I remember when I first fell in love with Pilates I immediately purchased the unlimited class membership. While it was more money than my gym membership I did the math. I could go to one class for $25 or I could go to as many classes as I wanted for $116. And, I managed to get to those classes 3-5x a week! I felt like I was winning on the deal end.
But, what I couldn’t swallow was the cost of a Private Pilates session. Back then they were $75-$90/session. Now, most fully certified Pilates privates are between $80-$175/session. And, I know for many that can sound expensive. However, let’s take a look at the “why behind this wait what? Pilates is how much?!”
While I was going to Pilates like a mad woman and feeling fabulous after several months I could tell that while I knew the exercises I wasn’t getting stronger at many of them. The ones my body cheated on I still cheated on. And, while I could hear the teachers ideas, cues and corrections he or she didn’t have the time or ability to help me when I was one of 15, 20 or even 30!
I moved to LA and classes and memberships were even more expensive! And, the teachers of the classes I could afford were not as experienced as what I was used to. This landed me in a private studio doing a duet with another college girl and learning how much I simply didn’t know and couldn’t know in a class.
Fast forward to me becoming a teacher. I quickly learned why Pilates from a fully trained instructor called for the prices being charged. And, why, it’s often a steal. Figuring out what to charge was not the easiest thing I had to do when becoming a teacher.
1) Becoming a Pilates instructor does not happen over a weekend! Pilates instructors who are fully trained have gone through at least 450 hours of training sometimes 950 hours just for the foundation. The programs cost as much as some college tuitions.
2) Continuing education is even more expensive! Many teachers finish their basic training and then to dive deeper they take workshops or special training to gain more knowledge in teaching special populations of people, correcting better, cueing better, exercises not covered in their foundational training etc.
3) They take sessions too! Your Pilates instructor is also taking from their mentor each week. Why? Because to teach you better they too have to learn and feel Pilates in their body. And, Pilates isn’t an overnight fix. It’s a lifetime fitness commitment that continues to gift you rewards even ten, fifteen, thirty years later!
4) Pilates Equipment is expensive. The basic equipment to start a studio can set a teacher or owner back at least $10k and that’s before they get the towels, yoga blocks and weights.
5) Location, Location, Location! If you live in a city the prices are likely to be higher due to the cost of running a business in a city vs a more suburban or rural area.
6) Your Pilates instructor is more than a Pilates instructor! They are your accountability partner, your movement advocate, they think about your body before, during and after your session. They spend time planning your workout, scheduling and rescheduling your sessions and even listening to all that your mind shares. While they are not your therapist, physical therapist, best friend or life coach often your mind and body ask that of them. A Pilates instructor is a special person who will get training, do research and think about all the ways they can help you continue to do your Pilates and progress so when you walk out that door you feel like a million dollars!
Still wondering why Pilates is so expensive? In life, there are things worth saving and couponing. But, when it comes to your bodies health and longevity I highly recommend doing your research. Finding an instructor that is fully trained, has knowledge about your special needs and can help you hit and surpass your health goals. If you’re wanting to save a little green buy a package or supplement your private sessions with a class in person or online. This way you know you have one session dedicated to helping you learn how to move your body and classes to challenge what you learned in that session.