Pilates Teacher
Millers Yard

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Jo S

00:00:03 My name’s Jo S, and I’m a Pilates Teacher. Pilates is to do with your posture, your body alignment, and your muscle – working the muscles in the body how they should be worked and – and any muscles that you’ve got maybe too strong, you overuse them, it’s trying to switch off – switch those off, and work – and work your stronger muscles. So it’s very slow and very controlled initially, to make sure that all the right muscles are doing the job that they should be.

00:00:33 I wasn’t very sporty at all. At school I was in a couple of clubs like cross country and netball, but I wasn’t particularly – particularly sporty. And when I was at school and you had to choose what you wanted to do, and your options, I didn’t have a clue. Went on to like work experience and I worked in a hairdresser’s – well got experience in a hairdresser’s and I think, when I left school, I just thought I needed to do something, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but because I’d done the work experience at the hairdresser I think it was better the devil you know, so I went to Hairdressing College. But it wasn’t for me. I don’t know whether I didn’t like the competitiveness of being, you know, all girls working together. I don’t think I was very creative. So I didn’t enjoy it, so I didn’t pursue it. So from there I got a job in a gym as a receptionist.

00:01:22 Don’t know why, just a job came up and I went for the interview, and I was surprised I actually got the job as a receptionist. Didn’t have any background of reception work. And then from being receptionist, somebody on the gym staff left, and then it was just put to me – why don’t you be a gym instructor? So I thought then OK why not? Why not give it a go? And I absolutely loved it. I just worked as a gym instructor, so just on the gym floor, and then later on I did become an aerobic teacher. I loved – absolutely loved what I did, and got a buzz because of the adrenaline rush of teaching so many classes a week. But there’s also a downside, because people look at you, and they look at you how you are, they don’t look at you as whether you’re fit – inside – and whether you’re healthy, they look at the shape that you are.

00:02:12 So sometimes that was quite challenging. I think that when you are in front of people – I don’t know, 20, 30, people – you feel, or I felt, and I know some of my friends who’ve also been in the fitness industry have felt they’ve got to be a certain way. So that played a bit on my head, and I got a little bit obsessive with exercising.

00:02:37 But then I wanted to have a child, so I thought I can’t do it, I didn’t have enough energy. And when I did actually become pregnant I thought I can’t do it anymore, so I looked – well probably before that I looked at something different – and that’s when Pilates actually came in. I actually had an injury and – on my leg – and I went to see a physiotherapist, and he just explained it was all to do with – it wasn’t to do with my leg, it was my back, it was referred pain from my back, and it was all about how I was walking. From there I got – read up on Pilates, did a course on Pilates, and just loved the total difference from being manic, teaching all these classes going hell for leather at the gym, to it being very small movements, controlled.

00:03:17 So I just went down into London and trained with the Pilates Institute initially, in London, and had to have Anatomy and Physiology background, which was – which I did by this time because I’d done my Aerobic qualifications, which I hadn’t had previously. So I did that, and then became a Pilates teacher.

00:03:46 The high point of my life was probably, again, when my child was born, because that – it just changes your whole outlook on life. And this year I was fortunate enough to meet a lady who was taught by Joseph Pilates and she, again, was very, very inspiring.

00:04:00 ENDS


Jo S is a Pilates Teacher – “I just worked as a gym instructor, so just on the gym floor, and then later on I did become an aerobic teacher. I loved – absolutely loved what I did”, but she wasn’t sporty at school. After an injury she studied Pilates.

More information about Fitness instructors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

36%  male 
64%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Fitness instructors deliver training in a range of fitness activities, including weight training, yoga, pilates, personal training and other forms of exercise at private health and fitness centres, local authority run sports and leisure centres, other public and community establishments, and in private homes.
There are no formal academic requirements. Entrants must, however, possess coaching qualifications recognised by the appropriate governing body. Applicants to coaching courses must normally be over 18 years old and hold a first-aid certificate. Background checks including a CRB check are required for those working with children.
  • Assesses the fitness levels of clients;
  • Devises programmes of training appropriate to the needs of clients with varying levels of strength, fitness and ability;
  • Demonstrates and leads fitness activities and supervises exercise classes;
  • Ensures that clients do not injure themselves through over exertion or using incorrect training techniques;
  • Plans and monitors personal fitness schedules;
  • Understands the health and safety aspects of different forms of exercise and ensures that any statutory requirements are met.
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