Belles: Prior to Tracie Long Fitness you were a popular Master Instructor with The Firm. How hard was the jump from producing workouts with an established company to venturing out on your own? What was your motivation to set out on your own?
Tracie: Most of my adult life was spent working with The Firm under the direction of founder, Anna Benson in many facets of video production – as a production assistant, director of choreography, lead trainer, cast member and video lead. This experience and encouragement from friends, family and clients gave me the confidence to go out on my own. Now, I have the opportunity to learn from my own mistakes!
Belles: Tracie, you have been leading and producing fitness DVDs for a long time; how has your exercise routine and focus changed over the years?
Tracie: As my personal needs have changed, so have my routines. I make it a habit to use my body as a gauge and keep doing the things that still feel good like weight training and low impact movements and add the things the have been neglected, or as I age, have become more of a need, like active flexibility and core work. As a result, balance, flexibility, extensibility and core strength are a common thread in all my workouts. Used in combination with traditional and functional strength training, a true total body workout (inside and out) can be completed in less than an hour that generates lasting results in record time.
Belles: Was it hard to take the leap moving from an established company to your own?
Tracie: Initially, yes, but I do like change. (I am constantly re-organizing my office and my home to make things run more efficiently.) Since launching Tracie Long Fitness in 2009, I have continued to grow through life experience and exposure to different programming. Naturally, this has influenced my style and development as a video lead, choreographer, producer and business owner. At 43, I feel better and more confident than ever. I’m at a point in my life where I accept that I can’t do it all. With Tracie Long Fitness, I finally feel like I have a balanced team in place – one made up of people that compliment each others’ strengths and weaknesses. As an independent video lead, sometimes I feel like we have to work twice as hard to get noticed when going up against the “chain” video houses, but I am proud of the fact that I have not compromised my core values in exercise or business. At Tracie Long Fitness, we will always put content ahead of celebrity. The video market is pretty crowded and there are some incredibly successful titles out there. But, sometimes it has more to do with the celebrity and the money behind the workout than the results. I take pride in creating appealing content- driven choreography that challenges the body without leaving you feeling beat up afterward.
Belles: Everyone was excited to learn about your upcoming fitness vacation. What information can you share with us about it and what motivated you to do it?
Tracie: It has been a while. Our last fitness vacation was in Charleston, SC in 2006. With a good team in place, it seemed like the right time to do it again. We have a lot of video fans that make Charleston a destination for work and vacation especially this time of year. They may come in while they’re here and take a class or do some training, but we wanted to create a solid 3 day schedule that combined the best of Tracie Long Fitness, (exercise, nutrition and “how to” videos) with a sprinkling of the best Charleston has to offer. Fitness vacations allow us to take a step back from teaching “live” classes to club members and move toward a more personal relationship with our video fans. It’s a great opportunity to work with people that we are not exposed to on a regular basis – put names and faces together and address their lifestyle and figure challenges in person. This year, the vacation is May 20-22 in Charleston, SC. We have a full schedule that includes three master classes, two scenic Charleston workouts – one on the Ravenel Bridge the other in historic downtown, your own “how to” videos and three guest speakers. The Ansonborough Inn package is sold out, but if anyone would like to come for the weekend ($300) or for the day ($150) on Saturday, May 21, they are welcome to join us and set up their own accommodations.
Belles: You recently released Volume 6 of the Longevity and Focus series. Everyone wants to know, is there a Volume 7 around the corner?
Tracie: Oh, yes. There are more workouts to come. We are developing an entirely new concept as well as planning for Longevity and Focus Volume 7. I hope to set dates soon! …stayed tuned!
Belles: You are a huge proponent of functional fitness. What can you tell us about the benefits and why people should incorporate it regularly into their fitness routine?
Tracie: Our movement patterns don’t change just because we are getting older. We still have to bend over to pick things up or tie our shoes, reach for items on a shelf and unload packages from the car. Functional training naturally carries us through this process while helping to slow the aging process by challenging the body both mentally and physically. It’s important to train your body now to minimize the affects of the gradual loss of balance and flexibility as you age.
Focusing on one style of training is short sighted, however. I believe in and do traditional strength training. Traditional strength training is a great tool to boost metabolism, combat muscle loss and maintain bone density. The best overall anti-aging defense is a combination of both functional and traditional strength training.
For more information about Tracie Long Fitness visit her: