October 12, 2012 10:00 AM

Johns PKI/Splash News Online

For years, Tracy Anderson has helped shape the bodies of celeb moms including Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole RichieJessica Simpson, Ellen Pompeo, Kate Hudson and Molly Sims with great success.

But it was her pregnancy with second child, daughter Penelope who was born in May, that led to the fitness guru’s most ambition endeavor yet — The Pregnancy Project.

“I wanted to film this entire pregnancy [workout video] during my second trimester [when] I had a cute little bump,” Anderson told PEOPLE during the launch of her new DVD Oct. 5 in New York City.

But her plans went awry when good pal Paltrow stepped in. The fellow mom (and client!) insisted Anderson showcase her entire experience — and allow viewers to see the benefits of hard work and healthy habits.

“Gwyneth was like, ‘Oh hell no! You are going to do it through that whole journey and they are going to see you grow and see you get back.’ And that’s what we did,” she says of the exercise DVD.

The no-nonsense trainer — who has helped many new moms regain their body after baby — counts Paltrow as one of her strongest supporters.

“I told her, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had a pregnancy DVD that took a woman through the entire pregnancy?’ Then right after that she got knocked up,” the actress, who admits her body is “better now than when I was 22,” jokes.

“We decided it would be a perfect time to bring this project to women everywhere. Tracy knows what it means to be pregnant and grow a human life inside. It’s a perfect mix of love and toughness.”

Courtesy Tracy Anderson

— Anya Leon with reporting by Janine Rayford

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