As you may have heard by now, celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson is offering her dance-inspired workouts — as well as her signature muscular structure toning techniques — to the masses. By live-streaming her in-studio classes, you can essentially feel as if you are one of the class participants while actually exercising in your own home.
The idea is to combine a dance cardio segment (30 minutes each) with a muscular structure segment. (These are offered in beginner, intermediate, and advanced variations). With her toning segments, she aims to target smaller muscles that other forms of exercise fail to hit. New muscular structure segments for each level are made available to subscribers every Wednesday to help prevent plateaus.
It’s honestly quite difficult to describe what her workouts entail but a mix of dance, barre, and pilates mostly gets the point across. In short, it’s truly unique — so I was intrigued. Upon discovering that a free two-week trial was being offered, I signed up.
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The order in which I did the workouts was a cardio segment first, followed by a muscular structure video. For those without any dance background, you will certainly feel as if you are all over the place during the dance segments and are unable to keep up at times. Although I did the same dance segment probably about five times within the two weeks before trying other ones, it didn’t get drastically easier to keep up. With that being said, I would imagine that if you had the subscription, you could definitely pick a few and really learn those dances, but I was attempting to get an overview of all the content in only two weeks.
Another observation I had about the dance cardio was the intensity, which quite honestly given all the hype around Tracy Anderson, I expected to be higher. As an avid runner and cyclist, I didn’t feel particularly breathless during the dance videos. Again, if you really knew the dances, this may be different as you’d be able to put your whole body into the movements versus just trying to keep up and anticipate what’s coming next. Even so, I can’t imagine those ever being as challenging of cardio workouts as running or cycling. However, I will concede that they are much more fun and unexpected!
After dancing, I would begin the muscular structure work. Being relatively fit but not necessarily skilled in this particular style of workout, I chose the intermediate level. The intermediate level is one hour while the advanced level ranges anywhere from one hour to 90 minutes, and the beginner level clocks in at 30 minutes. The muscular structure segments are where Tracy and her team of trainers really shine. To kick off the toning, there are both an unweighted and a weighted arms segment (you should have three-pound dumbbells as well as ankle weights for the muscular structure work). Then, you will go down to the floor and proceed to perform a LOT (and I mean, a lot!) of exercises on each side of your lower body. I have never felt my glutes like that, despite over eight years of tough workouts. Be aware that many of her moves are incredibly complex (i.e. not your usual fire hydrant glute lift) so don’t be overly discouraged if you don’t grasp everything immediately or if you have to move a little slower than the people on your screen!
I definitely enjoyed Tracy Anderson’s streaming workouts and found them to be innovative and non-repetitive. The convenience of working out at home and having access to fresh content while doing so was great. Overall, I did feel it was a bit lacking in the cardio department and would want to supplement with a run or bike ride at least once a week if I were to keep doing her workouts over the long-term. With that said, the muscular structure work is truly unparallelled, and unlike the dance cardio, is something you won’t be able to easily find elsewhere.
Another major observation I had about these workouts was the time commitment they require. It certainly seems like a lot compared to other exercise methods, especially if you do cardio and muscular structure work on the same day and as you progress through the levels, the muscular structure videos become longer. One solution that Tracy Anderson’s team offers is the multiTAsk workouts, which are condensed versions of both the cardio and muscular structure work, and allow you to fit both into approximately one hour. I definitely enjoyed the videos that I tried from this category and found them to be just as challenging as the full-length segments. I think that I will probably pay the $90 per month for a few months and see how I fare doing Tracy Anderson workouts over a longer period of time, but I also won’t be giving up my spin classes and runs any time soon.