Master Pilates Teacher? What's the Difference?


The Master Pilates Teacher title is not well defined. What makes a teacher a Master?

In the past few weeks I have taught a few clients who were new to me and Real Pilates. Several of them have been doing Pilates for years, all over the country.

And most had tried several studios in NYC to decide which ones they preferred, and who they want to work with.

A private session with me isn't cheap. Booking me through the studio, an hour with me one on one is $125 with some package discounts. Book with me directly and the cost is a little bit more.

How do I justify that price point?

Well, yesterday a new client said, "Wow. That was so different. You moved my position in subtle ways that changed the entire exercise. I feel better and like I move more efficiently."

I replied, "That for me is the point of paying a trainer. My job is to point out those subtle things that help perfect your form and execution of the exercises to make them more effective and efficient. That's what I do."

OK, so what should you be getting if you're paying more for a Master level pilates or fitness trainer?


A Master Pilates Teacher should have at least 15 years of experience (I have 25). And that experience should include teaching many different ages, experience levels, and injury levels. Best of all, find someone who has also trained trainers, since that trainer will be able to break everything down into easily digestible pieces.

A Master Pilates teacher should still be actively taking and teaching continuing education courses, like any professional would.

A good eye

My clients sometimes wear extra layers of clothing so I won't see what they are doing. That doesn't work! At this stage of the game I can see where your bones are and how you are moving through many layers. And if you don't feel something? I can adjust your right hip 1/4" and suddenly you will feel your butt working.

Any Master pilates or fitness teacher should have this skill. That's part of the value!

Lots of subtle corrections

You will only get great subtle corrections from a teacher who has a great eye. But it is these small corrections that will make the difference in your workout. The correct placement of your parts will make every exercise more effective.

Good communication

I constantly ask my clients how they are doing. If their back is good, neck is good, knees are good. I make sure they are feeling the correct areas in an exercise. Too much neck strain in the hundred? We can help with that. Want to ski this winter for the first time? We can help with that. Want to change things up? We can do that!

Best of all, want to know why you are doing a particular exercise or series? What the point is? I can tell you.


A Master Teacher should never have you in an unsupported, unsafe position. There are some seriously crazy advanced pilates exercises that can be scary and require lots of proper spotting to be done safely. Your teacher should never forget that non-skid pad or to hold you in the russian splits.

He or she should always tell you what is moving and what is stabilizing, where your pelvis should be and where your spine should be. You should never feel unsafe. Challenged, maybe. But never unsafe.


For the price point your teacher should always be on time, always complete the full session time, handle your money appropriately if you deal with your trainer directly, and be clean and courteous.

A Master Trainer should not be yawning during your session, no matter what time it is. And he or she should maintain liability insurance.