The Bar Method fuses fitness and safety in new location

By Audrey Bernstein ’20

Tucked beneath green foliage in a hidden corner of Westport, The Bar Method workout studio fosters an environment of motivation, comfort and health, while fusing the concepts of yoga, pilates and ballet. Within the establishment, focused participants feel their muscles tense with each refined movement, their hearts pulsing in sync with their steady breath, ignoring any perspiration. While the fitness center opened its doors to Westport’s public on Sept. 6, it has already attracted a community of eager individuals.  

“[The Bar Method] is absolutely my passion,” company co-owner Bridget McBride said.“It becomes a lifestyle once you get into it.” Her love for fitness is shared with her sister and co-owner, Caitlin Giambalvo. The duo also owns The Bar Method’s Fairfield location. McBride’s adoration for the company was sparked almost 10 years ago, when she began working for the fitness chain in California. According to the business’ website, she quit her job as a TV host to follow her health instructor aspirations.

She and her sister transformed their ambitions into reality when they brought the studio’s name to Connecticut. Now, they continue to expand on the pursuit with their second location.

The secret behind a Bar Method class is utilizing the ballet barre to elongate and strengthen the body. Unlike other forms of working out, the activity poses no threat towards safety. “A lot of workouts out there now push you to your edge, like CrossFit,” McBride said about the fitness method. “We really pride ourselves on keeping everyone in the room safe.”

Exercising with a barre is unique in that it is a low-impact workout, yet targets and stretches specific muscles to an intense degree.

Jess Dell’Isola ’20 participated in a workout that incorporated ballet barres at The Edge Fitness Club in Norwalk and spoke highly of the experience. “I physically felt like I had a really good workout and mentally, I was proud of myself for getting up and being active,” she said. Dell’Isola also expressed that she will consider taking a class at The Bar Method, because of the positive effects of her prior experience.

Similarly, Tess Jacobs ’20 attended an enjoyable barre class at Joyride in Westport. She believes that The Bar Method will be successful. “A lot of people like to keep up with the popular things in Westport and barre class is one of them,” Jacobs said. “I do not think that [The Bar Method] will be more popular than any other type [of workout], it just depends what people are looking for,” Dell’Isola explained.

She argued that everyone has a different fitness goal they hope to accomplish. While SoulCycle, for example, focuses strictly on spin classes, CrossFit offers “sport-like” training and barre classes allow for an alternate goal to be met.

The classes accept a variety of members, with age ranges often falling between 14 and 70 years old. Still, a majority of the attendees are women.

“My mom does a workout class every Sunday. It’s her and a bunch of girls, because the activities that they do gravitate more towards women,” Quinn Wagner ’19 said.

In McBride’s mind, The Bar Method’s impact is already set to extend generations. “It makes you want to live a healthier life in general,” she said. “I have kids and I have another baby on the way, so I want to teach them the same thing too.”