Fit / January 2003

Fit Magazine

Class Action, The New Pilates

by Laurel House

Remember when Pilates was the new yoga? Well it’s time to make room for the new Pilates – Bar – the new class du jour for gym hipsters every-where. Within the span of just a few months, there are already two bar offshoots. The Bar Method and CARDIO BARRE®. Though very different in pace, both utilize the ballet bar and include weight training, tummy tightening, and several strenuous exercises that help to trim and tome the body into what is considered by many as the epitome of the perfect feminine physique – the dancer’s body!

I used to be a dancer and had always strived for that “perfect” body. It took a lot of work to sculpt my body into my vision of perfection. And then one day, an injury cut my dancing career short and ever since I’ve been in search of an activity that would provide the same results as dancing. I tried everything from yoga and Pilates, to running and spinning. Nothing produced the total body workout like The Bar Method and CARDIO BARRE®. And, of course, their roots lie in ballet.

Slow control
The controlled, muscle-trembling movements of The Bar Method burn fat and lean out the body through slow and precise movements. Combining ballet bar work, yoga, orthopedic back exercises and strength training, some movements are miniscule, but every muscle in you body will be burning. After a few sessions, you will notice you butt lifting and you waist tightening. Your clothes will soon begin to fit differently.

Burr and Carl Diehl co-own The Bar Method along with sister and brother-in-law Mimi and Mark Fleischman (former owners of Studio 54). So get your soon to be taut body over one of their many studios countrywide. You can bring the kids because hey even provide child-care.

Fast-paced fun
If you thought Billy Blanks Tae-Bo was an intense class with a devoted fan base, try Richard Giorla’s CARDIO BARRE®. Giorla, a New York dancer/choreographer, brought his 20 years of experience and classical training to Los Angeles and created an undeniably amazing ballet based cardio workout. Yes, the word “ballet” insinuates a slow, controlled style of movement but rest assured CARDIO BARRE® is anything but! This fun, fast-paced, fat-burning, sweat dripping, muscle-toning workout is like nothing that you have ever tried before.

How does it work? CARDIO BARRE® tones and tightens the entire body through fast movements at high repetitions. This tempo also allows for more efficient fat burning.

 For example, start working your abs by standing straight up, reaching both arms straight over head (preferably while holding a medium size ball), then lean your body from side to side – without twisting – for four counts on either side. Return to the upright position for two counts. Repeat. Do this twenty times for ultimate abdominal strengthening, stretching and elongating. Stretching the stomach muscles in this way creates long lean abs and improves posture.
Only a few months since its official opening, Giorla’s classes already attract so many eager students that lines pour out the door, and it’s no secret why. The loud pumping music, Giorla’s gusto and teasing comments such as, “Laurel, you better work harder or else some other, more in-shape woman is going to steal your husband,” inspires students to work and keep coming back! He has become the favorite of celebrities who are yearning for the long, lean dancers body that his workout delivers. This budding fitness trend is on the verge of taking off, so get you butt moving and come to class, or buy his video and work it in your living room.