WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Four months after opening in West Caldwell, co-owners and instructors Gina Striffler and Kathy Costello of The Bar Method, located at 555 Passaic Avenue, recently held a commemorative ribbon cutting ceremony to officially celebrate its grand opening.

Michael Daniels and Rafael Mirandam, members of the North Essex Chamber of Commerce (NECC), joined the owners, clients, family and friends in cutting the ribbon to mark the occasion. 

Costello shared that the concept behind The Bar Method, and why it is so effective, is to contract and strengthen the muscles first and then stretch and lengthen them. 

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"There are no gimmicks," she said. "It's a magical combination of strengthening and stretching that is really body sculpting and pure exercise."

She explained that the studio floor has thick padding and carpeting so the exercises are good for the joints. She also said that the class utilizes light weights in order to isolate the muscles and use the weights efficiently and effectively so the exercise is good for the body. 

"Our exercises are designed with physical therapy input and approval," said Costello. "The Bar Method exercises are very mindful and meant to be good and safe for your body but very effective."

Costello added that she and Striffler also make it a point to know all their clients by name and to give each client personal attention. 

"In our classes, we are able to focus on each individual's form and give them the personal attention that they need while allowing them to work in their own space," said Costello. "We are building a community of positivity. We are open to everyone. No prior experience, body type or fitness level is needed."

In order to help build a community within The Bar Method studio, Costello and Striffler incorporated a Bingo challenge and a Book Club into the grand opening. 

Costello explained that the Bingo challenge is made up of achievable things, such as drinking water in class and completing three acts of kindness.

 "We also do a lot of collaboration with small business owners and the community," she said. "Our doors are open to everyone, and we truly mean that."

Although Striffler also owns The Bar Method in Madison, Costello joined her for the first time to open the West Caldwell studio.

"Gina is the vision behind it all and has an amazingly creative mind," Costello said. "We make a really good team." 

According to the website, The Bar Method Caldwells is a boutique fitness studio offering barre classes for students of all levels. The signature method uses body weight, the ballet barre and a few props to create a transformative workout that results in long, lean, sculpted muscles.

Not only do classes reshape the entire body, but the website explains that it allows participants to channel their inner strength and leave class feeling strong, confident and poised. Highly trained instructors customize the exercises to ensure that the classes are safe and effective for any age and every body, including modifications for pregnant women and students with injuries.