Tracy Anderson Strikes Again: Can Spinning Really Bulk Out Your Thighs? [And other dumb conversations I've had today]

by Charlotte on January 16, 2014 · 54 comments

So this happened today:

namespell

This is why the facepalm was invented. Don’t worry I did finally get my meds – after a second tech came and took over.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was just so far into La La Land that you just have to kind of laugh because the whole thing is just so ridiculous (and then sneak a look around for hidden cameras in case you’re being Punk’d)? Sometimes I feel like Tracy Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow’s “fitness guru”/blond muppet impersonator, is that person. Except for the entire fitness industry. She’s most famous for her whack-a-doo statement that “women should never lift more than three pounds” (tell my 30-lb preschooler that!) but she’s also gifted us with such wisdom as “I’ll give you the power to reconstruct muscles” (to quote the Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”) and “A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go, and that’s literally the worst thing.” (I think murder’s worse than pregnancy weight. And also Justin Bieber’s artwork. But that’s just me.) And now she’s topped herself yet again – and the fitness industry, cycle enthusiasts in particular, are freaking the heck out.

tracy-janice

 

I love Janice Muppet so so much. 

In a recent interview with Redbook magazine, she and BFF Gwyneth talked about how Tracy whipped Gwynnie’s sorry butt back into shape after her son Moses was born.

Gwyneth: But I met Tracy and she was this force from the second I met her. She pulled my pants off. I’ll never forget it. She was like, ‘Oh, my God, wow, I just am so surprised, because you look so good in clothes. I wasn’t expecting this.’ [Charlotte's note: She PULLED HER PANTS OFF?? I've worked with some aggressive trainers but thankfully no one's ever disrobed me. Eeesh.]

Tracy:  I thought she’d have a supermodel body, because she was so tiny on top. But her butt was long and lifeless, and she held on to weight in her outer thighs.

Just so everyone’s clear – we’re talking about Gwyneth Paltrow here. This is what she looked like when she first met Tracy. But whatever, people are allowed to do what they like with their own bodies and if Gwyneth felt she needed to workout four hours a day doing dance cardio and tiny arm circles, I will not bat an eyelash. Her life, her body, her business. It’s when they start extrapolating it to the rest of us that I start getting grouchy.

In a second interview with Redbook Tracy explained why she’s against spinning and cycling:

“I have women who come into my office after spinning exclusively for six months, wondering why they can’t fit into their jeans,” she says. “Spin may burn calories in the short term, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’ll bulk your thighs.”

She specifically called out SoulCycle and Flywheel, two extremely popular spinning franchises. Cue the backlash.

But is Tracy right? I think she may actually have a valid point. Kind of.

Let me start out by saying that I don’t spin much and I hardly ever ride a bike. I used to do spin classes a few years ago but I quit and it’s not because I was worried about bulking my quads. Mostly they just never entertained me like other cardio classes like TurboKick and Zumba. But the real reason I’m not a huge fan of bikes is they really really hurt my lady bits. And after five kids, that end does not need any more damage, is all I’m saying. Yeah I know padded bike shorts were invented to solve this very issue but I never found a pair I liked and moreover I just wasn’t that motivated to find a reason to cycle when there were so many other activities I enjoyed more. I’m not knocking cycling for anyone else – and I’ll happily ride a bike somewhere with a purpose – but spinning in place? Not my thing. (Neither is treadmill running in place, for that matter.)

So let’s take apart Tracy’s assertion:

1. Why are bulky thighs a bad thing? I’m being a little facetious – I know that pin-thin stems that are the same circumference at the top as they are at the bottom are the en vogue thing at the moment. But after years of trying to diet my own muscular thighs out of existence, I’ve come to realize there are a LOT of perks to having some lower body muscle. Not only do those muscles come in handy for squatting, lifting and propelling us forward but they also fill out a pencil skirt like nobody’s business! Honestly that’s why I think I’m so drawn to vintage fashions. I’m not saying that thinner-legged ladies are ugly or weak but I am saying that those of us with some meat on our legs are beautiful too. Lots of ways to be beautiful. I hate that she’s using “bulky thighs” as a scare tactic. They’re not scary or bad or ugly. Wear those rad curves with pride! Go buy every skirt in the Banana Republic Mad Men collection!

2. Genetics and hormones probably have more to do with your leg shape than your workout. Lots of the replies to Tracy have centered around Victoria’s Secret models who spin 5 times a week and similar anecdotal evidence. And hey if we want to go that route, one of my good friends who also happens to be a race-winning cyclist has the absolute smallest thighs of any woman I’ve ever met. But it’s also true that there are plenty of cyclists with large quads. Genetics in action folks. And I’ve long said that while I don’t think lifting weights (or cycling or whatever) can make women “bulk out” like dudes – we just don’t have the testosterone – I do think some women can get bulkier than they like. So can cycling bulk your quads? Yes, I think it can, but only if you’re already pre-disposed to gaining muscle and also if you’re eating to support that kind of muscle growth.

3. I think the real issue is in the “if that’s all you’re doing” part of Tracy’s statement. And here’s where I agree with her. If ALL you do is one type of cardio – whether that’s running or cycling or swimming or foot-pedalling your scale replica of the Batmobile – and you’re not getting the results you want then you should definitely consider changing it up. Not only is cycling (and running) very quad dominant but it also is only one type of metabolic conditioning. Also, if weight loss is your goal, research has shown that exercise alone is not usually enough to cause significant weight loss. Mostly because it tends to make people hungrier. And steady state cardio has also been shown to only burn calories in the short term and depending on the duration may even be detrimental to your metabolism. You need some weight lifting in there for overall health! So yeah, if all Tracy’s clients were doing before they met her was cycling I could see how they might have been unhappy with their results. Variety is the spice of life.

In the end I think there are way more reasons to work than for aesthetics. I workout to look good. Yep. But I also workout to help my depression and anxiety, to feel confident, to get stronger, to bond with friends, to meditate, to increase my insulin sensitivity, to help my memory, to help me be a better mother… and the list goes on. So if you love cycling then you cycle! Don’t worry about bulking out – be grateful that your body is good at adapting to what you love to do! And if you hate cycling then find something else to try – life’s too short to miserable! Either way, ignore the advice of blond muppets.

What do you think of Tracy’s statements – flat out wrong or a little bit of truth? How do you feel about spin classes? Anyone else have to repeatedly spell their name for someone??

P.S. This is slightly off topic but the quote from that Redbook interview that really made me go “whoa” was when Gwyneth confessed, “I drank like crazy [when the kids were babies]. How else could I get through my day?” Um…. maybe this explains the Vespa incident?  But seriously “drinking like crazy” and babies don’t seem like a good combo. I’d be way more worried about that than a little thigh padding.

 

 

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Darwin January 16, 2014 at 1:12 am

I have always found it an odd thought…that some women fear “accidentally” bulking out…like somehow it will just sneak up on them when they least expect it…while they know many guys that strive diligently focused and purposefully who take years to make their goals of adding bulk…if they do at all.

I agree with you Charlotte that genetics are a big part of the picture and that you also have to be eating and exercising towards that goal.

And it is a worthy goal, one not to be dismissed in unflattering terms. Female legs with substance are quite glorious.

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Paula January 16, 2014 at 1:26 am

Well, statements like that make me a little sad, along with men who complain about women being to muscular (seriously, first you’re to fat, then you exercise your way into a smaller size, getting more healthy and strong along the way and then that’s a new problem…), or people who start complaining about thin woman who are too skinny. I’ve got the feeling that 99% of women can never do it right when we’re talking about beauty and of course that’s the first and foremost thing by which a woman gets judged.
But isn’t it lovely to be able to go from lying on your back to standing upright without using your arms, to just be able to do things using the strength in your belly and legs? To be able to go visit people on your bike, just because you can, to be outside and exercise? I love the strength, the health and the energy I get from exercising and with it the control I gain over my body and my life.
Also I love the feel of strong muscles in my body.
Personally I think every type of body is beautiful, how could it not be? Especially when the body is healthy, just as all nature is beautiful, so are you.
Like the comparison between a tiger and a cheetah, they are both magnificent, despite having totally different body types ;-)

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

Good point Pam! It does seem that you just can’t win – even if you’re a glamorous movie star like Gwyneth there will always be something that needs “fixing”. Ugh.

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kari January 16, 2014 at 1:34 am

I love you and your blog. And your facebook statuses! And yes, I always have to spell my name for people. I almost always just do it automatically, but I have a name that could be spelled a million different ways!

Speaking of spelling, and don’t hate me, but workout is a noun, and work out is a verb. Just thought I’d throw that out because I’m crazy, and I feel compelled to correct that stuff.

Tomorrow, if I’m not lazy, I’ll go to spinning class and think of you and Tracy! And I’ll envision my thighs getting thicky thick.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

Thanks Kari – both for the kind words and the kind correction! I do know the difference between workout/work out but it’s amazing how bad my grammar gets when I blog at midnight;) Re-reading this today in the stark light of morning I’m shuddering that I used “just” three times in the first sentence. Sigh.
And yes, please do always think of me in relation to your quads – I’d be honored;)

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Cindy January 16, 2014 at 2:14 am

I took up cycling a few years ago and I already have big thighs. I didn’t really notice much difference there. I was thrilled when my butt climbed back up to where it is supposed to be and I started to get a non-white girl butt.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:39 am

” I was thrilled when my butt climbed back up to where it is supposed to be” – this made me giggle! I too would love a perkier butt!!

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T January 16, 2014 at 3:12 am

I’ve used stationary bikes to warm up in the gym but 20 minutes seems to be the absolute limit – after that the pointlessness of pedalling on the spot brings on existential questions too deep for a weekday workout.

Living in a foreign country as I do, I don’t always bother saying my name before I start to spell it, and I’ve learnt to preempt the most common mistakes… Even so it usually takes a couple of tries to get right.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

” the pointlessness of pedalling on the spot brings on existential questions too deep for a weekday workout.” YES. This exactly. Treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and esp the endless stair climbs to nowhere do this to me. I can’t stop thinking about how our ancestors are either rolling on the floor laughing or rolling their eyes.

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kfg January 16, 2014 at 3:20 am

” . . .they also fill out a pencil skirt like nobody’s business! ”

I feel compelled to make a male cycling specialist’s response to this, so, like, I shall:

Amen!

As well, spinning, I mean really spinning, will not bulk out your thighs (just do an image search on Chris Froome). What it will do is give you calves to die for to go with that pencil skirt. To bulk out your thighs on a bike you need to do all out sprints or push against high resistence, slowly, while overgeared, converting the bike into a variety of leg press machine.

In fact, cyclists with really massive thighs, such as Chris Hoy, got them on a leg press machine, not on a bike.

On a totally irellevant side note, I’ve never seen those particular pictures of Gwyneth before, and one of them is the first time I’ve ever been able to see her mother in her.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:45 am

Oooh good point about the calves! Lovely calves are a work of art!

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Shayna January 16, 2014 at 3:22 am

My last name is Villa. And I always have to spell it. I say, “It’s Vee-ya, v-i-l-l-a.” And it never fails, the person always goes, “oooohhh, vill-uh!” *face palm* And let’s not get started on my first name. Even with a Y, I’m destined to be “Shawna Vill-uh” forever. Subsequently, I answer to anything that sounds remotely like any of those names. And I also tend to accidentally take Shawna’s coffee at Starbucks. Sorry, all you Shawnas! I’m your coffee thief.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

Hahaha – that’s awesome! Have you got to try out any fun coffee concoctions you might not have otherwise?

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Shannon January 16, 2014 at 6:29 am

Spinning does use a different set of muscles and yes, look at any professional cyclist they have bulky thighs for power and a small upper body. If you’re trying to build muscle continue spinning if you want to break down Muscle…go run a marathon.

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Mary Kate January 16, 2014 at 6:37 am

Looks like a publicity stunt.
People get my name wrong all the time. Villamor. An ‘e’ always end up at the end or they think my last name is Moore and my first name is Villa.
Thick and gloriously strong legs come mainly from genetics. They will get thicker if you are new to exercise just like they will grow when you add in weight training….but not that much. I love spin class for the high-intensity aspect and the fact that it is low-impact.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:56 am

Good point about spinning being low-impact! It’s perfect for people who have a hard time doing other cardio activities because of injuries etc.

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Megan @ Meg Go Run January 16, 2014 at 7:04 am

I didn’t read the interviews because I have a feeling that lady will make me MAD! I agree with you Charlotte, that only doing one exercise exclusively is not the way to go because you are only going to be focusing on the muscles used for that particular exercise. Change it up! I have taken spin, and if you have a good instructor and you push yourself, it is NO JOKE! I also have a spin bike of my own and I often do HIIT intervals or Tabata on it. So far my thighs have not “bulked” from spinning. ;)

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Janet January 16, 2014 at 7:12 am

My surname is typically Polish with more consonants than vowels so yes, I have to spell my name All. The. Time. And also tell people how to pronounce when they see it written down. If I’m in a waiting room for an appointment and the receptionist looks at her paper and then hesitates and kind of gapes like a fish, I just stand up and go “that’s me!”.

Tracy Anderson is just all kinds of wrong, grrr, she makes me slightly homicidal. I’m sure most of the people who buy into her philosophy would also look at her other famous ex client Madonna and turn their noses up at her muscles and vacularity.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 10:59 am

This: ” If I’m in a waiting room for an appointment and the receptionist looks at her paper and then hesitates and kind of gapes like a fish, I just stand up and go “that’s me!”.” totally made me giggle! I love it.

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Joyce January 16, 2014 at 7:55 am

Is it just me or do es this ‘guru’ look like Ms. Paltrow? The more you excersize together the more you look alike. hmmmmm Can I excersize with you Charlotte?????? Pretty please!

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:03 am

Hahah good point! But only if I can copy your pretty auburn hair!!

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misszippy January 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

Gwyneth annoys me. Just saying.

As to cycling…I used to be heavy into triathlon, even doing an Ironman, which required riding up to 300 miles/week. I didn’t have bulky thighs..quite the opposite. I don’t think cycling has any detrimental effects on our bodies. But I do agree that strength work should always be a component of a well-rounded fitness/health plan, especially as we hit 30 and above. Tracy is kind of an idiot, in my opinion!

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:11 am

But now I’m curious as to why you’re not so into triathlons anymore? And yeah, I also think Tracy is kind of an idiot.

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misszippy January 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

Only because I fell out of love with the bike and into love with running!

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JLVerde January 16, 2014 at 8:55 am

I’m with you, woman.

I don’t like stationary bikes or treadmills. They make me feel like a mouse on a wheel.

The only way I’d get on a stationary bike is if it was pimped out like Pee Wee Herman’s bike. How cool would that be?

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:17 am

You win. That would be the best!!!

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Amanda @runtothefinish January 16, 2014 at 9:21 am

while I agree with your statements about her generally being off the deep end, of course any exercise you do repeatedly is going to build muscle. I know on my body the elliptical always creates bigger thighs, running for me doesn’t… I have friends who are the opposite.

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Alice January 16, 2014 at 9:23 am

I’m not a huge spinning fan, although I do ride my bike on the trainer in the winter (while watching movies), but I’m pretty proud of my thigh muscles. I worked hard for them.

Life is about more than having the perfect body. I’d rather get exercise doing something I love than doing just the right exercises to make my body the shape someone else thinks it ought to be. I’d get bored too fast for that.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

Yes yes yesssss to this: ” I’d rather get exercise doing something I love than doing just the right exercises to make my body the shape someone else thinks it ought to be. I’d get bored too fast for that.” Perfectly said!

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Azusmom January 16, 2014 at 9:35 am

I LOVE Spin! We have a Spin bike (not the official one, but a cheaper-er-more thrifty- version. And while I agree that doing only 1 type of exercise can be detrimental, I’m kinda tired of these “celebrity” trainers putting down other workouts. Especially when they have a vested interest in hawking their own, quite expensive products. Tracy Anderson insists that her way is the ONLY way, that one must work out for 2 HOURS A DAY while subsisting on about 500-1,000 calories (her meal plans are nutty!). And yet plenty of people get great results from, say, working out with Jillian Michaels for 20 minutes a day and eating plenty more.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:20 am

So true that this is really the least of the issues with Tracy! I love what Alice said above: ” I’d rather get exercise doing something I love than doing just the right exercises to make my body the shape someone else thinks it ought to be. I’d get bored too fast for that.” Amen!

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Shari January 16, 2014 at 9:59 am

It bugs me that people, particularly those in the fitness industry, have this knack of tearing apart even the very basic of things and make them sound horrible.
Also, to quote said blonde muppet: “it’s my life mother. Ok? So if I wanna live on a beach and walk around naked…”
(Cause I can’t look at her pic and not think that!)

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

I LOVE THAT QUOTE! Janice is the best.

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Geosomin January 16, 2014 at 10:17 am

I love spinning. I have a bike at home. I find it along with squats helps make my legs and butt look better. On the other hand a friend of mine has her thighs get big when she bikes or uses the elliptical too much and her jeans get tight and it annoys her so she does other things along with it to balance things out and keep her pants fitting. I think some people are just genetically predisposed to carry muscle differently.And having strong legs isn’t a big deal to me…but maybe it would bother people who do happen to gain muscle there easily, but really I don’t think it’s something to worry about for me anyways.

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Bethany January 16, 2014 at 10:30 am

Ugh, I get so angry every time I think of Tracy Anderson.

She uses Gwenyth Paltrow as her example of her great training, but fails to ever mention the osteopenia GP suffers from, most likely from the RIDICULOUSLY low calorie diet that Anderson recommends. Ok, sure, Gwenyth looks good, but she isn’t healthy! Low calorie diets combined with intense exercising 6 days a week are incredibly unhealthy and dangerous.

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:45 am

SO true about the osteopenia! I forgot about that. Thanks for pointing this out!!

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Bethany January 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

I forgot to mention that weight training does wonders for bone health! But you wouldn’t want to lift more than 3 lbs and get bulky, har har!

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Amanda January 16, 2014 at 11:36 am

I have a friend who relentlessly recommends HIIT and weight-lifting and things like that, but I bulk up or tear something every time I do weights or sprints (respectively). Taking it easy with cardio has generally garnered better luck, simply because I’m so predisposed to build muscle. Every body is different, and for some people (me), spinning is a bulker. But for some people it’s not! Plus, I hate cycling, so it works out for me in the end. I think that if you genuinely enjoy your exercise – even if it’s something other people don’t recommend, like chronic cardio – it’s better for your stress levels and overall happiness in the end. If that’s spinning for you, then by all means, spin!

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Charlotte January 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

I agree – it’s really about being a scientist of your own body. You’re the expert on you and different things work better for different people!

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Amanda January 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

Tracy Anderson just bugs me. My feeling is and has always been if you want to work out, then work out. I work out for the muscle, to help my migraines, to lose weight, and like you, Charlotte, to make me look good. :)

And, if it makes you feel better, my last name is Turner, and i have to spell this frequently. ARgh.

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Abby January 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I often have to spell my first name even though I have the most logical/normal spelling, people have spelled it in weird ways for too long. I’m sorry but an “Abbey” is a church, not a person! But I never had to spell my last name until I got married recently. I didn’t one time and the company spelled it wrong. The next week I started getting all kinds of junk mail addressed to the misspelling! It was a nice test of how quickly they sold my info though…

Every once in a while I’ll do a spin class as something different but I agree, it’s not my fav and it really hurts my bits too! Plus I don’t know what it is but even fast pedaling at high resistance doesn’t get my heart rate up the way something like kickboxing does. I do think I tend to bulk out in the thighs from squats, kickboxing, etc though. I’m sure spinning would do it if I did it enough. Genetics I guess. It’s frustrating because that’s also where I tend to gain weight so when my jeans start feeling tight there it freaks me out regardless and some body dysmorphia means I can’t tell which it really is. Sigh!

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Amy @ Run Mom Run January 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I think the biggest mistake we make is when we think that just because someone is a certified trainer that they know the reasons they understand why what they do works. There is a huge difference between someone who helps you workout at a gym and someone who understands the science behind it, the whys and the hows. I think that’s important to keep in mind. In this case she’s making a statement that she’s perhaps observed, but she has no real foundation to stand on because she’s just stating her (most likely skewed) observations.

This is the same reason I never talk about politics in public. ;)

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Joemama January 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I also think that she is not certified in anything…am I wrong about that?

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Sarah January 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I can say that I do get “surprise” bulked up. My body puts on lots of muscle very easily, even at a caloric deficit. Personal trainers and nutritionists are astounded. But here’s the thing. If I did dance-y cardio and arm circles for four hours a day, I doubt it would do anything at all for me. My body adapts so easily to low-intensity exercise that, while I wouldn’t bulk up, I probably wouldn’t change the look of my body at all. Sure, I’d gain more endurance but that’s about it. For my body at least, burning fat also equals building muscle.

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quix January 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I totally WANT my thighs to bulk up and look strong. How else do I get up those big hills? Also, I was, um, gifted with a very large upper body (in proportion to the lower half), so I actually really enjoy my legs looking bigger, I look more balanced. :)

My upper body does tend to bulk with lifting heavy and lots of swimming, which I’m not 100% thrilled about, but, it’s the price I pay to do triathlon, which I love. Which also keeps me from having more pudge in other areas, so I will totally take it.

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KDA January 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I love spinning and I love the muscles it gives me. I’m never going to have stick thin legs, so I embrace that bulk! Regarding your last name, I feel your pain. I’ve started just spelling my last name at the start, without even saying it. That way, people have to pay attention to how it’s spelled.

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LynM January 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I know it’s not in style, but I like the look of muscular thighs. I prefer strong to skinny (not that skinny is possible for me). Maybe if I was a little more of an ectomorph like Gwyneth, I would think differently?

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Mary @ Fit and Fed January 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Love your first point. I have big thighs, always have, don’t care whether it’s from figure skating or just the way I am. I must have good friends, the only comments I’ve gotten are along the lines of ‘those must give you a lot of power.’ I also heartily second this: “I workout to look good. Yep. But I also workout to help my depression and anxiety, to feel confident, to get stronger, to bond with friends, to meditate, to increase my insulin sensitivity, to help my memory, to help me be a better mother… and the list goes on.” Brava!

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Cheryl @ happy is the new healthy January 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm

When I saw the article in Redbook itself, I wasn’t too upset–it stressed variety and wasn’t so bad. But when I saw the coverage on the Today Show and other news outlets, I was a little angry. I wrote a blog about it yesterday.

I like how you don’t bash on thin legged women or on people who like spin. Thanks for being a voice for balance and health and things that feel good. You rock!

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Joemama January 16, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Tracy Anderson makes my head want to explode. She has such a dangerously narrow view of what feminine beauty is and uses pseudo-science to back up her method for making women look like 12 year old boys. I tried part of her post pregnancy workout video on youtube just to see if I’ve been railing against her fairly. Yup, I’m still fine with railing against her.Her workouts are so odd with lots of reps and extraneous movements that add nothing to the body parts you’re trying to work. It’s also mind-numbingly boring. I honestly would not want to have a body like hers anyways. *muttering to myself* “Pulling the muscle into the bone? What?! What the heck does that even mean!?”
Also, people spell my last name wrong almost always and it’s SO EASY. Green. Just like the color. People just feel the need to put an E at the end. It does seem fancier that way, I guess. Not a huge problem, but when asked I always say, “Green. Just like the color.” “OK, Mrs. Greene…”

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Darwin January 16, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Your last name is Green?

How do you spell that?

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Matt January 16, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Just thought I would offer my take because 1) I’m a guy who loves women and 2) I’ve been a long time bike racer and have raced along side women for years.

Just wanted to say that I think biking builds the sexiest and most attractive legs bar-none. Show me female cyclist and I’ll show you calendar worthy gams. Big and bulky? ha! If anything I would say spinning should be mixed with ample lunges, squats and anything else to blast the legs.
Some of the best legs I’ve ever seen belonged to a Leigh Davidson who raced in my category back in VT. Incredible legs, and she’s a mountain bike racer (as sport that makes spinning seem like child’s play) and she always kicks my butt. Of course she went to this one bike race a few years ago called the Olympics. I wonder how many opening ceremonies Tracey has been in?

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Jane January 17, 2014 at 3:37 am

I love your blog, Charlotte. I just had to get that out first.

I think Tracy is talking out of her derriere. Sorry but has she not seen photos of professional cyclists? They are usually very slim and muscular and do NOT have big thighs. I am a triathlete (iron-distances) and I do a fair amount of cycling and my legs are by far my best and my strongest asset.

I also wanted to say that women shouldn’t write off spinning because it makes their lady bits hurt. Mine hurt as well in the beginning but I found a good pair of chamois shorts, some chamois glide, setting up your bike properly, and gradually increasing time on the saddle have made a HUUUGE difference. Nothing hurts anymore.

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Elen May 4, 2014 at 4:54 am

Tracy and her methods are a health hazard for women. I am actually trying to bulk up my legs, I hate having skinny legs and arms.

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