10 sessions in the studio.
- Why do I need an initial consultation, and what
can I expect from it?
At Bryan J. Peters & Associates, the
initial consultation is the client's introduction to the Pilates Method,
during which one of our instructors ascertains the client's fitness
level and performs a posture evaluation, allowing us to begin to develop
a personalized exercise program. The posture evaluation serves as the
guideline for each individual's workout; we are one of the few studios
that use posture as the basic reference point for applying the Pilates
- How do I know if I am a good candidate for
this type of exercise?
A qualified Pilates instructor is able
to tailor the Pilates Method to a client of any age or fitness level.
We have trained clients as young as 9 years old, and our oldest
client is 96. Philosophically, the Pilates Method is not about extroverted
energy, nor is it like an aerobics or spinning class. We train our
clients from the core outward, a process that requires focus, patience
We believe that the Pilates Method is
most effective for those who realize that changing the physical self
requires commitment, as well as a willingness to learn a new way of
thinking about fitness and how it relates to everyday life. While
you will see results in the short term, you reap the most benefit
from Pilates by learning to engage the mind as well as the body. A
purely physical outlook towards exercise may not allow the benefits
that come from connecting the mind and spirit to the body.
- Are your studio sessions private lessons?
Only the initial consultation is
a one-on-one session. After the first session, the instructor
(or instructors) will be supervising your workout as well as other
individual's workouts. The ratio of clients to instructors will
vary some depending on the time of day, but in a typical week,
we average about 2.2 clients per instructor. While an instructor
may not be standing at your side for the entire hour, you will
receive full supervision throughout your entire workout. We control
the number of clients by requiring appointments for studio sessions.
You may work with more than one instructor during your workout.
Our goal at Bryan J. Peters and Associates is to teach the
Pilates method in a way that allows clients to use what they learn
in the studio throughout their daily lives. One on one training,
besides being much more expensive, can often foster a client's
dependency on the instructor to supply the basic knowledge of
the Pilates Method, even after months or years.
- How often should I do Pilates for maximum benefit?
Beginners should strive to do a minimum
of two studio sessions a week for at least the first month. This allows
the novice to better retain what is taught. We offer mat classes in
addition to studio sessions to enable clients to study Pilates more
than once or twice a week once they have gained some basic knowledge.
- I have injuries or special needs- can Bryan
J. Peters & Associates help me?
We are very experienced with the post-rehabilitation
phase of physical fitness. We have the experience, knowledge, and
comfort-level to work with your physician, chiropractor, or physical
therapist concerning your fitness and rehabilitation needs. Bryan
Peters managed the Houston Ballet Academy's Pilates studio from
1984 to 1987; that studio's primary focus was helping injured dancers
maintain their fitness levels.
- I have more questions to ask? How do I reach
Please call us at 713-621-2360, extension
205. If no one is available to take your call, leave
your name, number, and best time to reach you, and we will
gladly contact you as soon as possible.