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Tracy Anderson's Workout Studio Was ‘a Breeding Den of Bacteria,’ Former Trainers Allege

Among A-listers and fitness fanatics, Tracy Anderson is a household name. The popular trainer and entrepreneur has built a career around her signature training method. Unfortunately, Anderson is now in hot water with some of her former employees, who claim they were overworked, underpaid, and sickened by the constant heat and humidity in her workout studios.

In a recent exposé published by Business Insider, a number of Anderson’s former trainers accused her of creating an unsafe work environment with “a hypercompetitive atmosphere and disappointingly low pay” — all claims Anderson’s legal team maintains are untrue.

Anderson’s grueling, hour-long classes are dance-based. According to former trainers, they take place in “a room heated to 95 degrees with 75 percent humidity.” Yikes. Allegedly, this led to mold infestations in her New York and Los Angeles studios.

“It was so humid — like a breeding den of bacteria,” one former New York employee told Insider.

Former trainers allege they “were never allowed to stop dancing, even to walk around the room to check on clients.” They were also reportedly required to lead at least four hours of classes per shift. As a result, one anonymous source told Insider she “frequently” developed athlete’s foot and bacterial vaginosis. Both infections thrive in — you guessed it — warm, sweaty environments.

Another former trainer from Anderson’s L.A. studio told Insider she was forced to quit to the unrealistic physical demands of the job: “You can’t pound your body into the ground like that every day. Things start to go wrong. Torn discs. Hemorrhoids. You can’t stand up. It affects everyday life.”

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As if these allegations weren’t upsetting enough, former employees also claim they were poorly compensated. A New York-based trainer who recently quit said he made just $50,000 a year. (For context, a Tracy Anderson Method monthly workout pass costs $900 a pop in the U.S.) And when they surfaced these issues to upper management, their concerns were dismissed.

“It always had the tone of, like, ‘Be grateful for your experience in getting to work in this job,’” one former New York trainer recalled.

Fear of retribution kept Anderson’s former employees from speaking out sooner, they said. Some of them claim they received “threatening letters” from her legal team after leaving their jobs.

Anderson is also currently embroiled in a copyright lawsuit with fellow celebrity trainer Megan Roup, a former employee whom Anderson alleges “[had] access to all material necessary to replicate the TA Method and related business, and she wasted no time in doing so.” Roup previously denied these allegations, calling the suit “a frivolous and unprovoked effort to bully a rising competitor.”

In a statement to Insider, Anderson’s legal team said the allegations about workplace conditions from her former employees are “false and defamatory.”

“It’s unfortunate that several former trainers, who have been using and profiting from Tracy’s proprietary content for years, would make false and defamatory claims against us while we are currently in active litigation to protect our intellectual property,” her attorneys added. “Tracy and our team pride ourselves on creating a nurturing and empowering environment for trainers and clients where people with non-opportunistic and healthy core values can succeed.”

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  • Posted on February 22, 2023