Pilates doesn’t work! 😠

Twenty years of teaching, I've heard this a multitude of times.

"Pilates didn't work for me." 😞

Why is it Pilates just doesn’t work for some people?

Why is it some people don't seem to get results from Pilates? I've seen and personally worked with many thousands of clients that have had amazing results - yet there's this group of people that don't seem to get results, or hate the experience of Pilates.

I thought it was a good idea to reach out to other Pilates professionals all over the UK, as well as our team here in TYPP to help me answer this.

Here's what the Pilates experts around the UK say

Hannah Epps from www.pilatescommunity.co.uk sent over the list below. Reading it, a few of these stood out to me. Number 7, the goals of the client and has there been any 1-1? The serious difficulty for many is the cost associated with 1-1 - and let's face it, Pilates isn’t  cheap, especially 1-1 sessions - however, it's understanding the value. How we choose to spend money and what on - it might be eating out, coffees out, new shoes etc -  I suppose it comes down to how much value you would put in it. I like to think if Pilates as being like your health insurance for a healthy life.

As Joe Pilates said "Your only as old is as flexible your spine" 

Pilates 1-1 is immense - I wrote a blog about it - if your interested you can read that over here.

The other one that stood out to me was 5 and 6 - the location it's taught and the props or equipment used to help or advance. Pilates wasn't supposed to be done in a big noisy cram filled room full of mats - 40 plus people and loud music - if that's the sort of class you have gone to - that's not Pilates - I don't know what that is - but its not Pilates...

Joe Pilates - if you went to his studio in New York you'd come in, have a 1-1, and be started on the equipment working through a serious of set exercises you follow - this is the method, you followed the structure - and guess what - it works.

(Joe Pilates studio in New York 🇺🇸 - probably around 1950s)

Mat Pilates is part of that. I think the issue now is - Pilates is not a protected name - so essentially anyone can say they are teaching Pilates - but in many cases - its simply not the case. And this is so terribly confusing for people wanting actually to do real Pilates.

"1. Every teacher is different! They have a different background and style.
2. Feeling Pilates can take a while, i.e. I took three months until I felt what I was meant to feel.
3. Teachers training and level of class might have been too hard or easy
4. Connection with others in the group - same age and levels
5. Where it's taught is massive
6. What equipment used to make harder or easier
7. Their goals and aims and individual assessment that might need 1-1 first!"


Sarah Booth from www.varietyfitness.co.uk hits the nail on the head again reaffirming the large group classes in big gyms not giving clients actual real pilates.

"It's usually because they've been to a class at a gym with millions of people in so didn't get any adjustments or attention or screening. And the other big one is they only tried it once, and we all know consistent attendance is needed to make a difference."


Jane Thomas from janethomaspilates.co.uk makes a great point about being able to connect with the teacher and how they teach you.

"It's a very individual practice, which means everyone brings something different to it, including teachers, one size doesn't fit all and sometimes it's just finding the right teacher for you, but it also requires patience, it is not an overnight fix, the first time I did Pilates I didn't get it, i was a "loud music" exerciser in that I needed to sweat and feel almost nauseous before thinking I had exercised, but when I tried it with a different teacher, it was like switching on a light bulb inside my body, suddenly I connected both with the teacher and my body."


Mairi Taylor from https://www.facebook.com/groups/1433587276704519/?fref=mentions

This is a fascinating one for me get from Mairi. If you come to a Pilates class and are not getting hands-on cues and little corrections - run away... even I would expect in a pilates class to be adjusted and corrected - we all need eyes on us, perfection does not exist. Having a teacher to guide you and be actually paying attention to you and not just getting their own workout in - now thats worth paying for!

"The reasons I get - too slow, don’t like being corrected or adjusted because if they’ve been exercising before or been to large classes where they are left to their own devices and can power through moves with poor technique they don’t like being given other options based on my knowledge and experience 💚plus they know what to do and have never been adjusted in movement before so don’t want to be held back in their eyes."


Megan from www.typp.co.uk yes yes, yes! - perfection.

"Pilates is a system - designed to be taught in a specific order with the equipment allowing people to access the parts of the Mat order that were otherwise inaccessible to them. With the advent of large group, classes modifications slipped in instead of breakdowns of the exercises. If you follow the Classical system in Joe’s order, Pilates works very well."


Linda from www.typp.co.uk yes! There really is such a huge difference.

"Big difference between fitness pilates and classical Pilates - so many people have the wrong idea of what Pilates is, and many don’t understand the difference between yoga and pilates. This can make it confusing for clients and difficult for us as instructors to manage client expectations!
There is often a massive difference between Pilates classes offered in budget gyms and classes in a Pilates studio-like TYPP. Less Pilates more fitness and large classes in these gyms!"

So what does that mean for you?

If you want to do Pilates and see the benefits - look out a Pilates studio in your area, an actual place that does real Pilates. You might also find some fantastic teachers that hire halls in your area - I started that way many years ago - teaching in local community halls. Many great Pilates teachers don't want to teach and dilute Pilates to accommodate the large group fitness movement you get in the large budget gyms - you will find them doing their own thing out in the community. Try gumtree and your local what's on guides.

Ask them when you inquire - what kind of pilates they teach and go along and try it for yourself.

If you can - get on the Pilates equipment - the equipment was designed to help you access movements that you then do on the Mat. The equipment is an excellent place for beginners to start.

If you’re in the Glasgow area and want to come to TYPP and try a reformer pilates class - pop over here to see when the next trial is.

If your keen to get in and get started - you can find out more about getting started at TYPP 

Thanks for reading - if you found this helpful - please share it with anyone you think may get some benefit. Look over to the left of this blog you will see social share links - we would really appreciate a share 🥰😍😜


Sarah Jane and team TYPP in Glasgow, Scotland. With some help from our Pilates colleagues around the UK. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧


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