Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method The Weight-Loss Kick-Start that Makes Perfection Possible
By Anderson, Tracy
Grand Central Life & Style Copyright © 2010 Anderson, Tracy
All right reserved. ISBN: 9780446562041
YOU ARE HOW YOU MOVE
Welcome to the Tracy Anderson Method
If you pickedup this book, even if you’re just flipping through it at the bookstore, it’s because you wonder if it’s really possible to reinvent the shape you’re in. If you bought this book and brought it home, it’s because you’re ready to make your dreams real.
Everybody wants to be in better shape. But have you ever considered that your body could really be problem-area-free, with toned, shapely arms, the perfect butt, and the legs of a dancer? My clients know that their genetic background won’t keep them from looking gorgeous. That women who have had one, two, even three children can still look forward to buying a bathing suit. That getting older can mean getting stronger and sexier. Have you ever looked at a celebrity magazine and thought: I could never look like that? You can. You absolutely can. With the right workout program, you can be healthy, strong, fit, feminine, and sexy—and still be able to eat real food.
Imagine how amazing it would feel to have a physique that allowed you to move with grace, energy levels that let you keep moving all day, and a body that felt lean and defined. This book is your invitation into a world where food is not a struggle. Where physical fitness is a way of life, not an unreachable dream. Where your clothes slip on easily and everything looks great. Where your stomach is trim and flat, your arms are tight and toned, your butt and thighs look as great in jeans as they do in a bikini—all of this, and more, is achievable.
To many of you, this might sound like a fantasy. But I promise: No matter what brought you here, no matter what your current weight or what your personal story is, success is possible.
After more than a decade of working with women who, until they discovered my Tracy Anderson Method, were struggling with their weight, I can honestly say that there isn’t a problem area I haven’t seen. Or a dieting story that shocks me. But even after meeting and talking with hundreds and hundreds of women about their physical fitness histories, I am still moved to tears by their desire: Their desire to be desirable. Their desire to be healthy. Their desire to feel good in their clothes and sexy naked.
What moved me eleven years ago, the first time somebody sat down and cried to me about her struggles, moves me today. When I see the woman who had gastric bypass surgery but couldn’t afford the full-body skin tuck after. The mother who has given birth to three beautiful children—and now has a stomach that she would like to never expose again. The executive who works out every day, obsessively, but never sees her hard work at the gym net her the success she really wants. Or the teenage girls terrified that exercise will bulk them up, so they replace sweating with starving, experimenting with eating disorders in order to stay tiny. Or those of you who have suffered through the liquid diets, the mental self-abuse, and the internal imbalance that come along with simply wanting to like what you see.
I created this program because I’ve been there myself. I know what it feels like to want to make a change but not have the right tools. Or to be constantly offered “solutions” that take up a lot of time and energy and money and don’t really solve anything.
I created the Method because it was time for something better.
There Is a Real Solution
The work I do is rewarding because I get to watch Cinderella stories every day. I know the heartache of being overweight, of trying to make a change, and of missing the mark time and again. And I know how big a woman’s smile is when she finally sees herself as the princess that she is.
I’m here to tell you that perfection really is possible. That results are really achievable. And I am the proof.
You know those girls you see with the “fast metabolisms,” the kind who can eat everything they want and never gain an ounce? That is totally not me. I am not genetically blessed in the weight department. But I also don’t like to deny myself the simple pleasures of delicious food. I can just look at cake and gain weight, but that doesn’t mean I can imagine a life without it.
Before I developed my Method, back when I was overweight and trying to figure out how to trim down, I tried everything (you’ll learn more about that in the next chapter). I was desperate. That struggle was the catalyst for the development of my Method. It opened a wound within me that I needed to heal, and helping myself and other women transform into lean, lithe goddesses became my manifesto.
Today I have more than a decade of experience transforming women’s bodies into their leanest, tightest incarnations. If you commit to it, my program will free you from a lifetime of struggling with your weight, with your fitness routine, and with the knowledge that even though you work hard, you don’t see the results you want.
Do you want a fit, toned body that is beautiful and full of energy? If you begin tomorrow, in just a month’s time you will have completely reinvented the way your body looks and moves, boosted your self-confidence, and reset your standards for your life.
The Method Can Change Your Life—If You Let It
If you want to see real change, you can’t just read about it. You have to get up and do it. You have to make a change in order to see a change. So I’m going to ask you to have a moment of truth. I’m going to ask you to commit to the three parts of my 30-Day Method: the Muscle Design Work, the Cardio Complement, and an eating plan.
Common wisdom tells you that you need to move your body and watch what you eat. But it isn’t just about moving or reducing calories; it’s about how you move and what kind of energy you provide for yourself.
Each part of the Method is integral to your success, and each requires your full commitment. If you commit to my 30-Day Method, I will redesign your body. If you work hard, I promise you results. Over the course of the program, you will be achieving mastery. You will feel and understand your body in a new way. That’s because I’m not a trainer. I’m a choreographer, a researcher, a designer, and a teacher.
This 30-Day Method is your kick-start program, your entry into a lifestyle that will get you to your weight loss goals—and then keep you there. Listen, we all want to be slim, desirable, feminine, and sexy. None of us wants to struggle uselessly toward an unreachable goal. This is the solution that will work for the long term. Some people have resigned themselves to the misunderstanding that exercise is for health benefits alone but does not deliver weight loss results. With the 30-Day Method, you can do both: improve your health and beautify your body, successfully and sustainably.
This kick start is a boot camp that is going to shock your system and redesign your body no matter what your level of fitness or your genetic heritage. It is an intensive program that uses muscle work, cardio dance aerobics, and a menu plan to restructure your muscles, burn fat, and get you started on your way to being fit, healthy, and in better shape than you’ve ever dreamed.
No matter where your problems areas are, if you partner with me I will redesign your body with this 30-Day Method.
Component #1: Muscle Design Work
For the 30-Day Method Muscle Design, we go to the mats. Comprising three 10-day sequences, this portion of the program targets your smaller, secondary muscle groups, what I call the accessory muscles. Traditional workouts build the major muscle groups like your biceps, quads, and hamstrings, making them larger and adding bulk to your frame. My Method develops the smaller muscles around the bigger ones, contracting and pulling them in without creating the trauma that causes them to build bulk, so you tighten in instead of building out. This elongates, tones, and ultimately creates a smaller body structure. And by changing the moves you’re doing every ten days, you ensure that your muscles stay alert and active while you tighten your skin, shape your body, burn the fat away, and consequently own the results.
Component #2: Cardio Complement
The second critical part of my plan is this high-intensity cardio dance workout. I call it the “complement” because it works in concert with your Muscle Design so that while you’re giving yourself the resistance training you need to sculpt your muscles on the mat, you are also raising your heart rate in strategic intervals in order to burn excess fat at an astonishing rate. All cardio is not created equal! Some dance aerobics classes can be stop-and-go—so you never get the continuous movement needed to really burn calories. And repetitive aerobic activities, such as running or Spinning, bulk up your major muscle groups. My cardio is both continuous and varied, so you are tightening and toning while you build your endurance, burn fat, and support the hard work you’re doing on the mat.
Component #3: Menu Plan
The third piece of the puzzle is my fat-loss-promoting and delicious eating plan. By putting an emphasis on foods high in nutrients and fiber, by eliminating the culprits of weight gain and bloat, you’ll learn a whole new way of eating that tastes good, makes you feel great, and works with (not against!) the exercise components of the plan. As you follow this dynamic eating plan, you will kick-start your metabolism and optimize your ability to burn fat, allowing you to reach your weight loss goals in the fastest and healthiest way possible.
ONCE YOU’VE COMPLETED your 30-Day Method transformation, not only will you feel more alive because you’ve woken up the muscles in your body that were sleeping, but you will be free from any guilt about the food choices you make—and from having to make excuses for why your exercise routine isn’t giving you the figure you want. You’ll awaken and educate your system with my specific, targeted 30-Day Kick Start, and then you’ll be well on your way to the body you’ve always wanted.
Is it really possible to reengineer my body? you may be asking. The answer is yes. No matter what your genetic background, it is absolutely possible.
Why I Created the Method
This system is very personal for me. It grew out of my experiences as a dancer, my struggle with my weight, my frustration with the lack of precise answers from the fitness world, and my curiosity about the human body and what it is capable of.
Why did all the trendy exercise regimens I tried seem to work at the beginning and then stop working, I started wondering. Was there a way to get off the roller coaster of weight gain and loss? Were my excuses—that I was big-boned, that this was my genetic inheritance—really excuses, or were they facts? And the biggest question of all: Was it even possible to develop a structure that I clearly wasn’t naturally given? Can every woman, regardless of body type, achieve a “teeny tiny” dancer’s body through exercise?
In order to fully understand my Method—and why I developed it—you have to understand where I’m coming from. I grew up in Noblesville, a very small town in Indiana, where I had a magical childhood, full of music, dancing, and creativity. My mother, who is very talented, owns a dance studio called The Dancing Place, which she opened when I was four. My mom is athletic; my dad is the opposite. He’s built like Danny DeVito. So I definitely did not have a genetic step up when it came to being physically fit.
Lucky for me, my role model, my mom, always encouraged me to dance. I spent every day at her studio. She’s a very gifted instructor. Most teachers just bark form and repetition, but Mom recognized the importance of presence. Instead of typical recitals, she would put on full-length ballets like Giselle, Coppelia, and Swan Lake because she wanted every student to understand what I later realized to be one of the most important keys to my Method: connection. It was from my mom that I learned that you have to be present and connected, and from her that I learned the difference between doing something and really performing it.
Those are amazing memories for me. But by the time I started thinking about college, everything had changed. My parents’ marriage ended, and my mom was left with three kids and no support. She had the dance studio, but it didn’t generate enough income. To help pick up the pieces, she continued teaching dance and took on two other jobs to support us. This is where I learned to have the strength to make tough choices. Like figuring out how I would go to college even though there wasn’t any money for me to do so.
Things looked bleak, but I had learned from my mom how important it was to stick with it and not give up. Despite circumstances, I knew what I wanted to do.
“Mom,” I said, having decided to beat the odds, no matter what it took. “I really want to go to dance school in New York.”
The Freshman Forty
I got to New York with twenty dollars in my pocket, soon joined by a key to a dorm room full of cockroaches. I was over the moon. I auditioned into all the highest-level dance classes at my school. This was what I had wanted my entire life. I was thrilled, and terrified, but most of all, I was grateful. I couldn’t believe the lengths my mom had gone to in order to help me get closer to my dream of being a dancer, and I was determined to show her my appreciation by being a success. Then I started gaining weight. Everything changed. I kept putting on pounds, even after my instructors started nodding their heads at me or making comments. Five pounds became ten, and the comments became more pointed. Then it was fifteen pounds, and I would cry to Mom, who would tell me it was just the freshman fifteen. But then it became the freshman forty.
I was struggling, and I was confused. I couldn’t understand why my body was becoming heavier even though I spent all day with my foot up on the barre. Dancers aren’t supposed to be heavy. They aren’t even supposed to be curvy. My teachers were disappointed, and I was miserable—my weight gain wasn’t just making me feel bad about myself, it was ruining my shot at a career. You can imagine my five-foot-tall forty-pounds-heavier frame squeezing into a black leotard and pale pink tights. At dance school, being overweight is simply not an option.
One of my instructors actually dropped me down to a different level because of my body. It wasn’t about my skill, it was about my figure. He said to me, “If Disney stays on Broadway, Ms. Anderson, you’ll have plenty of work.” So that was my future: I would be a teapot. That was not at all what I had pictured. I wanted to be the ingénue, not a useful piece of china.
When you go to school on a dance scholarship, they expect you to have this ridiculously tiny body, and it’s a very specific body. But they don’t tell you how to get it. There is just one idea of the perfect body type, and there were only three things that could happen. Either you were blessed with genetic superiority, like those willowy girls with their long legs who could eat an entire cake and not suffer an additional ounce on the scale; or you could keep weight off through any means possible, including pills, liquid diets, and copious amounts of exercise. The third option wasn’t really an option. If you could not achieve the perfect body, then you might as well just quit.
Lucky for me, I had a mentor who was a dear friend of my mother’s, and who has proven to be a source of inspiration and strength. She was raised in an abusive household, and as a child she would lock herself in her room and say, “I am not going to be like that.” And she couldn’t have been more successful. She grew up and created a family that was not only picture-perfect, but just as sweet behind closed doors. She taught me that when we are faced with challenges in life, we can let them define us and hold us down or we can turn them into our greatest strengths. And I was not going to let dance school tell me that I wasn’t good enough.
The “Experts” Don’t Understand
I would do my best to diet like crazy and eat nothing but steamed chicken and a cracker or two, and my weight would go down, but then it would go right back up. I wasn’t very good at starving myself, but I was good at moving my body, so I was usually on a crazy exercise regimen of one kind or another. I got a gym membership, and after eight hours in school I would go and train. My mother scraped together some money that she could barely spare so that I could take Pilates classes. It basically just gave me a massive core, with very overdeveloped abs. Joseph Pilates was a true visionary genius, but his goals are different from mine, and the program did not give me the flat supermodel stomach I was after.
This was a really frustrating cycle for me. I watched my friends damaging their health with rounds of starvation that helped them attain the skinny bodies they were after, and I blamed the school for giving us an unreasonable stereotype to live up to and not providing any real way to achieve it. My weight went up and down, my energy level was a mess, and no matter what I tried, I always slid back to square one. Diets, trainers, the gym—in the end, it was all ineffective. I was a good performer, so my body would dutifully change with each shift in exercise method, but none of them gave me a dancer’s body.
Of course, this source of frustration is what would ultimately fuel my search for the solution that the dance professionals, the Pilates professionals, the “experts” at the gym could never give me. Even at school, the counselors had no idea what they were talking about—their obsession with calories actually made me feel guilty for eating.
My drive to create a dancer’s body from any kind of body, not just one that’s naturally lean, came from my anger at the system that was basically setting me up to fail. I’m an A+ student who doesn’t take F for an answer. If there’s an expectation but no solution—well, that’s not fair. So a few years later, I would take matters into my own hands.
The end of my dancing career came when I was twenty-two and doing a show in Chicago, complete with regular rounds of major dieting (the chicken and crackers again), and I realized that in order to make it as a dancer, I would never be able to eat again. Since I prefer my plate empty at the end of a meal, not the beginning, I knew a career as a professional dancer was out.
I had no idea what I would do with my life if I wasn’t dancing. When my long-distance boyfriend, Eric, came to town and proposed, I said yes.
My First Clue
Eric had back issues that were affecting his basketball career, so during a summer league we found ourselves at a small clinic in Puerto Rico. The doctor’s son had a little lizard that he would lead around on a leash. It was definitely not your typical doctor’s office.
This doctor had an opinion that was very different from what we had been hearing from all the American doctors. He explained that Eric’s injury didn’t necessarily mean he needed surgery. In fact, this guy was really against medical intervention. He said, “If you redesign the way that your back muscles are working, and strengthen yourself in a different way, you can cure this.”
That was my clue. He was the first person I’d ever heard say that you can do something with your muscles to create change. It made me think about my own struggles with dancing and my weight… This was the first time I asked myself the big question that would change my life: “Can anyone have a dancer’s body?”
Since I’m a naturally curious person, I started asking questions. Everything the doctor told me, I said, “Why?” and “How?” He showed me all sorts of things, in books, under microscopes. “Look at this,” he would say. “Look at how they work. And look at how they change.”
Finally I realized that if I did some serious research, I could learn how to really change my own body.
A Decade of Transformation
I dedicated my time to learning and researching everything I could find about muscles. I was on the computer. I was reading books until they were in tatters, and visiting doctors to get the answers that weren’t in the books. I was researching exercise and developing my own exercise moves.
While I was pregnant, and later, when I was home with my son Sam, I did so much research on how movement affects the different muscle groups and muscle types that my family thought I was crazy. I was buying books from medical schools, massive stacks of volumes that mapped out the way the muscles fit together and support one another. (My favorite was an anatomy tome published by Taschen called The Atlas of Human Anatomy and Surgery.) I talked to neurologists. I talked to sports conditioning doctors. I talked to orthopedic doctors. I made appointments with doctors for sports injuries I didn’t really have just so I could have their undivided attention for my curious questions.
Overwhelmingly, the thing I picked up on was how focused all the research was on the large muscle groups, like your biceps, your hamstrings, your quads. All the studies were so focused, in fact, that there was very little information on how to strategically stimulate and utilize the accessory muscles. If it wasn’t biceps, if you weren’t trying to make it bigger, it was as if it didn’t exist. The primary textbooks for physiology training all focused on the large muscle groups. We knew that the accessory muscles existed, but nobody knew why they should care.
It was as if the fitness industry was at a standstill. I felt like the experts were saying: These are the manuals. There’s nothing more to learn.
That wasn’t enough for me, so I kept looking. I already knew that working out the larger muscle groups wasn’t the answer. The accessory muscles, I thought, were the key to strengthening and toning the body without bulking up…
Soon after I started implementing what I had learned, I ran into a woman I had known a few years earlier. She couldn’t believe how I looked. “Your body’s amazing,” she kept saying. “I want your arms.”
“You know what?” I told her. “You can have them.” I started working with her that summer, and by the time September rolled around she didn’t have to be jealous of my arms anymore, because hers were more toned and taut than she had ever imagined they could be.
My own transformation took place ten years ago. I gained sixty pounds when I was pregnant with my son, and since I developed this system, I have been exactly the same weight.
Since then, I have helped thousands of women understand how to do the same thing with their bodies. I changed my destiny by learning how to work out properly to get real results, and that’s exactly what you’ll do with this book. Even if you’ve been working out for years and nothing seems to help. Even if your body has been resistant to all of today’s trendiest regimens, from forms of Pilates to forms of yoga.
My clients are lean and fit. They can manage their weight without excessive dieting. And they’re in the best shape they have ever been. Some of them, like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, you’ve heard of. Some of them, like the woman who had gastric bypass surgery or the career woman with three kids who gained fifty-plus pounds, you haven’t. But what they all have in common is this: They have taken control of their lives and their bodies by implementing my workout methods.
Ladies and gentlemen, transformation is possible. And achievable. You can’t do it without breaking a sweat, but you can definitely do it.
I am the proof. And in thirty days, with the help of this book, you will be, too.
Making Perfect Possible
How the Method Works
When it comes to dresses and heels, trend is everything. But when it comes to exercise, trendier is not better. In fact, in the end, it’s useless.
This is what usually happens: Someone jumps on an exercise trend. She sees results in the beginning, because her body is experiencing something new. Give it a month, and she’s bummed because she isn’t seeing any new results. She talks to friends: “What are you doing?” “Oh my God, I just found the best thing. It’s [insert fad here], and I’m seeing results.” So she tries the new best thing, and plateaus again, and she has to look for something newer still if she wants more short-term results.
So how do we get long-term results? How do we get to incredible—and stay there?
Trial by Jury
As I already mentioned, my mission has always been to strengthen the smaller muscle groups so that they can pull in the larger muscles, resulting in a lean, long, feminine figure that is not bulky. I knew that I didn’t want to build upon muscles, I wanted to pull in muscles. What my research taught me was that it was all in the accessory muscles. I got really excited, because I knew that these little accessory muscles were like Cinderella muscles. If I could wake them up, I could change anyone. But moving from that realization to a real routine I could share with my clients didn’t happen overnight.
In order to develop all of the strategic moves and sequences that make up my Method, I had to go through a lot of trial and error. I used my own body as a test subject, and then I gathered 150 other willing and eager women and put my theories to work.
My ultimate goal was to come up with a small, focused package. You don’t try to figure out how to brush your teeth every day: You know how. There’s a clear set of directions: Brush for two minutes three times a day, floss, and you’re set. You’ve taken care of your teeth properly, and you don’t have to worry that they’ll rot and fall out. It’s the same with my system: I give you the clear steps. It will take a commitment. But I promise you, you will build a healthy, gorgeous body. You will have beautiful skin tone, tight muscles, and a lot of energy. No more worrying—just results.
The first 150 women I worked with closely were people I knew, and people who had heard about me through word of mouth. My process was very specific. I would carefully measure each woman, and then put her through her paces. Over the five years of trials, I always worked with 150 women. I needed to work with enough women to give me a broad range. I wanted my system to work for everybody, no matter what their age, circumstances, or fitness level. There was the single woman who was stuck at a desk all day and had put on a hundred pounds. The working mom with three kids, ten pounds to lose, and bad skin tone. The twenty-year-old who put all of her paychecks into her body, but still didn’t have what she wanted.
Before I started them on the system I had developed through my initial stages of research, I conducted a study to make sure I was right. I didn’t want to be 50 percent sure or 75 percent sure. I wanted to be 100 percent positive that what I was teaching was the absolute best way to have a tight, lean, defined body.
So I needed to try everything.
Sun and Water
Remember the experiment that you did in the first or second grade? You take two plants and put them in a closet. One gets water and one doesn’t. You put two other plants on a windowsill in the sunlight. One gets water and one doesn’t. The only plant that survives will be the one that gets everything it needs: water and sunshine. Just water doesn’t cut it. Just sunshine doesn’t cut it. And of course, as every gardener knows, if you really want a healthy plant, you need to add the right amount of nutrients.
It’s the same with my exercise system—the two components work in tandem, supported by the right eating plan—and I proved it through trial and error. First, I had all 150 women try different things. I had some who just did the musculostructural work, and their cardio would be running. Some just did the musculostructure, and I let them Spin. And I had some be complete purists to my Method, making sure they did my specific cardio dance aerobics and targeted muscle structure work.
Time and time again, I found that the only program with consistent results was my Method. Doing the muscle work without the right cardio component—substituting running or Spinning, for example—just didn’t work effectively. You need the sunshine and the water—my special cardio and the muscle reengineering, as well as the strategic eating plan to support and speed your progress. If you jump on a trend, the only thing you can be sure of is that you’ll be jumping on another one soon. But if you follow my program, integrating the muscle work, the cardio, and the menu—the results you get will be so spectacular, you won’t even need to jump on the scale and check.
There were twenty women out of the 150 on the original program who became the basis for my Method. They were the kind who didn’t make excuses, who showed up every day, and who really performed. For ninety days, they did the full program, and their results far surpassed those of their peers in the other test groups. These twenty women, with all different backgrounds, shapes, and sizes, all ended up with the same tight, toned, defined body.
Everyone in the other test groups begged to be put on the same program. That was when I really knew: when everybody wanted in. That was the formula I had been aiming toward. That’s when we really got moving.
Refining the Method
Once we had established the basic formula for the Method, it was time to refine it. I worked with 150 women over the course of the next five years, developing and choreographing thirteen new moves every ten days. What I knew, based on my research, was that the accessory muscles wake up fast. They get strong fast. And they get bored fast. So I had to keep them on their toes. In other words, I needed to design a workout that would deliver constant results, so people wouldn’t plateau and stop seeing change. By constantly testing new moves, I was able to develop a formula that would work effectively for everybody in the long term. By figuring out the most effective, most strategic moves, I learned how to take any body type and effect a really powerful change.
Every ten days, I would measure the women in the test group and graph the changes in both the large and small muscle groups. As the accessory muscles woke up and started pulling in, the women lost inches and gained confidence. Over time, the empirical evidence from watching them change was so powerful that it drove me to keep working.
After five years, there were sixty people who made it all the way through. Their journey from kindergarten through graduation gave me valuable information about how the weight could stay off and how the definition could remain, despite genetics, old habits, or lifestyle choices.
The results were mind blowing. I was amazed. I was changing women’s bodies left and right. It was insanity! In the end, they all had the ideal arms. They all had the ideal butt.
By now, I’ve done this for so long that my program is foolproof. The Method works for everyone, hands down. So what you’ll find in my book is my 30-Day Method: a complete program with a cardio routine, plus new mat exercise sequences every ten days to keep your accessory muscles focused and at attention. You’ll lose the fat and tone your muscles. And once you add in the 30-Day eating plan, you’ll really see results!
This is a method by which anyone can achieve perfection. I promise you, it is possible.
Why My Method Works While the Others Fail
Science is science. Facts are facts. We’ve always known that the accessory muscles are really powerful when they get stimulated. But until my research, until my moves, nobody had figured out how to keep the accessory muscles stimulated so that the change keeps on happening. With most of the workouts on the market, sooner or later your body will plateau. Since results don’t stick, the desire to lose weight remains constant. It’s become a chronic problem that never gets solved, except with quick-fix fads. So people come up with the “next new thing.” Even the traditional studies have become jumping-off points for trends.
People create these variations because they see how much demand is out there; each fad is a new way to get people into gyms and buying products. But the fact is: Trends don’t create long-term results.
When you go from trend to trend to trend, what you feel is your accessory muscles waking up, because you’re doing something new. And then they get used to it in a matter of weeks, and they’re done working for you. They get bored. They tune out. You stop losing weight.
My Method can beat the plateau. It is a system that is about results, not hope. I use the menus to support your weight loss while you learn how to do the workouts effectively. And I use choreography and muscle work strategically to achieve continuous results, so you look defined instead of massive, and balanced instead of bulky. The gym, the big gym, never gets anyone where they want to be. Do you really want to look like a gym rat? The best thing about people who abuse the gym is that they are, in a way, walking advertisements for my basic message: that we can manipulate our musculostructure to an incredible degree—for worse and better.
Forget Everything They Told You About Exercise
You have more than six hundred muscles in your body. When you go to school to become a personal trainer, or to study exercise physiology, or anything like that, you learn a lot about the major muscles. The biceps work like this. The triceps work like this. A hamstring works like this. Those are our horse muscles, the ones that give us mass and strength. That’s all fitness education has traditionally focused on. Nobody in the history of fitness has ever paid attention to the small muscle groups. And the small muscles are the key.
During my research, I looked at muscle biopsies to learn how different types of exercise affect muscles. It turns out that different resistance ends up in the muscles in different places: The kind of movement you do affects the kind of muscle that you build. (Remember, you are how you move!)
Even before I took a look through a microscope to see exactly how exercise and resistance change muscle tissue, I knew that working with weights was not the way to go. Weight lifting accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish. It’s just not what I’m trying to accomplish. When I was a dancer trying to trim down, I worked at a gym with a personal trainer for ages. I was working my butt off and lifting a lot of weights—and I was still forty pounds overweight. My muscles weren’t long and lean, they were short and bulky. I looked like I had been tossed into a trash compactor.
If you’ve ever had a personal trainer, you were probably taught to move your biceps in the linear way they like to move. When you can’t feel the action anymore, the weight is upped, and the motion resumes. Same exercise, more weight. When you do this, the weight stresses the muscle to the point that it needs to repair itself, so you’re building mass.
I know how much some of you love your little weights, but I’m after a better way.
When you lift weights, you’re ripping and repairing the muscle, which builds mass and can ruin your joints and ultimately destroy your skin tone. This is exactly what you don’t want. And when you use your own body as resistance, the effects are very similar (and too much Downward Dog can lead to vascular damage, as I’ve seen with some of my clients).
Weight lifting is not healthy. You’re building muscles that are more prone to injury. You’re tearing down your joints. You’re destroying your structure. And your heart probably isn’t happy about it.
Running is terrible for your joints. It makes you work the same muscles over and over again, so you’re just strengthening muscles that are already strong enough.
Yoga focuses on legs, abs, and arms—but everything works as its own unit. And some muscles become overdeveloped, while others just waste away, doing nothing.
Tennis might be fun, but it’s a prime example of stop-and-go fitness, instead of a balanced cardio workout. It doesn’t burn enough energy. It’s not a focused enough practice to replace a cardio workout.
My Method tones your muscles and makes you stronger, improving your structure without adding bulk or stressing your joints. It works the entire body as a whole, so you don’t end up with big arms and tiny legs, or a massive core and weak arms and legs. And it provides a balance between the muscular restructuring and the cardio, so you end up as fit, sexy, and feminine as you’ve ever dreamed.
But you have to do it my way.
My Way or the Highway
The human body is like clay, and over the years, through research, trials, and hundreds of success stories, I have learned exactly how to mold it. This is not a trend. This is not a fad. It is a new way of looking at fitness. When you follow my three-part system, you’re not just exercising. You’re not just burning calories or trying to lose weight. You’re doing specific, strategic movements that tone your muscles, improve your skin tone, and combat cellulite. You’re becoming fit and energetic, lean and flexible, sexy and feminine.
It is possible for you to eat what you want and still have a cellulite-free structure that performs well, is full of energy, and doesn’t make you look like you’re training for a weight-lifting competition.
Do you want what I have? Do you want what my clients, like Gwyneth, have?
If you’re looking for a tight, toned body that is streamlined instead of bulky, it all starts with my 30-Day Method. You won’t find it at a gym. You won’t find it at a yoga studio or a Pilates mat class. Running, tennis, swimming: nope. If you want to look tight and toned, you need to stop every other kind of exercise and only do my workout. My promise to you is that if you do what I tell you, you will eventually have the body you’ve always wanted. Your promise to me is that you will let me redesign your body by 100 percent embracing the system.
This workout is designed to change the way your body is structured. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, a physicist, or a housewife. Heavy, thin, tall, short: No matter who you are or what your experience level is, I will retrain your body. I do this by working the accessory muscles, the very important ones that nobody pays attention to, in very specific ways. In this program, you’ll be pairing this crucial muscle work with cardio and a healthy eating plan. And what you’ll see is a transformation.
You’re going to hear me using words like knitting and bolting when I talk about your accessory muscles. These aren’t words that are traditionally used when it comes to exercise. But my moves are not traditional. If you want a tight, tiny, trim body, you need to leave behind the repetitive, damaging linear movements, and let me teach your structure to move in angles instead of straight lines. By angles I mean on the diagonal, forward, back, in all directions instead of the more linear up, down, up, of a bicep curl. This is how I wake up your accessory muscles and use them to bolt the larger muscle groups together. By manipulating your structure via strategic muscle exhaustion, tiring out the big muscles so the accessory muscles can activate and strengthen, I can knit your muscles together to give you definition and strength.
When I talk about knitting, I mean that you’ll be pulling and tightening your muscles together to make them more compact, as opposed to bigger. Knitting isn’t a scientific term—it’s an analogy for the unique way we’re going to tighten and tone. By bolting, I mean gathering a collection of muscles around a joint—or contracting them—in several specific areas, as if you’re literally fusing your muscles together to improve and renew your shape. The moves work to bolt the muscles in these key places to lift the glutes, firm the outer thighs, contract around the hip flexors, and connect all the muscles in your upper body so they pull up and in—and believe me, you are going to notice the difference!
The Designer Body
I consider myself a designer. If you embrace my program, you’re inviting me to re-create your body. It’s like organic plastic surgery—I am literally reshaping the figure that you have into the one that you want. If you were visiting a plastic surgeon—someone who uses a knife to reshape—you would trust his or her vision. You wouldn’t go to two plastic surgeons at once—you’d end up looking like a Picasso, with your nose on your forehead. Maintaining your other exercise while you do my program interferes with my design.
Since you are how you move, as we’ve discussed, I can’t have any other surgeons in the operating room with me, so to speak. If you’re reading this book, you’ve already invited me in. Now you need to trust me.
That is why I ask you to totally focus on all three components of my system during these first thirty days.
Commitment = Results
This is not the same old fitness book with a different cover. My system is designed so that you will never become static. Static is what causes plateaus. Static is why you sweat in a gym and still don’t get the results you want. Static is why you’re constantly searching for a new solution to the same old problem.
But you need to be honest if you want it to work. I can try to motivate you, and I can give you the tools—but you’re the one who will have to be ready to get rid of all of the excuses. I’ve seen it time and time again with my clients. Someone will come in just swearing that she’s doing my program perfectly, but isn’t seeing the results she wants. Of course, since I know the Method works, I’m always digging to discover why it’s not working for someone.
“Oh, I swear to you I’m doing the menus,” she’ll say. But when I push, it’s suddenly, “Oh, but I had a handful of this.” Or, “I always do the whole workout!” And when I say, “Really?” I’ll hear, “Well, I came to my workout, but my daughter called me seven times during it, so I didn’t really finish.”
You know how it goes, right? Well, it needs to stop right now. If you want to see results, you need to commit 100 percent for the next thirty days. Think about it this way: Isn’t it worth a month of your time to change the rest of your life?
That’s why I’m asking you to show up every day. Think of the next thirty days as a boot camp. Be present, be real. I will ask you to exercise at least an hour a day. To follow the menus. To be true to yourself and your goals. You can attain perfection if you use the tools that I am giving you. You can have a body more beautiful than you ever dreamed.
But you can’t just do it once and think you’re going to look that great. You have to build a new habit, a new framework. You need to do this every day: every, single day. The results will be worth the thirty-day sacrifice, I guarantee it!
And there’s no better time to start than today. So let’s get started.
Making the Method Work for You
How to Give—and Get—100 Percent
By now you know you’re about to completely change the way your body looks and feels. In order to do this, you have to stop thinking of fitness as a hobby, and make it a priority. Every element of the program is integral, and you should regard each one as pivotal to your success.
It is the correct combination of the three Method elements—muscle work, cardio, and menus—that is going to drive your complete transformation. If you overdo the dieting but don’t rebuild your structure, you’re going to be what I call “skinny fat.” If you overdo the structure work but don’t do the cardio, you’re going to have a layer of fat hiding your new physique. And if you overdo the cardio—and don’t balance it out with the structure redesign—you’re going to have loose, hanging skin that will not look good in a bikini.
The goal of this boot camp is to shock your muscles, reinvigorate your system, and redesign your body. The Muscle Design and the Cardio Complement, along with the 30-Day Kick-Start Menus, work together to help you create the body you’ve always dreamed of having. But it’s like any good recipe: If you skip a step, there’s no way it’s going to come out tasting like the chef intended.
If you’re dedicated to the muscle work but skimp on your cardio, you’re going to have the tight muscles, but you’re also going to feel blubbery on the surface because the fat has nowhere to go. If you do too much cardio, or crash-diet, and don’t do the muscular structure work, then your skin is going sag, because you’ve had a rapid weight loss but no muscle transformation. You’re going to look like a sharpei when you’re naked. But if you do everything in the right balance, then the muscular structure changes. The fat is burned. And the skin will come back to the muscle. The skin is the last thing to make a change, but it will.
If you get yourself past the beginner’s level, and you really learn to perform, this boot camp will help you look and feel fantastic.
It’s All About You
Now that you understand what the 30-Day Method is and how it works, let’s talk about how to make it work best for you. If you approach your training like an amateur, you will not get the results you want. If you approach it like a professional, your muscles will become taut and toned; your structure will be redefined and redesigned.
What does it take to be a professional? It requires commitment. It means getting rid of all the excuses. You’ll need to pick a set time to exercise and dedicate a space to your program, even if that means that you have to move your couch three feet to the left every day. And along the way you’ll get to know yourself, embrace your true potential, and learn to be your best critic. All these things are part of what it takes to move forward, to restructure your structure, to achieve a level of perfection you have only dreamed about.
You will show up every day. You will try your hardest. And you will do it right.
Real achievement will come through four steps:
Schedule your program.
Prepare the environment.
Connect to yourself.
Excerpted from Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method by Anderson, Tracy Copyright © 2010 by Anderson, Tracy. Excerpted by permission.
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