Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880. As a child with various health problems (asthma, rickets), he moved from the gym early on to improve his physical condition. He managed not only to acquire a healthy and strong body, but reached the point of the age of fourteen to pose for anatomic maps!
As long as it is still in Germany, it deals with many types of exercise: bodybuilding, yoga, skiing and much more. In 1912 he goes to London where he works as a boxer, circus performer and self-defense teacher in Scotland Yard. This is where the First World War finds him and is imprisoned with other homosexuals as a prisoner of war. This embarrassment gives him the time to begin to systemize a training program based on his personal experience of the various types of exercise he has dealt with. The pilot application of this primary system to his comrades has the effect of not dying to the influenza epidemic in 1918.
During the trip he meets Clara's wife, nurse in the profession, and together they create the first studio "Pilates" in New York. It soon becomes popular with choreographers and dancers, including Martha Graham and George Balancine. The latter even reached the point of incorporating Pilates ground exercises into a famous choreography of "The Seven Deadly Sins". Pilates continues to constantly evolve his technique and refine his machines until his death in 1967 in New York.