Bootcamp Pilates for your Pilates Studio

Since Pilates was first introduced almost 100 years ago, different styles of this intriguing system of exercise have emerged. One of the most recent and controversial styles is Bootcamp Pilates. Frowned upon by many Pilates purists, Bootcamp Pilates may be seen as the anti-Pilates or as Peter Fiasca’s puts it, “…a mutation of Pilates”. Nevertheless, should Pilates studios consider offering Bootcamp Pilates as a programming option?

What is Bootcamp Pilates?

The word Bootcamp gives the impression of military style fitness training with a drill sergeant type instructor barking orders while participants sweat out 1 or 2 more repetitions before collapsing on the floor. Bootcamp Pilates is similar. However, instead of wearing big black boots and running through tires, you are barefoot performing a range of Pilates and fitness exercises.

Bootcamp Pilates is typically performed in a group setting on the reformer. The exercises include traditional reformer exercises as well as popular fitness moves such as lunges, squats, dips and push ups. The reformer revitalizes such fitness-based exercises as it demands an extra dimension of balance and core control.

Bootcamp Pilates is far removed from the classical method taught by Joseph Pilates. It opposes one of his key principles which advises against pushing the body to exhaustion. Instead, Bootcamp Pilates incorporates the weight training principle of muscle failure which helps boost muscle tone and development. Bootcamp Pilates follows some Pilates principles such as spinal and joint alignment, core activation (centering) and deep concentration. Nevertheless, this interesting modification should be considered a fitness-based exercise method rather than a mind-body exercise system.

Despite its difference from traditional Pilates, this system of exercise is gaining huge popularity, mostly due to the impressive results that participants are seeing within a very short period of time. Furthermore, many benefits associated with traditional Pilates such as improved posture, alignment correction, body awareness and reduced back and joint pain are also generated through the Bootcamp Pilates method. One significant benefit which amplifies the popularity of Bootcamp Pilates is effective weight and fat loss. Thanks to the intensity of the class, one can burn up to 700 calories per hour, regardless of fitness level.

The Pros of offering Bootcamp Pilates at your Studio

Bootcamp Pilates is hugely popular and many people who typically would not find traditional Pilates interesting are giving this new dynamic upbeat version a go. Traditional Pilates can be quite a hard sell at times. Not everyone may appreciate its subtle controlled elements, slow movement and the long term benefits it brings. Offering Bootcamp Pilates may bring a whole host of new clients through your door who eventually, may convert into traditional Pilates enthusiasts. In addition, many people are looking for a weight loss solution and while traditional Pilates assists in weight loss, the results can be slow. Bootcamp Pilates gives your center the opportunity to assist your clients in their weight loss goals while still introducing them to Pilates.

Offering Bootcamp Pilates also opens up an interesting marketing opportunity in garnering press coverage. The press is consistently interested in new fitness concepts and with the right approach, you may be able to receive new referrals from magazines and newspapers articles.

The Cons of offering Bootcamp Pilates

Bootcamp Pilates may not fit in with many studios’ ‘Mind-Body’ design. Most Pilates studios are very tranquil, quiet spaces with calming design features to help clients focus on the mind body connection. Bootcamp Pilates is hot, sweaty and loud, typically performed to pumping house music and therefore may not complement the existing set up of many studios. Due to the heat and moisture generated during a class, a ventilation and air-cooling system are desirable to maintain comfort. The Pilates reformers also take a greater amount of wear compared to traditional Pilates and extra maintenance costs need to be factored in. Other Pilates professionals and studios in the area may not agree with this type of class being offered and a previously amicable relationship with fellow competitors may turn sour.

Are you with it or against it?

Most Pilates professionals with an absolute passion for the work of Joseph Pilates may find their skin crawling at the very term ‘Bootcamp Pilates’. Many may believe it opposes all of Joseph Pilates’ teachings and see this method as a way of cashing in on the Pilates name. For those studios already offering other styles of fitness classes within their Pilates programming, Bootcamp Pilates may be an appealing opportunity. As long as this class is sold accurately as a fitness and resistance-training class that includes Pilates elements, rather than advertised as a genuine Pilates class, and as long as it does not impact negatively on your existing client base, Bootcamp Pilates may be a great addition to your Pilates program.

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