One of Anderson's main teachings is that no woman should ever lift more than 3lbs for fear of bulking up. This is a clever use of words, if nothing else!
Firstly, most women fear bulking up (some even cite it as a reason not to exercise at all), although it's impossible without a lot of work and a lot of eating (here's a post I wrote last January - worth reading just to understand how you don't accidentally bulk up).
And secondly, the term bulking up means different things to different people. Personally, when I see Anderson herself, or Paltrow, I see women who are thin but without much shape or definition - however you might look at photos of Paltrow and see your dream body. My dream body would be this one. I would not want to aim for this.
See, we're all different, but when the term bulking up is used in Tracy Anderson's context, we all become fearful!
I'm not going to use this post to knock her Method (although it's been suggested the diet she recommends only provides 700 calories a day which is beyond dangerous, especially with the one/two hour exercise per day she suggests.)
Anderson is helping people who are looking for purely aesthetic results - she's picking on women who are insecure and want very quick results - whereas when I train myself and others, I train so that when I'm 80 I'll still be able to carry my own shopping bags, walk up stairs, and get up out of a chair without several different aids. All of this (assuming you are in good health) should be more than achievable, it should be expected.
To ensure that I lift weights heavy enough to build muscle (no I'm not bulky!) and maintain the muscle I have. At my age this muscle should be naturally and slowly decreasing - when muscle decreases, your body needs less calories, if you eat the same as you did ten years ago you'll start putting on weight. I am doing everything I can to prevent that
The weights in my gym are in kilograms - 3lbs is equivalent to roughly 1.4kgs.
This is what I lift:
- Bicep curls: 6kg
- Tricep extentions: 4kg
- Dumbbell chest press: 8kg
- Dumbbell bent over row: 10kg
- Leg press: 85kg
In the grand scheme of things, these are still light weights - certainly not enough to give me a Jodie Marsh-style body. My aim this year is to increase all the weights I lift.
I like the fact that I can lift boxes of books, sofas (with help), pick up my 8 year old (still). If you limit yourself to lifting 3lbs, you will eventually not be able to do very much at all and you will stay relatively weak and (in my opinion) a little shapeless. You won't be lifting enough to build muscle and gradually it will start to decrease - meaning you'll put on weight, and I'll be carrying your shopping bags for you!
Here are some things that weigh more than 3lbs:
- A bag of potatoes at the supermarket
- Your Sunday roast
- Your recycling/rubbish bag
- Your baby
Have you heard of/tried the Tracy Anderson Method?
Do you think I'm being harsh?
How do you work out when you go to the gym?
Do you use weights, or stick to cardio?