Comprehensive Pilates instructor certification requires in-depth studying of mats and equipment at training programs offered by a variety of master instructors. Pilates certification requires at least a year of study and hundreds of hours of apprenticeship. You can start your search with these programs that are large, respected, and widely available in the U.S. and internationally. Bigger may not be better, but knowing what is available will help you understand what to expect from a Pilates program that prepares you for certification.

Structure of Pilates Certification Programs

Pilates teacher training programs vary a lot in their structure. Most are oriented toward the working adult and make use of intensive sessions with breaks in between. How those sessions are structured over time is different for each program, so it’s worth looking around to find a program that fits your needs.1 You may want to find one in your local area, or you may be willing and interested in traveling.

Classical vs. Contemporary

Another important consideration at the teacher training level is whether or not you want to pursue classical or contemporary training. These terms are often used to distinguish between traditional training that adheres strictly to what Joseph Pilates taught (classical); or training that incorporates new techniques and developments in exercise science (contemporary).

Commitment and Costs

All of the programs listed below have prerequisites that must be completed before you begin the program. Some are quite extensive, requiring up to a year of previous study and an exam before you start. Some are minimal, with little as 30 required hours of previous Pilates experience. In addition, the classroom hours quoted do not include varying apprentice and independent observation hours.

The costs of all but two (noted below) of the programs do include both mat work and all equipment, but some include more extensive equipment training than others. You should expect to pay $4,000 or more. Almost all offer payment plans or the option to study in modules over time. Many of these programs have additional fees for the application, study materials, and exams.

Balanced Body Education

Balanced Body Education offers training in modules that can be taken independently over time. You can get the benefit of training with various instructors in different locations. Balanced Body Podcasts are free recommended Pilates online videos.

  • Hours: 500
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Average

BASI Pilates

BASI Comprehensive Global training courses are available around the world. BASI stands for Body Arts and Sciences International. It was founded by Rael Isacowitz. Training is offered over a three- to six-month period and can last between three and six intensive weekends depending on the dates and location.

  • Hours: 500
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Average, with payment plans available

Peak Pilates

Peak Pilates offers comprehensive instructor training in three levels. Each level covers mat and equipment with increasing depth.

  • Hours: 500
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Average


PhysicalMind offers separate mat certification as a prerequisite for the equipment courses.

  • Hours: 500
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Less than average

Polestar Pilates

Polestar Pilates has a strong rehabilitative component to their educational training. Its president, Dr. Brent Anderson, offers advice on how Pilates can help relieve sciatic pain and the intersection between Pilates and physical therapy.

  • Hours: 452 minimum
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Above average, with payment plans available. 

Power Pilates

Power Pilates offers five-weekend intensive programs with 24 hours of weekly meetings. The program takes six to nine months to complete in New York City, or six to 12 months to complete elsewhere.

  1. Hours: 600
  2. Style: Classical Pilates
  3. Cost: Average

Romana’s Pilates

Romana’s Pilates is the company founded by Romana Kryzanowska. She is a Pilates elder, meaning that she trained directly with Joseph Pilates, and was considered one of Joseph Pilates’ closest students. This is one of the most traditional classical Pilates training programs.

  • Hours: 600
  • Style: Classical Pilates
  • Cost: Above average

Ron Fletcher Program

Fletcher Pilates has a year-long program that includes training such as Fletcher towel work and percussive breathing.

  • Hours: 500
  • Style: Contemporary/Fletcher
  • Cost: High

Stott Pilates

Stott Pilates comprehensive certification is focused on the mat and reformer. Other equipment is covered in another 165-hour program.

  • Hours: 310
  • Style: Contemporary Pilates
  • Cost: Below average