Instructor Training

"I am getting more and more excited to continue on my Pilates journey with every module I take and eventually become a certified teacher. The Balanced Body trainers at Intelligent Exercise in Ann Arbor are fantastic!"

Build the body from the inside out! Anatomy in Three Dimensions ™ (AI3D) is an effective, engaging and fun way to learn anatomy, by building the muscles in clay on a specialized skeleton. Anyone who works with the body will come away with a better understanding of joint mechanics, muscle function, muscle relations and how the body moves.

Intelligent Exercise has been providing the highest quality instructor training longer than any other studio in the area.  We work through Balanced Body to educate instructors for preparation of the PMA exam and to actually work in real world situations.  Balanced Body is an internationally recognized education and equipment company.  They have an approved PMA curriculum, a flexible program, the best manuals in the industry and the finest group of master trainers available.  Intelligent Exercise offers apprenticeships and real life work experience on top of the BB curriculum to ensure you're ready to work with clients in the real world. Balanced Body offers continuing education and opportunities to continue learning throughout your teaching journey with Pilates on Tour, ever-expanding and growing programming and courses to fit the needs of the Pilates community no matter what method you teach.  Additional courses specific to back and shoulder protocols are also offered throughout the year.


Pilates is not just a series of movements.  If taught properly it can change someone’s life.  Learn how to teach Pilates for individual bodies through Intelligent Exercise and make a difference.

Melissa Francis and Jennifer Landells are Master Instructors for Balanced Body.  They have over 30 years of combined experience in the Pilates industry.  They have had the honor of teaching many instructors and courses and being mentors to new trainers.  Intelligent Exercise is a teacher training studio and set up to give you real client experience so that you can transition into the real world with working Pilates experience and knowledge.

Teacher training through Intelligent Exercise will give any Instructor-to-Be the tools to understand the exercises and how they are utilized for individual client growth and challenge.  You’ll also learn how to effectively plan private sessions and group classes, and find out the best path for you as you enter your new teaching journey. The Balanced Body curriculum will prepare you to take and pass the Pilates Method Alliance Exam. This training will not be easy – so come ready to work, learn and grow.

Upcoming Classes:                                                                   

2019 Schedule
Movement Principles: August 24-25: Melissa Francis
Mat 1: September 21-22: Jen Landells
Mat 2: October 12-13: Jen Landells
Reformer 1: November 9-10: Jen Landells
Reformer 2: December 14: Jen Landells
Apparatus 2: Sept 21-22: Melissa Francis
Apparatus 3: October 12-13: Melissa Francis

2020 Schedule
Anatomy in 3D: Jan 18-19: Melissa Francis
Reformer 3: Jan 25-26: Jen Landells
Movement Principles: Feb 8-9: Melissa Francis
Mat 1: Feb 22-23: Jen Landells
Reformer 3: Mar 14-15: Melissa Francis
Mat 2: Mar 21-22: Jen Landells
Reformer 1: Apr 18-19: Jen Landells
Reformer 2: May 16-17: Jen Landells
Trapeze and Cadillac: June 6-7: Melissa Francis
Mat 3: June 20-21: Jen Landells
Reformer 3: July 25-26: Jen Landells
Chair and Barrels: TBD


Balanced Body is an internationally recognized leader in the Pilates industry for knowledge, experience, instruction and equipment.  They offer a multitude of continuing education and support for all instructors of all methods of Pilates.  They offer podcasts, conferences, and additional courses so that all trainers at every level are consistently up-to-date and challenged in their careers.  Check out their website at


Movement Principles   

Introduction to Pilates & Beginning/Intermediate Exercises (16 hours)
Prerequisites: 1 year experience teaching movement, anatomy, 20 Pilates Mat class sessions

The Balanced Body Movement Principles form the foundation of Balanced Body Education. They include the most important information on anatomy, assessment, biomechanics and foundational exercises needed to become a successful Pilates teacher, personal trainer or movement educator. The course mixes information on how the body works with basic exercises to illustrate the information in movement. You will come away with a complete tool box for effectively training clients to recover from injuries, improve their general fitness and enhance their performance. The focus on practical understanding of common movement patterns prepares instructors to be excellent at problem solving, goal setting and learning new exercise techniques with ease

Mat I   

Introduction to Pilates & Beginning/Intermediate Exercises (16 hours)
Prerequisites: 1 year experience teaching movement, anatomy, 20 Pilates Mat class sessions

Mat I includes an introduction to the history and principles of Pilates, beginning and most intermediate level exercises with modifications, lectures on class order and programming in a group setting, and guidelines for teaching seniors, pre-, and post-natal classes.

Mat II

Intermediate/Advanced Exercises (16 hours)
Prerequisites: Mat I

Mat II includes the remaining intermediate and advanced level exercises as well as essential movement principles and training tips for advancing clients to the higher levels. Pilates for sports specific activities are also covered.

Mat III - Enhanced Mat with Toys

Intermediate/Advanced Exercises (16 hours)
Prerequisites: Mat I & Mat II

Enhanced Pilates Mat completes the mat training by adding rings, rollers, bands and balls to the traditional Mat exercises. In addition, Enhanced Mat includes functional exercises for the upper and lower body expanding the Mat work beyond the core to develop whole body strength and flexibility. The Balanced Body programming system is introduced to make class design easy, effective and fun. Adding props to a mat class makes them more dynamic, creative and accessible and clients love toys!

Reformer I and Movement Principles  

Introduction to Reformer & Beginning Exercises and Pilates Principles (18 hours)
Prerequisites: 2 years experience teaching movement, anatomy, 30 Pilates Reformer classes or personal training sessions

Reformer I includes an introduction to the Pilates Reformer including set up and safety, plus beginning exercises, program sequencing and teaching tips for group classes. By the end of the course you will be able to teach a beginning Reformer class or personal training session.

Reformer II  

Intermediate Exercises (16 hours)
Prerequisites: Reformer I

Reformer II includes intermediate exercises and modifications designed for group and individual instruction. Teaching successful classes and sessions to clients at different levels of ability is emphasized. Included are a variety of programs designed to keep your clients inspired.

Reformer III  

Advanced Exercises & Sport Specific Program (14 hours)
Prerequisites: Reformer II

Reformer III includes advanced exercises plus modifications for sports specific activities, tips for training the advanced client and programs designed for specific sports.

Apparatus I, II, III Modules: Cadillac, Chair and Barrels Combined

Apparatus I, II, and III modules are required for eligibility for the Balanced Body Comprehensive Test as well as for the Pilates Method Alliance Certification Exam.  Purpose, safety and utilization of each piece of equipment for group and private settings as well as multi-use programming. 

Apparatus 1 (14 hours) covers introductory concepts and exercises on the Trap Table, Chair and Barrel as well as equipment set up and safety.  The purpose of each piece of equipment is covered as it relates to private and group settings.

Apparatus 2 (12 hours) covers each piece of equipment more in depth.  This course provides the skills to work with beginning, post-rehab and advanced clients. This course provides the purpose of each piece of equipment in more detail and how to best utilize specific equipment for each client as well as mixed apparatus programming.

Apparatus 3 (12 hours) completes the comprehensive program.  The remaining exercises on the Trap, Chair and Barrel are covered.  The instructor training program is summarized as well as providing information on utilizing the entire Pilates system for individuals and group settings, starting to teach, insurance, local pay rates and professional conduct.

Photos courtesy of Balanced Body