Does the Tracy Anderson Method really work?

I often get asked “Does the Tracy Anderson Method work?

Honestly, what I am about to say is just as true for any program that promises long, lean muscles and a “dancer’s” body. Arguably effective marketing, but the claims don’t line up well with exercise science.

First, “long, lean muscles” is a myth. You’re either losing muscle, maintaining it, or building it. What that looks like depends on which muscles you train, your genetics, and your body fat percentage.

In regards to “fat burning” exercises, while exercise is fantastic for health and longevity, it actually doesn’t do much for weight loss. To lose fat, you need be in a caloric deficit where you eat fewer calories than your body uses daily.

So, if you enjoy the Tracy Anderson method because it feels good, keep at it! Just know it’s unlikely to help you get “toned.” If you’re losing weight with it, it’s due to being in a caloric deficit, not because the method offers any magical solutions.

If Tracy Anderson isn’t going to help you build muscle or lose weight, what can you do?

It really depends on your goals. If you’re aiming to build strength with less pain or fewer injuries, traditional strength training will serve you better than fast-paced bodyweight exercises with complex choreography.

Looking to get “toned”?

You’ll likely need to both build muscle and lose fat, which will result in increased muscle definition.

Here’s how:

  1. Start Strength Training: This will help you build muscle or at least protect against muscle loss during a calorie deficit.
  2. Create a Small to Moderate Caloric Deficit: You can do this by reducing caloric intake and increase low-grade activity, like walking at an easy to moderate pace.

How many steps should you aim for? If you’re not already walking 6K steps per day, start there. Everything depends on your starting point!

A Note on Intentional Weight Loss and Caloric Deficits

If you go this route, take breaks to eat at maintenance level to avoid dieting burnout. Caloric deficits are tough, and it can feel pretty shitty to be in one indefinitely.

Want to dive deeper into the fat loss process? Check out my Weight Loss Made Simple Master Class or work with me one on one with nutrition coaching.

Bottom Line

Don’t exhaust yourself with endless exercise while starving the shit out of yourself. There’s a sustainable way to approach fat loss that includes enjoyable exercise and eating foods you love.

The fitness industry has a bigger problem than Tracy Anderson

Unfortunately, the industry thrives on methods like Tracy Anderson’s. The idea that we can all get a specific body type by following a specific diet and workout plan is misleading. Different bodies respond differently to the same diet and exercise plan due to genetics.

Many fitness models and methods select individuals who naturally fit the desired aesthetic, which is why you see a uniformity in appearance. It’s not the exercise plan—it’s genetics, sometimes in combination with extremely restrictive diets.

So, bringing it back, no workout, including Tracy Anderson’s, will magically make you appear “long and lean.” That’s a genetic lottery.

Any trainer or studio claiming their workout will universally give you a “tonded” bod is either misinformed or dishonest.

There are many paths to fitness. I’m not here to dictate yours. If you’re aiming to build strength and muscle, find a strength training program that emphasizes progressive overload with appropriately heavy weights.

If you’re looking to tone up or lose weight, you’ll need to be in a caloric deficit and you may benefit from strength training depending on your goals. But remember, there are no magical diets or workouts. It’s all about finding what works for you and your body.