The Bar Method: Putting new moves on exercise

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Hate diets and gyms? So do I. But when my favorite pair of jeans no longer fit, I had to choose: buy new ones, or get in shape. With summer approaching, I chose the latter. Fortunately, an article on how Kelly Osbourne has kept slim, post-“Dancing with the Stars,” directed me to The Bar Method. I looked over the website ( and made an appointment to attend class at The Bar Method Burbank (other nearby locations : Agoura Hills, West Hollywood, Pasadena, Brentwood and West Los Angeles).

Photos courtesy The Bar Method

Located in an upstairs suite at the corner of Victory and Buena Vista Boulevards, the studio is an oasis for those who detest “cardio,” weight machines, treadmills, and the attitude that only the young and fit need participate.

The Bar Method, developed by Burr Leonard, blends dance movements with isometric exercises to work large muscle groups to strengthen and rehabilitate them. Watching a sample routine, I thought, “I can do this.”

The one-hour workout was intense; I quickly discovered just how out of shape I was. But my energy level soared immediately, improving my sleep pattern, as well. Within two weeks of regular sessions, I had lost five pounds without changing my diet. By the third week, I no longer craved most of the sweets that had beckoned before. My posture was better, my belly receding, and I could finally get my foot up on the ballet bar! There were no moves to jar aging joints, no activities that left me breathless.

Best of all was the diligence of the instructors and support from other class participants. The Burbank studio owner, Joey Decker, and his team of teachers, Juan Barba, Jenni Finley, Jennifer Keyes, Joyce Miraflor and Lorene Noh, are the cheerful-but-ruthless overseers of intense, specific exercise routines.

Each may instruct with slightly different variations, but the total workout is the same: arms, abs, thighs and “glutes” – all get pushed to maximum tolerance in order to slim, strengthen and reshape. Not holding the correct form? They’ll help you re-position to achieve the intended results. Wobbling? That means you’re working the right muscles.

Says Decker, “The Bar Method demands that you work to your maximum capacity, whatever that is for you. While you’re achieving the body you want, it not only builds strength and endurance, but helps prevent further injuries.”

With the emphasis on controlling one’s movements and working against the resistance of one’s own body, workouts became a matter of “personal best” instead of a competition for some unattainable ideal. The benefits of the Bar Method quickly erased my reluctance to attend the classes. The workout is still a challenge, but one I look forward to. As for the jeans? Yes, they now fit.

Bar Method Burbank offers first-time students a great deal: one month unlimited visits for just $100, with classes offered seven days a week. For the schedule, and other fee options, see and click on “Locations” to select the Burbank studio. The Bar Method Burbank 2422 West Victory Blvd., Burbank. Phone (818) 842-0842 Facebook: The Bar Method Burbank Whizin Market Square (near The Canyon Club)28878 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301 818-735-5415. Other Los Angeles locations: West Hollywood, Brentwood, West Los Angeles

Paula Humerick has worked for car dealerships, printers, art galleries, lobbyists, software developers, investment bankers and LAUSD.  She’s still deciding what she’s going to be when she grows up.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.