The Studio Pilates 12 ways

Written on the 21 January 2015 by Studio Pilates

Want to pack your Pilates classes with Studio Pilates devotees? Your success is dependent on two main things:

a) Ensuring the class experience is awesome, and
b) Being liked as an instructor by your class members.

These two things, combined with giving people a great workout are your keys to instructing success.

Here, we examine the twelve ways to pack the room. Apply these to every member, every class and you will build your reputation as a top quality instructor, creating client appreciation and loyalty and ensuring you get a full class each and every time.

1. Acknowledge and welcome
2. The pre-class questions.
3. Guidance
4. Present the Class Pre-amble
5. Make your clients feel special
6. Correct and/or compliment every exercise, every time
7. Impart your knowledge and give advice
8. Keep it positive and happy
9. Equal attention
10. Introduce your clients to each other by name
11. Make newbie's feel loved
12. The post workout care factor + ask for a return visit

1. Acknowledge and welcome each member
"Welcome, come on in, I'm (your name) and I'm your instructor, please find yourself a space to stretch and workout"
Acknowledging the member immediately when they walk in to the space makes them feel at ease. A warm and genuine smile makes them feel welcomed and it shows you're interested in them and their class experience.

2. Get to know your members by asking them the pre-class questions.
Position yourself on the workout floor, amongst the arriving clients and engage in conversation with your members when they walk in. This builds massive rapport and gets you liked immediately.
Asking individuals the pre-class questions helps you to gauge how hard you should push each person, but most importantly it shows that you really care about their experience of the class.

The pre-class questions:
"How are you feeling today?" (This gauges energy and mood)
"How's your body?" (This gives the client permission to tell you about any injuries)
"Are you ready for a hard workout?" (Of course they are...but it's nice to ask to set the intention)

Even though you might like to catch up with your class regulars, it's recommended that you prioritise new class members over existing, as the new guys will be feeling quite nervous and your aim is to grow your class numbers and your following quickly. You may not get around to everyone in your class, but this should be your aim, so you will have to make it quick.

3. Guidance tell them what to do next.
Once you've asked a client the pre-class questions, get them into stretching so they aren't just waiting around. Identify a good starting stretch for them.
If you can see they are tight in certain muscles or they have indicated to you that they are feeling stiff or sore somewhere, you can get them to do a specific stretch. Alternatively, get them to do a stretch for the buttocks because there is a large amount of butt work in the current program.

Giving people guidance as soon as they enter the room prevents the issue of having new class participants sitting there feeling uncomfortable, lost and scared.

4. Present the Class Pre-amble
This is an important step and it educates your members on what to expect and how to get the most out of your class. Miss out on a sentence or two and you will be running to catch up for the rest of the class.

5. Make your clients feel special
Give encouragement and 'pats on the back' freely, let people know when they are improving as a group (loudly), or as individuals (quietly). Tell them that their posture is improving, that they've toned up, gotten stronger or they've lost weight. You would be surprised how little encouragement most people get in their lives... give it to them freely and frequently and they will feel good about themselves inside and out.

6. Correct and/or compliment every exercise, every time
This is simple, say 'well done' or 'great work' after every single exercise. If the member's technique is not 100% - fix it, that's your job and it's what the members are paying for after all. Get 'hands on' if needed (appropriately of course), help them to make corrections to their technique and acknowledge it when they get it right by telling them 'well done'.

7. Impart your knowledge and give advice
As an instructor, you know so much more than the client about the body and about getting results. Share this knowledge with the client as it will help them to improve and get better and faster results. Keep it very short and simple, give them understanding of their body and don't use big words.

A good example is: "this exercise/stretch is good for ____" or "You should do more ___ and it will really improve ______".

8. Keep it positive and happy
Be happy, upbeat, motivating and positive... always. Remember, it's all about the member and their class experience, so if a member asks you how you are and if you're feeling average, then fake it.

Be interested in your clients, don't be interesting to them. Refrain from giving your opinions on general conversation topics, always ask the member for theirs instead. Keep all conversation (before and after class) about the member, their body and their life, this is what keeps people coming back.

9. Equal attention
Give equal attention to all members in your class they all pay the same amount of money for their membership so you should give equal amount of value to all. 'Attention' means conversation, correction, monitoring, congratulating, modification to exercises, motivation and encouragement.

10. Introduce your clients to each other by name
This creates a more fun and friendly atmosphere and a better class experience overall for the member. People will enjoy your classes so much more if they suffer though it with a friend.
Some may become friends or workout buddies, which will increase you class member retention dramatically and enhance the results that the member achieves because they're more likely to come more often.

11. Make newbie's feel loved
A new client will be feeling scared and they will still be deciding whether to continue or not in the first class and the next few as well. This is your opportunity to change someone's life by simply making them feel comfortable and giving them some encouragement.
Take a big interest in them, find out how they are going, how many times a week they are coming, suggest a frequency, tell them what to do at home, how long until they see results etc.
You should also go to them first to help them with their technique as they will most likely find the exercises the most challenging.

12. The post workout care factor + ask for a return visit
At the end of a workout, congratulate everyone as a group. Then, as people are packing up, you can approach them individually or in small groups and tell them "well done". If a member told you before a class that they have a sore ____, ask them how it feels, suggest a stretch to do at home perhaps.
A very important question to ask your members is "When am I going to see you again"? This shows that you care, you want to see them again and that you want them to get results.

If you combine all 12 of these points, you will be well on your way to packing the room and sharing your Studio Pilates class with the masses.


Author: Studio Pilates