What is Pilates?

Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Originally called “Contrology”, Joseph was inspired to improve rehabilitation outcomes for World War One soldiers by prioritising therapeutic movements: strengthening key muscle groups, improving balance and stability. Pilates promises a truly functional, whole body system, for ultimate wellbeing: mind and body.

He believed mental and physical health were inextricably linked and that to achieve optimal wellbeing we should exercise the mind as well as the body. Pilates can be understood against the core principles of centring, concentration, control, precision, breathing, flowing movement, alignment and commitment.

The method favours smaller, more precise movements, requiring control and technique over other popular approaches to fitness that tend to favour high impact, load and repetition – with little control. Pilates is conducted on the mat, and using various apparatus; in group class, private or semi-private Studio settings. Want to learn more? Check out our blog comparing Pilates and Yoga.

Do you have to be fit/flexible/strong to do Pilates?

Short answer: no.

The Pilates method is uniquely “scalable”: this means exercises can be scaled up or down in challenge or intensity, in order to best accommodate the physical capabilities of the person in front of us, on the day. This is why we say Pilates is for every. body. We meet you exactly where you are.

You do Pilates to get fit/flexible/strong, from the inside-out!

Do I have to start with Basic-level classes?

If you are new to PFI, we recommend you start with Basic-level classes for Matwork and or Reformer.


Set yourself up for success and optimise results by equipping yourself with the correct technique, muscle activation, and familiarisation with apparatus.

A base level of competency is particularly important when it comes to Reformer classes: being comfortable with the apparatus will not only help you progress quicker but also keep you safe in class.

Done Pilates before but new to us? Basic classes are a great place to get a feel for PFI’s style of Instruction and assess where you sit in terms of capability. Once you’re comfortable, move on up to Progressive-level classes!

How many classes should I do each week?

There is no one size fits all answer! It comes down to goals: what are you trying to achieve?

The general consensus is that to see real, corrective change to your health, three times a week (or more) is the sweet spot.

“Corrective change” means improved posture, muscle recruitment patterns (ie learning how to move better, generally!), muscle weakness; recovery from injury; changes to physical appearance and fitness.

Learn more about How Much Pilates is Enough, on our blog!

What should I wear?

Comfort is key.

For Matwork, Reformer and Barre-classes we recommend breathable but form-fitting materials: pants, shorts (no shorter than knee length for men and women) or leggings; and a t-shirt or singlet top. We prefer “form-fitting” clothing because it allows our Instructors to see your body as you move and offer specific feedback.

All PFI classes work in grip socks (we have lots of funky styles available for purchase in Studio) or normal socks, so there is no need to worry about shoes!

What should I bring?

For hygiene reasons, all PFI classes work in grip or normal socks. We also ask that you bring along your own yoga mat or work out towel to lay over the top of our mats; and of course, some water!

How much does it cost?

Pilates is life, so it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg! We have a number of cost-effective membership and casual payment options available, for each of our class formats. Take a look at the What We Do menu for more information, or head to Buy.

Can I use my membership/passes at all PFI Studio locations?


PFI has Studios in Myaree, Canning Vale and Burswood: our clients can attend classes at any of these locations!

Is Pilates just for women?


Pilates was created by a man: Joseph Pilates!

This perceived gender bias in the Pilates industry is something PFI and PTI is working hard to change.

The health benefits of Pilates are not exclusive to the female population, and men are embracing the method as an effective way to supplement fitness, conditioning and functional wellness:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve functional strength
  • Prevent and rehab (non-acute) injuries
  • Address muscular imbalance
  • Improve posture
  • Build a strong core from the inside-out (hello, six-pack!)

A growing number of professional and elite level athletes have caught on to the valuable role Pilates can play in their training mix. Some of our clients include footballers, swimmers, cyclists, runners and pro surfers!

As far as the Barre classes go, don’t let the ballet derivation put you off! Barre Attack and Barre Physique are high-intensity, low-impact, dynamic classes that have received fantastic feedback from male clients for challenge and results.

Will Pilates help me lose weight?


The ideal formula for body conditioning and weight loss is low impact resistance training (Pilates) plus dynamic cardiovascular interval training (Barre Attack and Barre Physique); performed consistently to achieve corrective change.

We recommend three or more session per week. See our blog: How Much Pilates is Enough?

Can I keep going to regular Pilates classes if I'm pregnant?

Short answer: no.

“But I’ve been doing Pilates for years and I know what I’m doing.”

Still, no.

No matter how fit or experienced you are, regular classes – at any level – are not safe during pregnancy. Abdominal and controversial repertoire present specific risks for pregnant and post natal women, and should be conducted only in a controlled environment, such as pregnancy specific class.

Fortunately, PFI is a specialist provider of pregnancy and post natal Pilates: our Instructors are highly experienced in working with the female body during pregnancy and after birth. Dedicated pregnancy and post natal classes deliver safe Pilates repertoire that is also targeted, challenging, and scalable to your physical needs: on the Mat, and at the Barre.

Visit our Pregnancy and Post Natal page for more.


Can I bring my baby/kid(s) to class?

Our post natal classes are for Mums and bubs! These classes are tailored to the needs of a new mum to help re-build strength, flexibility and boost self-confidence while also providing an opportunity to connect with other new Mums in a safe, non-judgemental environment. Baby is welcome to join in, chill out on the mat next to you or in the pram close by.

Due to risk to health and safety, Post natal classes (Matwork and Barre) aren’t suitable for mobile toddlers (crawling and walking) or older children. We also ask that sick children aren’t brought into the Studio, as this puts the whole community, including pregnant women and newborn babies, at risk of illness.

Infants are permitted in post natal Studio sessions but only at the discretion of the Instructor: this should be clarified before attending your first Studio appointment. For more information about this, please contact our HQ on (08) 9330 8900.