By the age of 14 he was the penultimate model, and had even begun modeling for anatomy charts.
Eventually through the culmination of his own childhood and experiences, an idea began to grow in his mind. He eventually decided that everyone's modern lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing were the roots of poor health, and he would find a way to combat that effectively.
He then began work on what would become known as the Pilates Method. He created a series of various exercises that would help combat these evils. Ultimately "his answer to these problems was to design a unique series of vigorous physical exercises that help to correct muscular imbalances and improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility, as well as to increase breathing capacity and organ function. He also invented a variety of machines, based on spring-resistance, which could be used to perform these exercises"( http://www.jillianhessel.com/pilates_biography.html). He would eventually include these spring Machines into ideas such as the Cadillac and the Universal reformer. Now all that lacked was a name for his new theory of mind, which Pilates would later call contrology.
The first people to embrace his methods of Body Contrlogy were dancing students.