The demand for pilates programs in fitness facilities has grown rapidly over the past
decade with 10.7 million North American participants a year. This is an extraordinary increase of 602% since
2001. Members want to enjoy their experience at a fitness facility and be able to get all of the services they
want in one location.
More and more clubs are realizing that the “one-stop-shop” theory is what the market
is demanding. With the documented increase in people interested in pilates, many clubs are jumping at the chance
to offer pilates programs as well. Owners are already reaping the benefits of running successful pilates studios
in their clubs with monthly gross revenues as high as $30,000 per month.
WHAT ARE OTHER CLUBS DOING?
Owners who have recognized the benefits of offering pilates to their clients are establishing
“storefront” designated pilates studios at their location. These studios essentially operate as
an additional personal training service. This “business within a business” offers private,
semiprivate and group training opportunities. These facilities are not only seeing additional profits, but they
are also experiencing increased instructor and member retention, and additional non-dues revenue.
Some facilities simply do not have the space to accommodate equipment-based pilates programming. Consequently,
members are paying for these services outside of their regular fitness facility. In order to keep members from
going elsewhere, it is important for owners to find a way to make space in their location to accommodate
their members’ needs.
STOREFRONT VS. IN-HOUSE PILATES STUDIO
Creating a full-fledged, permanent pilates studio in your facility is a lot more advantageous than running a
storefront pilates studio. A club offers additional cardio programs, childcare, locker room amenities, and other
fitness programs such as cycling and kick-boxing – so why not bring that pilates experience into your club
and treat it as a business within a business? A designated space for your pilates program increases your
revenue opportunity and gives you the ability to offer private, semi-private, and group training throughout the
day, without the interruption of sharing the space with other programs.
IT’S ABOUT SPACE
The space needed to establish a designated pilates studio can be as little as 400 – 800 sq. ft. The
800 sq. ft. space is approximately the size of a racquetball court and can comfortably accommodate a
fully-equipped pilates studio: 4 reformers, 2 trapeze tables, 4 chairs, 2 ladder barrels, and other accessories.
You need to allow room for 4-6 instructors to work simultaneously in the same space while offering private,
semi-private and group training. A smaller 400 sq. ft. studio can hold approximately 4 professional reformers so
at the very least, you can offer programming associated with this one essential piece of pilates equipment.
It’s important to use your imagination when envisioning a pilates studio within your facility. A
racquetball court that is only used a few hours a day could be retrofitted to hold an 800 sq. ft. pilates
“profit center”. By double decking the court, your facility could actually gain 1600 sq. ft. of
extra useable space. All you have to do is think of a minimum space of 400 sq. ft. in your facility that could
be sectioned off with partition walls. What about an empty office space or utility area?
Once you find the perfect space to implement your in-house pilates studio, make sure to remain realistic
about the amount of equipment that you can fit in the area. Choose equipment that is versatile and offers
maximum programming to keep your pilates program fresh, challenging, and adaptable to your changing
members’ requests. For example, you can fit four reformers within a 400 sq. ft. space. The STOTT PILATES
V2 Max Plus™ reformer maximizes the use of space by offering mat, reformer, and cadillac exercises and
V2 Max Plus™ programming all on one piece of equipment.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR STAFF
With a designated space in your facility, you now have the ability to offer pilates career opportunities to
your staff. A studio for private, semi-private and group training allows instructors to work together in the same
space while training clients up to 5-6 hours at a time. Your current pilates instructors may be coming in to
teach 1-2 mat classes per week depending on other fitness class schedules and room availability, which makes
it difficult for you to offer them more hours of work. When you have your permanent pilates studio, you are able
to offer more sessions – which makes not only your instructors happy, but also your members. With your
own pilates studio, you can offer instructors part-time or full-time positions according to the studio’s
demand. This creates a win-win situation where your facility increases non-dues revenue, while instructors have
the ability to earn an income.
You may want to consider recruiting and cross-training your existing quality personal trainers and group
exercise instructors to be pilates instructors also. Personal trainers can subsidize their current client base
with alternative training methods, and grow their personal training clientele. Group exercise instructors
can’t teach 4-5 hours in a row, but they can train pilates clients 4-5 hours in a row. With a designated
studio, you ultimately achieve more instructors working for you exclusively in more than one venue within your
fitness programming. Here’s your chance to show those dedicated individuals who are already helping you
increase membership that you care about their professional growth, which in turn, means growth for your facility.
For a successful pilates studio, you need the proper equipment, quality instructors, and fresh programming.
Pilates education doesn’t stop after certification. It is vital to make sure that your instructors are
attending continuing education courses and workshops at specified fitness venues or you can host workshops at
your new facility.
Stott Pilates offers over 100 workshops for continuing education annually: from rehab for back care and
breast cancer, to pre and postnatal workouts, to athletic conditioning, pilates for golf conditioning, and more.
All of these workshops can be accessable within your facility for your staff.
THE END RESULT
Once you have designated a space for your new pilates studio in your facility, and have agreed that
equipment-based pilates programming is essential to satisfy all of your members’ needs. All you have to
do is make it happen. Run your pilates equipment program as you do your Personal Training program and
you’ll maximize your club revenue in no time.