The Stories

How One Bar Method Member Found Emotional Healing and Confidence When She Found The Bar Method

July 15, 2020

When new people walk through our studio doors, they come for different reasons. They often tell us that they were referred by a fellow member or that they came to us following a recommendation from a doctor or a physical therapist. And sometimes, people stumble into our studios serendipitously during a pivotal point in their lives—just when they need it the most. 

This was the story of one longtime Bar Method member Debbie who discovered The Bar Method while she was navigating the aftermath of her divorce and living in a city where she was forced to rebuild her social circle. Debbie says when she walked through the doors at The Bar Method Washington DC, she found not only a workout that transformed her body but a community and confidence that transformed her life. This is her story:


In 2017, I moved out of my home where I lived with my husband in Washington DC while also switching jobs and leaving a workplace that I had been with for 13 years. Everything was changing in my life—my financial security from being married, the large, beautiful home that I lived in, the confidence I had in my work and my position—everything changed. I went from a multi-level, huge home in Cleveland Park to a 400-square foot, micro-unit apartment on 14th Street. Everything was upended including the life that I knew with my ex-husband, our mutual friends, and his parents who were my family.

When I left my marriage, I was scared. I knew in reality that I was able to maintain financial security, but my budget had to change drastically. I had no idea how I was going to pay for things, including an expensive apartment. I also felt very much alone; the only family that I had in DC was my ex-husband and his parents, and I loved the three of them very much. 

But at the same time, I saw this transition from being married to being single as an opportunity to find myself. All of the things that I couldn’t do because I was in a committed relationship, now I had the freedom to do them. That’s when I started using ClassPass as a way to explore different types of workouts—from spin class to power yoga, to pure Pilates, and then finally to barre. This was so different than the original barre studio that I tried where the focus was on cardio and weight loss. 

At The Bar Method, you may be in a class with 10 to 30 other students, but the instructors learn and use your name quickly, and will physically adjust your body to make sure your alignment is correct. I often feel like I’m the only one in the room, even in a large class. The classes are never the same, the instructors are always encouraging, the students are hard-working and inspiring, and the periodic seasonal challenges are also competitively motivating. 


This photo was taken pre-COVID and social distancing guidelines.


The fact that Bar Method studios have carpeted flooring and that they strongly emphasize alignment and form has made it so good for me because I have bad knees. And they always have alternative positioning in case one move doesn’t work for your body or your flexibility. I wasn’t really expecting results so quickly, but in the span of three months, my body completely transformed. My body became extremely chiseled. The classes are really sneaky because you don’t notice how much strength training you’re actually doing. By the time that a set of muscles truly feels fatigued, you’re already on to the next move thanks to the fast pace of the class. 

 My dietitian has a machine that tells me about my body muscle mass, my fat percentage, and my bone density. According to the machine, my body profile went from “average” to “very muscular” within a year. But instead of “bulking up,” I got really lean muscles! My original purpose in going to barre was to challenge myself and become strong, it really wasn’t to get a particular body type. I had no idea what I would get from class, I just went because I enjoyed it, it felt good, and at the end of class, I couldn’t believe all that my body was able to do. I was always proud after each 60-minute class that I was able to do it and get through it.

One more thing about The Bar Method—it actually is a community! The instructors know you personally and share glimpses into their own lives as funny anecdotes or jokes. My Bar Method studio in Washington DC dresses up for Halloween and hosts fun contests and trunk shows with yoga clothing. The owner brings her dog in and people always hang out and catch up in the lobby. It really is a loving community.  

I had surgery in 2019 and had to take a break from The Bar Method for about a year. Without the practice, I lost the lean and toned muscle. But I started taking classes with Bar Online to slowly build my strength back up and it actually prepared me for the pandemic! Now I’m back to being able to do 45 to 60 minutes at home. I even bought my own barre and the accessory pack from The Bar Method that included the ball, strap, mini and full-sized mat, and riser. So while I have my own little Bar Method studio for one at home, I do miss my group at the studio!  

For more stories of how The Bar Method has transformed bodies and lives, check out more stories from our members. Member Stories. Ready to experience The Bar Method difference? Find out if there’s a Bar Method studio near you right here