Tracy Anderson says you always need to do a 'work in' before you work out. Here's how.
FitnessCEO Tracy Anderson's dance-inspired workoutmethod has made her a favorite of celebrity clients like Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham.
- But there's no celebrity secret to success when it comes to getting in shape.
- Anderson said the key is dedication and developing the right mindset, what she calls the "work in" before you work out.
- If you're looking to start a new fitness routine, or revive a lapsed
exercisehabit, her best advice is to set realistic goals, don't compare yourself to others, and stay patient and positive to see results.
Fitness CEO Tracy Anderson is no stranger to the ups and downs of working out. The founder of her own method of dance-inspired fitness, with celebrity clients like Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, and Tracee Ellis Ross, she's cultivated a reputation for helping people get in incredible shape, and sustain it over time.
But whether you're an A-list star or an ordinary person, the formula for success is the same, Anderson told Insider.
If you're setting a fitness goal for 2021, or trying to start fresh after falling out of a workout routine, the keys to success are consistency, dedication, and, above all, a good mindset.
"One of the things 2020 has shown us is that leaving things up to chance is not the best strategy," said Anderson.
Instead, she teaches clients to create structure that will help them stay motivated, from "work ins" to goal-setting. Here are her top tips for 2021.
Don't set small goals, focus on what community you're going to join
The first step to success, according to Anderson, is realizing that your personal fitness journey is unique, and that trying to look or train exactly like someone else is a wasted effort.
"One of the questions I get all the time is 'How do I get my body to look like a specific celebrity's?' The answer is: you don't," Anderson said. "You work to get your best version of you."
To do it right, Anderson says, you have to steer clear of the classic pitfall that she sees among people new to exercise, trying to do anything to slim down in time for bikini season.
It can be very hard to stay motivated if you're only looking for a quick fix, Anderson said. Instead, think about how this will fit into your life more broadly.
"My advice for beginners who want to start showing up for their
Do a 'work-in' to set the right mindset for fitness
At the start of the year, many set goals to slim down and tone up.
But that does require a little introspection before you get started, and an honest assessment of whether you have a healthy relationship with the scale, and with your body generally.
"If you have a goal that's based on someone else's weight, or your self-worth depends on it, you have something much deeper to work on," Anderson said.
The most important thing you can do is what Anderson calls a "work in" before you work out. That means taking the time to assess and take care of your mental health, body image, and priorities, with the help of an expert (like a therapist or a doctor) if necessary.
To do this, list out your goals, and what you want to achieve from exercise. Then, assess each one - is it focused on improving yourself, rather than becoming more like someone else? Is it realistic?
If not, consider revising that goal. For instance, if you've written down "get abs like [svelte celebrity of your choice]," think about why that's a priority for you. Perhaps you want a six-pack so you can feel more comfortable with your body, or feel confident wearing certain clothing. If that's the case, switch to those goals instead, since they're likely to be less stressful and more attainable, no abs required.
This is just as important as the time you spend exercising, since the right mindset is the difference between enjoying a workout plan and sticking to it, or feeling frustrated and burning out.
"It needs to come from a place of curiosity and learning how to re-connect with something you've always had," Anderson said. "Every single one of us is born to move, and life happens to a lot of us in a way that we neglect our relationship with physical health."
"It's not a race, it has nothing to do with what anyone else is doing," Anderson said.
Know that fitness results take time
With so many types of workouts available, it's easy to get distracted and want to start new and different programs every week.
That can slow your progress, Anderson said, because it doesn't allow you enough time to see results from any of them.
Instead, take some time up front to find a program that feels like a good fit for you, and stick to it.
That's also true for people with more fitness experience if they find themselves losing motivation or not seeing results while trying an assortment of workouts.
"This is the time to dive into a really serious program," she said. "I think that if you have been showing up and lost it a little in the stress, it's time to commit to something."
As an added bonus for people bored of working out at home, a good fitness program will include plenty of variation from day to day and week to week to keep things interested and keep you progressing toward your goals, according to Anderson (she recommends her online program, the Tracy Anderson Method).
Be kind to yourself
Finally, whatever your goals and whatever program you choose to get there, it's crucial to be gentle with yourself throughout the process. Exercise routines can be challenging, and maintaining an upbeat, relaxed attitude can help you stay motivated even when it feels like a struggle or you encounter setbacks or plateaus.
"The worst thing people can do is beat themselves up, it's very common and easy. The more positive you can be, the better," Anderson said.
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