Like many fitness businesses across the U.S., entrepreneur and celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson came to the difficult conclusion over the weekend that she would have to temporarily shutter her studios in New York City, Los Angeles and the Hamptons as a growing number of companies join the global effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. She had already closed her Madrid studio, canceled all events and told her executive team to work from home.
Anderson, herself, has been taking cover in Palm Beach, Fla., with her 21-year-old son Sam and her seven-year-old daughter Penelope. She was due to fly to Madrid at the beginning of the month to host an event, but the trip was canceled for the safety of her staff and clients. There was some positive news amid the chaos, though, as she recently got engaged to boyfriend Chris Asplundh on her birthday.
“We’re just hunkered down,” she said over the phone amid the sounds of her daughter playing in the background. “We really, really need to only mobilize when you have to and really be very careful.”
But remaining in Palm Beach doesn’t mean she’ll be resting on her laurels. Not only will Anderson and her trainers be offering virtual sessions to her clients, she’s also still forging ahead with plans to launch on Thursday her new wellness magazine, Tracy Anderson Mind Body & Soul, in print and digital versions.
The quarterly magazine, explains Anderson, is the result of her growing need to have a real conversation about health and fitness with her audience and for it not to be about how to get Jennifer Lopez’s butt or business partner and client Gwyneth Paltrow’s legs — although there will be the expected workout guide content.
“It’s such a mind-numbing position to be put in that people care so much about reading how to become somebody else that they’re just willing to let go of making themselves the best and the healthiest they can possibly be,” Anderson said. “There’s just been years and years of where health has just not had an honest place in a publication and where I’ve watched health experts so to speak have to sell out on their own belief system over and over again.”
For that reason, the inaugural issue includes a thought piece penned by Anderson on why the relationship that you have with yourself has to be the most resilient and enduring one of all, as well as advice from health experts she trusts on topics such as clean beauty and transcendental meditation. There’s also an abundance of antioxidant packed recipes and, of course, the success stories of those who have followed her teachings.
Being self-published meant that Anderson had free reign over content, with her opting to do it alone after a “traumatic experience” with her first book, “Tracy Anderson’s 30-Day Method.”
“I had an amazing publisher and I wrote this book and it all got changed and then the title that got slapped on was ‘the 30-day method’ and I was like, ‘You mean to tell me that I’ve spent all of this time, money, energy, focus conducting a five-year study to write a serious book that’s saying you have to exercise five to seven days [a week] for the rest of your life and you’re going to say it’s a 30-day method?’ And they were like, ‘Nobody will buy it if they think they have to exercise longer than 30 days,’” she recounted. “So the system sours the truth of the relationship that an expert can have with a reader and I don’t really want to be a part of that.”
As for the look of the magazine, Anderson is featured on the cover, draped over a white horse and adorned in an Orchard Mile strapless red gown with barely there makeup. She’s still undecided if she will put herself on the cover of each issue, but is inspired by Oprah Winfrey doing so on the cover of O magazine each month.
“I don’t know yet. We talked about it. I think there’s a fine line between looking like a narcissist and looking like you’re trying to be there for your audience and be aspirational and connected and kind of be supportive of them,” she said. “And I choose to look at Oprah’s magazine like she’s choosing to show up for them. It takes a lot of effort and it’s a bit vulnerable to always have to put yourself out there like that so much, but I think there’s something reassuring about it.”
Anderson and Paltrow own the six U.S.-based studios and one in Madrid, with unlimited membership in the states beginning at $900 a month. A portion of profits from studio membership dues will be donated to several charities, including Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. According to a spokesman, members are still paying studio membership fees, and receiving customized at-home virtual training sessions with Anderson’s trainers.
The magazine is the latest addition to Anderson’s growing fitness empire, founded in 2006. In addition to the studios, there’s the TA Online Studio, which streams classes from inside the company’s U.S. studios; 170-plus fitness DVDs, and protein shake mixes and TA Clear protein bars.
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