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Pilates: Cutting Through the Hype 
by Carrie McClain July 05, 2005

Pilates is not a fad workout. Unfortunately, many people have jumped on the Pilates bandwagon in an effort to make money, exposing the public to equipment and instructors that are not truly safe. How can you be sure you’re getting the real thing and not being scammed?

What is Pilates?

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, a German national living in England during WWI. He was placed in a camp with other German nationals in Lancaster, England. He wanted to help himself and his fellow inmates avoid the physical decline associated with confinement, and so began to teach other camp members exercises based on his study of yoga, Zen, and ancient Greek and Roman methods.

When released from the camp, he began creating programs for people who had disease and injury resulting from the war. Over time his methods proved to be effective, and slowly gained in popularity.

How can I be sure I’m getting the real thing?

An organization to keep the integrity of the Pilates method was ford in 1999, the Pilates Method Alliance. Look for an instructor who is a member of this organization or another similar organization. Your instructor should have many hours of training, experience, and ongoing education. The Pilates Method Alliance provides guidelines for teachers and a way to locate reputable Pilates instructors. Find a Pilates studio in your town, or check out the certification of instructors at your gym.

Videotapes and systems sold online, on TV, or in stores may be less likely to provide the true Pilates method. The most popular recently, the Windsor Pilates method, seems to be a good program as well. Beware of expensive equipment and programs. Thoroughly research a product before buying.

Pilates is not a fad program, and it doesn’t promise results in short periods of time. Beware of programs that do! Pilates will strengthen your body, burn some calories, and tone your muscles. Don’t expect a miracle; however, you get out what you put in.


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