Barre3 vs. Bar Method Review

I can definitely say that I have hopped on the train that is Barre workouts, and they have been amazing in helping my endurance while also building more strength and sculpting my entire body. I had been wondering for a long time if there was much of a difference between Barre3 and Bar Method, and I can honestly say they are very different yet very similar. It may not sound like it makes sense, but after attending both studios for a while it does.


I originally tried out Barre3 last summer when the owner of the local studio left some free passes at the front desk at work. I was excited to try it out, and a couple minutes into the class I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into. The class was seriously no joke, but at the end I felt amazing and couldn't wait to take another class.

If you don't have a studio near you, you can always workout at home with a free YouTube workout. Below is my favorite:
*Barre3 Body Burner*

Bar Method

I had been taking Barre3 classes for several months when I decided to take advantage of a new client offer at Bar Method for 45 days of unlimited classes. It was such an incredible deal, plus I had been wanting to check out another Barre studio to see what the difference was, if any.

*Socks I purchases for Bar Method*

*Locker area at Bar Method*

*How I must have looked during my first Bar Method class*

I had a little bit of a tough transition into Bar Method after taking Barre3 for so long. I wasn't used to having to be so focused on my form while also constantly staying tucked (tucking your butt under as to not arch your back). After a few classes, I got the hang of it and noticed the constant correction from the instructor became much fewer and farther between and the compliments started from across the room - "Nice form Kate!" or "Beautiful straight leg/back Kate!" It was so nice to get the hang of it, and I felt like a school kid who received a star on their chart.

*Looks like "Pretzel Day"*

My breakdown comparison of the two classes:

Bar Method                                                    Barre3
Focuses more on form                                     Focuses more on stability
Focuses more on flexibility                             Focuses more on balance & holding key moves
Big focus on arm strength                               More of a focus on cardio
Floor is carpet, you wear socks                       Floor is cork/wood and you're barefoot
A lot more stretching                                       Incorporates more yoga moves
Instructor instructs/corrects you                      Instructor works out w/ you while also correcting
I only need 2 lb. weights for arms                   I use 3 lb. weights for arms
More structured/stricter instruction                 More laid back/fun/music is more upbeat
Workout is pretty similar each class               Studio always has a fresh citrusy scent
                                                                         Free childcare is provided

A typical Bar Method class:

Class always starts with knee lifts to get heart rate going
Then you go into a plank that you hold for what I assume is a minute or more
Pick up weights and go into arm work
Push ups
Put your weights back in the bins, and move to the bar
Calf raises
Stretching which incorporates ballet moves with your leg up on the bar
Thigh work - this is when you'll notice the "shake" - longest 10-15 minutes of your life
Seat work
Leg raises seated underneath the bar, this incorporates a lot of stretching and flexibility
Another round of pushups
Move out on to your mat for ab work
The finale of every class is "back dancing" which looks/feels silly, but is incredible for toning your butt.
Final stretches utilizing a strap, and closing breaths in a seated position.
Instructor has us give ourselves a round of applause for working so hard through another class.

A typical Barre3 class:

Class always starts out in the standing position with opening breaths before moving into aerobic cardio moves to get your heart rate up.
Moving from the aerobic cardio moves into crescent lunges to open up into some strength and stability before moving to the bar.
1 minute plank either at the bar or on the floor.
Time for leg work - longest 10-15 minutes of your life.
Some stretching at the bar to stretch out the muscles you just "cooked" while embracing the shaking and quaking of leg work before moving back out to the floor for combo work.
Combo work incorporates weight training with your arms while also moving to the music to fit in some cardio and leg strengthening moves. This also utilizes stabilizing muscles and helps you to improve your balance as well as arm strength.
Seat work - because we all want a toned and lifted bum don't we?
Ab work
Final stretches sometimes utilizing a strap.
Closing breaths in the standing position we began class in. On the final breath, hands come to heart center and we are ready to take on the rest of our day.


Both classes are incredible workouts and will provide you with similar results, and I have noticed that I get a lot more cardio and sweat more in Barre3 while I gained more strength and grace from the Bar Method.

Have you taken both classes, if so which do you prefer or do you love them both like I do?


  1. I've tried both and honestly I don't know if I really have a preference. Both are a really good workout! I haven't taken barre in so long I'd probably be SO horrible at it now. And yes, 10 seconds isn't long... unless you're in barre and then 10 seconds is like 10 hours and you just want to pass out LOL!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  2. I've heard so much about these classes! I need to find a good deal to try one.

  3. this sounds like no joke! i still haven't tried but its only my to do list!

  4. Thanks for including that youtube video! I would like to try it on my own before going in public!

  5. Great review girl!! I've never tried Barre 3 since we dont have those studios here, but I'm going to try that video you included!!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  6. I am a total Barre3 addict so I really like reading the comparison between the two! Once you go Barre, you never go back!

  7. I have only tried Pure Barre thanks for sharing info about these two Barre classes I am excited to try some of their You Tube videos to try it out.

  8. SO into this!!! Thank you for your awesome descriptions. I can't wait to try Bar Method in CLT some day soonish! xx

  9. thanks for sharing..this is so interesting for me..i really like to try to make it

  10. I need to try these other forms of barre! I have only done the booty barre classes and they sound different from both of the classes you describe! Crazy! While some things sound closer to your barre3 class, there is more pilates involved in booty barre I believe. Lots and lots of plies! I mean like I feel I am doing one most of the hour long class! lol! It is super upbeat and with loud music. Our instructor does the class with you while correcting as well. She actually teaches back to back classes daily and goes full out each class! Oh to be that in shape! lol!
    Thanks for sharing on these two forms. I need to find a class in my area to check out!

  11. I am going to have to try that video! A Neighborhood Barre opened up down the street from my office and I was so excited. Until I saw the price for the classes. Yikes! They of course offer your first one free, but I dont want to fall in love with an exercise class that is almost as much as my car payment each month.

    I love how you shared the difference between the two because I honestly had no clue they were any different. I thought it was just different names of studios. Is Barre3 like Pure Barre?

  12. Great review! I'd like to take either, I haven't found one close to me yet. Hopefully soon!

  13. This is such a wonderful comparison of the two. I haven't done either, but have been wanting to try a Barre class and this makes me want to join even more. I'm definitely going to attempt the at home to see what I'm getting myself into lol.

  14. great comparison! Have you tried Pure Bare? That is my FAVORITE

  15. I have never tried Barre as there are no classes close to me but man I wish there was! Great comparison!

  16. good overview, chica! i have only been to pure barre but i loved it :)

  17. Great breakdown! I've never tried either, just Pure Barre which I love. Bar Method sounds a little more like PB to me.

  18. This sounds like a really cool exercise to do! I haven't tried it before, but I might look into it further. It looks like it would be a great toning workout.

  19. I have been doing Bar Method regularly for 2 years and think it's the best of the barre franchises hands down. The instructors go thr 6 months training and rigorous testing by corporate to keep the standards high and consistent. I've taken classes at barre3, pure barre, and the daily method and they don.'t come close in terms of personal attention and correction so you get maximum and safe results.

  20. I think cultivating a neutral spine rather than a tucked posture is preferable in general, and that is a major difference in these two approaches. As a practical matter, I have to mentally tuck just to stay neutral, so it is relative, but something to be aware of when you're exercising.

  21. And yup, after reading this, pure barre is a lot like barre method, although no calf raises. My calves still look better since I have been doing it though!

  22. LOVE Bar Method. After listening to others who have tried different barre classes, I think the instructors' corrections in Bar Method to get the right form to isolate the working muscle is key. I've heard Bar Method certification for their instructors is very hard to get...they really know their stuff!