After hearing actress Gwyneth Paltrow wax poetic about the sculpting power behind pint-sized trainer Tracy Anderson’s workout routine, I decided last month to put her new ‘Metamorphosis’ program to the test.
As I mentioned previously, the 90-day program consists of nine different muscular structure workouts, plus a daily cardio component and a ‘dynamic eating plan.’ And Anderson keeps both the mind and body guessing by switching up the exercises every 10 days for the four different plans, each of which are tailored by body type:
- Abcentric – Think “apple-shaped” ladies who gain weight in the midsection
- Hipcentric – Those of us more “pear” shaped, thicker in the hips and thighs
- Glutecentric – Semi-bootylicious, with junk in the trunk, but a droopy, shapeless behind
- Omnicentric – Equal opportunity gainers, whose weight is distributed evenly
Because it requires only an hour-long commitment each day (broken into two sets, 30 minutes each, of cardiovascular and muscular structure work), Metamorphosis fits conveniently into even the busiest of schedules. However, there’s one element of the program I’ve decided against – the eating plan. After dabbling with several of the recipes over the course of the first few days, I felt that the reduced calorie count left me feeling zapped of the energy needed to complete my workouts effectively. Anderson obviously doesn’t guarantee results unless the plan is strictly adhered to, but I tend to think a more moderate change in diet over the course of the program will lead to greater long-term benefits.
As far as the exercises themselves go, the dance cardio portion takes a few sessions to master, but once I got the hang of it, it’s something I appreciate as a nice change of pace to the usual gym routine. There are elements of modern dance, ballet and hip hop, but even if you don’t have a dance background, the steps are straightforward enough to copy fairly quickly. And Anderson encourages you to play your own music and freestyle with whatever moves your mood inspires, so there’s an element of fun and creativity involved.
What surprised me most was the muscular structure portion, however. Although I consider myself pretty well-versed in all things exercise, Anderson offers a wide range of never-before-seen exercises for abs, arms and glutes, which makes me feel as though I’m venturing into new territory (with, fingers crossed, new results!). Her premise of working the smaller accessory muscle groups, exhausting them with a series of exercises at 30-40 reps each, is both exhilarating and excruciating.
On the flip side, the fact that Anderson insists on using a maximum of three-pound weights has me wondering if I’ll see results as definitive as some other programs. The arm exercises are both fast-paced and complicated, so this is definitely not a program I’d recommend for exercise rookies. Also, I’d appreciate more thorough instruction throughout the workout; Anderson tends to dive right into different exercises without much explanation, so I keep having to pause and rewind to make sure I am getting the form correct. It would also be more motivating to have a count or timer for each set, so be prepared to do the muscular structure portion while craning your neck to watch the TV closely for a cue on when to begin the next exercise.
Results-wise, I am the same weight and measurements after a month on the program, so I’m looking forward to seeing if month two will bring about my own metamorphosis…stay tuned!
For more information, visit Tracy Anderson’s website here.