In my current quest to better myself and go clean & green in more ways than one… I have been looking at what I put in body and on my body. But what about my body itself?
I have been a fan of ballet (and pilates) for a long time, and I would say I have dabbled in it occasionally… And in my dabbling I have grown a huge appreciation for the effort that goes into making those leaps and hops on stage look so effortless and graceful. Because let me tell you, it takes a lot of work. You have to be hella strong to do what these athletes do (yes I will definitely call a ballerina an athlete). In my younger years, I did a lot of acrobatics, pilates, yoga and dance as part of my theatre training. Two intense years of it every day in grad school and I was so strong! I had the most amazing posture and I could eat anything I wanted. 15 years and 2 kids later, sadly my body is not in the same shape as it once was – and no, I cannot eat whatever I want anymore (nore do I want to really! Bye bye coca cola and boxed mac and cheese!). I have turned a new leaf. And I am actively looking at what I am putting in my body, on my body and overall how I am treating my body. By making small changes to my diet and skin care routine, starting to jog (sparingly) and taking yoga/barre classes (online and in studios): I feel stronger, more alert, happier and just darn good. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the sign go up for a Bar Method studio 5 minutes from my house! I had to try it. And after trying it, I am hooked!
Walking into the studio for the first time is a little intimidating, but they make sure you feel very welcomed and cared for right away. They also take the time to give you a tour of the facilities and go over what you need to get started in class. The studio has a bouncy carpet surrounded by bars and mirrors. They also offer mats and pillows for support during the class. Don’t be fooled by this cushy place though, it is nothing but cushy. It is probably one of the hardest workouts I have ever done. They “kill” you with a smile and make sure you get the results you want… I asked The Bar Method Lake Oswego’s co – owners Beth and Denise (check out their arms, I dare you…), what makes them different from the other barre classes and studios out there. How they keep their clients coming back for more. And how they remember everyone’s names!
This is what they said:
Denise and Beth – aka strong chicas
There are 3 main elements that set The Bar Method apart from other barre-based exercises:
1. EXPERTLY TRAINED TEACHERS: Our teachers receive specialized training that is the most rigorous within the industry. The training process is 4-6 months long, during which teacher trainees become experts in The Bar Method form, human anatomy, and the mind-body connection. At The Bar Method, training does not stop at certification. Studio owners regularly observe teachers’ classes to give feedback, and hold form clinics to keep skills sharp. Studios are also evaluated annually by a Bar Method HQ evaluator, and also receive annual intensive coaching sessions from a Corporate Trainer. This ongoing education allows teachers to help clients improve their form, alignment and posture in every class and to inspire them to achieve their personal goals.
Teacher Technique: This piece of teacher training perhaps the most definitive difference between The Bar Method and other barre workouts. Since people learn differently, The Bar Method incorporates visual, auditory and kinesthetic cues to help all clients learn the form. Our Hands-On adjustments are unique to The Bar Method, and are designed to safely and supportively fine tune clients’ form. Receiving an effective hands-on adjustment is often the “lightbulb moment” for many clients in understanding an exercise. It’s also what makes people feel like they’re working with a personal trainer, even though it’s a group class.
2. QUALITY & TECHNIQUE: The Bar Method technique was developed over the past 25 years by Founder Burr Leonard, making it the original “barre” workout. Each exercise was designed under the diligent supervision of physical therapists to keep students’ joints safe and to target muscles efficiently. The Bar Method emphasizes sculpting the muscles that play the largest role in changing the shape of the body, followed by intervals of stretching to produce an elongated, aligned and stronger body. Clients see results quickly, and often find new confidence as an unexpected bonus.
3. SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT: The Bar Method is a workout that is designed for many different body types and abilities. Not only are the exercises screened for safety and effectiveness, but they’re also able to be modified for clients’ individual needs. It is the only barre-based exercises that uses customizable props throughout class to help clients achieve the most effective position for their body type and maximize their workout. At The Bar Method, support is not just physical, but emotional as well. Teachers and clients alike celebrate each others individual journeys, and recognize each milestone along the way.
It is the only barre-based exercises that uses customizable props throughout class to help clients achieve the most effective position for their body type and maximize their workout. At The Bar Method, support is not just physical, but emotional as well. Teachers and clients alike celebrate each other’s individual journeys, and recognize each milestone along the way.
PASSIONATE COMMUNITY: As mentioned above, every Bar Method studio provides a warm, welcoming and supportive community. Students are surrounded by the studio team, teachers and fellow students who encourage each other and collectively work towards being the best they can be. Often new clients are a bit intimidated when they first walk into The Bar Method, and they don’t quite know what to expect. However, throughout class and afterwards, new clients will experience a camaraderie among everyone at the studio that is unlike any environment. This kind of encouragement builds confidence as new clients begin to discover muscles and courage they didn’t know they had.
PURSUIT OF MASTERY: Have you ever noticed that if something comes easy, that it quickly becomes boring? That goes for workouts, too. With each class clients take, they begin to put the puzzle pieces together of the multiple elements of the form. The Bar Method is never boring: There is always an aspect that can be fine-tuned, whether it’s working in the best alignment, maintaining excellent posture, or simply just approaching each exercise with mental toughness.
RESULTS: The testimonials are never ending from people who’ve experienced results never before achieved with other forms of exercise. Once they see it working, there’s no going back and they’re Bar Method lifers. Clients lose inches, gain flexibility, retrain and strengthen their abs during pregnancy and postpartum, walk with prouder posture, and find improved quality of life because their whole body and mind is stronger. These benefits make The Bar Method a non-negotiable for our clients.
And lastly… How do we remember everyone’s names?
You’re not the first person to ask! It comes more naturally for some, and for others, it’s part of their own “pursuit of mastery”! Some teachers make notes, some say the name silently to themselves after they hear it, others are just good memorizers. No matter what the technique, it is a very important element of the in-studio experience at The Bar Method. There are many exercise classes where students go unrecognized, and left to figure it out on their own without much guidance. Since we make client connection a priority, learning names not only enables us to help clients learn the form, but it helps us to celebrate each milestone as its achieved.
JUST THE FACTS
Duration: 1 hr
Philosophy: Bar Method is a non impact total body workout that aims at elongating and strengthening your muscles with weights, stretching and of course use of the bar.
What to Bring: Socks and a re-fillable water bottle. They also have grip socks, tanks and super cute Bkr glass bottles available for purchase.
Difficulty Level: All levels. They tailor exercises to you.
Average Calories Burned: 250-600.
Showers: Yes, with towels and amenities.
Perks: Filtered water and hot tea for refills. Hair ties and bobby pins.
Teachers: Very personal, knowledgeable and patient. They take the time to know your name and check your form (and tuck!) throughout class.
Bar Method Lake Oswego
15780 Boones Ferry Rd
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Bar Method Portland
904 NW Hoyt Street
Portland, OR 97209