Tracy Anderson’s Methods are dangerous, damaging and anti-feminist

Man, how about this Tracy Anderson Method image that’s been doing the rounds on Tumblr this week? Thankfully, when I say it has been doing the rounds what I mean is people are mocking and ridiculing it because the advice is SO VERY BAD.

I didn’t know much about this chick but it wasn’t the first time I’d heard her name come up, usually in the context of being “the worst thing that ever happened in the fitness industry“. I have noticed female trainers and in particular ones who deal with helping eating disorder and body dysmorphia sufferers commenting on how damaging Tracy Anderson’s methods are to women’s physical and emotional health.

So I clicked around and read a few articles and what I found out boils down to that she’s an ex jailbird become celebrity thinness guru, pushing starvation level nutrition and ridiculous exercise theories.

For example, “the baby food diet”. Grown adults are just supposed to eat baby food and that’s it. Now, you guys know by now that any time someone is telling people “you need to stop eating actual food like a normal human being”, there’s gonna be a fight with me. For now though, I just want to address the advice in the image I posted above.

Point by point here we go:

  • Avoiding repetition? Why would that be good? You get better at something by doing it over and over again. You produce changes in your body composition by improving performance (strength, endurance) through repetition with increasing levels of resistance and / or effort. 
  • Only lift weight under 1.5kg? Bitch your handbag weighs more than 1.5kg. I think you just set feminism back by about 500 years, telling women they need to be delicate little flowers who need a man to do anything that requires physical effort for them.
    The thing about “bulky muscles” I’ve addressed countless times already. Muscles take up less space than fat, they are not “bulky” unless you very deliberately consume a huge amount of calories to significantly increase in body weight. I’ll post some videos of hot chicks lifting heavy ass weights at the end of this article to completely bust this preposterous fallacy about women getting bulky from lifting anything heavier than a bag of sugar.
    I never realised I was a feminist until I noticed how offensive this is!
  • Running and spinning (that means indoor cycling if I am up on my fitness marketing terminology) makes you bulky in the thighs and butt? No. Just no. Again, muscles are not bulky. Ever get passed by a cyclist in traffic, wearing those lycra outfits? Is it just me or do they tend to not be enormous muscular physiques on these people? In all honesty I would keep my clients out of spin classes because I see it as a muscle wasting activity, not a muscle building activity. And more muscle is what you want, if your goal is a lean, toned and attractive figure.
  • The rib cage thing. Core strength will push out your ribcage and make you bulky. Cunt, are you actually for real? Do you even anatomy? In all my years I have never, ever read something quite so outrageously… just, laughably ridiculous as this. It’s just the dumbest shit I ever heard of… I’m not even going to dignify it with any further response.
  • At least 90 minutes per day 6 times per week. Actually I read that for the first few weeks she has you on THREE HOURS A DAY of exercise. Aint nobody got time for that. Especially when her meal plan has you at beyond excessive calorie restriction and suffering the effects of malnutrition. Seriously, I started this website rallying against the unhealthy ‘Very Low Calorie Diet” products on tv and in the stores, but this vile woman has people on about half as many calories as these already dangerous and damaging products.
    Now that I think of it… her program is a lot of jumping up and down and she does not want you to train your core. I will have to investigate if she is a shareholder in any company that sells adult incontinence products, because that’s what this is a recipe for (especially if you are a mature aged woman who has had children).

So I was thinking “why on earth would a celebrity get sucked in by this charlatan”, but when you think about it… celebrities seem to be quite vulnerable and susceptible to scam artists. How many get sucked into religious cults, for example? This is a similar phenomenon, I reckon.

So… Tracy Anderson thinks a woman should “never lift anything heavier than 3lbs”, and like I said, that would rule out carrying your handbag around on a date much less carrying your own groceries from the car to the pantry. So how do I think women should train? Well it depends; are you training to be a frail, delicate little flower, or to be a bad ass motherfucker who takes care of her own shit?

My girls train LIKE THIS. (Note my logo on the tanktop).

Some links!

Principal dietician at St George’s Hospital, London, describes Tracy Anderson’s diet as “anorexia nervosa in pamphlet form”. 

New: Goop and Tracy Anderson promote anorexia-lite for weight loss.

One of the articles I mentioned earlier, from Movieline:

Will Someone Please Stop Tracy Anderson Before She Strikes Again?

I will try my best, Movieline! But I’m only one man. A ridiculously handsome man, mind you… but even a man this good looking can only do so much.


Author: davehpt

I'm DaveHPT, Maybe you've heard of me? Musician, rock star and recording artist. Published author. Former security industry professional. Personal Trainer and Weight Management Architect Of Awesomeness. Problem Solver.

19 thoughts on “Tracy Anderson’s Methods are dangerous, damaging and anti-feminist”

  1. Nice post. I hate how influential she is, because all she’s doing is fancying up disordered eating/exercise and making it seem like she’s promoting health. Horrible.

    1. exactly. This sort of thing is rife within the industry, sadly. It seems like all the “high profile” types got that way by pushing dangerous and disordered approaches.

      sorry for 10 months late response, I didn’t get a notification for some reason!

  2. I can’t help but feel bad for alot of them women who buy her stuff.And they swear by it too-my personal opinion as to why they’re saying they’re seeing results is because they’re obviously newbies,so of course they’re going to see some results because they’re getting up and moving as opposed to doing nothing.If they weren’t,they’d know what a crock Tracy Anderson is.I mentioned one time on her FB page how I’ve been lifting heavy weights for years & never bulked up,as us girls don’t have the testosterone to do it.Of course the best argument I got was, ‘but there’s female bodybuilders!’ Um yeah,obviously most of those women are either taking steroids,or training ridiculous hours that the average person could not.But you can’t tell them this.It’s just sad,because they’d get better and faster results while not spending a fortune if they did something else.I really got into working out out a few years back,& since then I’m a big advocate of women lifting heavier weights.Plus,alot of women worry more about cardio when they need to worry about strength training just as much. If I ever met Tracy,I’d love to ask her if weights,traditional core work,& circuit training bulk you up so much,then why did I go from a size 10 to a size 4 when I really ramped up the strength training.I’d love to her whatever nonsense answer she’d have,that is if she even had one.

  3. We’ve never met, but I think I love you. Your post made me laugh so much. Fortunately, I didn’t spend any money on her stupid workouts, but got them for free from Youtube. Rubbish. Thanks for pointing out that muscles are not bulky. Especially for women. I’m so sick of hearing this from women. They always point out the female body builders, and that is NOT going to happen! Their lives revolve around food and working out.

    I don’t give a shit if she’s a ‘celebrity trainer’. They train celebrities differently from us ‘normal’ people. Gwyneth Paltrow is an investor in her program, so of course she’s going to endorse it, she’s a shareholder! This may be hard for people to believe, but I have no desire to have a body like GP. Yeah, her legs are nice and I’m much shorter and more broad, but as long as I’m healthy with muscles, I’m okay with my body. It has gotten me through years of athletic competitions and I’m amazed that it’s still in one piece (no thanks for Tracy Anderson of course)!

    Speaking of which, I have done various workout tapes over many years and I was just sooooooooooo borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred. My husband was in the room and I cursed out loud at how bored I was. This method is also not for someone who’s starting to get in shape, because there’s NO WAY IN HELL that they’d be able to keep up with the cardio dance section. It’s ridiculous. I didn’t know that I was a feminist either!

    So fuck this method and Tracy Anderson. I’m back to may running, elliptical and heavy weights! AND EATING REAL FOOD! As long as you’re eating well and not drinking excessively, you’ll be fine.

    I also don’t respect anyone who mentions any kind of DETOX. I want to punch Tracy Anderson in the face. Wanna join me?

      1. Haha, thank you! You know what really pisses me off is how she takes credit for the bodies of people who were already trained and athletic before meeting her. Take Madonna, for instance. HELLO?!!!!! She has been a dancer for many many maaaany years, in fact, she actually went to university on a dance scholarship. For real. As in, a REAL student paying for college with her dance skills, not making up lies like TA.

        Also, Sally Pressman. She was a BALLERINA for a long time before she started training with her. Ballet is some freaky shit, and I mean that in the most respectful way. The way their bodies move is almost supernatural. Sally’s body has been created through years of ballet training, NOT this bullshit TA has been dictating. I don’t even know why she would go to TA. Sally would know more about movement and body than her bullshit trainer.

        AND ENOUGH ABOUT GWYNETH PALTROW ALREADY!!!! Stop mentioning her!!! Again, look at her body years before training with TA. See her body in Sliding Doors. I know that she was a lot younger back then and it was before she had kids, but I just wanted to point out her natural frame. Slender. She’s an ectomorph. It’s great that she’s keeping fit and strong through exercise, but it BOILS my blood when women are systematically ruining their bodies by doing something so unhealthy.

        Don’t even get me started on TA’s eating plan.

  4. Although I don’t agree with her meal plan and the whole “don’t lift heavy or you’ll get bulky” – the Tracy Anderson method does work for some people. People like me, that can’t lift heavy weights because of a physical condition. I find it really annoying when I’m browsing tumblr for instance and I see post after post about how we should all be “lifting heavy” and that light weights are useless. To me that’s just as offensive as those people find the stuff that Tracy says.

    1. it’s illogical to find something offensive on the basis that while it is true for most people it doesn’t apply to you personally due to a specific reason.

      Heavy is a subjective term. For results, people need to train to the best of their ability with an exercise program built on sound scientific principles. Still if this is the limit of your physical capabilities due to a condition, you should keep doing it… but that doesn’t change what the best advice for the general population is, and doesn’t imply that that information shouldn’t be made available and the most effective strategies be encouraged.

      The issue here is with the spread of information that is at best misleading and incorrect and at worst actually harmful.

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