November 16, 2020
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I'm Mickie. I run One Strong Southern Girl from Small Town, TN. I love what I do. I want you to remember me because I helped changed your life.
I’m here to answer your biggest questions about the Tracy Anderson Online Studio for home exercisers including, why is this on-demand membership $90 a month (compared to other popular streaming services like Beachbody on Demand which is a little over $100 for the year)? This streaming service has been on my list of important home workout programs to review for a while now (because I get asked about it a lot). I finally signed up for it and am excited to give you my thoughts.
In this review I’ll be telling you what the Tracy Anderson method is, what the workouts in the online studio are like (this streaming workout service is very different than others), how to sign up for the service, the equipment you’ll need, who will love this program and so much more.
On a side note, this review is of the Tracy Anderson Online Studio (her on-demand streaming workout service), not a scientific opinion about the methods Tracy uses. But if you want to read some opinions about her methods, I’ll link out to some interesting articles where you can do that at the end of this review.
So, buckle up and let’s dive in…
Tracy Anderson is a fitness instructor who developed a unique workout method that’s launched her into a Hollywood fitness instructor and mega fitness brand.
On her website, Tracy tells her story of how the ‘method’ was born:
After moving to New York City on a dance scholarship when she was 18, Tracy gained 40 pounds…Despite over-exercising and under-eating, she could not budge the weight. Despairing, she abandoned her dreams of becoming a professional dancer…At the time she put her dance dreams on hold, Tracy was married to a pro basketball player who was participating in a rehabilitation league in Puerto Rico for his ailing back. There, she met a doctor who was attempting to ease the strain on the large muscle groups in athletes by strengthening the small, accessory muscles. The concept resonated deeply with Tracy, and she threw herself into his research: While the proof was crystal clear, activating the small muscles—and keeping them consistently challenged—was a huge task. Thanks to her background in movement, Tracy knew she could find a way…After years of research, self-testing, and refinement, Tracy had completely transformed her own body—and given shape to an early version of the Tracy Anderson Method.Tracy Anderson
The Tracy Anderson Method exploded around 2006 when Gwyneth Paltrow credited her workout and nutrition plan for helping her shed the ‘baby weight’ she struggled with after the birth of her second child.
Since then Tracy has stacked up an impressive list of Hollywood fans like Madonna, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jennifer Lopez.
Tracy Anderson has leveraged those endorsements big time (as she should) and today her brand sells everything from workout videos to exercise equipment, apparel and skin care products.*
*Which is why her website has a lot going on (because SHE has a lot going on).
The method is aimed at targeting and strengthening the small, accessory muscles to achieve a long and lean body (a ‘dancer’s body’).
The workouts focus on repetitive movements, lots of reps, and light weights – the whole point is to fatigue your muscles.
I’d describe the main workouts she posts inside the online studio as a blend of Pilates and barre style (more on the main workouts below). And there’s a separate category of dance workouts as well.
The Tracy Anderson Online Studio is a streaming workout service featuring weekly workouts lead by Tracy Anderson.
There are several things you need to know about these workouts and the service that makes it very different from other streaming home workout programs you might have tried before*.
*I’d never done a workout by Tracy Anderson before I signed up for her On Demand service so my angle is as a 40-something year-old woman who’s been exercising at home for over 20 years and has reviewed hundreds of other home workouts and streaming workout services (and every workout style you can imagine). I consider myself an advanced home exerciser.
There are no verbal cues during the workouts. This was the most surprising thing for me (because I’d never experienced that before).
Here’s Tracy Anderson’s fancy explanation for why there’s no verbal cueing during her classes:
Whatever the reason, you need to be prepared to be a few (or more) reps behind her during most of the workout the first few times you do it because it’s not as easy as you might think to ‘mimic her like a video game’.
I have to admit I found this really frustrating at first. But my advice is to stick with it. This isn’t a reason not to try the workouts.
And now that you know that she’s not going to cue you at all you won’t be waiting for it (like I was).
The main workouts are recorded from behind (and above) Tracy.
Of course this doesn’t in any way affect the workouts but it was weird for me. I expected to see her face.*
*You can get a front view of (part of) the workout if you choose to watch one of the other variations of the workout uploaded to your library every week. There’s more about that below.
There’s no team of exercisers doing the workouts with you. It’s just you and Tracy. (Until the demo-girl enters the set. More about that below.)
The music is really good in Tracy’s workouts. I’ve found that I don’t really notice bad music during a workout but when someone has good music (like Les Mills on Demand) it makes a good workout even better. These workouts have great music.
There’s no cool down or ending stretch segment to the workouts. Which was a little weird for me because, let’s be real, after a million leg lifts a girl should stretch out her hips, hamstrings and glutes before calling it a day.
After the workout is over Tracy sits down and talks about the workout you just did. I liked that. I had it playing while I did a cool down and stretch on my own after the workouts ended.
The workouts start off with what I’d call a warm-up that are mostly a lot of arm swing patterns that are done to the music.
The arm patterns are all very similar with each workout but it’s still a different combination every time so you’ll never hit every rep with Tracy.
I read somewhere that you’re supposed to feel free and not get caught up with doing the moves exactly with her so keep that in mind because otherwise you’ll wind up really frustrated that you can’t follow her patterns.
After the ‘warm-up’ you may (or may not, every workout is different) pick up light dumbbells (1-3 lbs.) and continue arm swing combinations holding the weights.
The next section are leg raise combinations done on the floor. These are easier to keep up with because there are so many reps of each combination that eventually you get them down.
Some of the routines end with a core section of various kinds of crunches. Keep in mind that you’ll be working your core for a lot of the other moves throughout the workout.
If you have hip flexor or wrist problems then these workouts could flare those up. There are a lot of leg raises and exercises done where you’re supporting your body weight on your hands.
Don’t bother counting the number of reps you do for each combination. There are a lot. That’s all you need to know.
There’s a girl that enters the set with Tracy and shows Tracy each combination to do during the floor segment.
That was weird for me at first. I couldn’t figure out why she was there. Ultimately, I think her job is to make sure Tracy hits every combination on both sides of the body. But she just sits there and watches Tracy do the moves after she shows them to her so it’s kind of odd. You’ll get used to her being there.
Every Wednesday Tracy uploads 3 new workouts into the Online Studio and the previous workouts are deleted.
That’s right. The workouts from the week before are gone.
You’ll see one new routine inside the Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Bonus categories. These are the main workouts you’ll be doing but you can supplement them with workouts from the Dance Cardio Library.
But it’s important to understand that all you get with your membership is those 3 workouts a week (one in each category beginner through advanced), plus access to the dance cardio library.
This is very different than most paid exercise on demand services where you have 100’s of routines to choose from at all times.
The only identical workouts that you’ll see again week after week are inside the Dance Cardio Library.
The beginner routines are shorter (around 40 minutes) compared to slightly longer workouts as you progress to the harder routines (the advanced workouts are over an hour).
When you open up the main category you’ll see 5-6 thumbnails. I thought these were all workouts. They’re not.
It’s actually 5 videos about the main workout, as you can see by the titles. If you want to see the arm combos from the front you can watch them here (but not the entire workout).
Pay attention to the ‘breakdown’ video.
Every week there’s a ‘breakdown’ video that walks you through all of the floor combinations that you’ll see in the main workouts.
It’s really helpful (but adds another 20 minutes to your workout for the day).
There is an app you can download to access your Tracy Anderson Online Studio membership.
You’ll see offers inside the app that you aren’t actually subscribed to so it’s a little confusing at first.
It’s a better user experience if you login from a computer (in my opinion).
With your membership you’ll also get access to the ‘Locker Room’ which is the online forum where you can chat with other people who are paying members of the Online Studio.
One more thing you need to know about the Online Studio is that you can download the videos to your device for off-line viewing. This is an important (and really nice) feature for people who don’t have good internet for streaming video.
The only piece of equipment you’ll need to get started is a mat.
And if you workout on carpet then you can get away with nothing to get started.
If you find you like the workouts and want to do them like Tracy Anderson then you’ll want to invest in some light ankle weights (I suggest you start with 1 lbs.) and light dumbbells (1-3 lbs.).
Tracy sells branded equipment but I’ve been using my own (purchased on Amazon) and it’s fine.
Some of the bonus routines have Tracy using a light ball. She sells one on her site (it’s less than 1 lb.) but I haven’t invested in one (I hold a 1 lb. dumbbell instead).
You won’t need extra space to do the main workouts every week but the dance cardio routines I’ve tried used a little bit more space than a typical home workout.
Tracy Anderson is the instructor in all of the main workouts.
There are a variety of exercisers leading the dance cardio workouts. And Tracy does not do the ‘breakdown’ video every week.
You will burn a different amount of calories than I do. Calorie-burn is very individual based on a lot of factors unique to each person.
I like to track the number of calories I burn and report it in my reviews as a reference number for you. I wear a heart rate monitor that’s paired with a chest strap and sensor when I exercise.
I burn around 300 calories (on average) doing the advanced workouts and less for each of the shorter workouts.
In my opinion, the workouts in the Online Studio are for women who like low-impact workouts that emphasize toning.
If you love dance workouts, Pilates, or barre routines then you’ll most likely enjoy these workouts.
There are workouts for beginners to advanced home exercisers.
If you regularly skip workouts because you think you’re uncoordinated or if you’re positive you need verbal cuing in a workout then you might want to skip this program.
The cost is $90/month.
You can sign up using the link on her website.
Click here to sign up (I’m not an affiliate)
You only need few pieces of equipment and it’s all affordable and easy to store.
You don’t need a lot of room to do the main workouts (the dance routines require more space).
The workouts are very unique.
These workouts are ideal for Program Stacking (a method I teach in my digital library where you combine different home workouts in an intentional and strategic way to hit your fitness goals).
You can download the workouts.
I miss cuing. I can’t get on my knees and do a workout without cuing. I can’t see what’s going on.
All that repetition gets boring.
She recommends doing the workouts 4-7 days a week but I’ve been doing them twice a week (using Program Stacking) and it’s been perfect.
You won’t find any workout rotation calendars, which makes sense because you get the new workouts uploaded every week and you’re supposed to stick with those. Again, that can get boring. (And for $90/month, it’s hard to justify buying additional workouts to supplement her membership.)
She needs to include an FAQ section (this is a big oversight to me) for people who want to sign up. If you have specific questions you can email her team by clicking here (I emailed them a question and got a response in less than an hour).
If you’re already familiar with the Tracy Anderson Method then start with the online studio (monthly) before you invest in any of her other products. There’s a 14-day free trial period.
Be careful when you’re signing up that you don’t accidentally pay for the year.
During the free trial period make sure you actually try out the workouts–several times.
Your first workout will be a disaster (if you’ve never done her workouts) so don’t let that one be the only one you do. Hold off on your judgement about the program until you’ve done at least 3 different routines. (The intermediate routines are my favorite.)
If you sign up, watch the instructional ‘break down’ video (if you have time) before you do the routine the first time. It’ll help immensely.
Honestly, at the end of the day, I have no idea why this membership is so expensive. The only thing I can come up with is that the Tracy Anderson brand name sells. And people are willing to pay to be a part of something that Hollywood stars endorse.
This program can change your body. But so will a lot of other programs (if you do them).
To put the cost in perspective–Beachbody on Demand is $108 for the YEAR, Cathe on Demand is $19.99/month and Les Mills on Demand is $14.99/month and these programs all have hundreds of home workouts you can access at all times (nothing is ever deleted).
So, is this program worth $90/month?
Absolutely, if it’s the program that gets you excited about exercise.
This program is worth $90/month (and then some) if it’s the program that rings your (exercise) bell. You can’t put a price tag on that.
The decision comes down to you and your needs and budget right now.
I say, if this program gets you excited about your next workout then go for it, you can always cancel before the trial is over.
*I have no association with any of the authors but I read all of the articles mentioned below during my research for this post.
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