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My Experience at Bar Method Charlotte + Weekly Workouts

Good morning! There’s just nothing like waking up naturally at 7:30 on a sunny Sunday morning, making coffee and relaxing with nowhere to be. Tomorrow’s 4:55 a.m. alarm will not be quite as kind!

This week’s workout recap is going to focus on something you never see around here…Bar Method!


Last Tuesday evening I was invited to an open house for the new Bar Method studio that just opened in Charlotte. It’s the first Bar Method in Charlotte and in the state of North Carolina. If you’ve been reading any length of time you know that I don’t incorporate bar workouts into my workout mix. If fact this was only my second barre class ever but I am always open to trying and experiencing new things, especially when fitness related.

First, let’s talk about what Bar Method is and then I’ll get to my review of the workout.


(Image source Bar Method)

According to their website, The Bar Method is a one-hour, non-impact total body workout. It starts with a warm-up, free-weight exercises and push-ups and then moves on to intense, isometric leg work at the bar, followed by abdominal work at the bar and on mats. Every exercise includes active stretching to elongate the targeted muscles. It can trace its roots back to German ballet dancer Lotte Berk who combined ballet barre routines with rehabilitative therapy back in the 1930s.

In the early 1990s Burr Leonard bought a license to open a Lotte Berk Method studio after taking classes at a studio in NYC for nearly 10 years. In the late 1990s Leonard worked with a physical therapist to rework some of the exercises to best meet her clients needs and the Bar Method Was born in the early 2000s. It has now grown to over 75 studios across the country.

Autumn Frk opened Bar Method Charlotte after her career as an oncology nurse moved her and her husband to Charlotte. She’s been involved with The Bar Method since 2008.


(Image source Bar Method)

Okay, so let’s talk about the experience. The space is beautiful. Clean white decor with pops of purple, fresh flowers and chandeliers. Walking into the studio I was surprised to find the floors lined with plush, white carpet. Carpet and working out are not exactly synonymous in my world of lifting, running and hot yoga but I stayed totally open minded.

Autumn led us through a one-hour beginner’s class and while I didn’t break a sweat (it couldn’t have been more than 72 degrees in the room and the fans were going the whole time), I certainly felt the burn. Autumn was an incredible instructor, so specific in her cuing, hands-on with her adjustments and she used our names throughout the course of the class. She’s adjust you one inch and you’d feel an exercise in a totally different way. (Trust me, you should have seen the look on my face after she got me into the right positions. I was all “why are you doing this to me!?”)

Throughout the course of the class we targeted many muscle groups including triceps, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, abs and much more. One thing I really appreciated was the mix of strengthening and stretching. After we fatigued a muscle group, Autumn led us through targeted stretches before moving onto the next set of work.

I left the workout feeling like a noodle in a totally different way than when I run long or lift heavy. I was surprised to find myself noticeably sore for two days after the workout.


The verdict? I don’t need one more thing to add to my workout plate but I could see how this workout could benefit me. I have a pretty horrendous anterior pelvic tilt and so many of the exercises that we did in the Bar Method class were all about the “tuck” and reinforced good posture (I need to tuck all day, every day!). I also think it could help my hip strength and stability.

So given my limited time to workout, I would still choose barbells and sweating over 3-pound dumbbells and air conditioning but I really enjoyed my experience and would be totally open to doing more classes in the future. And again, Autumn was just a phenomenal instructor and so lovely to take class from.

Tell me about your experience with barre classes? Have you tried them? What do you think?

Here’s a quick look at my weekly workouts.




4 mile run + Bar Method class


3 mile run




3 mile walk


6 mile run


Teach total strength, maybe yoga (TBD)

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • 1
    meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles September 20, 2015, 1:54 pm

    I am so excited that you took a barre class! It is challenging but so enjoyable somehow lol. I just love it and can’t imagine how I ran before doing Pure Barre. It’s a great complement to my routine.

    • 2
      Jen September 20, 2015, 10:05 pm

      It was good to mix it up! I definitely think strength is a necessary addition to weekly workouts whether it’s barre or something heavier.

  • 3
    Chicago Jogger September 20, 2015, 7:23 pm

    I like barre classes, but it’s generally not in my budget! Classes are sooo expensive here in Chicago. I have taken a few barre classes here and there, and I’m also sore and feeling the burn afterwards! I love the extra background you provided on how the studio evolved.

    • 4
      Jen September 20, 2015, 10:06 pm

      They’re like that here too! I really enjoyed the class but it’s hard to justify when I can workout for free where I work.

      • 5
        Heather September 26, 2015, 10:34 pm

        Just one of the many reasons I love teaching at the Y -avoiding the studio prices for a one hour barre class. ?

  • 6
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt September 21, 2015, 9:24 am

    I lived at a dance studio doing ballet growing up through college, so I have a soft spot for barre. It wouldn’t want to be the only thing I do though and it is always a little pricey so I don’t do it as much as I’d like. I find myself wanted to bust out my old ballet barre routines though– which aren’t a lot like what they have you do 🙂

  • 7
    Shoshana@akfitchick September 21, 2015, 11:15 am

    What a cool idea. I had never heard of barre workouts before, but I think it really does make sense. This post brought me back to my ballet years. When you’re doing it, it doesn’t seem like that much of a workout but you definitely feel it afterwards. Sadly, I just don’t think we have something like that here yet…maybe it’s coming my way.

  • 8
    Brooke September 21, 2015, 1:26 pm

    Are there any barre classes online for free? YouTube? I want to try but workout from home

    • 9
      Jennifer DeCurtins September 22, 2015, 2:17 pm

      I’m not sure! I would research that. Also check out the Fitnessista’s blog if you don’t read it already. She posts some quick barre workout videos from time to time.

  • 10
    Carolyn Lux September 21, 2015, 1:44 pm

    I have taken several barre classes at different studios in Charlotte and other cities. I think Autumn is by far the best instructor out there! I also appreciate the mix of strength and stretching. It’s great that you got a chance to switch up your workout!

    • 11
      Jennifer DeCurtins September 22, 2015, 2:16 pm

      Agreed! The strength + stretch was lovely! And she’s such an excellent instructor!

  • 12
    Brittany @ brittanyholtz.com September 22, 2015, 5:17 am

    I felt the exact same way after barre – i was sore, it was kind of fun for something different, but I don’t need ONE more thing to get into.

  • 13
    Cassie September 26, 2015, 2:59 pm

    What a fun bar workout! I’ll definitely try it at home!

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