Tracy Anderson on Why Your Workout May Not Be Working for You

image: tracyanderson.com

Image: TracyAnderson.com

There are few things worse than dedicating time, energy and money to a workout program and struggling to see results. Why is it that the pounds seem to melt off of some people and not off of others? We spoke with Tracy Anderson to find out about what we’re doing wrong.

theFashionSpot: What are your thoughts on fitness trends?

Tracy Anderson: When it comes to fitness, trends usually don’t have science behind them. You need strategy behind your workout for it to be effective, and for that you need as much information as possible. It’s important to find the right workout program for you. For example, if you’re looking to become a bodybuilder, my program isn’t for you. If, however, you want to find balance where there is imbalance for an evenly toned body, that’s exactly what I’ve dedicated my nearly two decades of research to.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to get real when it comes to knowledge, so you can be productive with your time. There are no four-minute abs. You need to be consistent when it comes to diet and exercise, which is why I’ve worked so hard to make my method accessible to women no matter their budget. You can come into our studios for classes, you can get our DVDs and now you can even Livestream classes. In the end, it’s all about having a healthy relationship with trends, but not buying into them as a cure-all.

tFS: They say abs are made in the kitchen. Are there any foods you think most people would benefit from eating every day? Is there one thing you suggest people never eat?

TA: I think it’s imperative to have lean protein every single day. I always have a protein shake in the morning before I workout and for most women this is a great consistent staple to have in their diet. As for foods that I avoid, I avoid anything with gluten and I recommend my clients do the same.

tFS: One of the most common workout-related complaints from women is that they feel bulky. Can workouts actually make you bulky or is that diet related?

TA: Your workout can 100 percent make you bulky. Food can be responsible for some of the puffiness and inflammation that you feel, but how you move is directly linked to how you look. If you’re someone predisposed to bulking up, you shouldn’t be doing any workouts that are repetitive in motion on large muscle groups — think stair climbing, running, cycling, etc. Heavy lifting can also encourage bulking up. It’s important to remember, however, that each person is different. Just because your friend builds muscle or muscle mass easily doesn’t mean that you will. That said, even if you have a very lean body and you start lifting very heavy weights, you’re likely to start developing a more masculine shape, especially as you age — lifting heavy does not age well.

tFS: What are your thoughts on the elliptical and similar traditional workout machines? Running?

TA: While I think anything that gets a person to move is great, most of us are so time-crunched, those old-school workout methods are simply not an effective use of time. I don’t recommend running simply because I see thousands of women who regularly run and they don’t see changes in their body. Running can only give you so much because it works the same large muscles over and over again in exactly the same way, and our brain gets really smart to that very quickly. I have done extensive testing with clients because so many of them are runners and in the end, the ones who did my muscular structure work with the dance cardio component saw significantly better results than those who ran for their cardio component.

tFS: If there’s one thing that you feel is stopping most women from seeing the results they want, what would it be? 

TA: Women tend to want to see results very quickly, so instead of committing to one method, they hop around without any strategy. They also often jump on extreme diets. A diet will never be sustainable unless it’s a real lifestyle change that takes your individual biological blueprint into consideration. It’s important to be focused, have patience and be willing to put in the time to see results.

tFS: What do you tell women who have fallen off the wagon when it comes to healthy habits?

TA: You have to remember that it all comes down to maximizing your health. Erratic behavior and bad habits will always catch up to you and you don’t want it to get to the point where you’ve affected your metabolic rate and the damage becomes very difficult to reverse. Whether with exercise or your diet, it’s very important to approach everything mindfully.