I had high hopes for Tracy Anderson. Long a (very expensive) member’s only studio, there are now a few select classes open to plebes like you and me. So, when I spotted a sale on Gilt City recently, I snapped up a 5-class package and was easily the most excited I’ve been about a fitness class in recent memory. Things went awry quickly, however, the moment I stepped into the studio, to be exact.

First, let’s discuss the temperature. You’ll want to prepare yourself mentally because for all Tracy Anderson Method classes, the studios are heated to 86 degrees and, HOLD UP NOW, 65% humidity. So, it’s hot. HOT. You’ll need water, and copious amounts of it.

Now, for those of you who haven’t read prior fitness class reviews here, I’m not an athlete by any measure, but I am a relative pro at boutique fitness classes.  Even so, it’s helpful when an instructor greets new clients, asks about injuries and advises on necessary equipment – perhaps I’ve been coddled by studios like Physique 57, ChaiseFitness and SLT, but I do now expect that level of attention, particularly when I’m paying $35+ a class. This is not the case at Tracy Anderson across the board apparently, and it was certainly not the case for my packed AtTAin Definition class.

The instructor was located in the front of the room, while I (perhaps sensing shame ahead) was located in the back. A regular student helped me get set up in terms of mat, ankle weights and hand weights, but the entire class, fast-moving and heavy with rather specific choreograpy, was taught with nearly no verbal instruction. Instead, you’re expected to follow the physical cues of the instructor, or in my case, the clearly insane but more conveniently located Tracy Anderson devotees in front of me.

AtTAin Definition was an intense workout, make no mistake about it, I was sweating like an animal even during the warmup. In fact, people were sweating so intensely, they were dripping onto their mats and even the floor – consider this a reminder to grab an extra towel, you’ll need it. The movements were unexpected (and in some cases awkward) with a high number of reps to ensure impact. But leaving the studio after class, I felt shell-shocked as opposed to accomplished.  And while I still have four unused classes, I find myself DREADING a return to Tracy Anderson Studio.

If you’re mildly masochistic or simply still curious, you can get a taste of the Method and also book classes online at Tracy Anderson.

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