I see them all the time in class: students who are taking the Bar Method for the first time. To look at them, you’d wouldn’t think they are having the greatest time. Their legs shake uncontrollably, their faces signal acute distress, instructors are telling them by name to “tuck more,” “lift your chest,” “make the motion smaller,” and they are being expected to execute moves they had no idea were within the realm of possibility until that moment.
Why, I asked myself, do so many of them come back the next day with a look of excited anticipation on their faces? I’ve always been curious about this phenomenon, so this week I surveyed our California-based students on what they thought of their first class. What I learned is that most students fall in love with the Bar Method on their first day for a few key reasons. Here are the top five answers I got from students who sent in their first-time experiences, ending with one I got more often than all the others combined:
Reason #5: The great bodies of the students who take the class:
Noelle (left): “One of my close friends Ashley…has an amazing body and swears by Bar Method, has been going for 2 years. I am a soccer player, marathon runner so I consider myself in good shape but I never had that tight toned body.”
Kimberly: “I went to the West LA studio and couldn’t believe the strength of some women who were twice my age. It piqued my interest…”
Reason #4: The key muscles that the workout targets:
Michelle: “I’ve always had a very curvy body so my midsection has always been very difficult for me to get in shape…During my first Bar Method class I could actually feel shaking in my abs and I knew that these exercises would help me define my problem area…”
Jilly: “My best friend took me and I couldn’t believe how many people were there so early in the morning. But I soon figured it out. My favorite exercise was and still is THE PRETZEL! Bar Method targets muscles other exercise programs can’t or don’t.”
Reason #3. The great feeling afterwards:
Emily: “What I clearly recall (and what keeps me going back for more) is how great I felt after the class. I always feel completely worked without being wrecked. Plus, I love exercising in my socks.”
Erin: “I huffed and puffed and TREMBLED through that first class, but at the end, I felt….uplifted….That’s NEVER happened to me before when exercising! “
Reason #2. The help and encouragement from the teacher:
Joanna: “The instructor was Tiffany Baldwin, a gorgeous dancer-type, quickly welcomed me and asked if it was my first time. After the warm up, she would come by and correct my form, explain what I needed to adjust in my posture. That was key!”
Aleisha: “I loved the immediate first name basis and the personal attention. It was a welcome change from Yoga and I got the concept from the very beginning.”
Reason #1. The surprising intensity and challenge of the class:
Kelly (left): “One of the funniest memories I have was when the instructor told be to grab some 2 and 3 pound weights…’really, how hard can this class be? 2 and 3 pound weights? This will be easy.’ I soon found out how wrong I was as I struggled through the next hour.”
Laura: “Coming from a running/yoga/bootcamp background I thought surely I would breeze my way through a bar method class. Isolating, strengthening and stretching each muscle group was way more challenging than I expected. I still haven’t found another workout that compares.”
Sharon O. (right): “I had a bagel for breakfast, but almost passed out halfway through the thigh exercises! I had to leave to get a drink and clear my head before going back in! That was the first and last time that ever happened to me and it’s been 7 years!”
Melissa: I went with my sister. I’d been doing hot yoga so I was in fairly good shape but wasn’t sure what to expect. My sister struggled, I did too. Legs shaking, butt burning…I was hooked!!! Loved not sweating like I usually did in hot yoga. Loved the studio and loved the instructors!
Sharon W. (below): “I had done yoga and pilates before, but I kept thinking during pretzel set-up, is this humanly possible? Lift my leg? Kick back? I remember working out harder than I had in a long time, and by the time we reached final stretch, I was hooked!”
Read how important intensity is in the “up” portion of interval training in order to get the results that The Bar Method gives its students.