Gwyneth Paltrow recently admitted that she has the backside of a 22 year old stripper, something she never had even when she was 22. Want to know her secret? It’s a petite powerhouse personal trainer called Tracy Anderson, writes Nadine Baggott

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Tracy Anderson is tiny. Now I know that at 5’10” I could pass as Grayson Perry in a floral dress, and I am used to interviewing miniature A-listers, but she really is petite, even in her sky high black cage boots. She is also a straight shooter; Tracy will not sugarcoat the truth. Her mantra? “I’m tough, I know that, but the results are there for the whole world to see; leaner, firmer tighter muscles and youthful firm skin.”

As the fitness guru in charge of shaping up some of Hollywood’s best bodies, from Gwyneth’s great legs to Courtney Cox’s fab abs, Shakira’s streamline hips to Jennifer Lopez’s beautiful behind, I am rapt; I want to know more.

Tracy made her name sculpting the body of Madonna, but is now better known as the friend and business partner of Gwyneth Paltrow. Her Tracy Anderson Method revolutionises the traditional way of working out by focussing on the smaller muscles, ligaments and tendons that hold your main muscles to your bones and skin. Tighten these, she argues, and you will lose inches, slim, lift and narrow your body and, most importantly for any woman over 30, you will tone your skin at the same time. “And no other workout can do that,” she states with confidence.

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According to Gwyneth: “My body changed quickly. After doing the famous first ten days of the programme I had lost 14inches.” And her secret is to work out six times a week. “I know that sounds like a lot but vanity is a great motivator,” Tracy explains, “and once you see the results start to show you will want to keep moving, and that way you can eat more, and most women want to do that.”

She’s right, of course, because she understands what women want from exercise. “Listen, I was overweight once. I had a baby and gained over sixty pounds and became heavy. At the same time my boyfriend injured his back and went to a physio who told me the secret was to strengthen his accessory muscles, not only to tighten his body but to strengthen it too. He didn’t know how to design a workout to do that but I did, and once I did I realised that my method worked not only on the muscles but on the skin too.” Tracy calls this her Strategic Muscle Engineering and it’s key to that longer, leaner look every woman wants.

The result is the Tracy Anderson Method and today it is a multi million business with four gyms in the US and, if all goes to plan, one in London later this year.

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Tracy’s Top Tips

Weigh yourself daily. “I know this runs contrary to popular advice, and that your weight can fluctuate according to what you eat and your monthly cycle, but if you know what you weigh at the same time every day it puts you in control.”

Work out regularly. “Starving yourself is never healthy. If you work out six times a week you get to enjoy food again and still look great and your whole body will benefit.”

Design your muscles. “My method trains the smaller accessory muscles around the larger ones - that way you firm and lean without adding bulk. They are like an internal corset so that you lose inches and dress sizes. They will also firm your skin.”

Add cardio. “Most women also want to burn off fat. The second all important part of my method is the high intensity cardio dance workout to raise your heart rate in strategic intervals to burn fat quickly and efficiently. You need to do cardio for forty minutes a day.”

Eat lean. “When you first start my Method you will need to watch what you eat until you get the results you want. The key is to eat high fibre, fat-burning foods to kick start your metabolism.”

Tracy’s thoughts on...


“When Gwyneth came to me she already had a disciplined exercise routine but it wasn’t giving her the results she wanted and she had two young children. So I started to design her muscles to trim and tone her lower half and focussed on her coordination to get her dancing hard. The result? She is in amazing shape, has those incredible legs and can dance now. What’s more she eats what she wants and doesn’t gain weight.”

Jennifer  Lopez

“I have been working with Jennifer since she had her twins. She was dedicated to getting back into her pre-baby shape and had a few pounds to lose. Then it was all about the muscle design, as she was once a professional dancer so mastered the cardio element quickly.”


“I have never seen anyone freestyle dance like Shakira; she is a dream to work with. I got her into shape for her She Wolf video, and do you know what? There is no airbrushing in that – that is all of her hard work on show. Incredible.”

Courtney Cox

“Like Gwyneth, Courtney is prone to gaining weight on her lower half, so we work to boost her metabolism through cardio dance whilst retraining those accessory muscles to pull in her thighs and lift her bottom. She works hard and looks amazing.”

Nicole Richie

“Myself and my team worked with Nicole in the run up to her wedding. She is omnicentric, in other words has no problem areas and is tiny like me, so I knew what to do for her. It’s all about retaining her petite frame and toning and strengthening for Nicole.”

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