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A note on Tracy Anderson

March 24, 2009

I’m adding this to my entry on Tracy Anderson because I’m getting a lot of hits on that entry and a lot of people clicking over to check out the diet espoused by Ms Anderson. But I decided to make it a separate entry as well because it makes a point that I think can’t be made too many times.

Because this entry keeps getting a lot of hits from people searching for things like “how to eat like tracy anderson” or “gwyneth paltrow’s diet” and lots of outgoing traffic to the article on Tracy Anderson’s diet plan, I felt like I needed to say something.

This woman, Tracy Anderson, does not have any kind of special magic knowledge. I don’t care that she’s skinny or that Gwyneth and Madonna are also skinny. I don’t care that she was on Oprah. I don’t care that there are people out there desperate, rich and/or stupid enough to pay $900/month to train at her facility. There is absolutely nothing new or revolutionary about what she is doing.

If you eat much less food than you need (aka: starve yourself) and workout 12 hours per week, then you will lose weight. You could eat all of you daily calories from twinkies and exercise only by doing a gentle walk for two hours, you would still lose weight.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret the diet and fitness industry don’t always want you to know: results are really easy to get. It’s really not hard to get people to drop weight. You find a way to get them to cut their calorie intake – in Anderson’s case, you give them a meal plan which doesn’t ever contain more than 1200 calories in a single day – and/or you sell them some great new exercise paradigm (which only serves to burn calories like every single other type of exercise out there.)

Success is really hard to come by though. What’s success? Continuing to lose weight beyond the first few months. Maintaining a weight loss for years without having to give up a ridiculous amount of time or mental energy. Being healthier, stronger and fitter (not just fitting into children’s jeans.) For a diet/fitness guru who claims to have some super new method, success would mean, imnsho, doing this for many people.

What has Tracy Anderson actually done? She has kept two women who have always been thin, thin. She spends hours each week working out with them personally. They both have people that can prepare fresh, possibly tasty food for them. Wow, give me two women who have never even been overweight, give me hours to train with them and give them each a chef and I too will keep them thin.

I don’t know why you’re interested in this woman. Maybe, like me, you are fascinated and frustrated by how it always seems that the people in the fitness industry who know the least get the most attention. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that beauty only happens between sizes 00 and 2. Maybe you’re not healthy or happy and you’re desperate to feel better.

If you’re in the last two categories, do yourself a favor and don’t waste your time or especially your money on people like Ms Anderson. Really, starving yourself and spending 2 hours a day, six days every week on exercise is not a revolution, it’s a disorder. There is good information out there on how to improve health regardless of weight and there are many many many people out there writing about health, self-image and living your life in bodies of all sizes.

So go ahead and eat plenty of nourishing and delicious food, feel free to pick up things that are heavier than 3lbs and don’t give people like Tracy Anderson any more undeserved attention or money.

  1. March 25, 2009 1:52 am

    Well, there are people who feel that if something is expensive it has to be good, and also people who feel that if rich people are buying it, it must be worthwhile.

    • March 25, 2009 6:47 am

      Yeah, after all if it didn’t work then she couldn’t charge so much for membership!

  2. no one permalink
    June 9, 2009 3:31 pm

    It’s called Demonoid. You get to try the workout, she gets no money and no attention. I have been working out 5 days a week, 4-5 days for ten years. Yes I started working out when I was 12, in my defense, I was a fatty, for real, not an imaginary one. Anyway, after 10 years of workouts and workout magazines, you have kinda been around the different exercises. And yes, I bulk, its genetic, my biceps are bigger than my boyfriends and I have to buy jeans a size bigger so they can fit at the thigh, because I bulk. I downloaded T.A`s workouts from demonoid, I like them, they’re new, challenging, and so far I haven’t bulked, or de-bulked. Nevertheless, my point is, if I even had one, I still eat…like a normal person. And I still do T.A`s workouts, for free.

  3. no one permalink
    June 9, 2009 3:33 pm

    I’m just wondering, exactly how many calories do her workouts burn, because I can’t find this info anywhere. I figure that her workout is like calesthenics, am I right? If someone knows how many calories these workouts burn please tell me.

    • gabrielle-j permalink
      July 5, 2010 9:40 am

      yes, i agree the mat workout is like calisthenics. i had a book on calisthenics, but get more motivated going along with TA’s dvd. but it seems am bulking. dunno. gab

  4. Jennifer Asuary permalink
    January 24, 2010 6:19 pm

    I watched her cardio vid, though I didn’t actually do it (probably takes an hour just to learn the routines). She is literally doing high impact the whole time, at an extremely fast pace. It’s probably the exercise equivalent of light sprinting or Tae Bo.

    My guess would be that her cardio video burns around 400 calories for the average woman in all 50 minutes, as you are leaping up the entire time and never slow down.

    And by the way, I don’t much about her or like / dislike her. Those are just my initial thoughts upon seeing the vid. I agree with the author of the article that she has a sketchy past but I still like what I see in the video and I’d love to incorporate it into my routine. It looks fun, and hard.

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