Why are Pilates equipment classes so expensive?

A student on the Pilates Reformer.

A student on the Pilates Reformer.

If you are new to the Pilates Method of exercise and you are just starting to look at ways to learn and practice Pilates you might be having a little bit of sticker shock.  It’s not unusual for Pilates equipment classes to cost $25-$45 per class.  You are probably thinking, “These people might be crazy if they expect me to pay what I normally pay for a month membership at the box gym for just one 50 minute class.”  Why in the world are the classes so expensive?

There are many factors that go into the price a studio charges for a class but the two major ones are what they are paying the Pilates instructor and the cost and upkeep of the equipment that is being used for class.

Professional Pilates instructors are not your average fitness instructor when it comes to their training and experience and their high demand means in the United States their hourly wage ranges between $15.23 per hour and $49.61 based on their experience!  Pilates Method Alliance certified instructors have a minimum of 450 hours of initial training hours and many comprehensive training programs require 600 to 900 hours of training.  Instructors are not simply taught to repeat movement sequences but are trained in how bodies move, how to adapt movement for various body types and conditions, and how to safely progress clients of varying abilities.  When you take a Pilates equipment class you are getting an individualized movement experience tailored to what your body needs.  Most studios only offer small groups of 6 to 8 people maximum in a Pilates equipment class so that the method can be effectively and safely taught to everyone in class.

Although fairly simple in design, quality Pilates equipment is not cheap and you don’t want it to be cheap! Well built Pilates equipment is designed to accommodate bodies of all sizes safely and effectively.  The spring based equipment needs to be maintained regularly and springs replaced on a regular basis to maintain safety.

Thigh Stretch in a Pilates Tower class.

Thigh Stretch in a Pilates Tower class.

Now that you know a little bit more about what goes into the pricing of a Pilates equipment class you might be asking, “Is it really worth the extra cost to me?”  The best way to answer this question is to try it out!!   The Pilates Method of exercise is a method designed to help your body move as efficiently as possible while gaining and maintaining strength, flexibility and balance.  You can definitely learn Pilates just by doing Pilates Mat work but as an instructor of over 15 plus years I can tell you that you will progress quicker with the assistance and guidance of the equipment and a qualified instructor.

Joseph Pilates designed the Pilates equipment as tools for practitioners and instructors so that you could  “get” the Pilates concepts into your body quicker and more efficiently than if you only are using your own body for your workouts.


If you are brand new to Pilates we know it may be hard to grasp how this Pilates equipment works and what is so great about equipment classes.  This is why we offer a complimentary private session to all new clients at Rivercity Pilates so that you can experience the Pilates Method of exercise and the Pilates equipment in your own body and make a decision for yourself!!



in FAQs, What's so great about Pilates?

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