Memories of Joe Pilates from Bob Wernick & Chuck Rapoport, author & photographer of Sports Illustrated article

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In 2013, after 50 years, the writer and photographer responsible for the 1962 Sports Illustrated article that made Joe Pilates famous met in Paris. In this video you'll hear their delightful firsthand accounts of Joe's studio and their experiences there and how Pilates changed both of their lives. You can read Wernick's unedited version of the SI article here: To Keep in Shape: Act Like an Animal and the article as it appeared in SI Magazine with Chuck's photos here: Sports Illustrated, Feb 12, 1962, page 71. Our heartfelt thanks go to Chuck Rapoport for sharing his footage of Robert Wernick. You can purchase the photos that Chuck took of Joe Pilates here: or by emailing him at  

What Others Are Saying


  1. Pilatesplaty 2 years ago

    Thank you for recording such material for the Pilates or should I say Contrology community. It is very important to have this.

  2. Nicolewolfe
    Nicolewolfe 3 years ago

    This is great. I love it. Thank you for creating this video and sharing. I would think anyone studying Pilates would love to see this video, read Robert Wernicks article, and see Chuck Rapoports photos. I’m inspired and I know my clients will be too. Great stuff…

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Thanks Nicolewolfe, meeting Bob Wernick was the next best thing to meeting Joe Pilates himself for me because Bob’s writing really captured (at least for me) what I imagine it was like to be there. 🙂

  3. Luz Alejandra Lovern

    Thank you to Alisa and Churk for this beautiful thanksgiving gift. What a great gift Joe Pilates give to us for our daily life and keep moving. Thanks to all.

  4. Yasmin95 3 years ago

    Thank you Alisa. I start my day watching these videos.
    I actually got interest in Pilates after reading the biography of Joe Pilates 14 years ago and never lost it because of his concept.

  5. Christina Maria Gadar

    Thank you Alisa. I found out there was an east coast and a west coast version (both with Sonny Liston on the cover). I assume the article about Joe was in the east coast edition because his studio was on that coast. Apparently the east coast edition is harder to find, but at least the mystery is solved!

  6. Christina Maria Gadar

    Thank you for this wonderful interview. I have a question. I recently purchased the February 12, 1962 edition of Sports Illustrated but the article on Joe was not in it (it does not appear to have any torn pages and it has no mention of the article in the Contents page). The article I printed off the internet shows it to be on pages E5-E8 but those don’t exist in the copy I ordered. Does anyone have an explanation that could help me figure this out?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi Christina, I believe that Sports Illustrated had regional issues. You want the one with boxer Sonny Liston on the cover.

  7. Barbara Treves 5 years ago


  8. joelcrosby

    Thanks for sharing that bit of history. It was so nice to watch. Loved the story about how Joe explained the immune system and how it relates keeping the body fit.

  9. Andrea Maida

    Thank you so much for this video – what a joy to see Robert and Chuck together. I loved the way it came together 🙂 Just beautiful.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Thank you Andrea for being such an integral part of this video’s making. For those reading this, Andrea and her husband Joe were with us on our trip to Paris in 2013 when we met Bob Wernick. The video footage from that day was a bit dark and didn’t make it into this piece but we had a wonderful dinner with Bob (everyone had Jack Daniels) and climbed his 6 flights of stairs to visit his apartment. Bob climbed the stairs on his own without help and later told us about his morning exercises. When asked how high the legs were for the 100, he showed us–2 inches off the floor. Not bad for 95 years old!

  10. Kerry 5 years ago

    Fabulous! Thank you so much.
    I’m sure Joe would’ve appreciated the Jack Daniels part. 😉

  11. pilatesmomma08 5 years ago

    Amazing….Thank you Alisa and Jack for helping us truly understand the history of this amazing method from Joe’s eyes. Looking forward to more and definitely more from Jay Grimes

  12. lghammerle

    Excellent! Thank you all for capturing these moments, words and images for us!

  13. Mary
    Mary 5 years ago

    Really well done A&J…just beautiful.

  14. FrankZito

    Well done Chuck! This is a piece of Pilates history.

  15. Dolores Coeck 5 years ago

    It’s never too late to start with pilates
    Thank you for the interview and the beautiful pictures of Joe Pilates!

  16. Dolores Coeck 5 years ago

    Great interview!

  17. As an impartial observer of this piece ( 🙂 )- let me say that I think Alisa and Jack and the editorial staff have done a wonderful job shooting and editing and putting this together. Let me inform the viewers that when this video (of me in my home) was shot – I was NOT practicing Pilates with any regular routine and I weighed 190 lbs. Since then, I have been working regularly at VINTAGE PILATES in L.A. with Andrea Maida and Karen Frischmann – working out alongside Jay Grimes and ALisa Wyatt and Sandy Shimoda and Dena Drotar (who steps in sometimes). I now weigh 168 lbs. and work diligently at home on my Chair and Reformer and Tower.

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