What Pilatespocalypse?

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What Pilatespocalypse? Pilates Is Going Strong!

I was perplexed when I read Annie Lowrey's article in New York magazine last week, The Pilatespocalypse: How the Method That Started the Boutique-Fitness Trend Is Going Bust.

After all, I have a waiting list; Real Pilates is crazy busy on all levels - classes, privates, teacher training, business mentoring, workshops; and the Pilates teachers I work with are doing well.

But then I saw how many of my fellow Pilates professionals were shaken by this article. "Is it true?", they wondered. "Are we becoming obsolete?"

Not at all.

I, and many Pilates teachers I know, have ridden this out before. The difference now is that there are more Pilates teachers and studios than ever before, and all gyms and many yoga studios have Pilates classes on their schedules. But believe me, the cream always rises.

In the eighties, Pilates was also failing. Everyone was in search of newer, more fun workouts. High impact dance aerobics, step classes, and repetitive toning classes started coming to the forefront. Remember getting your high-top Reebok aerobic sneakers and grapevining and high-kicking across the aerobic studio? Because I do! Some awesome choreography, some great dance music, and we had ourselves a workout.

And then we all sustained injuries from the constant high impact moves, especially in step class.

Where did we go? Back to Pilates. The nineties saw the huge growth of Pilates as people flocked to core-strengthening, functional, bio-mechanically correct exercise. But then you still had to go to a Pilates studio to get even a group Pilates mat class.

Today everyone has forgotten about the negatives associated with high impact dance cardio and repetitive movements, which is the basis of most of the new and shiny classes. Somehow having specialized shoes seems to make us think we are safer. And for those who want to add a Pilates class, they can do that at their gym for free and not pay for group class at a Pilates studio.

Most of my clients, who are around my age (49) and saw what happened 30 years ago, know that they need something like Pilates to mitigate the damage from these classes. And they want private Pilates sessions. In fact, my schedule is so full with private sessions that I don't teach any group classes at all.

My prediction is that, like in the nineties, folks will soon come flocking back into the Pilates studio. The high impact exercising will take its toll and those folks will come in to get fixed. But instead of classes, which they can take at their gym, they will come to the Pilates studio for privates and smaller groups utilizing the Pilates apparatus.

Pilatespocalypse? Pilates going bust? Not at all. Just wait....