Let’s say that you get a common cold. So you then call your doctor and you make an appointment in order to get a custom treatment. You meet with the doctor, he looks at you and asks you questions, and then prescribes a treatment. It’s the same for when you break your arm…you go to an orthopedic doctor and you get it fixed. When your child is sick you go to a pediatrician, and so on.
What do all of these situations have in common? Well, they are all specialists in their field and they are all offering individual consultations. In none of these cases, you don’t go to a group class.
So if you have back issues or a poor posture and you decide to try Pilates, why would you go to a class with 20 other people? Each one of them has their own health issues and limitations, so doing a generic Pilates program will definitely not help.
What should you do instead?
Now let’s look in more detail at some of the reasons why group classes are not so effective when it comes to Pilates:
1. Safety – Pilates is not a dangerous activity, but there is a slight risk involved. Most people that begin doing it are out of shape and have a bad posture or various back issues, so even when doing very simple poses they can get injured.
This especially applies to Reformer Pilates classes, where those big devices can be overwhelming for some people. Those machines have lots of benefits, but only if they are used correctly.
When teaching to a large group of 20 or more people, the Pilates instructor will simply not have the time to show the movements to each and every person and to assist and correct everyone. Each person has its own issues and limitations, and there are certain exercises that work great and others that should be avoided. So the training program should be customized based on each person’s individual needs.
2. Getting Results – people don’t go to Pilates just for the fun of it, and they usually want to achieve a certain goal. And this can only be achieved by performing the movements with the correct form. Not knowing how to do each exercise correctly will not activate the right muscles and will not give the needed results.
3. Personalized Instructions – even if someone knows how to correctly perform all the movements, this still does not guarantee results. And this is because each person is unique, and each person has certain muscle imbalances or tightness. So the movements should be adjusted according to each participant’s needs.
4. Quantity Over Quality – personal trainers and group trainers need to make a living too, and sometimes they take shortcuts. They focus on training as many people as possible in order to earn as much money as possible and neglect the quality of each class.
This explains why individual classes are more expensive than group classes. But instead of wasting your money on group classes that don’t produce any results, it’s better to invest a bit more on individual classes that actually work.
5. Lack of Commitment – there are some exceptions here, but most classes do not follow a path toward an end-goal. You simply go there and perform just about the same movements every week. It’s better to show up and do something than to do nothing, but with the time you will get bored. This is why all the classes are full in January, and slowly decrease with each passing week.
Sure, some of the group classes have a certain path and they evolve over time. But this has a drawback as well: if some people miss a class or two, then they are left behind and it’s very hard to pick up when they come back.
So individual classes are much better, as you can do things at your own pace, and be able to keep up even when you missed a class or two.
6. Lack of Flexibility – group classes always takes place at the same hour and at the same day of the week. So if anything comes up and you can’t make it at that exact hour, then you missed your workout. This then leads to what we talked about at the previous point, and you end up quitting the class altogether. However, the private classes can be scheduled whenever you are available and can be postponed or moved according to your needs.
There were 6 important reasons why Pilates group classes are not effective. So what’s the solution? 1 on 1 class or at least classes with up to 3 people max. The Abbysan center offers both private classes and 3rio classes that have a maximum of 3 attendees. Our classes are highly personalized and adapted to your own needs and limitations. Find out more by visiting this link.