My workout journey with the Tracy Anderson Method

Right now I feel like someone took me by both arms and both legs and pulled me in 4 different directions…to the point where my arms and legs almost…but not quite…came out of their sockets. That’s how sore I am! It’s a deep inner muscular sore…it’s a Tracy Anderson Method sore. I’ve been doing Tracy’s method for about a year and 1/2 now…so, I’m very familiar with this type of soreness…and, oddly enough, I’ve grown to appreciate it.

I’ve always been the workout type. Since my mid 20′s I’ve been a “workout 6 days a week” kind of girl. I’m the type that gets in a funk if I don’t get my early morning workout in…and if I go for a couple of days without a workout…you don’t even want to be around me…just ask my sweet husband. ;)  The Tracy Anderson Method is a 6 day a week program…and it’s one that you have to be consistent with in order to see results…so, it’s right up my alley. :)

You may or may not be familiar with Tracy’s method. She’s known as a celebrity trainer, with clients like Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Cox, and Shakira…among many others. She has various DVDs on the market now that allow non-celebs like me to benefit from her method while working out in the privacy of our own homes. Her method focuses on the smaller accessory muscles in the body…instead of the larger muscle groups…to achieve a long, lean physique instead of a bulky one. This philosophy appealed to me because I’ve got an athletic build…I tend to bulk and look squatty instead of long and lean. Of course, I’m only 5’4 so looking really “long” is not physically possible. But, a little less bulk and lengthening my muscles as much as possible sounds like a good plan to me. :)

I started her method with her Mat DVD…

…then I completed her Perfect Design Series I, II, III…

…then I moved on to her 90 day Metamorphosis program…

…now I’m working her Continuity program which is the follow-up program to the Metamorphosis. Yes, Tracy and I have been in cahoots for quite some time. ;)

Tracy’s method includes mat (muscular structure) work with dance cardio compliment DVD’s. One of the things I love about this program is that I can do it from home…which works great for someone like me who likes to get up early and get my workout groove on before the rest of the house wakes. On many mornings my hubby is at the fire station so heading off to the gym at 5:00am is not an option for me. You also don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment…you simply need your DVD, a yoga mat, some 3lb free weights and on certain workouts you’ll need light ankle and wrist weights.

Tracy recommends doing only her method for the best results…meaning only her strength training and only her TA approved cardio. Her approved cardio includes her dance cardio, her treadmill dance cardio, and rebounder workouts. I really love her dance cardio…it’s a fun, tough workout…but, it’s really really hard on my shins and joints. So, I’ve been rotating her dance cardio with her treadmill workout and her rebounder workout…trying to switch it up each day. This plan seems to make my joints the happiest. :)  She also recommends never…ever…using more than 3lbs weights for your upper body work. This part of the program has been tough for me. It was tough to go from weight training, spinning, running, taking various classes at the gym…to simply working one method of exercise.

So, when I first started her method I was still running and taking spin classes…I simply incorporated her method into my normal routine. Even though I wasn’t technically “sticking to the plan” I was very pleased with the results…I was gaining a ton of core strength which is important to me because I’ve got a bad disc in my low back…and I definitely noticed a tighter higher toosh. :)  I swear prior to starting her program no matter how much I worked out or what type of exercise I did…my toosh seemed to be sliding down the back of my legs the older I got! Sorry for the pathetic picture I probably just put in your head. ;)  Anyway, there were many things that I loved about the program so I decided last spring to completely devote all of my workout time to Tracy…do nothing at all besides Tracy’s method.

Again, I’ve been very happy with the results…but, I now find myself at another cross roads. I’m starting to go a little stir crazy. It’s funny, because one of the things I love about TAM is that I can do it from home…but, it’s that exact part that starts to drive me up a wall…because I’m the type that needs some variety! Plus, being a work from home Mom keeps me crazy busy, but at HOME a lot. I’m feeling the need to break free of these walls! :)

So, while I LOVE me some Tracy…I think I’m going to start incorporating more outside stuff into my routine. I always get the itch this time of year, once the weather starts getting a little cooler, to get outdoors and run. So, I’m thinking of doing some more outdoor types of cardio to break up the home bound routine a bit for the sake of my sanity! My plan is to keep changing things up so that I don’t do any specific thing (such as running) more than once a week…and I plan on rotating other things on days between her TA approved cardio. I still love her program, I just want to get out and about a bit.  I’ll keep you guys posted on how it’s goes. :)

Obviously I haven’t gone into a lot of detail on the specific parts of her method…but, if I did that, this would be one SERIOUSLY long post! I could honestly go on for days about Tracy’s method…I think she’s wonderful and any method that gives you a tight flat tummy and a perky toosh at 40 with two small kids is one heck of a program!! :)  For those of you who are interested, I will dive into the specifics of her program…and how it’s treating me…via future posts.

In the meantime, if you follow Tracy’s method, comment on this post and let me know your thoughts. Do you follow the method full time, or do your incorporate it into other routines? How long have you been working the method and are you pleased with your results? Lastly, if you are interested in her method and have questions…comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them based on my experience. You can also check out her program via her website or take a look at her facebook page…it’s a GREAT resource for TA followers! :)

Have a FABULOUS weekend!

Health & Hugs ~ Melissa :)

 

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About Melissa

I've been blessed with an amazing husband, Tyler and two amazing children, Mia who is 5yrs old and Luke who is 3yrs old. Our entire family has a passion for food. We see food as a means of nutrition, something wonderful to enjoy and indulge in, and meals...if we are doing them right...serve as a fun social experience too! Food definitely brings this family together!
Our family, as a whole, eats a mostly vegetarian diet...although we do consume meat and fish, on occasion. So, I'm always looking for and trying out new vegetarian and vegan recipes that hopefully all of us will enjoy.
Besides food, we are passionate about gardening. We have an organic veggie garden in our backyard that provides a good portion of the veggies that we consume. The kids love to jump in and get their hands dirty and it's crazy how much they already know about gardening! It makes my husband and me so happy to think that they will (hopefully) carry this experience and lifestyle into their futures.
I'm also passionate about learning new ways to lead a healthy lifestyle and provide one for my family...and, I love sharing these ideas with anyone who is interested in hearing about them! So, as I discover recipes and other healthy happy things I will share them...and when you discover some yourself...I'd love for you to share them with me! :)

Comments

  1. Karla says:

    Hi Melissa glad to have found your blog ! I too am doing tracy and on to cont. Lvl 2 now. I used to be a professional athlete in Australia but now with 2 kids found it hard to find time to keep fit. I had Billy muscles too that I wanted to get rid of and her method seems to have done the trick! I do a lot Of my own cardio though and make sure I do muscular everyday. So happy with results!

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Karla, we’re glad you found us! :) Funny…I too am on cont level 2!! I love her MS and I also make sure to do it every day. It’s helped me a lot to alternate her DC, treadmill workout, and her rebounder workout for my cardio. It keeps me from getting burned out and keeps the aches and pains away because I’m switching it up each day. And, yes, It’s definitely a whole different workout world when you’re juggling a couple of kiddos! :) Thank you for commenting! Keep me posted on your TA journey and I will do the same. :)

  2. Camille says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for posting your blog on the TA page. I’m a work at home mom of two toddlers (3 later this month and 18 months) who lives in Austin. I’ve done Tracy Anderson workouts in fits and starts during the last few years (while having babies). I started Metamorphosis in February and had great results. Then, for some reason I went in search of something “better”. I just wasn’t as focused even though I was still working out. I’m back on Continuity now (couldn’t bear to go back to the beginning) and slowly seeing results come back. I do Zumba for my cardio mostly because I get problems with my knees and shins from dance cardio, too and I LOVE Zumba. I know what you mean about the itch to get outside now that the mornings are cooling off in Austin, but I haven’t made any decisions on that one. :-)

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Camille,
      Thanks so much for checking out our site and my post…and for commenting! :)
      I’ve heard TONS of great stuff about Zumba…but, I’ve never tried it. They teach the classes at my gym so I need to check it out! I’m assuming it’s similar to DC without all of the impact jumping?? I did Tracy’s treadmill workout this morning on the trail near my house ~ WOW ~ crazy good workout…a lot tougher than on the treadmill! I have a feeling I’m going to be “feeling it” when I wake tomorrow! ;) Thanks again for commenting and keep me posted on your progress! :)

    • Michele says:

      Hi Camille,

      I too made it through the 90 day TAM (Meta Omni) then took a break from it not knowing if I really wanted to pay $30/month forever. That was in November and I want to get back on the program. How much time did you take off? Where in the program did you re-start?

      Thanks

  3. molly says:

    Just an idea for new cardio. I do cardio on my Pilates Reformer trampoline. I just freestyle on it and it is a ton of fun. You should google Pilates Reformer classes in your area and call them to see if they have jumpboard or cardio tramp classes. They are a TON of fun and very similar to TA. I have been doing them in combination with DC, and the treadmill routine. Also, Pure Barre or The Bar Method are great classes that are very similar to Tracy Anderson’s MS work. I do all of these classes off and on when I feel like I just need to change it up and get out of the house. Oh and “The Body Lab” is another great class you can take.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks so much for the info Molly! I’ve heard a lot about the Pure Barre and Bar Method…I’m going to have to check those out! Is the Pilates trampoline different than a basic rebounder? I started doing Tracy’s rebounder workout about a month ago and I love it! It’s really been a joint/shin saver! Thanks again for the info and thanks for viewing our site and for commenting! :)

  4. Kendra says:

    Melissa,
    do any of these video’s overlap? For example, I have her dance cardio II. Does the Design series have my video and the other two (I, and III)?
    Kendra

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Kendra,
      No, the videos don’t overlap…at least none of them that I have…and I have most of her videos. Hope this helps! :)

  5. amy says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I too am a mom of two (4 and 3 yo) and am just starting the meta abcentric and having extreme difficulties with the dance cardio. My shins, hip flexors , feet and joints are all soo sore. Not only am I sore, I can’t get into the swing of the cardio.. it doesn’t make sense to me and i’m getting bored and just counting down the minutes until its over. Have you found if you just do traditional high impact cardio (ie running on treadmill) you can get the same results? I’d love some info from someone who made it through the 90 days!

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Amy, I COMPLETELY understand your frustration…the cardio is tough…very tough on your body until you get used to it! :( But, don’t let it detour you from her method…I LOVE it and what it’s done for my body!! I’ve got an athletic build so I get a squatty/bulky look with other forms of exercise…and I’ve tried it all…I’ve been an avid workout person for the past 20 years! For cardio, I would suggest just mixing various things up until you get used to her cardio and start to enjoy it. For example, mix up DC with her treadmill workout (it ROCKS and I even do it outdoors sometimes), or try her rebounder workout that’s on you tube if you have access to a rebounder, or simply do whatever form of cardio that works for you and that you will enjoy. Keep adding in her DC here and there (either every other day or every 3rd day, etc)…so that your body will slowly get used to it…without injury, and you’ll start to really look forward to dancing…I promise! :) It does take a while to get into the DC groove…and when I say a while, I mean that it took over a year for me to really start liking it and looking forward to doing it. The main thing is to just alternate stuff so that you don’t bulk…if you run one day, do something completely different the next…then something else the 3rd day, etc. If you are constantly changing things up each day, you’ll do great…you’ll get results…and you won’t bulk. I’m on day 207 of Omni Cont and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE her method! So, have faith and don’t get discouraged…just make sure you “move” for at least 30 min of cardio…whatever makes you feel good and happy…5 or 6 days a week. And, keep us posted on how you’re doing!! :)

  6. Brette Konopka says:

    Hello Melissa! This is a great post about the TAM, thank you! I am just now finding her and her workouts. What do you suggest I start with? Should I start her mat DVD then follow with the Design Series, then Metamorphosis? Or should I just start Metamorphosis with confidence that she will continue with better, newer workouts in the future? I, too am 5’4″ with two kids and I tend to bulk easily. I’ve done P90X and Insanity and TurboFire. I get results, but they’re not exaclty the results I am after. I would love to get longer and leaner so this program does excite me, however, as someone else has said…paying the $30/month forever is a bit much! Do you find that this is worth it and look at it like a gym membership payment? Keep us posted on your journey with the TAM =)

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Brette! I would suggest starting with her Meta program…based on your body type. They are all good…but, the Meta is her newer program and considering the fact that she suggests switching up your routine every 10 days, this program is ongoing so it works well with that theory. Yes, paying $30 per month continuously is something to think about…but, it’s really not anymore expensive (if not less) than a gym membership…so, I personally think it’s worth the investment in yourself. It’s a definite commitment and lifestyle change even without her diet plan (I’ve never done her diet plan myself) but if you’re consistent, you’ll love the results, and there’s a lot of support on her community page via her website and also on her facebook page. I myself am taking a little break from TAM right now…simply because I’m starting a 12 week training program for a 1/2 marathon…but, I plan on picking it back up in a few months once I’ve completed my 1/2 training. Best of luck with your TAM journey, let me know if you have any other questions that I might be able to help with, and keep us posted on your results! :)

  7. M says:

    Hi! I just purchased Tracy’s PDS, but I am wondering what are the instructions on when to move to the next level? I’ve read a few different options (10 days per level, one month per level)… I am curious if anyone knows which will produce the best results? Also, I don’t have her DC DVD, just a treadmill at home.. I am hoping I could just do an hour of cardio every other day in combination with the PDS everyday to get good results.. Any help is Greatly appreciated!
    Thanks so much for your time!
    M

    • Melissa says:

      I used her PDS series prior to her Meta plan coming out…I loved it! I too heard different thoughts on when to move from one to another. I personally thought 10 days for each was too short…considering the cost of them, etc. I did each video…PDSI, PDSII, etc for a full month and then once I had gone through all three, I went back to the first and went back through all three of them adding wrist and ankle weights. That worked great for me…I got great results, got a good amount of time/workouts from each DVD, etc. Her mat work (muscular structure) is definitely the most important part of her program…so, be consistent with that for good results. That being said, cardio is a must but I personally don’t think you need it every day…just do it every other day and see how that works for you. Good luck & keep us posted on your progress! :)

  8. Michelle says:

    I just started the omni. I’m on day 3 of the program. I am soo sore but in a good way. A little achy also but I’m following the diet to the T. Before this I was cycling twice a week, doing a very little walk/run 2x a week and lifting for 1 hr 2x a week and I have been gaining. Nothing fits and I’m up 7 pounds. I don’t understand my body. Out of frustration I bought this program. I really hope to see results. I feel them but I always get sore when I start something new. I’m committed to giving 100% and following the diet. I don’t like the cardio part. I sprained my ankle yesterday. Any motivational tips?

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I’ve never done her diet plan…I eat a mostly vegan/very clean diet so I never felt the need for her diet plan. I’ve heard it’s pretty strict…especially considering the workout plan…so, my advice would be to add a little extra (healthy) food if/when you need it. Don’t restrict yourself too much or you’ll end up sick or so frustrated that you can’t stick to the workout plan. Her META program that you’re on will definitely not bulk you up at all…at times you will be sore and will retain some water because of it…but, just be patient and you’ll see results. I’ve always alternated her cardio with other stuff…that simply worked best for me. Her dance cardio is too hard on my shins & joints if I try to do it more than 2 days in a row. So, I would do DC one day, rebounder the next, walk or run the next, step mill the next, etc. Just pick a few forms of cardio and keep changing it up to avoid injury. Of course, if you’ve just sprained your ankle you probably can’t do any of those things and just need to REST right now! If I were you I would do the mat work 6 days a week as she suggests (modify moves if any bother your ankle) and stick to your diet plan of healthy foods. You will still see & feel results without the cardio. Once your ankle is better then you can mix up your cardio as you wish. I hope this helps! Stay positive…you’re doing GREAT…and keep us posted on your results! :)

  9. Amy says:

    Hello, Just curious which rebounder you use for the Tracy Anderson workouts. Thanks!

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Amy,
      I use an Urban Rebounder…just one that I found on Craigslist. It’s held up well for the past couple of years with continuous use…so, I’ve been happy with it.
      Best,
      Melissa

  10. Alicia says:

    Hi Melissa thanks so much for these notes.

    Like you have kids and although really enjoy working out have a hard time finding long stretches of time doing it. So can you give me more of an idea about how long of a period you think is realistic every day? I have not bought the program yet have been doing some videos from Youtube on my treadmill then arms but I read where she wants 1.5 hours a day is that right?

    Any information you can share on time would be great thanks

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Alicia,
      With her META plan there is a 30 min mat (muscular structure) workout 6 days a week and a suggested 30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week….so, no it’s not 1.5 hours a day…but, it is 1 hour. That being said, I think the most important part of her program is her mat work…so, if you can do that 6 days a week and then just get your cardio in whenever it works for your schedule…that’s great too! I found that getting my 30 minutes minimum cardio at least every other day was sufficient for me if I was being consistent with her mat workouts. I hope this helps and keep us posted on your progress.
      Best,
      Melissa

  11. Kristina says:

    Hi!

    I’m just starting the metamorphasis program and have a question on the approved cardio. I will be doing the workouts in my apartment, and all the bouncing involved in the cardio dance workout is just not a possibility for me. My downstairs neighbour would not be too happy! Do you think the rebounder cardio workout would be enough on its own, to cover off the cardio portion of the program?

    Thanks!

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Kristina,
      Yes, I think the rebounder cardio will be enough on it’s own…but, you might get bored with the repetition if that’s your only form of cardio. Have you tried her treadmill workout? It’s a great form of cardio and if you don’t have access to a treadmill you can even do it outdoors…I’ve done it on the trails around my neighborhood and it’s a killer form of cardio! Basically as long as you are mixing things up and not doing the same thing over and over (like running multiple days a week, etc) you’ll get great results. I hope this helps and keep us posted with your results. :)
      Best,
      Melissa

  12. kim says:

    Hi. My name is kim. I originally started out with Tracy’s mat dvd….next came metamorphosis for abs…now I purchased the 30.00 per month continuity program for abs. I really love it. I noticed in her bonus arms that she is wearing wrist weights. I emailed and called the Tracy Anderson reps to find out the actual recommendation for the weight amount. I could only find 1 poind and 2 pound wrist weights. Do you thi k that will be too much? The only time I have seen her with the wrist weights is in the bonus abs section….oh yeah…as far as her diet goes….I could never completely follow that. I am a vegetarian who is thinking about going vegan. I eat 6 times a day. I dont think that could ever be enough food for me.

    • Melissa says:

      No, I don’t think either 2 or 1 pound weights would be too much for her bonus arms section. Start with 1 pound and if that seems too easy you can always go up to 2 pounds. I probably wouldn’t go any higher than that though. I’m with you on the diet part…I think if you’re eating clean and healthy then you’ll get great results, have plenty of energy to get through your workouts, and feel great! Thanks for commenting and keep us posted on your progress! :)

  13. Adelaide says:

    Your blog posts on Tracy Anderson motivated me to finally get out there and create a blog – thank you! You inspired me to write a review on my own experiences of leaving the weights and cardio room after 8 years and I converted to Tracy. She has almost negligible knowledge when it comes the human movement and physiology – but her method truly is working and I reaping the ‘teeny-tiny’ benefits just after 5 weeks. It isn’t for everyone but she is onto something!I also included your blog in my post, just discussing how going stir crazy may be an issue. How have you overcome it? Have you mixed things up since? Cheers, Adelaide x

  14. Candice says:

    Hi Melissa, I want to try Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis program but i don’t want to give up my day of CrossFit and three days of body pump ( full body weights ) do you think i will still get really good results or don’t even bother?
    Thank so much,
    Candice

    • Candace says:

      I actually have a similar question. The Tracy cardio kills my calves and shins. I need to give my legs a rest, so I do it every other day. I love weightlifting, so I supplement with Jillan Michaels body revolution – she does a lot of weight work. I feel very strong, but don’t seem to shed much weight. Granted, I’m probably right where I should be size and weight wise. I also love Crossfit and would like to work that into my cycle too. Has anyone taken that approach, successfully?

  15. Sanra says:

    Hi, very nice blog
    I am very interested in Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis but i heard that her workouts are not safe for knees and lower back; what do you think about that? thanks in advance

  16. Sheridan says:

    Is there a treadmill DVD available from Tracy? I can only find snippets on You Tube!

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