One of the hottest trends out there right now is The Bar Method. Knowing absolutely nothing about the beauty of The Bar I decided to see what the buzz was all about for myself.
My class began at 12:30pm at the Pasadena location. It was a hot beautiful afternoon and what better way to spend it than learning some new exercises and being in a room of beautiful fit dancers! My friend who arrived early saved me a spot in class and calmed my nerves prior to the class. I had simple male type questions like, Who’s going to be there? What should I wear? Are they all going to think I’m a creep? Will I be the only guy? She, being the lovely friend that she is, told me absolutely nothing and just kept saying that I would do fine and about how much fun it’ll be. Needless to say I was apprehensive. Personal trainers are used to giving the orders and not taking them!
As I fought the Pasadena traffic, I barely made it to the class on time, which seemed late. As I arrived I felt so rushed I still had no idea what I was getting myself into. The receptionist greeted me warmly and asked me to fill out some paperwork. I quickly filled out the waiver but was wondering why they needed an emergency contact! If I wasn’t already nervous, signing this document made me even more anxious! I quickly ditched my shoes, cell phone, and keys into a locker and darted into the class as it was beginning. The only spot remaining in the class was dead center! Fearing for my life and death from embarrassment I made my way into one of the corners of the room. With mirrors on every wall there was no hiding in this class. Class was beginning and all I could think is how on earth did I get dragged into this?!?
Warm ups began with some high knees in place with rhythmic beating. 50, 60 reps went by and I was starting to sweat! Who does reps of 60? Two minutes into the class and I knew that I was in for trouble. High knees were followed by shoulder workouts, then pushups, and some triceps dips. Every rep, every pulse, every breath was synchronized to the music. With sweat running down my back, I stopped looking around and focused on making it out of this class alive! As I shed a t-shirt layer I began to focus on myself, and not all the long and lean beauties around me.
After about a million reps, class spread out and every one grabbed a position on the bar. This was what I interested in. We began with simple hamstring stretch followed by other elongating moves. Then we got into calf raises, fast, slow, slower, faster, higher, straighter. The instructor, Kat, was all over it. No one could get away under her watchful eye, especially a 6’1 male basketball player! Water skier squats followed while squeezing a pillow between my thighs and this time we didn’t move! It was a hold, isometric burning, it was pure evil torture! I closed my eyes and prayed. My muscles began to quiver, then uncontrollably quiver violently! I kept hearing things like squeeze a dollar between your butt and about how great it would feel when we would finally get to release our hold. My legs trembled from exhaustion and fear. I looked around and I wasn’t the only one. At least 50% of the classes’ legs were shaking. This was intense and not for the faint of heart!
The hour long class continued on with quick transitions between exercises keeping a nice flow without breaks! The focus shifted from quads to hams to glutes to abs to arms and ending back stretching. Pulse! Hold! Squeeze! Lengthen! Deeper! Tighter! And just like that the class was over. I was elated and relieved I was still in one piece! Strangely, I simultaneously felt jubilation and like I been decimated by a 18 wheeler truck.
Overall, I enjoyed the class. It was fast paced, challenging, and fun. I definitely would recommend this to anyone with a ballet background or that enjoys dance in general. It is a difficult class that moves rapidly and could be extremely challenging for a novice or someone that is new to fitness. For my female readers it is an awesome way to target, tighten, and isolate muscles. For my male readers, this will challenge your muscles in a new way, and it is an awesome way to shake loose from your regular weight lifting routine, not to mention the pretty women!
Thanks again to Bar Method and my instructor Kat!
Embrace your challenges!
-Tommy The Test Dummy
M.A., NASM CPT, ISSA CFT, NESTA PFT