What It’s Like to Take a Tracy Anderson Class for the First Time
It's no secret Tracy Anderson has gotten some heat over the years. But when Gwyneth Paltrow credits her age-defying thighs to the fitness guru's method, vanity takes over, so you ignore everything else and jump at the chance to try it for yourself. As a part of Racked's Fit Club, TA opened its Studio City doors to a few lucky readers to sample its new pay-per-class program. Last night, I survived my first class.
First, some background. I was a regular at SLT in New York (a workout referred to as "Pilates on crack"). I then moved to L.A., where I practice reformer Pilates and the Bar Method with the occasional hike or run—for all intents and purposes, I'm "fit." But this class was hard, and I'm fairly certain I produced more sweat than ever before in my life.
In a 50-minute session combining strength training and cardio, even one of the instructors looked beat (smokin' body, still—naturally). The pace is quick, the music is blasting, and there's little to no talking. In a room set to 86 degrees with 69% humidity, the class is asked to mimic two instructors through an ever-changing series of dance moves, arm and leg lifts, squats, and yoga poses. All throughout this, you are using various weights, a towel for hand support, and a yoga mat.
There was so much dance that it felt as if we were training to be backup dancers for a Queen Bey music video. Except instead of learning the routine slowly through a series of sequences you memorize and then combine, training begins at dress rehearsal and you have to figure it out for yourself. This strategy may sound odd, albeit frustrating if you're a perfectionist (like me), but the "why" was explained to us simply: "Because we think you can"—an empowering sentence when you're pushing your body beyond its comfort zone, no doubt.
You sweat a lot, you work out muscles many other exercises neglect, the next day brings a special kind of soreness you can't help but feel proud of, but the pace of the class leaves little time to focus on form. The verdict? If you're trying to whip into shape or are the kind of person who loves to dance, this workout is probably for you. If you're more into namaste or trying to stay mindful of a sensitive part of the body, you may want to stick to something more slow-moving.
If you've tried it and survived it, let us know what you thought!
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