Tracy Anderson says running gives you “ugly butt” but doesn’t explain what gives you “pretty butt.” Which is why we went to see her exercise demonstration at Diane Von Furstenberg’s meatpacking district headquarters for Fashion’s Night Out. Tracy mounted the white steps in Diane’s studio, wearing leopard DVF leggings and a lace workout top. With the Chardonnay flowing like, well, free booze during Fashion Week from a bar in the corner, a crush of women pushed their way toward the stairwell to get a view at this very, very tiny woman. “I genetically am not tall and can gain weight very easily, so I definitely have every trick to make you look long and lean,” she said. “So let’s just start with some basics — arms and back. Everybody game?” The crowd cheered. “But you have to do it because this is very difficult for me.” Shakira’s trainer joined Tracy on the steps, and Rihanna’s “Run This Town” started blasting. Then … they started exercising!
In perfect unison they began gyrating and making twisting motions with their arms out to the side as though turning doorknobs. No one joined in, but then again it was hard to spot a woman there without a glass of white wine in hand, so they had an excuse. “No one’s doing it!” Tracy said. Eventually, Diane took a front-row spot and started gyrating along with them. When the song ended, Tracy darted off the makeshift stage to sell and sign exercise DVDs. We accosted her to find out how we could get “teeny-tiny.” And she was really friendly and nonjudgmental!
Leggings and thigh-high boots are really in for fall. How do we get great butts and legs?
I think most women, in my opinion, don’t want to look like they’ve been at the gym all day, but want long lean legs. The key is the sequencing. And I’ve spent literally eleven years researching how to sequence leg movements to make sure that you don’t do the same leg movement over and over again. And what’s out in fitness today is they show you, ‘Oh, do this hamstring curl and do it 100 times.’ No — it’s about a series of ten or twelve different leg movements that are sequenced together very strategically so that when you do 40 reps of each, they create an amazing balance that pulls the muscles. But I go after the accessory muscles — which they don’t — which pulls everything teeny-tiny.
Is there an area we should target?
No, no, no. That’s the thing — you don’t want to target one. You want to wake them all up. So waking them all up and making them all balanced and doing them the right way is what’s going to give you the Madonna legs or Gwyneth legs.
How important is diet?
You know, if you’re not a good cardiovascular performer and you can’t do the dance aerobics, it’s important. You know, calories in, calories out — that’s a fact. But how you get the calories out — you can actually be bulking yourself up, so you don’t want to be running. So get the DVDs.
How do you feel about low-carb versus low-fat and all that stuff?
I turn my manuscript in next week for my book, which is a 30-day boot camp that has the menus and everything — you’ll literally transform like crazy. But I’m also launching the biggest website that’s ever been done on custom nutrition and custom programs for home. Because everyone’s different. Some people — they can’t go without carbs. And, sure, they can go without carbs for two weeks and then they lose a lot of weight. But then they crave them so badly, they binge and then they explode. That’s not the way to do it. So I’m interested in people looking good and being able to sustain looking great. I’m not interested in the emotional roller coaster that happens to women, where, sure, here’s a trend that can make you lose ten pounds in two weeks. There’s a million of them. But what happens after the two weeks? You’ve just screwed yourself, and you can’t keep up with it.