Why You Should Take an Advanced Training (Even if you Don't have Advanced Students)

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Look at those lovely ladies!! Trainings are so much fun!! But something I often hear is “I don’t have any advanced clients. So I don’t need to take the Advanced training.” (And don’t even get me started on “I don’t need to take the Advanced Training. I can just learn the exercises from a video.” That’s another blog post).

So, why should you take an advanced training if you have clients that mainly do beginning work?

  1. Your personal practice. Our work as instructors is our commitment to our practice. That does not mean that we judge ourselves or our self worth by how we look or compare ourselves as to who is doing Snake and who is not. It means that to teach Pilates we need to be challenging ourselves to progress to the most challenging exercises for us. Taking a training at a higher level will push you to learn new exercises (and probably practice for assessment). I haven’t taught an advanced training without seeing new exercises open for people that they thought were too difficult or even impossible to open up for their bodies. I find we are often overly focused on one exercise (like Snake) but are skipping all the exercises that lead up to Snake. Taking a training will help break that exercise you’ve been working toward down to it’s mini pieces and pre-exercises so that you can add more exercises to what you’re already doing with confidence.

  2. You need to know the whole system. If you know the entire system, it’s easier to teach it. Many of the questions I get from beginner teachers are because they don’t know the entire system, and when you know the entire system, the beauty of it begins to unfold. For example, many people ask why we’re so picky about transitions, but if you’re not trying to get the advanced work done “in and hour and in the shower,” the transitions may not make sense. If you don’t know the entire order on Reformer, it doesn’t make sense why Spine Stretch moves in the order. When you see how all the exercises work in the complete system, you are able to see the overarching organization and am better able to choose which exercises to teach as your client progresses.

  3. It will make you a better teacher. When you know the full expression of Joe’s work, you know where the journey takes your clients. Maybe Snake is something that will never be the best choice for your clients’ bodies, but if you know the purpose and goal of that exercise, you may know a pre-exercise or mini exercise that will meet that same goal (maybe on anther apparatus). If you know the fluidity and strength that the advanced work requires, you will teach your clients to that higher level, even if they never learn the more challenging exercises.

  4. Working with your peers will inspire you. Sometimes it’s the little conversations that happen on breaks that will help solve a problem you’re having, a business issue, or a client issue. I always learn something from a training, especially from the more advanced trainings since the teachers have all been teaching for a longer time so they have so much to share. New ideas and solutions to problems and more peer help happens the more you advance in the system. These friendships and teaching moments will then continue to inspire you. It’s so important to help share in each other’s accomplishments, frustrations, and creative solutions. We carry this work together. Before I was an educational training center, I worked by myself and without advancing in the system, I could have easily started to teach “Jessilates.” Seeing the work of the Master instructor and my peers always helped to keep me working not only within the system, but also to it’s highest potential.

Feeling inspired yourself to level up? Check out our next Trainings here.

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New Training Offerings for 2019

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Do you need CECs or are you looking to up your skills? Join one of our Continuing Education Courses. These are open to all certification programs and levels and Pilates enthusiasts. We will be offering the Prop Shop Workshop and MVe Chair Course this winter at JSP.

Are you looking to jump start your Pilates career? Then our Peak Pilates Comprehensive Level I Training is what you are searching for. This is the foundational course to the full Comprehensive Certification, and covers all beginning exercises on Mat, Reformer, Tower, Small Barrel, Ladder Barrel, High Chair, Low Chair, Power Circle, and Wall. It’s the best way to expand on your knowledge as a Pilates practitioner and take it to the next level.

Check out all the details here.

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Chair and Barrel CEC Workshop

Want to advance your Pilates practice in the new year?  Keep your certification current?  Lean 73 exercises and how to integrate them into a session?  Check out our latest Instructor Newsletter to learn more about our Workshop January 30-31st.

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Mat Trainings Added to Schedule

Check out our newest Teacher Newsletter with details on how to learn the Basic and/or Intermediate Mat work!

Fall 2015 Teacher Training Newsletter

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The Top Three Reasons to Choose the Peak Pilates Training Program

I often get asked what makes Peak Pilates unique.  After years of owning my own studio and hiring teachers of many different backgrounds, here is what I can say for sure. 

1.  We teach Pilates by honoring the past

Peak Pilates teaches Pilates as a movement system, honoring the work of Joseph Pilates.  We don't feel his work needs to be changed, but we work hard to understand it in today's language with some minor adjustments to reflect the advancements of science and what we know about the body and mind.  You certainly wouldn't want a doctor with medical knowledge limited to the last century.  So as a Pilates instructor, it's important to understand advancements that have been backed up by science so that you have the latest knowledge to safely teach your clients and help them meet their workout goals.

2.  It's all included.

At Peak Pilates, our training is integrated.  After successful completion of PPC-I, you will know all the beginning exercises on Mat, Reformer, Cadillac/Tower, Chair, Small Barrel, Ladder Barrel, and Power Circle.  You will not pay additional money to assess.  You will pay for the four modules and material fees (and shipping).  That's it.  You will understand how to modify exercises to keep people safe with general back, knee, wrist, ankle, shoulder or neck problems, as well as how to modify a class for a healthy older client.  Everything to understand the system is included.  You don't need pre-anatomy courses.  Anatomy is included. 

3.  We teach not just WHAT to teach, but HOW to teach. 

There are a number of reputable companies that can teach you what the 100 is, but at Peak we teach you how to teach your clients to perform the 100.  That means how to spot, how to communicate, how to use imagery and touch...all the amazing things that will set you apart as a Pilates instructor.  Our Five-Part Formula for Success is unique in that it sets up people who have little to no teaching experience to achieve excellent results. Even if you have taught before, the Five-Part Formula will expand and deepen your teaching skills.

Without this system unique to Peak, it's easy for beginning instructors to get overwhelmed.  Imagine, you've spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours taking exercises apart and discussing the nuances of movement.  So what do you do when you get that first new client in front of you?  If you share everything you know about an exercise, they will very quickly be overwhelmed.  How do you know what to say and when to say it?  How do you cue a body in motion to stay in motion without music?  How do you safely progress clients?  As a graduate of a Peak Pilates training program, you will know how to do all these things.  And because you have this knowledge, you will stand out, and you will get excellent results.

So start your Pilates journey will all the information necessary to succeed -  check out our latest trainings and get started today!

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In Defense of Pilates as Movement System

So I read this on a blog the other day, and, well, it kinda made me sad:

"One casualty was Lisa Brinkworth. Lisa is a resident of Buckinghamshire, England and the mother of three small sons. Last year, she started taking Pilates at a local studio and was inspired by a fellow student to sign up for a twice weekly “planking” competition. Initially she was excited by the planking event and did her best to hold the pose longer and longer. Around Christmas, Lisa began suffering what she describes as an “excruciating pain in the left side of my chest.” The pain was so bad that she feared she was having a heart attack or had developed breast cancer. Doctors finally diagnosed her condition as “costochondritis,” an inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the breastbone. “How many of us,” she wondered, “are putting ourselves at risk of such a painful unnecessary injury?”

Now, I want to be very clear.  I do not want to start to compare Pilates with barre classes.  I take barre workouts and enjoy them.  The first class I was ever certified to teach was the New York City Ballet Workout, which could easily be described as a barre workout (without the barre, it's all done standing in center).  So let's not go there.  This is not about what is better or worse.

For me, this is about Pilates and how we teach it.  Did you see the pictures of the planking on the blog?  It's bodies piled on top of each other.  How is this Pilates?  What part of Pilates should involve a competition? 

I believe that Pilates should be taught as a movement system.  I believe Joe taught it that way.  It's one of the things that makes Pilates, well, Pilates.  So what is a movement system?  It's process-oriented, non-competitive, and non-intimidating.  A movement system should stimulate the senses, the mind, and motor skill development.  It should focus on breathing and regeneration of energy.  I think you could ask any of my clients and they would say this is how we teach Pilates at JSP.  But I teach it that way because I think it honors the way Joe taught it.  Contrast Joseph Pilates' quotes below with the experience that poor woman had:

"Contrology (Pilates) is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.  Through Contrology (Pilates), you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then, through proper repetition of its exercises, you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities."

"Beginning with the introductory series, each succeeding exercise should be mastered before proceeding progressively with the following exercises."

or my favorite:

"A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."

If we honor Joseph's work, we must teach Pilates as a movement system.  Even if we cannot agree on imprinting or order or neutral pelvis, can we at least agree on this?  I don't want to ever see Pilates mentioned in an article entitled "The Good and Bad of Extreme Workouts."  Really.  If you're teaching something that extreme that you are putting bodies on top of one another, working people past the point of exhaustion, and competing one person against another, can you please just not call it Pilates?  Because it really isn't.

The saddest thing about the blog post?  I agree with the author's point.  She writes, "The best way to transform your body remains training under the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher and committing yourself to regular, focused practice."  I couldn't agree more, I just would call that "Pilates."  

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Training Center Reduced Rates

Did you know JSP is also a   Peak Pilates Education Center  ?  That means a nice savings for you if you are a generally healthy person and new to Pilates.  Apprentice teachers are working towards their certification, and teach private Pilates sessions for $20.  Level I certified instructors have completed the first level of three toward full certification, and teach private Pilates sessions for $40.   ** These sessions are for beginners with healthy bodies only

Did you know JSP is also a Peak Pilates Education Center?  That means a nice savings for you if you are a generally healthy person and new to Pilates.  Apprentice teachers are working towards their certification, and teach private Pilates sessions for $20.  Level I certified instructors have completed the first level of three toward full certification, and teach private Pilates sessions for $40. 

** These sessions are for beginners with healthy bodies only

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Spring Training Dates Finalized

Find them all here.

In addition, PPC-2 Continues!  Register here for our March/May modules.

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More Powerhouse Cues

100 - Anchor your pelvis into the mat like an anchor on your PH

Roll Up - Pearls, Bone by Bone, Beach Ball, Candy Cane, Roll your Pelvis Like a Wheel

One Leg Circle - Paint the letter "D" on the ceiling; your leg is the brush

RLAB - Scoop to catch a ball in midair

Single Leg Stretch - Pull/Lengthen in leg like taffy; Reach opposite leg out to edge of cliff or edge of pool

Double Leg Stretch - Tuck like a diver

Leg Pull Front Support - Push the ground away and become the roof of a house

Mermaid Stretch - Don't touch the porcupine and come up and hug the puppy

Seal - You're a row boat filled with water, tip back and let water out for three

Push Up Series - Someone is playing tug-of-war with your head and your heals

Need more?  Cues here and here.

 

 

 

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Thankful

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More Powerhouse Cues

100 - Box heavy like cement

Roll Up - String of pearls

One Leg Circle - Stir leg w/in hip socket, hips heavy into floor

Rolling Like a Ball - Keep chin to chest like a laser, Eyes focused on pelvis

Single Leg Stretch - Don't rock the boat

Double Leg Stretch - Scoop to reach out, Wrap your hips and scoop belly, Hold an orange between your thighs

Scissors - Scoop out belly with ice cream scoop

More Cues Here

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Powerhouse Cues

Can I share with you one of the best things about leading Teacher Trainings?  There's a workshop Peak Pilates does that shows you how to create your own exciting, dynamic Powerhouse cues.  Every instructor has moments where we feel like we're repeating ourselves, and Peak has a systematic way to brainstorm new ways to engage your client's core.  And after leading a training, I get to keep all these new cues...but now I've decided to share them with you!  They're just too good.  So thanks to Jennifer, Emily, Tia, and Denise!  I'll add more as I lead more trainings.  Why not share your best ones in the comments?  Words are important, they have power, and if we all get together and share the best ones we'll have more to choose from to keep the work alive for our clients!  Enjoy!

100 - Low spine like lead

Roll Up - Bone by bone, button by button, unroll the mat and roll it back up

One Leg Circle - Body in Concrete, lead torso

Rolling Like a Ball - Roll like a wheel

Single Leg Stretch - Pulley the legs

Double Leg Stretch - Solid body with liquid movement

Spine Stretch Forward - Deflate and inflate

Saw - Upper back is the lid to a jar of jam and you want to get it open

Inner Thigh Circles - Teacup on your ankle and keep it upright

Inner Thigh Lifts - String attached like a marionette

Seal - bowl shape to your pelvis (don't change the shape or the water will fall out)

Standing Roll Down - Drip down like water out of a faucet 

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Anatomy for Pilates Instructors Part Three

And here it is, the framework...

Skull - Cranium, Maxilla, Mandible

Clavicle

Sternum

Humerus

Rib

Radius

Ulna

Pelvis

Carpals

Metacarpals

Phalanges

Femur

Patella

Fibula

Tibia

Tarsals

Metatarsals

Cervical Vertebrae (7)

Scapula

Thoracic Vertebrae (12)

Lumbar Vertebrae (5)

Coccyx

Calcaneus

Check out anterior muscles here and posterior muscles here.

 

 

 

 

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Anatomy for Pilates Instructors Part Two

Posterior Muscles to Identify (some are repeats from Anterior):

Sternocleidomastoid

Trapezius

Teres major

Latissimus dorsi

External oblique

Gluteus medius

Gluteus maximus

Vastus lateralis

Biceps femoris

Semimembranosus

Gastrocnemius

Deltoid

Triceps

Extensor carpi ulnoris

Flexor carpi ulnaris

Gracilis

Semitendinosus

Soleus

Achilles tendon

For anterior muscles click here, bones click here.

 

 

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