The Bar Method Shake


Have you ever wondered what’s really happening when your muscles start to shake during thigh or seat work? Or, what’s causing that unstoppable tremble in your working leg during round back? Teachers encourage it and use it as an indicator that you’re making changes in your muscles, but what’s really going on?

The shake we all love to hate starts deep in the muscle fibers and is a result of the type of exercises and challenges we use in The Bar Method. In most physical activities, your muscles are able to turn on and off as they contract and relax through a cycle of movement; however, in The Bar Method we challenge the muscle endurance by holding sustained contractions for longer periods of time before coming out to change positions or stretch. This sustained stress causes the muscle to burn through its reserves of fuel to the point of exhaustion. Once that local fuel store is almost depleted, the muscle starts relaxing and contracting at a high rate of speed to conserve the remaining energy and help you remain in positions for those last 20 or 30 counts.

As with any type of exercise, your body will adapt to the challenge if you perform these exercises consistently and your muscle endurance will improve, delaying the shake. The beauty of the Bar Method exercises is that you can always increase the challenge. Dropping lower in thigh, shrinking the range of motion down in seat work, or drawing your top leg even closer to the barre in round back all reset the bar and allow you to work through a new threshold of shaking.

Improving your muscle endurance is one of the greatest benefits of the Bar Method and one that carries over into other activities allowing you to ski top to bottom at Vail without feeling your legs burn or to reach the top of Lookout Mountain on your road bike in record time. So, the next time you’re in class and you feel your muscles start to move, embrace the shake. It’s not just a catchy phrase; you really are challenging your body to reach a new level of strength and endurance.


Blog contributor:

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Meghan Dukes, DC, MSPT

Body In Motion Chiropractic & Functional Fitness
Denver, CO

Instructor, The Bar Method Denver-Stapleton
Coming Soon!


Summer Sprint is in Effect!

We hope you’re enjoying the challenge as well as the recipes and nutrition tips from our partner Urban Remedy. Congratulations on completing your first week!


The More Classes You Take, The Better You’ll Feel

A consistent Bar Method routine brings your body into the perfectly delicate balance of muscle soreness and strength. You’ll find that taking class more, rather than less, will help your body recuperate more quickly. This is in large part due to the important stretching that is thoughtfully interspersed throughout class, creating longer, more pliable muscles.

Stick with your commitment – hopefully you’re already seeing the difference in your body. Feeling proud of your commitment and what you’ve already accomplished.



As we all know, working out consistently + eating right will get you to your goals even faster. Our friends at Urban Remedy recommend eating the rainbow! Nature offers a full spread of colored foods for good reason. Each group of fruits or vegetables of one color offers different nutrition. Here’s the shorthand list:

The Reds: Polyphenol neutralizes free radicals and inhibits inflammation; powerful antioxidant.
The Oranges: Beta-Cryptoxanthin supports eye, bone and cell growth; Alpha-Carotene supports the immune system; Vitamin C supports the immune system.
The Yellows: Limonoids might lower cholesterol and help fight cancer; Lutein and Zeaxanthin support eye health; Vitamin C.
The Greens: Chlorophyll rebuilds and replenishes our red blood cells, boosting our energy and increasing our well-being; Vitamin K supports bone and blood health.
The Purples: Indoles may fight against cancerous cells; Anthocyanis are antioxidants that support brain functioning and may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Try the Rainbow

Recipes are created by Urban Remedy Founder, Neka Pasqaule. These recipes are featured in her book, “Urban Remedy, The 4-Day Cleanse Retreat Book” available at‬


Orange Grapefruit Chia

Packed with vitamin C, energy-boosting chia seeds, and a big dose of omega-3 fatty acids, this tasty juice is guaranteed to get you out the door in the morning.

1 pink grapefruit, peeled

3 juice oranges, peeled

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Cut the fruits as needed into pieces that will fit into
the chute of your extraction juicer. Then, following the manufacturer’s instructions, juice the fruits. Pour into a tall glass, add the seeds, and stir well to prevent the seeds from sticking together.

Makes 1 serving


Tricolor Slaw

This beautiful blend of cabbage and kale is great for your digestion and for keeling your GI tract healthy. There is a hefty measure of sesame seeds and oil, which are rich in minerals like copper and magnesium.

1/4 head purple cabbage, finely shredded

1/4 head napa cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 bunch Lacinato kale, finely chopped

2 carrots, grated

1/2 red bell pepper, seed and cut into julienne

1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup (11/4 oz/35 g) raw sesame seeds


2 tablespoons soy-free miso

2 tablespoons cold-pressed sesame oil

1 tablespoon cold-pressed flax oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or maple syrup

1 teaspoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

1/2 clove garlic, minced

To make the salad, in a bowl, combine the purple and napa cabbages, kale, carrots, bell pepper, cilantro, and sesame and toss to mix.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the miso, sesame and flax oils, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and garlic.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly.

Makes 1 serving


Beet and Zucchini Carpaccio with Pine Nuts

Simplistic and colorful dish that celebrates the humble beet, which contributes to good liver health, oxygenates cells to increase stamina, calms the spirit, and supports normal blood pressure levels.

1 large beet
1 zucchini, about 5 inches (13 cm) long

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

3 tablespoons raw pine nuts

Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the beet and zucchini as thinly as possible.

Transfer the beet and zucchini slices to a plate, drizzle lightly with the oil, and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the salt and pine nuts.


Superfood Sea Salt Trail Mix

This is a simple blend of superfoods rich in minerals and antioxidants. Pack a batch when traveling or otherwise on the go. It keeps your blood sugar balanced and is easy to carry.

1 cup (5 oz/155 g) sunflower seeds

1 cup (5 oz/155 g) shelled pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) raw cacao nibs

1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) raw sesame seeds

1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) dried goji berries

1/4 cup (11/2 oz/45 g) golden raisins or dried currants

1/2 cup (11/2 oz/45 g) dried coconut flakes

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

In a large bowl, stir and toss together all of the ingredients until well mixed. Transfer the mix to small zippered plastic bags to tote for low blood sugar moments.

Makes about 4 1/2 cups (8 oz/250 g)


Want more from Urban Remedy? Use promo code BARMETHOD to receive 10% off your next online order (

From The Studio To The Street

In class, surrounded by mirrors we are constantly checking our posture and alignment while channeling our inner ballerina. What better way to boost your mood and your practice than to sport some new fitness gear?


Graphics are the hot trend for spring and the positive, upbeat messaging will keep you smiling! These tops will motivate you each time you catch a glimpse of yourself shaking in the mirror as well as inspire the Bar community around you. Graphics encouraging you to be dynamic, inspiring and strong in beautiful colors and lightweight, heathered fabrics will have your fashion game and your form on point.


Tanks from The Bar Method and Beyond Yoga Leggings



Tanks from Spiritual Gangster and Beyond Yoga Leggings


Spring fitness fashion easily translates from the studio to the street. Take off those grippy socks, throw on a fun new high top sneaker, layer a ballerina wrap top or boat neck sweatshirt and you are off into your day. Need to take the look a step further? Opt for a bootie, layer up some necklaces and confidently step out of the studio in style!


So why not challenge yourself and embrace not only that shake, but also the fun fitness fashion that you can show off in the studio and around town.

Oh, and be sure to visit your local studio or The Bar Method Store to get some of the latest Bar-branded graphic tops before they sell out!


Blog Contributor:

Alysia Moskolis

Bar Method Studio Owner

Studio City, CA

Happy YOU Year! Week 5


Exercise builds muscle, burns fat, lifts your mood and helps you sleep.  You can’t argue with that one!  And it’s no secret that the key to achieving your fitness goals is consistency.

Here are some of our favorite reasons to get movin’:

• It trims and sculpts your body so your clothes fit better.  Weight-bearing exercise helps your build lean muscle, and that muscle shrinks fat cells.  The more lean muscle you build, the more fat your body will be able to burn off.  Since muscle weighs more than fat, you may very well lose inches before you lose weight. 

• It boosts your endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.  When you heart and lungs work in a more efficient way, you have more energy for daily life. Who doesn’t need more energy these days?

• Exercise burns calories.  In order to lose weight, the best long-term approach is to eat a reasonable diet and use exercise to work yourself into a deficit in order to shed extra lbs.  The calorie burning effect of exercise (especially if you do muscle-bearing work) lasts for hours after your workout is over.

• Exercise makes you happy.  Brisk movement induces the production of mood-boosting chemicals in your body.  The more intense the work, the more of a lift you may notice.  But, something as simple as a quick 30-minute walk can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.

• Moderate exercise boosts your immune system.  Every sweat session you log helps to boost your immune system by more rapidly circulating cells that can kill both viruses and bacteria through your body.  The effect can last up to 24-hours post workout.

The Bar Method provides a foundation of strength, flexibility and good form, and it’s a great complement to many other exercise disciplines. Increase your level of fitness by adding other movement to your day. Walk to and from an easy errand. Garden. Go for a jog. Do yoga. Take the stairs. Park in the furthest parking spot. You get the idea – variety is the spice of life.  Keep your body moving, and the endorphins flowing!

Blog contributor:





Gennis Lafayette, N.C.

Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant

Bar Method Teacher, Palo Alto & San Mateo

Happy YOU Year! Week 4


Did you know that on any given day, by simply living and breathing, your body loses about 2.5 liters of water?  That’s just shy of 34 ounces. And that number gets higher as you factor in exercise. Many nutrition professionals recommend that a person drink half of their total body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 140 lbs., you should aim to drink approximately 70 ounces per day. And even more after a workout.

It’s true that water in drinks and food account for a small amount of your daily fluid needs, but it’s best not to count caffeinated beverages and soft drinks as these usually cause you to lose fluid. Your body recognizes the molecule H2O as special and it is used throughout the body to keep it performing at its best.

When do you need more than water? Sports drinks, coconut water and the like are necessary for additional hydration during longer, more strenuous activities. A general rule of thumb is:

Use plain water for hard endurance sessions that last 60 minutes or less – or 90 minutes for a light run/ride. You can add a squirt of lemon juice or a sprig of mint to make it extra refreshing! However, opt for an electrolyte drink for a run or cycle that lasts 120 minutes or more. 

That means that after a Bar Method or cardio-focused Bar Move class, hydrating with plain water should do the trick. If your body needs more, look to healthy foods to replenish.

Some of the symptoms and consequences or poor hydration include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, stomach pains, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and more. Sometimes it’s just as subtle as a little foggy thinking, but dehydration can affect your performance at work, school and keep you from feeling your best.

Feeling tired or sluggish? Working out more in the New Year? Drink up!


Blog contributor:





Gennis Lafayette, N.C.

Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant

Bar Method Teacher, Palo Alto & San Mateo

Happy YOU Year! Week 3


As we head into Week 3 of the New Year, it’s helpful to think not just about changes to your workout and eating habits, but also to other areas of your life that will make an impact. Here are some things to consider on as you work towards a healthier YOU:

Log some Z’s. If you have small children or a major Bravo Real Housewives addiction, this may seem unattainable. But a recent study showed that people who got enough sleep on a regular basis, like 7-9 hours per night, lost more weight and made better food choices than their night-owl counterparts.

Get a handle on stress. On-going, long-term stress promotes your body’s production of cortisol. Excess cortisol raises blood sugar levels and, if not burned off via exercise, can result in extra weight. Staying up past your bedtime on a regular basis is considered a “stress event” for your body. So, if you can, record Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on your DVR and go to bed by 10:00pm!

Do things that make you happy, with people you like! Take up a new hobby, whether it’s tennis, photography, painting or playing the piano, and make time for it in your busy schedule. It will keep you smiling and feeling accomplished. And schedule time with the friends and family that support you and bring out your best. There’s nothing better for you than a good old belly laugh, and even a hard cry with someone that knows how to listen will make you feel better.

Smile. Laugh. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’re all on our own unique journey. What works for you might not work for anyone else you know. Keep moving forward and don’t let small setbacks trip you up. When something sends you backward, acknowledge it, don’t beat yourself up, and move on!

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Blog contributor:





Gennis Lafayette, N.C.

Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant

Bar Method Teacher, Palo Alto & San Mateo

Happy YOU Year! Week 2

HYY_Week2_600pxThe Bar Method is a fantastic way to sculpt muscle, burn fat, build strength and make significant changes to your body. However, any effective exercise regimen has to be backed by sound nutrition in order to achieve a healthy body composition or optimal weight. Here are a few basic suggestions for eating well:

Ditch refined carbs. Yes, sugary treats are carbs. But we’re also talking about crackers, bread, pasta and other “white” food, not necessarily in the sugar category. These overly-processed foods cause an immediate increase in blood sugar levels. You may feel full for a bit, but without ample protein and fat, your blood sugar drops quickly, leaving you moody, foggy and worst of all, hungry again! Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and millet (all gluten-free, too). To round out your “smart-carb” choices, make fruit and veggies the star of your plate. The USDA recommendations are 5-a-day, but many nutrition experts suggest even more. These nutritious carbohydrates are full of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber AND they provide an important source of energy for your body.

Boost your fiber intake! A diet high in fiber is associated with optimal weight, lower cholesterol and a reduced risk for heart disease. Many Americans barely eek out 10 grams per day, if that’s you, slowly increase your intake to 25-30 grams daily from whole fruit, fresh veggies, whole grains and legumes. Not sure where to start? One medium pear or apple has 4 grams and ½ cup kidney beans contain 8 grams of fiber.

Eat lean, clean protein about 3 times per day. Get a good serving at breakfast and try to include plant sources like organic tofu, legumes and nuts. If you prefer to include a little animal protein in your diet, select meat, eggs and fish from animals that have been raised in a caring and humane way (think: pasture raised, free-range and wild-caught) and without antibiotics or growth hormones. There are many kinds of protein out there, so find one that’s for you.

Kick the sugar habit. Sugar can lower your immune system for hours, making you more prone to pesky winter viruses, including the common cold and flu. Sugar is often hidden in the most innocent of foods (bread and yogurts are big ones). Make sure you read the labels of the foods you choose and try to opt for foods without added sugar or containing less than 10 grams per serving. If you can’t say no to that late afternoon sweet treat, find something to replace it such as fiber-rich apple with a few slices of organic cheddar, a handful of raw almonds or a quick walk around the block.

Drink lots of water! Water is essential for overall good health. Aim for ½ your body weight in ounces daily. Start your day on a path toward hydration by drinking 8 ounces the minute your feet hit the floor. If you tend to forget to hydrate, set a calendar reminder or use sticky notes to make it a habit.



Blog contributor:





Gennis Lafayette, N.C.

Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant

Bar Method Teacher, Palo Alto & San Mateo

Happy YOU Year! Week 1: January 4


Kick your resolutions into gear with a plan for healthy living. It’s not just about a diet or a number of pounds to lose (even though we can all relate this time of year) … it’s about overall wellness and feeling good about YOU. That means something different for everyone. Spend time reflecting on what makes you happy and what are some of the small changes you can make in your life, across nutrition, fitness, sleep, relationships and all of your daily habits.

For the next 7 weeks, we’ll tackle some key topics that will encourage you to live well, make good decisions, and be happy with yourself!HYY_Week1_600pxwide_bFirst, find a workout and commit to a schedule that’s realistic and works around your lifestyle, and stick to it! It takes a few weeks to create a habit, so commit to at least 4 weeks of a new plan. Identify your goals and come up with a plan to tackle them, whether to get those biceps bulging a little more, losing an inch or two to make your jeans fit a little bit better, trying a new activity or beating your best race time.

If you want to gain strength, posture and flexibility, sign up for a New Year Challenge at your local Bar Method studio – most are offering one this time of year. You’ll push yourself with the help of others, stay accountable, track your progress, and perhaps benefit from a little friendly competition!

Or create your own challenge by committing to a certain number of Bar Method classes each week – we suggest 3-5 to see the optimal results. If you can only get in 1 or 2 per week, then do it! Each month work to add one additional class per week until you are going several times a week. You’ll start seeing real differences in your body that you didn’t think were possible.

You can also supplement with Bar Online – we offer nearly 50 classes from more than 20 teachers. Take an advanced class or squeeze in a 20-minute class before work or at lunch. Something is better than nothing and it will keep you motivated, on track and headed towards your goals.

Now, get your exercise plan in place and get after it. Ready, set, go!

Happy Holidays from The Bar Method

As we wrap up the year, we have a lot to be grateful for and to reflect on in 2015.


We celebrate and appreciate our clients all across the globe in our local studios and Bar Online! We are inspired by your drive to be the best you can be and by your amazing strength, on the inside and out. Your commitment to better yourself, your encouragement of one another, and your positive attitude is the reason we are all here everyday.

We welcome and congratulate our 10 new studios that opened in 2015! It’s so exciting to see The Bar Method growing and touching more lives every year.

While you’re traveling over the Holidays and into the New Year, come check out one of our 92 studios across the United States and Canada and say hello. We love to have Bar visitors from other studios!

As we end the year, we also celebrate our incredible community of Studio Owners. We are honored by your dedication and passion for delivering The Bar Method to local communities every single day. You represent the brand with strength, intelligence, energy, commitment, humor, poise, and beauty. You left careers of all types, including law, finance, education, health, marketing, sales, entertainment, and more because you were deeply impacted by The Bar Method and wanted to bring that same joy to others, taking the leap to run your own business and to follow your passion. Thank you!

There is one particular Studio Owner that we celebrate today and always, Hoddy Potter, owner of the Kansas City Bar Method studios. As many of you know, Hoddy was diagnosed with Lymphoma several years ago. We are deeply saddened that she passed away last week after a very courageous fight.

Hoddy represents the heart and soul of The Bar Method. Her energy was magnetic and her presence would always light up a room. She was very sharp with a quick wit and a creative mind. She believed in The Bar Method with everything she had, and spent her life sharing it with the world. She generously took time to mentor new owners as well as give advice to current owners about how to run a successful business. And in return, our Studio Owners rushed to support her when she had to step away from the studio to undergo treatment. Owners across the country flew in to guest teach in Kansas City, on their own will and at their own expense, to show their support during a difficult time. It illustrates just how much people loved Hoddy, and also the strength and love of the Bar Method family. We will miss Hoddy dearly and send our love and prayers to her family, clients and everyone she touched. Her spirit will live on in us forever.


We wish our clients and studio owners, and those you love, a wonderful Holiday season and a happy New Year. We hope to see you at the Bar in 2016, and as Hoddy would say, “Get it girl and go kick some ass!”


As a former business reporter, I have tremendous respect and admiration for journalists. Their stories help guide our life decisions. At the same time, journalists have a responsibility to report the truth since their stories can impact the subjects themselves for the better or worse. Journalists realize this and for the most part do their best to get their stories right.

In the case of The Bar Method, the press has mostly gotten it right, for which I am grateful. Occasionally they don’t, despite their good intentions. Reporters may have come at the story with pre-conceived notions, put style over substance in an effort to entertain, or downplayed the facts to make a personal point. The following three articles are examples of these journalistic pitfalls. All three were recently published and cover a subject I’m especially familiar with, The Bar Method.

Pitfall #1. The Whirlwind Tour

Rozalynn FrazierThe quick tour of many different workouts is a popular story format for exercise reporters. In this scenario, the writer takes one class each at different studios or gyms, then reports on her or his personal impressions. The drawback of this approach is that these reporters usually aren’t fans of the workouts themselves, making it unlikely that they’ll gain any insight on their potential value to their readers.

This is the case with an article written by Huffington Post’s Rozalynn Frazier called “Are Barre Classes Worth The Buzz?” Rozalynn, a long-distance runner, took one class each at five different barre-based workouts. I applaud Frazier’s spirit in taking on this challenging assignment. However, taking a single class at five barre studios is about as useful as attending orientation day at a five colleges to determine the calibre of knowledge their graduates will acquire. Barre fitness classes in particular do not lend themselves to casual “toe in the water” testing. The moves are subtle, the techniques demand some dedication, and the results are huge. A beginner such as Frazier could not possibly have learned from a single class how greatly that class changes its students’ bodies, posture and well being. Nor could Frazier have noticed whether or not each studio she visited keeps track of its students’ progress and supports them over time. What’s more, Frazier is unlikely to have nailed the proper form of the exercises herself on her first try and so probably didn’t feel much happening to her own body.

In the end, Frazier could only come up with one random comment about the Bar Method (beyond what she’d already read on our website). “I was surprised,” she wrote, “given the name, at how little time we spent at the bar.” Frazier completely missed The Bar Method’s most distinctive features: the efficiency of its workout, its exceptional focus on posture and athleticism, and its unique interactive learning environment in which teachers give their students in-class coaching and support. Nothing in Frazier’s investigation touched on these benefits because she could not have discovered them within a “whirlwind tour” format.

Pitfall #2. The Personal Axe to Grind

The New Journalism became popular in the 60s when authors such as Truman Capote, Hunter Thompson and Norman Mailer shifted to a more personalized style of reporting. Today, exercise reporters are using this subjective writing style to better connect with their readers’ feelings of vulnerability when it comes to working out. The downside of this strategy is that the writers can allow their emotions to dictate the content of the story, to the detriment of the truth.

Why I quit the Bar MethodThis is what happened with Sadie Chanlett-Avery, author of an article called, “Why I Quit The Bar Method.” Chanlett-Avery has a masters degree in holistic health. At the start of her article she stated that she would use her barre-fitness experience as “my personal study of fitness and female body image.” This author’s effort to turn her workout story into a statement on women’s self-image was probably what led her to bend the truth to fit her arguments.

Sadie chanlett-avery photoFirst of all, Chanlett-Avery did not quit The Bar Method, because the workout she attended was not The Bar Method, which does not, as she describes, use “pink dumbbells,” lift weights with palms facing down as illustrated in the photo, use lots of Katy Perry tunes, or use the term “trouble-zones.” I’m sorry to say that Chanlett-Avery’s misstatement of the name of the workout that she “quit” was the first of a number of fallacious statements, for example:

  • “Relying on mirrors actually detracts from our awareness of how we move.” In fact, mirrors are an invaluable tool for improving posture, alignment, coordination, for developing good patterns of motion, keeping joints safe and well-aligned, and for teaching the body how to recruit muscles quickly and accurately.
  • “Isolating muscle groups for ‘toning’ perpetuates the debunked idea of spot reduction.” The truth is that millions of people around the world, including dancers, body builders, gym goers, physical therapy patients, and barre fitness students isolate their muscles to tone them, not to “spot reduce” them.
  • Stretching “is another activity that isn’t supported by current exercise science – muscles have fixed origins and insertions, so their lengths don’t change.” This statement is simply untrue. Regular stretching increases muscle length and range of motion. My own physiology textbook confirms that stretching does indeed “elongate” muscles.

What’s most telling about the underlying bias throughout Chanlett-Avery’s story is her evident distain for the very idea of body toning classes and for the students who take them. In the article she complains that the students of these classes wear “diamond rings” and are “chasing an elusive idea of perfection.” Chanlett-Avery might come to terms with the fact that wearing diamond rings is a common custom among married women everywhere, not a sign of vanity as she implies. She should also know that The Bar Method (perhaps not the class she took) is known for its diversity of students and its supportiveness of individual goals.

At the end of the article, Chanlett-Avery said that she is now a satisfied student at Cross-Fit. I’m glad she found the right exercise class for her.

Pitfall #3. Reliance on fake experts

Amy Rushlow headline with yahoo headerWorst among the fallacious articles on exercise I’ve recently come across is one that uses fake experts to distort the truth, possibly for their own self-interest. This article appeared on “Yahoo Health” and was written by Amy Rushlow, a “certified strength and conditioning specialist.”

Rushlow gets it wrong from the beginning in her title, “Barre Method: What’s True, What’s Hype & How To Stay Injury Free,” Rushlow did not fact-check the name of exercise genre she was writing about. In fact, The Bar Method owns the trademark “Barre Method.” It is a registered spelling of our brand name, not a generic term for barre-based workouts.

Nick Tumminello photoIn her article Rushlow calls on three “experts,” personal trainers Marc Santa Maria, Nick Tumminello, and Eric Beard. Using this threesome of obvious non-experts on barre fitness to back her up, Rushlow explains “the facts behind the hype” about barre fitness, most of which are completely false. Here are four of her most egregious misstatements:

  • “There is absolutely no way to increase a muscle’s length through exercise.” Again, this author’s experts need to consult their physiology textbooks.
  • “Doing these isolated, small-muscle-type movements is not very metabolically demanding.” It’s obvious that Rushlow’s experts have never taken the Bar Method, which is a form of intense interval training that has been proved to burn away plenty of fat.
  • “Many of the repetitive movements found in barre can possibly lead to overuse injuries.” Seriously? Barre classes keep students in one position for one or two minutes at a time. Athletes get repetitive use injuries from highly repetitive activities like running and working in poor form over time. Contrary to these “experts’” warnings, The Bar Method is therapeutic and healthy for the knees and lower back, a benefit that has been confirmed by many doctors and certified physical therapists with whom we’ve worked throughout the years. I am 67 years old, have regularly taken barre fitness for 34 years, and have never had a repetitive use injury from the class. Conversely, many of our students come to us from personal trainers or Cross Fit after having injured their shoulders and backs. True fitness experts know that no workout genre is in itself dangerous unless is it is carelessly taught.
  • Last, and most serious of Rushlow’s misguided statements was her advice to her readers to “Limit yourself to one barre workout per week.” No way would that work, as any Bar Method student will tell you. To achieve results, Bar Method students quickly discover that three-to-five classes a week give them the best results, and tens of thousands of our students take this number of classes a week and feel fantastic, many of them in their 50s, 60s and 70s. This age group discovers that our workout is the only one they’ve found that feels good on their joints and at the same time gives them the challenge, support, results and fulfilling class experience that they want.

Regrettably, when Rushlow’s article came out, it caused anxiety among many Bar Method students. Some of them approached their teachers asking if it was okay to take more than one class a week. Rushlow could have spared our students this unnecessary concern by consulting true experts on her subject, among them sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, and barre fitness teachers themselves.