• The Bar Method

    November 13, 2012

    I’ve partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more ways to be well at HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn.

    For the next part of the “Well-Together Challenge,” Sarah and I decided to share our favorite workouts with one another, so, not surprisingly, I picked CrossFit, which we’re doing tonight, and Sarah invited me to join her for a class at The Bar Method. I’ve done similar barre workouts in the past (Secret Physique and Core Fusion), and I know they’re a serious workout and always kick my butt, so I was excited to go.

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    Sarah and I attended a class at the Boston location, which is located on Clarendon Street in Back Bay. It was a gorgeous space with high ceilings and lots of light. It wasn’t super huge, but it had a locker room with showers, which I hear is a bonus for this type of studio.

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    The class started with a warm-up and moved into some upper body exercises that used free-weights.

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    I remember the little hand weights from previous barre classes, so I planned to go light with them, but Sarah insisted I could handle the 5-pound weights, which were the heaviest of the bunch. Surprisingly, I made it through the free weight exercises without much trouble. It was definitely challenging (I broke a sweat on the standing triceps extensions), but I wasn’t dying like I had in previous classes.

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    The lower body and core exercises, however, were a totally different story!

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    We used the bar to do three sets of pulsing pliés, which, if done correctly, are insanely hard. The instructor (her name was also Sarah) warned me I’d “feel some burning, but it would eventually stop.” Haha!

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    Being a beginner to this workout, I didn’t quite have the proper form down, so Sarah (the instructor) made sure I had my hips tucked and heels lifted, and then, ohmygodholycrap, did I feel the burn. My gluts and quads were on fire! Those tiny adjustments made a huge difference!

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    After the bar work, we moved to the floor to do an exercise called the “pretzel,” which may have scarred me for life is one of the most difficult exercises in The Bar Method repertoire. (Seriously, who comes up with these moves!?) It’s a seated exercise that strengths the arms and core while sculpting muscles in the hips, back, and glutes.

    It might not look that difficult, but I had to stop and rest at least a half dozen times.

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    I typically consider myself a fairly fit person, but The Bar Method (and barre classes in general) are so tough. All of those little isometric exercises really get your muscles working (and screaming for mercy). I love challenging workouts like this and they really push me out of my comfort zone, so I’m glad I was able to try The Barre Method with Sarah.

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    Question of the Day

    Have you ever tried a barre class? What’d you think? Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks they’re really tough! 

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    { 77 comments… read them below or add one }

    BroccoliHut November 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Great post! I’ve seen similar workout studios around (I think there’s one around here called pure barre?), and I’ve always been curious what they’re all about. Thanks for the info!

    Reply

    Aubrey November 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Hi! I found your blog and love it! Im a celiac ballerina :) so I may have some bar under my belt! I need to try that pretzel move…

    Reply

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers November 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    My Friend was doing the Bar method and she said it is incredible! She said that she toned up so quick from it. She also said it is addicting! I have to try it! Exercise that’s addicting! Yes please!

    Reply

    luv what you do November 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I really want to try a Bar class but there isn’t one in my hood. That studio is gorgeous!

    Reply

    Kath November 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I tried my first tonight!! Pure Barre

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    Sara November 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I hear those classes are killer, I need to try one out. Did you know that instructor Sarah is another Union alum?

    Reply

    Tina November 14, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Yep! :)

    Reply

    Faiza November 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I love Bar Method!! I’ve been going once a week for about a month and already feel a difference :) I wish it was closer so I could go more often, I just love the enthusiastic, positive vibe.

    Reply

    Jill November 14, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I am obsessed with The Bar Method. It is my workout of choice nowadays. I try to go 3x a week and have seen great improvements, but it never stops being challenging. The way you love Crossfit is the way I love The Bar Method. :)

    Reply

    Shelly November 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve never tried a barre exercise class, but I took ballet for a semester in college. My legs were so sculpted that semester!

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    Maria November 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    LOVE barre classes and in particular bar method! I took classes in Chicago and wish they offered them here in Wisconsin. Beautiful studio!

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    Becki (@Fight4Wellness) November 15, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for this post! I really want to try barre and haven’t figured out yet where to go in Boston. This place sounds like it might be great for me.

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    Kirsty November 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Tina
    I have read your experiences with Corefusion and the Bar Method with great interest. I really, really want to try out the Bar Method unfortunately there aren’t any studios near me in London (UK). So I have been looking at the various DVDs which are around. There are so many to choose from; Burr Leonard’s DVDs, Core Fusion or back to the founder, Lotte Berk with the Lotte Berk Method. What to do, what to do.
    Which did you prefer the Bar Method or Corefusion?

    By the way I love all your photos of Murphy – such a cute pug!

    Reply

    Tina November 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Hmmm… they’re both kind of the same to me. I guess I liked The Bar Method more, but only because the instructor really helped me with my form, so it made it more challenging.

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    Kirsty November 17, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Thanks Tina! I ended up buying the Bar Method Accelerated DVD. I am looking forward to trying it out.

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    Tina November 17, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Nice! I hope you like it! :)

    Reply

    Erica @ In And Around Town November 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I love Bar Method, I do it about 4 days a week!

    Reply

    Diane January 29, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Hi! Cool blog! I’m a big fan of the Bar Method and started taking classes at a studio near my home in NJ. I moved to France last year and there are no Bar Method studios here, so I bought all the DVDs and am really happy with them. With the Bar Method, you can always go a tiny bit deeper so the moves never get old. I love breaking a sweat and doing more high impact workouts as well, but I absolutely think the Bar Method has its place in my life. ;-)

    Reply

    Sydney February 2, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I have never been obsessed with a fitness program as much as Bar Method. I go almost everyday and the days I don’t go to Bar Method, I feel “Bar Method withdrawals”! It’s pretty CRAZY! It is the class that has challenged me and has given me results in a short time. I just started less than a month ago too!

    Reply

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