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Fitness Pilates is not a dirty word, with Amy Hedger and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

Amy and Raphael discuss Fitness Pilates, or is it not even Pilates? And does it matter?

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Check out our Visualized Anatomy Program here
  • Connect with Amy Hedger online, on Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Fitter people live longer here
  • Stronger people live longer here
  • This is what fast and controlled looks like here
  • More vigorous exercise increases lifespan even more here
  • Exercise improves sleep here
  • Long-term resistance exercise improves metabolic health and insulin sensitivity here
  • Exercise makes you happier here
  • Exercise reduces anxiety and depression here
  • Exercise improves cognitive function and slows progress of Alzheimer’s here and here
  • If you really want to increase strength work with a load where you can’t do more than 10 reps here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Amy Hedger:

Amy is the founder of A.FORM Pilates with over 5 years of experience instructing in various cities such as Melbourne and London. She believes there is no right ‘form’ of Pilates but what works best for the individual. Furthering her skill set in completing her Diploma in Clinical and Rehabilitation Pilates with Breathe Education, Amy coaches all levels of capabilities offering expert knowledge. She constantly strives to make her clients the strongest and most resilient they can be, both mentally and physically.

How to Connect with Amy:

Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

There are only 3 exercises in the world and Cat Stretch is 2 of them, with Heath Lander and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

Heath shares his simple framework for programming group classes. This is a straightforward way to progress your clients from wherever they’re at, towards the more challenging exercises in the repertoire.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Snake/Twist here
  • Tendon stretch here
  • Long back stretch here
  • Layering up to tendon stretch/long back stretch here
  • High bridge here
  • Teaser here
  • Russian squats here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Heath Lander:

Heath Lander had a chance encounter with Pilates which completely changed his life’s direction. He began training as a Pilates instructor at Breathe Education while seeing private clients in his home. Meanwhile, he was still working full time as a special needs art teacher and getting accustomed to life as a single dad. Over the next decade he taught over 15,000 hours of group and small group/clinical classes. He went on to open two locations of White Dog Studio, where the mission is to provide challenging, rewarding, and effective exercise for people over 40. He has also worked as an instructor trainer at Breathe Education since 2011 and has taught in the Certificate and Diploma courses. In 2021, he began working full time for Breathe Education and has created coursework and tutorial materials for the updated Diploma of Clinical Pilates. His other professional passion is online mentoring and trainer development through his personal brand, Contrology Collective.

How to Connect with Heath:

  • Find Heath on Instagram here
Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

How Pilates is changing in the UK, with Emma-Jayne Rushby and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

In this conversation, we discuss some of the differences, and the similarities in the way Pilates is taught and consumed in the UK, Australia, and the US, and how the industry has evolved, and continues to evolve post-pandemic.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Emma-Jayne Rushby

Emma-Jayne’s movement career started as a dancer. She is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and has both taught and danced internationally. Emma qualified as a Pilates instructor in 2000 and since then has run community matwork classes and one-to-one sessions in her hometown in the UK. She has been a supervising teacher for a major UK Pilates teacher training body, helping student teachers with their teaching practice in preparation for their exams. Emma loves being both a teacher and a student, and her next goal in her continued professional development is the Clinical Pilates diploma.

How to Connect with Emma-Jayne Rushby

Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

The only three Pilates exercises you’ll ever need to know, with Heath Lander

By Become a better instructor
A FREE Live Community Session on “The only three Pilates Exercises you’ll ever need to know” hosted by Breathe Education’s Lead Trainer, Heath Lander.
What You’ll Learn:
  • The idea behind why you only need three exercises as a Pilates instructor and how Heath came up with that
  • What the three Pilates exercises are
  • Demonstration of exercises on the reformer along with advice on how to modify them

Gatekeeping in Pilates, with Natalie Wilson and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

Do we excessively limit our clients from progressing because we hold them to some arbitrary standard like you must do 6 beginner classes before you can come to intermediate class?

Listen in to find out. This is a nuanced discussion of the drawbacks AND benefits of gatekeeping in Pilates.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Follow Raphael Bender on IG here.
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Natalie Wilson:

Born and raised in Hawaii, Natalie’s foundation in movement comes from years of training in the native dances of Hawaii and Tahiti.  After college, Natalie pursued a career in social work and mental health.  She discovered Pilates after the birth of her second child and loved how the practice gave her renewed strength, energy, and focus. Desiring a career shift, Natalie enrolled in a comprehensive Pilates training program, graduating in early 2017.  In addition, Natalie received her National Pilates Certification in 2020 and her Pilates Certification from Breathe Education in February 2022.  She currently teaches at Vitality Pilates as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and too many houseplants.

How to Connect with Natalie:

Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

Overcoming Fear & Anxiety to find your Authentic Voice as a Teacher, with Belinda Survilla

By Become a better instructor
A FREE Live Community Session on “Overcoming Fear & Anxiety to find your Authentic Voice as a Teacher” hosted by Breathe Education’s Lead Trainer, Belinda Survilla.
What You’ll Learn:
  • Bel’s personal story of worry and anxiety
  • Differences and scale of fear and anxiety
  • Tips and tricks to get over fear and anxiety and as a result, find your authentic voice as a Pilates instructor
  • Resources that can help

You can find the link to the PDF of the lecture slides HERE. If you’d love to continue the conversation, feel free to connect with Bel on IG.

Do we under-load our clients in Pilates? With Julie Driver and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

Do we focus too much on gentle movement in Pilates? Could our clients benefit from more vigorous exercises and more progression over time?

Maybe the answer is different for different countries.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Join our FREE Live Community Sessions here
  • Liftmor trial here
  • Nonagenarians get ripped with high-intensity strength training here
  • Injuries in fitness facilities are mostly caused by people dropping shit on themselves and falling off stuff – not by “incorrect” technique here
  • A lot of the disability from low back pain is caused by well-meaning health and fitness professionals scaring the shit out of their clients here
  • Persistence hunting is a likely explanation of how humans fed ourselves for several hundred thousand years even though we’re weaker, slower and less ferocious than almost everything we hunt here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Julie Driver:

Julie is an award-winning, internationally renowned Pilates teacher with over two decades of teaching experience. 

For over 10 years Julie was a senior faculty member for the largest Pilates teacher training school in Europe before setting up her own education company.

Julie now coaches equestrians of all levels from the weekend rider to the elite athlete and is the Pilates teacher for the Wesko Foundation three-day-eventing team.

In 2014, Julie was awarded the title of Pilates Anytime, International Instructor of the Year.

How to Connect with Julie:

  • Find Julie Driver online here
  • Find Julie on IG and FB
Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

Pilates for Spondylolisthesis and Pars fracture, with Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor
A FREE Live Community Session about “Pilates for Spondylolisthesis and Pars fracture” led by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender.
What You’ll Learn:
  • Spondylolisthesis is not a specific cause of back pain
  • Sciatica is complex and multifactorial, and often related to whole-person factors
  • Surgery & all forms of exercise seem to work equally well
  • Guideline-care is reassurance and advice to stay active

You can find the link to the PDF of the lecture slides HERE and connect with Raph on IG HERE.

Pathologizing Normal, with Natalie Wilson and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

Many, possibly most of the things we think of as “dysfunctions” in Pilates are in fact just normal variations. Things like:

  • Anterior pelvic tilt
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Asymmetrical range of motion

are highly prevalent in pain-free people and do not predict injury. In fact, 80% of pain-free people have anterior pelvic tilt; so is it really a “tilt” or is it just the shape of the human pelvis?

Even hypermobility & scoliosis are arguably not the cause of pain, or increased pain, and don’t need to be (nor can they be) “corrected” or “protected” by exercise.

Raph and Natalie talk through:

  • What is the evidence that these things are not pathologies?
  • Why do we pathologize normal?
  • What should we do instead?

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • 80% of pain-free people have anterior pelvic tilt here
  • Anterior pelvic tilt is not related to hip muscle tightness or strength here
  • Stabilization exercise works better if you THINK your back is unstable here
  • There is very weak correlation between scoliosis curve magnitude and back pain here and here
  • Pain in hypermobile people is not related to joint angle here but is more likely a result of higher pain sensitivity of the central nervous system here
  • Current ACSM guidelines here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Natalie Wilson:

Born and raised in Hawaii, Natalie’s foundation in movement comes from years of training in the native dances of Hawaii and Tahiti.  After college, Natalie pursued a career in social work and mental health.  She discovered Pilates after the birth of her second child and loved how the practice gave her renewed strength, energy, and focus. Desiring a career shift, Natalie enrolled in a comprehensive Pilates training program, graduating in early 2017.  In addition, Natalie received her National Pilates Certification in 2020 and her Pilates Certification from Breathe Education in February 2022.  She currently teaches at Vitality Pilates as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and too many houseplants.

How to Connect with Natalie:

Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

Overcoming addiction through Pilates, with Rebecca Solberg and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

TW: This episode contains content about substance abuse and addiction.

We acknowledge that this may be difficult and encourage you to care for your safety and well-being by talking to your healthcare professional if any of the issues in this show have affected you. 

This is the inspiring story of how Pilates helped Rebecca Solberg overcome addiction and find connection, meaning and peace.

Pilates is not a substitute for working with a mental health professional. But it can sure be an amazing complement.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Check out our Visualized Anatomy program here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Rebecca Solberg:

Rebecca Solberg is a Pilates Instructor based in Seattle, Washington. She has been teaching Pilates for 8 years now. As a teacher, Rebecca aims to help her clients feel safe and comfortable while working to strengthen their bodies and move with less pain and more freedom. She works with a fantastic group of women at Main Street Pilates (www.mainstreetpilates.com) and also teaches private students outside of the class.

Rebecca holds a 600-hour Pilates Certification, Great Yoga Wall Certification™, and Pilates For Neurological Conditions with Mariska Breland. Currently, she’s studying Diploma of Clinical Pilates and The Complete Pilates Apparatus Course at Breathe Education.

Rebecca likes to keep herself busy with all forms of movement, baking, journaling and spending time with her husband, dogs, family and Breathe Education.

How to Connect with Rebecca:

  • Find Rebecca Solberg on Instagram here and here
Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

How to transition from Classical Pilates to Evidence-based Movement, with Adam McAtee

By Become a better instructor
A FREE Live Community Session on “How to Transition from Classical Pilates to Evidence-based Movement” hosted by Breathe Education’s Trainer, Adam McAtee. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • What one thing everyone needs to see evolve in the Pilates industry
  • How Adam applied Pilates science principles to Pilates practice
  • Adam’s inspiring journey from being in an unfamiliar space to taking Breathe Education’s course and joining the teaching team while being blown away by optimum theories with references on the side.
  • Tips to become an evidence-based Pilates instructor

Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy, with Heath Lander and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

In the Diploma of Clinical Pilates program, students learn an invaluable resource for exercise programming called the “exercise toolbox.” Today, you’ll learn what it is and how to create your own exercise toolbox in this interview with Heath Lander. Today we discuss how to find the best type of exercise and level of intensity for each client on any given day and discover the power of simple, layered exercise programming.

What You Will Learn: 

  • What is the Exercise Toolbox (as taught in the Diploma of Clinical Pilates)?
  • How you can use the Exercise Toolbox to challenge each client at the right level 
  • How to design a dynamic warm-up that reduces injury risk and improves performance
  • How to support clients’ autonomy and use critical thinking skills when designing challenge
  • The power of simplicity in programming, and why it’s what your clients actually want

What is the Exercise Toolbox? 

The Exercise Toolbox is a list of exercises broken down into layers of challenge. Each list is made up of five to seven exercises based on one movement such as the push-up, curl-up, squat, etc. The main idea is to have a list of increasingly difficult exercises which you can use with any client, any time, regardless of what kind of day they’re having in terms of pain or ability level. Start at the bottom and work your way up with them. This way, according to Heath, clients don’t feel the discouragement and frustration of starting hard and having to modify. Rather, they get to feel stronger and more confident as they start simple and work up to more challenging exercises. 

The Power of Simplicity

The Exercise Toolbox is a specific way to think about exercise programming which allows instructors to think about movement in terms of strength, range of motion, and control. Heath and Raph discuss the beauty of simplicity in exercise programming but remind us that just because something is simple, it isn’t necessarily easy. With the right level of resistance, range of motion or instability, something as simple as lunges or body weight squats can be extremely challenging. Teaching complicated exercises just because they seem more challenging can be anything but enjoyable for the client. What’s amazing about the Exercise Toolbox is that because of its simplicity, you will be able to give your client the right level of challenge at the right time to move them to towards their goals.

How the Exercise Toolbox Helps Instructors to Improve

Heath explains how the exercise toolbox developed as he observed new Pilates instructors over the past several years. He noticed that new instructors who came to his studio had learned hundreds of exercises which weren’t progressive or grouped in any meaningful way. He also saw that instructors felt pressured to have a wide variety of exercises in each class and avoid repeating exercises. They thought that if they didn’t do it this way, their classes wouldn’t be popular. But Heath observed that those Pilates teachers who taught essentially the same set of movements each class were the most successful. Clients knew what to expect and felt challenged, not to mention, the teacher got really good at teaching those exercises! 

About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Heath Lander:

Heath Lander had a chance encounter with Pilates which completely changed his life’s direction. He began training as a Pilates instructor at Breathe Education while seeing private clients in his home. Meanwhile, he was still working full time as a special needs art teacher and getting accustomed to life as a single dad. Over the next decade he taught over 15,000 hours of group and small group/clinical classes. He went on to open two locations of White Dog Studio, where the mission is to provide challenging, rewarding, and effective exercise for people over 40. He has also worked as an instructor trainer at Breathe Education since 2011 and has taught in the Certificate and Diploma courses. In 2021, he began working full time for Breathe Education and has created coursework and tutorial materials for the updated Diploma of Clinical Pilates. His other professional passion is online mentoring and trainer development through his personal brand, Contrology Collective.

How to Connect with Heath:

  • Find Heath on Instagram here
Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

Group Classes and Private sessions: How to Build a Sustainable Income Doing Both, with Belinda Survilla

By Make more money

A FREE Live Community Session on “Group Classes and Private sessions: How to Build a Sustainable Income Doing Both” hosted by Breathe Education’s Lead Trainer for Certification in Matwork & Reformer Pilates. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • How to make classes attractive to new clients (without giving away free classes!)
  • How to blend classes to avoid burnout
  • How to transition from a corporate gig to teaching Pilates

Community Session Episode 6

By Become a better instructor

A FREE Live Community Session where Raphael Bender, Breathe Education’s CEO, unpack the following:

  • We are often told to keep our limbs and joints “straight” in certain exercises (ie supine arms in straps on the reformer). Can we talk about why we do this and are there any benefits?
  • Don’t do that, you might hurt yourself” – Is there a high prevalence of people who actually injure themselves in Pilates?
  • Do you ask permission to touch your clients – hands-on assist?
  • If someone has fear around their back pain and then experiences increased pain after a class – what language do you use to reassure them? Especially in the absence of a therapeutic relationship.

How to get your business to run without you with Heath Lander

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Heath Lander opened White Dog Studios in Melbourne’s Inner West in 2013. For the first few years he worked long hours teaching, cleaning and doing all the other jobs around the place. In 2016 he wised-up and has been on a mission to get the business to run without him in it. At the time of this interview, he has almost succeeded.

https://www.facebook.com/whitedogstudiofootscray/

What employers look for in a Pilates instructor with Joshua Norris Ongso

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Josh Norris-Ongso is a classically trained dancer, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor. He founded S3 World in Melbourne and created his own style of Barre training based on his years as a ballet dancer and his biomechanical understanding from physiotherapy.

Josh now runs two busy studio-clinics, where he employs over 15 people. He shares his insights into what employers look for in a team member, and how to make yourself irresistible and irreplaceable as an instructor.

https://www.facebook.com/s3barre/

Shifting beliefs with Anula Maiberg

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Anula Maiburg of Sixth Street Pilates NY is renowned as an original thinker, iconoclast, jumpsuit wearer and radical agent of change in the Pilates world. Her accolades include the cover of Pilates Style magazine, presenting on Pilates Anytime and several spots on the Pilates Unfiltered podcast.

Anula talks about the state of the industry, finding your way as a teacher and what it’s all for. Not to be missed!

https://www.facebook.com/anula.maiberg

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