September 16, 2011

Long and Lean?

A colleague recently forwarded me a link to the official website for Tracy Anderson–a “celebrity trainer” who is ubiquitous in the media these days. In the past, I have ranted about Tracy’s methods. IMO, any trainer who says that a woman should never lift more than 3 pound weights has no business being in the fitness field.

But what got my goat about the link from Tracy’s website was the claim that her approach of training the small muscle groups will help you achieve long, lean muscle. This kind of marketing hyperbole has often been associated with Pilates instructors and now seems to be creeping into the general fitness arena. Although the thought of turning into a willowy runway model by performing light exercise might seem highly appealing to many women, unfortunately it’s a physiological impossibility. I delved into this topic in a previous post and would suggest that anyone who may be swayed by such hype give it a read.

Bottom line is that lifting little weights won’t in any way make you “longer and leaner.” Even worse, it won’t do much for your muscle development, particularly when the exercises exclusively involve single-joint movements working the small muscle groups. Don’t be fooled by titles such as “celebrity trainer.” Just because someone trains a celebrity doesn’t mean they are knowledgeable about exercise science. If you want proof, considered this Exhibit A.

Stay Fit!



  1. I read somewhere about a trainer prescribing serratus crunches as the only exercise for people looking for that model abdominal wall. 100 reps, 3 times a day combined with a “healthy” crash diet. Not that’s a great way to “get that sexy, anorectic look you always wanted”.

    In strength,


    Comment by Bojan | — September 21, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  2. […] Long and Lean? -Brad Schoenfeld. […]

    Pingback by Articles For Women. « Killsession Musings — September 28, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

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