7 Things I Learned While Working Out With Celebrity Trainer Tracy Anderson

by Sophie Schillaci 3:17 PM PST, March 05, 2015
Photo: Owen Kolasinski/

Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, whose method has sculpted Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez and Madonna's awe-inspiring bods, is not as scary as you'd think.

"I'm not a yeller," she says. "I know factually how to give you your best workout." (Obviously yes, she’s still intimidating.)

I jumped at the chance to spend an hour in Anderson's (very hot) Brentwood, Calif., studio, learning the moves from the master herself.

WATCH: Secrets From Hollywood's Post-Baby Fitness Guru

Joining Anderson at Wednesday night's #BeatsHourofPower event was Girls showrunner Jenni Konner, who has been a devotee of the program for four years now. The pair engaged in a brief pre-workout Q&A session, centered mostly on the importance of a solid workout playlist. "I believe whole-heartedly that we are all programmed to move to music," Anderson said. "The closer you are to the music, the more empowered you become."


But there were many lessons to be learned from Anderson's Beats By Dre-hosted event. Behold, seven insights from inside the Tracy Anderson Studio.

1. Girl knows how to curate a playlist.

So what goes into a Tracy Anderson workout playlist? Jams, that's what. She kicked the class off with Travis Barker's "Live Forever" feat. Juicy J. and LIZ) -- which will now forever be my go-to “stop being lazy and just go workout” song -- mixing in tracks from Tove Lo, Drake, Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, Tensnake, Hayden James, Echosmith and more. The full playlist is available here (search for "Tracy Anderson's Hour of Power Workout Mix") and listed below.

2. Lena Dunham is giving Paltrow a run for her money.

Konner revealed that Dunham recently began training with Anderson to strengthen her brain and her body. "You thought that girl was productive before," Konner quipped, while Anderson teased that "Gwyneth has been my A+ student for a decade -- Lena is hot on her heels."

WATCH: Beyonce Reveals Her Queen B Workout Routine

3. Paltrow is not into techno music.

Anderson said that her star client "will yell" if she's not feelin' the playlist that day. If a techno track goes on for too long, Paltrow will definitely complain: "Can't we just put on some Beyonce?" In fact, Paltrow at one point designated Fridays "all Beyonce day!" (We'd argue that every day should be all Beyonce day, but we'll take it.)

4. Anderson will make you sweat in ways you didn't know you could.

At one point, I looked down at my hands and saw them sweating. No, not the palms (but yes, those were sweaty too) -- the back of my hands. WHO KNEW THE BACKS OF YOUR HANDS COULD SWEAT?


5. But she still looks flawless at the end of the workout.

Seriously, I'm over here all red-faced and sweating, while Anderson's ponytail and makeup are on fleek. She's super-human, and even threw on a black blazer for the post-workout meet-and-greet.

PHOTOS: Hollywood's Hottest Bikini Bods

6. But in the end, it's all about making a connection.

"I have to ask you to do movements that are foreign to you," Anderson says, scoffing at the "stability" of an elliptical. "When you do movements that are uncomfortable, you are improving the neuroplasticity of your brain, you are opening up new neuro pathways." So when you feel SUPER awkward and terrible at the moves, Anderson says: "do not judge me, do not judge the person next to you and do not judge yourself."

7. And the music will help you through.

"What gets you through a breakup? What gets you through tough things in life? What makes you remember great moments in life? Music is in us. It's healing, it's life-giving, it's motivating. It's all of those things."

My partners in crime, fellow ETonline staffers Erin Johnson (center) and Jen Cady (right).

Tracy Anderson's Hour of Power Workout Mix:
Travis Barker - Live Forever (feat. Juicy J. & LIZ)
Tove Lo- Got Love
Drake - Started From The Bottom
Michael Jackson - Bad
Dr. Dre - I Need A Doctor (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)
David Guetta - Dangerous (feat. Sam Martin)
Wyclef Jean - Divine Sorrow (feat. Avicii)
Bingo Players - Get Up (Rattle)
Tensnake - Ten Minutes
Lady GaGa - Dance In The Dark…
Hayden James - Something About You
Jungle - Platoon
PRhyme - Courtesy
Kalin and Myles - I Don’t Really Care
Jeremih - Don’t Tell ‘em (feat. YG)
Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)
Echosmith - Cool Kids
Travis Barker - Live Forever (feat. Juicy J. & LIZ)

Follow Sophie on Twitter: @SophieSchillaci