Since the early 2000s, boutique fitness studios offering group fitness classes such as spin, boxing, or barre, have sprung up on Main Streets and in shopping centers and mini-malls all over the United States. This new business model, combined with the growing awareness of Pilates, resulted in a new crop of stand-alone group Reformer class studios, as opposed to traditional Pilates studios, where the bread-and-butter clients take private sessions and the occasional duet or semi-private session. Some Reformer studios are independent, others are part of national or international franchises, but until the pandemic slowed their roll, they were responsible for introducing many people to Reformer workouts and Pilates in general. This includes people who might not have sought out Pilates before, such as younger people, cardio aficionados, and men.
When looking for a Pilates group Reformer class, consider the training of the instructors. Are they certified? If so, do they have a nationally recognized Pilates instructor certification or were they trained in-house? Are the Pilates machines well-maintained or are they shabby, grimy, or rickety? Does someone greet you when you arrive, and make you feel welcome and valued? Do they adhere to their locality’s Covid-19 protocols, whether it’s a socially distanced layout, masking mandates, or proof of vaccination? Finally, do you “vibe” with the instructor and the overall look and feel of the business. You may love loud music pumping through the sound system and bright lights, or you may prefer a more zen atmosphere. You may enjoy the energy of a twelve-person group class, or you may prefer a smaller group of five to six students. Don’t be afraid to studio hop as you begin. You will very quickly find your “tribe.”