I consider myself to be in the middle of my journey to a healthy lifestyle. I eat pretty well, drink tons of water, and try to keep my chocolate addiction under control. I also do cardio on a regular basis, so before I showed up to my Bar Method class, I thought I’d get through it pretty well. An hour later, my muscles were fatigued to the point of shaking, but the smile on my face had not budged.
The Bar Method, a workout studio that incorporates different aspects of dance-inspired stretching and intensity movements, just celebrated its one-year anniversary at the beginning of August. The franchise, which coincidentally celebrated its 15-year anniversary the same month, promotes small movements to lengthen muscles, burn fat, and improve posture. People in The Bar Method’s mixed class do a consistent pattern of workout on the floor and at the barre, with some light weights and mats thrown in, as well. The moves can be modified different ways for people recovering from injuries, women who are pregnant, or even just someone trying to get back into shape.
I took a class with the owner of Santa Barbara’s studio, Kendall Clark, who welcomed me with a vigorous hug and enthusiastic hello. She walked me into class, introduced me to everyone, and jumped right into the warm-up. I used two- to three-pound weights and various abdominal or push-up exercises to wake up my core and strengthen the muscles in my arms. From there, I moved to the bar to stretch and do lower-body movements. Clark called every person in the class by name and could be heard sending words of encouragement to those who needed an extra push. She also paid extreme attention to form, never afraid to adjust anyone to the correct body placement. We finished with a killer ab and tuck session that had my muscles burning.
I was definitely pushed to the end of my athletic capability, but I could see that even the studio regulars were, as well. I felt included in the Bar Method community and proud of my own strength.
The Bar Method is located in La Cumbre Plaza at 130 South Hope Avenue, Suite D-113. See santabarbara.barmethod.com.