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Why is Pilates so Expensive?

 Actually, it isn’t at all.

It can be free!  Get started with out One a Day Matwork for beginners series on YouTube

… Or, you can buy the book: it costs less than £12!

Click here to buy.

Joseph Pilates wanted everyone to be self-sufficient in their fitness workouts. And that’s one reason he wrote the book.

He would never hold back his students. He’d teach them what they needed and then expected them to get on with it themselves.

We follow the same model. When you practice under your own steam a session can cost as little as £18.

He also expected people to practice at home doing matwork. 

The Short Version

You get what you pay for.  Pilates is expensive because:

  • Not all Pilates is created equal. 
  • Comprehensive Teacher Training (on Mat & all apparatus) and Third Party Certification is a big investment costing between £4000 – £10000
  • The equipment and housing it is expensive: a professional grade Reformer cost over £5000.
  • To get the full benefits, Pilates is learning as well as doing. Classes can make Pilates cheaper, but it will only ever be one size fits all and you won’t learn anything.
  • Teaching Pilates is intense work – you can’t teach 8 hours back to back everyday.

The Long Version

Teacher Training

You get what you pay for...

Admittedly, there are teacher training courses put there are are really inexpensive. 

The one below is mat only.  That’s about 7% of the whole Pilates repertoire.

Often these courses don’t even teach the original exercises – so it’s not even Pilates.

Oh, and you only pay if you pass. 

Online Pilates

Online Pilates “Certification” for £249! Only pay if you Pass! Really?


In contrast, my training with Balanced Body cost over £6000 and took two years.

After there was a 6 month apprenticeship. And then an 18 month mentorship.

And a certification by the only third party certifying organisation in the world: the Pilates Method Alliance, now know as the National Pilates Certification Programme.

A world away from pay £249 but only if you pass!

Not all "Pilates"is created equal.

You can do “One Size Fits All” Pilates in a group. But

  • you’ll only ever use one type of apparatus
  • everyone will be doing the same exercises
  • everyone will be working at the same speed 

More importantly, there will never be the idea of progressing nor will you actually “learn” anything.

That’s like having just a small slice of pie and leaving the rest behind!

Virgin Active Reformer Class
… but Pilates in large groups often becomes just exercises rather than Pilates

The classes are sometimes free or may cost between £7 – £30.

Big Corporations do great marketing

... and it really works!

Big gym chains and franchises can afford a dedicated marketing team.

Novel names are given to classes for effective marketing.  “Dynamic Reformer Pilates” is one. Another is “Megaformer” classes. They make Pilates on a Reformer sound dull.  And in turn, makes The Matwork sound so yesteryear!

Don’t be fooled. Often these are often generic exercises plonked onto a Reformer.  The essence of what makes Pilates a System has been removed.

Mat Pilates

... is like having a tiny slice of the pie and leaving big chunks behind!

Some of the things that make Pilates expensive have been removed: no large and expensive apparatus needs nowhere to keep it.

Contrary to public perception, the Matwork and Reformer work aren’t different, but are intimately interconnected.

In fact, the whole of the Pilates system is like the thread of a spider’s web that crosses over itself in intersections and interconnections making a whole.  It’s not one thing or the other.

Mat work is just 7% of the whole thing.

You can’t fully know one without the other. Omitting parts of it is leaving large pieces of pie behind.

Who is your teacher's teacher?

This is a great litmus test: ask your teacher who their teacher is. If they don’t have one, that is an indicator. 

Most world class teachers now work online. Mine does and that’s how I get my knowledge from one of the most internationally respected teachers in the world.

This of course isn’t cheap.

The Apparatus & Space

The apparatus is expensive.  A studio grade Reformer costs at least £4000, add on the essential accessories: box, pole, cushions and you’ve gone over £4500, before VAT.

purist pilates reformer-3
Reformer with Sitting Box

The total cost of properly equipping a studio easily exceeds £20,000.  The apparatus is usually imported, so then there’s shipping and import duty.  That’s just for the very basics without factoring in blocks, boxes, poles and so on.  Then there’s maintenance.


A Pilates Mat is a piece of Apparatus

Did you know that a dedicated Pilates mat has handles and a strap? And, yes, it makes a BIG difference. In fact, it’s a game changer.

If you want a true Pilates mat complete with straps and pole, from the likes of Gratz, you’ll paying at least £750 for a folding one like mine (handmade) below.

Pilates Mat
Pilates Mat


Location costs

All this apparatus has to be kept somewhere and that means renting a space – unless it’s a Home Studio.  Commercial Rental for space in a good location is expensive.

Is possible to make it cheaper?

– Yes it is.

We do our utmost to make Pilates as cheap and accessible as possible without losing any of it’s amazing qualities in the process…

That’s why we have our three steps:

Step OneStep TwoStep Three

First Lesson £48

– Assessment

– Create your programme

Starter Lessons £48 each

– Learn your programme

– Practice at home & studio

Personal Practice from £18

– Independent practice

– Bolt On 1:1 sessions

Home Practice: not only will your practice be cheaper, but you will progress faster and that progress will be far more effective!

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