Sometime early this year, I decided to start a completely new exercise routine that I had been hearing raving reviews for; Tracy Anderson Method.
It all started with an innocent if at all a bit vain google search that read like “Body Metamorphosis”. As you can expect Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis popped up in the top 3 search results.
Tracy Anderson’s method is broken down in 4 DVD’s (1 dance video and 3 Muscular structure workouts). You even get to choose the Method based on your body type: omnicentric, abcentric, hipcentric or glutecentric. I decided to choose Omnicentric because I honestly could not figure out which body type I am… *gulp* 😦
I started the routine like I start almost everything; full gusto…The DVD’s come with a small pamphlet of food plan with menu items that would fill your appetite if you were a bird …a sparrow to be precise! It also comes with a pamphlet to track your progress (which I actually loved).
Tracy wants you to do 30 minutes of her dance routine followed by 30 minutes of the Transform DVD. Each Transform DVD has 3 unique workouts and is supposed to be completed in 30 days after which you move on to the next DVD and so forth. Here is my honest unequivocal review of her method.
1) Dance Cardio: I really enjoyed the dance DVD the first few weeks. The first time I tried it I absolutely loved it. I was jumping around like a little girl in my living room and all the movement got my blood pumping and my mood elevated. The choreography is fun although difficult to follow at first, but Tracy does mention that if you cannot follow along you can freestyle it. I always believe that any exercise is better than no exercise and had no issues with free styling a large part of her moves. In the end, I was sweating like a dog and felt really happy almost euphoric.
2) Any exercise is better than no exercise. This is also true for Tracy’s method. Tracy wants you to get a combination of cardio and body transforming muscle conditioning exercises on a daily basis (6 days a week) in order to make the change happen. In that, it is pretty effective. Both the 30-minute dance and 30-minute muscular workouts got me sweating and my muscles exhausted. Her workouts are constantly changing which causes sufficient muscle confusion so you do not plateau and continue seeing results.
3) Muscular Transformation exercises are really good. This is not your typical High-Intensity Jillian Michael workout. These moves are mostly stationary done either standing or on your hands and knees. The focus is on intensity, repetition and muscle confusion. In just 30 days of working out to her routines, I did notice a definite muscle conditioning and my arms and legs felt stronger and looked more toned.
1) Dance Routine: Now for the cons. While I loved her dance routine the first 2-3 weeks, I started to tire off within a month of the same dance routine. The idea of using the same routine for an additional 2 months was really wearing on me. I even tried muting her audio and playing my own numbers, but I do enjoy variety. Also by the 3rd week my knees were really starting to buckle and hurt and I needed a break.
2) Muscle definition Transform 2 DVD. Tracy is the queen of creating hard to follow exercises and really does not provide sufficient instructions during the routines. What’s more each week her workouts got not only harder but I feel: quicker and jerkier. What I mean is that she does not give you enough time to move from one sequence to the next, and I almost always ended up jerking my neck and back. I really did not enjoy her Transform DVD 2 and for a couple more weeks went back to her Transform 1.
3) Diet Plan: I cannot speak enough on how dangerous, amateur and irresponsible her meal plan is. The fact that I tried to follow it for a couple weeks is something I am really not proud of. To start with I was not doing her workout to lose weight but to tone up. Her meal plan assumes that you are either a sparrow or you are working out to lose tons of weight. The truth is even if you are trying to lose weight, if you are exercising as much as she wants you to, it is essential to give your body wholesome nutrition so it can sustain the new and strenuous exercise routine. Her meal plan clearly lacks detailed research. I felt it was loosely put together without making sure that you get a good combination of proteins, minerals, carbs and fat required to sustain a healthy body. In just 2 weeks of following her meal plan I lost 4 pounds (which I did not need to) but I also lost tons of hair (which I definitely did not want to). I have since thrown away her diet plan and continued eating a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Overview: Even though I only lasted on Tracy’s method for a Month and a half in all honesty her workout cannot be completely dissed. Her muscle-conditioning routines are good and you do feel the burn in a very short time. I would have continued with Tracy Anderson’s workouts if the moves weren’t too fast, jerky and complicated for me to follow. I am taking a break from her workouts and am instead doing Piloxing by Viveca Jenson which I absolutely love and will soon do a review of. In all honesty if you are able to follow Tracy’s moves you will see results but be prepared to be really patient and expect little instructions during the program.