Course Duration

The Alan Herdman Teacher Training Course comprises 7 Active IQ units along with the Pilates and Pre-Pilates technique, taken over 10 months and comprising at least 750 hours of student effort.

Syllabus Content

The curriculum is delivered so that the students learn to use the Pilates repertoire in the most practical and effective way. Exercises are taught in relation to the classical Pilates principles and objectives, with the aim that the students are equipped to apply the technique to suit individual clients rather than by a proscribed exercise sequence for all.

The health and safety of staff, students and clients is a focus of the studios at all times. It is an integral part of the program, both in terms of personal and client safety and in the proper and safe use of the equipment and reinforced throughout the training program.

Units 1-5

  1. General Anatomy: bones and joints
  2. General Anatomy: muscles and nervous system
  3. Health and Safety in the Pilates environment and code of conduct etc.
  4. Basic Foundation Principles to the Pilates Technique
  5. Mat programme

Units 6-10

  1. Common Ailments and Medical Conditions requiring special attention
  2. Initial teaching skills for Pilates exercises
  3. Planning and delivering a Pilates session
  4. Mat skills development
  5. The Universal Reformer

Units 11-15

  1. Reformer exercises
  2. The Trapeze Table
  3. The Trapeze exercises
  4. The Reformer and Trapeze
  5. Guidance, progression and Business

Delivery & Assessment

For all units a structured combination of the following will be used:


  • Lectures
  • Practical teaching and demonstrations
  • Group discussions and role play.


  • Coursework/Project
  • Multiple Choice Examination
  • Portfolio of Evidence
  • Practical Demonstration/Assignment
  • Written final exam

Mat and Equipment Practical Assessment Format

Mat Class

In order to practice teaching mat classes in a real situation a weekly mat class of ninety minutes will be taught throughout the ten months. To introduce the students to the progression of exercises, from beginners to advanced, the initial classes will be taught by myself and the Program Tutor. Gradually the students will take turns in introducing the class and teaching the warm up. After a few months they will prepare and teach a full class. After each class there will be a very informal discussion supervised by a tutor about content, pace etc.



After a few months each student will be allocated two case studies. These studies will be new to Pilates and will be chosen from two different backgrounds. One will be a dance or movement student with an injury or technique problem; the other will be a person who is unused to exercise. The student will teach ten classes to their study which will involve approximately fifteen hours of teaching. A basic lesson plan will be presented at the start, and a detailed diary will kept during the duration of the study. During this case study all the equipment should be used, demonstrating safety issues, objectives, tactile and verbal cues, imageries and any necessary modifications.

The student will be asked to outline a progression up to fifteen weeks to the level at which they have been trained in this course.
Once again all criteria will be looked at during the course, practised and explained in detail.

No student will be put in a situation that is unsafe for them or the client.

The number of hours each student is spending in the in the studio observing, practising, demonstrating and shadow teaching should make this exercise a natural progression in their training.

The Pilates Classical Mat Exercises

  1. The hundred
  2. The roll-up
  3. The rollover
  4. Leg circles
  5. Rolling like a ball
  6. Single leg stretch
  7. Double leg stretch
  8. Single straight leg stretch
  9. Double straight stretch
  10. Criss-cross
  11. Spine stretch forward
  12. Ope-leg rocker
  13. The cork screw
  14. The saw
  15. Swandive
  16. Single leg kicks
  17. Double leg kicks
  18. Neck pull
  19. The scissors
  20. The bicycle
  21. Shoulder bridge
  22. Spine twist
  23. The Jackknife
  24. Side kicks
  25. Teasers
  26. IDP circles
  27. Swimming
  28. The leg pull-down
  29. Leg pull-up
  30. Kneeling side kicks
  31. Mermaid side bends
  32. The boomerang
  33. The seal
  34. Push-ups