If you have been following celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson’s health and fitness advice, you need to read this. I’ll give you some reasons why you shouldn’t listen to her, and then I’ll give you some recommendations for people you should listen to simply because I know you can trust them based off the results they get for people and their hugely impressive knowledge base.
WTF (Where are The Facts?)
I finally figured it out.
When I first started reading the latest article that has been getting criticised for leading hundreds of thousands of fans astray, by every knowledgeable, results driven trainer I know on social media, I was thinking “I can’t believe the depths people go to make more money and grow their profile”.
Then I read on to other articles and I realised why there was so much poor information being spread that will have women stressed to their eye balls about how to get in shape.
In this article Tracy was asked if she took a break from exercising six times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per day and preferably an hour (like she suggests is THE ONLY WAY to get the body you want) due to responsibilities as a parent, to which she replied “When I stop, I feel guilty”
Here’s the issue. Exercise is not supposed to be a chore, and if you have to be driven by guilt to continue to move and maintain your body shape, this isn’t sustainable.
This kind of mental and emotional relationship with exercise is obsessive and unhealthy, and it WILL end bad for all involved.
If someone thinks like this, it just doesn’t seem like they have a balanced lifestyle to me. Just remember, maybe someone is in admirable physical shape, but do you know how they’re really managing their life? And what would you rather? Sacrificing your well being, manageable stress and healthy energy levels all for the physical body of your choice? It’s time to start thinking about the real beauty and health of a person. Which comes from the inside and reflects in who they are, and what they do in the other 23 hours of the day. Not what they look like.
The claims, and the facts
“Anyone who says you can change your body with just three days a week is scamming you”
Really? So Tanya didn’t lose 50 kilo’s by lifting weights three to four times a week? I must have imagined it.
Many people who want straight answers to health and fitness questions, just shouldn’t get them because we cannot generalise and put everyone’s solution into one box.
The truth is there are so many ways to get in shape.
If I go and walk through the desert for a week, yes I’ll lose a sh#t tonne of weight. Does that mean I should do it? F#ck no.
Here are the facts in relation to the latest article as well as some other claims:
When Tracy talks about avoiding muscles getting bulky she is most likely confused with what is called “transient hypertrophy”. Women think they get bulky when they lift weights or do high intensity exercise because when a muscle is working very hard, a lot of blood goes to that area, giving it the appearance of suddenly becoming bigger. After about an hour of finishing the exercise, everything will go back to the way it was. It takes longer than one session to get bigger muscles, and it takes a lot of protein being consumed as well.
The woman who regularly trains Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna claims she doesn’t have to worry about dieting if she trains six times a week for 30 minutes to 2 hours. There is just no way this could, or should work for everyone. Dietary education, and habits should almost always be a priority over exercise for any goal. Not to mention the huge variable of sleep and hormonal stress.
- Look past the large muscles
WTF. The dead lift is the most commonly used tool in the weights room because it works almost every muscle in the posterior chain. It has been shown to maintain joint strength and bone density, particularly useful for the older generation. It contains a lot of “larger muscles”. I’ve also witnessed this shaping and tightening the mid section due to lifting heavy loads being one of, if not the most effective method to gaining abdominal strength and shape for people new to lifting weights.
2. Our brains should be included in our workouts
Yes! She got this one right! But it made no sense what so ever. WTF.
Every time someone learns a new movement, something as non taxing as juggling, playing guitar, skipping with one leg, your brain is building new connections called neural pathways. Picture a set of disconnected railway tracks. New neural pathways are like connecting those railway tracks in the brain so it can function at a higher level every moment beyond the learning of the new skill. Studies are showing that even people who are not mastering movements or skills, in the same period of time of others that are, are still building just as many of those powerful connections in the brain that can potentially prevent dementia and encourage mental focus and well being. Another way to look at it is the neuro-muscular connection. Once again, you’ll connect more of the railway tracks when you learn how to get your body in the right position to lift weights safely, and correctly. Not only will this develop your body shape, but it will make you VERY strong.
3. Yes, you should be getting sweaty. Every . Single. Day.
WTF? Facts please. Will you magically lose all your hard work by not working up a sweat every day of your life? Nope. Not if you’re consuming real food 80-90% of the time. The truth is, that if you didn’t move much at all, and you just consumed food that was either picked from the ground or was living before hand, you’ll probably lose body fat. You won’t change your body shape at all though, because that comes from resistance to the muscles.
4. The body learns exercise like it learns a language
The claim is that the more you exercise, the better you get, the more you’re able to challenge yourself and get to new levels. Umm I agree, but good god is this the biggest generalisation ever? How is this helpful to anyone? What exercise are you talking about? This isn’t always true because your body can quite easily adapt to the same exercise and prevent more physical improvement. Also studies are showing that the brain will find a way to take the easiest most comfortable route in exercise, even with someone who is very conditioned to training. The best bet is to make some sort of change to your routine when it feels like you’re not having to work as hard as you used to, whether that be doing the main lifts and doing them well (which are undeniably beneficial for pretty much any fitness goal), or other forms of bodyweight exercise etc.
5. Fitness trends and kettle bells can be dangerous
Walking to the shops can be dangerous.. Seriously WTF. Where are The Facts.
Pavel Tsatsouline is one of the most highly respected coaches in the world, and was a big part of bringing kettle bells into use by most. No females he trains look “bulky” or get chronic injury when he instructs. It’s not the tools being used that are dangerous, it’s the coaching and guidance you have when using them. It sounds like Tracy has never learnt to lift weights or use a kettle bell so she thinks the only way to get that great body is by making Madonna and herself, train up to 12 hours a week with close to bodyweight movements which mimic dance moves.
You see, here’s the over arching problem. If I train Leonardo Dicaprio and he looks great, that doesn’t mean I know what I’m talking about entirely. Maybe Tracy has good intentions, but I always saw it as a large injustice to people I help, by not learning from the best, and making sure science was involved.
Who you can trust
Alan Aragon has been touted as the best nutritionist in the world. He does a monthly scientific review on all the latest research released so he is constantly up to date with the latest. You will find his website hugely useful. You can also listen to a two hour conversation I had with him dispelling dieting myths here.
Alexa Towersey is the real deal when it comes to a celebrity trainer you can trust. Visit her website or listen to our chat here about the common mistakes females make without the right guidance when training.
You could also learn from one of my greatest mentors Keegan Smith, founder of Real Movement Project.
He has coached some of the greatest athletes of our era, such as Sonny Bill Williams, and made them better.
There might also be another lesson in here. Don’t be intimidated by the physique of any coach. If they know their stuff they still should be able to get you exactly the results you want. Yes, him and I did have an informative chat here as well.
What do you think?
Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.
Written By Darren Bruce.
I lead a team of passionate coaches that help people confused about dieting and intimidated by the weights room, gain the confidence and education to look and feel amazing.