Big Pilates

The rise of Big business has been quickly devouring our urban landscapes and rural terrains.

Its everywhere these days. Gone are the days of getting your coffee from someone who actually knows your name and doesn’t have to ask it just so they can write it on your cup. Pretty much every city in the US is being bombarded by chains. Consumers are being conditioned to follow familiar branding and corporations are cleaning up because of it. No surprise then that Big Business has now come to Pilates.

Corporations have caught on to what we as instructors have known all along- Pilates works and people will pay for those results. We are seeing the rise of gym Pilates programs/certifications as well as dedicated Pilates chains. I’m sure Joe would be happy that Pilates’ popularity is booming but how does this effect what’s nearest and dearest to our hearts- our own Pilates careers?

Throughout my 15+ year Pilates career I have worked in every teaching situation there is. Small studios, big studios, gyms, to opening a studio for myself. The challenges studio owners have grown accustomed to in our industry are being replaced. Where there were once three studios, you can now find ten. Baby instructors are being “born” in certifications every day. I can see the industry has evolved tremendously since I started. With the rise of competition comes the need to stand out in a crowded marketplace, as well as finding and keeping talented instructors in your studio. The private instructor now has almost too many options of where to hang their teaching hat. Work at the studio down the street, for the man, or for work yourself? How do you choose?

In my Pilates NYC studio we have disrupted the industry norms. At FORM we empower teachers to run their own business without the necessity of brick and mortar. While I get lots of teachers applying to become part of the Co-Op, most of my candidates are disgruntled workers from said Big Business chains. Not all teachers are born for the entrepreneurial life which requires much more than just what happens on the mat. What was tolerable for those newborn teachers has become a burden for the seasoned instructor. Teachers with a few years under their belt are now finding that corporate culture can get old, and fast. Not only must you adhere to company policies and procedures, you can work for years in a joint with nothing to show for it other than a line on your resume. As a result of years of resentment, indignant Pilates pros are opting for  “micro” one room studios for themselves and dedicated clientele. One room, with your type of equipment, decorated as you wish, just you and your clients. Sounds like heaven right? But is it?

While owning your own studio may be the Pilates American Dream, it’s just not profitable or recommended for most. Not only do you and your clients feel isolated from the world, instructors start to feel lonely and uninspired when teaching from their solo space. Working dollar for hour, your sessions and clients are your primary income, which could become problematic in time. What happens when you get sick or can’t make it in to teach? I’ll tell you what…NOTHING because you are the only one bringing home the bacon. Teachers who make the break from working for someone else are realizing the value of “owning” their own client list and being their own boss. However, with Pilates popularity booming, chances are you’ll have a hard time finding someone to sub your clients while you are away. That means no vacay and still rent to pay. When your space is tiny how do you leverage your off times? No one wants to rent a space solely during off peak ours. So what’s the solution? Time to pick a side.

I know it may sound like I’m bemoaning Pilates Big Biz, but it can have it’s place. Infusing cash into increasingly expensive brick and mortar operations, Corporate Pilates creates jobs and opportunities where there may not have been any before. Having health insurance and a 401 K are nothing to sneeze at. The key to finding your stride is to feel like you’re being validated and respected wherever you make people sweat. So, if you don’t want to work for the man and opening your own mini studio isn’t sustainable…what’s left?

The FORM Pilates Co-Op

FORM Pilates is where studio meets autonomy. As an instructor, I structured FORM as a place that is serious about Pilates. Fully equipped and manned with friendly and helpful staff, both you and your clients feel like they are getting the experience of a Big Business studio with your own personalization of style and Pilates philosophy. Instructors at FORM can charge what they want and take home 70% of clients fees, but most importantly they own their client list, and THAT is priceless. FORM also offers the business education you’ll need to get more clients, diversify your revenue streams, and do things your way.

Interested in becoming a member of our Co-Op?
Click here for a short application!

April Showers Bring (Biz) Flowers

If you’ve been following our Periscope series, Planting the Seeds of Sales, you know that over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing strategies to create new clients and better your business. This week, we discuss target marketing, and why it’s beneficial for you to be specific with what you want from clients.

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As health and wellness professionals, it may seem that marketing to everyone is the best strategy for finding and keeping clients, but as someone wise once said: quality over quantity! After building your list, you need to know what content to put out there, and it may seem that making broad, general content is exactly what you’d want to do-but you might be wrong about that. Get specific with your clients and understand what they want to see you produce. Understand who they are, so you can make them understand who you are.

All this and much more on Planting the Seeds of Sales II: The Plantening. Keep your eyes peeled for more biz tips and tricks from me, and more Periscopes taking deep dives into important biz topics.

 

Spring is For Sales!

Spring has officially sprung! The days are getting sunnier and longer, the weather is finally getting out of its wintry funk. But with spring can come a certain feeling of fear-have you done all you could have to build your business over the fall and winter, so it can flourish? Or, like so many of us, have you run into what can feel like an insurmountable brick wall in trying to draw new clients in? Well don’t fear-it happens to us all, and there are several ways around both the feeling and the problem.

We all know that it can be difficult to grow a business in New York City, especially for health and fitness professionals. With a crowded market place, fast paced lives and a schedule that can sometimes feel difficult to manage, it can feel impossible just to manage your own clients, let alone drawing new ones in. But trust me when I say that you want to focus on your growth in order for your business to start its climb to success!

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As anyone who has tried to build a business knows, perhaps the most difficult thing about the beginning stages are creating and maintaining a client base. It can feel time consuming, sometimes expensive, and even nigh upon impossible. But don’t fret yet-there are ways to grow your business that require a little patience and dedication, but that are ultimately simple and even free of charge!

In my latest Periscope, Planting the Seed of Sales, I take you through the beginning steps of authentically and organically growing your business. Start with list building, opt-ins and email providers, and before you know it, you’ll have a group of real people-no spam bots just for numbers and show-that have really, truly opted to view your content. Time and dedication are the keys to success-the paid ways to boost followers can feel instantly gratifying, but may not be the right decision in the long term.

Keep your eyes peeled for more biz tips and tricks from me, and more Periscopes taking deep dives into biz topics.

Alone-Ly

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I call bullshit on the notion that as modern women we should be satisfied with being alone. Okay, okay, don’t get your panties in a bunch ladies! I’m definitely NOT saying that another person, especially a man, can come along and magically make you happy. I am NOT saying that you should devote yourself to finding a mythical something to take the pain away, and make everything that isn’t okay, okay (impossible, by the way, but if you already knew that, read on).

What I AM saying is the modernist notion of women always having to have it all together is way off. We are complex, multifaceted, and cannot be boiled down to basics.

Now that I’ve quelled my need to scream this at the world, we can get down to brass tacks.

I am single and there’s no shame in my game. I like being able to do whatever I please- leave my bed messy, avoid shaving my legs without embarrassment or consequence, et cetera. Being single allows me a kind of absolute freedom that’s truly difficult to enjoy when you’re attached to someone. I make my own money, use a vibrator, own a tool kit, and can pretty much do whatever you would need a man for all by myself. But something I recently discovered is that my fuck-you attitude is not serving my highest good.

Backtrack with me for a moment.

Picture a very little Lindsay-desperate for her parent’s attention as nearly all children are-and never quite getting what she would deem adequate love from her childhood. So she grows up with an aching sense that something is missing.That if only she could be noticed and validated by a mail counterpart, she would be fulfilled and completed as a person.

So yes while this is true-I never got the attention and felt abandoned in my childhood-I was and am exactly where I need to be. This challenge of lacking has made me who I am today. Capable, independent, strong and determined. So if I’m capable and even successful in my life, why the heck do I still feel the need to be with or connect with someone? Why can’t I just chill all by myself? Because I’m a human being.

As human beings, it’s true that being in this world (especially in this city), we can tend to go on autopilot. We tend to shrug off suggestions of assistance or support by others in lieu of doing it all on our own. I know there are plenty of women-and believe me, I’ve met my fair share-who sit and pine away for a man to come along and make life bearable, but the tide seems to have changed.

It’s now the trend to be your own woman.  Alone. Solo and content with a table for one or not having to share the popcorn at the movies (not to mention the movie choices). It’s not to say that I’m not one hundred percent supportive of the aforementioned scenarios. Personally, I need me time, where I don’t have to be involved with another person-their thoughts, feelings, problems. But I also need time with others. Not companionable isolation, like with strangers at my local bar, but real intimacy with other human beings.

My need for autonomy does not usurp my need for connection. If you’re anything like me you’ve forgone deep bonds with others for a tough gal act that keeps you at arms length of any real emotions. Instead of feeling  what we should we make the goal to feel as little as possible.

My desire for autonomy does not usurp my need for connection. The fashion, and pressure for so many of us, is to forgo creating bonds with others for an unnecessary “tough girl” act that keeps you an arm’s length from any breadth of emotion. Instead of acknowledging our feelings, we make the goal to feel as close to nothing as possible. “Tough girl-hood” even becomes a bade of honor in some sense-to be able to handle even the most egregious heartbreak, betrayal, pain, without flinching. Wait a freakin’ second. Have we forgotten that we are the feeling half of the food chain?

My solution to being a more complete person is to feel, and feel everything. Feel what it’s like to be on my own, and even sometimes lonely. We can feel the pain of reticent parents, painful losses, lacking childhoods without becoming it.

I can be the benevolent observer of my suffering rather than a slave to its narrative. To ask for help when I need it without shame. To open myself up to the possibility that I can have my needs met by many different people, and in turn have a deeply connected romantic partner. Someone who not only replaces my vibrator, but reminds me that I deserve to be loved, and that I am the shit.

Get FREE resources to help you have what you need to carry yourself through.

 

Content Is King

28 Day Biz Challenge: Day #10

The best type of marketing is the FREE kind! Use what your mama gave you and create some awesome, high value content to authentically market your biz! Use my ContentIsKing worksheet below to brainstorm some killer blog topics. Share your best one to get credit for today’s challenge. #transFORM

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10 Biz

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Social Media Meltdown

 Day 8 of the FORM Pilates 28 Day Biz Challenge 

Today we’re talking Social media madness! Social Media Overwhelm? Check out Lindsay’s Vlog below about how to shake the SoMe blues, then share it on your favorite social media platform along with your single biggest takeaway.

Remember to use the hastag #transFORM and tag us @FORMPilates to get extra points

 

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Guest Post: Teacher Training and You!

Teaching has been in my blood since birth. When I was a little girl, I played school instead of house with my dolls. When I was in high school, I volunteered to tutor geometry instead of going to the mall. When I joined professional ballet company, I started teaching ballet classes at night to supplement my income. What I found was that I actually loved teaching more than performing.
The career transition from dancer to Pilates Instructor made perfect sense for me because it combined my love for movement with my love for teaching. So in 1998, I got comprehensively certified through Power Pilates NYC. After teaching Pilates full time for 5+ years, I decided to join the Power Pilates teacher training team. I did it to share my passion for teaching with others, travel more and boost my income. What I didn’t realize is that teaching teachers how to teach would make me a better teacher and fall in love with the Pilates method even more!About Page
There is a clarity that comes when you have to explain to others not just how to DO an exercise but how to TEACH an exercise! It makes you think about the “why” not just the “how”. It makes you honor the process not just the end result. It makes you realize that every single thing you do and say as a teacher will impact on your clients. In 2012, I moved on from Power Pilates to pursue other Pilates pastures and gain some autonomy in the industry. I still do guest teacher trainings and lots of continuing education courses here, there and everywhere but my focus is mostly my family and my clients. Here are the 3 top lessons learned over my almost 12+ years as a teacher trainer.

1. Be responsible for what you say and do!
Once you become a Teacher Trainer, your apprentices will mimic and take notes on every move you make! If you show up 5 minutes late, they will show up 5 minutes late. If you chew gum while teaching, they will chew gum while teaching. If you use silly meaningless cues or swear words while teaching, they will too! Be present! Be professional!

2. Expect to give more time than just your hours teaching.
Although being a Teacher Trainer will inevitably bring in another revenue stream to your business, it is a lot more involved than just the hours you spend teaching clients and weekend seminars. You will need to set aside time for weekly meetings with apprentices. When your apprentices observe you, you will have to take time in between your clients to answer a plethora of questions. It used to take me 20-45 min to grade tests and write evaluations for each apprentice and then another 15-30 min to give evaluations and feedback to each apprentice. If you have a group of 5 or more apprentices, that is substantial!

3. Invest in yourself and always be a student.
No matter what “level” of teacher you become always remember the value of being a student. Take weekly lessons with other teachers. Make it your job to do Continuing Education regularly. Keep your energy cup full by getting massages, exploring other forms of fitness, reading a book, going to a museum, etc.

Remember that above all, it is important to understand that we are all in this together as students of the practice of Pilates, even when we are training future instructors. There is always something more to learn, some way to further refine and perfect your technique. Teacher Training is a wonderful way to give back to the proverbial “next generation” of Pilates instructors-and is a wonderful way to share both intel and technique with those who are just beginning to experience this, our shared art of Pilates.

 

 

Formerly a professional ballet dancer, Carrie Campbell was introduced to Pilates in 1992 as part of her physical therapy to help rehabilitate chronic dance injuries. She fell in love with the Pilates method at first sight and 6 years later when her dance career ended, she decided to get certified to teach. She received a 600 hour comprehensive Pilates certification through Power Pilates NYC in 1998 and she has taught clients, teachers and teachers in training full time ever since.
 
DJG_1837Over the past 15 years, Carrie has built an extensive client base. To date, her youngest client was a 12 year old aspiring gymnast and her oldest client was a 97 year old Pilates devotee. She has trained many celebrity clients including Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Linney, Mandy Moore, Mary Louise Parker, etc.. Carrie has appeared in numerous Pilates DVDs, online workshops/workouts, training manuals and has an audio CD of mat work called “Pilates on the Go!”  She has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Pilates Style, Us Weekly, Quest, Allure and has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show and the WB news. In addition, Carrie has presented workshops and workouts at numerous conferences including IDEA, PMA, Equinox and Power Pilates.
 
Carrie Campbell is the owner of Positively Pilates, LLC. She teaches privately, group classes and continuing education workshops in NYC & NJ.  She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is a mother of two beautiful children. For Carrie, Pilates is not just a workout, it is a way of life.

The (Pilates) Joke’s On Us

I am officially an OG in the Pilates world. I got thrown into Pilates years ago. At the risk of dating myself, the year was 1999 and I was hooked before I could barely even pronounce the word “Pilates.” My introduction to the method was on the west coast where the work can be found with audible exhales and little, if any mention of the man himself. It wasn’t long after receiving my certification, that I was teaching out of a Beverly Hills studio, and got my first taste of what is known in my industry as Classical Pilates. I became obsessed with finding out as much about Pilates lineage as I could, and learning about this crazy man in tighty-whities named Joe Pilates. Does all of this sound like Greek to you? Never even knew there were different styles of Pilates, or that there existed a man behind the method? You are not alone, and frankly, it’s all our fault.

 

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A controversial article about the death of the Pilates industry-The Pilatespocalypsewas published in New York Magazine recently. The article talks about Pilates industry’s need to get trendy (and quick!) to stay relevant. While the rest of the world licked their fingers and, well, just turned the page, in my community it was an uproar. A few of my colleagues circled together to start a dialogue about the supposed demise of our industry and what, if anything we could do about it. In typical Pilates instructor fashion, what started as a benign conversation on how we can educate you folks, ended in a debate about what Pilates really is. These instructors-certified, qualified, over 600 hours of training and observation between them, couldn’t agree on how to explain Pilates to a layman in 140 characters or less. Shocking you say? Read on.

Since the rise of both the Pilates industry and its training programs, we teachers have kept our heads down training and learning, with little concern for how to make something that can be deemed difficult palatable for the rookie.

We worked for a good 50 years prior to Pilates landing on American soil to have an official industry association (although some teachers still don’t recognize it), and still to this day have no governed, regulated or standardized teaching training programs. The Pilates industry can feel, to a teacher, like the wild west (sans guns and horses). And while we as teachers spend so much time infighting about the use of the Pilates name or the authenticity of the methodology of our neighbors, the world turns round without truly understanding what Pilates is.

So to clear it up, let me start with what Pilates is not. It is not yoga, or for dancers only. It is not girlish or feminine. It does not have separate methods for mat vs machine. What it’s not is, like anything else. When someone asks me what is Pilates I simply reply: “A method of moving your body to make it optimal for anything you want to do in life, created by a man named Joe Pilates, using both mat and spring bound machines.” Seems simple doesn’t it? Well, Pilates really is.

We’ve vastly overcomplicated the damn thing and, gotten so wrapped up in the cherished work, that we’ve alienated the people we want to reach-you. So next time you take a Pilates class, private session, or video, remember this: not all Pilates is created equal or is one size fits all. Don’t settle for an explanation. Try the thing and see how your body feels afterward. If you don’t see a difference don’t fault the message blame the messenger.

Now it’s time for us to hear from you! Tell me what your idea of Pilates is or your experience with the damn thing. Trust me my fellow teachers are foaming at the mouth to get your feedback!

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Guest Post: Is Working Out Just Another Chore?

Just the other day I overheard a trainer-client conversation about setting up the next workout appointment. When given the options between two slots, the client said: “Let’s do it as early in the day as possible. Then it’s out of the way.”

It’s the “out of the way” that got me thinking. While I recognize this sentiment from whenever I schedule my own workouts for an already packed week, is it true that working out is just another chore?

It’s probably true: if we could maintain a happy, healthy, and good-looking body without exercise, chances are we wouldn’t go out of our way to work out and stretch. We know about all the health benefits, yet some of us think of it the same as walking the dog on a cold and rainy night – something we know we should do, but don’t really feel like doing. So it’s important to remind ourselves from time to time why exercising is different from walking the dog, washing the car, or doing our taxes!

  • QUALITY “YOU-TIME”
    Let’s face it: how often do you get to have some personal time, away from family, career, and assets? Exactly. Whether you are taking a run, pumping iron, or doing Pilates, focusing on nothing but the physical task at hand will get you in a zone in which you can put everything else on hold for a while. Think: work out = time out.
  • FITNESS IS WELLNESS
    Ever spent a workout session thinking “what I really need is a massage” only to find out afterwards that you didn’t need one anymore? No surprise here: exercising and stretching relaxes the muscles, strengthens and lubricates the joints, cleanses the skin and detoxifies the organs, improves the circulation and immune system, stimulates the brain, rejuvenates and energizes – basically it’s just like a visit to the spa! Let it be something you look forward to.
  • ENDORPHIN-RUSH
    Do you know that amazing feeling after a really good workout, a sense of power, bliss, and instant stress-relief? This happens thanks to the release of endorphins, a chemical produced by the brain during exercise. It also occurs when feeling excited, in love, having an orgasm, or eating spicy food. Exercise is clearly your best bet if you want to schedule your next endorphin-rush (and rely on it.)
  • CHANGE YOUR POINT OF VIEW, OR CHANGE THE TYPE OF EXERCISE
    As you see, there are plenty of reasons and incentives for you to look forward to your next workout. Still seeing it as a chore? Then maybe you are simply not doing the right thing! Try a different kind of activity, find something that you truly enjoy, independent from the desired results. We all tend to stick to activities that stimulate and challenge us physically AND mentally – and that are fun!

Of course, Pilates is my workout of choice, but at the end of the day – as long as you’re moving, it’s good for you!

 

 

Benjamin Degenhardt282483_10151157663845706_2094099938_n-300x300 is the mastermind behind 360° Pilates, a continuing education program for Pilates teachers. He has been involved in the Pilates world for over a decade in addition to his extensive dance and movement teaching background. While performing as a dancer he found a passion for teaching movement and, inspired by Joe Pilates, immersed himself in the study of injury prevention andbody mechanics. With his expertise in historical Pilates and modern fitness he established himself as a “teacher of teachers” and conducts workshops around the globe. He has maintained a true passion for the Pilates method and its ability to improve people’s lives. You can find him and his articles for Pilates teachers on his website at benjamindegenhardt.com