How Tracy Anderson Changed My Workouts and Body- A Detailed Review
My journey with Tracy Anderson began with a dislocated ankle and a broken leg. I ran almost daily prior to the break, and felt terrified to sit on my butt for 4 months. I desperately looked for something, anything that I could do to workout. Fast forward 2 years later, and I’m writing a Tracy Anderson review.
It’s funny how life can throw you a box of lemons, and you either decide to make lemonade or cry over the lemons. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes you have to be put on your butt to get it. In this case, the metaphor translated quite literally.
I discovered a lot of things during this time, and needed a “reset button” to allow that to happen. During the weeks leading up to my ankle surgery and a month post operation, I couldn’t do anything physical. I spent that time reading about my overall health. Not only did I discover Tracy Anderson, I also self-diagnosed myself with hypothyroidism and got a blood test to confirm it.
The signs of hypothyroidism were there since childhood, but I never slowed down long enough to pay them the attention they deserved. Likewise, I never slowed down long enough to be honest with myself about my workout regimen. I ran at least 4 miles a day, and did not have the body that I wanted. In fact, I was 15 lbs overweight. This was partially due to my hypothyroid disease, but my workout routine also had a part to play.
How Tracy Anderson Changed My Workouts
So now that you have the back story, I bet you are wondering how in the world did I use the Tracy Anderson Method with a broken leg! I found Tracy Anderson on Pinterest while searching for arm exercises. I never thought for even a second that I could do leg exercises with a broken leg.
I soon discovered that the vast majority of her leg exercises were done while on one’s hands and knees. Since my break was below the knee, I was able to do a lot of her moves. At the time, I would search Pinterest for TA arm and leg moves and create a workout list for myself.
It was not until I was in a “walking boot,” that I started Tracy Anderson Streaming. Keep in mind that I was still not allowed to put any weight on the walking boot. I would use the knee walker during the arm portion, and perform the leg moves that did not require weight on my bum leg.
So here is the interesting part : I was losing weight, my body looked leaner and I had a broken leg all at the same time. I had an Oprah aha! moment : “Running my ass off does not give me the results I want.” Yes, I am burning a lot of calories. No, I don’t have a lean and balanced body.
Keep in mind that I’ve also worked out with personal trainers for years at a time. I did not get the results I craved with their traditional forms of strength training either. I bulked up even more, and moved back to a “running only” regimen.
Let’s start with the dance/arms portion of the Tracy Anderson Master Class. I had zero rhythm prior to Tracy. My sister was the dancer, I was the tennis player. I was very uncomfortable with the moves, and mostly confused in the arm/dance-ish portion of the Master Class.
My 16 year old daughter recently told me that she is wasting her time doing a Tracy Anderson workout. Specifically, she said that she spends more time trying to figure out what Tracy Anderson is doing than actually working out.
She is right. This is exactly how you will feel in the beginning. If I had the option of running in the beginning of my Tracy Anderson journey, I would have given up and gone back to running. I crave a good sweat like anyone else.
You know how they say anything worth getting takes time and effort ? It turns out they are right.
Stick with Tracy Anderson, and you will see amazing results. It won’t happen over night, and you will want to scream at the crazy moves that she maneuvers with lightening speed. Nonetheless, its all worth it.
By the way, you absolutely will sweat during the Master Class. The Master Class is different than yoga, pilates or pure barre in that there is an element of pace. This is partially what frustrates people in the beginning, but its also what creates the calorie burn. (Disclaimer : I’m not a yoga, pilates or pure barre expert. I also have nothing against those forms of exercise. In fact, I believe the Tracy Anderson method incorporates elements of those in her Master Class. )
Tracy encourages additional cardio in the form of dance cardio if you have weight you want to lose. However, I am here to tell you that the Master Class has an element of cardio to it. Some weeks more than others, but I always sweat.
Below is a detailed explanation of the changes I experienced with my body during 2 years of working out with Tracy Anderson.
How Tracy Anderson Changed My Body
Through repeated practice, I started to understand how Tracy Anderson moved in her classes. Once that happened, I started to have more strength, balance, flexibility and a leaner physique.
No I’m not lifting 25 pound kettle bells, but I can do things I’ve never done before.
I can hold up my own weight with one arm in a really weird position while kicking one of my legs in the opposite direction. More importantly, I can do it 30 times at a crazy fast pace. Oh yeah, I can also do all that with ankle weights.
I’ve noticed some very interesting changes in my body that must be methodical on Tracy Anderson’s part. My back looks strong, yet my arms don’t look overly tone.
Proof is in the pudding, so take a look at this photo taken in Italy.
I am less impressed with my back muscles in this picture than how my “new” back makes my arms look leaner than before. I’ve previously worked my ass off to have sculpted arms, and they still bulged behind my back. I think its because my arms were not in “balance” with my back.
I think this is pretty obvious, but I am fully aware that I don’t have a perfect body. I am just a better version of me after doing the TA method for 2 years.
Anyway, Tracy’s method also really lifts your butt. More importantly, lifting your butt gets rid of saddle bags.
Stay with me. Stand in front of a mirror, and put your hands on your bum. Lift your bum, and tell me what you see in the comments below.
Yup, saddlebags are gone. Its amazing how that works…right ?
One cannot talk about the Tracy Anderson Method without discussing the core. Interestingly, I’ve noticed that the TA method works the obliques or lateral portions of the core more than the center.
Again, I think this is done to design a strong but also feminine looking core.
I still have a long way to go in my core, as this my stubborn area. However, I bet those abs look amazing under the layer of fat and loose skin!
What you need to get started with the Tracy Anderson Method
First and foremost, you will need patience! After you have resolved to be confused for a while, you will need a few other things.
Every Tracy Anderson Master Class uses 1.5 ankle weights, 2.5 ankle weights and 3 lb hand weights. You can get them here.
After a while, your ankle weights will get sweaty and start to fall off. I found this trick to keep them on. I tuck them under my leggings.
I also strongly suggest you buy a full length mirror. We are building a new house that will have a dedicated gym, but its the kid’s music room for now. I can throw the mirror in the closet after I complete the workout.
The mirror is important to make sure you are using correct form. Look at every detail of how Tracy performs the move, and mimic it to your best ability. Its important to watch her do the move a few times before you perform it yourself. Trust me, she will do it more times than you can handle anyway.
Lastly, you will read that Tracy Anderson keeps her studios at 86 degrees Fahrenheit and 70% humidity. Prior to incorporating heat and humidity into my home workouts, I went to one of her Master Class’s in New York City.
I thought I was going to have a heat stroke, and so did my sister. I would have to walk outside the room every 15-20minutes to cool down.
I understand her reasoning behind adding the heat and humidity, however I think one should still use their own common sense. If you are feeling lethargic, light headed, have a tingling sensation, or nauseous then you are overheated. Not everyone is in the physical condition to handle heat and humidity while strenuously working out. I certainly was not in the beginning of my TA journey.
I did not add the heat and humidity to my home workouts until recently.
I’ve just now started adding the heat and humidity in hopes that it will help my skin tighten around my core. Stay tuned on whether that actually happens! Admittedly, I am enjoying the additional sweat that the heat and humidity induces. I feel like I am getting a sauna session, and a workout at the same time! Tracy recommends an infrared heater like this one.
I hope this post gave you a realistic peek inside the Tracy Anderson method. I wish you all the best in whatever fitness journey you are on!