Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Bar Method

Recently Yelp.com had a deal for The Bar Method classes in my area, and for some reason, I wanted to try it (NOTE: This has little to do with my previous post about being bored with running.)

There's already something wrong with that statement.

First of all, I have always been stubborn in trying any new fitness methods. I don't like working out in a group all that much, and I certainly didn't feel comfortable with the idea of exercising in a room full of women who all look better than me.

But something compelled me to try something new this time, so my friend and I attended our first The Bar Method class one early weekday morning. I didn't know what to expect, except that I had to bring water, a towel, socks, and pants. I wore my rainbow Injinjis and my "Victory or Death" running shirt. Pants were more of a struggle. As a runner, I have capris, but no pants. I had to use pants that I wear to lounge around at home. :$ Sophisticated I am not.

Upon walking into this loft-like studio, I noticed all the nice amenities in the bathroom. The whole thing was so cute... I would take more pictures, but that seemed discouraged -- so use your imagination. :) Walking into the exercise room, I noticed the thick, plush carpet and bars along the walls. The super-fit girls walked in, and clearly I felt out of place (thank goodness I didn't go alone!).

We had 2- and 3-lb weights to work with, and in the first few minutes of doing upper body work when them, my arms were pretty much dead. The only thing I felt competent at was doing push-ups... I was one of the only ones who could crank 'em out the "real" way, and that was the only time the (male) instructor praised me.  Mostly, he was making adjustments to my form... I guess I wasn't the only one, but since I was new and stuck out like a sore thumb, it was inevitable.

Probably the most memorable part of my first one-hour class was when we started the "thigh work" at the bar. We were squatting on our toes in a sort of sitting position, and my legs started to shake uncontrollably before too long. I looked around and noticed this on everyone, so I knew I wasn't imagining it. I definitely don't have too many moments in exercise when I start twitching the way I did in that total-body class. All the while, we all suffered quietly. The instructor and music were both so calm.

I came out with my limbs feeling limp, though strangely, my core was totally fine. At least I know ONE part of me is decently fit!  Things were easier the second time I attended the class, but I think it was just an "easier" day that time.  The after-feeling is a lot different than a long run -- and yes, I have to compare it to a LONG run, because this definitely hits you harder than running shorter distances. Both running and The Bar make your limbs tired, though running tends to make me more stiff and give me soreness/pain at the joints, whereas I just feel my limbs fatigued and jelly-ish from The Bar.  Also, The Bar doesn't parch me the way running does, so I get less sleepy and no post-run headache. In sum, both workouts feel satisfying in their own ways.

I will try to attend weekly (or so) until my Yelp.com deal runs out, but it seems like I'm already hooked on it and wish it wasn't so darn expensive on a normal basis....


  1. I've heard really great things about the bar method! It sounds like a kickass workout!

  2. Interesting! I've heard of this Bar Method but just do not have any more time slots or energy to add any more activities into my day. Another thing to put on my list of things to try when running gets old. I love those Yelp, Groupon and Swaggle deals, they have introduced and allowed me to try so many things that I would otherwise not have known about.