As I started to take more and more Bar Method classes, I started to really fall in love with the structure, the method and how it made me feel afterwards. Flash forward to now: I’m training to be a certified Bar Method instructor and will be teaching at the brand new Noho studio when it opens this spring.
I am not a certified Bar Method instructor just yet but I want to write about what makes The Bar Method unique as a barre studio. And trust me, I’ve been to A LOT of barre studios over the years.[Also: You can read about my journey to becoming a Bar Method instructor so far here. The Bar Method blog also has an in-depth blog post about the process.]
How the Class Works:
Like all barre classes, The Bar Method is a low-impact fitness class that focuses on small ranges of motion. The signature 60-minute class follows the same sequence every class. The moves within each section are different every day:
- Warm-Up + Arm Section. This is the only section of class you’ll use weights.
- Thigh Work: Typically 3 different positions. By the end I usually want to die…
- Seat Work: A long exercise that targets the glutes.
- Core: Series of exercises targeting your core.
- Glutes: There is one final push for your glutes at the end.
- Final Stretch.
After every major section there is also a stretch sequence.
What Makes Bar Method Unique:
I’ve ton of different barre classes over the years. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. There are a few things that really standout to me about The Bar Method compared to other barre classes. This is not to say all other barre classes suck. Different strokes for different folks! But this is what I’ve personally noticed:
- Attention to detail: Instructor pay an insane amount of attention to form. This is why it takes 6+ months to become a certified instructor!I often times have no idea WTF I’m supposed to be doing in barre classes. Is my leg placement correct? Is my hamstring supposed to feel like it’s going to fall off?!?!? In Bar Method classes I know that if my form off it will be corrected by the instructor either verbally or with a hands-on adjustment
- LOTS of Verbal and Hands-on Adjustments: Your name WILL be called out during class. It is not a personal attack! Adjustments are there to help you find the proper form and alignment.
I know this insane focus on form and alignment [and use of names to correct students] can be a bit off-putting for some people. Just know that EVERYONE receives adjustments — whether it’s your first class or 100+ like me. For me it’s something I LOVE about Bar Method. There’s no slacking.
- Emphasis on form and safety: The moves at Bar Method are super specific and designed with a physical therapist. You won’t be swinging the weights around or doing any crazy thigh exercises in the middle of the room here.
- it’s a deceptively tough workout but it doesn’t leave you sweaty. I’m not gonna lie: one of the things I love about The Bar Method is that you can feel like you got a workout even if you’re not dripping with sweat. I like that I can head out to a meeting straight from class and not feel disgusting.
Advice for Bar Method Newbies
Arrive early: Okay, this is a good idea for ALL fitness classes. Let the instructor know if you have any injuries or issues that might come up during class.
Wear socks: All Bar Method classes require that you wear socks. I personally prefer grippy socks because they are extra padded but any athletic sock will do.
Wear pants or crops: No shorts allowed on the carpet!
Be prepared for the adjustments: Like I said above, all the adjustments can be a bit overwhelming. Know that the form for certain moves at The Bar Method might be different than other classes. Come with an open mind and know that your name will be called out a bunch of times.
Your turn: Have you ever taken a Bar Method class? What other questions do you have about the Bar Method?