Three weeks ago, I took my first ever Bar Method class - a lot nervous, I'll admit. I'd heard how intense it was, and still really out of shape from baby (with a very mushy core), I was afraid I'd not even be able to do it! But I did. I just let go of insecurities, and I tried something new. Sometimes, the hardest part about doing something new is just showing up. So, once I did... I quickly became hooked and here are SEVEN reasons why:
1. Total Body Workout: This is a one-stop-shop kind of class. You work every part of your body, including muscles you didn't even know existed. And you feel it the next day! But in that good way where you know you worked your muscles, but can still walk down stairs and sit down, which is much more encouraging to keep going.
2. Scalable: The more you go, better you get at the movements and stronger you become it can actually get harder! But there are all kinds of modifications to the movements that scale towards beginners to the advanced.
3. Individualism: Much like yoga, this workout if for you and you alone. There is no competing against other's in the class, there is no comparing and there is no feeling bad if you aren't doing something just like someone else. Every move can look different on everyone else, and you have to concentrate on your own movements, that there is no looking around to compare.
4. Early Morning: I hate morning workouts. It's just not my best time of the day... but with a busy job, two kiddos, house chores galore, etc, I'm not finding any other time to get it in! So, I've been dabbling with before-work workout sessions and have found this class (along with yoga) more tolerable. The music is encouraging, but soft, the teachers are not yelling in your face, the movements are small, but impactful. I tried a spinning class, too and that was way too much for me at 6am. The loud music, screaming teacher, sweat flying just had me feeling like I was going to puke and then I was so tired the rest of the day.
5. Accountability: I love how you sign up for classes online, synch it with your calendar and your set to go. This method keeps you accountable, because if you don't show up - you pay for it anyways (or a fee at least).
6. Less Sweat: As I've discussed, another way I'm sneaking in a workout is over my lunch hour (when my schedule allows). This class works you in intervals, getting your heart rate up at strategically throughout class and not all at once. I think this method allows you to work really hard, but with mini cool downs between, you sweat less. Some people seem to not sweat at all, but I tend to sweat a little bit - little enough that I can freshen up quick, through back on my work clothes and get back to my day without looking trashed.
7. Teacher Attention: This is huge. Doing the movements right is key to getting the right workout. The teachers (and I've had several the location I've been going too) are so attentive! They correct you immediately when needed. They also encourage you when you need the extra push, cheer you on when you are doing well and help you with modifications when you need it. They really set me at ease during my first few classes, getting me started on the right foot and continue to make me feel really comfortable.
What you will need to take a Bar Method class:
- Below the knee bottoms (required) and ideally, you want some ankle length pants as they feel a bit better when doing bar work.
- Socks (required) - any ol' kind will do, but you might want to get some with sticky bottoms. They sell specific socks for Bar Method (I found mine at the studio, but you can purchase a bit cheaper here). The sticky bottom helps you stay in place on the carpeted floors, I learned that after the first class as I was sliding around a bit too much!
- Water (recommended)
And really, that's it! The minimal needs this workout requires also makes it easy to jump into a class without having to tote too much around all day (like too work).
Have you tried a Bar Method Class (or version of the ballet-dancer inspired workout)? Curious your thoughts! I plan to stick with it at least a few more weeks to see progress, as after 3 weeks of going about 3 days a week (they recommend you go 3-5 days per week), I'm just starting to feel and see some changes. So I know it's making a difference!