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Tucked away behind the former Belle Meade theater is The Bar Method, a boutique fitness studio now in its seventh year of business. Although it’s part of a national fitness program, owner Maia Barbier says she’s never felt more at home than when she’s at the studio—whether it be in Portland, Ore., where she first discovered The Bar Method and became an instructor, or now as owner of the company’s only Tennessee location.
“It’s all about community here, especially because our workout is so personalized to each student,” Barbier explained. The studio’s signature workout, developed by a physical therapist, uses your own body weight, the ballet barre and a few props that focus form and alignment so you’re working the muscles you want to work.
Owner Interview: Maia Barbier
Even though The Bar Method is a national brand, you mentioned there’s a big focus on community here.
I think one thing that sets us apart is that our workout allows for clients of all abilities, and we can modify for injury, pregnancies and other requests. And because the workout is so personal to your needs, our number one thing is to know our clients by name and take care of them. The workout is top notch, but so are the people.
Sometimes starting something new can be intimidating. How should one prepare for their first class?
New students can attend any class labeled as Bar Method or Express. Anything labeled as Advanced or Bar Move is available for people who have had at least 20 classes. Some gyms have an intro session, and while we don’t do anything like that, we do ask that they arrive 15 minutes early, wear pants below the knee and bring a pair of socks. We are personable and know everyone’s name, and we do that to make sure each person is working the right muscles. So be prepared to hear your name, but you’ll also hear everyone else’s.
Every workout concept is different in what’s recommended for clients. How often do you see students in class each week?
I would say you’ll see the most change if you come 3-5 days a week. That said, we’re happy to have you as much as you can squeeze in, but we really recommend at least three days a week. Because we have people coming in for multiple classes, we like to keep things fresh. That means a happy hour every Friday, free childcare during classes, special events and giveaways. It’s just a fun community and a fun workout.
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Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.
She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.