Fun Friday DVD Review: Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis

Happy Friday people! It’s time to get excited :)

Today, I opted for a change of pace in blogs and decided to throw out a review I’ve been holding onto for a few weeks.

Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis

Below, I’ll tag on a little Q & A from Tracy’s website, but for now you’ll get to read my opinion. I know you’re excited so let’s get to it….

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Ms. Anderson (ok, I totally giggled as I wrote that since it reminds me of the Matrix…nerd) is probably best known as the buddy of svelte and sleek Gwyneth Paltrow. She also had a short stint as the exercise ADD poster child Madonna’s trainer as well. The former has stuck with Anderson for years and seems to only get better with age.

Tracy Anderson’s Method is similar to the Lotte Berk Method of the 80′s, with a cool new take and some very challenging moves. Her Metamorphosis program is divided by body type and the website even gives you a quiz to find which one suits you best. There’s Abcentric for those who carry more weight in the middle and upper body, or apple-shaped. Hipcentric is for those pear-shaped beauties who carry more weight in the hips and thighs. Glutecentric is for those blessed with junk in the trunk.  And there is also Omnicentric for those who tend to just carry weight period. I purchased the Omnicentric as I wanted to give it all a go :)

The Metamorphosis Program comes with the following:

  • A signature dance cardio workout. Tracy was made famous by these cardio workouts and swears by their effectiveness to whittle the body and keep it tight.
  • 9 customized muscular structure workouts
  • Fitness guide and tracker
  • Nutrition Guide (a little low cal, but I must say it is delicious and focuses on nutrients).
  • A tape measure as this will track your progress
  • Access to an online community (I’ll admit I’m anti-social and did not take advantage of this)

Each tracking segment is split into 10 days with a 6 day on, 1 day off approach. You do cardio and your muscle work every day for 6 days, rest 1 day and then start back. You will only be on each muscle work for 10 days total and then progress to the next. This makes this particular workout standout for me since it eliminates boredom (the cardio stays the same BUT she does have other DVD’s available) and you get the most bang for your buck in 1 hour. The equipment needed is only light handweights and a mat, plus a little space to move.

Now, when you first embark on the program you will be confused! Embrace it, that’s part of the process :) . Tracy gives pretty clear instruction, but her workouts are different and it can take a few tries to really feel like you “get it”. She has sequenced them beautifully though and your confidence, coordination and balance will build as your waistline shrinks. She uses techno in the videos and y’all know I’m a HUGE techno fan! If that’s not your taste, you can turn the music off and play your own soundtrack. This gives the viewer a bit more creative freedom.

Now, let’s talk about what we really want to know: does it work?

Tracy’s claim is that her Method works the smaller muscle groups and cross fibers to help promote a lean, tight and toned appearance to the body. While many are wondering about the validity of these claims, I just put it to the test. Here’s the big thing for me: I have an athlete’s build and I’m an easy gainer. What does that mean? It means I have NO waist (I’m pretty straight from shoulders to hips, even when my body fat is low) and I can put on muscle or fat very easily, so my legs tent to stay large which makes jean shopping less than stellar. With regular work in Ms. Anderson’s :) Method, I have noticed a couple of key changes. First, I am the proud owner of a slightly smaller waist (by measurement 4 inches smaller than my hips as of today) AND my legs have slimmed down while maintaining their strength and muscle definition. In conclusion, I’m taking on a slightly more girlish figure :)

There are a few drawbacks: the price tag can seem hefty, but I’ve paid more for less effective programs. Also, it moves fast and it can be intimidating to those who fear choreography. Chill! Run through a few times and thank goodness you’re just in your home.

Personally, Metamorphosis is worth the cost for your home library and can be used after your 90 days to refresh some of those groups and mix into your lifestyle.  It’s a timeless workout with little equipment and the results to back up the claims. Have patience with yourself and get ready for slim!

Michelle

 

Why Metamorphosis?

Q:
What is the Tracy Anderson Method?
A:
Based on over a decade of research on different muscular structure groups, Tracy Anderson has created a fitness method that can transform any problem area or body type.  Tracy has created and patented over 3,000 fitness movements and her varying moves target every muscle in your body. The sequences strategically exhaust the muscles in a way that does not create bulk, and that strengthens the connection to the body. This program is designed for anyone to achieve a perfect body naturally
Q:
How do I tell what body type I am?
A:
There are 4 different DVDs depending on your problem areas and fitness goals.  If you would like to target a specific area or if you would like to maintain and tone your total body, there is a DVD for you.  You need to identify your body zone and then you will receive a package for your body type that will exercise your entire body but will target a specific area. 

  • Abcentric (Stomach):  If a flat stomach is your primary goal, go with the Abcentric.  This program concentrates on the lower stomach and back area.
  • Hipcentric (Thighs): This workout is designed specifically for those who are pear-shaped and hoping to tone up those thighs.
  • Glutecentric (Butt):  If your butt is your main area of concern, this is the workout for you.  Whether it’s too flat or you need a lift, Glutecentric is catered to lifting and toning your butt.
  • Omnicentric (General):  If you are seeking overall weight loss or a toned look, have a substantial amount of weight to lose or not one problem area in particular, chose Omnicentric.
Q:
Why are these DVDs different than any other series?
A:
Fitness workouts and exercise equipment are generally one-size-fits all, regardless of what are your designated fitness needs. The Metamorphosis by Tracy Program will give you access to Tracy teaching and provide you a customized step-by-step workout by home. Since this is a targeted approach, your problem areas will be eliminated faster than with other workouts. This is not just a DVD series, this is a lifestyle program and will require dedication.
Q:
How long is each workout?
A:
It’s important to devote 1 hour a day to working out and my fitness program will be ½ an hour devoted to cardio and ½ an hour devoted to the muscular structure work. This is a manageable amount of time and will help you achieve the maximum results for your body type.
Q:
How often do I need to do the DVDs to see the results?
A:
I recommend doing the Tracy Anderson Method 6 days a week for 1 hour each day.  Dedication is really important and adding a workout into your daily routine will help your health and wellness.  Taking the entire weekend off or getting into a schedule of taking too many days off will not help your muscles achieve long-term results. However, you definitely should not workout seven days a week.
Q:
Do I need to supplement these DVDs with additional workouts?
A:
No, that is the beauty of this fitness system that I have created, I have spent my years of research to give you a concentrated hour workout that will  help you see results more effectively than any other workout program on the market.  If you follow the training and fitness guidelines, you will not need to supplement with any additional workouts and will fulfill both your cardio and muscular structure requirement for each day.
Q:
Do I have to have experience with the Tracy Anderson Method to start these DVDs?
A:
You do not need to have prior experience with the Tracy Anderson Method to successfully complete these workouts and achieve your desired fitness results.  There are all levels of expertise within this program, and the targeted approach will help you combat your problems areas while still giving you a total body workout.
Q:
I’m over age 50, are the DVDs appropriate for all ages and athletic abilities?
A:
There is no age restriction on these DVDs, however, it is recommend that you take the time to review the breakdown steps and various exercises and do not push your body when you are first starting the method.  If you are of an older age or if you have a physical impairment, you should be very careful with your body when first beginning all of exercises.
Q:
Why is there changing content and what is the reason the content changes?
A:
As with any workout, repetition can make your large muscles bulk and can neglect your smaller muscle groups. The changing content will be sure to give you a total body workout and you won’t neglect any of your muscle groups.
Q:
Why do you believe in a dance-based cardio as opposed to other traditional cardio exercises?
A:
I don’t believe in bulking muscles or overworking your large muscle groups. With dance cardio you are constantly working different muscles and using your entire body. Additionally there is a mind/body connection that you don’t get with most traditional cardio routines.  Anticipating what the next move will be and how you will move your body to achieve that move is a large part of the cardio connection.
Q:
When will I first start to see results?
A:
Within your first week of following my method you will start to feel your body changing.  It may be the case that certain muscles will start aching that have never ached before and your body may feel exhausted.  This is all part of the process and nothing is ever achieved with out some hard work and determination and my method is no difference.

Fad Diets, Detox, Elimination Diets and Your Skin

Good Monday Morning!

Today, I’m tackling a LOT of questions all at once, so buckle up and grab some water….

Your skin. You literally live your life in it. It is your greatest accessory as well as your first line of defense against disease and parasites. It also takes the most beating and can be the cause of many sighs and begrudging thoughts. Your skin may be clear as crystal, though that is highly unlikely. Since we live in an imperfect world, our skin tends to take the brunt of the abuse. Pimples, wrinkles, blotches, moles, skin tags, loose skin, stretch marks, varicose veins, cellulite….these all have a common bond with the skin. How we live will inevitably reflect on the skin we wear, and many times wear-down, daily. Aside from our daily environment, there are a few other factors that contribute to skin health or breakdown. Stress (actually our response to stress), fad diets, exercise, detox and elimination diets all play a vital role in the health of your nearest companion. Let’s take a look at a few of them in a little more detail:

FAD DIETS:

You know where I stand on these, but let’s review. If it seems too good to be true, it is. All meat diets get you nowhere (except in the high blood pressure and a possible heart attack catagorie…but at least you’ll die skinny? Not worth it.) and eliminating ANY macronutrient (don’t confuse this with elimination diets, which we’ll get to) sets the metabolism up for failure. Extemely low-calorie diets also strip the body of weight yes, but they also take lean muscle tissue. This means that as you age, and lose muscle which is normal, your metabolism slows down even more. Think about this…..is it getting harder and harder to lose weight? Yeah, it’s not in your head, it’s in your dead metabolism.

Programs such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and even Medifast have left clients with no idea of how to actually eat. If it doesn’t come pre-packaged and pre-portioned, we feel clueless. HELLO! It’s food, it’s your body and it’s your job to nourish your body with said food. Eating brownies fortified with vitamins for breakfast is NOT nourishing your body!!!!! It’s a vat of crazy that you’ve been sucked into because the marketing geniuses know how to phrase things to grab your attention. When I tell people to get off of these programs, here is the MOST common phrase I get:

“But, it worked for me the last time I did it.”

Um, yeah, let’s discuss this. Did you lose weight? Yes, about 20 pounds. Good for you. Did it stay off? No, it came back with a few more pounds.

People….it DID NOT WORK! What works is creating a lifestyle that you can work with, not being told you can have a brownie and lose weight simply because it’s on your meal plan! I’ve lost 104 pounds and haven’t found it again in 5 years…..I know a couple of things and these fad diets don’t work. It’s not you failing at the diet, it’s tha diet failing you! Put the book down, chunk the unrealistic meal plan and start thinking in terms of actual nutrition. Real food = real results.

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DETOX:

This is a great buzz word right now. It’s cool to detox now. It’s an easy way to forgo non-meal-plan-related foods because you’re cool and detoxing darling. I don’t believe in hardcore detox diets (see above). I do believe that many of our diets can eliminate some harmful nutrients to reset the body and work far more efficiently (see below). Detoxing in and of itself can make many people sick, especially if they are prone to ulcers and migraines. I am a far bigger fan of elimination diets and steer clear of crazy detox plans. I advise you to do the same…

Elimination Diets:

This phrase became really big when Gwyneth Paltrow said she was doing Dr. Junger’s Elimination Diet a couple of years ago. First, I think Gwyneth is gorgeous and a great advocate for a healthy lifestyle. Second, I have the greatest respect for Dr. Junger and his research and willingness to continually learn. An elimination diet can sound harsh, but in reality it is quite easy and very beneficial to your health. This diet (Dr. Junger’s is by far the easiest and cheapest!) works with the basic research in human anatomy in relation to the digestive system and beyond. In other words, it works with our own natural biology instead of against it ( like crazy fads and detox diets). It’s a way to reset our internal organs to function more optimally and it also increases our immune response, therefore making us healthier all over. It’s also a guided way to get the junk food out of your system. Elimination diets usually rid the pantry (and your system) of sugar, gluten, caffeine (ok, I still drink coffee on it, shhh), and dairy, all of which have been shown to have detrimental effects on the body. If you’re sitting there going “But what do I eat?!?!?!” then your diet is admittedly crap and you need to eliminate stuff. Tough to hear, but you needed it.

Elimination diets consist of lean proteins, from plants and animals, as well as LOADS of vegetables and grains (sans the gluten). Why are these diets superior to fad diets? Well, nutritionists have used them for centuries to diagnose food allergies and intolerance. Also, our Western world has access to so MUCH food, even when it’s not in season, that we have developed food intolerance over the years that were not always there. We’re also becoming pretty proficient at making new diseases such as metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance….go us, we’re such entrepreneurs in our own health! I kid because I care. Elimination diets should focus on getting plenty of water, which most of us don’t, and plenty of vegetables (ahem, we don’t). Most elimination diets work in phases for about 21 days. Then you can re-add foods into your diet to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions. Most people will be able to eat gluten and dairy again while assimilating food at a much higher rate. This means that you actually USE the food you eat, which turns you into a fat burning machine ALL THE TIME. Some will find that they function much better without certain things such as gluten or dairy. It really is an individual response.

Personally, I function better without gluten, sugar or dairy (especially cheese, BUT I LOVE IT!). I can have these things in moderation in my diet without complications. What are some complications of a food intolerance?

  • Constant fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Constant confusion
  • Sleepiness after eating
  • Restless sleep at night
  • Insomnia
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • GI disorders such as constipation or diarrhea

I know, I totally just diagnosed you right? Chill out! Honestly, most of us have fallen prey to a poor diet simply because it seems convenient. Contact a nutritionist about setting up your plan to get the most out of it. Sometimes you may be able to find an intolerance, other times your pipes just need cleaning and everything will return to normal within a few weeks. More energy, less fatigue and far less pain are all in the cards for you. By the way…there happens to be a nutritionist on this very site that can help you with all that…

So, what have we learned here today? Fad diets have to go! Honor your body and what it does for you with nutrition. Consider setting yourself up for an elimination diet (BTW: your whole fam can do it and benefit!) and reset your energy in a just a few weeks. Remember that you are special and identical diets don’t work for everyone. Oh and….drink your water and eat your veggies!!!!

Have a healthy day!

Michelle