Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew
Icons & Innovators: Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew started STOTT PILATES® nearly 20 years ago, before anyone guessed what a sensation the exercise would create.
“We didn’t get into this because we thought Pilates would be a big business,” remembers Moira Merrithew, executive director of education for STOTT PILATES, who co-founded the company with her husband, Lindsay G. Merrithew, president and chief executive officer. “In 1988, we were at the right place at the right time. When we started, Pilates was very much a cottage industry. Our goal was simple—to make Pilates as accessible as possible.”
Recalls Lindsay, “There were indicators that people, especially Baby Boomers, were moving toward more mindful forms of exercise, and Pilates is a thoughtful form of exercise that’s all about body awareness.”
Lindsay holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York City. Moira is a former principal dancer with the City Ballet of Toronto and the Atlantic Ballet Company. After an injury, Moira became certified as a Pilates instructor by Romana Kryzanowska at the original studio founded by the late Joseph H. Pilates.
Today Moira oversees the programming component for the STOTT PILATES education and certification division and is one of the featured performers in the STOTT PILATES video series, along with other master instructor trainers. Lindsay directs the growth of the Merrithew Corporation and its premier brand, STOTT PILATES, and is instrumental in designing, producing and marketing the company’s extensive equipment and video lines, including more than 120 videos for professional and retail consumer markets. STOTT PILATES has over 125 employees, corporate studios in Toronto and New York, and 50 licensed training centers in 19 countries.
In order to keep up with modern medicine and physiotherapy as a whole, Lindsay and Moira worked with numerous physical therapists, sports medicine professionals and fitness professionals to evolve the original method. Today STOTT PILATES offers a contemporary, anatomically based approach that is founded on a combination of key medical research and modern-day knowledge of biomechanics.
“Initially, access to Pilates equipment was very limited. We wanted to make equipment that would adjust to people’s needs, so we used metal instead of wood and added more versatility and user specificity,” explains Lindsay. “We created a reformer that had adjustability to suit the user and that was both ergonomically and aesthetically appealing.”
Innovation continues to be a guiding principle for STOTT PILATES, which recently introduced the V2 Max Plus™, a functional new reformer with a vertical frame and a retractable rope pulley system that enables more rotation and overhead movement, allowing for a more diverse workout by a wider clientele.
“We embrace what is new and exciting because we think this form of exercise has so much potential for the future,” says Lindsay. “We want to continue to make Pilates more functional, and more accessible to everyone, including men, kids and teens, athletes and sports participants.”
Education and certification are central to their business model: the company has trained in excess of 15,000 instructors worldwide and has a goal to train 32,000 by 2010. “It’s important to empower instructors and give them the tools they need to make decisions that match the right exercisers for every individual,” says Lindsay.
Lindsay feels that for the company, and the fitness industry as a whole, adding value to the professional lives of instructors and developing their career paths are the biggest challenge and the greatest opportunity. As part of that effort, STOTT PILATES assists health clubs in growing and managing successful, revenue-generating Pilates programs.
Moira and Lindsay believe their success is just one example of the tremendous opportunity that exists in the wellness arena today. They encourage professionals to take advantage of opportunities, be passionate about their work, innovate, and create their own success stories. “The industry has changed so much from when there were mostly part-time jobs in fitness,” says Lindsay, “There’s a lot of room to make a difference, because this isn’t a seasoned industry. It’s young. There are so many chapters still to be written, and everyone can be an author.”
Mary Monroe is a freelance writer in Los Angeles.
Tune in to this page each issue to learn about the vision and accomplishments of the leaders who have helped make our industry what it is today. Find out what they see for the future of fitness and wellness.
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2008 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
- Abdominals/Core Conditioning
- Body Image
- Boot Camp
- Cardiovascular Training
- Career Issues
- Client Advice
- Client Handouts
- Coaching/Lifestyle Coaching
- Consumer Education
- Continuing Education/CECs/Home Study
- Corrective Exercise
- Disabilities and Diseases
- Fitness Handouts
- Government Initiatives
- Group Fitness
- Health Clubs/Fitness Facilities
- Inactive Market/Inspire the World to Fitness
- Industry Issues/Trends
- Injuries/Injury Prevention
- Legal Issues
- Marketing and Sales
- Medicine/Medical Profession
- Nutrition/Healthy Eating
- Personal Trainer Institute West 2013 Blog
- Personal Training
- Program Design
- Program Trends
- Research/Exercise Science
- Sample Classes
- Sample Workouts/Program Design
- Self Improvement
- Special Populations
- Strength Training
- Technology/World Wide Web
- Weight Management
- Women/Women's Health Issues
IDEA Fit Tips
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.