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Raising the bar: The Bar Method delivers mind-body workout in a California-cool studio

Raising the bar: The Bar Method delivers mind-body workout in a California-cool studio

Austin Photo Set: News_Kathleen Jennings_The Bar Method_Burr Leonard_September 2011_teaching 2
Austin Photo Set: News_Kathleen Jennings_The Bar Method_Burr Leonard_September 2011_mirror
Austin Photo Set: News_Kathleen Jennings_The Bar Method_Burr Leonard_September 2011_burr portrait
Austin Photo Set: News_Kathleen Jennings_The Bar Method_Burr Leonard_September 2011_burr teaching
Austin Photo Set: News_Kathleen Jennings_The Bar Method_Burr Leonard_September 2011_burr

It will transform your body, help you look younger, sexier and healthier. Who wouldn't be sold on that kind of guarantee?

It's called "The Bar Method," and it raises the bar on getting into shape.
 
Burr Leonard, founder of The Bar Method, isn't shy when it comes to talking about the exercise phenomenon. It has been her baby since 2001, and she whole heartedly believes in the benefits of the workout program.
 
Leonard is 64 years old, and she will inspire you. She is full of life, in incredible shape and is determined to help others change their lives and bodies, too. She calls California home, but recently she made a stop at Austin's new Bar Method location that opened in July on West 5th Street.
 
The first Bar Method opened in San Francisco 10 years ago. Today, there are 48 studios across the country, with 20 more on the horizon. You'll find similar workouts and similar names, but according to Burr, "The Bar Method" is the original.
 
The Bar Method is definied as such: "The fat burning format of interval training. The muscle shaping technique of isometrics. The elongating principles of dance. The science of physical change. A revolutionary new workout that quickly reshapes your entire body."
 
It's a beautiful workout—that's the only way to describe it. The minute you walk into the clean and inviting studio on West 5th Street, you feel like you have arrived in California.
 
The workout space consists of mirrored walls lined with ballet bars. You begin with light weights and although you can't imagine that a three- or 5-pound weight can create a difference in your arms—it does. You move to the floor, to the bar and back to the floor. Each precise exercise is a small defined movement. But you can feel every bit of it.
 
The object of The Bar Method is to engage in an hour-long, full-body workout that will change the shape of your body.
 
The Bar Method prides itself on interaction with students, and Leonard says that's what sets them apart. Teachers make a point to engage with students, making sure they're using the right muscles and techniques to get the most out of the workout. It's as if each student has their own personal trainer.
 
The day I tried the class, I was glad I wasn't the only new one. We newbies needed a little extra help in realigning our stance and adjusting our arms. As I looked around the room during each exercise, I could tell that this wasn't a first time thing for most of the women there. Their limber bodies were able to stretch and hold the hardest of positions.
 
It is tough to compare this type of workout to anything else. I walked out of the studio feeling great. I felt relaxed even though I had been exercising for an hour. It's that same feeling after you walk out of a yoga class—that feeling that you just did something really great for your body.
 
Founder Leonard says that if you practice The Bar Method three to five times a week, you will witness a transformation in your mind, body and spirit.
 
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You can attend The Bar Method at 1611 West 5th Street.