Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tracy Anderson Review | Mat Workout DVD Review

Tracy Anderson Mat Workout Review

Read on for a full review of the Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD.

Will you lose weight rapidly with the Tracy Anderson Method? Here I will clearly break down and review the DVD so you know exactly what you are getting before you buy. I will list the pros and cons and give you an idea of the feedback I had heard and read about the Tracy Anderson Mat Workout before I tried it as well as my own firsthand experience with it. Will this be the DVD to help you lose weight rapidly this summer? Keep reading.
In summary, the format of the DVD is a 50 minute toning and conditioning workout. Tracy Anderson spends time on the glutes and butt area, the arms, and the stomach – all typical problem areas. The method is designed to make you have as the creator says, “a teeny tiny dancer body”. It promises to remove bulk and create long lean muscles like those a dancer has.

The question is, does it work? First, I researched what others were saying about it. I read many reviews of the method and this DVD in particular myself. Did it help them lose weight rapidly? The consensus was that those who used the Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD diligently DID find themselves becoming leaner, more toned and with more definition in their “problem areas”. Many people complained that they weren’t losing weight but that they had seen changes in their tone and in the way their clothing fit. Most users didn’t lose weight rapidly with this DVD alone. However, when paired with Tracy Anderson’s Dance Cardio DVD in addition to diet modifications, the results were stellar. Most people seemed to enjoy the workout and the results.

Now for my own review of the Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD. The workout is a pleasure to do – you feel the burn. I want to ‘feel it’ the next day when I do a new workout for the first time and with this method I definitely did. By feeling a little pain, it helps me to know that I am working muscles that I don't normally work. The mat workout DVD is particularly good for working different muscles in the arms.  All of the toning exercises are meant to build definition and the kind of muscles I want: long and lean.
Here is a breakdown of the format and details of the DVD:
It is done in a serene looking home gym setting with a light background.
The instructor, Tracy Anderson leads the workout solo.
The music is “Madonna”-esque – it has sort of a new age feel but works well with the workout in my opinion. For cardio, I'd prefer something more upbeat but this allows you to really focus on your placement and getting the moves right.

One drawback -you can't skip to the next section easily - you have to use the fast forward function which is a negative if you want to do a certain section twice or omit a section

            Warm up – about 4-5 minutes of stretching and warming up of the muscles - straightforward

Legs and Butt – One sequence standing behind a chair that acts as a ballet bar where you perform many different rotations of leg lifts in varying angles to work different muscles in the legs and butt. You do all of the exercise on one side and then switch working legs, and do all of the exercise on the other side so with each leg you are really pushing without a break, exhausting the different muscles.

Legs and Butt – Second sequence behind the chair with different music and moves. She starts with some basic straight the the side leg lifts with pointed toes and then shifts to a more unconventional exercise that involves rotating and lifting your working leg. Like the first leg and butt section, all of the exercises are performed with one leg and then you switch and do all of the the different rotations with the other leg.

Standing Abdominal Section – An upbeat short series of standing movements isolating the rib cage and ab area. This can be challenging if you haven’t done these sorts of moves before but is a great way to shape your abs when you lose weight rapidly

Arm and Shoulders – An exceptional arm section done standing without weights. For me, this would be reason enough alone to do this workout. She leads you through many rotations, working all different parts of your arm and shoulders. My arms felt sore in areas I had never felt before. It is challenging but very effective. 

Arms and Shoulders – This section is done with 1-3 lb weights. Tracy recommends that women stick to 3 lb or less weights with her method. Men may use up to 8 lb weights. She claims this avoids bulk. There is controversy about this – but consider following her advice. Tracy Anderson trains Gwyneth Paltrow and many other celebrities with killer bodies. If you aren't getting the arms you want from it after a month or two, you can always go back to your heavier weights.

Legs and Butt – This is a mat section with more leg and butt lifts in different rotations.

Abdominals – Lying on a mat, this series of sit-ups and other unconventional ab work is designed to shape the abs in a more streamlined way. The two times I did the abdominal section, I could barely get through it - my muscles were weak from not having worked out in a while and my neck was hurting a lot. That went away and it has become easier.

Cool down – similar to the warm-up and a nice way to loosen up the muscles that were just worked. Some prefer a longer cool down but it worked for me.

Those are the basics. Will you lose weight rapidly?
By doing this workout alone, it seems unlikely that you will lose weight rapidly. However, if you are doing the Tracy Anderson Mat DVD combined with her cardio Tracy Anderson Method Presents Dance Cardio Workout DVD and/or changes to your diet, this is a great way to firm up problem areas, loose skin and really sculpt.
Concerns I noticed that people mentioned when discussing this DVD were these:

Lack of cueing: The instructor often doesn’t tell you when to switch sides or movements so you have to watch at first to know what you are doing. For me, this actually turned out to be a plus as after a few times, you know what’s coming and don’t want to hear all of the chatter. 

Also, she does an uneven number of repetitions on either side for some of the exercises. You can counter this by alternating which arm or leg you start with every other day.

Lack of enthusiasm from instructor: Some reviewers seemed concerned that the instructor was not bubbly and pushing them verbally. Some commented that it seemed like she was “posing” or “pouting”. For me, this wasn’t an issue. I preferred the more quiet lead so that I could focus on doing the moves correctly. If you like someone shouting, pushing, or cheerleading, this instruction style may not be the best for you however.

Price: Some seemed to think it was too pricey compared to other DVDs. I disagree. If you want to lose weight rapidly, just want to tone or have reached a plateau – the Tracy Anderson Mat DVD is a great way to go to the next level and the comments I found and my own experience supported this. Also, this is the first workout that I woke up almost craving each day. If something works and you’ll stick with it, I think it’s pretty worthwhile, don’t you?

Muscle groups not focused on. Although I think overall the workout does a great job of targeting tons of muscle groups, I'd like it if she did one exercise in one of the leg sections that worked the calf muscles specifically or the small muscles around the calf muscles in her unconventional way to tone the calves but not add bulk.

So, is it worth it? Will you lose weight rapidly with the Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD and with the Tracy Anderson Method? If your goals are to tone, sculpt, get longer, leaner definition – this is the perfect workout. If you want to lose weight rapidly – you must combine it with a healthy eating plan with less calories than you eat now and some cardio and watch the magic happen. I will be posting more on Tracy Anderson’s popular method including info and reviews on her webisodes, other DVDs, free webisodes, dieting tips and so forth so check back for that. 
If you want to purchase the The Tracy Anderson Method Presents Mat Workout DVD, click the link. 

See my other posts on Tracy Anderson:
Dieting with the Tracy Anderson Method
Get Rid of Sagging Skin and best of all a plan to help you lose 20 lbs in six weeks 
Lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks Tracy Anderson 

Watch for her new book the Tracy Anderson 30-Day Method where Tracy offers a 30-day diet plan in addition to more instruction and about her method. Pre-order it at a discount: Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method: The Weight-Loss Kick-Start that Makes Perfection Possible. I hope you found my Tracy Anderson Mat DVD review helpful - please feel free to add any comments about your experience with it below.


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