Tracy Anderson by Steffi Kammerer | 4th December, 2020 | Personalities
This past August, ”the future of our health“ was revealed to us on Instagram. A door opened to dramatic music and an athletic, blond-haired figure in workout clothes appeared, bathed in light. The figure smiled, blinked and challengingly placed a hand on her hip. Nothing else happened: The clip was only 13 seconds long. But this was no regular avatar. It belonged to Tracy Anderson, the fitness professional and PR expert with a loyal fan base.
The heart emojis, thank-you messages and congratulations poured in. Over the years, Tracy Anderson – or TA to those in the know – has amassed a large international following. Her studios in Manhattan, Los Angeles, the Hamptons and Madrid, Spain, are filled with her fans who view their bodies as works of art and follow the TA workout to eliminate any extra pounds. Those who can afford it even take their own TA-approved personal trainers with them when they travel. This may sound crazy, but the TA universe is a world of its own. Belonging to it has become a matter of prestige. Years ago, the monthly membership fee for her studio was $900 a month, but waiting lists were long and so just having the money didn’t guarantee you’d get in. Of course, the pandemic has changed everything – in March, her studios closed.
“The small muscles are key to building your best body.” TRACY ANDERSON
So Anderson began focusing on what she does best – transformation. After reshaping thousands of people’s bodies, she started reshaping her business. Conventional TA workouts were only available in Madrid and – for a select group of customers – in the garden of her studio in Water Mill, Long Island. In mid-October, those classes ended as well.
Today, the #tamily or #tamtribe get together in the virtual changing rooms of her online studio to talk about their workout, or life in general. Nothing said here ever leaves that virtual space. In the past, each of her studios was more stylish than the last. Today, women roll out their yoga mats in their own homes at #tracyandersonmethod. The membership fee for virtual classes is $90 a month – a steal for TA workouts.
The Tracy Anderson Method doesn’t build up your biceps and other big muscles required for activities like lifting weights, cycling, boxing or jogging. It focuses on the small, deep muscles we so often neglect. Dancing and cardio exercises keep you moving, which is very important. The trick, says Anderson, is to vary things on a regular basis: Change your workout every ten days so your muscles don’t get used to the exercises. Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna are famous students of her method. Paltrow even became Anderson’s business partner and they promote each other at every opportunity.
Tracy Anderson may be the world’s most famous personal trainer, but that’s only part of it. She built a global fitness empire, took over as CEO of her own business in 2018, publishes a glossy magazine, sells fitness apparel and accessories as well as 170 workout DVDs.
And she knows that every company needs a good story. This is hers: Tracy grew up in Indiana in her mother’s dance studio and dreamed of becoming a ballerina. She moved to New York to study dance and practiced hard many hours a day. Bizarrely, however, she couldn’t seem to stop gaining weight – a fact that makes it easy for her to empathize with people who are overweight today.
Tracy gave up her dance career. Instead, she began learning everything she could about muscles, bones and healthy diets, consulting experts from the fields of sports medicine, neurology and orthopedics, and eventually creating exercise routines for 150 women based on their specific body types.
“I’m a choreographer, scientist, designer and teacher.” TRACY ANDERSON
Anderson considers herself a designer and promises nothing less than perfection. In fact, she guarantees that her method will produce visible changes in four weeks, regardless of your figure – if, and only if, you bring the necessary discipline to bear. The daily workouts consisting of strength and endurance exercises are designed to make you sweat. For the best results, she says, people should work out in temperatures of around 35° C.
Describing her approach in one of her books, she writes: “It’s like organic plastic surgery – I am literally reshaping the figure you have into the one that you want.” The workout queen may have the perfect body, but her private life is anything but, which endears her to her customers. A mother of two, she was divorced twice. Two years ago, her fiancé broke off their engagement, but today she’s engaged to someone else.
Anderson had already started altering her business model prior to the pandemic: She began live streaming classes and uploading new master classes every week in December 2014, but used the lockdown to strengthen her social media presence in 2020. She hasn’t yet revealed the exact nature of her “gym of the future,” except that it will be “interactive.” Virtual body consultations are already available, with a virtual café to follow soon.