Pilates Teacher Comprehensive Certification Programs

Comprehensive Pilates instructor training requires in-depth studying of mats and equipment at programs offered by a variety of master instructors. Pilates training requires hundreds of hours of apprenticeship, classroom instruction, and self-study. You can start your search with these programs that are large, respected, and widely available in the U.S. and internationally. Bigger may not be better, but knowing what is available will help you understand what to expect from a Pilates program that prepares you to be a professional.

Structure of Pilates Training Programs

Pilates teacher training programs vary a lot in their structure. Most are oriented toward the working adult and make use of intensive sessions with breaks in between. How those sessions are structured over time is different for each program, so it's worth looking around to find a program that fits your needs. You may want to find one in your local area, or you may be willing and interested in traveling.

It is important to note that most of these training programs will give you a "certificate of training" that establishes your credentials as a professional. However, you can only be a "certified" teacher by taking an exam administered by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). You need to graduate from a training program first if you wish to participate in PMA's certification exam.

Classical vs. Contemporary

Another important consideration at the teacher training level is whether or not you want to pursue classical or contemporary training. These terms are often used to distinguish between traditional training that adheres strictly to what Joseph Pilates taught (classical); or training that incorporates new techniques and developments in exercise science (contemporary).

Commitment and Costs

Most of the programs listed below have prerequisites that must be completed before you begin the program. Some are quite extensive, requiring up to a year of previous study. Some are minimal, with as little as 30 required hours of previous Pilates experience. In addition, the classroom hours quoted include varying apprentice and independent observation hours.

The costs of all but two (noted below) of the programs do include both mat work and all equipment, but some include more extensive equipment training than others. You should expect to pay $4,000 or more. Almost all offer payment plans or the option to study in modules over time. Many of these programs have additional fees for the application, study materials, and exams.

Balanced Body Education

Balanced Body Education offers training in modules that can be taken independently over time. You can get the benefit of training with various instructors in different locations. Balanced Body also offers free podcasts with Pilates online videos for trainees who want to complement their instruction.

  • Hours: 520
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Each class is $500-$600; price depends on location

BASI Pilates

BASI Comprehensive Global training courses are available around the world. BASI stands for Body Arts and Sciences International. It was founded by Rael Isacowitz. Training is offered over 12 modules (or two six-module programs in the U.S.). Students can take modules over the course of weeks or do an intensive eight-day program.

  • Hours: 500
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: $3,495, payment plans available

Core Pilates, NYC

Core Pilates NYC offers intensive weekend sessions over the span of six months. Participants should expect to spend 15-20 hours a week in the studio.

  • Hours: 600
  • Style: Classical Pilates
  • Cost: Ask staff for quote; work-study options available

Peak Pilates

Peak Pilates offers comprehensive instructor training in three levels. Each level covers mat and equipment with increasing depth.

  • Hours: 500
  • Style: Classical Pilates
  • Cost: $4,579


PhysicalMind offers a separate mat course as a prerequisite for the equipment course.

  • Hours: 500 (50 for mat, 450 for equipment)
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: $2,200 total ($600 for mat, $1600 for equipment)

Polestar Pilates

Polestar Pilates has a strong rehabilitative component to their educational training. Its president, Dr. Brent Anderson, offers advice on how Pilates can help relieve sciatic pain and the intersection between Pilates and physical therapy.

  • Hours: 470 for the Comprehensive Program
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Around $7,750 depending on location

Power Pilates

Power Pilates offers five-weekend intensive programs with 24 hours of weekly meetings. The program takes six to nine months to complete in New York City, or six to 12 months to complete elsewhere.

  1. Hours: 600
  2. Style: Classical Pilates
  3. Cost: $4,995

Romana's Pilates

Romana's Pilates is the company founded by Romana Kryzanowska. She is a Pilates elder, meaning that she trained directly with Joseph Pilates, and was considered one of Joseph Pilates' closest students. This is one of the most traditional classical Pilates training programs.

  • Hours: 600-900 hours of observation
  • Style: Classical Pilates
  • Cost: Depends on location

Ron Fletcher Program

Fletcher Pilates has an 18-month program that includes training such as Fletcher towel work and percussive breathing. The Comprehensive Program has two sections: Foundational and Professional. These can be bought separately or together.

  • Hours: 840 total (not including homework and evaluations)
  • Style: Contemporary/Fletcher
  • Cost: $10,000 for the full program or $6,000 per section

Stott Pilates

Stott Pilates comprehensive training is focused on the mat and reformer. Other equipment is covered in another 165-hour program.

  • Hours: 310
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: $2,890
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  1. National Pilates Certification Program. Frequently asked questions. 2020.