Want to find out what life is like as a Pilates instructor?

First up: Stephanie Santarini, Clinical Pilates Teacher and Complete Pilates Studio Manager

Sunday night:

Weekdays for me are hectic. We offer group classes and individual sessions at Complete Pilates. I only teach Pilates on a 1:1 basis so my days are filled with back-to-back Pilates sessions with clients.

This means that Mondays are always the start of a busy week and to make sure they run smoothly I need to spend Sundays getting organised. I don’t mind though – I like to start the week feeling prepared

Sunday afternoons have become a bit of a routine in my household. I always roast a load of veggies, boil quinoa and maybe roast chicken breasts. I then divide them up in to containers for my lunches for the week ahead. I have busy days with minimal break time so I like to be quite efficient and save costs.

I spend Sunday evenings looking at my personal diary and my Complete Pilates schedule at the week to come. I like to take this time to prepare my clients’ lessons for the next day and check my schedule so that I know what the week holds for me in terms of which clients I will be seeing for appointments.

The night before each weekday I prepare my breakfast for the following day. I usually make either a bircher muesli bowl, a chia pudding with almond milk, or in the summer a smoothie. This makes it easy for me to grab my food and go in the morning.

A pilates instructor - An overhead shot of an office desk showing a section of a laptop, notepad and pen, spectacles, a sprig of flowers and a ball of protein

5.30 am:

I am an early riser – and I need to be because my first client normally comes in at 7 am. This means getting up at 5.30 am every morning!

The first thing I do when I wake up is to have a glass of warm water and lemon to get my digestion going.

Then I get dressed, brush my teeth, grab my bircher muesli or smoothie, and I am out the door. I like taking the bus to work, but I do try to have a no-social-media-on the-bus-ban in the mornings. Instead, I listen to music or an Aussie podcast that I like (I’m an Aussie myself).

6:30 am:

I arrive at Complete Pilates in Chelsea (on the Fulham road) at 6.30 am. I then set up the studio ready for clients, put some music on and sit down to have my breakfast.

A pilates instructor - A bowl of fruit and nuts arranged in rows on green yoghurt

7:00 am:

From 7 am onwards I teach the first 4 of my lovely clients in back-to-back sessions. They are all 1:1 classes and each one will be very different because all my clients have different injures and needs.

Like most of the Complete Pilates team, I have completed my pre- and postnatal training and have a couple of pregnant clients. Their sessions will be different again because pregnant women can’t do certain exercises.

A pilates instructor - Two females, one pregnant, in a pilates studio.

11:00 am:

By 11.00 am my tummy is rumbling. I normally get my coffee fix from our lovely neighbours at Cpress or Joe and the Juice. Then I sit and have a nibble of the lunch I packed the night before.

A pilates instructor - hand holding a yellow takeaway coffee cup with black plastic lid

11:30 am:

Back to work! 11:30 is when I start teaching again and I will usually see around 3-4 clients after my break.

2:30 – 3:30 pm:

Most days I finish teaching around 2.30 pm or 3.30 pm. But this is not the end of the working day for me.

Because I have so many different clients it is important for me to stay organised with their notes. So, after I have finished teaching, I wrap up my notes from the clients I have seen that day and plan their classes for the following week. I then look at my schedule for the next day, see which clients I will be teaching and write a little plan for their sessions as well.

Most afternoons I stay around the studio and chat to other trainers at Bumps and Burpees (a dedicated pre- and postnatal training space at Lomax) and discuss events that are coming up.

The Complete Pilates team have a good rapport with the Physiotherapists at Complete Physio. As we normally see the same clients. I often spend some of the afternoon chatting to the Physios and will make plans with them for our shared clients.

As well as teaching Pilates for Complete, I am also the Complete Pilates studio manager. I usually start my managerial work after I have finished teaching and spend any available time making sure the jobs that need doing get done! I end my working day by writing a to-do list for the following day (or week) for this role.

5:00 pm:

I am a fitness fanatic and like to stick to a routine. If I have the time during the day – either in-between clients or after work – I will do my own Pilates workout.

Or I will try and get to a F45, which is HIIT training, then head home for dinner.

A pilates instructor - Two females standing in front of a wall with a large painted sign

7:00 pm:

Dinner is something healthy and light, like a quinoa bowl with lots of greens.

A pilates instructor - an overhead shot of a plate of cooked food

10:00 pm:

I like having a nice early night and have a strict rule about not using phones an hour before bed. Then it is lights out early so that I can get plenty of sleep before my 5.30 am wakeup call the next day.

Related: If you are interested in becoming a Pilates instructor then why not check out this post on Pilates training courses in London.

Education is key:

These blogs are designed to give information to everyone, however, it is important to remember that everyone is different! If you have not seen one of our therapists and have any questions about injuries, what you have read or whether this may be useful to you, please just ask.

At Complete Pilates we would advise you to always speak to your doctor, physiotherapist, or clinical Pilates instructor here at Complete Pilates if you are worried about starting a new exercise regime.
We are more than happy to help anyone and point you in the right direction. Our biggest belief is that education is key. The more you understand about your injury, illness and movement, the more you are likely to improve.