Why do I have duct tape on my shoes? Because it’s impossible to keep up with the pint-sized dynamo that is Tracy Anderson when your shoes stick to the carpet. I learned this the hard way when I started out my TAM adventure in August of 2014 with her original Dance Cardio Workout.
I had read a bazillion reviews of TAM, so I knew I needed to do three things:
- learn one routine at a time
- be patient with myself and Tracy’s lack of cues
- stick with the program 6 days a week
What I didn’t know was that my trusty Zumba shoes didn’t offer enough shock support for all of the bouncing in Dance Cardio. After a couple of weeks my knees hurt–along with the rest of my body.
Once I duct taped the heck out of my running shoes, my knees felt better. Problem solved!
Then a couple of weeks later, I developed a horrible pain in my calf. This was incredibly frustrating because I had worked hard all month just to be able to do the program start to finish. At first, I couldn’t go two routines without huffing and puffing like a chain smoker.
But I didn’t give up. Instead, I took out all of the hopping and made the routines as low impact as possible. After a couple of weeks, my calf stopped hurting and I added back the bouncing.
Around this time I brought out an old copy I already owned of the original Tracy Anderson Method: Mat Workout. Now, if you do both DVDs together it ends up being about 90 minutes of exercise, which I don’t have time for. So I would do Dance Cardio and half of the Mat Workout 6 days a week.
After about four weeks, I looked behind me and thought “Holy cow! What happened to my butt?” Part of it was gone, but not missed.
The one thing I did miss was my sanity, because listening to the same music everyday drove me nuts. So I turned off the volume and turned on my iPod. Here are some songs that seem to sync well with Dance Cardio:
- Maroon Five: “Maps”
- OneRepublic: “Love Runs Out”
- Meghan Trainor: “All About That Bass”
- Macklemore: “Can’t Hold Us”
- Ariana Grande: “Break Free”
- Taylor Swift: “Shake It Off”
- Lady Gaga: “Edge of Glory”
- Anna Sun: “House is Falling Apart”
The original TAM Dance Cardio and Mat Workout videos are fun because you get to see inside Gywneth Paltrow’s personal exercise room. At least, I’m assuming it’s still her home because it was shot before she and Chris Martin “uncoupled.” Anyhow, when the Mat Workout became doable–not easy, but doable–I purchased the Tracy Anderson Perfect Design Series.
I was pleasantly surprised that Perfect Design Series I seemed easier than the Mat Workout. Again, I stuck with my routine of 30-40 minutes of cardio, and 30 minutes of muscular-structure. This meant that instead of doing each video in the series for 10 days, I had to do 20 days.
Right now I’m completing my last few sessions of Perfect Design Series III, and have Metamorphosis Abcentric on order.
I’m also slowly transitioning into Dance Cardio Workout II. I’ve learned two routines so far. For me, it’s been a lot easier to learn the choreography the second time around. Tracy seems to have a standard set of moves, and once you are familiar with them they make more sense.
I figure once Metamorphosis gets here, I’d do 30 minutes of whatever TAM cardio I want, plus 30 minutes of the appropriate muscular-structure DVD.
As for the TAM eating plan? Sorry, not for me! Some of the days are under 700 calories. If I don’t get at least 1200 calories a day, I turn into a cranky witch.
P.S. If you’re looking for a new exercise program but think TAM is too intense for you, check out my review of Zumba.