Think of the most fit person you know—that person that religiously hits the gym before work, runs ten miles every weekend, and claims to love every minute of it. If you're anything like me, you occasionally want to trip these people as they jog by in their form-fitting spandex. For most of us, working out feels like work, so New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside and the gym becomes a distant memory.
Working out needs to be fun if you're going to stick with it, and that's where this series comes in. By introducing you to the latest fitness trends and asking real people about their experience, the "Get Your Fix!" series can help you find the best fitness routine for you. As our fitness-fiend friends prove, loving your workout can help you stick with it and get real results.
The Bar Method has received a lot of press lately, from celebrities raving about it to studios popping up across the country. But what is the Bar Method? According to the official Web site, the Bar Method is a pilates, dance, isometrics, and interval hybrid that tones every major muscle group using a ballet bar, mats, and floor work. The workout also emphasizes flexibility and low-impact moves to protect joints.
The Bar Method claims to create a "uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body," and its official success stories may make you want to drop everything and run to the nearest studio. But is it too good to be true? I decided to ask my friend Sarah, a 29-year-old career woman, about her experience.
Q: How did you find out about the Bar Method, and what inspired you to give it a try?
Sarah: One of my friends from work tried it when a studio opened near our office. She described it as "intense Pilates" that "really works your butt." I had tried Pilates before and found it kind of boring, but she convinced me this was a more active, fun workout. She was right—it wasn't boring at all, but definitely intense!
Q: Hm, "intense" is a word that scares a lot of people away. Can you explain what was so intense about the workout?
Sarah: It was intense because you do a lot of repetitions, especially with moves that work the thighs and butt. My legs were burning, but the instructor changed up the moves so frequently I didn't have time to dwell on the hard work.
Q: Have you managed to keep going regularly?
Sarah: I usually go three times a week, which proves how much I like it! Sometimes I'm tired and don't feel like doing anything, but going to class always makes me feel energized and less stressed.
Q: Have the classes gotten easier over time?
Sarah: They've definitely gotten easier since the first few times I went, but it's still challenging, and I usually feel a little sore the next day. I've really noticed my flexibility and strength improve.
Q: Here's the million-dollar question--is it true that the Bar Method leaves you with a "uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body?"
Sarah: I haven't miraculously grown six inches or become a runway model, but my body is definitely more toned than it was before. I especially notice the firmness in my abs and butt. Most of all, I feel stronger and have better posture.
Check out some of the Bar Method sample exercises online to see if you would enjoy a class. Unfortunately, classes aren't offered in every city, but you can use the Bar Method DVD to work out at home. The DVD is also a good option for those who can't afford to attend regular classes, which can be pricey. Whatever your current workout routine, go ahead and try something new—it's good for you, and you just might discover your new exercise passion.