Unlike the busy block outside, the upstairs space at 493 Bloomfield Avenue in the heart of downtown Montclair is quiet, soothing, and beautifully constructed, immediately bringing to mind a high-end spa. But don’t be fooled by the cushy carpet and the meticulous attention to detail. Some very hard work occurs here. It’s the Bar Method Montclair, one of the fastest-growing exercise studios in the area.
Clients from Montclair and surrounding towns including Glen Ridge, Essex Fells, the Caldwells, Verona, Nutley, the Oranges, and Cedar Grove, are coming regularly to The Bar Method Montclair for their signature non-impact, one-hour total body workout. More than 50 new clients signed up last month alone.
“People get addicted to Bar Method because it works,” says Kelly Lezynski, a co-owner of the studio. “You just don’t need to do any other exercise. It’s completely transformational.”
Business partner and Bar Method Montclair co-owner Shannon Price agrees. “It’s interval training—stretching, strengthening and cardio—in a jam-packed 60-minute non-impact work out," says Price. "A lot of people do it who’ve never even worked out before. And they get addicted. Bar Method helps people in so many ways, not just physically.”
“We don’t think of it as a gym, but more as a community with a really positive atmosphere. We also give back to the community by doing fundraisers for various causes. People are excited to come here. The rest of your day can be so hard, so it’s great to have Bar Method to escape to,” says Kelly.
In a typical sixty-minute class, clients start with a warm-up including free-weight exercises and push-ups, move on to intense leg and seat work at the bar, then do abdominal work at the bar and on the mats. “We give both verbal and hands-on directions and corrections throughout the class,” says Shannon. “It’s a lot of small isometric movements, and they’re all intricately sequenced to be most beneficial.”
“I can't believe such small little movements can hurt so much,” says Montclair resident and Bar Method client Caren Stern. “But the results are unbelievable, even after only four weeks. I love the Bar Method,” she adds.
“It’s also probably the safest exercise program out there. The movements were all choreographed by a physical therapist. Many of our clients stop seeing their PTs after coming to Bar for a while. They just don’t need them any more,” Shannon explains.
Shannon and Kelly met at the Summit Bar Method studio. In order to become a teacher and to open your own studio (only certified Bar Method teachers can open a franchise), people must go through a long and rigorous training period, pass several written tests, and spot and assistant-teach many classes. “We had to go through a lot to get to this point and be able to open a studio, but it was totally worth it,” they say.
Both Kelly and Shannon love being in Montclair. “Our clients are all so great,” says Kelly. “It’s such an artsy, eclectic community and has such great shops and restaurants. We go to Raymond’s, Plum and Starbucks all the time, and we sometimes are able to sneak out and do a little shopping at Ruby, Tory Jane’s or Chez Renee.”
Bar Method also sells clothing including the OmGirl line, and will soon be selling Lulu Lemon. In order to participate in a class, clients must wear socks, pants below the knee, and a tank or t-shirt, all of which can be purchased at the studio.
There are several different pricing options, including a three-month unlimited package for $220/month and a new client special, which is $175 for 30 days, unlimited classes. There are also specials for fulltime teachers and students.
“It’s like a beautiful hidden treasure,” says Shannon of the space. “It feels like a sanctuary,” adds Kelly. “It’s important to us to build a community here. We know everyone’s name, and greet everyone personally when they come in. We want the experience of coming to Bar Method to be as good for people’s minds as it is for their bodies.”
For more information or to become a member:
493 Bloomfield Avenue, 2nd floor, Montclair, NJ