How to maximize your Pilates personal training and group class revenue during a recession

During this tough economic climate, Pilates instructors find themselves with a smaller client base than they did two, even three years ago.  For instance, at our New York studio, Pilates on Fifth, our numbers are still down about 30% from what they were two years ago.  Ouch!!  But we are not alone.  We are fortunate to know Pilates studio, Yoga studio, and even spa owners around the country, and most are experiencing a similar situation.

So then, the big question is “how do we Pilates instructors retain our clients and thus maximize our revenue?”

Let’s start with what NOT to do!

1)  Take your discouragement with your personal financial situation with you to the studio, the home of your clients, the gym, etc.  After all, it’s PERSONAL training, and your personality is a large part of what helped you retain the client in the first place!  So remember, it’s your personality that could lose them as well.

2)  Talk about yourself and your personal life.  Now is the time to make sure that you are focused entirely on your client or the students in your class in their hour.  Phoning it in will not gain you clients or help you retain them either!!

3)  Raise prices unnecessarily in your attempt to make up for the decrease in clients.  While it might be necessary to raise prices due to increased costs you might be incurring, make sure you know exactly why you are raising the prices, and if you do, make sure that the service you are delivering eclipses the percentage increase tenfold!

That being said, let’s talk about the more positive side of what you SHOULD do!!

1)  Be completely invested in your clients’ progress in results.  If you don’t invest in them, how can you expect them to invest in you?  Take a moment to ask yourself if you’ve seen them make progress in the past two months.  If the answer is no, then think of what you can do to program more effectively.

2)  Mutually re-evaluate your clients’ goals.  Let them know that you want them to reach their goals, whatever they may be.  Additionally, by setting goals together, you can motivate your clients to make their appointments and show up both in body and mind to each and every lesson.  After all, we don’t want our clients phoning it in either!  Goal setting also allows you, the instructor, to create benchmarks which you can then use to chart your clients’ progress.  Once they see their own records of improvement, they’re more likely to keep at it.

3)  Bring your A++ game to the table every lesson or class, every time.  No excuses!  We recently had a conversation with our top instructors at Pilates on Fifth, and across the board, we noticed that regardless of teaching style, our best instructors are the ones who are excited about the hour, keep the energy up, and keep their clients moving.  Ironically, in doing so (and we all agreed on this!) the hour FLIES by… and that’s never a bad thing, right?

4)  Make it ENJOYABLE!!!  Exercise is one of the BEST forms of stress relief, so keep that in mind!

All in all, we’ve noticed that our best instructors have not only retained, but GAINED clients, even with this crazy economic climate.  Hopefully these tips we’ve provided will help others gain and retain lots of clients, both for group mat classes and for private lessons!!!


March 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings. Leave a comment.


Pilates on Fifth Instructor Haley teaching Knee Raises in XTEND™ Barre Workout Warm Up

Pilates on Fifth Instructor Michelle teaching Triceps Press in Arm Sculpting Portion of XTEND™ Barre Workout

Pilates on Fifth is happy to welcome a new addition to its Pilates NYC family: the XTEND™ Barre Workout,  Pilates and Dance Amplified!  We love Pilates, we love CARDIOLATES®, and now we have a new love, XTEND™!!  For years we’ve been longing to go back to ballet class, but never could quite find the time amidst our busy schedules.  On top of that, we were hesitant to go back to ballet class, fearful of how we would feel while our brains remembered how to execute the technique, only to have our bodies betray us…..  XTEND™ has been the answer!  It not only adds a vertical element to all the Pilates mat exercises and Pilates Reformer work that we do, but we feel like we’ve taken a complete ballet class, without the fuss!

Pilates on Fifth Instructor Michelle teaching Hamstring Press Series with XTEND™ Ball at the Barre

Pilates on Fifth Instructor Michelle teaching Hamstring Press Series with XTEND™ Ball at the Barre

We chose XTEND™ because of its blend of Pilates AND dance.  The symmetry is there, the muscle toning, the grace the balance…. Everything!  The class starts with a brief warm up to get the blood flowing, and then progresses to muscle-chiseling arm exercises with light free weights, all to upbeat music to keep the energy flowing.  And then comes the barre work….. we LOVE the barre work!!  The XTEND™ Barre workout devotes equal attention to the front AND back line of the body, working the quads, the glutes, the calves…. The key muscles that will create beautifully sculpted legs and a super lifted butt!  In fact, our clients remark that they leave the class feeling like their butts are about 1 ½ inches higher than they were when they came in!  After the barre work, we slither to the floor for INTENSE ab exercises as well as some additional seat lifting treasures.  The result?  A well-balanced, total body workout that ROCKS and keeps your heart rate up throughout!!  …A PERFECT complement to your NYC Pilates classes and CARDIOLATES® workouts.

Pilates on Fifth Owner Kimberly Corp demonstrating Powerful Plank Series in XTEND™ Barre Workout

Interested in a class?  Click here to see our group exercise class schedule at Pilates on Fifth.  We have XTEND® classes daily!  Are you a Pilates professional or becoming a Pilates instructor?  Then you might be interested in our XTEND™ Teacher Training!  The next course is February 25-27 at our NYC Pilates studio.  Spaces are still available!  Sign up at

Pilates on Fifth Instructor Haley teaching the XTEND™ Fold over series at the Barre

Pilates on Fifth owner Katherine Corp teaching XTEND™ Passe Abs Series

February 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings. Leave a comment.

Shape Up for Summer – Best Pilates Exercises for the Butt

pilates blogThe season of shorts, short skirts and bathing suits begs one question: How do we get buns that defy gravity? Or, better yet, how do we get a well-toned butt quickly? We’ve listed our favorite Pilates exercises for beautiful backsides. Read on…

As far as Pilates exercises go, there are PLENTY that will help shape up your backside, as well as give you super flat abs in the process. The following “Butt Blaster” routine can be done in as little as ten minutes!

1) Hip Rolls

2) Hip Rolls with Heel Lifts

3) Shoulder Bridge (any variation will do…. Start with #1 & work up to the full exercise)

4) Watchdog

5) Short Plank with Leg Lifts

6) Swan Dive #2 (Slow Rock – One Leg)

7) Swimming #1 or #2 … your choice!

End with a nice cat stretch just to relax the muscles that have been stabilizing your spine throughout! If you have a question about any of these Pilates exercises, just watch any of our podcasts at

For a great workout featuring the stretch band, try our “Strong, Svelte & Savvy – Legs & Butt with Band workout” on!

And to top it off, don’t forget your cardio!! The only way to truly reveal the beautiful muscles you’ve sculpted is to get rid of the superfluous fat that might be lying on top. And you don’t have to go crazy…. Just adding 20 minutes of cardio a day can do wonders! Click here for more information on 20 minute cardio workouts!

May 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings. Leave a comment.