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PILATES LINDSAY G MERRITHEW


President & CEO, Merrithew Health & Fitness


t’s disappointing that pilates has been left off the 2013 ACSM Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends, particularly as the survey results are widely discussed and debated among fitness professionals. However, while commentary around the survey results suggests that pilates has run its useful course, this is far from the reality we have been experiencing: enrolment on our STOTT PILATES teacher education courses and workshops, which I consider to be an appropriate barometer for the modality, continues to grow year-on- year, worldwide.


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What is most gratifying about the survey results is that pilates delivers on at least eight of the top 10 identifi ed trends: pilates has endless applications (encompassing strength, bodyweight training, core training and functional fi tness trends listed by the ACSM), numerous means of delivery (including two further ACSM trends: personal and group personal training), and appeals to diverse populations, like older adults. The industry would be wrong if it didn’t recognise this, and acknowledge that pilates is far more than a passing fad. What can be done differently to ensure pilates resurfaces as a trend within the ACSM survey will most likely come down to the way pilates, or other forms of mindful movement, are marketed to the diverse set of survey participants (commercial, clinical, community and corporate). These participants embrace the importance of health and wellbeing, but may still view the pilates modality as sitting within a narrowly defi ned set of parameters.


Enrolment on STOTT PILATES courses is growing year-on-year


“WHAT IS MOST GRATIFYING ABOUT THE ACSM SURVEY RESULTS IS THAT PILATES DELIVERS ON AT LEAST EIGHT OF THE TOP 10 TRENDS”


DAVID ELLIOTT


MD, Pilates-Mad


he majority of the trends in the ACSM list are broader than specific activities such as pilates: pilates could be seen to fall within 10 or more of the top 20 trends identified.


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I feel equipment-based pilates in particular is very rewarding, and in


keeping with many of the ACSM trends. However, while there are thousands of studios offering equipment-based pilates in the US, this hasn’t taken off to the same extent in the UK – due, I believe, to the high cost of training and equipment, and a lack of co-operation between training providers that means progressing to specialist courses is time-consuming and expensive. This must be addressed, and is something we’re looking at through new equipment ranges and training at the Mbodies Training Academy.


52 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


The pilates sector also needs to keep its offering fresh, with innovations in equipment and programming to keep members engaged. And it needs to make it more fi nancially and logistically viable for operators to continue to deliver a high quality pilates offering – developing equipment that could be used without the need for a bespoke studio, for example, and even used for other types of classes. All that said, based on our sales of equipment and accessories, pilates in no way seems to be losing popularity. ●


March 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


© MERRITHEW HEALTH & FITNESS


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