Ok, so I'm not really a fan of the Tracey Anderson Method.
I'm not going to say it doesn't work.. it can. I mean, it does.
It's just not my style.
Tracey's schtick is that you work the "accessory muscles" instead of the prime movers, you end up long lean and girly, instead of the size and bulk you would get from weight training.
Gwenyth Paltrow credits The Tracey Anderson Method with getting her in wicked shape to play Pepper Pots in Iron Man 2, opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, who's Iron Man 2 workouts I covered earlier in the week.
Here is the Scoop on the Tracey Anderson Method:
1.) They steal every hip abduction and extension move from Buns of Steel and Pilates.
2.) They include 60 minutes of dance cardio
3.) The calories are extremely low
4.) The food is extremely clean (she says "frozen peaches are your new ice cream")
Why "The Method" Works
There is actually a lot that works about the Tracey Anderson method. Anyone that's ever taken a really kick ass dance cardio class (I used to like the old Nike Rockstar classes) knows that it really is an hour of intense cardio.
Because it's dancing, and not running on a treadmill, it's more fun and people work harder. And working hard always works.
This is the concept that Jazzercize and a million other dance based Group Exercise classes are based on.
It gets people moving, a lot, and people like it.
On top of that, there is an emphasis on precision movement, and I'm all for anything where people are practicing better movement.
As far as all those moves to hammer your butt, it's looks like they do about a thousand moves that hit your glute maximus and your glute medius. That means that it does, in fact, really work your butt.
If you ever did Buns of Steel in the 80's, you know, it actually really does kick your ass.
Tracey Advocates a low calorie, super clean diet, and that always works.
Why "The Method" Blows
Ok, first off, Tracey Anderson says that "No woman should ever work out with more than 3 pounds."
I just don't buy the whole "Women have to be weak to look feminine" thing. I don't think anyone has to be weak. If I take out the trash, the trash is more than 3 pounds. And no one ever "bulked up" from taking out the trash.
Look, I've actually seen super light – ultra high rep workouts work. It just takes lots… and lots… and lots… … … … and lots… … … … …of reps.
Watch some of the Tracey Anderson Method videos and you'll see them doing movements for 40-100 reps. It turns into an ultra endurancy kind of thing, like running instead of strength training.
It can work, the same way that marathon running can work.
But it takes about four hours more gym time per week, and because this kind of workout can often be muscle wasting you have to eat a lot less food to keep your weight down.
Let me repeat – You could produce the same fat loss result, with half as much time in the gym, and get to eat more food, with a smart strength training program.
I just like to have my client's workouts be more efficient than that.
My favorite part: In this video of Gwyneth and Tracey:
Tracey says that no women should ever lift more than 3lbs.
Immediately, Gwyneth mentions that she carries her kid, who is 30lbs, around with her left arm. And that her left arm is her lean arm. Gwyneth says that the right arm, the one she's only been lifting 3 pounds with, is the one that has the fat hanging off of it.
Anyone else see any irony in this?
I'm Not Knocking Tracey Anderson, or Gwyneth Paltrow
Actually, I think she's super charismatic, and her class looks really fun.
She does an awesome job of selling her philosophy, and making it fresh and new and unique.
If you really want to try The Tracey Anderson Method, I recommend totally ruining everything she preaches by adding a couple strength training days – maybe two days per week of strength training and two days per week of "The Method".
I just think it's a lot more gym time than most of my clients have.
And that with this kind of workout, you aren't going to get to eat as much food as if you were strength training.
And for the record, I think Gwyneth looks awesome as Pepper Potts in Iron Man 2. I just prefer the more superhero look of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow!
by Josh Hillis, RKC2, CPT, PES, ZMRS, ZMIS
If you didn't get it yesterday, make sure to pick up my friend Arnel's free report: 5 Reasons Your Workout Sucks! and make sure you aren't making any of the Big Five Mistakes!