The Pregnancy ProjectTracy Anderson
Year Released: 2013
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Please note that I am NOT pregnant, just a fan of Tracy's method and wanted to try out the set! So please take that into consideration when reading my review. These are the opinions of someone who is not pregnant and does not have children. I know there are quite a few non-pregnant people interested in this set, so this review may appeal to them. It will also give women who are pregnant an idea of what the workouts are like.
If you're new to the Tracy Anderson Method, this would be a great place to start. She talks and cues a lot, almost too much for my preference, as I'm used to her barely speaking at all. While I do appreciate the form pointers (which seriously lack in the Metamorphosis series), I found myself fast forwarding through a lot of the chatter about how to stay in tune with your pregnant body during the workouts. Obviously I just don't need to hear that, but I can see how it would be beneficial if you are expecting.
The Pregnancy Project comes in a DVD case which holds 9 DVD's, one workout for each month. The workouts vary in length, most between 30-45 minutes, with one being close to an hour. I will breakdown each workout by month.
The workouts were filmed on a very nice set that resembles a living room with neutral, warming colors and very soothing music. You have the option to play the workout with Tracy's voice and music, or just Tracy's voice (no music). As for equipment, the months vary as to what she has you use, but be prepared to have a chair, a mat, a towel and light hand weights. I will let you know month by month what equipment is required.
There is no traditional ab work (standing or floor work) in this series, but Tracy really hits your abs from different angles while working the legs. She reminds you of this in the individual workouts that this is what she's doing for your abs and it's true. I somehow felt sore in my abs after these workouts. The weighted and unweighted arm segments are slower than Tracy's other workouts, and she actually explains what she is doing with your arms and sometimes she even explains why! It's a very nice change of pace from her other workouts where it seems she is frantically throwing her arms around with no verbal direction. For the most part, Tracy alternates legs per move rather than exhausting one leg with all different moves before switching sides. There is a few months where she does do two moves in a row before switching legs. She also does a pretty good job of explaining all the different angles she wants from you with your legs.
MONTH ONE (34 minutes)
This DVD contains three options: Month One Workout, Interview with Tracy and Advice for Moms. For Month one you will need a chair (just for the warm-up), a mat and light hand weights (3lbs or less). The flow of the workout is as follows: short warm-up, unweighted arms (5 min), legs (17 min), weighted arms (4-5 min), short stretch. My arms were pretty sore by the end of the unweighted arm segment! The leg segment has a nice variety of moves on the knees and on the side. The reps range from 10-20. She focuses on the butt and hips and I really felt this segment in my hips, especially the next day. She sneaks in one exercise for the lower abs while on your back in between some of the leg moves. The last part is the weighed arm segment. There is a quick stretch at the end. As a NON pregnant woman well experienced with Tracy, I found this one a bit too easy for me. It was a good workout though!
During Tracy's short, 1 minute 30 second interview, she talks about her own pregnancies and wanting to design a safe, effective workout for herself and for all women to do while expecting.
Advice for Moms
During this 5 minute segment a variety of women, including Tracy, all share their tips about pregnancy and mothering from personal experience. There is no mind blowing information here, just personal opinions as if you were sitting among experienced girlfriends.
MONTH TWO (37 minutes)
This DVD contains three options: Month Two Workout, Tracy Anderson Method and Mama Mio. You will need a chair, a mat and light hand weights. The flow of the workout is as follows: short warm-up, unweighted & weighted arms (10 min combined), legs (20 min), short stretch. This was definitely a step up from Month One. There are standing leg moves with a chair, as well as leg moves on the floor. The moves focus on the butt and hips, and the reps range from 8-20. I was sufficiently challenged with this month's workout! There is one tough grand plie move where Tracy has you do a grand plie (think deep plie squat with heels together) then stand up and kick one leg out behind you twice. You do 20 reps per leg and end up doing 40 grand plies in a row. I was huffing and puffing towards the end! I don't know how she did it being as pregnant as she was without losing her breath (she says at one point that she is actually 4 months pregnant during filming the earlier months). I was really sore in my quads for days after too. I will say that some of the chair moves were a bit awkward for me because the back of my chair was too high. I also couldn't fit my feet under the chair when doing floor moves like she wanted because my chair is built differently than hers, but I modified and made it work for me.
Tracy Anderson Method
This 7 minute video consists of different people, including Tracy, talking about the Tracy Anderson Method, mostly about doing it while pregnant (not necessarily the Pregnancy Project, just her method in general).
This 4 minute video consists of the founders of Mama Mio Skincare talking about their company, a company which Tracy endorses.
MONTH THREE (57 minutes)
This DVD contains three options: Month Three Workout, Cravings and Petit Tresor. You will need a chair, a mat, light hand weights and a small towel. The flow of the workout is as follows: short warm-up, unweighted arms (5 min), legs (42 min), weighted arms (5 min), short stretch. The unweighted arm work is done on your knees and the weighted arm work is done seated. There is a nice variety of leg work on the side, knees and all fours. The focus is mostly the outer thigh and butt. Tracy also throws in some inner thigh work too. She adds the use of the weights and towel during some of the leg moves for resistance and balance and I liked that part. Overall though, I found this month to be a bit slow and boring. It's longer than the others at 57 minutes and I found myself clock watching. A majority of the leg moves were two part leg moves (for example, in one move on all fours you first lift your leg out to the side like a fire hydrant and then kick it straight back), so when Tracy says you're only doing 20 reps, you are actually lifting your leg 40 times. Then you switch to the other side and repeat. It just took too long and got boring for me, especially since the moves go at a much slower pace than I'm used to with Tracy's workouts. It was a nice blend of moves and I felt challenged, just bored.
This 4-5 minute video consists of a variety of women talking about the cravings they had during their pregnancies.
This 2 1/2 minute video consists of the Co-Founder of Petit Tresor talking about her company (baby furniture & accessories), a company which Tracy endorses. Tracy said they designed the Pregnancy Project set.
MONTH FOUR (36 minutes)
This DVD contains two options: Month Four Workout and Mind & Body Challenges. You will need a mat and light hand weights. The flow of the workout is as follows: warm-up (longer than the previous months), weighted arms (8 min), legs (16 min) and unweighted arms/short stretch (combined -about 3 min). Tracy says she is really going to focus on lifting the butt this month and all the leg work is done accordingly. All of the leg moves are done on all fours, 20 reps each, and your leg is either turned out or inverted in during the lifts. The positioning of some of these moves actually bothered my lower back a little bit. I didn't feel all that challenged by this level and it's funny because Tracy actually addresses that after the leg work. She says if you don't really feel it, you either have to work on your form or maybe it's because you were already super fit before pregnancy. She assures you that the moves are still keeping you in shape during your pregnancy and it will be easier for your body to bounce back after baby.
Mind & Body Challenges
This 7 minute video consists of a variety of women talking about the importance of staying active during pregnancy.
MONTH FIVE (40 minutes)
This DVD contains two options: Month Five Workout and Pregnancy Differences. You will need a mat and light hand weights. The flow of the workout is as follows: warm-up, weighted arms (10 min), legs (23 min), stretch. All of the moves are done on all fours, 20 reps each, and focus on the butt. I liked this level and the flow of the leg work. I really felt the burn in my butt muscles.
This 4 minute video consists of a variety of women discussing the differences in their pregnancies.
MONTH SIX (43 minutes)
This DVD contains two options: Month Fix Workout and Staying Sexy. You will need a mat and light hand weights. The flow of the workout is as follows: warm up, weighted arms (10 minutes), legs (22 min), stretch. The leg moves are done on all fours, on the side and on the knees, at 20 reps each. Tracy says again that she wants to continue focusing on keeping the butt as lifted as she possibly can during this month. Just like last month, I really liked the sequence of leg moves in this month and definitely felt the burn in my butt muscles.
This 6 minute video consists of a variety of women talking about being in awe of your body and your body's capabilities during pregnancy.
MONTH SEVEN (41 minutes)
The DVD contains two options: Month Seven Workout and Advice for Working Moms. You will need a mat, a chair and light hand weights. The flow of the workout is as follows: warm-up, weighted arms (9-10 min), legs; which includes more stretching (21 min), unweighted arms. There wasn't really a stretch. Tracy uses the chair during the warm up and I wasn't sure why. I found some of the stretches a little awkward and nothing that couldn't be achieved without it. The rep range for legs is 20 each. She starts with standing legs using the chair and then moves onto the floor. Most of the standing moves, while targeting the butt, also focused on keeping the hips open. I didn't personally find these moves all that challenging, but I can see how they would be at seven months pregnant. The floor work is done on all fours.
Advice for Working Moms
This 5 minute video consists of a variety of women discussing what it's like to be a working mother. They do acknowledge that being a full-time stay at home mom is hard work in itself, but these are women who work a job outside the home as well.
MONTH EIGHT (45 minutes)
This DVD contains two options: Month Eight Workout and Body Back after Pregnancy. You will need a mat, a chair and light hand weights. The flow of the workout is as follows: warm-up (with leg moves incorporated into it), weighted arms (9 min), legs (27 min), unweighted arms/stretch. Tracy uses the chair for the warm up, as well as some of the leg moves. In this month, Tracy only works one arm at a time with weights. She said it's for safety & balance reasons. All (but one) of the leg moves use the chair with the first several done standing and the rest done on the floor, ranging from 10-20 reps. One of the moves has you stand behind the chair with one leg over the back so your foot is on the seat. You lift your leg and extend it behind you and kick back and then return to the starting position. I couldn't really do this one properly because the back of my chair was too high. She does suggest just lifting your leg from the ground if you can't get the range of motion with your leg over the chair (or in my case, the back of the chair is too high!), so that is always an option. She makes another suggestion during the leg work on the floor on how to perform a certain move without using the chair. I thought it was nice that she offered modifications. This month's workout moved really slow and wasn't much of a challenge for me.
Body Back after Pregnancy
This 5 1/2 minute video consists of various women discussing how they got their bodies back after pregnancy. Of course they swear by the Tracy Anderson Method! ;-) There is a doctor who suggests getting outdoors for some hikes with your baby and then getting back into whatever activity you desire when you're ready.
MONTH NINE (42 minutes)
This DVD contains two options: Month Nine Workout and Love of Being a Mom. You will need a mat, a chair and light hand weights. The flow of the workout is as follows: warm-up, weighed arms (12 min), legs (23 min), unweighted arms/stretch. Tracy says that this month she will be taking down the complexity of the moves and will really focus on preparing your body for birth and stretching/opening the hips. She uses the chair during the warm up again and continues the weighted arm work just working one arm at a time. The first part of the leg work is done standing with the chair and the rest of the leg work is done on the floor without the chair and on your knees. I enjoyed this level more than the previous one. There was less awkward standing work with the chair and more straight forward leg lifts on all fours that really targeted the butt.
Love of Being a Mom
This 4 1/2 minute video consists of various women talking about their love of being mothers.
I really liked this set as a whole. There were some months I liked better than others and found more challenging, but overall it was nice to have more workouts from Tracy using her style, but at a much slower pace and with explanation of the moves. She does stay completely true to her method style. As I mentioned above, I think it would be great for beginners to her method, or anyone who enjoys her style that found Metamorphosis a bit too frantic, or for someone who just wants a change of pace and doesn't mind taking a step back in the level of difficulty. However, if you like the pace of Metamorphosis and have been doing that for years, this will definitely be a huge step back, but it's still good.
I really enjoyed the arm work and I think that even the veteran Tracy Anderson followers would like it too. The pace is slower (and she explains what she is doing), but the segments are longer than in her Metamorphosis series and I found that because of the slower pace, I was able to control more and actually felt a better mind/body connection and muscle burn. I liked that the leg work really focused in on the butt and hips.
Even though I liked the workouts, I could not see myself doing the same exact workout for a month, even if I were pregnant and couldn't "handle" anything else. But that has nothing to do with these workouts in particular, I don't think I could do that with any workout in general. I do think she was smart in making this series though. I have no doubt that those who already enjoy her method would buy this if they were pregnant, or even if they're not (like me!). It's a well thought out and put together plan for each stage of pregnancy. And of course, anything that encourages a woman to keep moving during her pregnancy if she can is a good thing to keep healthy!
In regards to the videos that accompanied each month's workouts: even though they were short, I can see how it would be fun to sit back and listen to if I were pregnant. It's pretty much the same women in each video, so it's kind of like girlfriends sharing their own, personal stories.
Tracy talks and cues a lot in this set (no voice over). She gives a lot of form pointers and actually explains what she is doing with certain arm/legs moves and the reason behind it. She's pleasant and is much more engaging than in her Metamorphosis series.