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- About Classic Pilates -

“My system develops the body and mind simultaneously” - Joseph Pilates

What is Classic Pilates?

Classic Pilates is a combination of strength training, mobility training, and stretching. The method is suited to most people, regardless of their athletic background and fitness level. Classic Pilates is a form of exercise, a philosophy,

and the legacy of Joseph Pilates.

Classic Pilates strengthens your mind while making your whole body stronger and more limber. The exercise is efficient and time-saving, exercising all parts of the body simultaneously.

At Fit to the Core, we only train and teach the Pilates that Joseph Pilates himself trained and taught. All our devices are based on his inventions, drawings, methods, and exercises. We strive to preserve the original version of Classic Pilates training.

The story of Joseph Pilates

Joseph Hubertus Pilates, the exercise visionary from Mönchengladbach in Germany, is the man behind the training methodology and the term Pilates. He was born on 9 December 1883 and was a man far ahead of his time; a fact that he also was well aware of. Few people who practice Pilates are aware that Pilates is the name of the person behind the exercise form. Joseph Pilates coined the term “Contrology”, which he defined as a form of exercise and a philosophy. This was the original form of Pilates, and the method and philosophy behind it is as relevant today as it was then.


As a child, Joseph Pilates was sickly, weak, and was blinded in one eye  at an early age. At the age of seven he was given a book on anatomy which he learned by heart and began exercising. His father introduced him to gymnastics, bodybuilding, and martial arts such as jiu-jitsu and boxing. At the age of 14 he was so physically fit that he was asked to model for an anatomical chart. After finishing school, Joseph Pilates worked at the local brewery while practicing boxing and gymnastics, diving and skiing. As an adult, boxing was one of the reasons for him leaving Germany. On the boat across the Atlantic, he met his future wife Clara and they both chose to settle in America. They started a studio in New York and many dancers would train with the couple.

Joseph Pilates believed that poor health was rooted in the “modern” lifestyle, poor posture, and inefficient breathing patterns. Therefore, he created a wide range of exercises and techniques, designed all the training devices, specifications, and tools needed to teach his method correctly. Contrology encourages practitioners to use their mind to control muscles (specifically the deep muscles of the core, torso and abdomen) and focus their attention on the postural muscles. These are the muscles that keep the body balances and support the spine.

Joseph Pilates died on 9 October 1967, most likely from lung emphysema caused by years of cigar smoking and not, as some rumors claimed, due to a fire in his studio. He was after all a bon vivant as well as an exercise visionary. After his passing, his wife Clara continued running their studio.

Today Joseph Pilates is a legend. He was in incredible shape throughout his entire life, as evidenced

by surviving video clips and photos. 

At Fit to the Core we also believe in being in good shape regardless of your age. So try Pilates and experience for yourself how your body changes and becomes stronger and healthier through the training and philosophy of Joseph Pilates

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