OPTIONS PILATES STUDIO
PILATES INSTRUCTOR COURSE FAQ
Who can take a Pilates instructor course?
Students on our courses come from many backgrounds, including:
• Enthusiasts who want to change career or work part-time
• Gym Instructors/ Personal Trainers
• Physiotherapists and other Physical Clinicians looking to add to their knowledge of rehabilitation possibilities
• Retiring or semi-retired Dancers and Movement Professionals
• Pilates enthusiasts who simply want to learn more
If you are interested in a career as a Pilates Instructor you can work independently as a Certified Mat Pilates Instructor or you can go further to become a Reformer Instructor at a studio or gym, or even a Fully Certified Instructor, qualified to teach clients on all the Pilates equipment.
Many of our graduates decide to buy a Reformer or other equipment and work from home teaching just a few clients daily.
It is beneficial for personal trainers to take the Matwork course in order to add to their skill set for working with clients, especially clients with postural issues.
And of course lots of our students end up working for us. We even offer sponsorship for those who make a commitment to us early on.
Where can I find course schedules?
What courses are available?
Student Pilates Instructors and fitness enthusiasts can learn to teach both 1-on-1 and group classes using the following Pilates equipment:
• Mat (APM) – including a large variety of props for modifications and interest
• Reformer (APR) – the best known traditional piece of Pilates equipment
• Cadillac – useful for rehab, clients with special requirements and everyone from beginners to the highly experienced
• Chair – in terms of efficiency this is the most versatile piece of Pilates equipment
• Barrels – including the Arc Barrel, Spine Corrector and gymnastic Ladder Barrel
• Jungles Sports Suspension Training
All courses are split into levels (Level I & II), Advanced (Level II) is taken separately.
Post Rehabilitative Pilates and Special Conditions Certification can follow each and any course or can be done in one go when you’ve completed all the courses.
How long does it take to get fully certified?
Where do I start, and how much does it cost?
To get certification in Pilates Academy International, you will first have to attend the Anatomy workshop (Anatomy Biomechanics and Posture Analysis or ABP). This workshop reviews the structures (bones, muscles, joints, etc.) that form the support of the human body. It will help you prepare for the All Populations Matwork Course. We encourage you to take up All Populations Matwork (APM) first because Mat is the foundation of all other Pilates exercises. After completing the course, you need to do the following hours:
APM: at least 25 hours practice teaching, 10 hours observation and 15 hours personal review
You will incur additional expenses in completing these hours, cost will depend on how fast you finish. We offer mentorship packages for joining and observing group classes and using the studio space to practice for students at $360 per month.
Once done and ready, you may then book your exam (practical and written). You have 6 months to 12 months(maximum) to complete your certification. ABP + APM exams are $360, and ABP + APR exams are $420.
The course fee for ABP is $590, APM is $1890, APR and APCCB is $2640.
What is the difference between "All Populations l" and "All Populations ll"? Can I just start with any of them?
- You should start with our ONLY Prerequisite which is Anatomy, Biomechanics and Posture Review. Following that you will ideally start with All Populations Mat l which gives you a great foundation to the rest of the All Populations courses.
- If the current schedule doesn't allow you to do this, you can start with All Populations Mat I, followed by Anatomy, Biomechanics and Posture Review.
What If I’ve done some courses already?
If you’ve already taken some courses with other Pilates methods you can join one of our crossover courses. If you’ve taken IMP, IR or ICCB with Stott Pilates or courses with Polestar or Balanced Body you can automatically qualify to take further courses with us or to take your exam just by taking one of our Crossover Courses.
As you probably know, we were the largest Stott Pilates Licensed Training Centre in Asia for many years – if you were one of our students contact us for special deals and complimentary offers on cross-over courses, exams and workshops.
Do you have any part time courses available for people who have a full time job?
Yes, we do. We have weekend courses available.
Please refer to this page for our course schedules:
How do I register for a course?
English is not my first language. Will I have a hard time with the exams?
We have had many international students come through our program, and we provide verbal assistance on exams for foreign students for whom English is not their first language. In other words, we can explain each question so the exam will truly test your knowledge of the subject matter NOT test your knowledge of English!
What do I need to do after taking the courses?
After your course you need to practice teaching and doing Pilates. We provide everything you need to do this through our monthly Mentorship Packages. The mentorship program is $360 per month, this includes observation, practice teaching and participating in group classes.
Once you become competent and fluent with the exercises and programming you can take a mock exam or the real certification exam. ABP + APM exams are $360, and ABP + APR exams are $420.
Can I use Options Pilates for my practice teaching hours?
We offer Mentorship programs at $360 per month, which includes observation of group classes, use of the studio for practice teaching and for attending classes conducted in the studio.
Observation package alone is $180 for 10 classes.
You are allowed to bring in one person ( for liability reasons ) to the studio for practice teaching. The best hours to avoid are weekday mornings and weekends. Please call the front desk to make sure there is room.
How can I find out more about the courses?
Does Options Pilates offer job placement?
We absolutely LOVE to hire people from our training courses, as they usually fit in perfectly with the essence of what makes Options Pilates. Please refer to this page for more information.
Are there any discounts for taking more than 1 course?
We offer bundle rates if you plan to take 3 or more courses together. Please email us at [email protected] for more information.
Where are the courses held?
All of our courses are run at our Orchard Road Pilates studio at Wheelock Place. Occasionally we host courses at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and other locations on request.
What is the recommended level of Pilates/Fitness experience needed prior to starting my Teacher Training?
- Our students come from all walks of life. Anyone is welcome to start our program regardless of previous professional experience. We do find, however, that students who have both taken Pilates for a while AND have experience teaching get more out of the program. Students without any Pilates experience may feel behind, and thus we highly recommend at least 20 Pilates sessions, either group or private, so that Pilates principles are not completely new concepts.
How long after the each course can I get certificate of completion?
It depends person to person and how much time you have to committ on a weekly basis to your Practice Teaching, Observation and Personal Study Hours. Click here for a breakdown and more information on those hours
What are the requirements to take the PMA exam?
Do I need the Post-Rehabilitation courses to take my PMA exam?
What requirements are there to keep my PAI certificate of accomplishment current?
Who teaches the courses?
All our courses and workshops are taught by our in-house Master Trainers Erick Mendoza.
Are you under the Merrithew Pilates license? What is the difference between Stott and PAI?
PAI and Stott Pilates are both brands of modern Pilates. Stott Pilates is the name of the style from Merrithew Corporation.
The biggest difference between PAI and Stott is the way the courses are structured.
In PAI, different "levels/ tiers" are sequential, which makes it easy for the student to learn. With Stott you learn 1 exercise and up to 10 modifications from beginner all the way through to advanced, which many may find quite complicated (as well as a lot to remember all at once).
With PAI you learn the movements in tiers; for example in APM I, you learn tiers 1, 2 and 3. You will learn tiers 4, 5 in APM II. In practice, instructors tend to use a lot more of the Tier 1 and 2 movements with clients, and fewer of the more advanced movements. For this reason, we think doing a deeper dive in tiers 1, 2 and 3 is really important, especially if your goal is to become a better instructor - that’s why PAI has separated the courses.
Of course, as an instructor, you may want to get certified in the more advanced levels for personal interest and benefit. But in practical terms, it is very unlikely that you will use as many of the advanced movements in your teaching.
PAI also teaches more about which muscles are being used and why, and each exercise has a goal which is listed in the manual for each exercise (plus any contraindications). Stott does not publish this information in their manual.
Considering how much the student is supposed to know about muscles and joints, we feel that PAI’s ABP course (anatomy workshop) is an excellent addition – it even forms part of the practical exam. ABP is a 2 day workshop and, as we have already mentioned, the information you learn during the course is crucial for passing the practical exam, so it really is essential to becoming a Pilates instructor. There is no compulsory anatomy component with Stott, and the postural analysis is only 1 session of the whole course (4 hours) making it less comprehensive.
I plan to teach abroad after my certification. Is there a difference between being certified under PAI and other schools? Are they all recognized equally worldwide?
Yes, both are internationally recognized certification centres, and both fall under the ‘Modern Pilates’ category.
PAI was founded by two highly experienced ex-STOTT instructors and the style is very similar. STOTT is more well-known because it is easy to become a STOTT hosting center, and the STOTT name became more widely recognised on their branded Pilates equipment.
The styles and movements are similar but the way the courses are structured is quite different. You can learn more about the differences in the answer to the previous question.
Is the anatomy workshop with PAI compulsory?
Yes, it’s compulsory. The only exemptions are for those who have a Physiotherapy or equivalent certification.
If I took an anatomy workshop at another studio is it valid with PAI?
No, you have to take PAI Anatomy, Biomechanics and Posture (ABP) to enroll in other courses.
If I take Pilates lessons at your studio, do I still need to take ABP (Anatomy, Biomechanics, Posture)?
Are there any pre-requisites (e.g. minimum number of Pilates lessons taken) before the training course?
It’s easier to get started with the courses when you are familiar with some of the Pilates and anatomy terms, rather than having to start by learning a lot of new words from scratch. It also takes few classes to get the hang of Pilates (how to engage certain muscles, "correct posture" for certain movements, pelvic placement etc).
If you have never done Pilates, we would encourage you to take some classes. It goes without saying that a private 1-on-1 session would be much better than attending a group class, since your instructor can immediately correct your position if you're doing the movement incorrectly, and give you their undivided attention for the full session.
The main "job" of a Pilates instructor is to correct and guide the client to ensure they’re getting the most benefit from Pilates, so it’s very helpful if you have some knowledge of how Pilates is taught before taking the course.
In what order should I take the courses?
ABP (anatomy) is a pre-requisite for APM (mat) or APR (reformer).
We usually advise you to do ABP (anatomy) > APM (mat) > APR (reformer) > CCB (cadillac, chair, barrels)
But you can do ABP (anatomy) > APR (reformer) > APM (mat) > CCB (Cadillac, chair, barrels)
Lot of people decide to take APM (mat) before APR (reformer), because it’s a solid foundation for Pilates movements and terms and therefore can make subsequent courses easier to understand.
You must complete both APR (reformer) and APM (mat) before taking CCB (cadillac, chair, barrels).
You can take a certification exam at any stage, either for individual courses, or combined.
What if I miss a session during the course?
Ideally, students would not miss any of the scheduled sessions, however any sessions can be made up privately with an Instructor Trainer in your own time at a ratio of 2:1 hours. So if you missed, for example, 6 hours of the ABP training you would have to make up 3 hours privately with an IT at the rate of $210 per hour. Alternatively you can join the next course if you coordinate with us to ensure you attend the correct days. All our scheduled ABP workshops take place on weekends.
Is the certification exam done in house? Is it recognized under PMA?
Are the exams on fixed dates?
No, the exam dates are flexible as they have to be scheduled with a master trainer. The exam date will be determined based on the master trainer’s availability and your readiness.
Can I use the studio to practice after I finish my course?
Yes, you can! We offer a paid mentorship program at the studio for $360 per month. The mentorship program includes usage of studio space to practice teaching, observing classes (with permission of the instructor and client) and participation in group classes (subject to availability).