Class review: The Bar Method

Well, it’s about time for my class review of The Bar Method.

What is The Bar Method? The Bar Method is a barre studio with more than 110 locations across the U.S. and Canada, many of which are franchised. It’s called a “method” because it was formulated by physical therapists, and the moves are mostly small isolated barre-style moves done in a specific sequence during each workout in order create that barre-burning feeling when you’re doing it. And you really get that burn.

Class Review of The Bar Method by A Lady Goes West

Class Review of The Bar Method

At the end of the year, I took six Bar Method classes in order to gather enough insight to write this class review of The Bar Method, because I wanted to be certain of my thoughts, and it goes like this: There are some great aspects to the actual workout, but overall, my experience was not amazing, and I’m not dying to go back. 

By the way, I paid for the classes myself by purchasing a discounted Groupon for a month of unlimited sessions. 

What is The Bar Method workout like?

A typical Bar Method “mixed levels” or signature class is exactly one hour — not under, but sometimes slightly over. I like this, because some studios stop their classes at 55 minutes in order to fit them in back to back on the hour, and so you get your money’s worth at Bar Method with the full hour. And there’s a 15-minute gap between classes, which is less stressful on the in and out process for participants. I like to have a minute to myself before class starts, and you can do this at Bar Method. This is a major plus. (There are also express 45 minute classes, which I did not take.)

The class is very similar each time you take it, with blocks of work and the sequencing of moves always the exact same — that’s the method part. It starts with a very fast warm-up consisting of knee lifts and a one-minute plank, then on to upper-body with small hand weights, followed by push-ups and a stretch. Then you move to the barre for calf raises, a stretch, thigh work, a stretch, seat work, a stretch, then round- and flat-back moves seated under the barre, core work in the middle, bridges and a final stretch. There’s your hour.

Also, just like Pure Barre, the studio is carpeted, and you are required to wear socks in every class. Grippy socks are nice, but not necessary.

What kind of moves do you do in The Bar Method classes?

The moves in a Bar Method class are very small. In fact, sometimes you can hardly see them. The phrase “down and inch, up an inch” is commonly heard. As is “down, down, hold.” What I think is funny is that someone could walk into a Bar Method class and think that students aren’t actively doing anything by the looks of it, when they are actually feeling quite a burn. The moves are that small. 

There is no official cardio in the class, nor jumping, nor plyometrics — so it’s definitely low impact and safe for the joints — and most of the moves are so small that they aren’t really functional, outside of the bridges, planks and push-ups. The little leg-lifts and the round-back portion where you sit underneath the barre on a mat with your back on the wall or rounded are far from functional or anything you’d need to do to be strong in your everyday life, but that’s not saying those moves are easy to do. 

There’s not even a full kick in this class, you keep things so close to the body. That being said, you can fit a lot of people into the room, you don’t need much personal space, and in spite of the tiny moves, you truly feel the burn even just a few minutes into class, and you are often shaking and ready to quit by the end of each set. 

Many of the moves are pretty easy to get into, however, the round-back portion in the middle of class is not my favorite. Compared to some other barre classes, for instance, FlyBarre, the moves are not as complicated to set up, which is a plus for sure. And even though they are small isometric-type moves, they really do fatigue the muscles in just the right way, in just the right order — I guess that’s the method portion. 

There are a ton of crunches, which I don’t really like. But perhaps my favorite part of class is at the end during the back-dancing portion, which is all bridge work, you guessed it, laying on your back. Bar Method offers a bunch of variations on the bridge, including having your heels lifted toes down, heels down hip-width, and heels down in wide stance to hit different parts of the glutes. I liked this section and have taken some of that back into my own barre classes and workouts.

There are nice stretches at the end of each working block, which I appreciate. And I also like that instructors pass out bands at the end of class, so that you can use the band to assist with your end-of-class stretching. Major plus there. And there’s always a proper cool-down stretch in each class, which I like to see to close a workout and send people back off into the world.

The Bar Method Class Review by A Lady Goes West

The Bar Method instruction

Here’s my slight beef with Bar Method: The instruction. I’m a pretty seasoned group fitness instructor who has been trained in and taught many formats. I am absolutely by no means perfect, but I can call it like I see it, and while what Bar Method offers may be great for some people, it wasn’t as great for me and may not be for everyone — and this is just my opinion. I think group fitness should be fun and motivating, and I didn’t really get that vibe at all from any of the classes I took. It was dry and stuffy.

I tried out five different instructors at The Bar Method studio and they all taught nearly the exact same class in the exact same way, with nearly the exact same inflection in their voice. It was eery. It made me think that these instructors were merely “delivering” what they were told to deliver, rather than teaching to the class in front of them, and I’m not a fan of that. In fact, I’d question whether any of those instructors teach anything else, or have only ever taught Bar Method classes.

Also, the instructors barely demo moves, which I’m not okay with in an all-levels class. Some people are visual learners rather than auditory learners and need to see exercises done properly in front of them. That’s not possible at Bar Method, when the instructor may or may not do one to two reps of a move, or none, and expect the entire class to do it properly. I would have liked to see them demo much more and make sure that people know what the move is, before walking around to make tiny corrections. Because that’s something the instructors at Bar Method do a lot of — correcting people.

Continuing on with the lack of demonstrations by instructors, at the start of class, people just get up and start doing knee lifts to warm up, without the instructor showing any of this move, nor saying hello or even saying their name. (Yes, you did sign up knowing the teacher’s name, but I just find it uncool to not introduce yourself and welcome people, when they have spent money to be in your class. It’s polite.) Basically, it’s like this weird cult-like beginning in which participants stand, shut up and begin the moves with no explanation at all. This was my first sign that Bar Method tailors its classes for regulars, and that’s not all that welcoming.

I have to admit that when I took my six Bar Method classes, I was 12 weeks postpartum (read more about my postpartum fitness journey here) and only just starting to work my core heavily. I was still needing to do push-ups on my knees and was not totally comfortable doing a ton of crunches. During my classes, I had instructors literally walk up to me and push my hips down during a push-up, when I was doing modified kneeling push-ups (not knee push-ups, but even easier kneeling push-ups). I was quite taken aback. I felt violated. This instructor did not ever ask anyone or me if anyone had any issues before class, (nor was she around for me to find her and tell her until she walked in and pushed play on the music), and she must have assumed I was just cheating or didn’t know what I was doing with the modified position. Not cool. I literally will not forget how that felt as a participant, and although I never would have done that to someone in one of my classes anyhow, I will be even MORE careful to be kind and careful with people. Geez. (As a note: This didn’t happen in my first class, so it’s not the reason my entire experience was tainted, I had already started compiling my critiques before this happened.)

So back to the correction portion, The Bar Method instructors do a lot of their correcting over the microphone, referring to everyone by name. They check the names before coming in, which is something I totally appreciate. However, then they use your name against you by telling you to change your form by an inch. (See a pattern here?) They also occasionally tell people that their moves are “beautiful” too, so that’s good. The thing is, I agree with correcting form whole-heartedly, but I don’t agree with how it’s done here.

Overall, this is where my experience was not good and this happened in all of the six classes I took. The instructors were very critical of everyone in class, even brand new people who had never been in before, yet they didn’t give people enough of a chance to self correct by showing them the right moves off the bat with demos. And, an instructor should never move someone’s body without having spoken to them first. End rant.

The Bar Method studio vibe

I think the studio vibe will be different depending on your location, and perhaps the teaching style will be too, but I didn’t have any major issues or comments with the studio vibe. It wasn’t as warm and friendly as FlyBarre and was probably on par with the stuffiness of a Pure Barre. People seemed to be fairly friendly, there was child-care for kids older than three months (I never used it and only went on nights and weekends), and the clientele seemed very happy (minus the brand new people who were next to me in two classes and seemed completely awkward and defeated five minutes into class).

You have to check in at the front desk when you come in, and I usually had a semi-warm “hello,” but not always. However, there was one teacher, whom I took twice, and she would sit at the front desk when people were checking in for her class to greet people, and I LOVED that. She was friendly and perhaps my favorite, although once class started, she taught the same dry way everyone else did and the friendly seemed to go away. So weird.

Oh, and there’s a bathroom/shower/locker room for you to keep your stuff, with locks provided, so that’s helpful. You simply take the key from your locker and hang it on a little rack by the door in the studio. This is great, because a lot of other studios don’t offer locks, and well, I think they should. And you can also purchase merchandise from the lobby, so you can dress like everyone else in class, including those grippy socks. These are the ones I wear. 

The Bar Method studio by A Lady Goes West

The Bar Method workout benefits

Here’s where I will stop all my ranting and say in this class review of The Bar Method that the workout probably works. I only went to six classes and was already starting to firm up slightly, being that I was continuing to get stronger postpartum, so I can’t attribute any results directly to Bar Method. However, I can assume that because the structure of the workout causes such a burn from the very beginning with fatigue, participants are bound to shed some fat and feel longer and leaner after a month or so of regular classes, certainly when paired with good nutrition and supplemental fitness endeavors. (Although, you can’t truly lengthen the muscles you were born with, but good posture and flexibility does help you to feel that way.)

You work the core, the back and the postural muscles a lot in Bar Method, which is incredibly important for women (although the classes are for both men and women, and there were men in two out of of the six classes I took). You also work in all planes of motion (front to back, side to side and rotational), which is another great thing. And because there is no jumping, this class is not hard on the joints. 

So as you can see, as a workout, I agree with much of what you get at Bar Method, and if you’re someone who wants to walk into a class and get “toned” (I hate that word), this may be a good choice for you, just in keep in mind that you likely will not be entertained in class, and your instructor is bound to correct you by name over the microphone or with her hands.

But, as I always do, I will say you would not want to rely on Bar Method as your only workout, as you need to do more functional moves at other times. I wouldn’t recommend going every day, but perhaps three times a week with a break in between. 

Perhaps my experience was specific to the studio that I attended, but I didn’t look forward to a single class after my first time. Although I walked away feeling like I had a good workout, which was effective, but not too hard on the body, I never had those post-group-fitness warm and fuzzies that I so long to have, which made it a miss in my book — because if exercise isn’t fun, it’s not for me, and it’s certainly not worth paying for either.

The Bar Method Class Details

The Bar Method “mixed levels” class …

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Format: Standing warm-up with knee lifts, planks, upper-body with light hand-weights, thigh work and seat work at the barre, round-back under the barre, crunches on a mat, back dancing and stretching
  • Moves: Very tiny moves! Planks, push-ups, crunches, tricep dips, bridges, leg lifts, plies and mostly small isometric-style exercises
  • Equipment needed: 2, 3 and 5 pound dumbbells, ball, mat and stretching strap are provided
  • Attire: Tight-fitting clothes, capris or full-length leggings, form-fitting tank top and socks are required
  • Difficulty level: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being hard, probably a 6
  • Fitness level required: I don’t think someone would be very successful in their first class if they hadn’t taken any barre before, even though the class is called “mixed levels,” so I’d say this is probably not ideal for beginners. You can make it as hard as you want with your range and options though, so advanced students and barre pros would certainly benefit.

There you have it! As always, my opinions and thoughts are just my own. You need to get out there and try something to see if it’s for you before making your own decision. Thanks for reading!

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40 Comments

  1. I just took my second Pure Barre class this morning and a lot of what you said in this review is similar to how I feel about Pure Barre. I totally thought it was just me feeling this way because I am not a “regular” and I’m still very unfamiliar with barre-style moves. I really want to like it and I know it’s so good for my body, but for the cost compared to what I’m getting out of it, I just don’t think it’s worth it.

    1. Hi Courtney! I have been to four Pure Barre studios and had slightly different experiences at each — it’s not quite as stuffy as Bar Method, but it’s not super welcoming for new people either. You’d need to go a couple times a week for about a month to truly get the moves and feel the results, so I’d give it more time if you can. But you are NOT alone in feeling that way in barre classes …. which is why a lot of people are hesitant to try barre. I wish you could come to my barre classes — they are WAY more fun and open for all!

  2. I’m sorry you had that experience with the instructor pushing your hips and how it made you feel.

    I always remember at my one of my first Body Pump classes, the instructor giving me a “look” and shaking her head at me using the lightest weights possible for the chest track, I honestly could have cried as she made me feel so small! Luckily she wasn’t a regular instructor at my gym or else I’m sure I would have never returned to that class, and now I love it.

    Thanks as always for the honesty!

    1. I HATE to hear this, Iona. Group fitness should LIFT you up, and while instructors can challenge you and help you to have a safe workout, they should never make you feel this way. Glad you didn’t have to see her again! 🙁

  3. I purchased a Bar Method Groupon in December for a San Francisco location and had a very similar experience. But I didn’t persevere; I dreaded going back so much that I just stopped going after two classes into the 30 days. I hated the lack of demo moves and being called out over and over again in a class of regulars, but not feeling like I had the knowledge to correct the moves. I think I also just prefer other group fitness classes over barre and my experience with this studio certainly confirmed that!

    1. Hi Allison! I’m so sorry to hear this. And quite frankly, what you experienced and what I experienced is what gives “barre” a bad name and connotation to those who haven’t tried it yet. Fitness should ALWAYS be welcoming. I teach a MUCH different kind of barre and have been to many other more welcoming studios, so I hope you know that all barre studios aren’t like Bar Method. Anywho — I only persevered to make sure I wasn’t being biased in my review, and clearly, my first thoughts were right. Oh well!

  4. Hi Ashley! I did the Bar Method back several years ago when I was living in a NJ suburb. At my particular studio, I was the youngest one there, 27 at the time, and everyone was kind of in that “Stepford wife” category — huge rings, didn’t work, cliquey. I thought the workout was solid (thought I did other things as well) and the instructors at my studio were motivating. But this was back before there was a lot of barre competition in the area so I didn’t have much to compare it to. Now after trying all kinds of other workouts, I feel like PureBarre is more energetic, fun and more my style.
    And don’t even get me started on the price of the Bar Method. CRAZY! I think my unlimited was like $220/month back then!

    1. Hi Diane! Well, I never went to any day-time classes, but I’m sure that would be the clientele I would find too as you did in NJ at the time. I had no problem with the clientele, so that’s not the issue. But yes, there is much more competition in barre classes and studios in general now, which may be why I got a Groupon to take an unlimited month for so cheap heheh! 🙂

  5. I’m sorry to hear about some of the experiences you had. I have not taken a bar method class, but love the Barre3 classes I have taken. I would be really uncomfortable having the instructor call me out, particularly in a new to me workout.

    1. Hi Emily, Barre3 is one of the only barre classes that I have yet to try, and I need to! 🙂 And as far as instructors calling people out, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it for sure!

  6. Thank you thank you for this post! it’s exactly how I feel about the Bar Method. The first barre class I ever took was at their Marina location and it was so terrible being called out like that all class. It was like high school all over again. I have tried the concord location too and it’s the same vibe. I miss flybarre alot but doesn’t look like they will be bringing that back anytime soon.

    1. Hi Alexa! Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that you went through that. Like I’ve said before, treating people that way gives barre a bad rap for sure. 🙂 Hope you can come to one of my classes one day — I promise not to yell at you ehehe!

  7. Honestly, this was so refreshing for me to read. I’ve done Pure Barre on and off for a while. I truly enjoy barre workouts, but have always felt a bit “off” at my studios and I couldn’t really put my finger on way.

    A few weeks ago, I was invited to go to a barre class at a local gym, and it was a WORLD of difference. Same type workout, but the instructor was SO happy and friendly, and other women welcomed me and chatted with me. It truly is amazing what a difference friendliness and kindness can bring to a situation 🙂

    1. Hi Kaitlyn, yesss, I’ve definitely noticed that barre classes at regular gyms have a much more inviting atmosphere, which I love. But not ALL studios have that stuffiness, so don’t write barre studios off altogether. But I FEEEEL ya, when you just aren’t QUITE comfortable somewhere and in a workout. Too bad!! 🙂 Glad you found one you liked! Three cheers for kindness!

  8. Thanks for your review! I commented prior that I did the entire training and became certified to teach the bar method, just to realize I hated feeling like I was in a cult with such rigid guidelines to follow as a teacher. The guidelines made it extremely difficult to insert your own personality and to teach a class that is your own. I think that’s the major downfall of the bar method as a whole. I also think you’re spot on about the bar method being stuffy. When I asked the studio owner what the difference is between bar method and any other bar places, her answer was bar method is the Nordstrom and everywhere is the marshalls. Sorry but i think that’s a horrible answer and so incredibly offputting. A workout isn’t meant to be fancy or the most expensive… people simply want an inviting experience and a good workout. Needless to say I do not associate with them anymore!

    1. Hi Marie! Yessss, I totally remember when you chimed in that you trained to teach it, and then ditched it. I’m definitely NOT into snooty, nor into claiming something is a Nordstroms compared to a Marshalls. Like what? Shallow much? hahha Once again, I hope you have found a new studio or place to work out, feel comfortable and get your sweat on, lady! 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts!

  9. Loved reading your review — I’ve been going a lot in NYC lately and also visited two locations when I was in LA in January. The LA locations were sort of dingy whereas NYC is a lot more “modern”. I agree the instructors can be a bit creepishly similar. But I’ve found the instructors I like in NYC. I personally love the constant corrections. At other studios I’m often thinking WTF am I doing, is this remotely correct? At Bar Method I feel like I’m in good hands when it comes to form.

    It’s weird to say but I love Bar Method before they offer a lot of class times at the nyc studio and I don’t sweat a ton during class. It’s a great workout if I want to squeeze something in before grabbing dinner with a friend or a meeting but I don’t want to shower and do my hair after. I also am surprised how sore it leaves me.

    1. Hi lady! Okay, so I’m starting to hear more and more that NYC has THE BEST of the best instructors and classes, and that makes me jealous out here in 2nd-class SF Bay Area hahah! No, but seriously, I’m guessing your instructors were more tactful with corrections than the ones I saw here. But I feel ya on the no sweat thing — when I was working in a corporate office, I would take POP Pilates or light yoga at lunch so I wouldn’t sweat. That’s a major benefit. Thanks for reading it, Kayla! 🙂 Hope all is well!

  10. I totally agree with your review. I have literally had the same thoughts when I tried Bar Method and Pure Barre in Walnut Creek. Everything is scripted and formulaic. My biggest issue with the methods are that they are not functional movements, especially the abdominal rounded back exercises. Many people’s bodies (pre/post natal, back injuries etc) can’t handle the “formula. It’s a shame because I love barre classes but have found I only enjoy BootyBarre because of the flow, variation, and functional movement aspects to it. I appreciate your honesty and would Whole-heartedly agree! There’s no need to create a stuffy environment. You would think they’d want people to return and feel comfortable

    1. Hi Katelyn! Thanks so much for saying hi and sharing your thoughts. This is exactly why I love Bootybarre too — you move more of your body and spend less time crunching forward for sure – not to mention it’s welcoming!!

  11. I had to laugh at your comment about the “weird, cult-like beginning.” I took classes at a Bar Method in Denver for a couple months and that’s exactly how I would describe the beginning part! I was also really surprised that they correct people by name over the microphone. It was embarrassing to be called out in front of everyone for doing something wrong.

  12. Thank you for sharing. We have an amazing locally owned studio on the other end of town that provides mostly yoga and Barre classes – for moms! So each class I’ve taken there, the teachers are not only friendly, they also give modifications for prenatal moms and recently postpartum women, in addition to general modifications. The classes are also done on a hard floor with a yoga mat. And we used weighted balls as well as hand weights but we got to pick our own difficulty. Many of the Barre classes are even baby-wearing friendly! One time my kiddo was not having any of it and the instructor (with my permission, she’s also now a good friend) even carried my little one around so I didn’t feel like I had to leave and he was happy to get the attention. In these classes they also make it clear that all moms are welcome to feed their babies if needed, it’s just such a supportive environment.
    Since it’s quite a drive for me, I was considering the pure Barre near my house, but I’ve heard a lot of these negative qualities about that studio as well. And what’s up with the carpet and socks?

    1. Hi Marykate, oh I WISH we had a baby-wearing barre class! I would LOVE to do that or teach it. That sounds like such a nice environment for exercising, and very welcoming too. I love that the instructor held your baby heheh! And seriously, the carpet and socks is strange — that’s how it is at Pure Barre too. You should try Pure Barre one day and see how you like it, it may not be too stuffy if the instructors or franchise owner is nice. Maybe you can find a Groupon when you’re ready or see if they let you do your first class free. Good luck!!

  13. Hello Barre ladies

    I have been doing Barre Method for 1 year now: New Jersey suburbs, and I love the place . I call them my little Barre family. The place is welcoming to all. All the teachers are different in their teaching style and they all demonstrate every single barre move. They do correct your technique and I appreciate that part a lot. I also feel that the teachers truly care about the class they teaching and making sure the clients are happy and supported. After each class you can always asked them how to improve etc.
    Maybe I was just lucky to find this studio! I love my BM place!

    1. Hi Simone! I’m sure each studio is different depending on the owners and instructors. I’m so happy to hear you’re having a great experience at your studio! 🙂

  14. Hey I just saw this! I took Bar Method streaming and DVDs to get in shape before my wedding and it toned me up quickly! However, there is no Bar Method near my area but I went to the one in Marina Del Ray and they were pretty nice and hospitable, they even gave me a welcome gift as a first-timer (a bag of salt baths). The workout was good and I was sore, but yeah I didn’t like how they called out names to instruct them and tell them what to do. I now have been going to Pure Barre for a year in a half in Sacramento and they are really warm and welcoming here, and I’m not exactly the typical thin barre-goer either. They always great you by name and ask how you’re doing. The workout is almost similar to Bar Method but their moves are a little faster-paced and more frantic. Their 90-second plank is my worst enemy (if I recall, Bar Method’s plank is only 60 seconds). What I like about Pure Barre as well is that when the instructors correct you, they turn off the microphone. And they do call out your name, but for positive reinforcement and to say stuff like “good job Hannah” “nice extensions Hannah”. I could go on and on about talking about barre even though I’ve only tried Bar Method and Pure Barre live (I have also done Barre3 and Physique 57 streaming). I’m really sorry you had a not-so-pleasant experience with Bar Method: everyone has different work out preferences and at least you got to try it!

    1. Hi Hannah! Wow, thanks for saying hi and for the great comment. I love that you’re a barre fan and have had some positive experiences — with positive reinforcement. I’ve liked some Pure Barre in the past for sure. I need to try Physique 57 some day too!

  15. You need to allow for locations and perhaps length of time inn the business when you address the ambiance and personality of the studio and workouts. You need to visit the Bar Method Studio in Marin County, CA. It is my no means stuffy – exactly the opposite. While very serious adn strict about the workout (to ensure good results and to protect people from injury) the instructors are all fun and very individual personalities and styles. It’s a warm, welcoming, and supportive group. I have taken classes there for 10 years now – through a bout with breast cancer, a heart operation, and osteoarthritis in my hips. The sturdio works closely with me to make any adjustments I need and always watch out for me as an individual. I must also say that I am quite fit and even after 10 years, the workout can be very difficult. Those tiny movements that you slam are killers if you do them correctly.

    Visit Marin and see what a great studio and workout is like.

    1. Hi Leilani! Thanks for weighing in. I’m SO happy to hear that you’ve found a supportive community through Bar Method in Marin — that’s amazing they’ve seen you through so many tough times. I agree that tiny barre movements are killer — which is why I like barre-style workouts so much. I’ve heard a lot of people love their local Bar Method studios, so it’s a shame I had the experience that I did in Walnut Creek. I went plenty of times to be sure it wasn’t a one-off thing — and the studio has been around a while, so it’s not new or a growing pains thing. Hopefully I’ll try another Bar Method one day to change my viewpoint. But once again, SO happy you have a great studio to be a part of and stay healthy with. Keep it up! 🙂

  16. Thanks for writing this review! I completely agree with you. I recently became a Barre Above certified instructor and have been taking barre classes at other studios to observe and learn from how other instructors teach. I took a Bar Method class for the first time yesterday and I had a very similar experience as yours. Like you said, I was pleasantly surprised that the instructor knew my name, but I also felt taken off-guard by how the instructors would call out names and correct people through their mic. The touching students to correct them also took me a little off-guard. I currently teach mat Pilates classes and we are told to not ever touch students without their permission, and to only do so as a last resort if verbal corrections and visual examples aren’t sticking. There were also a few times where the Bar Method instructor called an option “the easy option” and told everyone to try “the challenge option,” then praised the class for “everyone trying the challenge option!” even though I noticed some students stayed in the modification. That was off-putting to me…I feel like as an instructor you should not label regressions/progressions as being “easier” or “harder.” Everyone should feel comfortable with listening to their body and taking whichever option feels right for them–you never know what injuries or health concerns someone is dealing with that might make them want to stay in the regression. I also agree with everything you said about the eerie similarity between instructors. After class I was looking at the wall of headshots of all the instructors there and everyone looked white/thin/tall/able-bodied. There’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but that homogeneity combined with the similar way the instructors both taught made me feel like the vibe was not the most inclusive. My last qualms about the class were the tucked pelvis posture and large number of tiny pulses. In Barre Above, we were taught to teach in neutral spine/untucked to allow for larger range of motion and more functional movement. We were also taught to not overpulse as this will quickly fatigue the muscles and put all the strain/work on the joints. I wasn’t used to either of these two things and the instructors were constantly coming over to me to remind me to tuck my pelvis in. Anyway, that being said, I know every barre certification/every studio is different, and much of group fitness is finding a class or teaching style that works for you and your body. I’m glad to see that others in the comments have had a positive experience with Bar Method, but it’s just not for me!

    1. Hi Michelle, Congrats on your Barre Above certification! I’d love to try that program and get a taste of it. I also teach barre with neutral pelvis and more functional movements — not a fan of the tuck either. I can say that some people do love Bar Method, but I think the location can really make or break it. Apparently we both went to locations that broke it heheh. That’s a shame the instructor used language like easy option — not always the best way to refer to things to make people feel good. Seems like some cardinal group fitness rules were broken here! Oh well, taking a bad class just makes us all become BETTER instructors. Right? 🙂

  17. Hi Everyone! I personally enjoyed The Barre Method Studio near my hometown. The vibe was very homey & had a sense of relaxation , i pretty much became obsessed with it and got my Barre Fitness Instructor Certification. I agree with Michelle’s comment (I think the location can really make or break it).

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