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What a $900 monthly gym membership gets you

tracy anderson body bikiniWhen I heard that Tracy Anderson, the trainer credited with Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow’s already stunning physiques (not exactly “The Biggest Loser” transformations here), was opening a Tribeca fitness studio with monthly dues of $900 (on top of the $1,500 initiation fee), I chalked it up to out-of-touch pre-Recession thinking. Today I stopped by for a “consultation” (really, a tour and dues explanation) at their gleaming third-floor studio on Greenwich and Hubert. The space, more art gallery than gym, with white laminate floors and modern paintings, had a friendly, appealing vibe, as did the staff. I didn’t hate the place. Not at all.

Although a budget-breaker for most New Yorkers, it turns out that $900 a month buys you unlimited personal training and fitness classes. So if you’re someone who already does any kind of personal training twice a week or more, then the rate might actually represent some savings.

Your customized program, supposedly tweaked by Tracy herself, includes a cardio dance-based component and private sessions on Tracy-invented Pilates-style equipment. No weights. The Tracy Anderson Method is all about working “accessory muscles” instead of larger muscles groups like the quadriceps. This promotes a lean, sinewy look, explained Brice, my tour guide, while weight lifting and running, my current modes of working out, promotes bulking up. (He warned me about getting big quads, but show me a bulked-up marathoner and then I’ll worry.)

gwyneth paltrow workout with tracy anderson

I’ll admit I found it all much more appealing than I expected. If my budget included a $900/month line item under physical activity, I’d be seriously tempted to join. But there is a rub and here it is: Anderson’s acolytes recommend devoting 10 hours a week—which translates into six sessions per week that range in length from 1-2 hours. But if you devoted this much time to any form of exercise, you’d achieve amazing results, at least that’s what two personal trainers I surveyed later suggested.

They also said it’s downright inefficient to work out this much when you get the same results more quickly with weight training. One of them wondered about osteoporosis, a major concern among Caucasian and Asian women, which weight training is proven to combat.

That said, Tracy Anderson is clearly breaking new ground in exercise methodology—as well as price—and we look forward to hearing what studies by exercise physiologists say about it. We laud her for making her workouts available to those outside of her zip code and income level through Tracy Anderson Connect. Download her dance moves onto your iPhone and let loose at New York Sports.


Is your workout worth $900 a month to you? Tell us your terms, here!

14 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. Anamaria Grabowski
    September 2nd, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tracy’s Mat Workout DVD. I wrote a review: http://nascentfitness.wordpress.com/dvd-reviews/tracy-anderson-method-mat/

    I had been lifting heavy weights for about 1 1/2 years and although I had lost a significant amount of weight I still had a nice layer of fat over my muscles. I decided to forgo the heavy weights and start doing Tracy. It was supposed to be a 6 week experiment.

    Within one month my arms started looking more defined and they had shrunk by 3/4″. Additionaly, I lost 2″ in my hips. I was encouraged and continued. That was about 5 months ago and I have continued to notice positive changes. Muscle definition in places it did not exist previously. YES!!!

    My current experiment: I am alternating Tracy’s Mat w/o with Physique 57′s Classic Workout.

    Anamaria
    http://nascentfitness.wordpress.com/

  2. Anamaria Grabowski
    September 2nd, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    “One of them wondered about osteoporosis, a major concern among Caucasian and Asian women, which weight training is proven to combat.”

    I forgot to mention…lifting your leg is a weight bearing exercise. Not sure what education level these trainers have but oftentimes people don’t understand what weight bearing means.

    Anamaria

  3. September 7th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    10 hours a week of exercise=need to quit my full time job. No job, can’t afford $900! (well, ok, can’t afford that anyway…)

  4. mgspas
    October 12th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Now that Tracy Anderson and Madge have broken up, will you be more or less likely to workout at her studio?

  5. Meredith
    November 10th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    How did Madge get so bulked up by NOT using weights, I wonder. She must be doing a lot of leg lifts (and arms and everything)!

  6. November 19th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    [...] have also been known to smear fruit over our faces. For voyeurs, there’s also a NSFB story on what a $900-a-month gym membership gets you. Unlimited personal training! That fitness club is not in Brooklyn, so there’s one less place [...]

  7. August 16th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    [...] to a slightly less spiritual practice: super-pricey cardio-dance workouts with celeb-favorite Tracy Anderson.IN-HOUSE FITNESS After she dropped Tracy, Madge gave herself a gift—a home gym that added an [...]

  8. December 16th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    [...] reported throughout the week. Our Page Six!Tracy Anderson shakes. Celeb trainer, and creator of the $900 monthly gym membership and Metamorphosis DVDs, launched her “Perfect Performance Wellness Formula Shake” this [...]

  9. March 23rd, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    [...] downer. —Lisa Elaine HeldWho’s it for? Tracy Anderson lovers who can’t afford her hefty price tag.Book it or Skip it? Skip it.Bari Studio, 23 Leonard Street, Tribeca. Single class: $35, 10 classes [...]

  10. April 10th, 2012 at 6:30 am

    [...] a typical New York boutique fitness class, so you can pay as you go (ie: don’t have to commit $900-ish for the mysterious monthly membership structure at Tracy Anderson).And except for the weekend classes that fill up, weekdays are a [...]

  11. August 23rd, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    [...] What a $900/month gym membership gets you [...]

  12. October 2nd, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I agree – the time and effort with any research-based program would work. Perhaps hers is more enjoyable to some, for a while at least. She’s probably paying her trainers top dollar, as the ‘in’ thing of the year. Still, not realistic for the “99%”… so exclusive half her website is inaccessible without a DVD purchase first!

  13. October 2nd, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Perhaps the Anderson method is more enjoyable to some, for a while at least. She’s probably paying her trainers top dollar, as the ‘in’ thing of the year. Still, not realistic for the “99%”… so exclusive half her website is inaccessible without a DVD purchase first!

  14. January 7th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    […] of Self Magazine and shared the coveted secrets to getting true Anderson Abs. So, at the rumored $900.00 per month (plus the $1500.00 initiation fee), what is the Tracy Anderson Method all about? Anderson […]

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