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Frequently Asked Questions


"Why is All Pilates Not Created Equal" and what is Authentic Pilates™?

Who was Joseph Pilates and what is the exercise method that bears his name?

What is the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning and Is It Good for Me?

What are Authentic Pilates ™ exercises like?

How is the Authentic Pilates ™ method taught?

What makes the Pilates Institute different from other Pilates studios?

What results can I expect from Authentic Pilates ™?

How long will it take before I see results?

How can I become an Authentic Pilates ™ instructor?

"Why Is All Pilates Not Created Equal" and what is Authentic Pilates™?

Prior to October of 2000, the only people who were able to legally teach the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, were those instructors who were certified by the Pilates Studio™ of New York, which owned the Pilates trademark. This certification program was designed by the Pilates Studio™ and Master Teacher Romana Kryzanowska, who was taught by Joseph Pilates and taught with him until his death. This program involved more than 700 hours of training, apprenticeship and exams using a training manual approved by Romana Kryzanowska. The program also requires continuing education. It was and still is the only program of its kind in the world.

In October of 2000 there was a legal decision in the United States Federal District Court that effectively cancelled the Pilates trademark. This decision opened up the possibility of anyone becoming a "certified" Pilates instructor no matter what training they had or what organization certified them.

Believe it or not there are now websites where prospective teachers can purchase a "Pilates Certification" for $39.95! Other certifications are also available after only a weekend workshop!

In order to distinguish other variations of Pilates from the true method taught by Joseph Pilates and passed on through the Pilates Studio™ of New York and Romana Kryzanowska, the term Authentic Pilates™ was trademarked by the Pilates Studio™. Today you will see many variations of Authentic Pilates™ which may look like Authentic Pilates™ but are really very different. These variations do not follow the sequence and methodology of Joseph Pilates and in many cases can be harmful and certainly will not produce the results intended by Joseph Pilates.

BUYERS BEWARE: As a result, potential Pilates clients must become aware of the distinction between the highly trained instructors in the method approved by Joseph Pilates (Authentic Pilates™ and pilates taught by Romana Kryzanowska) and those that have obtained their "certifications" by less rigorous means.

Studios whose instructors have been trained and certified in Authentic Pilates™ (as evidenced by a Certificate hanging in the Studio) through the Pilates Studio™ of New York or Romana Kryzanowska assure the students that they are receiving the most effective and safe instruction.

Who was Joseph Pilates and what is the exercise method that bears his name?

Joseph H. Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. Former acrobat, nurse, pugilist and World War I POW, he developed into what can only be described as a fitness visionary. After decades of research, he brought to New York City in 1926 a method of body conditioning the likes of which health and exercise enthusiasts had never seen. Rather than focusing on sets of repetitive weight-bearing movements, Pilates developed a series of specialized exercises to build strength, control and flexibility. Many of the exercises could be performed on nothing more than a floor mat, although hundreds were developed using a series of specialized machines which he specifically designed. Joseph Pilates taught his method of "Contrology" until 1967, when he died at the age of 86.

What is the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning ™ and Is It Good for Me?

Authentic Pilates ™ is a different method of exercise than any other. Key points are:

  • It is good for people of all ages and genders as well as all levels of physical fitness. From professional athletes to everyday people, the Authentic Pilates ™ program is used by everyone.
  • Clients move gradually through "Beginning", "Intermediate" and "Advanced" stages of development, focusing at first on the core "Powerhouse" area of the body -- generally the area of the body that consists of the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks, working together to form the core strength of the body. Development of this area is critical to the advancement of the client through the stages of progress. Clients are not advanced until their bodies are ready.
  • Movements are generally not performed rapidly nor are they repeated in many sets -- rather, the focus is on control, deep strengthening, lengthening and flexibility.
  • Both the mat and equipment exercises are specifically ordered and tailored to lengthen and strengthen, rather than build bulk. Symmetry and flexibility is stressed, as well as absolute control. Pilates bodies are leaner, more balanced and stronger than average and posture is improved tremendously.
  • Taught correctly it is an effective aerobic workout!
  • Unlike many exercise methods, teachers of Authentic Pilates™ are highly trained. (See Question: "Why is All Pilates Not Created Equal?")

What are Authentic Pilates™ exercises like?

There are two major elements to the Pilates method -- "mat work" exercises and those movements performed on equipment. Over the course of a lifetime, Joseph Pilates developed hundreds of exercises using both a simple mat on the floor as well as a variety of specialized equipment, referred to as "apparatus." These include the Reformer, the Cadillac or Table, the Chair, the Barrel and several other specialized pieces of equipment. The Pilates Institute has only equipment designed to the specifications of Joseph Pilates.

Click on "Pilates in Action" and "Pilates Institute in the News" on the Home Page to view some Pilates excercises! (Link to Pilates in the News)

How is the Authentic Pilates™ taught?

In general, Pilates is taught one-on-one in 1-hour sessions with an instructor certified in Authentic Pilates T This is especially true in the beginning, and for any exercises involving apparatus. A typical Pilates private session consists of apparatus and mat work as well as specialized exercises to address your individual body type and the areas of your body which need special attention (stomach, buttocks, lower back etc). In this way the client gradually builds strength, control and balance before moving to more advanced exercises. Some clients attend the small group classes which emphasize mat work and some spring work for the legs and arms. In the small group classes some equipment is used but not all of the Pilates equipment. Private lessons are recommended for those people who are beginners or who wish to experience the full benefits of all of the Pilates apparatus.

What makes the Pilates Institute different from other Pilates studios?

Pilates Institute of Ft. Lauderdale opened its doors in 2001. Since then, more than 2000 people have passed through our doors to be trained in Authentic Pilates T.

The Pilates Institute of Ft. Lauderdale is not only a studio for training clients but is also the only "Authentic Pilates T" Teacher Certification Center in the state of Florida. The Director of the Pilates Institute , David Freeman, received his formal training and certification at The Pilates Studio T of New York. David studied extensively under Master Teacher Romana Kryzanowska, who was trained by and taught alongside Joseph H. Pilates. (Click on Pilates in the News on the Home Page to see David explaining Authentic Pilates T.)

At the Pilates Institute :

  • All Instructors are trained in Authentic Pilates™.
  • Our Equipment is built to the exact specifications of the original apparatus designed by Joseph Pilates.
  • Our classes are limited to 5 students to insure safety, and quicker and more visible results.
  • Our classes use not only mats but also tower and barrel equipment at no extra cost
  • Our Reformer Classes are also limited to four people....results are quicker and safer.

What results can I expect from Authentic Pilates™?

You will notice:

  • improved posture
  • stronger center
  • firm buttocks
  • flatter and stronger stomach
  • longer and leaner muscles
  • increased flexibility
  • increased vitality
  • just plain feel and look better

How long will it Take before I see results?

After your very first session, you will notice a sense of elongation and the feeling of standing up straighter. You will also feel the center or "core" of your body being used to initiate movement. If you continue on a regular program of at least twice a week you will notice the changes to your body after each session. You will feel more flexible and begin to feel firmer in your abdomen and buttocks and your posture will be more upright.

As Joseph Pilates has said, after 10 sessions you will feel better, after 20 sessions you will look better and after 30 sessions you will have a new body!

How can I become an Authentic Pilates™ instructor ?

The Pilates Institute of Ft. Lauderdale is the only Authentic Pilates™ Certification Center in the State of Florida. A prospective student must have some experience is Authentic Pilates™ and apply at the Pilates Institute . The program consists of 600 hours of apprenticeship with course materials designed by the Pilates Studio™ of New York and Master Teacher Romana Kryzanowska. The student can attend the program according to their individual schedules. Seminars from Certified Teacher Trainers will be given throughout the program. For further details contact the Pilates Institute

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