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Instructor Training Model

First developed by circus performer and boxer Joseph Pilates while in an English internment camp in World War I, Pilates has become an increasingly popular form of exercise. Joseph was said to be inspired by the ancient Greek ideal of man perfected in development of body, mind, and spirit and incorporated elements of Eastern philosophies into his exercise routines, which he called “contrology.”5 He expresses this holistic approach in his book,

Return to Life Through Contrology, when he writes, Con- trology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.

After moving to New York City in 1925, Pilates established a studio where he continued to teach his form of exercise until his death in 1967. During and after this time, a number of his students opened their own studios (with Joseph’s permission), teaching classical Pilates. Eventually, some of his original students developed their own unique methods, such as the Fletcher Method (Richard Fletcher) and the Gentry Method (Eve Gentry). Today there are a number of different businesses focused on Pilates in various forms, but each uses essentially the same business model.

Unlike Jazzercise, companies such as Balanced Body Pilates and Pilates Institute of America do not offer franchises, but rather generate revenue from individual instructor training and certification. This is similar to a unit sales revenue model, with the “unit” being the instructor. Certification costs generally run between $3,000 and $7,000, with specialty certifications adding additional costs for the instructor. Once an instructor is certified, he or she is not required to pay any additional amounts to the company. Instructors can then teach individual or group classes once certified. Some of these firms generate additional revenue through the sales of equipment that is used in special forms of Pilates.

Due to the various forms of Pilates certification avail- able, a major cost for these firms is brand management and differentiation. The company provides the instructors with training materials and runs training classes that result in certification, so other costs typically include facilities for training, instructors, and training materials.

What are the potential weaknesses and biggest risks in implementing this model (what could go wrong)


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