Why The Bar Method Works for Multiple Generations

If you were to look in on a typical Bar Method class, you’d see a wide diversity of age groups. Some students will be barely out of college. Others will be in their 60s. Whatever their age, they will all be equally focused on psyching their way through the shake and the burn, adjusting their bodies to the stream of form cues emanating from the teacher, and tackling the “last 20!” In these efforts they become a team, regardless of where they fit into the generational scheme of things.

LynnWhy does the Bar Method appeal to so many generations? One student in her mid-70s named Lynn gave us the answer from her vantage point. A few years ago, Lynn fell into a funk after having to give up the dance aerobic classes she loved. She’d developed chronic hamstring and knee injuries, pain in her feet and low back and muscle spasms. “My body just couldn’t take the punishment any more,” she said. Lynn tried other kinds of classes and therapy, and none of them worked for her. Then an acquaintance turned her on to the Bar Method in Redmond, Washington, and she was “blown away!” Since becoming a Bar Method student, she says, “my old bod has strengthened and streamlined,” “my ‘old age’ aches and pains have minimized, my formerly poochy abs are now flat,” and ”how fun it is to work out with so many beautiful, dedicated young women my grandkids’ age.”

Norma before and afterLynn’s fellow student Norma had a bumpier ride getting up to speed as a Bar Method student. When Norma discovered the class in 2010, she was in her late 50s, 75 pounds overweight, and was recovering from a car accident. She managed to struggle through her first class but not without some hardship. “I was the heaviest, the oldest, and, assuredly, the most out-of-shape participant, and yet the teachers and students were so kind and encouraging that I continued to struggle through,” she remembers. When Norma turned 60, she had lost 75 pounds and wore a size 8 pant. “My doctor is amazed at my statistics,” she says. “Who would have thought?…”

Rachael and GraceStudents like Lynn and Norma tell us they also enjoy the welcoming atmosphere at Bar Method studios. They especially appreciate that teachers give “options” for different body types and abilities during class. The friendliness of the staff eases students’ anxieties around their first class. Rachael, for example, a student in her 40s, wrote us about her first time at the studio in Summit, New Jersey. “I changed three times before I left the house, not sure what to wear. I was sure I would be the only person there who would not be able to lift her leg to her ear. I was so nervous when I turned the corner into the studio, but everyone was so lovely and welcoming. As I made my way through the class, I was amazed at the extensive options given within each exercise, options for those who were advanced and options for novices like me.”

Does the Bar Method’s supportive style of customer service appeal to younger generations too? To hear it from the brides who come to class, absolutely! These three young students wrote the Redmond studio these words of thanks for helping them them look and feel gorgeous on their wedding days:

Brynn and Stefani“My arms were toned, my shoulders were sculpted and looked great in my dress, and as an added bonus, I felt more comfortable and confident in my bikini on our honeymoon than I ever have before!” Brynn

“By my wedding day I had lost 25 pounds, 3 sizes in denim and 4 dress sizes. My dress had to be taken in 3 times before we had it right!.” Stefani

melanie“The thick, muscular, “jacked” body that I had before is long gone because The Bar Method transformed it into a strong, long and lean body instead. I was able to stand up at the altar on my wedding day with a stunning body, beautiful posture, and all the poise and self-confidence in the world.” Melanie

Carolyn Penny and JulieWhen you mix generations, inevitably those generations are going to start mixing with each other. Daughters and mothers, sons and fathers find a new connection as fellow Alyssa and Cherylstudents in a class that both generations can relate to. Penny, a Ridgewood, New Jersey student goes to class with daughters Carolyn and Julie because “it makes me feel as young as them!” Cheryl, another Ridgewood, mom, says of her experience attending with her daughter Alyssa, “we found it to be something that has provided tangible benefits to both of us.”

RiggsRiggs attends the Marina Del Rey studio with his son George. “My son and I are avid skiers,” he wrote us, “so he got into the Bar Method… and he loves it too! We love the supportive, no-nonsense environment and the constant focus on correct form.”

jamie and rositaJamie, another Marina Del Rey student, told us why she loves having her mom as a fellow student. “When we take class together, I can’t be next to her because her facial expressions distract me and make me laugh. We have so much fun and it’s brought us even closer than we were before.”

burr at age 64Jamie’s mom Rosita says she gets great benefits of her own from the class. “As a fifty-four year old woman, I am no spring chicken. My knees, like those of many women my age, hurt when I get up from bed or out of my car due to arthritis. I used to have aches and pains all over my neck, shoulders and arms. After Bar Method, I don’t feel that pain anymore…Another plus side,” she added,” …is what it has done for my butt.”

I’d like to end this blog by adding my own thanks to the Bar Method for what it does for my 65-year-old body: for the firm muscles around my knees it gives me that allow me to run around like a young person, for a recent bone scan of my spine which my doctor marked “good!”, and, though my husband says he loves me no matter how I look, for being my age and still being able to look great for him! 😉

18 replies
  1. Ale Saville
    Ale Saville says:

    Great article! That definitely inspired me to keep going! I love the bar method and my teachers here in Vancouver are amazing, my plan is to look good and feel great when I hit 40 ( I have 4 years to go) I am addicted to the bar .. Method that is.
    Thanks for yet another inspirational article, Ms Leonard 🙂

    Reply
  2. Marie
    Marie says:

    Began this exercise program and at the age of 59 am seeing changes that I have not been able to acquire with any other program. I am hoping to be in the best shape (since 30) by mid summer. THANK you for this method. I would like another advanced video to use/switch up with. Hopefully you have one in the making.

    Reply
  3. anonymous
    anonymous says:

    I relate totally to all of these women as I joined 6 weeks ago at age 56 and 50 lbs overweight. So far am halfway to goal but its the exercise! I can do this 5x/week with no pain in my knees- this is a major game changer for me

    Reply
  4. Bryan
    Bryan says:

    Nice work out you have there. That is awesome for your age. Everyone should exercise because there is a big difference in your feeling when healthy and in shape. You can tell it with your belly.

    Reply
  5. Julie Bridge
    Julie Bridge says:

    I have 3 Bar Method dvds, Advanced and Dancer’s Body. WOW! They are tough but I love them! I am so inspired by Burr, she really challenges me. I am so amazed how strong she is, but it does make me feel better that she shakes too. She makes it feel real and that what she is doing is achievable. I too hope that she comes out with another DVD or two. I live 1 hour away from a studio in Salt Lake City, Hopefully soon I will attend a live class. Thanks Bar Method

    Reply
  6. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Hi Burr, I have been doing the bar method for 5 weeks now, 4 times a week and absolutely love it! But there is one problem and that is that my legs are SO SO tired every night when I lay still that I can hardly sleep. I was really deconditioned before I started Bar Method. Is that a normal reaction and is it safe to continue? Would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you!!!!!

    Reply
  7. Bar Method Headquarters
    Bar Method Headquarters says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Burr recommends working slightly higher during thigh-work, that is, bend your knees less. You may also want to consider reducing your attendance to 3 classes a week for the first few months, and increasing again once you feel stronger. Soreness is a good sign that your muscles are changing for the better, but fatigue can mean that your muscles aren’t getting enough recovery time. Try to shift your routine so that classes create some soreness in your thighs 48 hours after a class. Thanks for your inquiry – we hope this helps!
    Best,

    Bar Method HQ

    Reply
  8. Lisa Morris
    Lisa Morris says:

    I wish we had a Bar studio in my area. I’m from the Northern suburbs, Cape Town, South Africa. I want to buy the dvd and I’m signing up for beginner Ballet which I want to use in conjunction with the dvd. The adult ballet is only offered once a week. 🙁 I’m about 55 pounds overweight and recently had a baby. I hate going to gyms. I’ve tried everything else from Tae bo to spinning – hate it hate it hate it. I love dancing, always have so I’m hoping I will enjoy the bar method and the ballet class. Also hoping I will be able to sculpt my body. I am on herbalife as well. Hopefully that plus once a week ballet and 3 times a week bar method will whip me into shape. So depressed with the way I look

    Reply
  9. Anny
    Anny says:

    Thank you for introduce a new method. I’m a young person, but I start to look into different type of work out or exercise to stay in shape and healthy. I honestly didn’t know about this bar method before, and I’m not a fan of heavy work out either. I think I will look more into this work out to try 🙂

    Reply
  10. Sara
    Sara says:

    Burr, on days like today when I feel too exhausted/sleep-deprived/lazy to exercise, I make it a point to visit your blog. Your inspirational messages and just how amazing you look at 65 is all the motivation I need to banish the mood. I’m reaching for my Bar Method Cd as soon as I finish typing this!

    Reply
  11. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I can’t say I’m a spring chicken, so when I heard of the bar method, I thought, “that looks easy!” Something that wouldn’t put too much stress on the joints. Boy, was I wrong about it being “easy”, but I was right about the lack of aches. My legs shake a lot after the workout, but that’s about it.

    Reply
  12. Alex
    Alex says:

    Not only does the Bar Method sound like it works to keep my body in great shape, it also sounds like fun mingling with the young groups. And why not? they say exercises like music has almost universal appeal and transcends age. Might just try it and see if I can get rid of these aches and pains in my knees, joints and leg muscles. Where do I sign?

    Reply
  13. Rhonda Vassallo
    Rhonda Vassallo says:

    I cannot possibly say enough times how amazing this workout is!! At the age of 32 I took my first Bar Method class in Carlsbad CA and since then I am addicted! I have done almost EVERY type of workout out there, Boot camps, Circuit Training, Cycling and even the dreaded task of running. Each time my body reached a plateau that I just could not overcome. THIS WORKOUT has done it. I will say when I walked into the class I thought “really they want me to start with 3lb weights, girl I can curl 20’s” UMMM yeah those 3lbs felt like 500 and it was AWESOME!!! I can happily say that this workout and the Carlsbad CA Studio have changed my body in ways that I never imaged I could and let’s be honest ladies when you feel good your confidence peeks and that is the sexiest feature any woman can have! Thank you Bar Method for keeping women sexy everywhere!!!

    Reply
  14. Bonnie
    Bonnie says:

    I realize every body type is different and weight loss depends on many factors, but what is the recommended amount of work outs to start seeing a change in your body. I have the Accelerated Workout and enjoy it, the only thing lacking is my motivation.

    Reply

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