Birmingham Pilates Studio Space

Social Distancing at Birmingham Pilates

Our Pilates Studio, Covid-19 & Safety


Though I’m disappointed (but not perhaps surprised) that a Pilates studio and gym are classified together when it comes to Coronavirus policy and social distancing, l’ve decided that the best way to go about this is to follow the very spirit of the guidelines.  After all, these guidelines are designed to help us protect both ourselves and protect each other.

Remember that complete safety can never be guaranteed, but we can do a great deal to minimise risk!


Numbers through the Door

I teach four lessons daily.  More teaching hours means less time for my own practice, study and research.  More teaching hours a day increases the likelihood of burnout.

These are mainly 1:1 private lessons.  Currently there is a group lesson on just one day: Saturday.

The traffic in and out of the studio door is therefore very small – just four people a day.

On the one day when there is a Open Studio Group Lesson (3 people max – see below) that daily turnover of people rises to six.

Even if every lesson in a day were a Open Studio Group Lesson, the number of people in and out of the studio door would be just twelve.

There is currently just two people taking Self Access practice slots, one of whom can’t come right now because of work and the other comes just once a week.

The number of people going in and out of the studio daily is very small.


Space per Person

Pilates Social DistancingThe Government guidance specifies a minimum of 100 sq ft of space per person for indoor exercise spaces.  That’s 10 x 10 ft, not 100 x 100 ft.  To get this number, the area is the “net usable indoor space available” for students to use.  This, surprisingly includes changing rooms, toilet and wash facilities!

Our changing rooms and showers are on a different floor so let’s exclude them.  The studio space is 586 sq ft.  Of this, 77 sq ft is taken up by the office, so let’s exclude that as well.  That leaves 509 sq ft – space for 5 people, including me your instructor.

One on one and duets are easily within this range as are groups of 4+1.  I’ve decided to prioritise safety and the amount of time I can spend with a person in an open studio group lesson) and limit group numbers to just 3+1.

If there is only one person in the “group”, unlike most gyms and classes, the session will not be cancelled.  This represents tremendous value for money if you are lucky enough to “be a group of one”! 🙂


Apparatus & Social Distancing

Social distancing of 2m (6.56ft) between people is required within a fitness setting.

Again, in 1+1 lessons and 2+1 lessons this is easily doable in a room measuring 586 sq ft.  This is easily achievable in Open Studio Group Lessons.  Numbers are limited and you stay on the same apparatus for the whole of your lesson.  Apparatus available includes: Mat, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels or Reformer.  See below.


On Sharing Apparatus

Neither apparatus nor equipment should not be shared within a class. Immediately after use, it should be thoroughly cleaned.  This is the responsibility of the student.

In group classes, people will no longer be able to move between different pieces of apparatus.

In these lessons, each student will stay on their own piece of equipment for the duration of the lesson.  The apparatus available is:

  • Cadillac – also a mat.
  • Trapeze & Tower (that’s also a Mat & Reformer)
  • Reformer
  • Chair and Barrels and Mat

Regarding props such as Magic Circles, blocks, bolsters, therabands, inflatable balls and rollers and massage balls, there are more than sufficient to go round without sharing.


Pilates Studio Custard Factory View



Hand sanitizer is provided at the entrance to all elevators and upon entering the studio.  Clients are urged to wash their hands thoroughly before entering the studio.

Lessons last 50 – 55 minutes.  Please arrive slightly early to be ready to start bang on time.  You can enter the studio whilst another person is working and wait in the office area.  In the interests of clutter and hygiene, please leave your shoes outside.

Clients are requested to clean their own apparatus down with the mild cleaning solution and microfibre cloths provided.



There are six large opening windows in the studio, a door as well as ventilator fans to prevent stagnant pools of air.


Contact Details

In case it becomes necessary to track, test and trace, contact details are kept (within GDPR regulations) by the studio in any case: for online lesson booking, reminders by text and email as well as a part of newsletter signups.

I will keep everyone up to date via the newsletter on how safety measures are being implemented or updated.


Wearing Masks & PPE

Currently, there is no requirement to wear neither masks nor PPE in indoor fitness facilities.

If, in Open Studio Group Lessons, one participant is in a vulnerable category and wishes to wear a face mask.  All participants will be asked to wear a face mask.  Please bring your own, but there are face masks available at the studio.


Pilates Studio Custard Factory View


Signage & the Zellig

Posters are on display throughout the Zellig building and the Custard Factory reminding people of social distancing, cleanliness and hygiene protocols.

Only  two people are permitted in a lift at anyone time.  There is hand sanitiser at the entrance of each lift.

There is an isolation / emergency room available if you suddenly suffer Covid symptoms.

The management of Zellig examined the possibility of implementing a one way system throughout the building, but due to disabled access, a one way system was neither feasible nor viable.

If you have any ideas, questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll respond as soon as I can.


Thank you for your patience, understanding and humanity in these difficult times.


Miguel 🙂

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