• Tue, Mar 15 2011

Tracy Anderson Can’t Really Change Your Body Type…Or Can She?

Tracy Anderson is known for molding the bodies of Hollywood celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna have credited the trainer for getting their post-baby bodies back in check), and her long list of A-list clients has built her a nice bicoastal biz. But now she’s taking her workouts to the masses, claiming that she can even morph the bodies of mere pleabians with her new (aptly named) DVD set: Metamorphosis by Tracy. “With metamorphosis by Tracy, you can actually design the body you’ve always wanted, defy your genetics, and redefine your body type,” promises the promo, below. We don’t doubt that Tracy can help a couch potato slim down, or even help an exercise buff see results with her DVDs and diet plan. But change our body type? We doubt that she can make everyone’s hips as slim as Madonna’s, and getting legs like Gwyneth’s would require painful leg lengthening procedures for the average woman (we’re only 5’6”, after all).

Then again, there’s a whole field of research centered around the concept that we can change our genes by tweaking our behavior and environment (it’s called epigenetics, if you want to get technical). Traditionally, most of us have an easier time believing that we can change our bodies, genes, and minds for the worse than for the better: Smoking can give you cancer that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise; fast food can make your middle expand beyond what it was born to look like; even if you exited the womb talking, too much television can turn your grey matter to mush. But when it comes to improving our health, appearance, or smarts, most of us are cynics at heart. And not for no reason: We can’t count the number of times we’ve dropped paychecks on products that failed to deliver on the promise of making us look, feel, or act better. And half of them even backed up their claims with science! So why should we believe that Tracy Anderson could change the shape of our thighs?

Many fitness and health trends leave us disappointed; some even leave us fatter, poorer, and feeling crappier than when we started. But we have plucked one truth out of the trends: Changing your health and appearance for the better takes some work. If a DVD claims that you can lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes a day, chances are it’s bullshit. If anyone tells you that taking a pill, drinking a juice, or repeating a mantra will make you thin and beautiful, don’t believe the hype. But a defeatist attitude isn’t any healthier; exercise and a healthy diet can transform a person’s health. Period. If you’re 5’6” and brunette, we shouldn’t expect to look like Gwyneth (or even Tracy Anderson, for that matter). But managing your expectations doesn’t mean giving up on a healthy lifestyle.

Tracy’s infomercial glosses over the fact that her promises hinge on hard work and a strict diet, and we could even argue that it’s setting us up for failure by promising to completely change our bodies. But ultimately, her program doesn’t promise change without work, and if there’s any test of whether a program is worth its weight (or monthly payment plan), we’d say that’s the one. Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed it on GOOP (“It’s pretty f’ing great ’cause it works!”), and who doesn’t believe Gwyneth?

Do you think workouts can change your body type? Tell us what works for you in the comments section, below:

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  • Dori

    Workouts can absolutely not change your body type! They can turn you into an improved version of your own body type, but the way you are built is just that — the way you are built. Any workout that boasts changing your type or giving you a “ballet body” is misleading you. A great post about this here: http://www.refinemethod.com/blog/2011/01/dancer-workouts-on-pointe/

  • Kelly

    Maybe it can’t change your body type but it can certainly change your body appearance. I’ve been doing her dance cardio and mats method for 3 months and my abs have never looked so defined. Even my arms, which were fat and flabby, are are slimming down and toning up. As I type this there is and ad below saying “Cut 15 lbs off your belly by using this 1 weird old tip.” Here’s the tip (and you don’t even have to click here): A LOT of hard work. Maybe a one minute infomercial is misleading, but in the videos Tracy Anderson lays it flat out: to get the body you have to work hard and consistantly. Personally I love the work outs and I love how my body looks and feels since I`ve been doing them!

  • Brodie

    I was once a chunky muscular body type,and I always had extra fat on my middle. Since following Tracy Anderson’s method – mat, post pregnancy and now meta abcentric my middle is toned, and flat, and my legs and arms are long and slim. So yes I think she can transform your body type with a healthy approach and hard work. I don’t do strict dieting, I eat clean food with treats here and there, and I train 6 days a week as she advises. My body is better than before even after having a baby. So thank goodness for the innovative Tracy Anderson. :)

  • Nick

    I think it will help you slim down because any movement will do that especially if you’re active for 90 mins a day. In the pictures I’ve seen of Tracy, it looks like she has scars from a tummy tuck. If that’s the reason she looks good, then no you won’t get extremely flat abs like her.

  • anna harding

    she is just smaller. by dieting? show us someone who has big boobs, a big stomach and a huge ass, then show us the results from your method

  • Exit

    woooow! Madonna have a better body and better muscles than her personal trainer Tracy Anderson!