We asked Surrey certified strength and conditioning specialist Michelle Roots of Core Conditioning to review the Bar Method. Here’s what she said:
Pros: Efficient strength-training exercise that tones without adding bulk.
“It’s almost like a hard-core version of Pilates and yoga — a hard-core strengthening class,” Roots said.
Cons: Cost. At $195 for an unlimited one-month pass and $22 per drop-in class, this is in line with higher end yoga and Pilates classes in Vancouver.
How it works: Traditionally people wanting to tone and sculpt lean muscles would do high- repetition and low-weight exercises, Roots said. Those wanting to lengthen their muscles would take yoga or Pilates. The Bar Method combines both.
Holding a muscle contraction through high repetitions recruits deep muscle fibres not often stimulated in traditional cardiovascular exercise and weight- training programs, Roots said. “Muscles are still stimulated because they are forced to work, but you are not focused on creating tears in the muscle fibres, which is how muscles gain size and bulk in traditional strength-training exercises.”
The idea behind the “shaking” while holding each pose is to recruit deep muscle fibres, which increases strength further and makes these once “sleeping” muscle fibres available to burn fuel and boost metabolism throughout the day, Roots said. Following each exercise with a stretch promotes muscle lengthening because the muscle is very warm after being worked maximally.
Cautions: “Because it’s low impact, I think it’s fairly safe, and it’s a good idea for people who do have joint problems and can’t go for a run or have knee pain when they do squats,” Roots said.