In this day and age, people want it all, and they want it now!
Whether it’s better health, a tighter bum, or a six-figure income, we live in an age where everyone wants results yesterday, completely oblivious to the processes behind achieving lofty goals and what is actually required of them in terms of time, energy, and resources.
This is absolutely fantastic for companies and individuals to market themselves because it’s so easy to pose as an expert on a given topic – simply speak with passion and confidence, and bombard your readers, listeners, or viewers with jargon, and guess what, they’ll buy it!
So it should come as no surprise that over the past couple of decades there have been dozens upon dozens of fad diets and exercise programs which follow the same formula:
- Outline a common goal which many people want to achieve
- Explain how everyone else is doing it wrong or sub-optimally
- Explain how you have the solution or the smartest, easiest, and quickest way of achieving the goal
- Frame it in such a way as to make it sound like insider knowledge, a recent scientific breakthrough, or anything else which may explain why everyone isn’t following this plan which claims to be so effective
- Cash in!
So when you see celebrity trainers, coaches, and gurus such as Tracy Anderson charging clients $900 per month – yes, you read correctly – for their services, you have to stop for a moment and wonder why she’s twenty times more expensive than other trainers and coaches.
So Who Exactly is Tracy Anderson?
Tracy Anderson is a regular American woman who has made a name for herself in the fitness industry with the aptly titled Tracy Anderson Method.
Here is a quote from Tracy which should help to provide a general idea of the principles behind her method:
“Oftentimes, heavy weights can tear the muscle fiber causing it to bulk, but using a lighter weight for a longer duration and allowing your body to move in many different ways to target all of the muscles will lengthen them without tearing.”
Tracy is also known for stating that running causes muscles to ‘bulk’ due to the repetitive nature of the exercise. Looking at this logically, it should then follow that marathon runners are incredibly muscular due to the long distances they run.
Have you ever seen a marathon runner? Did they look ‘bulky’ to you?
She has also been known to recommend exercises which she claims will pull the skin tighter against the muscles giving them a more ‘toned’ appearance.
Let’s go back to her claims about heavy weights for a moment.
Careful With those Heavy Shopping Bags!
The premise is that heavy weights cause muscles to ‘bulk,’ which means that lifting heavy will induce muscular hypertrophy, resulting in a larger and denser muscle.
It is hard to know where to begin with debunking a claim such as this because the reality of the situation and the science to back it up is so much more complex than can be encompassed with buzz words such as ‘bulk,’ ‘tone,’ and, wait a second – ‘lengthen?!’
Rather than going too in-depth with a scientific analysis of different muscle groups and their corresponding muscle fibre types respond to different amounts of weights, let’s just look at this logically.
Olympic weightlifters perform very heavy lifts in a low rep-range, with their performances ultimately being based upon a single repetition with the heaviest weight they are capable of for that particular movement.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, bodybuilders use a variety of rep ranges, performing sets of anything from 6 all the way up to 50 or more depending on the muscle group and the exercise being performed.
Surely this should mean that an elite-level Olympic lifter should be considerably larger and more muscular – or ‘bulky’ – than an elite-level bodybuilder, right?
Empirically, this simply isn’t true, and without going into a breakdown of exactly how our two meatheads differ in their training styles, we can clearly see that simply making it a matter of ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ weights is oversimplifying the matter to the point of what can only be assumed to be wilful ignorance.
Here’s the thing – your level of musculature and body fat is going to depend on a huge number of factors, such as:
- Training methods;
- Performance-enhancing drugs;
- Recovery capacity; and
- Genetic predisposition for muscle development
If it really were that easy to build huge, rippling muscles, almost every man and woman at the gym would be a bulging mass of ripped, vascular granite – and if we’re to believe Tracy’s claims, this would also be true of the cardio bunnies who spend all of their time on the treadmill and elliptical!
For honest, credible information, avoid the mainstream and instead seek out people with the experience and results, and more importantly, the evidence to back up their claims.
Achieving the body of your dreams is not an easy process, nor is it a fast process.
Hard work, thoroughness, and above all, consistency are the factors that will help you reach your goals.
It might not sound as easy as what self-proclaimed gurus like Tracy Anderson are spouting, but it’s the truth and you really can’t say fairer than that!