The book I want to post today I found on the recommendation of a friend. In my determination to banish the mommy belly, which honestly seems like a hopeless cause, I've tried running (with "Run Less Run Faster") and "The Biggest Loser" DVD workouts. I noticed that I was definitely getting stronger and I knew I would trim down with a better diet.
But, I was also seeing rounder muscle shapes and my reflection started to make me think of oompa-loompas. I've heard of Tracy Anderson's Method workouts from some friends and her big catch line is that she'll give you a dancer's body no matter what your body shape. That sounded like what I was looking for.
She has various DVD's and Methods out there and they can be quite expensive. So, my friend T recommended I check out her "30-Day Method" book with included DVD to start out. It's $15 on amazon and I think I'll end up ordering it (after having checked it out from the library for no less than 4 weeks).
So here's the lowdown on "Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method." This program is supposed to be used as a bootcamp to get your body into dancer-shape in 30 days. Sounds great, right? There are 3 parts to this bootcamp:
- Mat work. The exercises are like odd Pilates moves. You have to be "connected" (one of her catch phrases) to your movement and be paying attention to make sure you do them right. There are three stages as you progress through the program. You'll do stage 1 on days 1-10, stage 2 on days 11-20, and stage 3 on days 21-30. In stage one, for example, there are 7 leg, 5 ab, and 4 arm movements. You repeat each 20-60 times with 60 being the goal. At 40 repetitions (remember you have to do repetitions on each leg which doubles exercises 1-7) it takes me nearly 45 minutes to get through the mat work. I'm sure 60 reps will take around an hour.
- Cardio. You need to get 40 minutes of cardio in every day and while you could technically do 40 minutes running or elliptical or whatever else, she says the best results are doing her dances for 40 minutes. The dances on the included DVD are not choreographed so you can just jump in and start dancing. Having said that, they are kind of silly and it's a little hard to follow her. Also, I can't tell the difference between cardio #1 and cardio #2. Each cardio segment is 10 minutes so you need to do them four times to get in your 40 minutes. The movements are very jumpy/bouncy so she recommends that you use step-movements and build up to it if you are just getting into working out.
- Diet. She has a two 25-day menus in the book (meat and non-meat) and she includes the recipes. Her work in this area is actually pretty impressive. The recipes look tastey and do-able. You will probably be hungry since they are super low-fat. (Examples: Day 2 has turkey avocado roll-up with wilted spinach for breakfast, spinach salad with chestnuts for lunch, cucumber mint relish for snack, and steamed turkey breast with wilted kale and raisins for dinner. Day 25 has orange salad for breakfast, roasted turkey and steamed broccoli for lunch, kiwi dessert for snack, and french chicken and braised leek for dinner. Days 26-30 have you perform a cleanse in which you can only eat blueberry applesauce, kiwi dessert, choco chestnut pudding, edamame and carrot with cayenne, sweet potato corn pudding, tomato gazpacho or chicken protein soup or tofu vegetable soup.) The purpose of the 5 day cleanse at the end is to show off the beautiful body you have carved for yourself with hard work and sweat.
I did not follow her diet regimen. Honestly, it looks painful to adhere to on a busy and stressful mom schedule. However, I'm sure I would see dividends upon dividends if I actually did. I did do her mat workout every day for 5 days until we started work on the bathroom and then everything went down the drain(figuratively only as the bathroom was in non-working order). Then Oberon had to work out of town, then the children and I got sick...lots of excuses here. I happen to be full of them when it comes to working out.
In the 5 days that I did her mat workout, I mostly ran for cardio but I did do her dance cardio 1 day. While I hated the lack of clear objective, my calves felt the impact of those 40 minutes in ways that running never gave me. And in those five days, I kid you not, I saw structural changes in my abs. It was amazing to start seeing the change in just days.
Overall, 1 hour and 40 minutes of working out every day is just not feasible for me. Nor is her diet. Without completely reorganizing my priorities, I can not afford that much time in just working out. And I should mention, spending nearly an hour on the mat doing reps is soooooo boring!!
So why will I be buying this program? Because it really seems to deliver. (And with Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Cox, Shakira and Molly Sims saying so, it must be true.) And who knows, I may decide that in the last 30 days before swimsuit season to go ahead and fully commit myself to the program. How bad could it be to do it for 30 days? And it would be worth it, right?
Oh snap, did I really just say that?