...because home doesn't happen overnight.
06.17.14 / My (Home) Workout

This really has nothing to do with houses (other than it takes place in one) but inquiring minds want to know about my workout routine so I’m sharing all the details – and awkward photos – below.

home workout 1

Welcome to my home gym! Haha. I gave up my pricey gym membership when we decided I would quit working as a pharmacist to stay home with the kids. And, honestly, it’s been for the better. It forced me to find an alternative workout method. Before, I went from machine to machine at the gym and it was so boring. I was stuck in a rut and I really had no idea what I was doing.

I’ve *mostly* exercised regularly (you can see my equally embarrassing pregnancy workout routine here) during and in between pregnancies. Thanks to that and breastfeeding and sometimes diet restrictions during periods of nursing, I’ve never had a problem gaining too much weight during pregnancy (I gained 30-35 lbs with each pregnancy) or losing the baby weight after giving birth. But after Mabrey was born, I noticed a huge difference in the consistency of my body. Everything was mushy and I lost a lot of muscle tone. I felt different too. I was more tired than usual (it probably had something to do with the fact that Mabrey didn’t sleep through the night until she was almost a year old) and weak. I wanted to feel strong again.

I didn’t have the funds for a class or a personal trainer plus a babysitter so I read a bunch of reviews on post-pregnancy workouts that I could do at home and ended up trying Tracy Anderson’s post-pregnancy workout. I loved it! During a good week, I would manage to get in three workouts. But two workouts per week was probably my average for the first year of Mabrey’s life. Once Mabrey weaned and started sleeping regularly, I gained more energy and was able to carve out more blocks of time to devote to exercising. Eventually, the post-pregnancy workout became less difficult and I knew it was time to move on.

home workout 5

Since I had a good experience with the post-pregnancy workout, I looked into some of Tracy’s non-pregnancy material. After reading hundreds of reviews, I opted for the 1-hour mat workout and precision toning DVD’s. You guys, these are the real deal. I’ve been doing them for over a year now. Here’s what I LOVE about Tracy’s method:

*I can work out at home…or pretty much anywhere. Just figuring out the childcare logistics for three kids is enough to turn me off to a gym or class. Not that I have anything against them but I know me and I know I’m much more likely to workout at my convenience. Getting three little people loaded into the car to go anywhere is an ordeal in and of itself. I make it a priority to work out and it usually happens in the afternoon during Mabrey’s nap time (the boys are either in school or at home reading / having screen time / watching a movie) but sometimes I wake up early to sneak in a workout before the kids are awake.

Likewise, the workout travels well. When the weather allows, I work out on the deck in our backyard. When we were on vacation last week I brought my laptop, DVD’s and weights along and worked out on my grandparents’ screened porch.

*I don’t need a ton of space or equipment. As you saw in the first photo, my living room doubles as my gym. I push everything up against the sofa to give myself plenty of room and pop in the DVD. If the boys are watching a movie, I play the DVD on my laptop and prop it up on the coffee table.

home workout 2

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I stash what little equipment is needed (light weights, adjustable ankle weights) in a basket on the living room shelves. I used canned food as weights starting out until I decided to invest in legit weights. I have 1 lb, 3 lb and 5 lb free weights.

home workout 4

Some of the exercises require a chair for support. I grab my wishbone knockoff from the dining room and it works perfectly. I do the floor exercises on my living room rug but a yoga mat would work, too. I love that I don’t need an entire room devoted to large, expensive exercise equipment.

*It’s inexpensive. I would probably enjoy Tracy coaching me in person but I’m guessing I’ll never be able to afford her. (She’s been known to train the likes of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.) Over the past two years, I’ve spent less than $100 total on workout material and equipment. That leaves me with more money for pillows! or wine! or cute workout chairs! Bottom line: it’s cheap.

*There’s a subtle ballet / dance reference. I am NOT an athlete. I know. Shocker.

Fun fact: In high school I was demoted from track team runner to statistician after my coach learned that my body’s natural reaction to running was passing out. I ended up being diagnosed and treated for a cardiac arrhythmia later in life. But, whatever, I was good at math.

However, I did study ballet for over a decade. Tracy started out as a dancer and some of the arm and leg positions (plié, attitude, fourth position, etc.) are reminiscent of ballet and it’s funny how after all these years the positions still feel familiar. They’re almost like second nature to my body. That’s not to say someone without dance experience wouldn’t like the workouts or wouldn’t be able to do them. It’s just something I notice and like.

*It’s challenging. These DVD’s are not easy. But they aren’t impossible either. If I can get through an entire workout on the first try then, in my mind, it’s too easy. It took me MONTHS to get through the entire precision toning DVD without dropping my arms or a leg at some point. To this day, I am dripping with sweat and winded at the end of my workout. A year later, it’s still challenging.

FYI – Steve is a certified CrossFit trainer so he’s crazy fit. I begged him to try just the arm section of the mat workout with me a few weeks ago and HE COULDN’T DO IT. “This is stupid,” his words exactly.

To keep from burning out or plateauing, I alternate between the two DVD’s regularly.

*It isn’t trendy. Oprah and Gwyneth made Tracy a hot commodity several years ago but don’t assume her methods are outdated. Tracy is constantly creating new material. There are also little things (changing positions, adding / increasing weights, doubling up on sessions, controlling more, etc.) you can tweak within the workouts to make them more difficult as you get stronger and the workouts get easier. I’ve heard Tracy is training men now too and she recently released the pregnancy project after giving birth to her second child. It almost makes me wish I was pregnant again just to try it. Almost. At any rate, I’m totally bummed it wasn’t available when I was pregnant.

*It’s effective. The number one reason I haven’t moved on to something else is because this method really, well, works. I am stronger. I am toned. I like the way I feel. I like the way I look. I’m not ripped but that’s not my preferred body aesthetic anyway. The workouts focus on accessory muscles – as opposed to major muscle groups – to create a lean but toned profile. If I ever get to the point where I don’t feel challenged or I stop seeing results then I’m open to trying something different – Tracy Anderson or otherwise.

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So that’s what I’ve been doing to stay fit. I try to work out every other day. Some weeks it’s more (rare!); some weeks it’s less. I will say that between the two DVD’s I like the precision toning more. It’s more difficult (the planking is ridiculous) and begets results more quickly. There’s more verbal direction, too. But both DVD’s are effective. My ideal workout would include the warm-up, arms, legs and cool-down sections of the mat workout paired with the butt and abs sections of the precision toning. If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend the mat workout or the method for beginners.

I’d like to mention that this information isn’t meant to be prescriptive. I’m just sharing what I do. You should do what works for you. I have friends who swear by classes or gyms to stay motivated and hold themselves accountable. But if money / kids / time don’t make those convenient options for you and you’re interested in trying something at home, I’d highly recommend Tracy’s method. I’m always surprised by how much more productive I am on the days I work out. It seems counterintuitive but using up an hour of my busy day to exercise actually results in more stuff getting done. I have more energy, more focus.

How about you? What do you do to stay active? Have you ever tried Tracy Anderson’s method? Is there another workout method I should know about?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

76 Comments

17.June.2014

Hey Dana – Awesome post! As a male reader can you give us insight on Steve’s workout plan / decision to go paleo?

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I can’t but maybe he could? He’s so busy with work (He’s actually out of town this week for business.) but I’ll see if he’d be interested in sharing his thoughts. Thanks for the question!

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replied on June 23rd, 2014

This is not really something I can wrap into a quick reply, but I’ll hit the highlights. I’ve been athletic and competitive since I was a kid. I ran track in college, and then transitioned into volleyball after I graduated. Then once we moved to Ohio, I didn’t have time for it. So I was left with weight training and death-by-treadmill boredom over lunch. It got tiresome. I had started toying with the idea that I wanted to do more full-body, functional training. Then I met CrossFit! We started out with 6 of us working out in an abandoned portion of our building. Now we have about 40+ athletes across 2 daily sessions, a dedicated facility with equipment, and an active on-ramp program. It’s growing everyday. I’ve seen it change lives, create a sense of community and foster the absolute best in people. I can’t see myself ever doing anything else.

The choice to go Paleo stemmed from my interest in nutrition and getting the optimum from my body. I was always playing around and reading up on all the fad theories. Paleo just made sense. The food is good and it was sustainable. Especially with 1 to 2 cheat meals a week :)

Overall, CrossFit and Paleo just felt “right” to me.

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17.June.2014

I used to do the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred at home. My living room is only 9.5 ft wide, so I only have about 4x7ft to work with and I could do the exercises just fine in that tight space! Right now Im doing a boot camp workout I found a deal for online (its in a park), and I run on the weekends.

There is a gym in my building, but I rarely use it during this nice weather!

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I agree…it’s a shame to work out inside when the weather is nice!

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I tried a couple of JM Shred workouts that came with our XBox One. It was challenging, but doable, and I really liked them. It’s great on the XBox One because it monitors your moves, to ensure you’re doing it correctly, and your heartrate.

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17.June.2014

I’m currently 34 wks pregnant, and unable to workout, but I was working out at home before. I lost 30 lbs post pregnancy after my last pregnancy by doing 60 days of Insanity with Shaun T. Then I moved on to Chalean Extreme for 90 days, and then tried T25 and stuck with that well into this pregnancy. I’m in the final stretch of pregnancy now, and looking forward to home workouts again. Like you, there is no way I could coordinate child care and the gym. Working out at home is what works for me, and that’s why I do it.

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17.June.2014

Thank you for this post! I’d been hoping and patiently waiting for you to post about your workout routine. I am 5 weeks postpartum and did Tracy’s pregnancy project throughout my pregnancy and loved that it was somehow both challenging and relaxing. Already purchased the post-pregnancy workout and can’t wait for my doctor to release me to work out again so I can try it.

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replied on June 24th, 2014

Also a Tracy Anderson fan…I just discovered that she has a new post pregnancy video that I found on her website, filmed in real time–11 weeks after her second child was born. It looks really good! Just thought I’d share in case you were interested :-)

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replied on June 24th, 2014

Great! Thank you for the tip off.

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replied on June 25th, 2014

Here is the link for the video, Post Pregnancy 2:

http://tracyandersonmethod.com/interspire/products.php?product=Post-Pregnancy-2

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17.June.2014

Without being rude- I’m honestly curious- how did you prioritize Steve’s crossfit membership over your own gym membership? The reason I’m hesitant to join crossfit is entirely due to the prohibitive cost- I’d love to know how you decided on this system!

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replied on June 17th, 2014

Steve actually got his employer to set up and fund a workout facility at work. It’s basically a CrossFit box. He eats lunch at his desk and works out on his hour lunch break with a group of co-workers. He recently became certified to teach which he’s doing more of at his place of employment. They have quite the group! Becoming certified was expensive but he really enjoys it and he doesn’t have a monthly gym fee so I encouraged him to do it.

A few of the employees’ spouses go to the “gym” during the day to participate in the WOD’s, too. But it’s a 30 min drive for me and usually falls during Mabrey’s nap time so it’s not that convenient. Once Mabrey is in school, I could see myself giving it a try!

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replied on June 23rd, 2014

that is amazing!

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17.June.2014

If you have Amazon prime, you can get a lot of these workout videos for free. I just checked and there was Jillian Michaels, Denise Austin, Billy Banks, Jane Fonda, as well as quite a few with no well known stars.

I will admit, I have tried this, and my kids have insisted on doing it with me, which is fine. However, they keep wanting to stand right on top of me, no matter how much I move them away. So I’ve given up. But I should try again.

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replied on June 17th, 2014

Charlotte, probably not the perfect answer, but I place my kids in front of Nick Jr. for half an hour and sneak away with the Ipad in the other room. It works pretty well. Occasionally, one of them sneaks in but after trying an exercise for 5 minutes they quickly lose interest. :)

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17.June.2014

Sorry if you have already been asked about your diet a million times but what is a typical day, eating wise, for you?

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replied on June 17th, 2014

Breakfast is usually juice (kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, carrot, apple) and a cup of coffee with a little unsweetened coconut milk. Sometimes I make hash (scrambled egg, a little bit of organic hash browns, avocado, tomato all together in a bowl- it’s my favorite breakfast!) or do a bowl of the organic version of raisin bran with unsweetened almond milk if we’re out of produce for juice. But typically it’s juice + coffee and that really does hold me over until lunch.

Lunch changes every day. I’ll eat anything: last night’s leftovers, salad, or more like a “snack lunch” which is something like an apple with cashew butter + corn chips with guac + peppers with hummus.

I make dinner most nights of the week. I try to do a few paleo meals (Steve eats paleo) or at least give paleo options for Steve. We eat a lot of salmon, broccoli, tacos, homemade burgers, brussel sprouts.

For the most part, we try to make it healthy but I love pizza, chocolate and wine and we do take-out once a week or go out for dessert every once in a while. I don’t buy juices or soda / pop so we drink tons of water over here.

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I was going to ask if you’re still juicing. Glad to hear you’re sticking with it. I started around the same time as you but slacked off a bit. 3 weeks ago I started eating paleo for dietary reasons & the results have been amazing! I would be so happy if you shared some of the dinners you make for your family.
Also, that post pregnancy mushiness is no joke! My body completely changed after my second one & I lost a great deal of muscle tone. I’m working on building it back up with Pilates & lifting heavy weights. Your review of Tracy Andersen might give me something else to add into the rotation. Thanks!

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17.June.2014

Hi! I also started working out at home after the birth of my second little one. Here are two other great FREE sources for working out. The first one is called Fitness Blender. They are a young couple who offer’s free workout videos on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiP6wD_tYlYLYh3agzbByWQ and Jessica Smith (love her easy going style but tough workouts) and her site on youtube is here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB7wvgp4HUBe5TD10jIgxDg Plus watching her dog Peanut in the background is entertaining. Between the two of them, I could probably go four or five months without doing the same workout. However, I’ve found my favorites that I keep going back to. Thanks for sharing about Tracy. I think I’ve come across some of hers on youtube. I also started out with soup cans! And graduated to the same weights as you, Target purchase. :)

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I’ve heard great things about Fitness Blender. Might have to check it out!

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17.June.2014

Hi Dana, thank you for sharing! One question, though: I have pretty bad knees and have been unable to do some video workouts (like Jillian Michaels) because they have caused a lot of pain after a few attempts. Would you say this workout puts a lot of pressure on your knees? Or does it feel pretty comfortable? Thanks!

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replied on June 17th, 2014

If you have knee issues I wouldn’t suggest the leg and butt sections of the precision toning. They are done entirely on the floor…supported by a knee. The mat workout is probably more feasible.

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replied on June 18th, 2014

Hi Jillian,

Check out Jessica Smith on Youtube. She has some great exercises that won’t hurt your knees. You will have to filter through her page to find the ones that are low impact. Good luck!

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17.June.2014

Hi Dana!! I tried the home work outs and will still do them occasionally. My kids feel they need to help and were constantly taking off with my weights or mat. Drove me crazy. My husband didn’t believe me and so I invited him to watch one day. I set up a movie for the kiddos in the other living room and then started my workout. Didn’t even get through the warmup before all 4 of the kiddos were trying to help me. He laughed and agreed maybe it would be better if I left the house to work out. Our school has community ed sunrise bootcamp at 5:30am 3 days a week. I have been going for two years and I agree that on my workout days I am much more productive!!! Thanks for the post

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17.June.2014

When will you reveal the work Steve did to the house while you were away?

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17.June.2014

Thanks for sharing, Dana! I started with Tracy’s beginner dvd a month ago, and I think I am ready to move on to the mat workout. I have a dance background as well and really like this style of exercise. Have you ever done any of Ellen Barrett’s dvd’s? They’ve been in my rotation for years, and Fat Burning Fusion is a fav of mine.

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17.June.2014

Has anyone tried the Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis? Or is the Method for Beginners better?

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I haven’t tried Metamorphosis yet but I might if I get bored with the mat workout and precision toning. I’d love to know if anyone else has tried it too!

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replied on June 17th, 2014

Hello there. I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the variety of posts. I recently started using Tracy’s Precision Toning as well and love it. I too, still cannot make it through without dropping arms or legs at some point- but I am determined. I have always been a decent runner and I grew up dancing and her workouts are challenging. I had been looking into her Metamorphosis line online (as a next step) and this past weekend went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase. They had it listed online at 59.99 but when I went to pay it came up as $25.19 (I think). I was in shock- and the cashier told me they were on clearance- 50% off plus I had a 20% coupon! :) The boxes were not marked with clearance stickers and I did not see a clearance sign above the display. I don’t know if these are being marked down in all stores or in select stores only. (I live in Morrison, Colorado.) BUT for anyone that has been thinking about purchasing Metamorphosis and lives close to a Bed, Bath and Beyond- you might want to check it out. -It was the best surprise deal I have had in awhile and really wanted to skip like a 5 year old out of the store!

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replied on June 18th, 2014

I just bought Metamorphosis (glutecentric), but have yet to start it. If I remember I’ll come back here with my thoughts once I get into it. I do know that if you’re truly a beginner, you’re not supposed to start with Metamorphosis.

I love TA. The first time I got through the arm segment of the mat workout was a BIG day!

I did CrossFit for awhile and it’s a lot of fun too, especially if you find a box you click with. I gained weight doing it though because the WODs were so draining for me that I would have to come home and eat two sweet potatoes or else spend the day listless in bed. I think it’s because I wasn’t athletic as a kid, my body just can’t deal with lots of cardio output. So TA’s strength workouts are perfect for me.

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17.June.2014

Great post! I have nevered tried one of her workouts but I might have to now. Thanks for sharing. I currently run a few miles a week and working out using Fit Yummy Mummy videos, love the workouts!! I also use Fitness Blender on YouTube all free videos, mainly for arms but they have a large variety of workouts. Keep it up!!

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17.June.2014

Great inspiration. Before my son was born, I ran 3 half marathons and since then my exercise routine dropped and disappeared. Now 3 years later I was just diagnosed with lupus nephritis. I’m not in shape at all and going through treatment but definitely need to back on the wagon. You have inspired me! Time to focus on my body and well being. Thank you.

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So happy you posted about this! You’ve always been lean but I have definitely noticed you getting in great shape, especially in the past year. Just the motivation I needed… I’ll be grabbing some of Tracy’s videos soon

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17.June.2014

This was great! I’m reaching the end of my 2nd pregnancy and am looking forward to trying to get back in shape. I actually have done some of Tracy Anderson’s workouts that I’d found on Youtube and they were challenging and really great! I’m thinking it’d prob be best to invest in the actual DVDs like you did. Glad to hear that you’ve been happy with these workouts for a while now!

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replied on June 17th, 2014

Also can you tell me where your ceiling fan is from? I love that it’s modern and blends into your ceiling…

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I too would like more info about the fan. Thanks!

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replied on June 19th, 2014

The ceiling fans in the great room are from Barn Light Electric. I love the way they look and function. However, they are LOUD. I probably should have paid more attention when I ordered them as they are for commercial use.

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17.June.2014

A few months ago I started following Blogilates. It’s a free (yes, free!) online workout program and it’s the first time I’ve found myself actually following a program. It comes with a calendar you sign each day, which helps me stay on track. That accountability does it for me! I’ve noticed a distinct difference in my body. And, like what you’ve mentioned, I can do it anytime, anywhere.

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17.June.2014

This post is so inspiring Dana! I’m pregnant with our first (~15 weeks) and I’ve always been active. I really want to maintain a good level of activity and strengthening throughout the pregnancy, as well as after. This post linked me back to a couple of your previous pregnancy posts I hadn’t read. SOOO informative. Thanks for sharing!

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17.June.2014

I use Workout Trainer on my android and tablet and their website on my laptop. It has tons of video’s and workouts. You can specify if you workout at home or gym, what equipment you have, dumb bells, bands, kettle balls, etc. and it finds workout that match your criteria. You can choose the length and intensity of the workout as well. The best part is that on Sunday I can choose my workouts for the week and save them into my calendar, I get a reminder and I never forget to workout. I have also tried Fitness Blender and didn’t mind it, but this Workout Trainer is free, unless you opt in to a fitness session, Beach Body in 8 weeks sort of thing.

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17.June.2014

Love the links for pregnancy workout ideas, I am not pregnant but hope to be in the near future. I did Crossfit for about a year and half but took a break due to medical reasons. I love the intensity of Crossfit but it can be a little much. My husband is also a certified CF trainer and we have a mini gym in our garage so I have been working out in there about twice a week along with my own yoga practice at home and at a studio. Thanks for sharing, I love to hear what other people’s routines are!

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I have one of her dance DVDs and it is hard. I cannot get through the whole thing which can be frustrating but I know it is working too.

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replied on June 17th, 2014

I have the dance one, too, and apparently am much less coordinated than I thought!:) My husband and I get up 6 days a week at 4:30 and workout together. We did Insanity and are now doing a mixed martial arts workout called, TapOut. I would love to do Tracy’s other workouts, though doing them together would not probably work:)

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Loved this post Dana. After getting out of the military I swore off gyms and running for life! Ive always been naturally small and fit, even after having my kids, but now that Im in my 30s I definitely feel the need to pick up exercising again. Right before my wedding my wife and I tried Insanity and lets just say it was….insane. I hated it and dropped it after about 2 weeks. Im not a fan of super high intensity work outs. I prefer a lean, toned body and don’t want to build tons of muscle mass. Im thinking the Tracy Anderson method might be up my alley. Ive also been interested in yoga for a while. Thanks so much for sharing this. You look great!

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17.June.2014

Thanks for sharing Dana! I always love hearing about your family’s life in addition to your DIY posts. I don’t know how you guys find time to fit it all in. Good on Steve for being a crossfit trainer! My hubs started doing it maybe five years ago, but after the birth of our daughter (16 months ago) and between work and house stuff he has a hard time working out regularly. Our daughter didn’t start sleeping regularly through the night until 13 months either and for the first year even though I did yoga I always just wanted to go to sleep. I have one of Tracy’s DVDs but in our tiny space am lacking the necessary room to do her dance routine. We are hoping to get a better workout space even if it is a living room in our next house! And of course the hubs wants a garage gym…Thanks again for sharing!

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Oh and Im sure ive mentioned this before, but that rug looks so darned comfy. My kids are total “even though the couch and chairs are comfy, id rather be on the floor” people. Im kinda the same way actually and that rug looks as soft as ever!

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17.June.2014

I use YouTube for FREE workouts too! I alternate between jazz cardio routines, Pilates, barre, and yoga. I have been doing this off and on for a year now, but most recently I have been seeing solid results in my weight loss and muscle strength. My baby will be 2 in a few months and I feel like I’m just now getting a good workout routine going!
Blogilates is my favorite; her videos are the best.

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17.June.2014

Thank you for this post…..I am one of probably many followers that have requested this information more than once I think! You do look fabulous which always makes me curious as to the method used to get fabulous! I am looking forward to trying out these workouts and hoping that I have great success too! I also appreciate your typical days meal schedule….however I won’t be trying this plan out….it doesn’t seem to be enough to eat for me! LOL Thank you!

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17.June.2014

Love that you shared this. I recently posted 5 weeks of my own workout routine (collected from various youtube videos and web sites) because people were asking me the same thing! I like HIIT workouts, short, tough, and you feel like you’ve worked out for hours in only a few minutes. I also mix in running short distances and some yoga. Mainly I like to mix it up and do different workouts, so that I’m not watching the same video over and over and over again. Keeps me from rolling my eyes at the little ad-lib talking that every workout DVD seems to have. Here’s my roundup, if anyone is interested: 5 Weeks of Workouts You Can Do At Home: http://www.andreasteed.com/node/1763

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17.June.2014

I’ve been doing Tara Stiles yoga videos via Livestrong Women from youtube while my gym is under renovation and i realllly love them. they’re 10 minutes apiece and i just do 2 or 3 and feel really great afterwards! highly recommend them.

also on a completely different note how the heck do you keep that carpet so white?? we have a similar one in our bedroom and even with a “no shoes” rule it’s so dingy by the door. any tips? thanks!

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17.June.2014

I’ve been exercising at home for more than 20 years–cardio, weights, yoga, Pilates, even a step (never clicked with balance balls). You might want to check out videofitness.com for reviews of instructors and specific workouts, including Tracy Anderson. To me, those reviews are more informative than the ones on Amazon and often include a detailed breakdown of the workouts. You can also search the site by workout type and read the member chat, post questions and ask for recommendations.

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replied on June 17th, 2014

Great resource! Thanks for sharing.

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17.June.2014

Have you ever done the 30-day shred?? SO intense!

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17.June.2014

I currently work out at a little gym that does small-group training (usually 3-7 people in a class). It’s similar to CrossFit, but with a stronger emphasis on form than on go-till-you-puke intensity. I’ve made such amazing improvements in the 4 months I’ve been there, particularly in balance, coordination, and strength. My scrawny self can do a pull-up now!

We do a lot of dynamic warm-ups, including some kid-friendly favorites: bear crawls, crab walks, long jumps, Superman lunges, Spiderman lunges, inchworms, the list goes on… I’m planning to put a bunch of these together as a “field day” for some of my cousins’ kids this summer.

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This post came at the perfect time! I’ve been on the lookout for something new to do indoors to help tone (ya know… so as to not scare people poolside). I love doing videos at home and jogging, although jogging has been a scarce occurrence due to the heat here in Texas. Thanks for this! So informative! I can’t wait to give these a shot. :)

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Maybe I should’ve started out reading reviews! I got her dance workout video [ I think its her anyways] and I just couldn’t keep up. I should’ve known it wasn’t a good idea since I have noooo rhythm or anything that could be mistaken for rhythm.

I run right now which has dramatically helped with my weight but I feel like I’m to the point where I need to start toning- I think I’ll grab the mat one and see how that goes!

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18.June.2014

This is such a timely post, as I started doing home workouts in lieu of the gym! I also cancelled my membership after seeing how much I could do at home with a few good videos and set of dumbbells.

Currently, my videos of choice are Biggest Loser Bootcamp, Jillian Michaels Fastfix, and Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown. I also have a 30-min. kickboxing routine I created that’s similar to the one above and do my own strength training routines.

Something you can do if you’re short on time but need some butt kicking is tabata intervals. These will whup you if you do exercises that get your heart rate up and combine body weight training.

Also, you can find quickie home workouts in Pinterest.
Thanks for sharing your routine! I may look into Tracy’s videos someday!

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18.June.2014

Oh!! It is so nice to see that someone can really effectively workout at home. I always thought it never worked and that it was just a marketing trick to get money for all these videos the trainers sell. Could you share, what are the critical aspects that make your workout at home effective?

Thanks!!

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18.June.2014

Thanks for the post Dana and thank you’s for the other commenters as well for the tips! Perfect timing for me as I’ve been looking into post-pregnancy workouts that could be done at home.

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18.June.2014

I absolutely love TA’s post-pregnancy DVD…it’s challenging, but also doable enough so that even if you can’t do the reps she does, you still feel like you’re getting a workout. The classical music is a bonus :) I’d love to try her other DVD’s, so thanks for the scoop. If you like TA, you’d probably like The Dailey Method…(i think it’s daileymethod.com). Jill Dailey took dance, pilates and yoga to create a hybrid that echoes what Tracy does by focusing on those little muscles, vs our big muscles (all technical terms). She does a better job at explaining (IMO) and her second DVD has focused areas broken out (arms or legs) for when you only have 15-20 minutes.

Great post! I’ve been Paleo for years and really think it can be life-changing for many people. Cross-fit? That’s a little too intense for me :) But good for Steve! I love that a busy family of 5 manages to stay healthy. Kudos

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18.June.2014

I too have a dance background, and I really enjoyed TurboFire. It’s part of the Beachbody (P90X, Insanity, etc) family. Her HIIT and Fire cardio workouts are short (the shortest is only 15!) but good. And her strength and sculpt workouts with bands are fun too.

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18.June.2014

My second baby just turned 1 today (happy birthday little buddy!) and still doesn’t sleep through the night. Any moment where I have a chance to catch my breath I end up feeling sleepy. It is so hard just to stay on top of house chores and other mundane tasks in those spare moments since I’m so tired. So, though my soft body bothers me, I just don’t have the willpower to go out of my way for exercise. I do what I can by walking everywhere or riding a bike if it’s a long distance (we don’t own a car), but I still frequently get asked by both strangers and acquaintances if we’re expecting a third child, because I have a serious tummy pooch (that’s where I gain weight first, plus my ab muscles are goo). :/

But I have a few friends who exercise like it’s a hobby, and they all seem to really like the Bikini Body Mommy challenge, which I believe is free on YouTube. bikinibodymommy.com She begins the most recent reiteration of the 90-day work out post-baby too (apparently she always gains nearly 100 lbs per pregnancy or something), so she’s sweating through the exercises with you, which is refreshing. She also uses kind speech and encourages you to do what you can, even if your best are simplified modifications of what she’s doing. And it’s nice to know she isn’t just some mom on YouTube, but that she’s a certified trainer too.

I hate the workout videos where they do all the moves without breaking a sweat and bark orders at you. I feel defeated before I even finish the video! So once I get a little more sleep and can at least function normally during the day, I’m thinking about doing her BBM workout.

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replied on June 18th, 2014

Oh, and apparently the workouts are about 20 min. An hour or more and I’ll think, “I don’t have time for that.” But if it’s less than half an hour I think I can convince myself that “it’s only 20 min” and just do it.

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LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing. I look so awkward working out, I could never post photos of myself on the blog! My office has been taking little breaks to do Tracy’s arm workouts for a while now. Omg, at first I thought it was impossible but overtime we all began doing the whole workout.

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This is great! I was curious about Tracey’s other workout DVDs. I did actually use her pregnancy one during my first pregnancy last year. It was great — hard, but slow and not crazy intense. Plus seeing her look so fit while she was pregnant is good motivation to keep going :)

Thanks for doing this review!

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19.June.2014

Hi Dana –
I also do Tracy at home and love it. This post has made me like you and your blog even more (hope that’s not creepy) ;). I have tried a lot of her workouts and can also say that I did her 30 day method after I had my second child (minus the diet plan because of nursing) and really love that also. If I don’t have a full hour or don’t feel like the full hour of the Mat routine, I do that. I have all of the moves memorized and can watch a tv episode while doing it – a nice change sometimes. I also have tried a lot of things and never see results like I do with her workouts. Thanks for sharing!

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19.June.2014

Thank you for this post! I gave birth 14 months ago (14!) and I have yet to commit to a workout routine. This winter was brutal and I did not exercise. Now that the weather is nice I go for walks but nothing that resembles a real workout. I will use your suggetions!

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19.June.2014

Love this post. I didn’t know you were a pharmacist (I am too), and I’m thinking about stopping work to focus on fixing up my house and being with my family!

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19.June.2014

Confession: I tried the Tracy Anderson Post Pregnancy DVD – and I found it way too challenging! Still trying to strengthen my core — turns out I have diastasis recti (just a 1.5 separation). So I’m in awe of anyone who could complete that workout!

Instead I turned to Lindsay Brin’s Moms Into Fitness DVDS … they are fantastic … Her Weightloss and Lean out series both have calendars so it’s easy to know when to workout and what to do. She’s encouraging and positive and I love that she features real moms in her videos.

I’ve been working out during my little one’s nap time, but that means my older daughter gets screen time and I’ve started to feel guilty about that ( I workout pretty much every day). So I think its time to set the alarm clock and start earlier in the day.

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20.June.2014

Thanks for sharing! I just ordered both DVDs : ) I’ve recently given up a gym membership so I’m trying to get more creative at home and this is just the tip I needed! I also like running and doing yoga at home, plyo workouts with my husband and TurboKick videos I find on YouTube ha! It’s good to keep the body guessing and I try to change it up so I never get bored. Looking forward to trying TA!

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21.June.2014

Great post, THANK YOU for sharing. I immediately went and bought the DVDs you mentioned as well as the Beginners since I am “a” shape, vs in any kind of shape. I have viewed snippets of her workouts on Youtube and others and the time has come where I have to do something. I used to do Jillian’s 30-Day Shred, but I lent that to someone like two years ago and have no idea who it was, so I just ordered that again too.

We replaced our living room rug with something a little more padded though not as soft as yours, but hopefully I’ll be able to do the beginner a few times a week til I get it together. I am seriously disturbingly unhealthy at this stage.

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replied on June 21st, 2014

and I am dipping a toe in Paleo or some variant of it. I am only one week in and I literally CRIED today because I want sugar.

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21.June.2014

New to your blog but this inspired me. I used to run until this past October when I started to hear popping in my hip when running. I had that same popping when doing sit ups in April but managed e d to run for a few more months until it bothered me when running. I have felt defeated since, I recently learned I need to work on my core which could help My hip and get me back running. All of these plank exercises described could help in addition to the others I’ve been given. The whole routine takes me over an hour and working 40+ hours and an active 5 year old make it challenging. Thanks for the inspiration. Gonna check out those DVDs because I need to get myself moving foe my mental health as well as my physical health. Never realized how many benefits there were to exercising until I couldn’t any longer. I’ll gladly plank my core strong so I can run again. :)

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24.June.2014

I love love love Tracy Anderson! I think she’s a genius.

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[…] couple weeks ago she posted a ridiculously thorough post about her home workout and it was a serious boon of inspiration for me. Like, instantly. Dana has been doing DVD workouts […]




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