Since the month of September, I have however lacked time and haven't been exercising as much as I should. I have been keeping up with the Bollywood workouts during the week-ends but I was feeling like I needed something new and maybe a bit more challenging.
That's how I came across Tracy Anderson DVD's.
Now, if you google reviews on Tracy Anderson methods, you'll find opposite opinions, and I would like to explain which workouts I like and what I like about them.
First of all, a bit of background. Tracy is a dancer, she's very petite, and she says she had the hardest time getting the right body when she was studying dance because she couldn't get rid easily of her extra pounds, and when she would work out a lot, she would just get very muscular and that's not the kind of looks that a dancer is expected to have. So she did a lot of research and came up with her own method, that consists of cardio workouts and specific workouts with repetitions of quite unconventional moves.
I actually like the way she looks, e.g. not like a body builder but like a very fit and lean woman. That's the kind of body I want, I don't care for fitness competition looks.
Tracy says her workouts are meant to create lean defined bodies while avoiding bulk. That is also why when you do use weights in her workouts, they're never heavier than 3 pounds.
Now, Tracy has a whole lot of DVD's available but the main complain lots of people have about them is that she doesn't give a lot of instructions (Tracy says you stayed focused better if you aren't listening to someone at the same time) or doesn't deconstruct the moves. That can make things very difficult for a beginner. However, some or her DVD's are very well explained and these are the ones I use.
This is extremely fast and intense, but the musics are nice and dancing is probably the only kind of cardio that can keep me interested for 45 min on a regular basis (well, I can't do the whole 45 min yet but you see what I mean).
Second part of the method is the Mat Workout. Here you will do repetitions of various exercises for your arms, legs and abs. There are standing exercises and others you do laying on a yoga mat.
I find the legs and arms exercises very effective (some of the arms exercises are done with a 3 pounds weight), this DVD seriously caused me to feel pain in muscles I didn't know existed.
There aren't lots of instructions given on here but since there are a lot of repetitions, watching the video is pretty self-explanatory.
You can buy these 2 DVD's, as well as a third one with more cardio, in a box set or separately like I did.
However, browsing through reviews on the web, I read about another DVD that is supposed to be a very good one, and it's the Post Pregnancy workout.
Nope, I haven't had a secret baby, but this DVD is a killer for abdominals! 20 minutes out of the 45 are pure abdominals, then there are some butt/legs exercise that will also engage your abs, and then some arm exercises that are very similar to the ones in the Mat Workout.
The atmosphere of this DVD is very soft, the background music is actually a selection of well-known classical pieces and I find that really relaxing and it's really helping when you're trying to focus on doing your crunches properly! So I actually prefer this one to the Mat Workout since it's more focused on the abs. It's also rather easy to follow despite minimal instructions.
Now in all honesty I don't know how a young mom can keep up with that routine since I do find it very hard myself, but it does work incredibly well and you will definitely feel it in your body the next day!
Tracy recommends doing both the cardio and the mat 4 to 6 times a week, which in all honesty I don't know how I would fit that in my daily routine, especially as, if I work after 7PM, it totally messes with my sleeping schedule.
But my plan is to go through Winter with these workouts so I can do them integrally by Spring - it's probably better than being a potato couch from November to March then panicking when it's time to put on my Summer skirts again! We'll see how that goes...
Note: you can watch demos, workouts and tips on the Go Tracy youtube channel.