Member Spotlight: The Bar Method
Member Spotlight: The Bar Method
The Bar Method Winter Park, a fitness studio located in the Winter Park Village, will celebrate its 10th year this July. Owner Karen Moreno says, “I love it even more now than when I started it. I love teaching now more than ever, and I especially love the community that we’ve built here.”
A former elementary school teacher, Moreno, like many women, had taken a pause to raise her three children. When her oldest child entered high school, she started to get the itch to return to work or find something where she could channel her energy. While accompanying her husband on a business trip 12 years ago, she met a woman who told her about this barre workout she was doing. Moreno, who has always been a fitness enthusiast and grew up a dancer, was intrigued and started researching it and trying it out through DVDs at home. She became hooked and was so impressed with the workout and the philosophy of it that she started exploring how to open her own studio.
The Bar Method workout uses high repetition, low-impact strength training through a series of movements led by an instructor, incorporating light weights, a ballet barre, exercise balls and resistance straps. It also shares some similarities with yoga and Pilates. Moreno started visiting other studios to learn more. She explored other barre-based programs but chose The Bar Method. Aside from just personal preference for this style of the Bar Method, she also says she loved their professionalism and their commitment to safety and standards.
Soon she was auditioning and interviewing at their headquarters in San Francisco. After being awarded a franchise, she quickly had to learn the ins and outs of starting a business, finding space to lease and a long list of other responsibilities and tasks that came with starting a new venture as a novice entrepreneur. It has been a roller coaster of a ride, she says, especially factoring in the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted nearly everyone’s business.
“We had to pivot and adapt, like everyone else. We offered virtual classes and still do, through Zoom and Instagram Live,” she says. She reopened her studio last May and says they have had a perfect safety record by taking careful precautions.
For their virtual clients, Moreno says some have invested in creating their space to be much like a home studio, and others have followed their video tutorials showing how to create modifications, such as using a chair in place of the barre. Moreno says they are starting to see a rebound in new clients since the pandemic, and some new clients who have relocated from other states.
Moreno, who owned a second studio in the Dr. Phillips area but closed it right before the pandemic started because her lease was up and she wanted to step back from the demands of running two studios across town from each other, says her team has stayed intact, and the instructors from the Dr. Phillips studio moved over to the Winter Park one. She says between in-person and virtual options, they currently offer about 59 classes per week. “We actually have more classes now than we did pre-COVID,” she says. “I feel like we’ve been so fortunate that people have been so committed and supportive of us. People trust us.”
The Bar Method is currently offering a spring special for new clients for $49 for the first month, plus a summer special for teachers and students of $189 for two months or $275 for three months.