- KICK ASS CHICA FITNESS-
KICK ASS, CHICA: I had heard about The Bar Method™ primarily on Facebook. Showing up daily on my Facebook advertisement sidebar. I ignored it for awhile, thinking it was just Facebook’s algorithm for the subjection I usually put myself through for non linear workout programs. Prior to attending The Bar Method™ I have a 12 year loyalty to Bikram yoga.
Anyhow, finally clicking on the Facebook link I see that The Bar Method™ is a one-hour, total body workout. It starts with a warm-up, free-weight exercises and push-ups and moves on to intense leg and seat work at the bar, then abdominal work at the bar and on mats. Every exercise includes active stretching and is followed by additional stretching to elongate the muscles just worked. It is a intense challenging workout with isometric dance conditioning and deep stretches. On the spot I decide that I am in. Eventually I cave in and “like” The Bar Method™ on Facebook and begin to follow. But, living on the south east side of LA bordering the OC there are no classes near me. The possibility of a day trip to Hermosa or Pasadena for a class cross my mind but didn’t seem realistic or promising.
Ultimately, I see the post on Facebook that I had been waiting for, ‘The Bar Method™- Long Beach Coming Soon! Opening November 2011’. A sense of, “Hell Yea!” takes over, yet alas, I am not able to make the opening day. Following the holidays I no longer had a steady paycheck and after I had every last Christmas dollar squeezed from me I had no money for my usual yoga workout routine and I devised a regime of walking and jogging everyday when…. my best friend discovered a Gilt.com offer, “$50.00 for 30 day unlimited classes at The Bar Method™- Long Beach.” We, of course, were in.
Not knowing what to expect the first day I pretty much looked like an ass. Upon first impression every woman there had a incredibly tight body. I spent the next hour contracting and uncontracting core muscles that I didn’t realized existed within me. For sometime I didn’t even know what I was suppose to be doing. Looking at the room for guidance it seemed as though none of the women were moving. Frustration sets in and I wonder what the hell am I missing. The pretty blond instructor, Andrea, who is also the co-owner of The Bar Method™- Long Beach, comes over and with her elbow she gives my pelvis a push here and my knees a pull there, I immediately feel a difference. I sense that everything seems so simple but is quite difficult. Yet, I feel inspired by a pregnant woman in the class and another woman who had a baby within the last year. I see older women who’s bodies are tight and glowing. I think, “I want in! They might be onto something.” I recognized that I had no abdominal strength, that my posture needs tons of work, and it wouldn’t kill me to be able to tuck and contract my glutes just that much more. Not knowing what to expected or what more I would learn I decided I’d be going back to The Bar Method™.
My Bar Method™- Long Beach instructor, Melissa, complimented me on my sit-ups curls, “You got it, Magdalena!” Mind you, I can never feel my curls. They are very difficult for me to do. Our abdominal muscles are some of our most important core muscles, yet, I am only able to attempt them because I am instructed to prop pillows under my rib cage. Regardless, I am able to begin the attempt of the sit-up curl and today, as Melissa put it, I got it. Full class today and everyday there are a couple of new girls. I feel like and old pro at this point.
Today, was my first class with the beautiful, Saudia. Saudia continuously corrected my form with her gentle and accurate touches. Through her exacting touch I am able to be more precise with my posture and feel the form much more intensely and because of these corrections I want to cry in the middle of the pose. When working the final set of push up’s on the floor I feel my teeth chatter and my arms shake and I am about to break out in tears and quit when Saudia calls out, ” Good job, Magdalena! You are doing it right!”
Overheard at The Bar Method™- Long Beach : “I can’t wiggle my nose and killed my arms that was insane.”
Overheard at The Bar Method™- Long Beach : “I started Dec 6 and it’s the best thing that I could have done for myself.” - Woman in her 50’s
I am the most awkward person that I know! Why are these classes getting harder and not easier for me? As the frustration sets in I can’t do the whole reps and I can’t find my core when attempting the abdominal workout, or seated flat back leg raises and it doesn’t help that I must have the tightest hips and knees on the planet! Andrea announced that starting next week The Bar Method™- Long Beach will be offering a Level 1 and Level 2 class. In order to qualify for the Level 2 classes you will need to have previously taken 10 Bar Method classes. Level 1 is aimed at us newbie’s who may need extra corrections on the basics of The Bar Method™ forms. Exciting!
Sometimes, during a pose I develop a intense hatred for Andrea and I hate Parenting OC for allowing this story to take place. My thighs shake and are on fire as I balance on my tippy toes and lower my seat as if I am sitting in an invisible chair and I think, ” What the hell am I doing here?” Then, the 5 mins are over, the class is onto the next posture when I glance into the mirror and see sculpted thighs, slimmer hips emerging, and pretty arms falling from my lean shoulders suddenly the hatred is gone and Andrea once again returns to that girl you always wanted as your best friend. No, The Bar Method is not just that easy…. it’s just that hard. :)
Over the last few weeks I have been through many changes even if some are psychological, hey exercise is SUPPOSE to help relieve stress and find inner clarification right? Some days I doubt my reasons for being there, especially on the mornings where we start our ballet bar work and I stand at the bar with my left leg standing supporting my right leg which is firmly lifted on the ballet bar and both of my arms are lifted in the air high above my head. I begin to feel like a graceful ballerina…when I hear, “Magdalena, wrong leg!” Other mornings I embarrass myself by being the most uncoordinated person in the class. How, is it that I cannot march in place lifting my knees to my chest while holding weights in each of my hands at the same time? Really, Magdalena, Really? I learn to laugh and smile even if it’s just on the inside. I go back to knowing that if I am going to see a difference in my body its gonna take more that 5 classes. So, I stick with it. Every day I begin to hear the dialogue the girls have been repeating for the last month, “Tuck your tail bone in, lower your waist, lift your head.”
I don’t see any changes in my measurements and I haven’t lost any weight, but I see a difference in my body. My posture and coordination are improving, my spine and core muscles are stronger and toned. It’s due to these changes in my core that my thighs and legs are appearing sculpted, longer and leaner. The best benefits of all? Slowly a round perky bum is emerging. It was sometime in the beginning of March as I walked past my reflection I saw something in the mirror that I have NEVER had before, an ass! A round booty! And just as my ass emerges my abs are definitely becoming flatter, longer and leaner. I wish I could blame giving birth 7 years ago for the reason I struggle to remember how the abdominal muscles work, but honestly I don’t think I ever knew until now and l look forward to putting my energy into my lower abdominal workout. So, no, I have not lost weight, but I have gained inner core strength that turns into outer sexy lean curves and to me that is worth much more.
Granted, this is not easy. I’ve been going to The Bar Method™- Long Beach between 3-5 days a week for 4 weeks and the class becomes more painful, but it is with this pain that I develop the proper technique to build my core and it is with this pain that I won’t hesitant for pool season.