Dear Tracy Anderson Hater’s Club

Dear Tracy Anderson Hater's Club: A review of the Tracy Anderson Method

 

Welcome to my site! I’m so glad to have you here. Are you looking for a different opinion on the Tracy Anderson Method? Well, read on, because I’m about to get pretty opinionated.

Before the rant begins: While this is all about exercise, I believe in the 80/20 rule, weight loss/maintenance is 80% what you eat and 20% about how you move. I fully recognize that the majority of the changes I have seen in my own body are because I completely changed what I was eating. Also, I didn’t follow any Tracy Anderson meal plans.

Want to know what I did for my diet? Start your journey right now, grab the meal plan by dropping your email in the box below. I’d love to show you how to do it too!

Also, so you know where I am coming from, I have been an avid exerciser for over 15 years. I have taken every kind of class that is out there. I have had a personal trainer. I have spent hours and hours and hours lifting (very heavy!) weights at the gym. I have run, swam, and played on every piece of gym equipment you can think of. You name it, I’ve tried it.

Oh, how the internet loves to hate on Tracy! There are a few recurring complaints that seem to pop up over and over again when discussing Tracy and her Method, and I wanted to take a moment and give my own opinion/viewpoint about those things.

First up, no woman should lift more than 3-pound weights, ever. Ok, so this might be disclaimer #4. Tracy Anderson, and all the other fitness professionals, are normal human beings, and sometimes they say or do things that don’t make sense to you.

I’ve read quite a bit of Tracy’s stuff, and I would like to give my own interpretation of what she means by this. What I believe she is saying is, “If you want the look I’m selling, you will only need to buy 3-pound weights.” She does this for two reasons. First, she wants to be able to give you a good workout without you having to spend money on a bunch of expensive equipment, and second, Tracy is very against bulking, but I’m going to talk about bulking on its own in just a sec. She doesn’t mean you can never lift more than 3 pounds, so don’t worry, you can still carry around your kids and carry groceries into the house.

In fact, in the workouts, there are times that you put both weights in the same hand making it so you’re lifting a total of 6 pounds, and that is perfectly within Tracy’s “rules.”

For the naysayers who say that you absolutely have to lift more weight if you are going to be strong and healthy, and as much weight as possible, my answer is on a recent cover of Yoga Journal:

Strong-yoga-pose

I don’t know for sure, but I would be surprised to find out this woman lifts heavy weights with any regularity. Even if she does, there are plenty of yogis who can do this who don’t hit the gym. Can you honestly tell me that this woman isn’t strong?

What about ballet dancers? I don’t know if I have seen more beautiful, strong muscles than on a ballerina, completely achieved without pumping iron.

I fully believe that weight-bearing activity is absolutely necessary for the body, but why does that have to be from lifting weights? Especially when your own body weight can achieve results like this? It doesn’t make sense.

Also, I mentioned above that I have lifted weights for years and years, and I have to say that I have never been physically challenged like I have in Tracy’s workouts, and I have also never been stronger. I am so proud of my new strength!

Second, the “bulking” controversy. Tracy talks often about how lifting heavier weights and doing repetitive movements can bulk your body. Tracy-Haters respond and say that without taking testosterone, women simply can’t bulk, it’s impossible.

I believe that what is going on here is people having two different opinions on what “bulking” means. Anyone would agree that women who are professional bodybuilders and who purposely take testosterone are bulky. However, there are those women who don’t take testosterone and don’t lift as often, but to my eye, they are definitely bulky. Other people would say they are simply fit, but it is not a look I would like on me.

Also, I believe that some women don’t bulk, while some do. I definitely bulk. When I run, my calves start looking like Popeye’s forearms after he has enjoyed his favorite spinach snack, it’s not pretty! When I do the elliptical, my butt and thighs blow up like balloons.

Tracy has mentioned that if you like the more defined look that you get when lifting heavier weights or doing the other exercise methods, then go do that! That’s just not the product she is selling.

(Are you interested in losing weight too? Don’t forget, what you eat makes more of a difference than how you move, and I’d love to help you eat for weight loss. Be sure to sign up in the top bar above to the free 7-day Green Smoothie Challenge!)

Third, let’s talk about body image. One blog post I saw recently quoted a description of someone who went to consult with Tracy. Apparently, Tracy stripped her down and made a list of the areas she needed to work on. There are also descriptions floating around the internet of Tracy doing the same thing to Gwyneth Paltrow. Here is a quote from the interwebs: “Wow, just what women need—another woman projecting her own body-crazies onto them to help stoke the flames of butt and belly obsessing and general self-loathing!”

Oh, that’s right, I remember now. When I opened my Metamorphosis package, there it was right there on top, the contract where I had to completely sign away any and all body confidence I had. I also had to agree to immediately start with the eating disorder of my choice.

What the crap? Of course that isn’t true. The Tracy Anderson Method is a DVD exercise program, nothing more. What you choose to do with it and become is completely up to you! I can tell you that I had plenty of “butt and belly obsessing and general self-loathing” way before I ever heard of Tracy Anderson, and that now that I’ve been doing her Method I have never, ever felt better about myself. Instead of dreading and hating pictures of me, I now like what I see!

Tracy cured my self-loathing.

Also, a gym membership at one of Tracy’s gyms costs more per month than my mortgage. If I was paying that much to get help improving my body and my self-image, someone better poke and prod and make a list of what needs changing! I’m not going to pay that much for someone to tell me to just accept that my curves are beautiful, I’m going to pay that much for change! How in the world can you expect to change if you just pretend nothing needs changing?

And now here is where I have to mention that I know plenty of curvy women who are confident and beautiful and perfect. I am not making any comments on how anyone else is supposed to look. However, when I was more “curvy” I was FAR from happy with how I looked, and so I took action and I changed it, and I will love TAM forever because of the part it played in my change.

Last, Tracy Anderson is not a certified trainer.

For this one, I could talk about how I know plenty of people who have big fancy degrees from fancy colleges, who are really just arrogant buffoons who don’t actually know what they are talking about. I could also tell you about how I also know lots of people who don’t have a degree in their areas of interest and yet are some of the most brilliant, well-educated people I know. A piece of paper doesn’t mean you actually know what you are talking about.

I could say all those things, but really, I think I just need to show you a picture:

Dear Tracy Haters

Oh, you say Tracy isn’t certified? Well, I DON’T CARE. I just don’t care.

The first picture was taken probably three or four years ago. At the time I was exercising about five times a week, a mix of yoga and cardio and weight training. The second picture was taken about 2 weeks ago. That day I was suffering from a bit of a Halloween candy hangover (why do I eat the crap chocolate, why?!?) and I was bloaty and PMSy. I was also just recovering from a cold and had skipped more workouts the previous two weeks than I care to admit. And yet, I am so, so happy with how I look in that after picture!

And you want me to stop because Tracy isn’t certified? Um, ok, I’ll think about that. And then I’ll just keep doing what works for me.

So just to sum up, if you love to run, run! If you love to lift weights, then lift weights! Do what you love and move your body. I personally love the Tracy Anderson Method. Figure out what you love, and then move that beautiful body of yours!

My free super fast (and healthy) weeknight meal plan is a great way to learn how to feed your body and finally start to see real change! Drop your email below to get started right now!

These are some affiliate links. When you use one of my links, you get the same Amazon price, and I get a little kickback to help support my business, we both win!

62 thoughts on “Dear Tracy Anderson Hater’s Club”

  1. I bought Tracy Anderson’s pregnancy workout before I even realized she was controversial. Personally, I didn’t like it and I didn’t think it was that great of a workout. That’s just my opinion though. I think the key to a great workout is that it’s something you enjoy doing and will do it again. As long as you’re staying active any type of exercise is good I think. Your results are great!

    1. Yes, Tricia, exactly! Why aren’t we cheering each other on and celebrating whatever exercise people enjoy instead of giving them a hard time? I love this comment, thank you!

  2. I’m with you, it’s the only thing that gave me the body I want. My short thick legs became leaner than when I was a teenager. My arms became less muscular and more lean and toned without baggy skin around a lumpy muscle. My belly got flat without that six pack look. I looked like a woman not a cross fit beast. Can’t figure out why people hate her so much. Yes, she has her faults..lack of cueing and spoon feeding instruction. But I love that she doesn’t talk too much. Gets down to business. Works for me!

  3. Sigh where to start whete to start well the obvious i guess first bulking look up samantha write and tell me she is bulky but back to you the “popeye calfs and ballon thighs” ate what is roughly called a pump when your muscle thighten when you work them as for yoga well of course you dont need a gym and yes if they do the orginal yoga not the western crap and of course balarine have tp be strong but thats via whats called bodyweight training like a lot of gymnist do pull up, body rows, muscle ups.

    1. Thank you John, good points. Yes, the Tracy Anderson Method is bodyweight training, you are exactly right. I’m glad you pointed that out.

      As for the pump you mentioned, I believe you mean the short term effect that happens right after working out? That is true that that happens, however I’m talking about actual bulking that took years to go away after I finished the activity. I have seen Samantha Wright, and she is definitely a different body type than I am. Each body is different. Some women can lift heavy all day long and never bulk, but I am not one of those women. I am so grateful that Tracy Anderson has provided a different option to help people like me to be strong while still achieving the look that we want.

      Thank you for your feedback!

  4. I love her method. It is so hard and I curse A LOT while I do it, but nothing else works for me like that. I hate most gym classes and I get bored doing yoga more than once a week or so. After months of streaming, I am finally not exhausted and in need of a nap.

    1. Haha, I curse a lot while I do it too, though often just in my head so my little ones don’t repeat. I’m so glad you’ve found something that works so well for you!

  5. Can you send me the meal plan too please? I love this article and I’ve always loved Tracy’s workouts. Just started her online studio after a long hiatus. Feels good to be doing those moves again – would be great to have your meal plan to double up my efforts 🙂

    Thanks Emily.

  6. I would be so appreciative if you would send me the meal plan too. Struggling with quarantine weight gain, hating Tracy’s workouts BUT inspired by your article that it might all work out in the end…

  7. I really like what you’ve written! I’ve been thinking of coming back to Tracy for a while. I miss the gym classes that replaced her DVDs for me. But due to the current lockdown the gyms aren’t looking like they’ll be open any time soon.
    I’d really appreciate if you could send me the meal plan! The stress eating of late isn’t good for my (very lacking at the moment) shape.
    Thanks!

  8. Would you please send me the meal plan also? Like what you’ve written, I’m about to start her Metamorphasis!

    1. That is so exciting! Metamorphosis is a powerful program and has the potential for amazing results! Watch your email, that meal plan is on the way. Please grab me with any help you need!

  9. Your results are amazing and I’m glad I found this blog. I was lifting weights during quarantine and intuitively feeling I was getting larger (but everyone says trust the process)…Since doing just 3 of the online TAM classes I already feel more lithe. And based on my Fitbit I shredded 600 calories a class ( more than my strength class). So I’m all in on TAM and looking forward to seeing what will happen. I would love the meal plan as well. Thank you!

    1. I’m glad you found me, and I’m so glad you’re already seeing great results! Watch your email address for the meal plan, I’ll get that right over to you.

  10. Hi Emily,
    It was so great talking with you a few months ago! I’m going to restart with Tracy with hip meta—going back to the beginning! Two questions for you—did you ever do two ms workouts in one day? And, can I also request the meal plan? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Karen, it was so great talking with you, too! I’m excited that you’ll be starting the method again, there really is nothing like it. I never did multiple MS workouts a day, that is actually something Tracy advises against because you don’t want to overwork your muscles or disrupt hormones by raising cortisol too much. However, you can add a little more dance cardio if you have lots of energy and are feeling good. Yes, I will send you the meal plan! Watch your email inbox.

  11. Recently got back on the TA train…(still have her DVDs from the early 2000’s). and I agree. the naysayers out there can make her seem idiotic, and not know what she is on about….but like you I don’t believe knowledge comes from sitting in a classroom, you have to live it, work it, see it, and you are right some so-called professionals are stuck in their own ruts, and if I hear once more from any MAN or even a woman, that “women don’t bulk”, then CLEARLY they haven’t seen every female shape.. we do, I did, I’m done, I have zero desire to look like a crossfitter, and trust me my body type does bulk …… I like you have done E V E R Y thing… you name it I’ve tried it.. and now in my mid-40’s I am O V E R it…. I just want to feel good at the end of the day. I started TA online with the 14 day free trial and I’m back….. I feel the changes already and have consitently done it for the past 2 weeks… The online month price isn’t the cheapest, but if you stick with it (or any program) then it’s worth it… and for me, mid-40’s I’m not giving up anything..I’m just smarter and know what no longer works or if it ever did, for me… Live and Learn.

    1. Welcome back to the TAMily!! Two weeks of consistency is amazing, a fantastic start! Live and learn indeed, I love everything you said here!

  12. Thanks for sharing , you look incredible & mist importantly so happy! -I’ve just started my second week of free TA trial & I am enjoying it – I start the week with the mat sequence … then dip in & out of the other bits. Don’t suppose you could advise what routine to do as want to use the online resources to there best & there’s so many options??? I also feel exhausted from it rather than energised ? Is this just at the beginning while you get used to it? I would also love the meal plan if possible?

    1. Thank you for this! You asked so many great questions. I’ll be shooting you an email with answers and with the meal plan, but I’ll try to answer some here. Congrats on starting TA and welcome to the TAMily! The idea is to do the muscular structure every day; either the beginner class sTArt, the intermediate class fundamenTAl, or the advanced class atTAin. Then you add in the dance cardio when you have time, or the bonus moves when you have time. If you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing for you, I recommend contacting the Tracy Anderson trainers and asking for a prescription. They’ll help you out! Their email address is trainerconnect@tracyandersonmethod.com. The exhaustion isn’t good, though. Which class have you been doing? If you’ve been doing intermediate or advanced, it would be good to step it back a notch. It could also be a problem with what time of day you are doing it and/or how much food you have in your belly, and what kind of food.

  13. Hi Emily.
    I’m so glad I found your website and your results are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I mean, wow, there’s no arguing with that before and after!
    I’ve also tried a lot of things and tend to bulk as well, and I’m so glad I found Tracey. I heard of her years ago and I don’t know why I didn’t check it out sooner. I started doing Metamorphosis just to see how I would like it. I’m 15 days in and already seeing results, I love it that it WORKS! I’m petite and turning 50 in September. I’m finally seeing that my fitness goals are possible. My main motivation is I have a young daughter (aged 9) and I want to model healthy living for her & my husband (and hey, fitting my clothes better is great too.) I’m about 15 pounds away and a bit more toning, but Ifinally see the horizon. I loved what you said about Tracey curing your body image problem. LOL!! I agree that she’s a bit misunderstood, possibly because of the celebrity connection. It really changed my perception of her when I learned that she gained 40 lbs in her 20s and that’s how she got started, working on herself first. Anyway, I see you are still responding to people on this page, if you have a moment and could send me the meal plan too, that would be great. I’m very curious about it. I’m eating clean now but I wonder what her structure is. I know many people do not follow her food plan and still get results. Thank you so much, I’m going to check out more on your site now. Take care, Liza

    1. Hi Liza,
      I’m so glad you found me, and that you are already getting such great results! I would love to send you the meal plan, keep an eye on your email. Talk soon!

  14. Yep, I’m a bulker too. If I use 4 Lb wgts then my shoulders tend to make me look like a line-backer. Not a good look for me. I love TA! I look better now at 40 than I did at 30. Will you please send me your meal plan? You look great! Keep doing your thang!–Krista

    1. Thank you so much, Krista! I look better in my 40s than I did in my 30s, too, which is not something I ever expected! Watch your email, I’d be happy to send you the meal plan.

  15. Thanks for sharing your journey with TAM. You look great! I am just starting Meta Omni after having tried many of her other dvds. Any tips on improving with the cardio? Especially the jumping which I just can’t seem to do, I feel so heavy and clumsy. I think if I could get better at the cardio I could really learn to love doing it. I would love the meal plan too if you have a chance.

    1. I felt so heavy and clumsy at first too, mostly because I was heavy and clumsy! My biggest recommendation is to just keep moving. If you need to just do toe taps for some of it or grapevine or just take some time to shake it freestyle, the most important part is to be up and moving. Time and practice help so much, so just be consistent and I promise it gets better! Watch your email, I’ll get that meal plan sent your way.

  16. I’m just about to start the TAM in the UK? Having heard such positivity. It’s good to read about real ladies using and benefiting from the exercise- makes me excited to get started.

    I’d love a copy of the meal plan as I have a long way to go with body confidence. And any tips about frequency of exercises & type. Kelly

    1. I’m so excited you are going to start! Which program will you be doing? You really can get amazing results from the program. I’ll send a copy of the meal plan your way, watch your email.

  17. Hi!!
    Could you send me a copy of the meal plan? Im supposed to be within my “healthy weight” but I still dont like how I look. I just found TA and Im gonna give it a go.

    1. Hi! Yes, I’ll get that meal plan to you, watch your email. TA is going to do wonders for toning you up, you’re going to love it!

  18. Hi Emily,

    I’m just getting started with TAM, after years of on and off weight lifting and Pilates. Your results are totally inspirational! I’m looking forward to a leaner and more toned ME. Would you kindly send me your meal plan too? Thanks again for this great blog!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I think you’ll be impressed with how toned up you can be with Tracy’s programs! Watch your email, I’ll get that meal plan on the way to you.

  19. Thank you for posting this. Just tried one of her youtube videos today
    Would you recommend subscribing to her online classes?
    Congrats on the weight loss post pregnancy, you look fab!
    Would love the meal plan too if you don’t mind sending it over!
    x

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Her online classes are wonderful, and she also has several DVDs on Amazon that you can check out. The most extensive DVDs are the Metamorphosis program, which is where I started. Really, you can’t go wrong no matter which workouts you choose, just get moving! I would be happy to send you the meal plan, keep an eye on your email.

  20. Would you also please send me the meal plan? I’ve just begun Metamorphosis! Thank you, Emily, and thanks for this post!

  21. For anyone else looking for the meal plan referenced in the comments, I have added a handy box right into the post above so you don’t have to wait to get your recipes and shopping list. Drop your info in there and you’ll be taken right to a page where you can download them right away. As always, feel free to ask me any questions, either about the meal plan, Tracy’s workouts, or whatever else you feel like asking today! Or just drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. Cheers!

  22. I’m 2 weeks into Metamorphosis, and I don’t know what to think yet. I used to live by the lifting heavy dogma, but my body is craving less intensity these days. What results have others seen?

    1. Congrats on starting Metamorphosis! You are going to love the Method. The best way to see the results of others is to go onto Instagram and search for the hashtags #tamily (this is also some actor from India, so if you see weird things in that hashtag, that’s why), #tamresults, and also go to @tracyandersonmethod and check out the profiles of the people who follow her. You are going to find profile after profile of women with incredible results. Grab me with any other questions you may have!

  23. Just discovered TAM here in the UK. Am 67, and have gone from 295# to 165# and need to lose the excess skin on my arms, belly and legs. Lost this weight without exercising as I can’t, have had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis for 32 years. Praying that I can do versions of these exercises lying in bed. Hoping that I see before & after pictures of others with this restriction. Would appreciate your meal plan. With gratitude, Marzy

    1. Oh my goodness, what a challenge! But amazing job on losing the weight without exercise, that’s an incredible victory. I hope you are able to modify the exercises!

  24. Hi Emily,
    I used to do Metamorphosis in 2013-2015. It got me in wonderful shape for my wedding. I didn’t follow the meal plan back then. I just scaled back and made healthy choices, particularly avoiding more than 2 servings of carbohydrates a day. I was in the best shape of my life by far. Then I had a child in 2016. Afterward, my body really bounced back. I was happily surprised. Then I had another child with hyper-emesis during that pregnancy while nursing my first. Horrible. The result was that I gained 85 lbs during the pregnancy! I also had some diastasis which I’ve worked hard to recover with PT’s and trainers. Now, I’m back at Metamorphosis. I started mid-November. I actually tried the meal plan as I realized that I just wouldn’t shed these extra baby pounds without some pretty drastic changes. I’ve lost 10 pounds so far. I have 15 more to go. But doing the nutrition boost weeks with all those labor intensive meals is pretty hard with 2 small children and a job! So I’d love to hear what worked for you in terms of food. I’m also curious, did you do any intensive body re-design while nursing? I’m still nursing my youngest. She’ll be 3 in May, and i never thought we’d be nursing this long. It’s just really important to her and it’s just twice a day. But I sense that my body is hanging on to some roundness because of the nursing hormones. Many thanks.

    1. My goodness, you’ve been on quite a journey! Great job taking care of yourself even with the kids and the job, that is amazing, and makes you a better mom! To answer your questions, I never did any of Tracy’s meal plans. I cut out processed foods, ate a ton of fruits and veggie (obscene amounts!), and focused on healthy proteins and healthy fats. That’s the simple, quick answer, haha! It sounds like you already have a history of making some really healthy choices, which is great! The most important thing to do is find something that will work but also give you the time you need with your family, and it is entirely possible to simplify while eating healthy food. As far as nursing, after my last baby was born I nursed her for a year without worrying about weight loss. My milk supply was very affected by small changes in my eating, so I just didn’t worry about it at all. Once she was a year old, I wasn’t as worried about milk supply because I was ready to wean whenever she was. She ended up nursing for another six months or so. I know that my body definitely was holding on to some weight during nursing. I’m sure that when I start losing weight that affected my milk supply and is part of why she decided to wean. I hope that helps! Please feel free to grab me with any other questions you may have!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.