Pilates is Plenty!
When I opened my first Pilates Studio in Nashville, I began small and limited my risks. I wasn’t sure if this little dream of mine would work! At the time, Pilates was not very popular in Nashville. When I first moved to Nashville in 2009, I tried a few places - no longer there - and found both to be lack luster, not very effective and to be frank disappointing. Fortunately, that is no longer the case … but starting a new studio when the perception of Pilates is ‘meh’ was an uphill battle to climb. For that reason my studio was named 12South Pilates & Personal Training I was also a certified personal trainer and I felt that would give me the credibility I needed to get people in the door if I adde Personal Training to the name! Pilates alone wasn’t going to cut it.
My vision for my studio moving forward would eventually include yoga, maybe barre, TRX and possibly spinning. I believed I needed these things to get folks in the door and to try Pilates.
I began taking on some personal training clients. When I asked what their goals were, I’d hear alleviate my back pain, make my core better, build strength, and gain some flexibility. These were all things I knew Pilates could do for them! In the beginning, we used hand weights and exercise bands because they wanted personal training not necessarily Pilates. As we continued to work together I incorporated more and more Pilates into their workouts without really calling out it was Pilates. They liked it! They requested those movements. They saw results.
I realized I was part of the problem!!! My own insecurities as a brand new business owner in a new territory with fears it may not work lead me to feel the need to be like everyone else. I went against my gut - Pilates is Plenty - and let my concerns give people what they knew instead of what i knew! It was an eye-opening experience for me …and one that changed how I would do business moving forward!
About 6 months into my business, I began dropping the ‘personal training’ from my promotion and focusing on Pilates. When someone asked if I did personal training I said “Yes - and I do it through Pilates as I believe this is the most effective way to get you to your goals.” I needed to stand behind it if I wanted anyone else to try it! And it worked. I did not have one single student say they would rather do traditional personal training or complain they weren’t seeing the results they wanted. Instead - my clients were happy and succeeding and loving Pilates.
This was a great lesson for me to learn. Sometimes we try to be all things for all people because we are fearful what we are or what we offer is not enough. In my opinion, we can’t be great at everything! We need to stand behind what we believe and let that be enough. I always new Pilates was Plenty…. I just needed to trust my gut on that one!
I follow lots of Pilates folks on instagram and from time to time I see others making the same mistake I made … thinking Pilates alone is not sexy enough! I see the addition of tabata, HITT, barre and any number of others things to make Pilates acceptable. Pilates is Plenty! That is not to say that other exercises are not effective … but it’s not necessary in a Pilates class to get results. I actually don’t have a problem with hybrid classes … I just wish they’d call them that … not Pilates. Pilates in and of it self is Pure and Plenty. What I fear and see now is folks taking a hybrid class and walking away not liking “Pilates’ because it was too much of a bootcamp experience. It’s hard to get someone to try Pilates again after a bad experience. It’s hard to change perception after money has been spent and time spent in a class called Pilates that incorporates burpees and box jumps.
I’ve learned my lesson and i’m proud to teach Pilates. I am proud of what it does for my students and thrilled that they love it, too. For me -Pilates is Plenty!