I LOVE LOVE LOVE working out. I am not a gym bunny, though. I honestly did go to gym once, paid my membership and got acquainted with a personal trainer that came as a part of the deal. However, when it was time to pack my stuff and head back for my first workout I found 1001 reasons not to do it. Ever. You see, I don’t find gyms appealing. Just cannot understand why one needs to go there and sweat in front of other sweating people. In my opinion, sweating is a private matter: if you want to sweat, you do it in a comfort of your own home, then have a lovely hot shower, dry yourself with a huge and super soft warm towel and emerge to the world looking like a pretty woman. Well, perhaps the world would still be able to spot a stylish turban on your head that was creatively made up of a towel, but turban is chic and very much in fashion, so that’s not so bad.
But back to the actual topic of fitness. Having given up on gyms all together many years ago I stuck to my home-based workouts with a help of a few selected DVDs, which, I must admit, I am VERY picky about. I did cardio, strength training, some yoga and Pilates and enjoyed every single minute of it. One thing I didn’t like, though, is the fact that no matter what kind of workout I did, my body, although being in good and quite nice shape, has never become what I really wanted it to be. Especially, in one particular area that I lovingly refer to as “the fifth element”. At the same time, strength training seemed to be bulking me up a bit, especially, my thighs. My waist, normally small, was getting wider, too. Not a good thing, I tell you.
Over the Christmas break I decided that something had to change. I looked through various programmes, books and DVDs and eventually chose Tracy Anderson’s Method. I have looked at her programmes before, right after I learnt that she was the one who worked with Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna, but back then all the reviews I read were either VERY negative or WAY TOO positive.
I have to say that I don’t really care much about negative stuff because I prefer judging things myself and rely on my own opinion, but when somebody keeps telling me how great something is I become suspicious. Having said all that, my curiosity made me go back and do more research. I re-read the reviews on amazon, watched several videos on Youtube and visited Tracy’s website. While at it I discovered that she also worked with Nicole Richie, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Shakira, Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler, Karolina Kurkova and Gisele Bundchen just to name a few.
What I liked about Tracy herself was not only her gorgeous figure (those legs and arms are to die for!), but also her attitude, positive outlook and bouncy happy personality.
Next thing I did was going to amazon to order her 30-day method and 3 other DVDs. I decided to follow TA method for 30 days and see what happens. Basically, the regime includes several exercises that target different muscle groups (Tracy calls them as “accessory muscles”) that supposed to support larger muscles and give you definition without bulking you up as a result. You start by performing 20 reps of each exercise and slowly build up to reach 40 or more if you can. After 10 days, your workout changes. 10 days after you switch to stage 3. Next part is a cardio. Plus, Tracy offers a 30-day menu to follow.
I got everything yesterday, read the book and watched DVD that came with it. And today I had my very first “workout with Tracy”. Although exercises looked simple on DVD, I actually felt every muscle and only managed to complete 20 reps of each exercise! They reminded me of “shaping” – a workout regime that was designed in St.Petersburg in 1991 and since then loved by many women in Russia including myself.
I finished today’s workout with a good dose of cardio, which wasn’t exactly difficult, and also made me feel so happy, liberated and energised. Put it this way – if you ever did aerobics, you will be able to recognise most of the moves. The music is wonderful and the video itself is very chic – no gym or studio there, just Tracy dancing on white background, all filmed in black&white. Gorgeous!
I am definitely sticking to my new routine and will be posting updates once every 10 days as I go from stage to stage. All I need to add now is that I am not really planning to lose a lot of weight. I don’t think it’s necessary for me, or would be healthy, plus if I lose too much, my favourite dresses would become too big and it’s not something I am prepared to deal with. My goal is to tone up and get a lean body. That’s all I want.
Photo sources: Alessandra Ambrosio in Elle France March 2010 (photography: David Burton)