I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of Criss Angel’s Mindfreak and can’t wait to see his show Believe in Las Vegas. Some of the illusions he performs are simply mind-boggling and just can’t be explained, or can they?

It got me thinking about the fitness industry and so “called” celebrity trainers, and I realized almost all of them are exactly the same as Criss. Their programs, their workouts, their “expertise”, even their look, all add up to one hell of an illusion. When I competed in bodybuilding, it wasn’t about if I was muscular and lean, it was if I looked it on stage that counted – the perception. I was taught specific ways to hold my posture, turn slightly one way, push a muscle out a bit, all in the name of creating the perfect on stage illusion.

In the same way a lot of the time celebrity personal trainers don’t know what they’re doing, they just make you believe that they do. They’ve mastered the illusion of becoming a believable, credible, expert trainer. Take a look…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82ckL5MKVuM&feature=channel[/youtube]

Now I have a new name to add to the master illusionist crowd; Tracy Anderson.

Wow, this girl is a master at branding and marketing her “method”. But what exactly is the Tracy Anderson Method and who’s using it? Tracy throws names around like Madonna, Courtney Cox, Shakira, and Gwyneth Paltrow, whose testimonials are on her site singing the praises of her miraculous exercise system. Anderson herself is a dancer, and apparently developed her self named program over the course of ten years after believing that tried and true training methods were all wrong.

Tracy claims she can take any woman’s body and transform it into a tiny, dancers physique. I must tell you, in my opinion that is completely impossible, unless of course she has devised a time travel technique to go back in time and change who your parents are. Sorry, but your genes are what you’ve been given, and while they can always be substantially improved upon, there’s more chance of me transforming Tracy’s body into an NFL linebacker’s build then the claim that she makes.

All of Tracy’s celebrity clients have always looked great and have never been out of shape – yet Tracy is getting the credit for their fitness? Madonna is a ‘trainer tramp’ and has had more personal trainers than I can count; I’ve seen Gwyneth personally in Westchester County, NY throughout the years and she always looked fabulous, pre-Tracy of course, and Shakira has always been amazingly hot and sexy.  You get my point. Now if Kirstie Alley did Tracy’s technique and got tiny, or Carnie Wilson slimmed down, I’d be impressed. But you don’t see those types of referrals on her site now do you?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI6ucRl_BPw[/youtube]

The workouts Tracy promotes are just crazy in my opinion, I’ve seen her recommend no more than three pound weights, hundreds of repetitions, and twice daily one hour workouts. A lot of her system consists of dancing routines, which are great if you want to be a dancer, but otherwise of limited use. Then there’s the diet plan which basically amounts to starvation as I’m sure any competent dietician or nutritionist would agree. Sure you’ll lose a lot of weight with Tracy’s method, but that’s because you’re starving and over exercising, not because of the ideology behind the program. Tracy’s website states her method for “transforming the body is strengthening the accessory muscle group, that thereby creates a tight knit group of small muscles that actually pull in the larger muscle groups”.  What the hell does that mean? I have no idea what she is saying! Do you?

I’m sure I know what many of you who’ve tried Tracy’s method are going to say – that Tracy’s program is hard and that you were really sore after trying it. So? Fitness enthusiasts need to learn the difference between “hard” and “productive” and realize the two do not always match up. I am sure that performing hundreds of repetitions with three pound weights is very hard, but truthfully, it won’t do jack for your fitness program. If exercise is asking the body to adapt to an external stimulus it is not used to, and your handbag, groceries, suitcase, or your child weighs more than three pounds, then how is three pounds a workout? It’s not.

Any exercise program is better than none, and if you are just starting out and try The Tracy Anderson Method you will get some results for two reasons: one, you’ll be moving more and burning some calories, and two, you’ll be aware of your nutritional habits. Any time these two aspects of fitness are combined you will see some results. That’s why every plan, every infomercial, every product is now sold with a nutritional regimen as part of the system.

At the end of the day if Tracy’s program gives you a start in fitness then that’s great. But don’t be fooled into thinking that it will change your body into something it’s not. Even the greatest illusionists of all time can’t do that.

But what do you think? Have you tried Tracy’s method – and did it work for you?