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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Debunking a few Daily Mail created myths about the Tracy Anderson Method

I have seen the Daily Mail do hatchet jobs over the years but I was surprised to read the inaccurate info in a March article about the Tracy Anderson Method. The journalist claimed alternatively to be on the 30 Day Method and then on the follow up 90 Day one -- Metamorphoses.  The photos claim she was on the 30 day Method and she states in the article that she was on the 90 day one.
I can only say that she obviously did not read directions. For example she started with the Cleanse/Detox for a week. If you are on the 30 Day Method, it comes at the end and is only 5 days. Yes the Cleanse is severely limiting and hard but it is done as a detox (if you want it) at the end after your endurance is built up. Tracy Anderson is quite specific. She wants you to have enough energy to do the cardio and exercises as they are the main part of her programme. The portion size is a guide. The main emphasis is on her muscle design mat work and the cardio.
The Lifestyle menu is really built on the concept of low sodium, low starch, reasonable amount of protein, and lots and lots of fruit and vegetables. Very little diary. It is about using the freshest ingredients to create delicious and filling meals. the portion sizes are a guide but if you are hungry, you are supposed to eat more of the menu, rather than supplementing from other foods. No powders or pills or processed foods.
My blender has been getting a workout as there are blended soups and drinks.
I was also surprised to see Wilcox saying that all you had for lunch was a protein bar. Lunch on the 30 Day Menu has been  things like grilled salmon salad, carrot ginger soup, turkey roll up, grilled chicken salad. There are no protein bars in sight. In fact, in the 30 Day Method, Tracy Anderson makes it quite clear that she wants fresh foods, simply cooked. The recipes do not take long. Suppers are generally white fish, chicken or turkey with roasted or braised vegetables. There is a snack which tends to be more desserty -- so fruit or her version of a chocolate pudding. She also does some savoury ones -- cucumber mint relish or fresh chopped veg.  Breakfasts vary from strawberries and mint or fresh fruit to egg roll ups -- egg white omelettes filled with vegetables.
Anderson is also quite clear that it is a diet and is not intended for the long term. It is to help you lose weight and learn to reconfigure your eating habits so you know what full is and what is good to eat.
Wilcox also claimed that the 30 Day Method Exercise portion took 3 hours per day and involved over 40 exercises. Ummm no. Depending on your fitness level, the cardio portion will take as little time as 10 minutes step touching or as much as 60 minutes full on dancing. You work up to the 60 minutes. It is about building your endurance. It was comforting to read that Gwyneth Paltrow and a few other celebrity clients of Tracy's started with step touching. The dvd consists of 2  10 minute cardio dance sequences which you do.  Because there are no instructions, you can mute it and choose your own playlist.
The over 40 exercises in the book are divided into three ten day segments. When you finish 10 days, you move on to the next segment.  Each segement consists of 15 exercises.  One of Tracy Anderson's abiding philosophies is that muscles get bored and you need to constantly challenge those muscles and make them work in different ways. You need to do the reps on both sides and you do increase the reps. You start at 20 if you can and work up to 60. If 60 is too easy and you can do them ALL without stopping, you can move on to ankle weights.
So it would have been helpful IF  Rebecca Wilcox had managed to read the directions and follow what she was supposed to do rather than making it up as she went on along.
Perhaps the 90 Day metamorphoses has a completely different menu. Perhaps she skimmed read the 30 Day Method book and didn't bother to read the chapter headings. Perhaps she was after good copy. Who knows what her agenda was but she obviously didn't bother to read the 30 Day Method in anay great detail.
Currently I am on Day 15 of the 30 Day Method. I have not fainted, nor have been in any danger of fainting and I have strictly followed the diet. I have also not bothered with some of the snacks as they didn't appeal.  I know enough about nutrition to know that it is a reasonably sensible diet -- lots of fruit and veg with reasonably sized portions.
Time wise it  takes me 2 hours per day to do 50 minutes of full on dance cardio and the 15 exercises required for this portion. When 50 minutes becomes easy, I will move up to 60 minutes but won;t go beyond that. I am on 50 reps and am working on being able to do them without stopping.
In terms of weight loss, I have lost 16 lbs so far and 16 inches from my thighs, waist, hips, and stomach combined.   When I did Jillian Michaels 30 Day shred, I lost inches but only about 5 lbs.
I haven't measured my upper arms as I have lymph oedema, BUT it has been a marvel for my left arm. My wedding ring is now loose and I have to remember to  wear my bandages. I suspect it is a combo of the low sodium and the arm exercises which is helping the arm to drain and the fluid to move.
I remain undecided about doing the Cleanse as some of the food sounds disgusting and I don't think I will need it. the lifestyle menus are working just fine. It might not be Anderson's exact method but I think she will forgive me.
Once I have done my revisions, I am planning on ordering the Metamorphoses 90 day dvd set as a treat. I may eat my above words after seeing it, but right now all I can compare Wilcox's article with is the 30 Day Method and she made mistakes
You can order the book -- Tracy Anderson 30 Day Method from Amazon. The 90 day programme is only available from her website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this! I had similar arguments to the article, too!