Who is Pilates?

Joseph Pilates, the creator of the Pilates system, or the “Art of Contology, “was an amazing inventor. He developed his exercise method in the late 1800s and brought it to New York City in the 1920s. Pilates is a system of over 500 controlled exercises that condition the entire body. It is a blend of strength and flexibility training that develops core awareness, improves posture, enhances balance and coordination, reduces stress, and creates long, lean muscles without bulky mass. Pilates works with many muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion. It is an intelligent exercise, engaging the mind, requiring focus, and demands efficient movement. Pilates is effective in connecting the whole body. It focuses on the quality of movement rather than quantity. The method encourages improved physical function, as in cueing correct spinal alignment. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or specialized equipment such as the Pilates Universal Reformer, Cadillac, High Chair, Wunda Chair, and Ladder Barrel.

Do I need a license to be a Pilates Instructor?

At this time, there are no state or federal licenses to teach Pilates.

Do I need insurance to work as a Pilates Instructor?

We highly recommend that all Pilates instructors carry a professional liability insurance policy if they teach exercise to others.

Do I need Pilates certification to teach or open my own Pilates center?

No. You are free to open a Pilates center with or without “Pilates Certification.” This is exactly why Certification is so important. Anyone can say they are educated in Pilates even if they are not. Clients who seek Pilates instruction are savvy. They are becoming more and more aware that there is a vast difference between a self-titled “Pilates Instructor,” and a “Certified Pilates Instructor” who actually holds a “certificate” from a reputable Pilates Certification Organization. Clients routinely ask for instructor credentials and certification verification. They expect to see your certificate hanging on your studio wall. The point is don’t “fake it.” Know your trade and take pride in your education.

What do I look for in a Pilates Organization?

Perception maybe everything, but not always reality. Many “Pilates” organizations can be compelling but don’t always have the experience and credentials advertised. Don’t be afraid to ask and verify. When choosing an educational center, or school, either local or online, start with the credentials. Find out the organization’s “true” history and its experience. Try to look past the fancy marketing and hip websites and go to the core. Do your research and discover the facts. Who is the instructor or teacher you will be learning from? What are their qualifications? And most importantly, especially with any company online, can their credentials be verified? Here is the bottom line… Today there are literally thousands of Pilates individuals, companies, and organizations offering Pilates education and certification. Many of these individuals, companies, and organizations may be very good. We cannot make that determination for you. All we can suggest is that you seek out their “history and experience” and make your decision based on your personal choice.

Why PilatesCertificationOnline.com?

Besides being the very best priced “online” option available for “authentic Pilates education,” the Pilates Certification program at PilatesCertificationOnline.com is the original program created and offered by The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles since our beginning. And this means you are learning from the very best in the Pilates education field. Our goal is to make the method more easily available while at the same time maintaining all the original principles and purity of the method. PilatesCertificationOnline.com now offers the same classical Pilates training program, fashioned by the original program first offered at The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles. We keep it pure, simple, and true.

What is the relationship between The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles and PilatesCertificationOnline.com?

The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles and PilatesCertificationOnline are the same. PilatesCertificationOnline.com is the “online” Pilates program for The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles and is structured the same with the same requirements since 1992.

How does PilatesCertificationOnline.com verify the student’s work?

The PilatesCertificationOnline.com system can track a student’s coursework. Each course must be completed before advancing to the next level. The online test results are calculated in our system, a grade is generated, and the student is notified immediately if they have passed or failed.

How much money can I make as a Certified Pilates Instructor?

There is no exact answer to this question. The amount of money one can make is dependent on many factors. Certified Pilates Instructors can make anywhere between $10 and $75 per hour as an employee or independent contractor. Some private instructors and studio owners make $50 to $150 per session. The pay is typically based on an individual’s experience and credentials. A person with a college degree, or medical license, may be paid more for services than a person without. Some studios may pay a commission per client or even pay per head for a group class. If you add all of this up, it means you could make an excellent living as a Certified Pilates Instructor. This is especially true for those who choose to open their own Pilates business.

How old do I have to be to take the courses?

The courses on PilatesCertificationOnline.com have been designed for individuals with interest in fitness. A basic understanding of the body and the language used to explain the movements is required. Since we educate many young dancers, we believe that our courses would be appropriate for individuals 16 years of age or older.

What are some of the benefits of Pilates?

Pilates improves strength, flexibility, and balance / Tones and builds long, lean muscles without bulk / Engages deep abdominal muscles to support the core / Challenges the mind and enhances body awareness / Teaches efficient patterns of movement, decreasing injury risk / Reduces stress, relieves tension, increases energy with deep stretching / Restores postural alignment / Creates a strong, flexible spine / Promotes recovery from strain or injury / Increases joint range of motion / Improves circulation / Synchronizes neuromuscular coordination / Offers relief from back pain and joint stress / Corrects over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury / Enhances mobility, agility and stamina / Compliments sports training / Improves the way your body looks and feels.

What age group is Pilates for?

Pilates can be beneficial for virtually all ages, fitness levels, and body conditions. The method is appropriate for general physical fitness or physical therapy. Exercises can be adapted or modified for individual needs.

What’s better, mat or equipment Pilates exercises?

It’s not a matter of one being better than another. The Pilates workout can be performed on a Pilates mat alone, and great results can be achieved through beginner, intermediate and advanced moves. However, the various equipment pieces such as the Reformer, Cadillac, and Chair incorporate spring resistance that works similar to the properties of an elastic band. The apparatus can safely sculpt, tone, stretch, and strengthen the muscles encouraging progressive resistance training. A Pilates session can combine both mat and apparatus to vary a workout, balance physical training, and meet the clients’ goals.

Is there a difference between a 4 spring Reformer and a 5 or 6 spring Reformer?

Yes… The tension of the machine will be different based on the spring configuration. The 4 spring Reformer is the original design of Joe Pilates and is still considered the “traditional” Pilates Reformer. Reformers with 5 or 6 springs were created in the late 80s and early 90s by an equipment manufacturer who realized a greater market for “Pilates based” machines because traditional machines were only sold to Certified Pilates Instructors. This was the original reason for “new improved designs.” Then came more changes. The original dimensions of the machines were changed, the springs became more varied, the box size was recreated…….and as a result, the method began to alter. Ultimately, to perform Pilates exercises and routines on the modified machine, you need to modify the exercise and routine. The authentic work of Pilates became diluted.

Before 2002, the word “Pilates” used to be a federal trademark, and selling “Pilates” equipment had legal limitations. For manufacturers to avoid legal complications, the Reformer and other machines were modified and sold to the masses as either “based upon” or “Pilates-based” equipment. Over time, the market became confused as to why there was ever a need for a modification to the original Joe Pilates design in the first place. It was not to improve the Pilates method, and it was to produce and sell more machines for greater profit.

Today, many more modified or “hybrid” Reformers are found in Pilates facilities than the traditional 4 spring Reformer. Likely, many owners of the 5 or 6 spring Reformers do not realize a difference and why. The marketing of modified machines is now promoted as the “new and improved” Pilates machines. We do believe that Pilates work will continue to evolve, though we continue to ask… Is there anything better than the original? Generally speaking, both the original and the new Reformers work well and yield outstanding results. However, it is important to note that Joe Pilates designed his traditional exercises and routines on the 4-spring machine.

In the end, it comes down to personal choice. The “new and improved” Pilates machines of today do offer many benefits. Now you can choose your machines knowing what the real differences are, based on the facts. As Pilates educators offering traditional Pilates education, The Pilates Studio of LA and PilatesCertificationOnline.com continue to teach the 4 spring Reformer programs based on Joe Pilate’s original design.

Can a person really learn Pilates exercises online?

YES, absolutely! Our online program was carefully created over a period of 3 years before being offered to the public. And we continue to make improvements each year. Our online program is the same as our original Pilates Certification program offered over 20 years ago. The only difference is, our program is now available to you online. We offer the most established, professional Authentic Pilates program 24/7/365.

Our Pilates philosophy is to “Keep it simple, keep it authentic, and keep it pure…” If doctors learn how to perform surgery techniques online, then we believe people can certainly learn Pilates online…provided that they are learning from the right school and Pilates professionals. Our professional online program is the first of its kind. With over 20 years of experience, we are recognized for our excellence in offering the first “Official Traditional Pilates Teacher Training Program.”

How much time do I have to complete each course?

Your student account does not expire. After purchasing any of our courses, you are free to watch the purchased course videos, wherever you want, whenever you want, as many times as you want, for as long as you desire. You make your own schedule. Access to videos will only expire upon taking and passing each course test, which becomes available after you have viewed all of the videos for each individual course level.

You are not required to take any test until you feel ready to progress to the next course level. If you choose to review purchased course-level videos, again and again, you can do this. (Access to all videos purchased appears in the “Current Courses” column in your student account. These do not expire until the test is passed and will appear in the “Completed Courses” column.)

There are 18 exercise videos in the Pilates Reformer Basic course. After purchasing the course, you immediately gain full access to view all of these videos. You are free to start with the first video and stop (all exercise videos average 1 – 3 minutes in length), or view all 18 videos in progression, stopping and starting as you wish. You decide. You may watch and review all 18 videos as many times as you wish, whenever you wish. No restrictions. Once you have viewed all 18 videos, IF YOU FEEL READY, a test is provided for you to take and pass before access is granted to the next course level. You are not required to take any test until you feel ready to progress to the next course level. If you choose to review any or all 18 videos, again and again, you can do this.

When you feel ready, you may take the test, pass, and progress to the next level. If you take the test and do not pass, you may not progress to the next course level. However, full access to all the course videos remains in your account, and you can continue to watch and review as you wish. Upon successfully passing the test with a score of 75% or greater, access to the Basic level now expires, and access to purchase and progress to the Pilates Reformer Intermediate level is now granted. After completing all 3-course levels, (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced), you may print your course completion certificate.

Which Course should I take first? Is there a recommended order?

We recommend taking the basic level of mat or apparatus first and then proceeding to the intermediate level courses and then advancing. For those interested in learning the entire system, we suggest taking the mat (or reformer) programming first, the reformer next, then Cadillac, and finishing with chairs and barrels. Since some future teachers wish to teach mat and reformer primarily in their centers or clinics first, going through an entire mat and reformer program from basic to advanced is best.

What is the PilatesCertificationOnline.com Certificate of Completion?

The Certificate of Completion rewards students for completing a full Pilates program on PilatesCertificationOnline.com and passing the online test. Upon passing the test, a certificate is automatically generated that may be viewed online. It is also available to download. PilatesCertificationOnline.com suggests that students keep copies of their Certificates of Completion to show potential clients, employers, and colleagues.

Final Certification Certificates
Final Pilates Instructor Certification documents are the “official” Pilates Instructor Certificates presented by The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles since 1992. With the company logo and the state seal, they are not printable online. Final Pilates Instructor Certification Certificates are signed by Melinda Bryan only and are mailed to students directly from our Los Angeles office upon completion of all certification requirements. These certificates are presented to all students after Full Pilates Instructor Certification (Mat and all Apparatus – The Complete System) / The Mat Certification / The Reformer Certification.

What are the key differences between authentic Pilates and other Pilates-based or Contemporary Pilates programs?

Authentic Pilates is the same or another word for classical or traditional Pilates, which means our Pilates is the original Pilates programming created by Joe Pilates. “Pilates-based” programs, which are most commonly accompanied with the words like “based upon the teachings of Joe Pilates,” “contemporary Pilates,” and or “fusion Pilates,” is a mixture of some Pilates principles combined with any number or other methods.

I don’t need certification, but I want to learn classical Pilates to work out at home. Can I still take the PCO courses?

Yes… Our program is also designed for the individual who wishes to learn Pilates for their own personal use. This is great for individuals who may have Pilates equipment at home or have access to equipment but may not have access to a Certified Pilates Instructor.

How do I achieve Pilates Certification?

Pilates coursework or workshops and apprenticeships are generally required for all reputable certification programs. Please see our information in the About Us section of our website, “Pilates Instructor Certification.”

Is my certification with The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles & PilatesCertificationOnline.com recognized internationally?

Yes. As the world’s first and oldest, most recognized, official Pilates organization offering authentic Pilates certification (since 1992), our certification program credentials are regarded as most comprehensive. Our 1200 and growing number of students and graduates are most respected and in high demand.

Is there a single price for the complete certification program? Or do I purchase one course at a time?

Yes, there is an option to purchase all courses within the complete certification program for one price.
Go to: “Combined Course Catalog” to make multiple course purchases.

Note: Basic courses must be completed before the intermediate courses and intermediate before the advanced. An online test must be passed to complete each course.

What is the total cost for the Pilates Mat Certification Program?

The current total price of the online MAT certification program is $325 USD. This excludes promotions, discounts, training manuals, and retake test fees. (Price may change without notice.)

What is the total cost for the Pilates Reformer Certification Program?

The current total price of the online REFORMER certification program is $365 USD. This excludes promotions, discounts, training manuals, and retake test fees. (Price may change without notice.)

What is the total cost of the Complete Certification Program?

The current total price of the online COMPLETE certification program varies, though it averages $1250 to $1800. Please go to our “Combined Courses Catalog” to view discounts and promotions available. Training manuals and retake test fees are typically not included. Our normal “Studio Seminar” price averages $3500 – $5000 depending on specific programming and apprenticeship opportunities.

Can I get Mat or Reformer Certified if I take just the Basic or Intermediate Courses?

No, all levels for each program must be completed. In addition, all other listed requirements must be fulfilled to proceed to certification.

Does the Mat, Reformer, or Pilates Instructor Certification expire?

No. Once certified, there is no expiration. However, we encourage each student to take continuing education courses with other organizations or with us regularly.

I have been certified by another Pilates organization but would like to test out and receive The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles Certification. Can I do this without taking all of the courses?

We pride our program on traditional Pilates practice. All students/members seeking our certification must demonstrate this understanding. We do not offer a test to pass to achieve The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles Certification, but we offer a Bridge Program. This allows Certified Pilates Instructors that have prior experience practicing another Pilates program the opportunity to attain our Certified Pilates Instructor Bridge Program credentials.

Are the learning materials (manuals, DVDs, etc.)included with the price of each class?

No, our books and DVDs are purchased separately. The training manuals supplement the online coursework and apprenticeship.

Is there a time limit on how quickly I complete any or all of the training?

No, there are no time limits or time requirements. You can start, pause, stop, and restart as you wish. Please review our “QUICK START” informational page.

Can I study under more than one instructor?

Yes, you may study under more than one Certified Pilates Instructor. It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary verification forms to document the information required.

Are there specific qualifications for the instructor I study with?

Instructors must be Certified Pilates Instructors that have completed a comprehensive Pilates program, which has included study and certification on Mat and all primary apparatus (Reformer, Cadillac, Barrels, Chairs). The Certified Instructor must have completed a minimum of 450 hours of study. Since there are many Certified Instructors with experience in different programs and many students that don’t always have access to instructors with The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles credentials, we have allowed our student members to obtain practical/practice experience from any Certified Pilates Instructor that mentor an apprentice responsibly.

To ensure that my hours will be accounted for, how do I show that the person monitoring my apprenticeship is a certified instructor?

The best way to verify your instructor’s certification is to see a copy of their certificate. Submit a copy of it along with your final documents at the end of your apprenticeship. Before applying and scheduling final testing, all documents must be submitted by email. This includes the hourly log forms and the Pilates facility verification form. These are located in the student account. Pilates facility contact information (website, email, phone number) for each certified instructor is necessary to verify their certification.

Where are the required verification forms and other required documents?

Verification forms and all required documents are available on the student page. Students must be logged in to locate these forms and documents.

What do the start and end dates on the PCO verification form identify?

The start and end dates on the PCO verification form are the dates you begin and end your relationship with a Pilates facility or certified Pilates instructor. You may have more than one form. This form should match the dates on your log sheet that correspond to the apprenticeship hours in that facility.

How do I document apprenticeship hours?

Mat class or study in the studio should be documented on the hourly log sheet by time spent (for example, .5 hr for half an hour), then signed by the supervising instructor. If necessary, an additional page with corresponding dates may be attached to further explain any hours.

When I observe a class or session that demonstrates the use of multiple apparatus, i.e., Cadillac, reformer, and chair, all used, how do I document that on the hourly log sheet?

For example, if you spend a total of 3 hours observing Cadillac, reformer, and chair exercises, you may document 1 hour of each apparatus for a total of 3 hours. If you observe a one-hour class with mat, reformer and chair, then break out the time as best possible, .5 mat, .25 reformer, .25 chair. Remember, no more than 20 hours of the total 450 required may be observation (no more than 10 hours for the mat and reformer programs).

How many total apprenticeship hours are required for the Complete Pilates System?

The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles requires 450 hours of apprenticeship with an approved Certified Pilates Instructor and completing all levels of Pilates courses for Pilates Instructor Certification. If you seek to become a Certified Pilates Instructor, go to the “Programs” tab located on the top of our website and read the section titled: Certification Information, or click this link: All Programs

What can I do to complete my 450 hours of apprenticeship?

A “combination of observation, independent study, workshops, seminars, practice teaching, private sessions, mat or reformer classes, and teaching clients on mat and all apparatus. No more than 20 hours may be observation. No less than 10 hours of study on the mat and each apparatus will be accepted. Proof of all hours must be documented on our Offsite Pilates Studio Verification Form.”

A total of 450 hours are required. This may include 40 hours which, is granted after completing all of the online courses. The additional hours are obtained under the direction of a certified instructor. Since they are “study” and practical hours, these hours may be a combination of the formats described, as long as they are guided or taught by a Certified Pilates Instructor and are Pilates related. Observation-only hours are limited, and a minimum of 10 hours of practice/study on each apparatus and mat must be done.

Do group Pilates classes or private Pilates sessions that I have taken before beginning the PCO program count towards apprenticeship intern hours?

We will allow up to 30 hours of private, one-on-one training, not classes, towards the apprenticeship if the student can provide written documentation of these sessions by a Certified Pilates Instructor. The hours must have been completed within one year before taking the first PilatesCertificationOnline.com course. The letter must accompany the studio verification and apprentice hours forms available on the student account page. The PCO program director may choose not to accept these hours if there are any discrepancies or a lack of appropriate documentation.

What seminars or workshops qualify for apprenticeship hours?

Seminars or workshops must be Pilates related, i.e., “Pilates for Scoliosis,” “Pilates and Osteoporosis,” “Pilates for Golf,” or a master class with a Pilates expert.

What is the difference between observation hours and study hours?

Observation of certified instructors’ teaching is valuable, though we do not apply more than 20 hours as credit towards the 450 required. The minimum of “study” on each apparatus and mat ensures that apprentices don’t focus all of their attention on only one or two areas of practice. The study may include observation.

Can I count hours of practice on apparatus towards my apprenticeship when the instructor is not present?

All “practice” and “observation” needs to be under the direction of a certified Pilates Instructor, typically within a studio/facility. It is up to the discretion of the certified instructor how much supervision an apprentice may need, minimal (in the studio, but perhaps not in the same room), or direct (within visual distance). This ensures that practice is done properly, and corrections or cueing can be provided if necessary. The practice may be done individually (“self-practice”), with other teachers or apprentices, and by teaching sessions or group classes.

Independent study at home is limited to the 40 hours received after passing all courses in the full certification program or 20 hours for the mat and reformer certification programs.

If I practice by taking regular Pilates classes, can I count that in my hours? Do I have to follow any specific style of Pilates?

You may apply all Pilates “group” classes and “private” sessions taken towards your total hours. A Certified Pilates Instructor must teach you. You track all hours on the hourly log form, which is located in your student account. The instructor must sign for each class/session. Though we would prefer that you study with a traditional or classically trained instructor, we realize that not everyone has the opportunity to apprentice with one. We will acknowledge the many certified instructors that have studied a slightly varied path of Joseph Pilates work during their apprenticeship.

Upon certification examination, the traditional exercises and routines must be demonstrated. Please refer to the Pilates manuals for additional information. Visit www.PilatesStudioStore.com to instantly purchase the manuals or download manuals from Apple’s iBooks Store or Amazon Kindle Stores.

What is the anatomy requirement for Fitness Professionals?

Completing the anatomy study sheets, conveniently located on the student profile page under the student name, is required. (Click on “My Documents”) The study sheets have been created to parallel the book “Anatomy of the Moving Body,” by Theodore Dimon, Jr., first or second edition. The answers to all study sheet questions can be found in this book.

What is the anatomy requirement for Health Care Professionals?

Health care professionals may provide a copy of either license, degree, or a college-level anatomy course to satisfy the anatomy requirement.

How do I find a Pilates Center for Apprenticeship?

For most Pilates centers, a student intern can be a big help. We suggest locating a few centers that are conveniently located near your home or work. Those that do not have their own certification program in place may be best. Approach the studio director or manager with your request to become a student Pilates apprentice, and ask them if they accept students at this time. Let them know that you are accruing hours for the Pilates Studio of Los Angeles Pilates Instructor Certification Program. We recommend that you begin your experience by offering to volunteer your time in the center, assisting as needed in exchange for mentoring. Participate by taking classes or lessons led by the Certified teachers (these count as apprenticeship hours, too!). At some point during your study, the center may consider hiring you to teach as you excel in your Pilates practice. Therefore, be serious and respectful as you take on this opportunity. The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles has a strict policy regarding confidentiality and professionalism in the practice of Pilates work.

Some different Pilates centers, some teaching traditional Pilates, others “hybrid” versions of Pilates, sometimes referred to as “Pilates-based.” In addition, many centers offer other disciplines, such as yoga or Gyrotonics. Attempt to seek out the authentic, more traditional Pilates center that offers clients mat classes, private training, or semi-private training on each piece of apparatus detailed in the Pilates system: the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Big Chair, and the Barrels – Small Barrel and Spine Corrector. Learning the core principles and true foundation of the Pilates program, as it was created originally, is the key to a successful start in Pilates. If you are having difficulty finding a traditional center, we understand. A center that has all of the apparatus which you will need to practice on is satisfactory. Some apprentices may intern at more than one center also.

Pilates center owners are understandably very protective of their business. Student interns can be a tremendous asset to the dynamic of a thriving practice and become a lot of work for the certified instructor. Some students may sometimes pose a threat to the center by acting unprofessional or boldly trying to solicit clients. It must be made clear from the beginning that the student’s intention to apprentice is to develop a strong, professional relationship to assist the instructors as they share valuable information and experience with each apprentice student. A basic written or verbal agreement between the student and the instructor/owner is essential to establish a clear understanding at the onset of the student-teacher apprenticeship. Again, please note that all arrangements between the Pilates center and or Certified Instructor managing your apprenticeship are independent of The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles and PCO.

How do I find a Pilates Center for Apprenticeship when I live overseas?

If you find it difficult to find a Pilates center or certified instructor close to your home or work, please contact us, and we will do our best to evaluate your needs. We will consider your country of location and proximity to the nearest center or certified instructor to determine how to meet your Pilates Certification goals. Special arrangements for overseas students may be made via live Internet study (Skype) on a case by case basis.

Program #1 – Full Certification – 450 Hours Required

40 hours granted for viewing/passing all five-course programs (Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs, Barrels)

– Minimum of 20 hours classes, workshops, privates, or semi-privates with Certified Pilates Instructor required
– Maximum of 20 hours observation allowed
– Practice teaching – the balance of hours (Note: Minimum of 10 hours on the mat and each apparatus required and logged on the form)

Program #2 – Mat Certification – 100 hours Required

10 hours granted for viewing/passing Complete Mat Program

– Minimum of 10 hours classes, workshops, privates, or semi-privates with Certified Pilates Instructor required
– Maximum of 10 hours observation allowed
– Practice teaching – the balance of hours

Program #3 – Reformer Certification – 150 hours required

10 hours granted for viewing/passing Complete Reformer Program

– Minimum of 10 hours classes, workshops, privates, or semi-privates with Certified Pilates Instructor required
– Maximum of 10 hours observation allowed
– Practice teaching – the balance of hours

PCO may consider hours that you have done apprenticing before starting the PCO certification program. This may include Pilates classes, privates, practice teaching, or assisting under the guidance of a Certified Pilates Instructor. Below is a list of what to email PCO for approval when submitting final documents.

  1. A maximum of 30 previously accrued hours may be applied to an apprenticeship. The hours must have been done within one year before the purchase date of the first PCO course and reflect apprenticing on the area of Pilates for which certification is sought. For instance, mat apprenticing hours will not be given for reformer certification.
  2. All hours must be signed by a Certified Pilates Instructor (meeting PCO program criteria).
  3. All hours must be presented within the PCO guidelines and reflect the requirements above. An hourly log sheet must be filled in. Additional pages may be attached. A facility verification form is required for each Certified Pilates Instructor or center.
  4. Previous certifications in Pilates may be approved for hours on a case-by-case basis. In some circumstances, the PCO Bridge Program may be better suited for a formerly certified instructor.

What is the test format? What can I expect the test to include?

The course level exams are multiple-choice and true/false questions. They will include information that is on course videos and in the training manuals. Therefore, it is recommended that all students purchase course training manuals and take notes while watching course videos. Tests average 10-30 questions for each course level. Each test is timed at 30 minutes. A test must be passed with a score of 75% or better. *Training Manuals are highly recommended and will complement your training and apprenticeship experience.

How do I take an exam?

You must first watch all of the videos in a course. After completing all course videos, the final exam box in the left margin of your screen will display green. You may then click on the proceed button. The exam will appear. It is a timed test, be sure to watch the timer. If you pass the exam, your video course has been completed. The course closes, and you no longer have access to the videos. The course will appear in the “Completed Courses” section of your student page. If you do not pass the exam, you will continue to have access to the course and videos from your student page, and you may re-take the exam for an additional fee.

Is there a separate charge or fee for the tests at the end of each course?

No, there is no separate charge or fee for the test at the end of each course. This is already included in the course cost. If a student fails the test, there is a re-take test fee.

Is there a charge or fee for re-taking a test if it is failed?

There is a $25 fee each time a test is re-taken. If you do not pass a test, you may re-take the test until you pass it. A fee is required each time. We recommend that you take the test only when you are ready.

How do I prepare for the Final Test?

Following the submission of all documents required for Pilates Certification, the student will be notified by email if their submission is complete and accepted. At that time, if no further documentation is required, they may make arrangements for the final practical test. The final exam will test overall competency and specific skills required for Pilates teaching. The exam may be scheduled in the Los Angeles studio (fee of $195) or arranged via Skype. The student must be prepared to have a mock client participate in the exam, both on-site or via Skype. There will be an additional fee of $50 if you would like us to provide a mock client for a test in the studio.

  1. Know all exercises, names, repetitions, of every level, mat, and each apparatus, with proper equipment set up, major muscle groups used, and goals of each exercise (if mat or reformer certification, this applies to those only)
  2. Know the traditional sequences for the mat and reformer programming – basic, int, adv; emphasis on transitions and flow
  3. Prepare to give verbal, manual, visual, breathing cues
  4. Prepare to modify exercises for physical disability, such as neck pain or ankle sprain, know basic contraindications for exercises, positioning, movement patterns
  5. Use proper body mechanics while teaching, and spotting techniques with your client
  6.  Expect to be given on the spot instructions, questions, and problem-solving situations
  7.  Know the traditional 4-spring Reformer, be able to modify the exercises on other apparatus that may be in a non-traditional studio (this does not apply to the mat the only certification)
  8. Demonstrate a dynamic report with your client, with clear, simple instruction and corrections as appropriate, with specific attention to safety
  9. Use The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles Official Training Manuals for exercise review

What do I earn after completing a program?

After completing all required levels of a program (i.e., basic, intermediate, and advanced) and successfully passing each “online” test at the end of each level, members immediately gain access to a personalized printable or downloadable “Course Completion Certificate.” These certificates are automatically generated and are located on the student profile page. They may be accessed, viewed, printed, or downloaded at any time. PCO suggests that students keep copies of their “Certificates of Completion” to show potential clients, employers, and colleagues or for proof when seeking continuing education credits.

What do I earn after completing the “Complete Pilates System” (Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Barrels, and Chairs) and satisfying all apprenticeship requirements?

After completing all requirements for Mat, Reformer, or the Complete Pilates System, this includes passing the final test administered by Melinda Bryan (or by an approved Senior Certified Pilates Instructor employed at PCO), members receive their official “Pilates Instructor Certificate,” which is mailed directly from the desk of Melinda Bryan.

What is the difference between the “Course Completion Certificate” and the final Certified Pilates instructor Certificate?

A “course completion certificate” provides proof of passing all levels of a full course (i.e., a Mat, Reformer, or Barrel course). These are printable online. The final “Certified Pilates Instructor Certificate” is granted following completion of all courses, apprenticeship hours, and testing. Final Pilates Instructor Certification Certificates, with official logo and seal, are not printable online. Pilates Instructor Certification Certificates are signed by Melinda Bryan only and are mailed to students directly from our Los Angeles office upon completion of all certification requirements.

Do I earn a “Course Completion Certificate” after passing the basic level or the Intermediate level test?

No. All required levels of the program must be completed to earn the “Course Completion Certificate.”

Where can I get the high-quality paper to print my “Course Completion Certificates?”

High-quality paper can be found at any local office supply store. Here is one link to Shoplet.com, an independent online company. Some members have purchased a standard, borderless, high-quality paper: Pacon Array Parchment Bond Paper / Item # PAC101080 – Classic parchment textured paper adds elegance to certificates.

Why does the system say I am “logged in” when I thought I logged out?

A student cannot be logged into their account on more than one computer at a time. If you are logged in on one computer and try to log in to the same account on another, the system will respond with a message, “You are already logged in. “Following 30 minutes of an account being idle, the system will automatically log you off. At this time, you can log back in or login into a different computer.

I was logged in on one computer and did not log out, yet the system says I am still logged in and does not allow me to access my account.

This may most likely occur during heavy member use. Following 30 minutes of an account being idle, the system will automatically log you off. At this time, you can log back in or login into a different computer.

Can I log in on two computers at the same time?

No. You will have to log out of the first computer to log into a different computer.

I forgot to log out on my home computer, and I tried to log into my computer at work but cannot.

After 30 minutes of non-use of an account being idle, the system will automatically log you off. At this time, you can log back in or login into a different computer.

Can I share my login information and account with my family, spouse, or friends?

No, this is considered “account sharing.” The PCO system is designed to recognize account sharing, which is not permitted under any circumstances. Account sharing violates the PCO terms and conditions and is cause for membership and account termination, which may happen automatically and without notice.

I cannot remember my password. What do I do?

If you have forgotten your password, go to the login page and click on the “Forgot Your Password?” link. You will need to submit the “exact email address” you used at the time of registration. A replacement password will be sent to the email address. After receiving the new computer-generated password, log into your account and change the new password to one that you will remember.

IMPORTANT: New temporary passwords are sent within minutes. If you do not receive a temporary password within a few minutes, do not continue to request more new temporary passwords. Most commonly, the new password is accidentally filtered by your system to your spam or bulk mail inbox. Or sometimes, members who use multiple email addresses forget which email address was initially used to register their PCO student account. This will only confuse the system and cause the system security function to believe someone is attempting to break into your account. When in doubt, Contact Us for assistance.

How long is each exercise video?

For your convenience, each exercise video in every course is separately cataloged so that students can easily locate and view any exercise they wish to view. All exercise videos average 1 – 3 minutes in length, allowing you to decide how much time you wish to spend in our virtual classroom. You may choose to view one video exercise per day or view and study 10 exercise videos per day. The choice is yours. There are no time restrictions or limitations.

Example A
Bob purchased Reformer Basic Course on January 1st. Bob has great Pilates knowledge and feels confident that he can quickly progress through the course. Bob is eager to progress and decides to watch all of the course videos within 1 week. Bob decides he is ready to progress to the next level of the Reformer Intermediate course, so he proceeds to take the Reformer Basic test. Bob takes the test and passes with a score of 75% or greater. Bob is now ready to purchase and progress to the Reformer Intermediate Course level.

Access to the Basic level has now expired (it will appear in the “Completed Courses” column on his student page). Bob is now granted permission to purchase the Reformer Intermediate Course and access the next level course videos. Bob decides to view the Reformer Intermediate Course videos in one week to progress to the Reformer Advanced Course. Bob decides he is ready to take the intermediate level test and passes 75% or greater. Bob is now ready to purchase and progress to the Reformer Advanced Course. When Bob finishes and passes the Reformer Advanced Course, he will then print his Reformer Course Completion Certificate.

Example B
Sonya purchased the same Reformer Basic Course on the same day as Bob in Example A above. She feels she needs much more time than Bob. Sonya decides she is more comfortable viewing the videos over 8 – 12 weeks before she feels ready to take the test to progress to Pilates Intermediate. This is perfectly fine. Since people learn at different speeds and have different schedules than others, PCO allows each individual to decide when they are ready to progress. No restrictions or added pressure. She may continue the program at her own pace.

Do the courses/videos expire?

Each course is available to view at your own pace until the course exam is passed. The passing of each course level closes the course and allows the student to progress to the next level. Therefore, before taking each test, be certain you will no longer need to review the exercise videos any further. If a test is not passed, continued access is granted to course videos. These will continue to appear in the “Current Courses” column on your student page.

Can I view course videos even if I have completed a course?

Yes… Members are allowed to maintain access to most completed course videos by choosing a monthly membership or annual membership program. Available courses appear on the student profile page after the course has been completed.

How can I adjust the video player to see the videos bigger on my computer screen?

You may play your video full screen. Place the cursor at the bottom of the video player. Click the red square button at the bottom right corner of the video player. The video will play as a full screen—press escape or the X at the bottom of the video player to exit.

My videos are loading slowly. What can I do?

First, check your Internet connection. Make sure that you have good connectivity. Next, you may want to allow the video to load completely one time. Then, the player will play more quickly and synchronously the next time. You may also consider changing your browser. Firefox and Safari may work better than Internet Explorer on your computer. All videos are PC and Mac compatible. Quick Time Player is available by clicking on the link at the bottom of the video player.

My video is getting stuck or has choppy playback. What do I do?

A video may not play smoothly for the following reasons:
1. Your connection speed. You’ll need a broadband connection with at least 500+Kbps for the best viewing experience. If you have a slower speed, it may still play. We do not recommend a dial-up connection.
2. Our servers may be experiencing high traffic. If this is the case, there’s not much you can do. However, we continuously add servers to keep up with demand and improve your experience on our site.
3. Your video download speed may be slow or inconsistent. In this case, you can try pausing the video until the entire stream is downloaded (the loading bar reaches the end of the player), and then, once the video’s completely loaded, try playing the video.
4. Occasionally, an incomplete copy of a video can get stuck in your cache and never fully download. If this is the case, the video will never fully buffer/load in this state. You can attempt to resolve the situation and restart the video’s buffering (loading) by clearing your browser’s cache.

I was watching a video, and the video got stuck. Now the video always stops at the same place, and I cannot proceed to the next video.

Depending on your browser, or during high member use, the server may sometimes drag, causing a “system hiccup,” and video play may be interrupted. If this is the case, the video may never fully buffer/load in this state. To resolve this issue, please clear your browser’s cache. For detailed instructions, go to: www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser’s-Cache or click here now: Clear Your Browser’s Cache.

You may also wish to try a different browser if you find the problem continues. (i.e., if you are using Google Chrome, you may wish to try Firefox).

How do I clear my browser History Cache?

It is always a good idea to clear your browser history and cache to avoid slowing down your computer. To clear your browser’s cache. Click this link for detailed instructions: www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser’s-Cache Click Here.

How do I contact PCO staff?

Please write directly to info@PilatesCertifcationOnline.com, or you may reach us now by clicking here: Contact Us or by using our “Contact Us” link located at the bottom of each page.

Depending on the specific nature of your question, some responses may take up to 72 hours. Most basic questions are answered within 24 hours. Questions requiring more detailed attention will be routed to the appropriate department.

Is there a contact phone number, or is there anyone I can talk to about the online certification program?

YES… Please read the below section marked “Contact Us by Phone” PilatesCertificationOnline.com (PCO) is an “online” United State-based organization that does business in the United States and many other countries worldwide. PCO receives hundreds of inquiries daily, from current members and future members, from individuals who live in English-speaking countries and those who live in non-English speaking countries. As one can imagine, with so many daily inquiries, from all over the world, there is much opportunity for miscommunication, which may easily lead to unintended misunderstanding.

Like “Amazon.com” and many other legitimate online-based companies and organizations, PCO has adopted the policy to acknowledge ALL inquiries, correspondence/communication, questions/answers, about our online program, in writing, via email. Our number one goal is to provide the very best online Pilates Certification experience to our members. It is our belief, one way to achieve this goal is by keeping the most accurate records for every member. Although we are confident in the abilities of each of our employees to maintain accurate records from each “phone conversation,” having a “paper trail” is best. This helps to prevent and limit any chance of misunderstandings or misinterpretations between our employees and PCO members.

Since, likely, communication between a PCO employee and a PCO member will not always be with the same employee due to different time zones, keeping accurate email correspondence between all parties will ensure that all PCO employees are well-informed regarding all inquiries. PCO staff and management will always be able to “pick up” from the last “email conversation,” and continue the communication with each member without having to miss a step or “start over.” This policy is also the same for ALL other PCO-related issues, including, but not limited to: technical questions or issues, test questions or issues, refund requests, etc. Accurate records are vital to us. Therefore, there is no exception to this policy.

Contact Us by Phone

At this time, it is the policy of PCO that ALL phone communications are reserved only for Student Members who have fulfilled all requirements and are ready for final certification testing. These calls are by appointment only and may be conducted by phone or via Skype. For specific detailed information regarding certification requirements, please visit our “Pilates Instructor Certification” page section marked “Basic Requirements” for more information.