I recently got certified as a Mat One Power Pilates Instructor. I can easily say it was one of the hardest things I have every done, yet also one of the most rewarding experiences I have been part of.
The program consists of three days of hard work, both mental and physical. The training starts on Friday and ends on Sunday. When I arrived I was introduced to my fellow students, all strong inspiring woman. I was the youngest in my class, which consisted of six women, most of whom had already completed college, or taught some other type of class. They already had more life experience then I did.
We started off, being introduced to the Power Pilates teaching system. We then finished the night by practicing our teaching skills. On Saturday we spent most of the day teaching each other in groups of three, going over the list of eighteen moves and ingraining them into our brains. Needless to say, I was mentally exhausted at this point.
Saturday night we were given a take-home exam,which we were to give to our instructor the next day. I had never experienced anything like this training in my life. It was just stinking hard.
On Sunday we handed in our exams, studied our manuals together, and finished off the training with a practical exam. I really had no idea what my results were going to be. I struggled with the memorization, and intensity of the training involved. Yet I think the above is what makes this program so great. Because they make you work so hard, I really felt like I learned something. I left that weekend exhausted, yet accomplished.
What I wish I had known
Now looking back on the whole thing as a teacher, I walked into my first class ready to teach and prepared to handle the diversity of fitness levels that I was confronted with. Yet there are a few things that I wish I had known before going in for this training, that would have made life a little easier.
- Memorize the program of moves they send to you when you sign up. If I had only done this beforehand, I would have been able to tackle the training with more ease. Our instructor (who was amazing by the way), had us teach the moves without the manual the second day. I was not ready.
- Bring light things to snack on throughout the day. I would not recommend eating a big lunch or breakfast during the training, only because there is a lot of moving involved. We had to train directly after lunch, which is tough if you have a full stomach. Unlike some people I have to eat regularly or I just won’t think clearly. I would recommend bringing a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and snacks of trail mix, protein bars, or fresh fruit. Keep it light, and eat regularly throughout the day.
- My last and final thing is RELAX. Your instructor is not some robot who is out to get you. I was blessed to have a wonderful instructor, who patiently worked with each of us. She passed me. despite my stupid mistakes and fumbled words. What she really wanted to see was that we were progressing throughout the weekend, and that we were not going to harm anyone.
If you decide to take your love for Pilates to the next level, I would recommend Power Pilates, and yes, you totally can do it. Yet every person is different, so do your research, and look into other companies as well. Now go forth, and pursue your Pilates dreams.