If the idea of getting into a bathing suit is already making you cringe, pull out the calendar and start plotting a new workout routine. I recently interviewed celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson to find out how she's helping celebs and clients at her studios get in shape this season. You still have time to whip yourself into bikini-ready shape but it's going to take some discipline - and a good nutrition plan - to see results within a few weeks.
Tracy's helped stars including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow get lean and sculpted. She's best known for her unconventional approach to fitness, using light weights and more reps to strengthen and lengthen the muscles. She claims that this is what helps to achieve a svelte, dancer's body. She's a proponent of "re-engineering the muscular structure" of the body by avoiding heavier weights that can make muscles bulkier - hand weights should be under three pounds.
Here's what she has to say about getting results with your workouts for spring break season, or otherwise:
You advocate using lower weights with more reps. Why is this the most effective or efficient way to get lean and toned?
Tracy: "It's not just the light weights that give a long toned look with the Tracy Anderson Method, it's using the body in different rotations while contracting and releasing the muscle causing it to stretch and lengthen. Oftentimes, heavy weights can tear the muscle fiber causing it to bulk, but using a lighter weight for a longer duration and allowing your body to move in many different ways to target all of the muscles will lengthen them without tearing."
What is the best way for women to drop those last five or ten stubborn pounds?
Tracy: "There is no quick easy way to the body you want…commit yourself now to your workout and get started."
How many hours per week of your workouts would someone need to commit to get results before spring break?
Tracy: "You need to be dedicated to your workout, whatever you choose." [Note: Metamorphosis workouts are performed six days per week for at least one hour].
How is the Metamorphosis DVD workout system different from your other workouts?
Tracy: "The Metamorphosis DVD collection allows you to have a custom program for your body type. The workout changes every 10 days. We are already filming the second year for this program. Once you finish a level you don't repeat it, you move on to something new and more challenging. There is nothing like this in DVDs in any other form of fitness!"
Doing the Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis Workout
If you decide to do the Metamorphosis by Tracy Anderson workout program, you'll need to commit to at least 90 days to see results. You end up doing a new routine every ten days and the same 30-minute dance cardio routine for that first 90 days. The cardio routine isn't like your typical aerobics or dance routine; reviewers report that hers is "very fast paced" and includes more jumps and lots of lateral movements.
Tracy Anderson Method Sample Day's Menu
You'll also need to follow a very low-calorie diet comprised of whole foods. Her plan involves "nutrient boost weeks" where you only eat foods that are steamed, pureed, or juiced. Her book, "Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method: The Weight-Loss Kick-Start that Makes Perfection Possible" includes several meal plans that complement her workouts. A sample day's menu (from page 179 of her book) looks like this:
Breakfast: Kefir Yogurt with Banana
Lunch: Beet Salad with Oranges
Snack: Lentil Salad
Dinner: Grilled Tofu over White Romaine Hearts
Most of Tracy's menus end up being well under 1,000 calories per day.
Interview with Celebrity Fitness Trainer Tracy Anderson
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