The Body Beautiful
By Cristina Greeven Cuomo
Photographs by Eric Cahan
G: What did you find out?
TA: That you can manipulate the muscular structure, but to do it you have to go after these little accessory muscles, small muscles that support larger ones. I had to come up with a lot of choreography to keep the accessory muscles from getting stupid.
G: And the results?
TA: I transformed my body 10 years ago, and I’ve been 98 pounds ever since.
G: Do you and your ex-husband still stay in touch?
TA: We’re extremely close; people joke saying we’re the most married unmarried couple. We have a son [Sam, 10] together and he stays home with him; he’s like the nanny, since I’ve been on tour with Madonna for the last year and a half.
ON THE NEW NYC STUDIO
G: Tell us about the Tracy Anderson Method gym in Tribeca.
TA: It’s going to be the first place I’ll have my whole Madonna and Gwyneth collections—all my new material, plus the dance aerobics and all the bands and cubes and bars and machines. Every person who comes in gets a customized program, which changes every tenth workout, whether they’re in the cardio, the band, or the bar class. And I’ve got the most talented staff—enthusiastic, amazing people.
G: Explain the band system. And, can anyone buy them?
TA: The bands, for arms, abs, and legs, took me a long time to develop; they’re supereffective, but it’s really a science, so they’ll only be at the New York studio. I have a portable system with me on tour, but to get that into people’s homes—that’ll be down the road.
G: And there’s also a menu plan?
TA: I have menus that I give my clients when they have a lot of weight to lose—I only put them on it while they’re getting good at the exercise and the cardio, and then they get weaned off the diet and can go back to eating normally. Bring me someone who weighs 200 pounds and I can get it all off.
G: You seem confident that the system works.
TA: I don’t mean to be arrogant, but I can’t stress enough how I’ve never failed with anyone. I’ve never not gotten anyone their results. I’ve taken hundreds of pounds off people. I’ve gotten everybody the butt they said they could never have or the lines they said they could never have.
ON MAX FITNESS (AND SHORT SKIRTS)
G: What’s the minimum amount of exercise a person should do to stay in top shape?
TA: One hour, six days a week. Everybody should take a day off—even though I don’t, everybody else should.
G: Do you have a particular philosophy of exercise?
TA: Your body has to be hit from many different angles and challenged in a very strategic way. People don’t understand that they’re completely a result of how they exercise. If you spin, and your body is predisposed to gaining bulk, you’re going to have the most manly butt ever, you’re going to make your thighs bigger, and you’re not going to look good in Justin Timberlake’s low-rise jeans. So you’d better have a good “designer” because you can really design your body to be whatever you want. Ten years ago I cut out a picture of a Victoria’s Secret butt—I like that! And I like ballet arms. It’s a hybrid, I think, that most women really want.
styling by Maria Serra@LGA
Paltrow’s makeup by Gina Kane@Caren.co.uk
Paltrow’s hair by Peter Gray
Anderson’s hair and makeup by Rachel Wood@Artistsbytimothypriano.com