By John Grossi | Photos by Alexiz Gomez
Imagine having the posture of a ballet dancer… without having to dance. Imagine your everyday movements reinforced by mindbody-spirit connection… without ever going to yoga class. Imagine your muscles strong, joints healthy, and physique toned… all without paying a personal trainer or physical therapist.
Immediate results in all of the above-mentioned areas, and more, are what led Joanna (Jo) West to leave a career as a neurophysiologist to open up her own The Bar Method Studio in Long Beach.
“I was hooked. I basically took one class and said this is it for me,” laughs Jo. In 2011, Jo and her husband moved to Long Beach “virtually sight-unseen,” for the sole purpose of accessing the Long Beach “territory” in which to open this popular, yet niche, fitness franchise.
Now 12 years later, Jo and her family are well established in the Long Beach community. She drops her two kids off at Naples Bayside Academy elementary each morning before heading to The Bar Method in the Marketplace office park near 2nd and PCH. There she, along with her staff of highly trained instructors and front desk, hosts and leads hundreds of locals through Bar Method classes.
WHAT IS THE BAR METHOD?
Twenty-two years ago, the founder of The Bar Method combined her background in the Lotte Berk method with the science of physical therapy to elevate a series of small, isolated and intense movements that elongate and strengthen muscles without putting pressure on joints.
The result is a workout that focuses on isometrics, core, interval training, and a mind-body connection. Anyone of all ages can participate in this class as it can be modified to your abilities!
I TOOK A CLASS!
Jo persuaded me to give the class a try. She said I wouldn’t be able to truly write about The Bar Method unless I experienced it. Here’s how I’ve been describing it: about 20 minutes in, I began thinking to myself, this is too hard. I can’t believe I have another 25 minutes. And just at that moment, the class ended.
Did I confuse you? Here’s what I’m getting at, though the class was incredibly hard, it also went by extremely fast. There were so many different little exercises, sets and intervals that I honestly thought we had just started. Yet 45 minutes had already flown by! I left feeling accomplished, surprised, and sore – but it was a very good sore.
If you’re looking for another description, I’d say this: lots of creative ways to isolate muscles during push ups, lunges, and planks.
Jo got teary-eyed talking about her fitness business in Long Beach and the community it serves. Her members were so generous and supportive during COVID, it rejuvenated her passion. She realized that The Bar Method meant as much to her clients as it does to her. Now she’s on a mission to add even more members and classes because of how many positive effects this workout routine can have in the community.
“You get cardio, strength, and meditation... it’s the full package. 70-80% of how we look and feel is what we consume so The Bar Method can help switch the script. Once you get consistent with classes, you begin to feel strong and productive. That for me, is how I can make better food choices in the long run.” says Jo.
“Furthermore, The Bar Method makes you such a confident person... it’s part of the method. I have been taking [Bar] for almost 18 years and it’s still hard to explain. I just absolutely love it.”
This spring, Jo invites you to take advantage of their BOGO offer! If you are interested in elongating your spine, toning your body, and boosting your confidence, please visit barmethod.com to book a class!