Every generation has their respective fitness guru. There were the Jane Fonda VHS days, the Billy Blanks Tae-Bo movement, Richard Simmons and all his sequin Spandex glory — you get the picture. And, while their respective workout regimes certainly got stay-at-home moms in front of the TVs kicking, punching and sweating, there’s certainly no one (or nothing) quite like Tracy Anderson. We’re talking a regime heavily backed by Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, oh and Madonna. So, yeah.
And, while she may have evolved with the times — her DIY workout vids are now on DVD — after creating more than 160 tapes, the basic premise remains the same: a high-intensity workout geared to re-sculpt your body and, well, re-shape your life. Granted at-home work outs in front of your plasma aren’t for everyone, you can usually find us Monday, Wednesday, Friday (and sometimes Saturday or Sunday) at one of her four studio locations in NYC or L.A. She’s got both coasts covered, so we have, like, no excuse for not getting our asses to the gym. For those who admittedly aren’t the most, uh, coordinated and need a break from the bike (SoulCycle addicts, unite!), we highly suggest wrangling up your friends and doing one of Anderson’s classes. Trust us, the embarrassment always subsides after a few minutes of one her iso-kinetic band system-focused classes and you’ll spend half the time in a daze staring at Anderson’s mad abs. Did we mention she’s had two kids?
She slipped into her usual get-up of Aviator Nation sweatpants and some itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny bikini and took us out back for an impromptu paddle down the Canal. And, though Free City and flannel may be her mainstays, Anderson definitely knows how to dress outside the gym. With some coffee in our system, we kicked it with Anderson, quizzing her on everything from those epic playlists (she does the music herself, FYI), her personal food rules (protein shakes every day, fresh nutmilk and no gluten) and more.
Not to get all gushy and sappy or anything, but the more time we spent with Anderson, the more inspired we got. After all, this is the woman who changed Paltrow’s life and post-baby bod eight years ago. And, she’ll quickly make you abandon those I-don’t-have-the-time-of-day excuses. “I tell [people] that I hope they learn how to juggle showing up for themselves better," says Anderson. "It’s a choice. Period. You are how you move, just like you are how you eat and how you speak. Learning to speak straight for yourself is sometimes one of the most life changing accomplishments.”