Tracy Anderson is the trainer who works with Madonna and Gwynnie Paltrow. I first was introduced to her via Oprah back in 2008 when Gwynnie was on singing the praises of Tracy's Method and promoting the Iron Man film. I did a youtube search and discovered several short - 5-15 minute - videos detailing Tracy's Method. I have done these for the past week and I really enjoyed them. Some of the sequences are really hard and I am already noticing a difference. I feel that my stomach is flatter and my arms seem a bit more defined. So yesterday I pulled the trigger and ordered the most popular of Tracy's exercise DVDs. They are:
I've read several reviews online and supposedly both of these workout are really really hard. I consider myself an advanced exerciser. I'm in very good cardio shape and I regularly workout with weights for strength training. The majority of the reviews stated these are very hard even for former dancers. These are not recommended for beginners. Tracy does have a Dance Cardio Beginner workout DVD as well.
Here are Tracy's recommendations:
1. Never workout with more than 3 lb weights.
2. Commit to doing these videos together 6 times per week.
3. Follow her diet plan for the best results.
I'm unsure of the 3 lb weight suggestion. I've worked out with 25 lb kettle bells and I never bulked up. But Tracy's approach is different, a lot of movement and much higher reps (60 to 100) than I am used to. No woman is ever going to build muscle like a man but I have seen those girls at the gym who lift really heavy weights and are too muscular for my taste. But this is personal preference.
The second rec about both videos 6x per week. Just an FYI each video is 50-60 minutes long so that is almost 2 hours of working out per day. I'm going to do my best to work out for 2 hours per day 4x per week. We'll see how that goes. Also, with working out as much as Tracy suggests you have to be really careful with over-training. So I plan on working up to what my body can handle.
Lastly, Tracy's diet plan: Keep in mind this is the same woman who has been in the news the past few weeks after she recommended that Jennifer Aniston go on a "baby-food" diet to prepare for a movie role. I reviewed Tracy's diet recs (you can find them on the internet) and basically she follows a no dairy, no refined sugar plan with a total calorie intake of about 1200 per day. Anyone will lose weight with calorie restriction and food group elimination. Therefore, I will not be following her diet. I plan on following my usual diet plan which is healthy clean eating with the occasional treat. The one area in my diet I would like to work on is smaller portions. Because I need to just face the facts even if I'm eating something healthy like quinoa if I have 4 cups instead of the recommended one I'm still consuming a huge amount of calories.
So I ordered the videos from Amazon.com and they shipped out yesterday via USPS from Los Angeles. I'm thinking they should be here by Friday or Saturday. I'm going to be away for several days next week so I may not have a chance to consistently try them until the following week. But I will be sure to post reviews once I start using them.
We have a large empty room in our basement so I have set that up with a TV and DVD player as my "workout" studio. Supposedly you need a good amount of space to get the most out of the dance DVD. We'll see. Tracy also has some suggestions for workouts on the treadmill which include skipping, galloping, jogging, etc for a song each. I might try this when I'm a the gym this week. I'll just have to be certain to go at a time when it is less crowded so I don't look like an idiot:)
And lastly, you may be wondering what kind of results you can expect from Tracy's Method. Tracy claims that anyone can have "a tiny ripped dancers body" if you use her Method. I'm curious about this. Many of the blog reviews and Amazon reviews I read claim drastic results. Some women have said they have completely different shaped bodies. We'll see about this. I did notice that the more I ran the bulkier my thighs and butt became....not large, just very muscular. In fact some of my pants had become tight in the thigh/butt area because of this. I've noticed that with the four weeks I've had away from running these pants are already beginning to fit again.....which is good but bad because I think I am losing muscle mass. I'm anxious to see how Tracy's Method transforms my body....supposedly her arm and leg workout are killer.
Here are links to two youtube videos. The first is a sample of her dance cardio style and the second is her leg workout.
What are your thoughts??
I have to admit I'm hooked and I can't wait to get my DVDs...so check back for my reviews and results:)