Instructor in Focus – Robert Carruthers

Robert Carruthers

Robert Carruthers

Professional Instructor Level 2, Movementality, Richmond VIC

Instructor Name: Robert Carruthers
Studio(s) you work at: Movementality
Location: Richmond VIC
Instructor training: TenPilates (Dynamic Reformer Pilates, London), APPI, Diploma (Tensegrity)
PAA Level: Professional Instructor Level 2

What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?

Honestly, I needed a job. Having finished up a Sport Science degree in NZ, I traveled for a few months before winding up in London. I wanted to use my sport science degree to work with athletes/sports teams, but they all required a full time, unpaid internship, whereas I needed an income. I’d never done Pilates before, but TenPilates (London’s equivalent of KX) paid me while I trained, and then I stayed on for two years and managed several studios. It wasn’t rehab-focused enough though, so I retrained with APPI and ended up working in their clinics as well as the contract they have with Brentford FC. The more clinical side of things appealed to the injury-rehab mind I had, having had various spine and shoulder injuries since a teenager. That’s also when I started playing with Functional neurology, and then built it out from there.

What did you eat for breakfast?

Bone broth – we make our own, and it’s a staple every morning to get me through the teaching.

In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?


What impact has the recent COVID-19 virus had on your world?

We had to move our entire business online within a few days, including myself, Ash and six subcontractors. Majority of the staff, including myself, are not citizens so we were very worried about the financial fall out, and therefore hauled-ass to make sure we had maximum client buy in. As a result, all the staff maintained their work and the business sustained until we could reopen. We also launched our online education platform, to bring cheap PD to the masses. It’s not as in depth as a full training course, but the goal is to inspire ideas rather than providing the exact ‘how-to”. Snap-lock downs aside, we’re rebuilding and am hopeful for the future again.

How have you handled your Pilates teaching with COVID-19, any advice to other teachers?

Online? Hated it. It’s not my style, but I made sure everyone worked hard in their sessions to ensure there was minimal loss of conditioning. We delivered mainly 1:3 sessions, so just treated it the same as we do in the studio, but with a lot more brain power since there wasn’t the equipment to help do the work for you. But some of our teaches treated them more like mini-classes, provided modifications specific to the client but otherwise everyone would follow a similar line of exercises, and most clients loved it.

The other big thing to monitor with clients moving between online and the studio is ensuring you still give them a really solid strengthening work out. We found a lot of our clients became stronger because they didn’t have the equipment to support them, which meant we could do way more with them back in the studio – so don’t assume they have gone backwards in strength just because they haven’t been in the studio!

What’s the best thing about your job?

Personally, I love giving people foot cramps.

Your ‘go to’ website for all things Pilates (other than PAA)?

I don’t have a website but I have a few people I’ll talk to – Bruce Hildebrand has been a big help over the years, but also Miriam Jones more recently. And then I’ll just do some research on specific topic’s but I don’t have a specific website I go to.

The best advice you’ve ever had?

Check the ego. The world keeps spinning regardless of what you do. Sounds a bit rough but it helped me realize that I can only control me, so I do that, and then just make sure those I interact with have a good experience where I can, and to not lose any sleep over other peoples experience of you. Incredibly important as a business owner!!

An indulgence you can’t live without?

Not in the traditional sense, but I need to make sure I get some time in nature every day or I start to get a bit grumpy.

How long have you been a member of PAA and how did you hear about PAA?

About 2 years. I became aware of the PAA and APMA when I first moved to Australia, thinking it was a requirement to get a job in a clinic/studio here.

Do you have a motto?


What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

As a practitioner, helping clients negotiate their current situation against where they want to be, whether that be pain reduction or more specific goals. As a business owner, navigating the the endless instability of running a small business with staff, lock downs, where to find clients etc, etc…!

How do you use PAA?

Provides a framework to find resources and set a standard within the industry for us to measure our performance against.

Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?

I’ve always been intrigued by Rael of Basi – maybe it was just the book at reception at my first job, but I’m really intrigued by their progressions on the equipment and trying to understand the why’s behind their logic. I have a funny feeling it would line up quite well with how I think of things.

What do you appreciate most about your body?

It’s self-healing capability – give it what it needs, and let it do it’s thing.

The book you’re currently reading?

Currently nothing, but just finished Bruce Lipton’s Wisdom of our Cells. Highly recommend!

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