I have received a few questions on what it takes to become a POP Pilates instructor so I am going to break it down in this post!
For those unfamiliar with POP Pilates, POP Pilates adds a twist on traditional mat pilates by choreographing the moves to different songs (mainly POP songs!). It’s faster paced that classical pilates and it is specifically designed for a group setting. The format was created by Blogilates founder Cassey Ho and it’s inspired by her POP Pilates YouTube videos (which are extremely popular!).
I’ve been following Cassey Ho and her workouts since 2012 so I felt like this certificate was the best way for me to get started in teaching. Also there is a pretty low barrier to entry which I will explain below.
If you are interested in getting certified, you can check out the list of upcoming trainings here!
In order to receive your POP Pilates certificate, all you need to do is attend a one-day training and submit an audition video to demonstrate your teaching skills within 3 months of the training! If you are looking for in-depth pilates training, the POP Pilates instructor training is not for you. The process is best compared to that of teaching Zumba or a Les Mills format like Body Attack.
The training day is 8-9 hours long and it consists of a master class, teaching instructions, and a final practice teaching session.
After the training you have 3 months to submit a video of you teaching a 30 minute routine to a group of at least 3 people. I’ll be honest, I was quite intimidated by video portion and I waited until the deadline to film (I might have even extended it a week). But I grabbed two of my best friends and my mom and we shot at our local club house. It wasn’t that bad in the end!
Once the team receives your video they will give you detailed feedback on your teaching and will let you know whether you passed.
Finding a Job
If you pass, woohoo that’s great! Now it’s time to find job. If you live near a 24 Hour Fitness you are in luck because 24 has partnered with POP Pilates official and they are actively looking for instructors.
My experience finding a job was very positive as my group fitness manager made the process smooth and less intimidating for a newcomer like me (thank you Roberto!). He knew I was a first-time teacher so he offered to do a 1:1 audition with me instead of group audition with all the other instructors watching. For the audition all I had to do is prepare 5-10 minute routine!
The audition was far from perfect but my manager saw potential and personality in my teaching and decided to move forward!
It took a few months before I actually started teaching at 24 due to scheduling conflicts with my full-time job. Once I started teaching I realized that certification was the easy part, teaching was much harder.
Memorizing new choreography each week, attracting students to your class, and accommodating for injuries and skill level is where you really start to learn. On top of that you are understanding how to cue efficiently, learning how to use a mic (confession: I still don’t know how), and changing your playlist often enough but not too enough so you’re students stay engaged but comfortable with the choreography. I learned quickly that my students are my best teachers.
I have been teaching with 24 for the last 7 months and I still feel like a beginner! Along with teaching at 24, I occasionally host a few pop-up classes with local brand and studios to bring the format to even more people. It keeps it interesting and challenging learning to teach in a different environment with new student.
In the end, what it really takes to become a POP Pilates instructor are the following: passion, time, a little bit of cash, and the desire to learn. If you really want it, I can guarantee you will be great at it!
Please reach out if you have any questions!