How The Bar Method Changed Me
Back before I annoyingly injured my right foot, I was feeling stronger and more empowered than ever. How you may be asking? I can’t wait to tell you! (Sounds like a commercial, but I’m genuinely over the moon happy to share…) This new, inner strength and confidence blossomed from The Bar Method in Rittenhouse.
I met Gina, the owner, the first week of January thanks to an influencer class planned by Franny. I had NO idea what to expect when it came to barre. I assumed it would be like a ballerina class, really working the legs, bettering poise, and nearly perfecting rhythm, so I was calm because I danced (ballet, tap, jaz, hip hop) from the age of four to 17. The day of the class, I was telling my coworkers that I was taking my first ever barre class that night. Almost in unison, they all looked at me and were like “Uhhhh have you ever taken barre before?” I cowardly replied, “No. Why….?” Immediately one of the girls said, “Good luck. That sh*t is HARD.” All of a sudden, I could feel the anxiety and nerves coming on. If you’re anything like me, you’re NOT a workout queen. In fact, you’re the complete opposite. I already had some hesitation going to this class, but I told myself just do it! It was going to be a cool experience – a chance to meet other influencers/bloggers, an intimate group, close to my apt, a new challenge, and it was free – what did I have to lose?! But letting the words, “That sh*t is hard.” continue to sink in was freaking me out. Nervously, I went. And guess what? It WAS hard, BUT I loved it. (And by the way, barre was kiiiinda like a ballet class, but more “extreme.” Think repetitive leg, arm, and ab movements that strengthen and tone.)
I finished the 30-minute “beginner” class intrigued AF. I had so many questions on what we just did – how it was helping my body, why my legs felt weird during the butterfly stretch, and if I was holding the three-pound weights properly. While enjoying my complimentary acai bowl + kombucha I asked Gina, what felt like, 100 questions. Rather than being annoyed, she HAPPILY answered each and every q in detail until I fully understood. It felt super genuine – because it was. I left the studio that night feeling awesome. I wanted more.
Lucky for me, I won a 30-day unlimited pack of classes and I was head-over-heels excited! I attended as many classes as I could (my travel schedule is absurd, so I wasn’t able to go as much as I wanted, BUT the multiple sessions offered per day helped a lot). I learned from almost all of the instructors (Gina is still my fave) and each one has their own unique take which I appreciate. No class is the same, thank goodness! Monotony gets real old, REAL fast. Right?! Aaaaand it’s important to add, each instructor pays immense attention to every move made. Injuries are so common in workout classes (Orange Theory, CrossFit, etc.) that The Bar Method are sticklers on adapting movements for each student to do safely. Some women come in with a bad shoulder so all arm movements are adjusted. One time my ankles felt “funky” so Mary-Carmen gave me a soft mat to rest my feet on that immediately relieved the pressure off of them. You certainly don’t get this personalized treatment at other studios.
The typical one-hour class starts with a full-body warm up. Quick and easy! Then, depending on the instructor, we go into tricep work, then push-ups + planks, then a LOT of time on the lower half of the body, then abs, then finally some serious stretching. The empowerment, ready-to-take-on-the-world feeling comes from the shaking during each body isolation. I can’t put into words how this feels, all I can say is take just one class to experience it for yourself. When you bend at your knees using your quads 100 times back-to-back the muscles you’re using will start to quiver and THAT is when you know you’re doing it right. You’re burning calories and losing fat!! Don’t believe me? Guys I lost 10 pounds in one month thanks to The Bar Method. Yeah…. Let that sink in. So not only do I feel AMAZING after each class, the work is really paying off.
In case you skipped to the end and just skimmed over what I wrote here’s a cheat for the five reasons you should try at least one class at The Bar Method:
1) Personalized Attention
I love that no matter who is teaching I am guaranteed help, assistance, and/or corrections to my movements if needed. They keep me safe!
This is coming from the girl who used to hate the idea of working out. Sweating? Yuck. But now I go into class feeling whatever and leave feeling ready to take on life full speed. Major endorphin release! Talk about a happy & healthy mind!!
3) Muscle Toning
It’s one thing to exercise your muscles, it’s another to give then definition. Barre really hones in on each muscle which is exactly what most workouts LACK!
4) Fat Burning
Nuff said. Just wait for the shake and when that happens you know the fat is melting away.
This may be overlooked by some, but to me it’s a huge deal. Every time I go to class I am greeted by a big smile, a friendly hello, and every instructor knows my name. That’s meaningful! Management will go out of their way for each student. And the studio is kept in pristine condition. It’s always clean, always organized, and always smells good – how is that even possible?!