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„Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness...“


Joseph Pilates' may most famous quote...


“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference,

in 20 sessions you’ll see a difference,

and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”


… is a great motivation to practice his method!

Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born on December the 8th 1883 nearby Düsseldorf (Germany).

As a child he often was sick, suffering from Bronchitis, Asthma and Rheumatic fever.


Motivated by these “weaknesses” he started to do bodybuilding, gymnastics and skied. His father taught him boxing. Further he studied eastern and western movement methodes like Yoga and the Zen Meditation.

1912, in the age of 29 “Joe” moved to England. There he made his living as a boxer, boxing trainer and circus artist.

When Worldwar 1 started, he got interned to the Isle of Man. In this time he developed, practised and taught to others his fitness program “Contrology” and started to engineer the specific Pilates equipment which is still in use.

After the war he came back to Germany. First, he worked as a boxing trainer and became a professional boxer for a several years. Later on, he trained self defence to the Hamburg Police.

In 1926 he immigrated to New York. His goal was to bring his training method to the American dancing schools. On board he met his future wife Clara (a registered nurse). Together they took over a boxing and training studio in the Eight Avenue, the first Pilatesstudio. Clara's work experience as a nurse had an influence on the “Contrology” concept to bring the hole method into a more gentle and rehabilitative direction.

Joseph Pilates trained a lot of dancers, gymnastics and artists. The experience with these people explains the establishment of principles like Centering and Stabilisation. Gruppenkurse und Personal Training

“Joe's” lessons have always been creative and individual. He made up a specific training program for each participant and designed new exercises to reach their goal.


In the age of 83 he did from lung emphysema. Clara continued teaching for another ten years.

Their students kept and keep the method alive until today.


„Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.“    - Joseph H. Pilates

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