Monday, December 7, 2009

I have girly-man triceps and Hamstrings of Inflexible Steel

(It has been over a month since my last post.  Let's just pretend like we don't notice.)

This Monday has been one of the more painful Mondays I have had in a while.  It isn't entirely due to the excessive amount of needy callers who still do not understand that when I say I will transfer them to a voice mail and then do it, it is not a mistake. Seriously.  Calling back will just yield the same results. Even if you call back twice. Leave a message Jethro.

Anyway, I'm a little extra pained because my muscles are sore due to the Bar Method class I took on Saturday.  I think they're still kind of angry that I found them because they are the muscles that never get worked extensively, except for a day I spend snowboarding (aka using extreme acrobatic prowess to hoist myself back to my feet 30-40 times per run). Hello my wimpy triceps, I have found you and I shall torture and exhaust you.

The Bar Method is a relatively new workout regime as far as dedicated studios and DVDs go.  It consists of three basics types of exercises that target your muscles, work them to exhaustion, and then stretch them while they are still warm.  It is supposedly a really effective way to build lean muscle of the non-bulky variety.

I campaigned on Facebook and via text for a workout buddy to come try the basics class with me this weekend as it was both of the following: a. Free;  b. Bound to reveal my severely inflexible hamstrings.  You'd think that no escort would have discouraged me, but let us not forget how entirely shameless and slightly delusional I can be. Indeed, I showed up alone and was the only person do to so. Holla at a loner.

Despite my loner status, the Boulder location is really inviting.  It is modern, light and airy feeling. As an added bonus, they offer each class attendee a locker free of charge (yoga studios should take note).  The studio itself has floor-to-ceiling mirrors around the room, a ballet barre along the mirrors, and any of the equipment you would need for the workout.  I showed up in some socks and I was set to go.

The class seemed to consist of four different phases: a warm-up; the upper body and arm workout; the barre work out (focusing mainly on legs and the glutes); and some serious core work. Each phase was followed by stretching the muscle groups that were just worked.  The class is meant to work you "head-to-toe," and it certainly did.  I felt about two inches taller and was definitely aware of my abs.

I loved the class overall.  Certainly my amazingly inflexible hamstrings proved a challenge for the barre stretches (it has to be said that the forward stretch in middle school PE was always what made me hate the presidential fitness test), but, other than that, all of the moves were relatively easy to learn.  They were fairly easy to do as well, however; doing the 90 reps (yes ma'am, 90) got the old heart rate right up there.  I could definitely see this class yielding its promised results of lean and toned muscle groups.

The only real drawback of the bar method is the price range.  At $18 per class it is difficult to wiggle into the budget.  The upside to that is the DVDs, which feature the method's founder.  This kind of knocks out the self-concious trial period and the high price tag problem in one fell swoop.

I will definitely try the Bar Method again since it was such a stellar workout.  I felt like like I could freely indulge the cheddar cheese stored in the cheese drawer in my fridge.  Ahh, cheese drawer.

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