Giving The Gift of Fitness: The Bar Method Review

Giving Yourself (Or Someone You Love) the Gift of Fitness and Health

This time last year I was very overweight, tired all the time, weak and, well, very unhappy. Then, due to the desperate need to change, I began a rigorous health and fitness plan with the help of my lovely trainer and friend.

Thanks to her help, this past year has been full of health milestones — I have lost 25 pounds and two dress sizes, I can actually jog for longer than a minute (a major milestone for me), my shape has totally changed and I just feel so much better.

But, as happens to many busy moms, I fell off the fitness train in the Fall.  A crazy work schedule, non-sleeping sick toddler and several major bouts of sickness on my own left me worn out, unmotivated and just “off.” I found myself needing a boost and searching for something to get me back on the path to fitness. Enter The Bar Method.

A few weeks back we were invited by The Bar Method here in the Orlando-area suburb of Winter Park to come in and try one of their Saturday morning classes.  As soon as I received the invite, I did some research and thought that the combination of interval training (a staple of my workouts), dance and Pilates-like movements was a great fit for my sisters and I to try together.  You see, they are both beyond flexible and yoga and Pilates devotees.  Perfect, I thought — a morning outing with fitness and sisterhood combined sounded wonderful.  And I was right.

Upon entering The Bar Method Winter Park we were greeted by the lovely local owner Karen Moreno and her staff in one of the most lovely, modern and serene workout spaces we had ever seen.

After learning a little about what were about to do, we entered the beautiful workout room, grabbed our weights and balls and got started with Karen leading the way.

Now, I’ll admit, after jogging/running, and doing tons of nausea-creating intervals over the last six months, I was really thinking this was going to be a light workout.  Wow, was I wrong in an awesome way.

We did interval upon interval of isometric movements with weights, our own resistance, ballet bars for support, balls and stretching combined.  The best way to describe it is a non-stop interval-based workout including sculpting, deep-muscle work, endurance training and stretching. I worked muscles I did not know were there.  I worked areas of my body that are always areas of concern for any mom or women past her 20s – thighs, gluts, abs, etc. It was a quick-moving, hard-working and rewarding workout. One of the most rewarding workouts I had in a long time.

And, wow, did I feel it in the days that follow — in a very good way, the way that makes you realize that you did something great for your body and your health. I also found that it made me workout better on the other days and feel stronger in my jogging, home intervals and walking.

Beth and Katherine also enjoyed the class.  Now Beth is fit, super fit and active, and she loved how intense the workout was without being hard on her joints – a former top-of-the-pyramid-fly-in-the-air cheerleader, Beth pays good attention to her joints and protects them as much as possible. Most days you can find her in one of Monika’s killer Athletic Conditioning or Total Body Sculpting classes at the Tampa YMCA. This was a completely different take on her regular work out, and it was much tougher than she anticipated, a challenge she really enjoyed.

Katherine enjoyed the intensity of the class also and, like me, felt it days and days after.  The only wish of the group was for a bit more stretching at the end of the class — we are yoga fans and love that aspect of working out.

I have gone back as a customer already and am getting ready to head back this weekend and in the days and weeks that follow.  I have decided that, now almost done with the Christmas shopping for my family and friends, I’m going to give myself the gift of continued fitness this year and work The Bar Method into my workout routine.

For more information about The Bar Method, visit them online at And, if you live in the Orlando area, check out The Bar Method Winter Park and say hi to Karen for us.


Disclosure: We participated in our first class at the invitation of The Bar Method Winter Park at no cost to us. The Bar Method had no influence or oversight of this post – we just really loved it and are returning on our own as customers.

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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