Studio Spotlight: Bar Method; Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD



Locations: Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD

Classes Offered: Level 1, Level 2 and Mixed Bar Method classes

Owner: Kate Arnold

Why You Should Check It Out: Winner of the Washington Post Express "Best Barre/Pilates Studio", The Bar Method DC-Bethesda offers over 110 classes per week and has 15 certified instructors who train for 4-6 months before certification so that they are able to offer the safest and most effective workout.  They know all of their clients by first name and have built a wonderful and supportive community.  

What Makes It Such An Effective Workout? Results include long, lean thighs, flat abs, toned arms, and better posture.  Classes are intense, but they were designed with the help of physical therapists and can be modified for people with injuries or with physical limitations people of all ages and fitness levels in attend classes.  

Advice for First-Timers: Come in with a positive attitude and be ready to work hard! The Bar Method takes practice, but the instructors are there to help and guide new clients.  Don't be frustrated if your form is corrected, they are simply trying to keep you safe while giving you an effective workout.  With time, you will learn better posture and alignment and the classes will actually become more challenging as your form improves.

Level 1 classes require little or no experience and are done at a slower pace with additional instruction and a greater focus on form.  All students, including first-timers, may attend mixed classes.  Students must have taken at least 40 Bar Method Classes at The Bar Method DC-Bethesda, including 5 in the past month, in order to register for an Advanced class. 

Hot on their Playlist: Timber by Pitbull and Work by Britney Spears!

What to Wear: Exercise pants to the knee or below, tops that cover the midriff, and socks that cover the entire foot are required. Grippy socks are recommended. 


The Bar Method™ is a one-hour total body workout comprised of muscle strengthening and stretching techniques partially performed at the ballet barre, strategically choreographed and executed to music. The system is designed to create a uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body by combining the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of ballet dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy, and the intense pace of interval training.


Kate Arnold, certified instructor and owner of The Bar Method DC and The Bar Method Bethesda, is a graduate of Duke Law School and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  Kate discovered The Bar Method while living in Chicago and fell in love with it instantly.  The Bar Method changed her outlook on health and fitness in addition to transforming her body. An immediate “addict” of The Bar Method, Kate opened the DC studio because she couldn’t imagine living in a city where The Bar Method didn’t exist.  Kate received her instructor training from Burr Leonard, founder of The Bar Method, and has also spent time teaching in the Miami and Dallas Bar Method studios as well as at the wellness resort Rancho La Puerta in Mexico.  The Bar Method DC opened in July 2011 and has grown to over 60 classes per week.  The Bar Method Bethesda opened in February 2013.  She is thrilled to bring The Bar Method to the DC-MD-VA area! 

You Might Like

GoRecess Playground Pro: Shannon Albarelli, The Bar Method Montclair

Core Exercises for Spring Sports by Julie Erickson


Join the Conversation

Go Recess reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.