Want to look (and feel) like an A-lister? Fitness expert Tracy Anderson spills her get-slim secrets—and the reason the beach is her ultimate happy place.

By Marisa Spyker
June 12, 2014
Tracy Anderson kicks back by the water.
Brooke Slezak

Tracy Anderson is no stranger to jam-packed schedules. As a fitness guru for celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Sienna Miller, she leads a jet-setting life that goes from concert tours to movie sets while still finding time for her own strict daily regimen of heart-pumping, two-hour workouts.

But when it came time for the mom of two to find a spot to set down roots with her children (Sam, 15, and Penelope, 2), the Indiana native fell in love with a place that's exactly the opposite of all that frenzy. "When I found Sag Harbor, what I loved is that it has everything that reminds me of the Midwest—a sense of community, slower pace, small-town charm, and peace and quiet," she says. "The icing on the cake was that it's also surrounded by the ocean."

That serene seaside setting has proved the perfect spot for Anderson to expand on her famed fitness method (based on the concept of working smaller muscle groups to create strength), which she began developing 15 years ago. Her impressive success rate, along with endorsements from a string of enviably bodied Hollywood starlets, has helped catapult the Anderson brand to include an exercise gear/apparel line, four fitness studios nationwide, and a series of workout books and videos that employs the trainer's 3,000-plus patented fitness moves.

"Most of the workouts I'll create for my DVDs and for clients today are made up outside on the back deck of my house," says Anderson, whose current career was preceded by a stint as a dancer in New York City. "Being in Sag Harbor, away from the noise and distractions of a city or a studio, allows me to be more creative."

Anderson, who also loves paddleboarding, kayaking, and boating, first landed in the laid-back Hamptons enclave temporarily seven years ago, thanks to a request from celeb client and BFF Gwyneth Paltrow. "She rented a house for my son and me when she was trying to get rid of her baby weight," recalls Anderson. "We spent the summer working out together. My son learned to surf that year, too."

Memories of that summer followed Anderson during a couple of years spent traveling while prepping stars for movie roles and concert world tours, until she decided to trade in her nomadic lifestyle for a more permanent home base. "I said to my son, 'Where does it feel like home to you?'" she says. "He immediately responded with, 'In the Hamptons.'"