Joining a group exercise class is a great way to start exercising.
Instructors will make sure that you are doing everything right, and other people will motivate you. This is especially important for those who have never tried exercising on their own, as it will prevent injuries and make you practice regular.
But the problem is that some classes are more expensive than others, and Pilates is one of them. So, …
Why is Pilates so expensive?
To become a Pilates instructor, you have to pass an extensive and very expensive training. If you want to be certified for a Reformer, you have to attend additional classes. And in the end, you need to obtain all the expensive equipment needed for exercise. This is why Pilates can cost a lot.
To understand these prices better, and see is it worth the cost, read the following chapters:
Why is Pilates so Expensive?
Just to clarify, every country has different legal requirements for any kind of fitness instructors.
To become, for example, an aerobic instructor, you will have to join a course, participate in a certain number of hours of practical training, a bit of theory classes too, and when you pass the final exam, you are ready to start. This is similar in many countries.
Of course, many of these instructors will attend some additional classes in their career, to learn more and perfect their knowledge.
Also, they will need mats and a few basic props for the people attending their classes. All of this is not cheap, but it is a lot cheaper than training and equipment used by Pilates instructors.
If you want to become a Pilates instructor, you will have to go to multiple different trainings. Again, every country has different rules, but the facts I am writing here are very similar everywhere.
Firstly, you will have to participate in training for mat Pilates. This is similar to the training that other instructors go through.
Then, you will have to go to additional education, both theory and practice for Pilates reformer, Pilates Cadilac and other Pilates machines. Each and every one of those trainings will cost you money.
So, before you even become a fully certified instructor, you will have spent a lot more.
And then, when you finally get the certificate, you will have to spend thousands of dollars for very expensive equipment. To earn as much as other exercise instructors earn, and pay off your investment, you will have to charge your classes more.
Basic Pilates, the mat version with no props, usually costs less, but if there is a Reformer involved, you should know that those instructors had to go through hundreds of hours of expensive training and pay for the equipment.
And in the end, if you have a space of certain size, and fill it with the machines, your groups will have much less people than groups of aerobic in the same square footage.
So, for example, instead of 10 people classes, you will teach 5 people classes and you will have to work twice as many hours to return your investment. So, naturally, because people value their own work, will charge you more.
How Much do Pilates Classes Cost?
Now when you know why is Pilates so expensive, you may ask how much it costs?
Well, to be honest, it depends …
Basic mat classes will cost similarly to other group classes, such as aerobic. But classes that involve machines, or special medical classes, can cost a few times more.
The price also depends on a location and the instructor. Those who are having classes in large cities and have decades of experience will charge more than small studios in small cities. Price of rent for the space also plays a role in the final price you pay. If you want private classes, the price will go up a lot.
The average price for a small group class in the USA is $10-$50, and up to $150 for a private practice. Of course, these are just a rough estimate, and you can find it cheaper in your area.
If it involves a reformer, group class will cost at least $20-$25, possibly more.
In Europe, you will pay about 10-15€ for a group class, and up to 25€ if it includes a reformer.
Of course, if you pay a monthly membership that includes 2-3 classes per week, you are going to get a discount. In some countries, especially northern Europe, it may cost more.
Is Pilates Worth the Cost?
The beauty and efficiency of Pilates is that anyone can practice. From fit athletes, to elderly people and those recovering from injuries. Instructors will make an exercise plan for every single person to meet their specific needs.
To gain better results, you are going to to use machines, and that is something unique for Pilates.
Yes, it can seem expensive, and if you just want to lose a few kilograms/pounds, and you are otherwise healthy, you can probably find cheaper activities. Although, Pilates has certain benefits that other exercise types do not have.
In addition to that, instructors go through extensive anatomy training, and they will know how to pick the best exercises for you, depending on your fitness level and health.
Why is Pilates Equipment so Expensive?
When talking about why is Pilates so expensive, I have to mention the equipment price.
Reformers and other devices are not mass produced. There is not a lot of users when compared to other devices, such as pulley machines in gyms and similar.
There are a few reputable manufacturers whose prices are quite high. Reformers can cost thousands of dollars. They have to be firm and strong to support any person practicing, and they have to withstand a lot of pressure.
So, usually, a bit more expensive materials are used in manufacturing.
Home versions are smaller, weaker and a bit flimsier. Those are not designed to be used by multiple people, many hours a day, every day. So, for a studio, instructors will have to buy or rent machines that can often cost more than $6000.
If the number of Pilates studios increases, and more manufacturers start producing good machines, the prices could eventually go down a bit, but for now, end users will have to pay a bit more to enjoy the Pilates benefits.
Can Pilates be Done at Home? It’s Cheaper!
Practicing on a mat, or even a home version of a reformer, is definitely better than sitting on a couch and doing nothing.
But, practicing at home has some limits!
First of all, at home, most of us do not have the necessary equipment. Secondly, a certified instructor will choose the best exercises for you and watch you how to do it, to warn you about irregularities and explain you how to do it correctly.
Those who are physically active can do the mat exercises at home, but those with absolutely no experience should enroll for at least a few classes to learn how to do it properly.
And finally, there is a motivation problem. When you pay for a class, you will fully use the time to practice. At home, you can skip it, or give up after 10 minutes because you are feeling lazy that day.
If you decide to practice at home start slowly, educate yourself about proper posture and breathing during exercises, do everything gently and start with the basic exercises.
When you become able to do that without any problems, start performing a bit harder exercise.
And I have to say, ignore fancy pictures of advanced exercises online because that will lead to an injury. There are plenty of articles and videos for complete beginners that could help you start.
Pilates can seem very expensive when compared to other exercise classes.
You are probably asking yourself why is Pilates so expensive and is it worth your money?
If you can afford it, you should definitely try it. Instructors are very well educated, and you will have the opportunity to practice on the machines that are very expensive, and home versions of those devices will not give you the same result.
But those who are on a budget, can always practice at home …
Just make sure you listen to your body and avoid movements that feel uncomfortable, to avoid injuries.