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Tracy Anderson Method

"What is TAM?"
"Tracy Anderson Method".
"Yes, but WHAT is it?"
"Well, hmmm... It's a fitness program, change of eating habits, it's a lifestyle." 


When you start discovering different programs out there for keeping fit you really need to invest some time into finding the one you like, which would fit your tastes, desires, goals and ambitions. TAM is not for everyone, and even though "they" say "Anyone can do it", and there is no lie in this sentence, i.e. anyone CAN theoretically do it, but not everyone would like doing it. So, you have to know yourself well in order to understand what you want, and then choose a program accordingly.

Would you like to get slim, lean, tight feminine but not too curvy perhaps body? Then TAM is for you. Do you enjoy music and dancing? Then TAM is for you. Do you want to dance and have fun during the workout? Then TAM is for you. Do you like difficult but calm workouts? Then TAM is for you. Do you like diversity, innovation, standing out? Then TAM is for you. Are you ready to try something new - even if your answers were "No" to all the previous questions? Then TAM is for you.

Tracy Anderson - a young beautiful American woman - has developed a method of working out (particularly for women) through personal experience and a lot of try-and-error. Very often she claims that she has done so through substantial research, but no such research is published or acknowledged (academically-speaking), hence I would refer to this research as individual discoveries (anthropology I would even say :D) - practices which work. And this does not diminishes the value of the method.

The essence of loosing weight according to TAM lies in 2 principles: healthy eating (of course!) and working  out the accessory (small) muscles, instead of the large muscles per se. As a true researcher, I will have to make my research on what these are and why they are as important as they are, but for now we have to believe Tracy, that working out these small muscles helps us tighten our body, instead of developing bulky large muscles.

So the whole TA fitness program is based on working out those small muscles. Doing so, both the cardio and muscle work are important. Cardio, which best develops these small muscles, consists of constant moving and, for instance, dancing. And muscle work is supposed to include exercises on a lot of unusual vectors and angles to reach those small muscles.

And this is basically what Tracy does. She created a whole system (which gets more and more systematised as time passes) of 
  • Dance-involving cardio exercises - being a dancer herself, it did not come as a surprise that her program developed the dance cardio.
  • Muscular work - training small muscles on different vectors.
Both of the components should be done (along with a diet for weight loss) 5-6 times a week. 


  • Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method: The Weight-Loss Kick-Start that Makes Perfection Possible (OR it is also called 30-Day Bootcamp of TA) - book available on Amazon or TAM website
  • Tracy Anderson Post Pregnancy Workout - the title says it all. It is a workout targeted very specifically towards the core muscles and abs in particular.
  • Beginner Dance Cardio
  • Dance Cardio 2
  • Dance Cardio 2008
  • Perfect Design Series (3 DVD's)
  • Mat DVD
  • Webisodes - there she has the official webisodes (for arms, abs and things-butt) and just the ones available on Youtube - like Tel Aviv Trampoline Series - on a rebounder.
  • TA Metamorphosis + Continuity


Metamorphosis is a completely new program, although similar to Bootcamp, but much easier to follow and stick to. Similar to Bootcamp it has an eating plan (diet) you can follow, dance cardio section and muscular structure work. What is different and great about Meta is that it is available for different body types - something not many of fitness programs can boast (if any at all!)

Body types. There are four of them:
They are basically distinguished by which part of your body you tend to get weight in: bum, hips and thighs, midsection and stomach, or evenly all over. On the TA method website you can take a calculator for body type, or generally you know your body, it should be not so difficult to understand what type you belong to. If you still have problems, one could send an email to the TA team with pictures - they do suggest it to those who are really lost. Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the biggest supporters and Tracy's partner has a wonderful blog and website, she also talks briefly about Meta.

Diet. Tracy recommends to follow the diet at least for 30 days even if weight loss is not essential. If one does not like the TA diet, following some other moderate diet is essential, as otherwise the progress would not be as dramatic. But most people who do follow the TA eating plan, get amazing results. However, everyone should be very careful in how one follows the diet, while the nutrition people need differs significantly by age, size, health and habits. Main goal is NOT to starve, but to get into a healthy way of eating.

Dance Cardio. Cardio part of the program involves constantly changing dance-type patterns one has to copy. It lasts only 30 min, but when you think you are ready, you can go ahead and do 60 min (advice is to add minutes gradually by 5-10 min at a time). DC involves a lot of jumping, hence it is crucial to be careful with your knees and joints - especially in the beginning. Beginners are recommended to step-touch at first and increase jumping again in sections (10 min at a time). If the problems with pains persist, rebounder (you can buy it off TAM website, or in most sports shops) is a good help: one can do the whole cardio on it. Still, many people report not being able to follow on DC, you can then either try to do another dance cardio, but what is really important: no cardio, which works on large muscles, otherwise your whole work will go in vain. So constantly changing dance moves is a way to go!

Muscular Structure (MS). It is also called the "Transform" part of the programme. Why? This is the part, which is supposed to work on your muscles and change them in some unexpected ways to shape your body. It consists of 3 main sections: work on arms, abs and legs+bum (floor work). The arms section involves a little warm-up, and some moves for the arm muscles, after that the moves are done with 3 pound (~1.4 kg) weights. After that the abs workout consists of "standing abs" and "lying abs". Standing abs is a sequence of isolations - which feel good, you nearly start hearing your body and learn to enjoy moving. The lying abs are in a way "standard" abs, though they are not always standard - the rotations of feet, knees, arms and hands are sometimes strange or at least unusual - even for those who have some experience doing abs. The floor work consists of 5-6 exercises, which also involve a lot of strange rotations and vectors. These are the words one gets used to during Meta: rotations and vectors. Important and so dear-after-some-time words. The MS leaves your legs and bum hurting, but leaves you feeling oh so good about yourself! On top of that, MS changes every 10 days!!! Well, 10 workouts to be precise, so you don't get bored with the exercise, because at the moment you are about to start (getting bored) - it changes. Great!

Personal opinionWhat is great in Meta - for me and me only, it is only my personal opinion, you don't have to agree with this! - is that it is structured. I am NOT an exercise junky. I never actually liked to exercise, and was often considered a couch potato. My parents are as well. And you know what? My grandma once put me to shame by simply saying "Boy, you have a belly dear! I started having a belly only 5 years ago, and I am 80!" That kind of thing does make you start thinking. But the most difficult task for a couch potato is actually to stick to - well, pretty much anything... Because if laziness is your second nature (ha, or may be even first?), it is really easy to find excuses for not keeping something up. But Meta gives you the instruments you need... It gives you all you need - you don't need to think about how to do it, you simply have to find the strength to get out of bed and do it! It gives you a calendar to track your progress, you have the levels, which gives extreme pleasure to climb from one to another. It provides you with a diet you can (and perhaps should) follow if you want to lose weight - and you don't have to think about it, you don't have the horrible thoughts every day "Can I eat it or not?" or "It won't do anything bad if I eat just this tiny little piece of cake, right?"... With a structured diet you simply know what you have to eat every day. Full stop. And then you get used to it, and start eating healthier and less. And this is the secret: you don't have to be on diet all your life (I get really pissed off when people say it is a sad and horrible diet, cos they cant live off purées for the rest of their life...), you just need to get your body used to the good and healthy food. No frying, no salt, no processed foods. Lots of bio, natural, fresh things - and you and your body start loving it. 

All in all, the whole program worked for me: the diet, the workouts... May be it will work for you too...