September 14th, 2004
Dr. Marla Shapiro, host of CTV’s “Balance,” in Toronto interviews Bar Method founder Burr Leonard
Marla: Celebrities Reba McEntire, Julia Ormand and Chris Judd have all embraced The Bar Method of exercising because of its sensational results. Burr Leonard, founder of The Bar Method, is here to show us how The Bar Method shapes muscles while burning fat. Welcome.
Burr: Thank you.
Marla: The Bar Method. We’ve got a bar beside us. So what is this method about?
Burr: This is a sculpting workout that results in a very lean, fit, cut looking body, while also creating beautiful posture. Features of a Bar Method body are long, lean hips, a high, pulled-in seat, an open chest and sculpted arms.
Marla: Okay. Show me part of The Bar Method. Tell me what I’m going to do.
Burr: Well, I’d love to show you a few of the exercises that show what The Bar Method does. We work the large muscle groups to get them to sit up on the bone and look great, so I’m going to show you an exercise for the backs of your arms that will get rid of these little wiggly things (shows back of arm).
Marla: Lean and sculpted. Sounds good to me. (sits down on a mat)
Burr: (also sits on a mat) You’re going to place your feet flat on the floor, and then bring your hands onto the floor like this with your fingers facing forward.
Marla: All right.
Burr: It’s important when you work your arms to stabilize your shoulder-blades, so you’re going to kind of pull them into your back so that the shoulders stay down.
Burr: Now push your palms down and raise your hips off the mat. Then roll them up a little, and shift back slightly so that your shoulders are right over your hands.
Marla: Ah. You feel this.
Burr: Now here we go. We’re going to bend the elbows. So go ahead and do that, and then push back up.
Marla: This is like weight-lifting the weight of your body in a sense.
Burr: This is weight lifting. You’re working the large triceps muscles. Keep your hips up so that your entire body goes down. Try that a couple more times.
Marla: You really feel that because you are totally supporting your weight in your upper arms.
Burr: What’s satisfying about The Bar Method is that you feel your muscles deeply, and the students love that.
Marla: I don’t disagree with you. It’s almost harder than doing a triceps kick-back or an over-head triceps.
Burr: You really feel it. Working the large muscles, you warm up your entire system, too.
Marla: Okay. You now let’s go onto the legs and onto the bar. (Burr and Marla stand at a bar.)
Burr: Your leg muscles are your largest muscles. When they become dense, you heighten your metabolic rate, so you tend to burn more calories all day.
Marla: Which is really important for women, particularly as they age, because we really do lose muscle mass.
Burr: Exactly. This is one way to stay youthful. So for the thigh exercise you’re going to bring your feet into a parallel position. One hand can rest on your hips. Stand nice and straight. Now raise your heels up. This aligns the knees and the thighs, coming up onto the balls of the feet. Now bringing your knees forward, keep them parallel to each other. (bends knees and holds) Keep your heels pretty high and hold. This holding position will dig deep into the muscle fiber.
Marla: (also bends knees) You can feel your entire quads contracting to maintain this position to make sure I don’t lose my stance.
Burr: Exactly. Now once you begin to feel the muscles The Bar Method begins to knit those muscles closer to the bone with gentle little moves down an inch and up an inch.
Burr: And you can feel the muscles getting longer.
Marla: I can feel the muscles. I don’t know if they’re getting any longer, but I can really feel those muscles.
Burr: People love that deep feeling of challenge. With the large muscles you really feel them right away.
Marla: Yes you do. There’s no question.
Burr: The Bar Method moves from muscle to muscle like this. So we’ll come up out of that. (Both straighten their knees) Of course we always stretch the muscle afterwards, so there will be a thigh stretch. (Holds onto the bar with one hand and takes hold of one foot up behind her with the other hand) To deepen this stretch, simply bend your standing knee, and kind of tip your hips so these long muscles that go through the hip become more vertical.
Marla: So all these exercises aim to strengthen and really knit those muscles tighter, so we get that lean, sculpted look.
Marla: Well, it’s a great method. It’s a new method for us. Thank you so much.