Posted February 8, 2013

A Logical Argument Against the Tracy Anderson Method

 

I’m sure the title of this blog post alone will initiate a flood of hate mail, so to all those who wish to defend Ms. Anderson without reading the entire post, please at least read this part. I’m not looking to condemn her as a person, just raise questions with respect to some of the statements she’s made publicly regarding anatomy and physiology.

Let the hating commence.

method

My first exposure to Tracy Anderson came a few years ago when someone on Facebook shared a video of one of her “Method” workouts, pretty much calling it useless and the biggest rip-off known to man. While I would say the selling of Manhattan Island for what amounted to a handful of beads was a bigger rip-off than a workout video, I watched, chuckled, shook my head, and calmly clicked over it.

Incorporating dance into fitness wasn’t anything new, nor was it something that I would immediately condemn, having trained some very fit dancers and performing artists who could move circles around the average personal trainer, yours truly included.

Then every couple weeks I would hear her name again, attached to a different article, video or audio clip where she was saying something associated with how her Method was superior to all others, safer, and produced better results, all with the undertones of not making women bulky.

She’s catering to a specific niche market. I get it. Women who want to get smaller is a massive segment of the fitness industry, and she’s working the angles as best as possible. To her credit, most women in the general population see weightlifting as a fast-track to gaining an Adam’s apple, and since society has engrained in the entire population the importance of being thin, it was a pretty easy sell. Saying she’s done her research and talked with sports medicine doctors adds a level of credibility to what she says, but anyone who has taken an exercise physiology class could poke countless holes in her approach.

Considering in 1965 Mattel came out with “Slumber Party Barbie,” complete with a guide on how to lose weight with the phrase “DON’T EAT!!” scrawled across the back and the scale permanently frozen to 110 pounds, the pressure against becoming bulky would be enough to make anyone pay attention.

barbie-diet-replacementNow while the niche she was marketing her services and product to were primed to go, her methods and descriptions of what happens with exercise, nutrition and health left much to be desired. While there’s more than one road leading to Oz, some of the pathways she was suggesting would possibly lead to some bramble bushes and wrong turns.

Recently, one of her celebrity clients, Gwyneth Paltrow put up a Q & A with Tracy on her blog, titled Is Your Workout Making You Fat? which was then passed around the fitness industry for looks, shock, and complete frustration. I read the interview, and was trying to figure out why she would say some of the things she was saying in the article, such as

While running and cycling may burn calories, they do not design feminine muscles or get rid of an imbalance that may masquerade as a “problem area.

…to combat real problem areas, there needs to be enough content to keep genetic weaknesses and imbalances awake, alert, and engaged.

I would never recommend (kettlebells) to women, even women who are fans of bulkier muscle lines. While bulkier muscle looks OK on women in their 20s and 30s, it doesn’t age well.

 

Some of the more commonly vilified statements outside of this article include such gems as:

  • Women should never lift more than three pounds or they’ll get bulky
  • Running makes you bulky
  • Baby food is a reasonable dietary supplement or meal replacement
  • Certain exercises can help pull the skin tighter to the muscles
  • other exercise routines or products are risky and possibly dangerous

It also doesn’t hurt that she has a slew of celebrities under her wing that she can use to market her services as well.

One thing that always makes me a little wary is when someone consistently uses the words “always” and “never” in reference to exercise, physiology, nutrition or health. This is a powerful marketing tool that helps to create a sense of finality and experience regarding the sayers knowledge of the topic. It’s also a better soundbite than saying “it depends.”

If we look at the fitness industry as a whole, there is no body or peer review service that holds professionals accountable for what they say, advice they give, or practices they choose to engage in. This is something that’s present in medicine, law, accounting, dentistry, and every other field that allows professionals to work with clients or patience in a setting where there is real potential for loss if the wrong advice is given. With no system of checks and balances in place, people can say what they want and get away with it.

That’s why I wanted to write today’s post. Not necessarily to trash one individual, but to create some enlightenment for the general public on how some statements being made are erroneous and should possibly be taken with a grain of salt. I have no doubt she’s been able to get results for her clients and that some who have followed her Method have seen similar results, but having a point-counterpoint discussion about what physiology is and what it is not will help people make more of an informed decision about where to spend their money.

I should also note I don’t have a dog in this fight, as my main niche is more of the post rehab, strength training world and have never met Tracy in person nor had any discussions with her to form any kind of opinion about her person or thoughts other than what’s available for public consumption.

So today, I wanted to break down some of the commonly used statements and whether they have merit or could possibly need some adjusting based on the current state of research and popularly accepted realities.

#1: Women shouldn’t lift more than 3 pounds

The funny part comes when Tracy at around the 50 second mark says “no woman should lift more than three pounds, ever” and almost immediately after Gwyneth says “when I lift my 30 pound son…”

The argument against women lifting more than three pounds is that it will make women bulky and muscular, and in her words “less feminine muscle lines.” There is a grain of truth to this statement, as most common hypertrophy designed workouts such as those popularized and mainstreamed by Joe Weider, which was the foundational building block for pretty much every weight training program outside of olympic lifting and power lifting, which consist of body part isolationist movements performed typically for 3 sets of 8-12 reps. The design of these workouts is to gain muscle, so performing these kinds of workouts will cause people to gain muscle.

This does not mean women shouldn’t lift weights as a blanket statement, or that gaining muscle will automatically mean the loss of female characteristics and replace them with the development of male characteristics. Ask any figure competitor out there how easy it is to gain muscle, and they’ll shoot you a death stare with their carb-depleted eyes.

For a muscle to bulk to the level that would be noticable, a few things have to happen. First, the level of body fat over the muscle has to be low enough to show the change in muscle size and density. Think of putting a grape under a thick duvet, then putting a tennis ball under that same blanket. The visual difference isn’t that great. Now do the same with the grape and tennis ball, but this time use a very thin flat sheet. You can see each much easier. Having a higher body fat percent, irrespective to muscle size, will make you look much more bulky than having more muscle and a lower body fat.

jamie eason

Second, to gain bulk, women are at a disadvantage due to lower circulating levels of testosterone, different muscle architecture than men (think of how men can have a very prominent biceps peak where women typically can’t), and a lower relative release of growth hormone. Aside from that, women typically need much more volume than men to make any kind of substantial gains in muscle size.

To put it into perspective a little differently, there’s a lot of women who lift weights but wouldn’t be considered bulky, like my wife, getting after a set of heavy deadlifts.

Considering Lindsay is a competitive triathlete and cyclist, she needs to do weight training to improve her performance and also to keep from getting injured. She’s obviously not going to get accused of being bulky in any universe.

There’s a lot of female powerlifters out there who don’t exhibit what could be considered bulky muscles, and they do no cardio or isolation work, just lift mind-numbingly heavy, life alteringly massive weights

By utilizing a set and rep scheme that focuses more on lifting heavier for a lower volume, you can by-pass the hypertrophy asspect of weight training, and also get the benefits of resistance training such as bone building (Gwyneth Paltrow was diagnosed a short time ago with osteopenia, the initial form of osteoporosis), increased metabolism, core strength and stability (ie. Abs). Also, from a psychological perspective, there’s nothing more empowering than lifting something heavy.

So the blanket statement of women should never lift heavy or they’ll get bulky should be taken with the caveat of “if they follow the typical hypertrophy style of training exhibited by many bodybuilders and regular gym-goers.” Elastics, body weight, and other forms of external resistance are safe to use though, which is somewhat hypocritical.

#2: Kettlebells are Dangerous

I’ll admit, they can be dangerous if used improperly, just like ANY. OTHER. EQUIPMENT. That doesn’t mean they’re not an effective tool for use in a quest for a rockin body or to improve fitness. Just don’t do it like this.

Thanks to Sarah Rippel for pointing that one out.

I’d rather watch someone who knows a thing or two about how beneficial swinging a weight can be for developing strength, power, stability, and a rockin female body, like Neghar Fonooni.

Now I wouldn’t recommend anyone just jump into training with kettlebells at the level akin to Ms. Fonooni right away. That would be the equivalent of going one-on-one with LeBron before you know how to dribble. There are progressions to use, ways to build up your strength and stability and work within your tolerance. To simply chastise the equipment is to not understand its’ capability. I’m a big believer that there’s a way to use almost any exercise equipment, just like a tool in a tool box. This includes the vilified smith machine, leg press, and bosu.

I use kettlebell training a fair bit, but predominantly in a rehabilitative setting. They’re great tools for developing joint stability, proprioception, and are a fantastic starting point for getting people with low back pain to learn hip hinging. I have discogenic surgical rehabilitation clients who learn deadlifting patterns with kettlebells, as well as progressions and regressions of the movement shown here.

To simply say something is dangerous belies the sayer and not the subject. I could easily point out that after training dozens of competitive dancers, both current and retired, that dance training itself is extremely dangerous, specifically for ankle, knee, low back, and thoracic spine issues, but I wouldn’t be willing to dissuade people from trying it altogether.

#3: The Physics of Exercise

In an article published in the New York Times, Tracy talked about the science of her Method, and how she has no formal education in exercise physiology, saying she was so focused on the research of her method she wouldn’t let anything deviate her from the research and development of her method.

I would think part of any research plan would involve some level of formal education.

Some of the concepts she brought up in this article include:

  • proprioception perception
  • strength of synapses
  • muscle confusion (a la P90X)
  • pulling the skin closer to the muscle

Let’s break each of these down a little further.

“Proprioception” is a word that means the unconcious perception of where and how our bodies are positioned in space based on sensory information within the body. Proprioception Perception is therefore a redundant term. While I don’t doubt that moving your arms and legs through various movement patterns can aid in developing kinesthetic awareness (another term for proprioception), its’ use in fat burning and muscle development is limited. Movement training? Fantastic. However without an external load or directive to apply force on to the benefits of proprioception are lost. Since the weights used are fairly minimal, the benefits are negligible.

Strength of synapse could have a couple different meanings. Synapses are the nerve receptors on the target tissues, in this case it would be muscles. The synapse carries the signal from the nerve into the muscle to produce a contraction. The strength of the synapse could mean the strength of the signal hitting the synapse, or the efficiency of the synapse in sending that signal into the muscle.

The amount of signal hitting the synapse is directly related to the relative intensity of the task at hand, meaning using a low load for countless reps will not increase the signal strength hitting the synapse. The only way to do this is to demand more of the muscle, which means lift a heavier weight, or move with a greater speed.

Synaptic efficiency could come from endurance activities. When performing higher demand activities like stair climbing or cycling up a hill, the muscles can burn out before the lungs ability to deliver oxygen. Some clients find this after a hard set of sled push or prowler push, where their legs don’t quite work all that well.

The efficiency of the synpase is dependent on a couple things: the consistent signal sent to the synapse, the use and efficiency of neurotransmitters in the synapse, and the effectiveness of the muscle to utilize those neurotransmitters.

neuron-synapse

I will admit that the use of the higher reps and lower resistance used in the Method programs would help increase the endurance of the muscle, and would help improve the efficiency of the neurotransmitters crossing the cleft. This could also be accomplished by any number of endurance activities as well, and is not exclusive to any one particular program.

Finally, the concept of pulling the skin closer to the muscle because the muscle is vibrating so much.

From a physics perspective, this is a somewhat curious concept, as there’s a lot of stuff in the way between the skin and the muscle. Additional to that, all the layers of tissue run parallel to each other, meaning all forces are directed across, not up or down, so pulling the skin closer is somewhat impossible.

Skin-Layers-1

Now while there are differences in the architecture of collagen tissues and the type of matrix formation they make between males and females, these typically aren’t altered through exercise, only structural injury and the development of scar tissue.

One mechanism that could “draw” the skin closer to the muscle is through the decreased size of the fat layer in the hypodermis. Another is through dehydration, which would decrease the cell volume and interstitial tissue fluid volume, essentially pulling the skin to the muscle in the same way dehydrated meats are smaller than their unprepared counterparts. The best option is through fat loss though, but if you have a substantial amount of fluid collected under your skin, you should probably be looking at a doctors help to figure out why.

Now while I have no doubt whatsoever that people who have followed her Method have seen good results, lost inches, decreased weight, felt better about themselves and gained a new sense of confidence, the issue I take is in the delivery of her message. To say her Method is unique when it clearly blends concepts of formal dance, martial arts, resistance training, and even aspects of bodybuilding is somewhat paradoxical.

While I could understand using soft science to back up her claims of the superiority of her workout, using emotional baiting terms that prey on women’s drive to be skinny is somewhat reprehensible. To say that weight lifting and running will make you bulky, that kettlebells are dangerous and shouldn’t be used at all, and that her Method is backed by “research” are all faulty thoughts that can easily be picked apart by any number of fitness professionals, but the downside is that the average person may not have ready access to those professionals and have no choice but to trust in the message presented.

At the end of the day, I’m happy she’s been successful, that people have seen results with her program, and that many more will continue to see results. Anything that gets people motivated to move more is a definitely beneficial option in my book. Hell, I’ll even include a link to her Method HERE so you can get your own copy if you want. I’m just not a fan of the select science she’s using to get that message across.

Let me know what you think. I’m sure there are differences of opinion on what her Method is and what it isn’t, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop a comment below and have a say.

  • Tony Gentilcore

    You son of a bitch! How dare you, sir. How DARE you blaspheme Ms. Anderson. In other words: you’re my new hero!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks dude. Like I said, either you do it or I would ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tony Gentilcore

    You son of a bitch! How dare you, sir. How DARE you blaspheme Ms. Anderson. In other words: you’re my new hero!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks dude. Like I said, either you do it or I would ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hannah Davis

    Preaching to the choir! Enjoyed the article….especially loved the cover/sheet analogy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • deansomerset

      Thanks!!

  • Hannah Davis

    Preaching to the choir! Enjoyed the article….especially loved the cover/sheet analogy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • deansomerset

      Thanks!!

  • Jarrod Dyke

    Well done, reading this made my morning

    • deansomerset

      Always happy to help out.

  • Jarrod Dyke

    Well done, reading this made my morning

    • deansomerset

      Always happy to help out.

  • MaryKate

    I would rather look like Neghar over Paltrow any day. Great article.

    • deansomerset

      Totally agree. Skinny without strength is a sign of a body ill used.

      • Sara F.

        Well some people are naturally thin. I’m under 5′ and comparing myself to someone who has a small frame, you’d significantly notice we have different body types. So, I’m short and would like to lose some weight but know I wouldn’t be thin as some women my height. Everyone’s body is different.

    • Lisa Szabon-Smith

      Agree 100%
      Besides, nothing is more empowering than knowing you are actually STRONG rather than just “functional”

      • deansomerset

        Absolutely! Strong beats small any day. Plus it’s typically a lot healthier too.

      • Coach

        “Functional” is a superior form of fitness. I think we are just differing on semantics, because being functionally fit is THE STARTING GOAL, and then for those who want to ‘shape out’ and add lean muscle and definition, we go into another type of program. But pushing HEAVY before you have gained functional fitness is dangerous. Too many people “go for the guns” and the ‘big’ muscle groups without paying any attention to the stabilizing body underneath. One doesn’t NEED to work for the SHOW muscles, but it is important to work on the GO muscles.

  • MaryKate

    I would rather look like Neghar over Paltrow any day. Great article.

    • deansomerset

      Totally agree. Skinny without strength is a sign of a body ill used.

      • Sara F.

        Well some people are naturally thin. I’m under 5′ and comparing myself to someone who has a small frame, you’d significantly notice we have different body types. So, I’m short and would like to lose some weight but know I wouldn’t be thin as some women my height. Everyone’s body is different.

    • Lisa Szabon-Smith

      Agree 100%
      Besides, nothing is more empowering than knowing you are actually STRONG rather than just “functional”

      • deansomerset

        Absolutely! Strong beats small any day. Plus it’s typically a lot healthier too.

      • Coach

        “Functional” is a superior form of fitness. I think we are just differing on semantics, because being functionally fit is THE STARTING GOAL, and then for those who want to ‘shape out’ and add lean muscle and definition, we go into another type of program. But pushing HEAVY before you have gained functional fitness is dangerous. Too many people “go for the guns” and the ‘big’ muscle groups without paying any attention to the stabilizing body underneath. One doesn’t NEED to work for the SHOW muscles, but it is important to work on the GO muscles.

        • DK

          Couldn’t have agreed more!!!! Well said

  • Chris Gkahopoylos

    “Based on ten years of scientific research and experience getting clients
    red-carpet ready-A-listers or not-Anderson has developed a revolutionary program
    that defies genetics to tone, trim, and reshape the body. Most exercises
    incorrectly focus on bigger muscle groups, such as the biceps or hamstrings,
    when they should really be working the smaller accessory muscles. Anderson
    teaches you how to shift this focus, activating and challenging the smaller
    muscles to achieve a long, lean physique instead of a bulky look. The 30-Day
    Method will also prevent your muscles from getting bored; and the menus will
    help boost your metabolism.” – Via her 30 day uppityville weightloss product

    1 – ‘this program defies genetics..’ as well as anatomy, pyshiology, reality, & common sense.
    2 – Accessory muscles… Yes – The smaller, shinier, muscles (i.e., Gucci Maximus & the CocoChanel Femoris)
    3 – ‘bigger muscle groups, such as the biceps’ – too easy

    Thanks for posting Dean, great article. Sorry to throw on a little extra hate!

  • Chris Gkahopoylos

    “Based on ten years of scientific research and experience getting clients
    red-carpet ready-A-listers or not-Anderson has developed a revolutionary program
    that defies genetics to tone, trim, and reshape the body. Most exercises
    incorrectly focus on bigger muscle groups, such as the biceps or hamstrings,
    when they should really be working the smaller accessory muscles. Anderson
    teaches you how to shift this focus, activating and challenging the smaller
    muscles to achieve a long, lean physique instead of a bulky look. The 30-Day
    Method will also prevent your muscles from getting bored; and the menus will
    help boost your metabolism.” – Via her 30 day uppityville weightloss product

    1 – ‘this program defies genetics..’ as well as anatomy, pyshiology, reality, & common sense.
    2 – Accessory muscles… Yes – The smaller, shinier, muscles (i.e., Gucci Maximus & the CocoChanel Femoris)
    3 – ‘bigger muscle groups, such as the biceps’ – too easy

    Thanks for posting Dean, great article. Sorry to throw on a little extra hate!

    • Jeremy

      hahaha, number 2!

  • Fiona Compston

    Call me ignorant but I have never heard of Tracy until I read your article. I would say she needs some educating herself!
    I agree with your opinion that the fitness industry worldwide needs a code or set of guidelines by which professionals prescribe fitness to clients.
    Good article!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Fiona.

  • Fiona Compston

    Call me ignorant but I have never heard of Tracy until I read your article. I would say she needs some educating herself!
    I agree with your opinion that the fitness industry worldwide needs a code or set of guidelines by which professionals prescribe fitness to clients.
    Good article!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Fiona.

  • Edsel

    Great article man. Keep up the good work.

    • deansomerset

      Glad you liked it.

  • Edsel

    Great article man. Keep up the good work.

    • deansomerset

      Glad you liked it.

  • Calo

    “Ask any figure competitor out there how easy it is to gain muscle, and theyโ€™ll shoot you a death stare with their carb-depleted eyes.”

    This killed me. Well written, man!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Calo.

  • Calo

    “Ask any figure competitor out there how easy it is to gain muscle, and theyโ€™ll shoot you a death stare with their carb-depleted eyes.”

    This killed me. Well written, man!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Calo.

    • Janet Lee

      Also, wtf is ‘feminine muscle’??? Muscle is muscle, regardless of gender. Men have more than women, yes, but still MUSCLE! Why are people believing in this bs???

  • Roy Pumphrey

    I get asked about the “method” all the time. This post hits it on the head…I’m just gonna print out this as my answer from now on, you just saved me a headache…thanks.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    • deansomerset

      I hope they all enjoy it too Roy.

  • Roy Pumphrey

    I get asked about the “method” all the time. This post hits it on the head…I’m just gonna print out this as my answer from now on, you just saved me a headache…thanks.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    • deansomerset

      I hope they all enjoy it too Roy.

  • Matt

    I wouldn’t know who Tracy Anderson is if it wasn’t for Tony Gentilcore and yourself. You two may want to look up the Streisand effect as I feel she’s the type of person who believes anything that is written about her is “good” for her brand.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Matt. Anyone could subscribe to the “any press is good press” phenomenon, and my intention isn’t to try to bury her. I just wanted to shed some light on some of the claims she was making and hopefully get people thinking a bit more critically about who is promoting fitness out there.

  • Matt

    I wouldn’t know who Tracy Anderson is if it wasn’t for Tony Gentilcore and yourself. You two may want to look up the Streisand effect as I feel she’s the type of person who believes anything that is written about her is “good” for her brand.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Matt. Anyone could subscribe to the “any press is good press” phenomenon, and my intention isn’t to try to bury her. I just wanted to shed some light on some of the claims she was making and hopefully get people thinking a bit more critically about who is promoting fitness out there.

  • sandiegopete

    THANK YOU!!!! Well said….By promoting her myths as reality, Ms. Anderson is actually keeping women from seeing results

    • deansomerset

      I know there are a lot of women who swear by the Method, and have seen some great results from it, so I don’t discount its’ ability to motivate and inspire people to begin or keep with a fitness program. Any program that can do that has some merit in a society that is battling obesity and sedentarism. I’m more concerned with her promotion of being super skinny as the feminine ideal that everyone should shoot for, given that I’ve had to work with a lot of girls who have had eating disorders and know how much it can emotionally and physically ravage them.

  • sandiegopete

    THANK YOU!!!! Well said….By promoting her myths as reality, Ms. Anderson is actually keeping women from seeing results

    • deansomerset

      I know there are a lot of women who swear by the Method, and have seen some great results from it, so I don’t discount its’ ability to motivate and inspire people to begin or keep with a fitness program. Any program that can do that has some merit in a society that is battling obesity and sedentarism. I’m more concerned with her promotion of being super skinny as the feminine ideal that everyone should shoot for, given that I’ve had to work with a lot of girls who have had eating disorders and know how much it can emotionally and physically ravage them.

  • Emily

    Dean, I am a real fan of your work. This article was a masterpiece….I have written something like this many times in my head….you, of course, bring your wealth of knowledge of science and the body to this….I would simply bring the “what the hell is she doing?” aspect to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The first time I watched the video of her and Paltrow, I wanted to scream. Especially when Paltrow talked about her 30lb son. I wanted to shoot myself. I am a dancer and have danced professionally for over 20 years. I have never and WILL NEVER buy into the load of crap she or anyone else like her sells. Tony G. knows where I stand on that bullsh**. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for this. Brilliant.

    • deansomerset

      Glad you got a lot out of it Emily. There’s a big difference between dancing for a profession and dancing to sell DVD’s.

  • Emily

    Dean, I am a real fan of your work. This article was a masterpiece….I have written something like this many times in my head….you, of course, bring your wealth of knowledge of science and the body to this….I would simply bring the “what the hell is she doing?” aspect to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The first time I watched the video of her and Paltrow, I wanted to scream. Especially when Paltrow talked about her 30lb son. I wanted to shoot myself. I am a dancer and have danced professionally for over 20 years. I have never and WILL NEVER buy into the load of crap she or anyone else like her sells. Tony G. knows where I stand on that bullsh**. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for this. Brilliant.

    • deansomerset

      Glad you got a lot out of it Emily. There’s a big difference between dancing for a profession and dancing to sell DVD’s.

  • Bret Contreras

    Dammit Dean – she was my next Grill the Guru victim. Oh well!

    • deansomerset

      Here’s some more fodder for a potential guru-ing for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7RDfw0NuZ8

      • Mattis

        WTF??What is she doing??greetz from Germany

        • deansomerset

          I still don’t have any idea what she’s talking about for the most part.

      • Bret Contreras

        Dean – I intended on grilling her, but you did such an excellent job here that I won’t be doing this – you beat me to the punch. This needed to be done, so kudos to you. Well, it needs to be done over and over until she realizes that she should stop making things up. So maybe I will still grill her down the road haha! Very nice job my friend!

        • deansomerset

          You definitely should. One voice can be forgotten over time, but constant voices get heard and change happens as a result. I lobbed it up for you, now the Glute Guy has to smash that sucker down her throat!!!

    • Ariel

      excellent!!, I look forward to see read that!

  • Bret Contreras

    Dammit Dean – she was my next Grill the Guru victim. Oh well!

    • deansomerset

      Here’s some more fodder for a potential guru-ing for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7RDfw0NuZ8

      • Mattis

        WTF??What is she doing??greetz from Germany

        • deansomerset

          I still don’t have any idea what she’s talking about for the most part.

      • Bret Contreras

        Dean – I intended on grilling her, but you did such an excellent job here that I won’t be doing this – you beat me to the punch. This needed to be done, so kudos to you. Well, it needs to be done over and over until she realizes that she should stop making things up. So maybe I will still grill her down the road haha! Very nice job my friend!

        • deansomerset

          You definitely should. One voice can be forgotten over time, but constant voices get heard and change happens as a result. I lobbed it up for you, now the Glute Guy has to smash that sucker down her throat!!!

    • Ariel

      excellent!!, I look forward to see read that!

  • nathan

    Going to be contentious and say that whatever you may think of her mythical drivel (and it is) if it gets some of the millions of sedentary, morbidly obese actually moving and doing something positive for health and wellness.

    The fitness world is packed full of bs merchants flogging “methods” with dubious technical backing but ultimately if they get people to move more than they do and eat less junk then they have made a difference.

    One of the biggest problems with the fitness industry is we have extremes with the mythical on one side and the techno geek on the other, hence why the industry has failed in so many ways. The reality is marketing will always trump science, but with fitness, any activity is better than nothing at all.

    • deansomerset

      Very true. Good points.

  • nathan

    Going to be contentious and say that whatever you may think of her mythical drivel (and it is) if it gets some of the millions of sedentary, morbidly obese actually moving and doing something positive for health and wellness.

    The fitness world is packed full of bs merchants flogging “methods” with dubious technical backing but ultimately if they get people to move more than they do and eat less junk then they have made a difference.

    One of the biggest problems with the fitness industry is we have extremes with the mythical on one side and the techno geek on the other, hence why the industry has failed in so many ways. The reality is marketing will always trump science, but with fitness, any activity is better than nothing at all.

    • deansomerset

      Very true. Good points.

  • I’m incredibly proud of the way you addressed your concerns. It takes a special ability to disagree with somebody and explain why without attacking them or slandering them. I think you did that very well and not only do I appreciate your respectfulness and poise, but I also appreciate the fact that you are combating falsehoods with truth and evidence. That’s something that is desperately needed in our industry and it’s why I choose to follow you and learn from you.
    Thank you. Keep at it.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks dude. I’m not one to take the easy path and just slam on her for the sake of beating a dead horse, because that doesn’t benefit anyone and just gives her supporters reason to hate. You always attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

  • Jeremy

    I’m incredibly proud of the way you addressed your concerns. It takes a special ability to disagree with somebody and explain why without attacking them or slandering them. I think you did that very well and not only do I appreciate your respectfulness and poise, but I also appreciate the fact that you are combating falsehoods with truth and evidence. That’s something that is desperately needed in our industry and it’s why I choose to follow you and learn from you.
    Thank you. Keep at it.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks dude. I’m not one to take the easy path and just slam on her for the sake of beating a dead horse, because that doesn’t benefit anyone and just gives her supporters reason to hate. You always attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

  • Excellent article Dean! You rock. I have actually been to a private class at her studio in the Hamptons and I was FAR from impressed. 3lb dumbells?!!! I could throw these out the window. As a female who lifts heavy, uses KB’s, runs regularly, and eats real food, I am living proof lifting big weights does not make you bulky. In fact I have lost over 40lbs since i started training hardcore and I feel leaner than ever. So thank you for this awesome article ๐Ÿ™‚ brilliant

    • deansomerset

      Congratulations on your big improvements!! Glad you have some first hand knowledge to see whether her methods were worth your time or not.

  • Excellent article Dean! You rock. I have actually been to a private class at her studio in the Hamptons and I was FAR from impressed. 3lb dumbells?!!! I could throw these out the window. As a female who lifts heavy, uses KB’s, runs regularly, and eats real food, I am living proof lifting big weights does not make you bulky. In fact I have lost over 40lbs since i started training hardcore and I feel leaner than ever. So thank you for this awesome article ๐Ÿ™‚ brilliant

    • deansomerset

      Congratulations on your big improvements!! Glad you have some first hand knowledge to see whether her methods were worth your time or not.

  • Great article well written and researched unlike the person featured in the article!

  • Great article well written and researched unlike the person featured in the article!

  • Hope

    I work in the fitness industry, where I frequently hear clients refer to the names of gimmicky programs, and gurus. I had never heard the name of this woman until I read your article. As an athletic woman myself, who lifts heavy and rarely does conventional cardio, my own physique is proof of the inaccuracy of this anti-lifting for females theory; I am small, compact, and very petite by most people’s standards. I commonly say to my potential female clients, “If lifting makes you big, I would be enormous. Am I enormous?” They pretty much always say, “No! You’re so tiny!” It really only takes these women a couple of months of lifting to become weightroom devotees, especially when they start seeing the inches come off, and their curves filling out in areas of the body where they WANT the curves to be.

    • deansomerset

      Glad to hear you’re leading by example.

  • Hope

    I work in the fitness industry, where I frequently hear clients refer to the names of gimmicky programs, and gurus. I had never heard the name of this woman until I read your article. As an athletic woman myself, who lifts heavy and rarely does conventional cardio, my own physique is proof of the inaccuracy of this anti-lifting for females theory; I am small, compact, and very petite by most people’s standards. I commonly say to my potential female clients, “If lifting makes you big, I would be enormous. Am I enormous?” They pretty much always say, “No! You’re so tiny!” It really only takes these women a couple of months of lifting to become weightroom devotees, especially when they start seeing the inches come off, and their curves filling out in areas of the body where they WANT the curves to be.

    • deansomerset

      Glad to hear you’re leading by example.

  • Ben

    I’m also very cautious when it comes to building muscle on female clients, I want them to get the metabolic benefit of the lean muscle but often they are discouraged by the perceived lack of progress as muscle weight increases and fat weight drops, leaving them the same (or even slightly heavier) when they weigh themselves (even though body composition is changing).
    You recommended lifting heavier for lower volumes as a remedy for this, what sort of reps/sets/volume are you specifically advising?

    • deansomerset

      Typically using less than 5 reps for a moderate/heavy resistance. I’ve had good success with this, as have a lot of other strength coaches. One option I use effectively is to use heavy weights and low reps, combined with other accessory work in a higher rep range, such as deadlifts and then later doing kettlebell swings.

      • James Garland

        Agree with this, Dean. To take this a step further in relation to what Ben posted, however, the key here is education. Taking them away from scale weight as the end goal, and looking at other metrics such as BF% (if you have access to a DEXA or something), measurements and progress photos.

        I’m yet to come across a female client who look at amazing results in their pictures, and how their old pants can no longer stay up around their waist by themselves, and walk away disappointed.

        • deansomerset

          Very true. The results speak louder than the methods used.

  • Ben

    I’m also very cautious when it comes to building muscle on female clients, I want them to get the metabolic benefit of the lean muscle but often they are discouraged by the perceived lack of progress as muscle weight increases and fat weight drops, leaving them the same (or even slightly heavier) when they weigh themselves (even though body composition is changing).
    You recommended lifting heavier for lower volumes as a remedy for this, what sort of reps/sets/volume are you specifically advising?

    • deansomerset

      Typically using less than 5 reps for a moderate/heavy resistance. I’ve had good success with this, as have a lot of other strength coaches. One option I use effectively is to use heavy weights and low reps, combined with other accessory work in a higher rep range, such as deadlifts and then later doing kettlebell swings.

      • James Garland

        Agree with this, Dean. To take this a step further in relation to what Ben posted, however, the key here is education. Taking them away from scale weight as the end goal, and looking at other metrics such as BF% (if you have access to a DEXA or something), measurements and progress photos.

        I’m yet to come across a female client who look at amazing results in their pictures, and how their old pants can no longer stay up around their waist by themselves, and walk away disappointed.

        • deansomerset

          Very true. The results speak louder than the methods used.

  • Rob Aitken

    Strong girls over long girls any day of the week. Great post.

    • deansomerset

      TOTALLY agree!!!

  • Rob Aitken

    Strong girls over long girls any day of the week. Great post.

    • deansomerset

      TOTALLY agree!!!

  • Svein Erik Gjรธsund

    Thank you for this!
    Some of the statements are just blatantly ignorant. It vexes me greatly that the general population never will be able to decipher these things themselves..

    I think it`s about high time for a greater order of control on the things being blatantly tossed out as “science” because of a misunderstood perception of science and the way the body moves.

    I can agree with “moving in any form is better than not moving at all”, but I can not agree with the continous confusion of the masses and the downright false statements.. It just works against humanity and our search for more and more accurate answers.

    • deansomerset

      Very well said. Thanks!!

  • Svein Erik Gjรธsund

    Thank you for this!
    Some of the statements are just blatantly ignorant. It vexes me greatly that the general population never will be able to decipher these things themselves..

    I think it`s about high time for a greater order of control on the things being blatantly tossed out as “science” because of a misunderstood perception of science and the way the body moves.

    I can agree with “moving in any form is better than not moving at all”, but I can not agree with the continous confusion of the masses and the downright false statements.. It just works against humanity and our search for more and more accurate answers.

    • deansomerset

      Very well said. Thanks!!

  • One thing that struck me in that first video: she continually refers to “arms” when she’s doing shoulder-joint movements. Maybe that kind of imprecise language, while it infuriates us, speaks more directly to her target audience because that’s the way they think about exercise. I’m not justifying it so much as trying to understand why it works so well for her.

    • deansomerset

      It could be the audience, but I’m pretty sure if you ask anyone where their arms were, they would point to their biceps or forearms. I think it was just her trying to differentiate her Method from the rest by using misdirection, much like how she says she’s going to use the big muscles, then call up the stabilizing muscles. You can’y use the big guys without the little guys.

      • She speaks consumer, not science. That’s why people ‘get’ her. We fight the ignorance of the populace, she accommodates it. Do the ends justify the means? As a personal trainer, i feel obligated to teach as much as train to help people understand how to make themselves better, but, i guess ‘plug-and-play’ may be more in demand. Great article, Dean!

        • deansomerset

          Very good point. The market will always determine what is successful or not, regardless of whether it’s necessary or even beneficial

  • One thing that struck me in that first video: she continually refers to “arms” when she’s doing shoulder-joint movements. Maybe that kind of imprecise language, while it infuriates us, speaks more directly to her target audience because that’s the way they think about exercise. I’m not justifying it so much as trying to understand why it works so well for her.

    • deansomerset

      It could be the audience, but I’m pretty sure if you ask anyone where their arms were, they would point to their biceps or forearms. I think it was just her trying to differentiate her Method from the rest by using misdirection, much like how she says she’s going to use the big muscles, then call up the stabilizing muscles. You can’y use the big guys without the little guys.

      • Gabe Gaskins

        She speaks consumer, not science. That’s why people ‘get’ her. We fight the ignorance of the populace, she accommodates it. Do the ends justify the means? As a personal trainer, i feel obligated to teach as much as train to help people understand how to make themselves better, but, i guess ‘plug-and-play’ may be more in demand. Great article, Dean!

        • deansomerset

          Very good point. The market will always determine what is successful or not, regardless of whether it’s necessary or even beneficial

  • fallsgable

    Thanks for writing this! Anyone who has an understand of anatomy and kinesiology cringes everything they see a program like this. There will be no hating from me! I intend to share!

    • deansomerset

      Glad you enjoyed it.

  • fallsgable

    Thanks for writing this! Anyone who has an understand of anatomy and kinesiology cringes everything they see a program like this. There will be no hating from me! I intend to share!

    • deansomerset

      Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Zee

    I’m still n shock about the ‘slumber party barbie’. Great way to give a 2 year old an eating disorder. Very well written article. Appears that you know your stuff.

    • deansomerset

      It is a little odd that it was marketed, but not unsurprising at all given the fact doctors used to recommend cigarettes as a medical treatment back then.

  • Zee

    I’m still n shock about the ‘slumber party barbie’. Great way to give a 2 year old an eating disorder. Very well written article. Appears that you know your stuff.

    • deansomerset

      It is a little odd that it was marketed, but not unsurprising at all given the fact doctors used to recommend cigarettes as a medical treatment back then.

  • I haven’t heard of Ms. Anderson’s method prior to this, but according to her I’ll be an ugly, saggy mess in 10 years. I’ve been lifting weights >3lbs for years! What is skinny without strength? Blergh!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks!!

  • I haven’t heard of Ms. Anderson’s method prior to this, but according to her I’ll be an ugly, saggy mess in 10 years. I’ve been lifting weights >3lbs for years! What is skinny without strength? Blergh!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks!!

  • Jane

    Way to jump on the “slumber party barbie” trend that hit the blogs two weeks ago and then disjointedly connect it to Tracy Anderson. Good luck with the heavy weight lifting. Let’s talk when you’re 70?

    • deansomerset

      It’s interesting that the Slumber Party Barbie has recently become en vogue, as it was a component to a psychology of exercise and health class when I was completing my degree 10 years ago. While I wasn’t connecting it to Tracy, I was connecting it to the societal pressure women feel to be thin at all costs, which Tracy uses as a marketing tool, and quite effectively too. A lot of mortality studies are showing that heavier resistance training, especially in seniors, is helping people remain independent and functional long into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, whereas those with less muscle mass tend to have an earlier onset of joint and muscle wasting issues, which tends to lead to institutionalization. So yes, I will have fun lifting heavy into my 70s.

    • Nathan

      There are people in their 70’s doing powerlifting competitions who are much better off than some much younger!

  • Jane

    Way to jump on the “slumber party barbie” trend that hit the blogs two weeks ago and then disjointedly connect it to Tracy Anderson. Good luck with the heavy weight lifting. Let’s talk when you’re 70?

    • deansomerset

      It’s interesting that the Slumber Party Barbie has recently become en vogue, as it was a component to a psychology of exercise and health class when I was completing my degree 10 years ago. While I wasn’t connecting it to Tracy, I was connecting it to the societal pressure women feel to be thin at all costs, which Tracy uses as a marketing tool, and quite effectively too. A lot of mortality studies are showing that heavier resistance training, especially in seniors, is helping people remain independent and functional long into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, whereas those with less muscle mass tend to have an earlier onset of joint and muscle wasting issues, which tends to lead to institutionalization. So yes, I will have fun lifting heavy into my 70s.

    • Nathan

      There are people in their 70’s doing powerlifting competitions who are much better off than some much younger!

  • Mark Henriksen

    Tracy Anderson was SO threatened by your truthful post that her OBVIOUS SHILL “Michelle Pl” quickly showed up on my Facebook group to discredit you! ๐Ÿ™‚ See “FIRM Workout Classics” at YouTube to see my work (NOT the current batch).

    • deansomerset

      Do you have a current link to that Facebook thing?

  • Mark Henriksen

    Tracy Anderson was SO threatened by your truthful post that her OBVIOUS SHILL “Michelle Pl” quickly showed up on my Facebook group to discredit you! ๐Ÿ™‚ See “FIRM Workout Classics” at YouTube to see my work (NOT the current batch).

    • deansomerset

      Do you have a current link to that Facebook thing?

  • Great article! How you managed to be objective on something that is so easy to have a subjective opinion on was brilliant!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks bud!

  • Great article! How you managed to be objective on something that is so easy to have a subjective opinion on was brilliant!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks bud!

  • Maria

    Before I read your article, I You Tubed Tracy Anderson because I wanted to understand both sides of the story – shall we say. Within 60 seconds of a 10 minute video I turned it off – her presence alone doesn’t do it for me. I too am petite (4’11”, 107 pounds). My body type craves weights and interval training. Because of this, my body is strong and sexy. I’m 50, but damn it, I look good, not because my skin is drawn closer to my muscles – it’s because the awesome blood circulation happening from a good pump brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and the skin above. Lastly, at this point I’m not carrying babies around, but I do carry 40 pound kitty litter from the shelf into the cart, from the cart into the car, and from the car up to the 2nd floor bathroom. 3# DBs are not going to help my back carry all that weight that many times in a day. Lucky her for finding gullible women – High 5 to you for countering her unscientific claims. She’s only but a scratch on the surface. Keep up the great post Dean!!!

    • deansomerset

      Glad you liked it Maria!

  • Maria

    Before I read your article, I You Tubed Tracy Anderson because I wanted to understand both sides of the story – shall we say. Within 60 seconds of a 10 minute video I turned it off – her presence alone doesn’t do it for me. I too am petite (4’11”, 107 pounds). My body type craves weights and interval training. Because of this, my body is strong and sexy. I’m 50, but damn it, I look good, not because my skin is drawn closer to my muscles – it’s because the awesome blood circulation happening from a good pump brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and the skin above. Lastly, at this point I’m not carrying babies around, but I do carry 40 pound kitty litter from the shelf into the cart, from the cart into the car, and from the car up to the 2nd floor bathroom. 3# DBs are not going to help my back carry all that weight that many times in a day. Lucky her for finding gullible women – High 5 to you for countering her unscientific claims. She’s only but a scratch on the surface. Keep up the great post Dean!!!

    • deansomerset

      Glad you liked it Maria!

    • Janet Lee

      Love your weights and interval training regime!!

  • Emma Olsson

    Best thing I’ve read in a while! I have to take this fight with my friends all the time. I’m 18 and work really hard to build muscles and they always “warns” me of getting big and less feminine. I will never be able to build enough muscles/loose body fat enough to not look feminine the way I workout right now. It’s so stupid when women thing they’ll get big and bulky from lifting even the smallest weights. You’ll need a hell of a lot more than your 5 lbs dumbell once a week to look like a she-hulk. (and Jillians kettlebellswing is hilarious, she’s making a fool out of her self).

    • deansomerset

      Wow, awesome work. You’re going to be the trend setter when all your friends are wondering how you manage to look so good.

  • Emma Olsson

    Best thing I’ve read in a while! I have to take this fight with my friends all the time. I’m 18 and work really hard to build muscles and they always “warns” me of getting big and less feminine. I will never be able to build enough muscles/loose body fat enough to not look feminine the way I workout right now. It’s so stupid when women thing they’ll get big and bulky from lifting even the smallest weights. You’ll need a hell of a lot more than your 5 lbs dumbell once a week to look like a she-hulk. (and Jillians kettlebellswing is hilarious, she’s making a fool out of her self).

    • deansomerset

      Wow, awesome work. You’re going to be the trend setter when all your friends are wondering how you manage to look so good.

  • Nancy

    I am an RKC and agree profusely with you. I love how correct exercises with Kettlebells have shaped my body and so many of my other clients. 60 % whom are women. I am 5″8 and 124.5 pds. Press DB 30 pd kbs, Getups, etc. and am definately not bulky!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Nancy!! Glad to hear of your successes.

  • Nancy

    I am an RKC and agree profusely with you. I love how correct exercises with Kettlebells have shaped my body and so many of my other clients. 60 % whom are women. I am 5″8 and 124.5 pds. Press DB 30 pd kbs, Getups, etc. and am definately not bulky!

    • deansomerset

      Thanks Nancy!! Glad to hear of your successes.

  • I had never heard of this method before, but thanks for laying down some solid logic against the ridiculous statements being made. I cringe when I hear people talk about “always” and “never” with most things in life, and particularly fitness.

    • deansomerset

      Agreed. Thanks!

  • I had never heard of this method before, but thanks for laying down some solid logic against the ridiculous statements being made. I cringe when I hear people talk about “always” and “never” with most things in life, and particularly fitness.

    • deansomerset

      Agreed. Thanks!

  • Dylan Curtis-Reeve

    As everyone has said before me, awesome article Dean! Have you considered teaming up with Bret to make a polite yet extremely well researched fitness crime fighting duo?

    • deansomerset

      Depends on if he would be up for it. I’m game though.

  • Dylan Curtis-Reeve

    As everyone has said before me, awesome article Dean! Have you considered teaming up with Bret to make a polite yet extremely well researched fitness crime fighting duo?

    • deansomerset

      Depends on if he would be up for it. I’m game though.

  • Christy Fox

    I only wish I had read your article before committing 18 months of my life to her drivel. I’m not sure my hip flexors will ever be happy again ๐Ÿ™ Very well written! Let’s not forget her awful promises to achieve a teeny tiny body that sets women up for all sorts of disordered behavior.

    • deansomerset

      Wow. Did you train with her in person or just through her DVDs? It would be really interesting to hear your take on things.

      • Christy Fox

        Just through her DVDs. I was apart of a few different private facebook groups devoted to her method & to say that women became disordered in many different aspects is an understatement. Tracy seemed to also bring on the popularity of juice fasting in which I watched as many women not only felt like they weren’t feminine if they didn’t do 60 mins of muscular structure work per day + 60 minutes of dance cardio, and had anything close to resembling a quadricep, but also felt ‘dirty’ and ‘unclean’ if they didn’t do somewhat regular juice fasts, or the Clean detox raved about by Gwenyth Paltrow. It really infuriates me that athletic women in Tracy’s opinion are not feminine. Please. Tracy herself looks like a prepubescent girl with a body eating itself in a dire need for calories & protein. How is that feminine or attractive? To each their own I guess. You have more kind words for her than I do. The nonsense she tries to promote about her method is one thing, but the customer service is a completely separate but equally crappy issue. She has the worst customer service company and PR people working for her as well. Women would place orders that would be shipped incorrect, they would not receive them for weeks on end, DVDs that were faulty were sent out anyway & then you’d have to call for a replacement and wait several more weeks. Entire sections of material would be left off DVDs..ahh who edits her stuff? Promised gifts to loyal method followers were never given out…so many unacceptable stories and all the while more & more women falling prey to an unhealthy lifestyle where they have yet one more thing to nit pick about them selves. Before I started her method post baby #3 I was using 15# dumbbells for many exercises. When I finally stopped I couldn’t even do push ups and 8 lb db’s were super challenging. It took me awhile to build my strength back up & do I look ‘bulky’ now? Absolutely NOT! In fact I look smaller. I bet if I was to see her in person, and lied to her face telling her I did her method & that I was some loyal follower of 3 years, she would believe me & not even consider that I lift 15-25 lb db’s for various exercises. She’s like a bad virus that just won’t go away ๐Ÿ™

  • Christy Fox

    I only wish I had read your article before committing 18 months of my life to her drivel. I’m not sure my hip flexors will ever be happy again ๐Ÿ™ Very well written! Let’s not forget her awful promises to achieve a teeny tiny body that sets women up for all sorts of disordered behavior.

    • deansomerset

      Wow. Did you train with her in person or just through her DVDs? It would be really interesting to hear your take on things.

      • Christy Fox

        Just through her DVDs. I was apart of a few different private facebook groups devoted to her method & to say that women became disordered in many different aspects is an understatement. Tracy seemed to also bring on the popularity of juice fasting in which I watched as many women not only felt like they weren’t feminine if they didn’t do 60 mins of muscular structure work per day + 60 minutes of dance cardio, and had anything close to resembling a quadricep, but also felt ‘dirty’ and ‘unclean’ if they didn’t do somewhat regular juice fasts, or the Clean detox raved about by Gwenyth Paltrow. It really infuriates me that athletic women in Tracy’s opinion are not feminine. Please. Tracy herself looks like a prepubescent girl with a body eating itself in a dire need for calories & protein. How is that feminine or attractive? To each their own I guess. You have more kind words for her than I do. The nonsense she tries to promote about her method is one thing, but the customer service is a completely separate but equally crappy issue. She has the worst customer service company and PR people working for her as well. Women would place orders that would be shipped incorrect, they would not receive them for weeks on end, DVDs that were faulty were sent out anyway & then you’d have to call for a replacement and wait several more weeks. Entire sections of material would be left off DVDs..ahh who edits her stuff? Promised gifts to loyal method followers were never given out…so many unacceptable stories and all the while more & more women falling prey to an unhealthy lifestyle where they have yet one more thing to nit pick about them selves. Before I started her method post baby #3 I was using 15# dumbbells for many exercises. When I finally stopped I couldn’t even do push ups and 8 lb db’s were super challenging. It took me awhile to build my strength back up & do I look ‘bulky’ now? Absolutely NOT! In fact I look smaller. I bet if I was to see her in person, and lied to her face telling her I did her method & that I was some loyal follower of 3 years, she would believe me & not even consider that I lift 15-25 lb db’s for various exercises. She’s like a bad virus that just won’t go away ๐Ÿ™

    • Janet Lee

      I’m so sorry to hear about your hip flexors! I hope they recover to their previous state soon. Damn her.

  • excellent article.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks!

  • excellent article.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks!

  • Mel

    You didn’t address the muscle confusion. I was interested in hearing what you have to say about it and you didn’t. Please say!

    • deansomerset

      Lol. Muscles are pretty stupid beings. They only do what they’re told to do. They either contract, or they don’t. They don’t get confused. The person talking about muscle confusion is the one who is typically confused.

  • Mel

    You didn’t address the muscle confusion. I was interested in hearing what you have to say about it and you didn’t. Please say!

    • deansomerset

      Lol. Muscles are pretty stupid beings. They only do what they’re told to do. They either contract, or they don’t. They don’t get confused. The person talking about muscle confusion is the one who is typically confused.

  • Brent

    You guys have it all wrong. I fail to believe this Tracy chick actually believes the crap she says. She wants and needs the attention. The more she is out there (both literally and figuratively) the more clueless celeb clients will flock to her method. Same goes for Jillian. I’m totally giving them the benefit of the doubt and saying they do this for the effect. Yeah, I’ll go with this ๐Ÿ™‚

    • deansomerset

      True. I don’t doubt for a minute she’s buying into the “any press is good press” thought process with some of her statements, and having people talk about her and her method will inevitably lead to sales, so if that’s her end goal, mission accomplished.

  • Brent

    You guys have it all wrong. I fail to believe this Tracy chick actually believes the crap she says. She wants and needs the attention. The more she is out there (both literally and figuratively) the more clueless celeb clients will flock to her method. Same goes for Jillian. I’m totally giving them the benefit of the doubt and saying they do this for the effect. Yeah, I’ll go with this ๐Ÿ™‚

    • deansomerset

      True. I don’t doubt for a minute she’s buying into the “any press is good press” thought process with some of her statements, and having people talk about her and her method will inevitably lead to sales, so if that’s her end goal, mission accomplished.

  • emmat

    well apparently i should be a man by now. you have been very politically correct.. i am just going to sum it up. she’s a tit.

    • deansomerset

      Ha! Great input. I kinda spat a little bit of coffee out when I saw that.

  • emmat

    well apparently i should be a man by now. you have been very politically correct.. i am just going to sum it up. she’s a tit.

    • deansomerset

      Ha! Great input. I kinda spat a little bit of coffee out when I saw that.

  • Barbara

    I agree. I bought Tracy’s DVD and I couldn’t do the choreography. I don’t have a nutritionist and personal trainer so I do what I can to stay physically active and eat a healthy diet- that’s how I lost my weight. Tracy also says that you can lose the pouchy belly after pregnancy- you can lose it but you can’t lose the flappy skin hanging over it- that goes away with cosmetic surgery. I bet her celebrity clientele has had some surgery here and there because they can afford it. I can’t.

    • deansomerset

      Yep, effort and a reasonable diet will always be better than a ridiculously intense regimen any day. Plus, as you pointed out, when people make their livelihood by their image they’re more than willing to get surgery. My thoughts are that Tracy has gone under the knife a few times as evident by the evolution of her appearance over the years.

  • Barbara

    I agree. I bought Tracy’s DVD and I couldn’t do the choreography. I don’t have a nutritionist and personal trainer so I do what I can to stay physically active and eat a healthy diet- that’s how I lost my weight. Tracy also says that you can lose the pouchy belly after pregnancy- you can lose it but you can’t lose the flappy skin hanging over it- that goes away with cosmetic surgery. I bet her celebrity clientele has had some surgery here and there because they can afford it. I can’t.

    • deansomerset

      Yep, effort and a reasonable diet will always be better than a ridiculously intense regimen any day. Plus, as you pointed out, when people make their livelihood by their image they’re more than willing to get surgery. My thoughts are that Tracy has gone under the knife a few times as evident by the evolution of her appearance over the years.

  • Vi

    My entire KIN education so far summed up in one article. Very well written.

    The part where Paltrow talked about carrying her 30lb baby around all day right after Tracy’s ‘3lb max for women’ was hilarious. I’ve never understood why society feels that women should be smaller and more fragile than men, especially not now in our generation. Whatever happened to being equal to men?

    We are mentally and physically strong, and we will lift heavy shit.

    • deansomerset

      Completely agree. For all the talk of equality, we still see each other differently.

      • Frankie

        I cannot believe that she is praised! And of all from the other “Expert” Gwenyth Paltrow- They deserve each other. Just gotta keep educating my two girls on moderation and excercising for all the positive benefits and not elimination diets and rules only- Good grief. Thank you for the article. How can people take her seriously? Oops there I go again- living and thinking in REALITY.

  • Vi

    My entire KIN education so far summed up in one article. Very well written.

    The part where Paltrow talked about carrying her 30lb baby around all day right after Tracy’s ‘3lb max for women’ was hilarious. I’ve never understood why society feels that women should be smaller and more fragile than men, especially not now in our generation. Whatever happened to being equal to men?

    We are mentally and physically strong, and we will lift heavy shit.

    • deansomerset

      Completely agree. For all the talk of equality, we still see each other differently.

      • Frankie

        I cannot believe that she is praised! And of all from the other “Expert” Gwenyth Paltrow- They deserve each other. Just gotta keep educating my two girls on moderation and excercising for all the positive benefits and not elimination diets and rules only- Good grief. Thank you for the article. How can people take her seriously? Oops there I go again- living and thinking in REALITY.

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  • Great article Dean. Kudos all round.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks bud.

  • Great article Dean. Kudos all round.

    • deansomerset

      Thanks bud.

  • Dawn

    Great article as it drives home another reason for buyer beware, or at least be informed. A couple of days ago I read a review article on the Anderson Method program that all women should read before considering purchasing the program. Anderson’s strict diet is so unhealthy, and she is insistent that it be followed to get good results. http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/57423663.html

    • deansomerset

      That was a massively disappointing article. Not from the writers standpoint, but from the culture of her supporters essentially poo-pooing her concerns and then deleting her comments from the message board.

  • Dawn

    Great article as it drives home another reason for buyer beware, or at least be informed. A couple of days ago I read a review article on the Anderson Method program that all women should read before considering purchasing the program. Anderson’s strict diet is so unhealthy, and she is insistent that it be followed to get good results. http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/57423663.html

    • deansomerset

      That was a massively disappointing article. Not from the writers standpoint, but from the culture of her supporters essentially poo-pooing her concerns and then deleting her comments from the message board.

  • Here is my thought on exercise and getting fit. Balance! Work out and eat smart. I am a runner and have been for 30 plus years. I run a number of half marathons and a marathon once a year. I train smart and eat lots of good healthy food. I also eat cookies and sweets. I don’t have a typical runners body and I am not very fast. I tried to force my body into that lean runners body for years and my body will not go there. I am okay with this and I love my body and myself. Forcing myself into something that was not right leads to injury. I put on muscle fast and do get bulky. I love this and I am a very strong person and a strong runner. I don’t skip meals, I don’t go for fad diets. I have accepted my body for what it is and am not going to try and force it into a bad direction to achieve a perceived level of fitness or beauty.

    • deansomerset

      You’re an example of what health and fitness should be. Thank for commenting!!

  • Here is my thought on exercise and getting fit. Balance! Work out and eat smart. I am a runner and have been for 30 plus years. I run a number of half marathons and a marathon once a year. I train smart and eat lots of good healthy food. I also eat cookies and sweets. I don’t have a typical runners body and I am not very fast. I tried to force my body into that lean runners body for years and my body will not go there. I am okay with this and I love my body and myself. Forcing myself into something that was not right leads to injury. I put on muscle fast and do get bulky. I love this and I am a very strong person and a strong runner. I don’t skip meals, I don’t go for fad diets. I have accepted my body for what it is and am not going to try and force it into a bad direction to achieve a perceived level of fitness or beauty.

    • deansomerset

      You’re an example of what health and fitness should be. Thank for commenting!!

  • PIlatesyogaqqueen

    Having done it all, weight training, cardio, college sports, dance, Pilates, yoga, over the years, I’m 36 now – I have seen my body in many phases. And in dead honesty, these dead lifts and kettle bells would not only potentially throw my back out, but my quads would grow mongoid huge like they did when I played soccer and did gymnastics. And spike my adrenaline too much and leaving me feeling fatigued and my nervous system frazzled. No thanks. I’ll stick with the cardio, Pilates, yoga and light weights. I don’t miss my stockier self.

    • deansomerset

      Fair enough. Do what works best for you. Everyone’s different, just as some guys can look at a weight stack and gain muscle and others struggle to gain an ounce.

  • PIlatesyogaqqueen

    Having done it all, weight training, cardio, college sports, dance, Pilates, yoga, over the years, I’m 36 now – I have seen my body in many phases. And in dead honesty, these dead lifts and kettle bells would not only potentially throw my back out, but my quads would grow mongoid huge like they did when I played soccer and did gymnastics. And spike my adrenaline too much and leaving me feeling fatigued and my nervous system frazzled. No thanks. I’ll stick with the cardio, Pilates, yoga and light weights. I don’t miss my stockier self.

    • deansomerset

      Fair enough. Do what works best for you. Everyone’s different, just as some guys can look at a weight stack and gain muscle and others struggle to gain an ounce.

  • Beth

    Thank you for the article! Awesome!

    I’ve read about T Anderson before. One thing that concerns me is that she advocates all this fitness stuff…PLUS a very low calorie diet (around 900 calories a day, I think?) Terrible for the metabolism and much less food than the Nazis fed the German people (and they were starving).

    My 50+ mom can’t lift my daughter, who weighs just under 40 lbs.

    I just started power lifting, so I can have more strength and have the ability to lift heavy things when I’m older. It’s been good and I’ve already started seeing good results. I have fibromyalgia and it’s also helping me to get around better. ๐Ÿ™‚ And now, I finally love being in the gym.

    • deansomerset

      That’s awesome! I’m happy you’ve found something that works for you and makes you feel better along the way.

  • Beth

    Thank you for the article! Awesome!

    I’ve read about T Anderson before. One thing that concerns me is that she advocates all this fitness stuff…PLUS a very low calorie diet (around 900 calories a day, I think?) Terrible for the metabolism and much less food than the Nazis fed the German people (and they were starving).

    My 50+ mom can’t lift my daughter, who weighs just under 40 lbs.

    I just started power lifting, so I can have more strength and have the ability to lift heavy things when I’m older. It’s been good and I’ve already started seeing good results. I have fibromyalgia and it’s also helping me to get around better. ๐Ÿ™‚ And now, I finally love being in the gym.

    • deansomerset

      That’s awesome! I’m happy you’ve found something that works for you and makes you feel better along the way.

  • Extra props for the Manhattan Island rip-off note.

    • deansomerset

      The truth hurts sometimes. Thanks!

  • Extra props for the Manhattan Island rip-off note.

    • deansomerset

      The truth hurts sometimes. Thanks!

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  • As a former dancer and current Pilates and experiential anatomy teacher, I can’t thank you enough for writing this article. Her misinformation perpetuates many myths women believe about training and feeds the culture of dysphoric body image.

  • As a former dancer and current Pilates and experiential anatomy teacher, I can’t thank you enough for writing this article. Her misinformation perpetuates many myths women believe about training and feeds the culture of dysphoric body image.

  • Well said argument Dean! Like it

  • Well said argument Dean! Like it

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  • Lola

    How about following her method but adding little dumbells and eating right (as in real food)?

  • Lola

    How about following her method but adding little dumbells and eating right (as in real food)?

  • personal_trainer_uk

    Oh my! Where do I start? Thanks for writing articles like this to dismantle the lies that the so called “celebrity trainer” Anderson’ gets away with unscathed!!! Today for the first time decided to google this woman following a series of questions from one of my female clients who was very confused after buying a fitness magazine where apparently Anderson suggested women shouldn’t lift more than 2lbs DB!!!? Because of people like this, not only do I have to deal with new female client’s reluctancy to train with big compound based movements such squats and deadlifts but also with the already “converted” ones getting all confused with doubts about a routine they might have been following with me for a while which I then, as their trainer of course, must devote an extra hour of explaining to make them come to their senses again! It’s like a year’s work undone by a crap-talking anorexic woman in a split of a second! Thankfully, found this article based on FACTS which summarises everything that crossed my mind while painfully watching her 15min video (of which couldn’t handle watching for more than 1minute as her Egle-arm spreading weird exercise said it all!!) I have now forwarded your article to my doubt-filled client and I am pretty sure she’ll stop toying with the idea of ever swapping our barbell squats for Anderson’s ankle weighted doggy-porno leg kick!!

  • personal_trainer_uk

    Oh my! Where do I start? Thanks for writing articles like this to dismantle the lies that the so called “celebrity trainer” Anderson’ gets away with unscathed!!! Today for the first time decided to google this woman following a series of questions from one of my female clients who was very confused after buying a fitness magazine where apparently Anderson suggested women shouldn’t lift more than 2lbs DB!!!? Because of people like this, not only do I have to deal with new female client’s reluctancy to train with big compound based movements such squats and deadlifts but also with the already “converted” ones getting all confused with doubts about a routine they might have been following with me for a while which I then, as their trainer of course, must devote an extra hour of explaining to make them come to their senses again! It’s like a year’s work undone by a crap-talking anorexic woman in a split of a second! Thankfully, found this article based on FACTS which summarises everything that crossed my mind while painfully watching her 15min video (of which couldn’t handle watching for more than 1minute as her Egle-arm spreading weird exercise said it all!!) I have now forwarded your article to my doubt-filled client and I am pretty sure she’ll stop toying with the idea of ever swapping our barbell squats for Anderson’s ankle weighted doggy-porno leg kick!!

  • Rebecca

    I find the most reprehensible aspect of her “method” to be the starvation diet she recommends. This seems to be where most people trying the program lose weight (which they will at approx. 800 cals a day) and the excersise component of the method seems pretty moot in that context. I’d be most curious to see the results of someone following the exercise program while maintaining a healthy caloric intake – I think that would say the most about how effective it is, and how far these little grains of truth in her method can be stretched.

    Anyway, it was nice to read a balanced look at her program. I think she’s the devil incarnate so a little perspective was good for me.

  • Rebecca

    I find the most reprehensible aspect of her “method” to be the starvation diet she recommends. This seems to be where most people trying the program lose weight (which they will at approx. 800 cals a day) and the excersise component of the method seems pretty moot in that context. I’d be most curious to see the results of someone following the exercise program while maintaining a healthy caloric intake – I think that would say the most about how effective it is, and how far these little grains of truth in her method can be stretched.

    Anyway, it was nice to read a balanced look at her program. I think she’s the devil incarnate so a little perspective was good for me.

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  • Strong is the new skinny. I am a
    36 year old, Female. More fit and stronger than I have been. Cardio, Core and Strength, and clean eating. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Strong is the new skinny. I am a
    36 year old, Female. More fit and stronger than I have been. Cardio, Core and Strength, and clean eating. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anne Cohen

    I am one of those annoying types of women that looks at a weight and gets big muscles. I don’t want to look like a figure champ, and unfortunately this is what happened to me numerous times with TRX, Crossfit, Kettleballs, Bosu, Squats. All low weight mind you. I really agree that a lot of what Tracy does is drivel and bad advice that does seem to spark eating issues and disordered body insanity amongst its followers. However, in doing her mat workouts, I can say that my body looks great. I don’t follow any of her other advice.

    • Bb123

      I agree with you. I think her diet advice is crazy and I don’t do the dance cardio, I run on the treadmill and use an elliptical for cardio, but I do her mat workouts and love them and after having 2 babies back to back I lost all the baby weight in 4-5 months

    • LV

      I would recommend having your hormones checked and evaluating a natural diet and supplements to balance your hormones. Such as, someone lie myself who has high testosterone and low estrogen, i include a lot of soy, sweet potatoes, beets and black cohosh and magnolia bark. I avoid anything that alters the receptors such as progesterone. It may work for some but I have had severe reactions. Melatonin threw me out of whack too! Start slow and incorporate new things one at a time so you can evaluate a difference or symptoms

  • Anne Cohen

    I am one of those annoying types of women that looks at a weight and gets big muscles. I don’t want to look like a figure champ, and unfortunately this is what happened to me numerous times with TRX, Crossfit, Kettleballs, Bosu, Squats. All low weight mind you. I really agree that a lot of what Tracy does is drivel and bad advice that does seem to spark eating issues and disordered body insanity amongst its followers. However, in doing her mat workouts, I can say that my body looks great. I don’t follow any of her other advice.

    • Bb123

      I agree with you. I think her diet advice is crazy and I don’t do the dance cardio, I run on the treadmill and use an elliptical for cardio, but I do her mat workouts and love them and after having 2 babies back to back I lost all the baby weight in 4-5 months

    • LV

      I would recommend having your hormones checked and evaluating a natural diet and supplements to balance your hormones. Such as, someone lie myself who has high testosterone and low estrogen, i include a lot of soy, sweet potatoes, beets and black cohosh and magnolia bark. I avoid anything that alters the receptors such as progesterone. It may work for some but I have had severe reactions. Melatonin threw me out of whack too! Start slow and incorporate new things one at a time so you can evaluate a difference or symptoms

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  • Is

    great article but at the end of the day it’s all about preference and what works for your body and what is aesthetically pleasing to you. Regardless of what Ms. Anderson has said her proof is in the pudim and a lot of women out there love the results they see when they look at Gwenyth Paltrow, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bundchen and know they use her method. She has carved out a niche for herself and I respect that. I also respect good old fashioned training with weights and muscle mass.. They are just different approaches for different desired results

    • It is easy to train Christy Turlington or Gisele i mean how bad can they be ? It is not what you are selling it is how you do it and she seems to be a genius sells person

  • Is

    great article but at the end of the day it’s all about preference and what works for your body and what is aesthetically pleasing to you. Regardless of what Ms. Anderson has said her proof is in the pudim and a lot of women out there love the results they see when they look at Gwenyth Paltrow, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bundchen and know they use her method. She has carved out a niche for herself and I respect that. I also respect good old fashioned training with weights and muscle mass.. They are just different approaches for different desired results

    • It is easy to train Christy Turlington or Gisele i mean how bad can they be ? It is not what you are selling it is how you do it and she seems to be a genius sells person

  • Very minor point on formatting: there is no such thing as “its'”. There is only “It’s” — short for ‘it is’ and “its” the possessive form of it. Carry on!

    • TBear

      Really with this guy ^^ ?

  • Very minor point on formatting: there is no such thing as “its'”. There is only “It’s” — short for ‘it is’ and “its” the possessive form of it. Carry on!

    • TBear

      Really with this guy ^^ ?

  • Jen

    wow.. I was about too order her videos, but something just seemed off, so I decided to check some reviews. I am grateful that I found yours! thanks for saving me from making a big mistake ๐Ÿ™‚

    • deansomerset

      Glad to be of service ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jen

    wow.. I was about too order her videos, but something just seemed off, so I decided to check some reviews. I am grateful that I found yours! thanks for saving me from making a big mistake ๐Ÿ™‚

    • deansomerset

      Glad to be of service ๐Ÿ™‚

  • well..she is the most famous and i guess rich FT in the world..while i think it is total crap what she says, she knows how to sell herself..

    • deansomerset

      Definitely, although I would say that Jillian Michaels may outsell her, and also Richard Simmons is a force to be reckoned with in terms of long-term income.

  • well..she is the most famous and i guess rich FT in the world..while i think it is total crap what she says, she knows how to sell herself..

    • deansomerset

      Definitely, although I would say that Jillian Michaels may outsell her, and also Richard Simmons is a force to be reckoned with in terms of long-term income.

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  • Your blog post 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. I totally get why you want to breakdown each of Tracy’s claims – 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! Check my new blog out at: http://morepiecesofpie.com/slice-of-fitness-pie-tracy-anderson-metamorphosis/

  • Your blog post 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. I totally get why you want to breakdown each of Tracy’s claims – 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! Check my new blog out at: http://morepiecesofpie.com/slice-of-fitness-pie-tracy-anderson-metamorphosis/

  • Lauren

    Great article! From all that I have been reading Tracy Anderson’s method can only lead to poor health. I am glad I read your article. I also recommend Rebecca Wilcox’s article. She explains what happened to her health after the diet.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1367879/Gwyneth-Paltrows-personal-trainer-Tracy-Andersons-diet-plan-gave-blackouts.html

  • Lauren

    Great article! From all that I have been reading Tracy Anderson’s method can only lead to poor health. I am glad I read your article. I also recommend Rebecca Wilcox’s article. She explains what happened to her health after the diet.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1367879/Gwyneth-Paltrows-personal-trainer-Tracy-Andersons-diet-plan-gave-blackouts.html

  • Wonderful point of view and I tried her video. I am extremely quick at picking exercises up, but she instructed so badly and her timing was terrible! Her flailing arms and legs were extremely difficult to follow and could cause irreperable damage! Ironic you mentioned “the road to Oz” ……not the same thing, but caught her on the Dr. Oz show, which usually vets his guests and I was quite unimpressed. Neither one mentioned anything about back injuries, which I have now, nor taking it down a level. Those poor heavy women volunteering were just throwing their bodies all over the place trying to keep up. I cannot possibly see how that would work, but then again, I used to love step, and Zumba, but those had rhythm and were explained methodically. I do hope more articles are written before people are hurt. She now has a food line! OYE! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wonderful point of view and I tried her video. I am extremely quick at picking exercises up, but she instructed so badly and her timing was terrible! Her flailing arms and legs were extremely difficult to follow and could cause irreperable damage! Ironic you mentioned “the road to Oz” ……not the same thing, but caught her on the Dr. Oz show, which usually vets his guests and I was quite unimpressed. Neither one mentioned anything about back injuries, which I have now, nor taking it down a level. Those poor heavy women volunteering were just throwing their bodies all over the place trying to keep up. I cannot possibly see how that would work, but then again, I used to love step, and Zumba, but those had rhythm and were explained methodically. I do hope more articles are written before people are hurt. She now has a food line! OYE! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • You make some good points but with all methods, some are not for everyone. I was runner for years and a gym nut but was frustrated with the mediocre results. I have been doing Tracy for a few months now and the results are incredible. I don’t weigh myself but I’m wearing jeans that I could barely squeeze into back when I was 25. I also live in France and have been avoiding the greatest pleasure here: eating. Everything was going to my hips but now that I do Tracy once a day for an hour I can eat local goodies and drink the wine (within moderation). Again, not every “fad” workout is for everyone. I say pick what works for you!

    Also – I don’t work for Tracy or am a part of her team. Just a fan who has been enjoying her new perky butt. : )

    • deansomerset

      As I mentioned in the article, I don’t doubt people are getting great results with her program. My issue wasn’t with her method itself, but with some of the statements she was making regarding the science of how it worked. I applaud you for finding a program that works, and hope you continue to have success with it.

  • MademoisElla Coquine

    You make some good points but with all methods, some are not for everyone. I was runner for years and a gym nut but was frustrated with the mediocre results. I have been doing Tracy for a few months now and the results are incredible. I don’t weigh myself but I’m wearing jeans that I could barely squeeze into back when I was 25. I also live in France and have been avoiding the greatest pleasure here: eating. Everything was going to my hips but now that I do Tracy once a day for an hour I can eat local goodies and drink the wine (within moderation). Again, not every “fad” workout is for everyone. I say pick what works for you!

    Also – I don’t work for Tracy or am a part of her team. Just a fan who has been enjoying her new perky butt. : )

    • deansomerset

      As I mentioned in the article, I don’t doubt people are getting great results with her program. My issue wasn’t with her method itself, but with some of the statements she was making regarding the science of how it worked. I applaud you for finding a program that works, and hope you continue to have success with it.

  • Aurelie

    Amazing article. I have many friends in the UK and in Switzerland who swear by Tracy Anderson. I find her diets too drastics and would rather do my trainings which were formulated by a trainer friend of mine as we all have different bodies, one method workout is wrong. I am definitely sharing this article. Thank you

  • Aurelie

    Amazing article. I have many friends in the UK and in Switzerland who swear by Tracy Anderson. I find her diets too drastics and would rather do my trainings which were formulated by a trainer friend of mine as we all have different bodies, one method workout is wrong. I am definitely sharing this article. Thank you

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  • KIM

    I really enjoyed reading your article. Surprisingly, I consistently workout using the Tracy Anderson Method. I have found that , for my body, I achieve the results that she claims her method will deliver. I think that the results are dependent are each individual ,it may work for some and may not work for others. I agree with you, that “never” and “always” are terms that are somewhat too limiting. For example, I often run long distance during the week, which Tracy would disagree with ! Thank you for the article

  • KIM

    I really enjoyed reading your article. Surprisingly, I consistently workout using the Tracy Anderson Method. I have found that , for my body, I achieve the results that she claims her method will deliver. I think that the results are dependent are each individual ,it may work for some and may not work for others. I agree with you, that “never” and “always” are terms that are somewhat too limiting. For example, I often run long distance during the week, which Tracy would disagree with ! Thank you for the article

  • Tina Y

    Interesting article. What she is selling though is an “image.” She created her method for one specific type of body, and this who her clients are. So the image seems attainable for many people who seem to think they too can look like Gwyneth or her other famous clients.

  • Tina Y

    Interesting article. What she is selling though is an “image.” She created her method for one specific type of body, and this who her clients are. So the image seems attainable for many people who seem to think they too can look like Gwyneth or her other famous clients.

  • Stephanie

    You are awesome! Tracy Anderson thinks she is the best thing since sliced bread, I have arthritis and other hand issues since doing her 6 month program in Studio City. She is dangerous and has a huge celeb to back her so that’s why she is constantly in the press. She does not know anything – and you are right she uses absolutes like “never”, “always” etc… she is not a doctor nor does not have the knowledge to speak that way. She is just someone who from what I’ve heard and met previously is snobby, demanding, money grubbing and highly egocentric.

  • Stephanie

    You are awesome! Tracy Anderson thinks she is the best thing since sliced bread, I have arthritis and other hand issues since doing her 6 month program in Studio City. She is dangerous and has a huge celeb to back her so that’s why she is constantly in the press. She does not know anything – and you are right she uses absolutes like “never”, “always” etc… she is not a doctor nor does not have the knowledge to speak that way. She is just someone who from what I’ve heard and met previously is snobby, demanding, money grubbing and highly egocentric.

  • Tonda

    Awesome! As a woman who fought back to fitness after gaining a large amount of weight I appreciate Dean’s truthful approach. I started right off with a combination of weight program and cardio and I can lat pull 80 pounds! I lost 60 of the 70 pounds I had gained and the remaining 10 is muscle I didn’t even have all the years I was active in sports. Even at the beginning, a 3 lb weight would be completely useless for me unless I had like 3 hours to do around 2000 reps. So as you say, Dean, it depends. Perpetuating the “skinny Barbie” ideal should be so last century already! Women, celebrate your strength in all ways! We don’t have to be big to be strong! In my 20s and 30s I could lift and carry my own weight and I was a size 6.

  • Tonda

    Awesome! As a woman who fought back to fitness after gaining a large amount of weight I appreciate Dean’s truthful approach. I started right off with a combination of weight program and cardio and I can lat pull 80 pounds! I lost 60 of the 70 pounds I had gained and the remaining 10 is muscle I didn’t even have all the years I was active in sports. Even at the beginning, a 3 lb weight would be completely useless for me unless I had like 3 hours to do around 2000 reps. So as you say, Dean, it depends. Perpetuating the “skinny Barbie” ideal should be so last century already! Women, celebrate your strength in all ways! We don’t have to be big to be strong! In my 20s and 30s I could lift and carry my own weight and I was a size 6.

  • Marla

    Tracy doesn’t have a formal education in physiology but I think she knows what she is talking about. Gweneth doesn’t need to lift 30lb weights because she is doing that functionally every day. Instead she needs a program that prepares her postural muscles to support her everyday life. Here is a method I have discovered that is seriously the best ever (not to make an exaggerated claim) because not only does it work, but it’s also being constantly developed through scientific research and covers all aspects of fitness: http://www.gymnastiquesurtable.com/ –> for images
    http://www.fitnesstable.com –> for English. It’s a private studio in Calgary and Vancouver.

  • Marla

    Tracy doesn’t have a formal education in physiology but I think she knows what she is talking about. Gweneth doesn’t need to lift 30lb weights because she is doing that functionally every day. Instead she needs a program that prepares her postural muscles to support her everyday life. Here is a method I have discovered that is seriously the best ever (not to make an exaggerated claim) because not only does it work, but it’s also being constantly developed through scientific research and covers all aspects of fitness: http://www.gymnastiquesurtable.com/ –> for images
    http://www.fitnesstable.com –> for English. It’s a private studio in Calgary and Vancouver.

  • Marla

    Ok so I also just watched youtube vids and see what you all mean tho…haha.

  • Marla

    Ok so I also just watched youtube vids and see what you all mean tho…haha.

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  • Katie Locke

    I’m glad that you wrote this article as I’ve been skeptical about some of the things she’s said in her infomercial. She has also contradicted herself in some Cosmo articles stating to progress to 5 lbs or more with some of the exercises.

  • Katie Locke

    I’m glad that you wrote this article as I’ve been skeptical about some of the things she’s said in her infomercial. She has also contradicted herself in some Cosmo articles stating to progress to 5 lbs or more with some of the exercises. Have written any articles about the brazil butt lift as I’m wanting to try it.

  • Ria

    Found this article doing some research & prior to purchasing any of her products. Now I am most grateful I didn’t “suck it up & spend the money”. My husband & I have been off & on gym rats for the past 20 yrs (the last 2 more off than on, now that we have a gym in our home). I will never be a teeny tiny petite (starving “Give that girl a sammich”) model/movie starlet type. At 5’11” I can (but, prefer not to) carry quite a bit of weight and due to recovering from bilateral medial meniscus repairs currently am (ergo the search for a program to do in house).
    I am doubly grateful for your article as I too in searching programs had come across the infomercial “interview” where by the end I was feeling less feminine, increasingly unattractive & “manly”. I will continue my search but, will check back to see if you have taken apart something before purchasing.
    Deep gratitude from tall & shapely (a bit on the thick side for now).

  • Ria

    Found this article doing some research & prior to purchasing any of her products. Now I am most grateful I didn’t “suck it up & spend the money”. My husband & I have been off & on gym rats for the past 20 yrs (the last 2 more off than on, now that we have a gym in our home). I will never be a teeny tiny petite (starving “Give that girl a sammich”) model/movie starlet type. At 5’11” I can (but, prefer not to) carry quite a bit of weight and due to recovering from bilateral medial meniscus repairs currently am (ergo the search for a program to do in house).
    I am doubly grateful for your article as I too in searching programs had come across the infomercial “interview” where by the end I was feeling less feminine, increasingly unattractive & “manly”. I will continue my search but, will check back to see if you have taken apart something before purchasing.
    Deep gratitude from tall & shapely (a bit on the thick side for now).

  • Char

    Awesome article I’m a fan of aspects of her workout but the blanket statements are ludicrous and show a lack of educational backing on her part. Thanks for sharing

  • Char

    Awesome article I’m a fan of aspects of her workout but the blanket statements are ludicrous and show a lack of educational backing on her part. Thanks for sharing

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  • Sara F.

    Very informative. The last bit of those following this “Method” don’t have the resources to decipher the information along with the use of key words that her demographic is appealed toward. You sparked topics that I didn’t know the other side to.

  • Sara F.

    Very informative. The last bit of those following this “Method” don’t have the resources to decipher the information along with the use of key words that her demographic is appealed toward. You sparked topics that I didn’t know the other side to.

  • MindWithAView

    I for one am glad that someone is designing fitness regimens for women
    who want to be sleek and toned, not bulked up like a guy. The blonde in the photo shown above looks thoroughly disgusting to me and many other people–like a guy
    wearing a bikini.

    Look at aboriginal groups to see what toned,
    healthy women look like. They don’t look like that blonde guy-wanna-be.
    They actually have curves, strong toned muscles, and an all-important
    layer of fat that makes them look softer than their male counterparts.
    That fat is necessary for hormonal balance, for maintaining normal
    menses, for making safely through pregnancy, and to ensure that a woman
    does not become emaciated while breast-feeding. (In case you weren’t
    aware of it, women lose and burn thousands of calories while breast
    feeding.) Nature designed a perfect female body, and it doesn’t look like what bodybuilders think is perfect.

    So stop trying to morph us into men with breasts
    (usually silicone ones). That’s not what truly fit and healthy women
    look like. In fact, women who try to train and look like men end up with
    serious reproductive dysfunction, such as amenorrhea and infertility.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-factors-and-risks-of-amenorrhea-in-women.htm

    • deansomerset

      While I could argue your assessment of Jamie Eason’s body looking like a guy, it is your opinion and you are entitled to it. I should note that she is a featured figure competitor with Bodybuilding.com, the site where you referenced your article, which was also written by a competitive bodybuilder.

      I absolutely agree that aboriginal women did have curves and a higher body fat level than the current athletes or aesthetic driven exercisers would have, although I am pretty sure they got their tone from lifting considerably more than 3 lbs per day. They did daily chores, manual labour, meal cooking for the entire tribe, and ate considerably more than most meal plans would suggest, simply because they were burning calories from the start of the day until they fell asleep, which is not common place in todays society.

      I do agree that the fat is necessary for hormonal optimization, but there is a large body of research that shows the exact amount is variable between individuals as to what would constitute a safe percentage of body fat. One thing the research also shows is that without bone building exercises, muscle tone becomes lost which negatively impacts hormonal concentrations.

      I’m not sure where you’re collecting your data regarding the thermic effect of breast feeding, but I can assure you it’s an over exaggeration. The caloric expenditure of creating and dispensing milk is quite low. It may account for 1000 total calories over the dispensing life cycle for an individual child, but that would be a stretch.

      Further to this, many obstetricians, gynecologists, and internal health physical therapists have shown that by not being strong with weight bearing exercises, the odds of having secondary complications following pregnancy, such as prolapse or pelvic floor dysfunction, goes up significantly. It also negatively affects the delivery process.

      I agree that you can’t improve on nature, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accept what nature has given you and use your body in the most productive and beneficial way possible. This article in no way said that women had to become bodybuilders, but that the concepts of women bulking up by lifting more than 3 lbs, running or cycling, and that only doing the Tracy Anderson Method was the only way to get long sleek limbs was erroneous, and pointed to concepts of anatomy and physiology that are universal. In order to look like a bodybuilder, or even Jamie Eason, whom you feel looks like a man, takes a considerable amount of time and energy to do. Most programs recommend women work out with weight 2-4 times per week, which is substantially less than any figure competitor will do, so the fear of bulking is somewhat misguided.

      • MindWithAView

        You see, this is the problem with men assuming women’s bodies are just men’s bodies with breasts and without a penis. Your facts are so far off that it is silly for you to be giving advice to women about health and fitness.

        Producing 1 ounce of breast milk requires about 26 calories, and the average infant ingests about 25 ounces of milk daily. That equals an energy expenditure on the part of nursing mothers of about 650 calories per day. A woman whose baby nurses for 3 years would burn about 480,000 calories (about 230,000 during the first year, 150,000 during the second year, 100,000 during the third year). See here for the studies done on this: http://www.phdinparenting.com/blog/2008/11/25/the-calories-and-breastfeeding-rollercoaster.html

        You also seem to be confusing aboriginal with ancestral. Aboriginal women STILL live the way all humans did during most of our species evolution. Here are photos of Hadza women. Look at them to see what genuinely fit women look like. They don’t look like that masculinized female body-builder. And human infants in industrialized societies STILL make the same caloric demands on their nursing mothers. http://www.dhushara.com/paradoxhtm/culture.htm

        With respect to fat to muscle mass, there is a large literature on this issue which seems to show that about 25% is optimal for women. Less than that and we become infertile and suffer from osteoporosis and other forms of disease that are prevented by the entragonadal estrogen that is stored in fat tissue. Greater than that and we are at risk for breast cancer and other diseases that are facilitated by too much estrogen. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3117838

        • deansomerset

          You just helped me make a very large revelation. When I was in university, there was always a couple of chapters of my endocrinology and biochemistry textbooks that were completely blank. When I showed them to my male friends, they could only see blank pages too, but female friends could read them perfectly fine. Apparently I needed to have ovaries to understand female endocrinology.

          Are you kidding me?? Saying that because I’m a man that I can’t understand basic female hormonal endocrinology is one of the most outdated arguments around, and proves absolutely nothing. I’m sure if I said anything about you being female and not being able to do or understand something you would be all up in arms. However, I’ll shrug it off and keep the debate intellectual.

          For the article you referenced, I think the author is confusing nutritional intake with caloric burn. Yes, mothers need to take in extra calories above their basal metabolic rate to produce milk, but they don’t “burn” them from stored energy sources in their body, they convert them from dietary intake. Here’s a reference to an actual article that shows how much caloric expenditure is actually going on with lactation, based on both a higher carb intake and a higher fat intake:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19386740

          The total caloric expenditure required was ameliorated by an intake of about 120 calories per day on the higher carb intake plan, and 275 when calories from fat exceeded 55% of all intake.

          Also, most mothers tend to only lactate for between 6-14 months, so quoting numerical values for 3 years when the mother may only be lactating for 8-14 months is both redundant and facetious.

          Next, your comment about ancestral and aboriginal is somewhat perplexing, as I have native heritage. You mentioned to look at the Hadza women in the picture, but the picture is of Hazda men, and Datog women, two genetically different tribes based on their respective evolutionary hegemony, and especially so if compared to women and men of european and even asiatic descent. I would argue that regardless of the culture, there are women and men who would exhibit the same physical and phenotypic traits to lean muscle and body composition as those pictured, regardless of whether they stepped into a gym or not. Having studied some of the work of the Price Pottenger foundation, which looked at the dietary habits of indigenous cultures and the effects of introducing westernized diets and lifestyles on oral and general health, I can say that these indigenous cultures are not the exception to the norm compared to other indigenous cultures, specifically given examples to tribal semi-nomadic cultures, like the native tribes throughout North America before the influx of caucasian Europeans.

          Next, the idea that 25% is somehow the gold standard for body composition is again forgetting individual differences. For any mean or average to exist, there has to be a standard deviation, which is the range that 66% of the given population would fit into in order to give the average. This specific example has a standard deviation of 6%, which means “healthy” as you define it could be anywhere from 19-31%, and still produce identical biomarkers for everything from reproductive health, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels, and pretty much any other feature you like to use. Jamie Eason, the woman you seem to have a hate of based on her inclusion in this article, recently gave birth to a full term, healthy baby boy, and hasn’t had any significant repercussions as a result. Also, as for her looking like a man, she is 5’2″, with a training weight of around 110-112 lbs, and a body fat percentage of 12%, (as shown by her profile on Bodybuilding.com, the site of that first article you referenced from) which means your argument of her being “built like a man” is unfounded based on the empirical data provided. She’s roughly the same size as Tracy Anderson.

          The article you referenced in terms of body composition is over 25 years old. That’s just poor researching on your part to find an article to substantiate your argument. It also looked at the body composition issues faced in dancers and women who diet excessively. Comparing them to athletic women who have relatively normal dietary habits is comparing apples to kiwis. They’re under completely different stressors, physiologic demands, and metabolic by-products. When you’re on a starvation diet, of course you’re going to have some negative health issues. However, when you’re on a well balanced dietary plan, you can safely reduce body fat without losing menstrual function.

          Here’s an article written in the past decade that shows how winter sport athletes have higher bone mineral densities, lower body fat levels, higher muscle masses, and no difference in menstrual cycle function compared to their active controls who were not on the olympic teams.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15354043

          This means the average of 25% is just that: the average. There are individual differences to take into account, and saying because someone has a lower body fat percentage does not prelude them to having an increased risk of health issues, however each person is specific in how they respond to alterations in body composition and stress on their menstrual function, but I guess you already knew that since you’re a woman and I have a penis.

          I don’t know how this comment stream took such a tangent away from the original message of the article, which was to provide sound rationale regarding well known and accepted tennets of anatomy and physiology with respect to developing lean muscle with lower levels of body fat, which is what 99.9% of the population who would be looking to purchase any product from Tracy Anderson would want, and turned into a pissing match about who knew more about the thermic effect of lactation, but let’s try to keep this as civil as possible. You’ll note I haven’t levied any personal attacks against you or your anatomy, so please provide me the same level of respect. After all, it’s my site you’re commenting on.

          • MindWithAView

            Quite a temper tantrum! I am going reply in depth to your tirade in the hope of preventing you from encouraging women to build bodies that look like 13 year old boys on steroids with breast implants. It is this desire to change women’s bodies into men’s that has led to so many women today having adrenal exhaustion, infertility, endometriosis, osteoporosis, and a whole host of other disorders and diseases associated with adrenal exhaustion and hormonal dysregulation.

            To improve your education of female physiology and the role of fat storage and
            metabolism, here are a few articles you might want to take a look at once you
            settle down.

            With respect to overtraining among female athletes: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/3/610.full
            What this article (and dozens like it) show is that female athletes frequently
            suffer from a โ€œtriadโ€ of heath dysfunction that includes lack of menstruation,
            eating disorders, and loss of bone density. Thatโ€™s what happens when coaches
            try to mold normal female bodies into โ€œideal body typesโ€, that is, bodies that
            look like male bodies.

            With respect to ideal body fat percentages: According to the American
            Council on Exercise, fitness is defined as 21-24% body fat for women and 14-17% for men. Athletes take that down to 14-20% for women and 6-13% for men. Anything below that is dangerously low.

            Regarding lactation: You just have this plain wrong. Here is a quote from
            Nutrition During Lactation, a publication by the Subcommittee on Nutrition
            During Lactation, Committee on Nutritional Status During Pregnancy and
            Lactation Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of
            Sciences http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=1577&page=R1

            “Among women exclusively breastfeeding their infants, the energy demands
            of lactation exceed prepregnancy demands by approximately 640 kcal/day during
            the first 6 months post partum compared with 300 kcal/day during the last two trimesters of pregnancy (NRC, 1989).”p. 213.

            In other words, women need to increase their intake by 300 kcal/day during the
            last trimester of pregnancy and by 640 kcal/day during the first 6 mos of
            breastfeeding. That is the caloric increase that is needed just to keep up with
            the caloric demands of the infant. Any less than that, and she will become
            emaciated.

            Here is another quote from the same publication: “…a woman consuming
            only the RDA for protein for a nonpregnant, nonlactating woman would need to
            mobilize about 19% of her lean tissue to support 6 months of milk
            production” p. 218

            Womenโ€™s bodies were designed by evolution to efficiently store calories due
            the demands associated with pregnancy and laction. Estrogen is one of the
            mechanisms by which this occurs, as this paper shows.

            Does oestrogen allow women to store fat more efficiently? A biological
            advantage for fertility and gestation. Obesity Reviews, Volume 10, Issue 2,
            pages 168โ€“177, March 2009 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2008.00539.x

            Abstract: In normal healthy-weight humans, women have a higher percentage body fat than men, a difference that commences at puberty and continues throughout adult life, suggesting that the mechanism is related to sex steroids. The first half of pregnancy is also a stage of body fat gain in women. From an energy balance point, there is no explanation why women should be fatter than men, as the latter consume more calories proportionately. Moreover, women store fat in early pregnancy when caloric intake does not significantly change. The aim of this review is to focus on evidence supporting one mechanism that may account for these findings. That is, oestrogen reduces postprandial fatty acid
            oxidation leading to an increase in body fat which may account for the greater
            fat mass observed in women compared with men and the fat gain in early pregnancy. Therefore, female puberty and early pregnancy could be seen
            as states of efficient fat storage of energy in preparation for fertility, foetal development and lactation providing an obvious biological advantage. Further research into this mechanism of fat storage may provide further insights into the regulation of body fat.

            With respect to the Hadza: The link I posted contains photos and information about a variety of aboriginal groups, including the Hadza. You will note that my description of what these hunter-gathers look like is accurate. The women do not look like beefed up men. They have are lean, curvy, and carry an ideal layer of fat. They do NOT look like American female bodybuilders.

          • deansomerset

            Sigh. Again you have mis-represented the information you present. You initially said women should have 25% body fat, now quote position statements saying 21-24% is normal, and athletes can have 14-17%. This is what’s known as back tracking, and proves the point I was trying to make. Thank you.

            For the female athlete triad, you forgot to mention the number one defining feature is adequate nutritional intake, not body composition, total body fat or muscle mass. This is correlative to your article on dietetically restricted ballet dancers from the 80’s, but again doesn’t paint the entire picture. The loss of menstruation is one of the first things I council athletes on in order to know when they are in the stages of over-reaching or over training. For the majority of women, if they are eating enough quality food and having planned breaks and de-loads in their training (known as periodization), they don’t have a risk of developing amenorhea.

            “Exceeding pregnancy demands by 640 kcal/day” means that the additional 300 calories needed during the third trimester is then augmented by the additional 640 kcals. This means 940 kcals per day, and again based on research done in the 1980’s (albeit later), which has since been refuted as an overestimate. To “become emaciated” is a very unusual statement, as I haven’t heard of many women dropping baby weight to the point of being dangerously low simply from breast feeding. The article you showed looking at estrogen (which is strange, and I’ll bring up later) showed that women store body fat that could be used to augment the caloric needs of both pregnancy and lactation, which would reduce the need for continued increases in caloric requirements for both and reduce the chances of becoming “emaciated.”

            This entire topic of breast feeding has absolutely no bearing on the article itself, yet has proven to be somewhat of an amusing side attraction. Your quote about the protein requirements is laughable, and again taken out of context. It assumes someone eating only the RDA, which is extremely low in favour of a higher carbohydrate intake, based on Food Guides, recommended allowances, etc. Most recommended daily allowances still place complex grains and dairy as the main requirements for a healthy diet, even though there’s a massive and growing body of research showing that these are the two food groups that are overconsumed in western lifestyles. Again, you’re reaching for a lot of straws between your comparisons of indigenous cultures, breast feeding, western dietary requirements, and what I actually discussed in the article.

            Your statement regarding the effects of estrogen on body fat storage is quizzical, as it has absolutely no bearing on the discussion at hand. It gives a rationale as to why women gain fat during pregnancy, but has no ties to breast feeding (which is not in any way a part of this article), nor does it explain anything regarding exercise induced metabolic changes to either gain muscle or lose fat in non-pregnant women, and doesn’t support your position for women who don’t look like bodybuilders, nor does it refute it either, so please continue to drop knowledge bombs on me as to why you felt it necessary to include this little tidbit.

            I agree about the point made with the Hazda women (even though the picture you mentioned does not feature any), and drew the same comparisons in my previous comment. Again, thank you for proving my point for me.

            Once again, at no point in the article did I say I was trying to get women to turn into men, or become bodybuilders, and definitely had no points of interest in discussing endocrinology or breast feeding, which you felt important to bring up. The goal was to showcase the basic anatomical and physiological means by which Tracy Anderson claims her program works, and show a point-counterpoint to her claims. For women looking to lose fat and get toned (they do exist, whether you like it or not), I proposed a rationale to help achieve this in a safe, minimalist, and non-aggressive manner through compound resistance training and sound dietary practices, which is also backed by dozens of statistical analyses of the differences in response to resistance training between males and females. I am not trying to make women into men. However, if a woman decides she wants to pursue that route, it’s her prerogative. As for the temper tantrum, that’s just plain funny. I’ll give you that one on the sarcasm. Good job.

          • MindWithAView

            OK wiseguy, here are the precise numbers for women according to the ACE chart

            Essential fat: 10-13%
            Athletes: 14-20%
            Fitness: 21-24%
            *Average: 25-31%*
            Obese: 32% or greater

            So 25% is an approximation of an ideal body fat percentage for women.

            You haven’t heard of any woman becoming emaciated from breast feeding? That is because you live in a first world country. It is a serious problem in third world countries. It was a reproductive pressure during our species evolution, and the result is physiological mechanisms that facilitate fat storage and fat-loss resistance.

            Let me spell it out for you again since you are obviously too bull-headed and ego-threatened to get this:

            WOMEN’S BODIES HAVE BEEN DESIGNED BY EVOLUTION TO EFFICIENTLY STORE FAT AND RESIST FAT LOSS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE REPRODUCTION (PREGNANCY AND LACTATION). You can shame, blame, scream at, coax, cajole, “motivate” and do all manner of destructive tactics to force women’s bodies to look and behave more like men’s. All you are going to do is make women amenorrheic, give them eating disorders, and promote bone loss that ensures fractured bones in middle age. All to achieve some truly sick ideal of feminine beauty wrapped up in a false story about fitness.

            A fit female doesn’t look like a beefed up guy. Get over it. A fit female is lean, curvy, and has a softness to her body that guarantees health and fertility.

          • MindWithAView

            Let me make it simpler: A fit woman looks like Tracy Anderson, not like the mutant blonde in your blog. Women who go to trainers like Tracy Anderson do so because they want fit female bodies. Those who want to look like 13 year old boys on steroids with breast implants can go to any number of other trainers.

          • deansomerset

            Lol. Tracy has breast implants and has been compared multiple times to having the body of a 13 year old boy. This is getting comical.

            Yet again, we’re not comparing the same thing. I’m guessing Tracy Anderson isn’t training third world women into becoming teeny tiny.

            Once again, I think the issue here is with you not reading the article as it was written. at no point did I say that women should starve themselves, overtrain, or become men. These were your words, not mine. If you’re saying I’m the one trying to give eating disorders, promote bone loss, and ensure fractured bones, I suggest you look at how her star pupil Gweneth Paltrow was diagnosed with osteopenia at a very young age, even though resistance training would be the most beneficial means for reversing any loss in bone density.

            If you feel I’m being bull-headed or ego-theratened, I have only offered counter-arguements to each statement you have made. I also am not the one who is calling others “beefed up mutants” which is a very aggressive statement to use behind the confines of anonymity and a keyboard.

  • MindWithAView

    I for one am glad that someone is designing fitness regimens for women
    who want to be sleek and toned, not bulked up like a guy. The blonde in the photo shown above looks thoroughly disgusting to me and many other people–like a guy
    wearing a bikini.

    Look at aboriginal groups to see what toned,
    healthy women look like. They don’t look like that blonde guy-wanna-be.
    They actually have curves, strong toned muscles, and an all-important
    layer of fat that makes them look softer than their male counterparts.
    That fat is necessary for hormonal balance, for maintaining normal
    menses, for making safely through pregnancy, and to ensure that a woman
    does not become emaciated while breast-feeding. (In case you weren’t
    aware of it, women lose and burn thousands of calories while breast
    feeding.) Nature designed a perfect female body, and it doesn’t look like what bodybuilders think is perfect.

    So stop trying to morph us into men with breasts
    (usually silicone ones). That’s not what truly fit and healthy women
    look like. In fact, women who try to train and look like men end up with
    serious reproductive dysfunction, such as amenorrhea and infertility.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-factors-and-risks-of-amenorrhea-in-women.htm

    • deansomerset

      While I could argue your assessment of Jamie Eason’s body looking like a guy, it is your opinion and you are entitled to it. I should note that she is a featured figure competitor with Bodybuilding.com, the site where you referenced your article, which was also written by a competitive bodybuilder.

      I absolutely agree that aboriginal women did have curves and a higher body fat level than the current athletes or aesthetic driven exercisers would have, although I am pretty sure they got their tone from lifting considerably more than 3 lbs per day. They did daily chores, manual labour, meal cooking for the entire tribe, and ate considerably more than most meal plans would suggest, simply because they were burning calories from the start of the day until they fell asleep, which is not common place in todays society.

      I do agree that the fat is necessary for hormonal optimization, but there is a large body of research that shows the exact amount is variable between individuals as to what would constitute a safe percentage of body fat. One thing the research also shows is that without bone building exercises, muscle tone becomes lost which negatively impacts hormonal concentrations.

      I’m not sure where you’re collecting your data regarding the thermic effect of breast feeding, but I can assure you it’s an over exaggeration. The caloric expenditure of creating and dispensing milk is quite low. It may account for 1000 total calories over the dispensing life cycle for an individual child, but that would be a stretch.

      Further to this, many obstetricians, gynecologists, and internal health physical therapists have shown that by not being strong with weight bearing exercises, the odds of having secondary complications following pregnancy, such as prolapse or pelvic floor dysfunction, goes up significantly. It also negatively affects the delivery process.

      I agree that you can’t improve on nature, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accept what nature has given you and use your body in the most productive and beneficial way possible. This article in no way said that women had to become bodybuilders, but that the concepts of women bulking up by lifting more than 3 lbs, running or cycling, and that only doing the Tracy Anderson Method was the only way to get long sleek limbs was erroneous, and pointed to concepts of anatomy and physiology that are universal. In order to look like a bodybuilder, or even Jamie Eason, whom you feel looks like a man, takes a considerable amount of time and energy to do. Most programs recommend women work out with weight 2-4 times per week, which is substantially less than any figure competitor will do, so the fear of bulking is somewhat misguided.

      • MindWithAView

        You see, this is the problem with men assuming women’s bodies are just men’s bodies with breasts and without a penis. Your facts are so far off that it is silly for you to be giving advice to women about health and fitness.

        Producing 1 ounce of breast milk requires about 26 calories, and the average infant ingests about 25 ounces of milk daily. That equals an energy expenditure on the part of nursing mothers of about 650 calories per day. A woman whose baby nurses for 3 years would burn about 480,000 calories (about 230,000 during the first year, 150,000 during the second year, 100,000 during the third year). See here for the studies done on this: http://www.phdinparenting.com/blog/2008/11/25/the-calories-and-breastfeeding-rollercoaster.html

        You also seem to be confusing aboriginal with ancestral. Aboriginal women STILL live the way all humans did during most of our species evolution. Here are photos of Hadza women. Look at them to see what genuinely fit women look like. They don’t look like that masculinized female body-builder. And human infants in industrialized societies STILL make the same caloric demands on their nursing mothers. http://www.dhushara.com/paradoxhtm/culture.htm

        With respect to fat to muscle mass, there is a large literature on this issue which seems to show that about 25% is optimal for women. Less than that and we become infertile and suffer from osteoporosis and other forms of disease that are prevented by the entragonadal estrogen that is stored in fat tissue. Greater than that and we are at risk for breast cancer and other diseases that are facilitated by too much estrogen. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3117838

        • deansomerset

          You just helped me make a very large revelation. When I was in university, there was always a couple of chapters of my endocrinology and biochemistry textbooks that were completely blank. When I showed them to my male friends, they could only see blank pages too, but female friends could read them perfectly fine. Apparently I needed to have ovaries to understand female endocrinology.

          Are you kidding me?? Saying that because I’m a man that I can’t understand basic female hormonal endocrinology is one of the most outdated arguments around, and proves absolutely nothing. I’m sure if I said anything about you being female and not being able to do or understand something you would be all up in arms. However, I’ll shrug it off and keep the debate intellectual.

          For the article you referenced, I think the author is confusing nutritional intake with caloric burn. Yes, mothers need to take in extra calories above their basal metabolic rate to produce milk, but they don’t “burn” them from stored energy sources in their body, they convert them from dietary intake. Here’s a reference to an actual article that shows how much caloric expenditure is actually going on with lactation, based on both a higher carb intake and a higher fat intake:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19386740

          The total caloric expenditure required was ameliorated by an intake of about 120 calories per day on the higher carb intake plan, and 275 when calories from fat exceeded 55% of all intake.

          Also, most mothers tend to only lactate for between 6-14 months, so quoting numerical values for 3 years when the mother may only be lactating for 8-14 months is both redundant and facetious.

          Next, your comment about ancestral and aboriginal is somewhat perplexing, as I have native heritage. You mentioned to look at the Hadza women in the picture, but the picture is of Hazda men, and Datog women, two genetically different tribes based on their respective evolutionary hegemony, and especially so if compared to women and men of european and even asiatic descent. I would argue that regardless of the culture, there are women and men who would exhibit the same physical and phenotypic traits to lean muscle and body composition as those pictured, regardless of whether they stepped into a gym or not. Having studied some of the work of the Price Pottenger foundation, which looked at the dietary habits of indigenous cultures and the effects of introducing westernized diets and lifestyles on oral and general health, I can say that these indigenous cultures are not the exception to the norm compared to other indigenous cultures, specifically given examples to tribal semi-nomadic cultures, like the native tribes throughout North America before the influx of caucasian Europeans.

          Next, the idea that 25% is somehow the gold standard for body composition is again forgetting individual differences. For any mean or average to exist, there has to be a standard deviation, which is the range that 66% of the given population would fit into in order to give the average. This specific example has a standard deviation of 6%, which means “healthy” as you define it could be anywhere from 19-31%, and still produce identical biomarkers for everything from reproductive health, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol levels, and pretty much any other feature you like to use. Jamie Eason, the woman you seem to have a hate of based on her inclusion in this article, recently gave birth to a full term, healthy baby boy, and hasn’t had any significant repercussions as a result. Also, as for her looking like a man, she is 5’2″, with a training weight of around 110-112 lbs, and a body fat percentage of 12%, (as shown by her profile on Bodybuilding.com, the site of that first article you referenced from) which means your argument of her being “built like a man” is unfounded based on the empirical data provided. She’s roughly the same size as Tracy Anderson.

          The article you referenced in terms of body composition is over 25 years old. That’s just poor researching on your part to find an article to substantiate your argument. It also looked at the body composition issues faced in dancers and women who diet excessively. Comparing them to athletic women who have relatively normal dietary habits is comparing apples to kiwis. They’re under completely different stressors, physiologic demands, and metabolic by-products. When you’re on a starvation diet, of course you’re going to have some negative health issues. However, when you’re on a well balanced dietary plan, you can safely reduce body fat without losing menstrual function.

          Here’s an article written in the past decade that shows how winter sport athletes have higher bone mineral densities, lower body fat levels, higher muscle masses, and no difference in menstrual cycle function compared to their active controls who were not on the olympic teams.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15354043

          This means the average of 25% is just that: the average. There are individual differences to take into account, and saying because someone has a lower body fat percentage does not prelude them to having an increased risk of health issues, however each person is specific in how they respond to alterations in body composition and stress on their menstrual function, but I guess you already knew that since you’re a woman and I have a penis.

          I don’t know how this comment stream took such a tangent away from the original message of the article, which was to provide sound rationale regarding well known and accepted tennets of anatomy and physiology with respect to developing lean muscle with lower levels of body fat, which is what 99.9% of the population who would be looking to purchase any product from Tracy Anderson would want, and turned into a pissing match about who knew more about the thermic effect of lactation, but let’s try to keep this as civil as possible. You’ll note I haven’t levied any personal attacks against you or your anatomy, so please provide me the same level of respect. After all, it’s my site you’re commenting on.

          • MindWithAView

            Quite a temper tantrum! I am going reply in depth to your tirade in the hope of preventing you from encouraging women to build bodies that look like 13 year old boys on steroids with breast implants. It is this desire to change women’s bodies into men’s that has led to so many women today having adrenal exhaustion, infertility, endometriosis, osteoporosis, and a whole host of other disorders and diseases associated with adrenal exhaustion and hormonal dysregulation.

            To improve your education of female physiology and the role of fat storage and
            metabolism, here are a few articles you might want to take a look at once you
            settle down.

            With respect to overtraining among female athletes: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/3/610.full
            What this article (and dozens like it) show is that female athletes frequently
            suffer from a โ€œtriadโ€ of heath dysfunction that includes lack of menstruation,
            eating disorders, and loss of bone density. Thatโ€™s what happens when coaches
            try to mold normal female bodies into โ€œideal body typesโ€, that is, bodies that
            look like male bodies.

            With respect to ideal body fat percentages: According to the American
            Council on Exercise, fitness is defined as 21-24% body fat for women and 14-17% for men. Athletes take that down to 14-20% for women and 6-13% for men. Anything below that is dangerously low.

            Regarding lactation: You just have this plain wrong. Here is a quote from
            Nutrition During Lactation, a publication by the Subcommittee on Nutrition
            During Lactation, Committee on Nutritional Status During Pregnancy and
            Lactation Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of
            Sciences http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=1577&page=R1

            “Among women exclusively breastfeeding their infants, the energy demands
            of lactation exceed prepregnancy demands by approximately 640 kcal/day during
            the first 6 months post partum compared with 300 kcal/day during the last two trimesters of pregnancy (NRC, 1989).”p. 213.

            In other words, women need to increase their intake by 300 kcal/day during the
            last trimester of pregnancy and by 640 kcal/day during the first 6 mos of
            breastfeeding. That is the caloric increase that is needed just to keep up with
            the caloric demands of the infant. Any less than that, and she will become
            emaciated.

            Here is another quote from the same publication: “…a woman consuming
            only the RDA for protein for a nonpregnant, nonlactating woman would need to
            mobilize about 19% of her lean tissue to support 6 months of milk
            production” p. 218

            Womenโ€™s bodies were designed by evolution to efficiently store calories due
            the demands associated with pregnancy and laction. Estrogen is one of the
            mechanisms by which this occurs, as this paper shows.

            Does oestrogen allow women to store fat more efficiently? A biological
            advantage for fertility and gestation. Obesity Reviews, Volume 10, Issue 2,
            pages 168โ€“177, March 2009 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2008.00539.x

            Abstract: In normal healthy-weight humans, women have a higher percentage body fat than men, a difference that commences at puberty and continues throughout adult life, suggesting that the mechanism is related to sex steroids. The first half of pregnancy is also a stage of body fat gain in women. From an energy balance point, there is no explanation why women should be fatter than men, as the latter consume more calories proportionately. Moreover, women store fat in early pregnancy when caloric intake does not significantly change. The aim of this review is to focus on evidence supporting one mechanism that may account for these findings. That is, oestrogen reduces postprandial fatty acid
            oxidation leading to an increase in body fat which may account for the greater
            fat mass observed in women compared with men and the fat gain in early pregnancy. Therefore, female puberty and early pregnancy could be seen
            as states of efficient fat storage of energy in preparation for fertility, foetal development and lactation providing an obvious biological advantage. Further research into this mechanism of fat storage may provide further insights into the regulation of body fat.

            With respect to the Hadza: The link I posted contains photos and information about a variety of aboriginal groups, including the Hadza. You will note that my description of what these hunter-gathers look like is accurate. The women do not look like beefed up men. They have are lean, curvy, and carry an ideal layer of fat. They do NOT look like American female bodybuilders.

          • deansomerset

            Sigh. Again you have mis-represented the information you present. You initially said women should have 25% body fat, now quote position statements saying 21-24% is normal, and athletes can have 14-17%. This is what’s known as back tracking, and proves the point I was trying to make. Thank you.

            For the female athlete triad, you forgot to mention the number one defining feature is adequate nutritional intake, not body composition, total body fat or muscle mass. This is correlative to your article on dietetically restricted ballet dancers from the 80’s, but again doesn’t paint the entire picture. The loss of menstruation is one of the first things I council athletes on in order to know when they are in the stages of over-reaching or over training. For the majority of women, if they are eating enough quality food and having planned breaks and de-loads in their training (known as periodization), they don’t have a risk of developing amenorhea.

            “Exceeding pregnancy demands by 640 kcal/day” means that the additional 300 calories needed during the third trimester is then augmented by the additional 640 kcals. This means 940 kcals per day, and again based on research done in the 1980’s (albeit later), which has since been refuted as an overestimate. To “become emaciated” is a very unusual statement, as I haven’t heard of many women dropping baby weight to the point of being dangerously low simply from breast feeding. The article you showed looking at estrogen (which is strange, and I’ll bring up later) showed that women store body fat that could be used to augment the caloric needs of both pregnancy and lactation, which would reduce the need for continued increases in caloric requirements for both and reduce the chances of becoming “emaciated.”

            This entire topic of breast feeding has absolutely no bearing on the article itself, yet has proven to be somewhat of an amusing side attraction. Your quote about the protein requirements is laughable, and again taken out of context. It assumes someone eating only the RDA, which is extremely low in favour of a higher carbohydrate intake, based on Food Guides, recommended allowances, etc. Most recommended daily allowances still place complex grains and dairy as the main requirements for a healthy diet, even though there’s a massive and growing body of research showing that these are the two food groups that are overconsumed in western lifestyles. Again, you’re reaching for a lot of straws between your comparisons of indigenous cultures, breast feeding, western dietary requirements, and what I actually discussed in the article.

            Your statement regarding the effects of estrogen on body fat storage is quizzical, as it has absolutely no bearing on the discussion at hand. It gives a rationale as to why women gain fat during pregnancy, but has no ties to breast feeding (which is not in any way a part of this article), nor does it explain anything regarding exercise induced metabolic changes to either gain muscle or lose fat in non-pregnant women, and doesn’t support your position for women who don’t look like bodybuilders, nor does it refute it either, so please continue to drop knowledge bombs on me as to why you felt it necessary to include this little tidbit.

            I agree about the point made with the Hazda women (even though the picture you mentioned does not feature any), and drew the same comparisons in my previous comment. Again, thank you for proving my point for me.

            Once again, at no point in the article did I say I was trying to get women to turn into men, or become bodybuilders, and definitely had no points of interest in discussing endocrinology or breast feeding, which you felt important to bring up. The goal was to showcase the basic anatomical and physiological means by which Tracy Anderson claims her program works, and show a point-counterpoint to her claims. For women looking to lose fat and get toned (they do exist, whether you like it or not), I proposed a rationale to help achieve this in a safe, minimalist, and non-aggressive manner through compound resistance training and sound dietary practices, which is also backed by dozens of statistical analyses of the differences in response to resistance training between males and females. I am not trying to make women into men. However, if a woman decides she wants to pursue that route, it’s her prerogative. As for the temper tantrum, that’s just plain funny. I’ll give you that one on the sarcasm. Good job.

          • MindWithAView

            OK wiseguy, here are the precise numbers for women according to the ACE chart

            Essential fat: 10-13%
            Athletes: 14-20%
            Fitness: 21-24%
            *Average: 25-31%*
            Obese: 32% or greater

            So 25% is an approximation of an ideal body fat percentage for women.

            You haven’t heard of any woman becoming emaciated from breast feeding? That is because you live in a first world country. It is a serious problem in third world countries. It was a reproductive pressure during our species evolution, and the result is physiological mechanisms that facilitate fat storage and fat-loss resistance.

            Let me spell it out for you again since you are obviously too bull-headed and ego-threatened to get this:

            WOMEN’S BODIES HAVE BEEN DESIGNED BY EVOLUTION TO EFFICIENTLY STORE FAT AND RESIST FAT LOSS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE REPRODUCTION (PREGNANCY AND LACTATION). You can shame, blame, scream at, coax, cajole, “motivate” and do all manner of destructive tactics to force women’s bodies to look and behave more like men’s. All you are going to do is make women amenorrheic, give them eating disorders, and promote bone loss that ensures fractured bones in middle age. All to achieve some truly sick ideal of feminine beauty wrapped up in a false story about fitness.

            A fit female doesn’t look like a beefed up guy. Get over it. A fit female is lean, curvy, and has a softness to her body that guarantees health and fertility.

          • MindWithAView

            Let me make it simpler: A fit woman looks like Tracy Anderson, not like the mutant blonde in your blog. Women who go to trainers like Tracy Anderson do so because they want fit female bodies. Those who want to look like 13 year old boys on steroids with breast implants can go to any number of other trainers.

          • deansomerset

            Lol. Tracy has breast implants and has been compared multiple times to having the body of a 13 year old boy. This is getting comical.

            Yet again, we’re not comparing the same thing. I’m guessing Tracy Anderson isn’t training third world women into becoming teeny tiny.

            Once again, I think the issue here is with you not reading the article as it was written. at no point did I say that women should starve themselves, overtrain, or become men. These were your words, not mine. If you’re saying I’m the one trying to give eating disorders, promote bone loss, and ensure fractured bones, I suggest you look at how her star pupil Gweneth Paltrow was diagnosed with osteopenia at a very young age, even though resistance training would be the most beneficial means for reversing any loss in bone density.

            If you feel I’m being bull-headed or ego-theratened, I have only offered counter-arguements to each statement you have made. I also am not the one who is calling others “beefed up mutants” which is a very aggressive statement to use behind the confines of anonymity and a keyboard.

  • Amused

    What do I think? I think every time someone clicks on your “Here” link to Tracy’s Method, you pocket some cash.
    Also, all parts of the dermis are considered skin. That’s what dermis is, skin.
    Other than that, well done.

  • Amused

    What do I think? I think every time someone clicks on your “Here” link to Tracy’s Method, you pocket some cash.
    Also, all parts of the dermis are considered skin. That’s what dermis is, skin.
    Other than that, well done.

  • Traintolive32

    The title alone using the term LOGICAL said it all…I only wish more people in general understood what actually goes into training and programming and why having some type of exercise education is just as important as experience. I wonder what certifications she has, if any?

    • deansomerset

      Who knows. I recently read an article that she wrote, where she said her research was looking through magazines and finding parts of different celebrities she thought women would want to have, like this one’s arms and that one’s legs. She never made any mention of getting certifications, post-secondary education, or anything other than that, and all we have to go on is what she tells the public in general.

  • Traintolive32

    The title alone using the term LOGICAL said it all…I only wish more people in general understood what actually goes into training and programming and why having some type of exercise education is just as important as experience. I wonder what certifications she has, if any?

    • deansomerset

      Who knows. I recently read an article that she wrote, where she said her research was looking through magazines and finding parts of different celebrities she thought women would want to have, like this one’s arms and that one’s legs. She never made any mention of getting certifications, post-secondary education, or anything other than that, and all we have to go on is what she tells the public in general.

  • Coach

    I am a trainer and have been for over 15 years. I get this from women ALL the time about not wanting to ‘bulk’ up, it is a MANTRA with them these days. It is VERY hard to convince these women that what they NEED is to lift heavy. Who wants a weak body. “Never lift more that 3 pounds”? That is ridiculous IMO. I guess it depends on your goal. For me, fitness means FITNESS. And being skinny with no functional strength is NOT fitness. So, whatevs. And what works for one can be exactly the opposite of what works for another. There simply IS no one way to do anything. I do not mean regarding form or technique, I mean the overall ‘program’ design. It takes time working with your client to find out what their body responds to. I have read a lot of negative things about TA, especially her business dealings. But my interest lies in ‘what does she teach her clients’, and this does not seem to be very empowering!

    • deansomerset

      Truth

  • Coach

    I am a trainer and have been for over 15 years. I get this from women ALL the time about not wanting to ‘bulk’ up, it is a MANTRA with them these days. It is VERY hard to convince these women that what they NEED is to lift heavy. Who wants a weak body. “Never lift more that 3 pounds”? That is ridiculous IMO. I guess it depends on your goal. For me, fitness means FITNESS. And being skinny with no functional strength is NOT fitness. So, whatevs. And what works for one can be exactly the opposite of what works for another. There simply IS no one way to do anything. I do not mean regarding form or technique, I mean the overall ‘program’ design. It takes time working with your client to find out what their body responds to. I have read a lot of negative things about TA, especially her business dealings. But my interest lies in ‘what does she teach her clients’, and this does not seem to be very empowering!

    • deansomerset

      Truth

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  • Prettea

    I am 49 and I like to do tapes and I have tried a ton of stuff from infomercials. I get bored easily and like to mix it up and I will typically buy something new to try each year. I have just finished the second month of Tracy Anderson Metamorhosis. I like it. It is only 30 min and then I walk outside in the summer rather than doing her cardio tape. I am sore about every day because I am working muscles I haven’t used in a while. It is easy to knock something you haven’t actually tried. I don’t get to concerned about this theory or that idea or people who say stupid stuff so people can pick a part each little item. I’m open to trying different things. I didn’t believe something besides weights could tone my arms. However, when you look at those program like Tracy’s, Tae Bo, P90X, Insanity, etc. that use your body weight rather than acutal weights, I’m toning and strengthing too, just different than those using weights. So before you discount this program, give it a shot! Then knock if you don’t like it.

    • deansomerset

      Hi Prettea. As I stated in the article, I have no doubt the program works for most. A basic tennet of exercise programs is that everything tends to work for most people for a little while. What I was calling in question were some of the claims she was making on the specific science and marketing claims of her program, which if in the public eye are fully available for criticism. Hopefully this helps to clarify my stance, and I’m very happy you’ve found a program that works well for you.

  • Prettea

    I am 49 and I like to do tapes and I have tried a ton of stuff from infomercials. I get bored easily and like to mix it up and I will typically buy something new to try each year. I have just finished the second month of Tracy Anderson Metamorhosis. I like it. It is only 30 min and then I walk outside in the summer rather than doing her cardio tape. I am sore about every day because I am working muscles I haven’t used in a while. It is easy to knock something you haven’t actually tried. I don’t get to concerned about this theory or that idea or people who say stupid stuff so people can pick a part each little item. I’m open to trying different things. I didn’t believe something besides weights could tone my arms. However, when you look at those program like Tracy’s, Tae Bo, P90X, Insanity, etc. that use your body weight rather than acutal weights, I’m toning and strengthing too, just different than those using weights. So before you discount this program, give it a shot! Then knock if you don’t like it.

    • deansomerset

      Hi Prettea. As I stated in the article, I have no doubt the program works for most. A basic tennet of exercise programs is that everything tends to work for most people for a little while. What I was calling in question were some of the claims she was making on the specific science and marketing claims of her program, which if in the public eye are fully available for criticism. Hopefully this helps to clarify my stance, and I’m very happy you’ve found a program that works well for you.

  • Brent

    Mindwithaview cracks me up! I think she forgot the word empty before mind though. Good ‘ol fashioned Monday night comedy on Dean’s blog. Who needs TV when you have asinine blog responders thinking people like Neghar are mutant females. I think everyone should just go to Amazon, give Tracy’s crap 1 star and just put Dean’s blog post link in the comments section. More comedy would surely ensue and then I could justify making this an evening and popping me some popcorn while I get this here read on!

    • Brent

      Oh yeah, and MindWithaView is probably Tracy Anderson herself, which is good news for you Dean, cuz it means your blog is getting the attention of Hollywood! Everyone’s dream!

  • Brent

    Mindwithaview cracks me up! I think she forgot the word empty before mind though. Good ‘ol fashioned Monday night comedy on Dean’s blog. Who needs TV when you have asinine blog responders thinking people like Neghar are mutant females. I think everyone should just go to Amazon, give Tracy’s crap 1 star and just put Dean’s blog post link in the comments section. More comedy would surely ensue and then I could justify making this an evening and popping me some popcorn while I get this here read on!

    • Brent

      Oh yeah, and MindWithaView is probably Tracy Anderson herself, which is good news for you Dean, cuz it means your blog is getting the attention of Hollywood! Everyone’s dream!

  • Goldust

    Mindwithaview: “not bulked up like a guy. The blonde in the photo shown above looks thoroughly disgusting to me and many other people–like a guy wearing a bikini”

    If that’s what a guy looks like then I might be gay because I think that she looks pretty darn good.

    Invariably when I hear a women spouting off like this it’s a clear sign that they are threatened by the fact that a women with a figure like the one in the above picture will draw the eye of many/most men.

    If you set up a hidden camera at a gym and had two women who looked like Jamie Eason lifting weights in one corner, and had two women who looked like Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson lifting 3 lbs. pink dumbbells in the other, I can guarantee you that the majority of men walking in the door will notice women that look like Jamie Eason.

    Also something to keep in mind when looking at that picture is that that is what she looks like after training/dieting and having her picture taken by a professional photographer under ideal lighting conditions.

    • justicegray

      “If that’s what a guy looks like then I might be gay”

      To be fair, your username is Goldust.

      • Goldust

        Good one, I got a pretty good laugh out of that. I didn’t think that anyone remembered the infamous “Goldust” anymore!

  • Goldust

    Mindwithaview: “not bulked up like a guy. The blonde in the photo shown above looks thoroughly disgusting to me and many other people–like a guy wearing a bikini”

    If that’s what a guy looks like then I might be gay because I think that she looks pretty darn good.

    Invariably when I hear a women spouting off like this it’s a clear sign that they are threatened by the fact that a women with a figure like the one in the above picture will draw the eye of many/most men.

    If you set up a hidden camera at a gym and had two women who looked like Jamie Eason lifting weights in one corner, and had two women who looked like Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson lifting 3 lbs. pink dumbbells in the other, I can guarantee you that the majority of men walking in the door will notice women that look like Jamie Eason.

    Also something to keep in mind when looking at that picture is that that is what she looks like after training/dieting and having her picture taken by a professional photographer under ideal lighting conditions.

    • justicegray

      “If that’s what a guy looks like then I might be gay”

      To be fair, your username is Goldust.

      • Goldust

        Good one, I got a pretty good laugh out of that. I didn’t think that anyone remembered the infamous “Goldust” anymore!

  • Anne

    I think, as with any workout, diet, etc. you need to find what suits your body. Also, know who you are listening to – is this person a nutritionist? a doctor? etc. Then take certain advice with a grain of salt and/or research it. So many workouts, equipment, foods fads, vitamins, etc. make lots of promises. Take some responsibility and do the research. And possibly those promises worked for that person… may work for others. If it doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for everyone.

    As for my body type, I bulk as soon as I look at a weight. I do a couple days of hill sprints and I have giant calves. I had a male trainer that I frustrated because he worked so hard and I could show results in a few days. And I’m tired of listening to trainers that try and tell me women don’t bulk easily. I do and I am assuming from they copy I have read on her site, that TA has a similar body type.

    Exercises like Pilates do well for me, but I also get bored of repetition. So the positives of TA’s workouts are that I don’t have to worry about bulk (although oddly enough, my biceps are getting larger as I get through the later DVDs) and I don’t get bored. Every two weeks, I have a new workout.

    Cons – I don’t take her nutrition advice (not a fan of processed food and not gluten/corn/sugar/ friendly). I don’t use her dance DVDs as I think they the moves tend to be erratic and a bit unsafe. And due to that, I don’t trust her exercises to be safe in general. I try out a new routine, if a move doesn’t feel right, I adjust it.

    So I would say if you bulk easily and don’t want to bulk, know your body well enough to adjust exercises to make them safer and enjoy variety – great set of DVDs w/out having to go to a class.

  • Anne

    I think, as with any workout, diet, etc. you need to find what suits your body. Also, know who you are listening to – is this person a nutritionist? a doctor? etc. Then take certain advice with a grain of salt and/or research it. So many workouts, equipment, foods fads, vitamins, etc. make lots of promises. Take some responsibility and do the research. And possibly those promises worked for that person… may work for others. If it doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for everyone.

    As for my body type, I bulk as soon as I look at a weight. I do a couple days of hill sprints and I have giant calves. I had a male trainer that I frustrated because he worked so hard and I could show results in a few days. And I’m tired of listening to trainers that try and tell me women don’t bulk easily. I do and I am assuming from they copy I have read on her site, that TA has a similar body type.

    Exercises like Pilates do well for me, but I also get bored of repetition. So the positives of TA’s workouts are that I don’t have to worry about bulk (although oddly enough, my biceps are getting larger as I get through the later DVDs) and I don’t get bored. Every two weeks, I have a new workout.

    Cons – I don’t take her nutrition advice (not a fan of processed food and not gluten/corn/sugar/ friendly). I don’t use her dance DVDs as I think they the moves tend to be erratic and a bit unsafe. And due to that, I don’t trust her exercises to be safe in general. I try out a new routine, if a move doesn’t feel right, I adjust it.

    So I would say if you bulk easily and don’t want to bulk, know your body well enough to adjust exercises to make them safer and enjoy variety – great set of DVDs w/out having to go to a class.

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  • Jade

    Paltow has come out now saying she has osteoporosis because of years and years of her stupid macro diet. I would rather be strong, being able to handle myself in any situation over being a thin little twig with osteoporosis by the time im 40.

  • Jade

    Paltow has come out now saying she has osteoporosis because of years and years of her stupid macro diet. I would rather be strong, being able to handle myself in any situation over being a thin little twig with osteoporosis by the time im 40.

  • Liv

    Yes! I am so glad you said something! As a personal trainer (and a woman) who owns a fitness studio, I was concerned and appalled by the blanket statements I heard from Tracy Anderson. She seemed very irresponsible in an interview I watched with her and I remember thinking how she was the kind of ‘trainer’ that would give women body dysmorphic disorder in order to line her pockets. It reminded me of the kids story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ where no one wants to state the obvious cause they don’t want to be the ‘ignorant’ one until finally a kid points it out. Thanks for being the honest kid for everyone else out there!

  • Liv

    Yes! I am so glad you said something! As a personal trainer (and a woman) who owns a fitness studio, I was concerned and appalled by the blanket statements I heard from Tracy Anderson. She seemed very irresponsible in an interview I watched with her and I remember thinking how she was the kind of ‘trainer’ that would give women body dysmorphic disorder in order to line her pockets. It reminded me of the kids story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ where no one wants to state the obvious cause they don’t want to be the ‘ignorant’ one until finally a kid points it out. Thanks for being the honest kid for everyone else out there!

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  • Caitlin

    i’m a long-time follower of Tracy’s Method – and i don’t hate your article! strange, i know. so the thing is…look, it works for some, not for others, just like everything else. i am actually one of those girls who DOES put on muscle like an olympic athlete and very muscular, bulky thighs are just something want. i certainly don’t mind if other people want them, i highly applaud any woman who takes time out of her life to devote it to fitness no matter what, but it’s not my preference for my body. Anderson’s method keeps my legs toned, tight, and thin and makes my booty high and tight! They are the results i’m looking for, it makes me happy, and i’m moving an hour a day and that also makes me happy. However, i am a real woman who lives a real life – i go for a run once a week (i enjoy the stress release), i ride my bicycle to work sometimes because it’s fun, and i climb stairs all day long in my Louboutins. And i definitely do not eat baby food nor do i have time to prepare her elaborate meal recipes. I do the best i can for my family to always cook healthy but we also love thai green curry and ice cream.

    so i guess the point is…there’s enough exercise regimes out there for everyone, right? some people want to be skinny so maybe Tracy is a great thing for them…it’s better than them doing nothing/starving themselves instead? some people want a more fit body, so there are things out there for them too (spinning, kettle bells, etc). and there’s nothing wrong with either body type. she’ll continue to be successful and i think all the other types of exercise like soul cycle or kettle bells will also continue to be successful. hating on one or the other…doesn’t do much good for anyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Jess

    Awesome, well-written article. It’s too bad not many people actually look into what celebrity trainers say, and instead take their word for it.

  • Brilliant. I’m writing an article on the “Warren Harding” error that exists in fitness and Tracy Anderson is a spot on example of this. Now, I can just link to your article rather than having to take the time to break down all of her insane claims. Thank you for posting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mel

    I’m torn. Being an ex-ballerina and Pilates fan, I like the workouts, they’re my kind of exercise. But unique? Not at all. I like them because they remind me of class. And being a medical scientist I can’t listen to a word she says.

  • Caitlin Burke

    This sidesteps some of her eating recommendations, which are terrible. A mix of non-evidence-based regimental requirements and false claims, like “Youโ€™ll eat lots of smaller, nutrient-dense meals throughout the day. This is not like a liquid cleanse but will help rid your body of impurities while boosting your weight loss. You may not eat anything other than what Iโ€™ve prescribed.” and meal plans that add up to less than 50 g protein a day, offered with no acknowledgement of different size people. People who have totted up the calories on her meal plans have come up with numbers under 1000 cals a day. (I haven’t calculated them – just eyeballed them for macros – but they are low in fats, and she bans added fats for cooking or prep, too.)

    Just as strength athletes emphasize what happens in the kitchen, Tracy admonishes, “If you only follow the food plan partially, or not at all, I cannot promise great results. If you stick with my plan, you will experience phenomenal results. And as you see the changes in your body, see the pounds melt away and a new, sexy shape emerge, your commitment will only grow stronger.”

    This is not the “keeping yourself honest” tracking that athletes who must protect their performance do with their food. And this is worse than plain vanilla societal messages to women to be smaller and lesser, bolstered by misinformation – this is authoritarian, disordered eating stuff.

  • MMDPT

    I’m a physical therapist, which is now a doctorate program. I was intrigued by Tracy’s method and have been comleting her strength workouts for Over a year. I guess I’m hopeful that I can debunk my thighs a little (I’m a runner and my thighs and butt have always been bulkier than I like and neither weight lifting or Pilates have slimmed them down). I am still trying to decide what I think about it. I definitely get working the body in different angles- I think that’s good to do. My PT and Pilates background really helped me to be able to identify correct movement patterns, and the girl uses substitution patterns right and left. However, since I know how to correctly engage my muscles I modify accordingly. Unfortunately for a layman, they would have no clue how to do that. Also, I’m very curious what her research entails because I know what good research looks like. I know what it looks like to monitor muscle engagement during a specify movement and compare it to that muscles maximal contraction, and I’m highly doubtful that she does that. I know good research has the documentation to back it up. I know it takes someone highly educated to conduct, write and even read research material. I highly doubt her research is quality enough that we could find it in PubMed. I would never recommend her method to any of my pts because of all of my concerns above. However, I still enjoy her workouts for something different and it feels good (and for the record, I’m still waiting to see my thighs slim down although I gave birth to my daughter in the past year so My body is still bouncing back from all of that craziness). And on that note!: I loved her prenatal videos. They were challenging, but safe.

    • deansomerset

      I absolutely agree. As I stated in the article, I have no problem with people doing the workouts she gives, just as long as they understand what can happen versus what is claimed to be happening. You outlined it very well and I’m very appreciative of that.

  • Rachael

    The interesting this about articles like this advocating the wonders of weight lifting is that its VERY clear to me that the hosts of authors of these blogs, typically men, and typically men IN the fitness industry… are not actually LISTENING to women and what many women want in terms of a result from their workout regimen. Yes it’s true, i’ve seen women in the weight lifting circuits at peak shape and they are tiny and lean. HOWEVER, they are still exemplifying a look that is what many women (including myself ) would describe as “bulky.” It’s not just about size, its about a look that many women want to achieve. Most men who constantly say “oh you won’t get bulky” clearly aren’t listening to the host of women who want a certain “look” that is more of long muscle. Maybe we don’t even WANT a defined muscle. if you want us to have that… that’s fine. if other women want that ‘defined’ muscle that comes from weight lifting – more power too them. Just don’t try to mask the fact that Tracy Anderson’s method is giving some women exactly what they want, and in the process of her success (bc she’s meeting consumer demand – bc her product does actually work at delivering results) she is totally a threat to YOUR industry of selling weight lifting to women. You have to admit, your reviews have a total conflict of interest in another fitness approach. JUST TO RECAP: if you are a man criticizing the TA method… it’s not surprising to me why you don’t “get it.” morever, of you are man IN the fitness industry its clear why you hate and demonize Tracy Anderson: she’s stealing your business. nice try at though

    p.s. for those of you who actually have DONE her method for more than one week, you’d realize that strength can co-exist in smaller bodies. you try doing 100 leg lifts with JUST your body weight! i bet you’ll start to see things differently

    • deansomerset

      Hi Rachel. Please note I didn’t dissuade anyone from doing her workouts, and actually included a link to them so people can try them if they want. I merely pointed out how some of the statements she has been making in terms of how anatomy and physiology works are inaccurate and sometimes nonexistent. I do understand that some women do not want muscle development or definition, and if they find a method that works, more power to them. However, I do not agree with someone saying that women shouldn’t gain muscle because all women want a teeny tiny body. No, not all women want that, just like not all women want muscles. To each their own, and what ever method works to produce the results they’re after is going to be beneficial. I just hope that the people promoting those methods would be honest about what happens and what doesn’t happen in terms of physiology.

  • Roxana Sandall

    I came across your article, because I was trying to find out whom Ms. T. Anderson was. I recently heard her name in a conversation and shamefully I had no clue who she was. But now I can
    understand why ๐Ÿ˜€

    Well-written article, I truly hope it works as an โ€œeye-openerโ€ for many people. Moreover, I like it better when I see a picture of Mrs. Jamie Eason. To me, she is a role model when it comes to a feminine, healthy, athletic, gorgeous body! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Little Harriet

    I just did part of her mat workout dvd. Fortunately, I didn’t have to buy it, it was free on YouTube. I felt like I just dropped acid and a blonde, emaciated Kim Kardashian was doing
    performance art on my tv to an adult movie soundtrack. Also, and I know
    this is shallow but I’m going to say it anyway, her physique, while lean
    and trim, lends an additional strangeness to the already peculiar
    moves. I fully expected someone to burst into my living room and tell me
    about the hidden camera that’s been recording my unorthodox workout. It’s hilariously strange and I can’t get past it. I’ll
    stick with classic versions of The Firm. They’ll about kill you, and
    they’re cheesy, but they work and you only feel reasonably weird doing
    them.

  • Christie

    I really enjoyed this article- well written and informative. I didn’t know much about Tracy Anderson before buying her Pregnancy Project dvd when I was about 3 months pregnant. I’d been weight training for about 5 years, lifting as heavy as I could, and had continued to do so with some slight modifications all through my first trimester, but I wanted a workout specifically made for pregnancy, as I thought it would be safer. Boy was I wrong. The leg series of her DVD set is endless leg lifts in oddly contorted twisting motions on all fours, putting serious strain on an already fragile and expanding lower back. I wound up with a subluxation in my sacral spine that put so much pressure on the surrounding muscles and sciatic nerve that I couldn’t take a single step without sharp shooting pain. Utter misery that required rest and chiropractic care to correct. Once I felt better I went back to squats and calf raises like I was used to and haven’t had an issue since. The only positive thing I can say is that the lighter weights/faster speed of the upper body portion of her program did help me to build cardiovascular endurance. Early on in my pregnancy I would feel winded at times and I don’t really feel that anymore. I’m 6 months now and I still do the arm workout but I would seriously caution any pregnant women to be careful if doing the leg series.

  • What do I think? I think this is fucking great! Well done.
    Even more impressed by how fairly you presented the material in an objective way. Really well done.

  • Gaby Vacca

    Can you recommend me a workout that a petite woman should do? I would like definition and I hate looking like a bodybuilder type of body…. I do Tracy Anderson but I not getting enough results. I agree with you a lot she doesn’t make any sense to me.