Tracy Anderson: Fitness Trainer to the Stars

One has to wonder what Hollywood would look like were it not for Tracy Anderson. Among the many stars who credit the dance-fitness trainer for their svelte and toned physiques are Jennifer Aniston, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Courtney Cox, Nicole Richie, Kate Hudson, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow, who has been so vocal in fact about her devotion to Anderson’s workout method that Anderson requested the actress write the foreword to her book, “Tracy Anderson’s 30-Day Method.”

On Paltrow’s Website goop.com she wrote: “By now, I think you all know how amazing I think my trainer, partner and friend Tracy Anderson is, how she kicked my twice-pregnant ass into shape, and keeps taking me to new levels. Tracy’s dream has always been to be able to make her ingenious customized-to-your-problem-areas program available to any woman who is up for the challenge–and now she has. It’s pretty f’ing great ‘cause it works!”

We chatted with the diminutive trainer in light of the recent opening of her third studio, an airy, sun-drenched space in Water Mill. [expand]

Anderson is constantly developing new moves, routines and techniques to ensure that her method stays fresh, and unlike her members-only Los Angeles and New York City studios, the Southampton space offers both private training and public classes.

So how do you go from the Midwest to becoming a world-renowned fitness guru? After moving to New York at 18 to pursue a career as a professional dancer, Anderson says that she put on some weight and as a result began to experiment and create her own workout methods leading to a complete transformation of her own body. Alongside her work as a dancer, Anderson decided to study and research muscle structure and specific training techniques, and as they say, the rest is history.

When asked about the biggest misconception about her program, Anderson told us that it’s that you can’t eat and that you have to workout for 10 hours a day. “This,” she says, “could not be further from the truth! Even my cleanses have a chocolate pudding in them; there is no extreme dieting or extreme working out on my Method.” Anderson in fact maintains that the biggest fitness mistake people make is ”going to extremes in the beginning of a new plan and expecting extreme results.” She adds “people want to get bikini-ready two weeks before summer, but that is just unrealistic and very unhealthy. You need to make your workout part of your daily routine, year-round.”

One of the most important components to Anderson’s method, which she describes as “a combination of using strategic muscular exhaustion to design your muscular structure and a dance-aerobics based cardio,” is that it’s “constantly changing and engaging different small muscles, but in a way that can actually eliminate problem areas and fight aging.”

For those not fortunate enough to train in one of Anderson’s studios, she has created the “Metamorphosis” DVDs. “It’s as close to having me as your personal trainer as possible,” she says adding, “it’s a 90-day program, but you then launch into a continuity program and receive new DVDs after that so that you can truly get the benefits that all of my clients get at home. It also has a nutrition plan, which is an important element that works with the workouts.”

Aside from an effective workout Anderson is known for putting together killer playlists and she told us that she’s “very musically motivated. My playlists are all over every genre of music. The first three songs on my playlist now are ‘Lost’ by Coldplay and Jay-Z, ‘Animal’ by Def Leppard and Baby by Me by 50 Cent. I have a monthly playlists posted on my website, so there is a great mix of different songs to inspire and motivate.”

What many may not know however is that on top of building a veritable fitness empire, Anderson is a mother. She says that the key to balancing motherhood with a thriving career is to make sure that you exercise in a focused way six days a week. “It’s so important,” she says “to remember how exercising daily will help you be a better parent” adding that it will help children develop great habits about health and fitness.

Her secret to always staying motivated to workout? “I understand the work it takes to come back after taking days of a week off of exercise. That alone is a quick conversation with myself to get me to my workout daily,” but she says, “I also love it and crave it. Everyone can get to that point and it is a great place to be.”

To register for a class and for more information, visit http://tracyandersonmethod.com.

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