Thursday, June 30, 2011

DC Bar Method in Review

As we've reported, Bar Method DC officially launched yesterday, and Penn Quarter Insider was there stretching, flexing and lifting along with our neighbors on opening day.

First things first: the studio entrance is on H St. despite it's 9th Street address.  Trying to get in through the front entrance to the Victor Building on 9th will only irk the security guard, as we found out. 

After our gaffe, we made our way into the building to fill out our forms.  Be sure you arrive early, as they are sticklers for late entrants to class. 

In fact the confirmation after you schedule your class online has a warning: "New students must arrive at least 10 minutes before class. Experienced students arriving 10 minutes or more after class has started will not be allowed into class."  So if you were thinking you'd buy the unlimited package and get there when you get there and leave when you need to, that's not an option.

After throwing our things in a locker (they provide keys to their lockers at no additional charge, but there does not appear to be a place you can permanently leave items if you wanted to keep shower products or socks - though we could have missed that), we entered class.  The studio is beautifully appointed with plush carpeting and mirrors, and they had a nice selection of hand weights, mats, medicine balls, and other fitness accouterments. 

Our quick appraisal was that there were around fifteen people (14 girls and 1 guy) and that class was full.   Our teacher, Kate, took everyone's names and immediately was on a first name basis with everyone in the class - we were very impressed!    Kate used the full hour to work our arms, thighs, glutes and abs with tiny (but incredibly targeted and effective) movements. 

Bar Method is probably not for true workout beginners, but almost all of the exercises can be modified for any and all body types.  You use only very light weights for your arm exercises (2 and 3 lb weights) and you can stretch to your own abilities.  The point: don't feel like you need to be a weight-lifter or a ballerina to fit in.  

At the end of the hour, class emptied into their beautiful locker room.  There are two showers if you need them (you get a little sweaty, but not terribly so).  The locker room is pretty small, particularly when all fifteen students are in there, so you are best off coming and leaving in your workout outfit (pants or capris are required, as are socks).

There are two studios in the building, which will enable them to expand from their current schedule, we imagine.  The woman at the front desk told us they had been busy - so we recommend signing up for classes online before you head over. 

Penn Quarter Insider is already feeling results by way of soreness - but plans on going back soon!

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