Madonna is the once famous “material girl” or “queen of pop”. She has won numerous awards in Grammy and Golden Globe as actress or singer. Talent has taken her far in this competitive entertainment industry. Apart from that, looking good is equally important for her. That is why she always try her best to stay in shape.
Age is catching up though. This year, 2008, she will be 50. In order to fight against aging process, Madonna has stepped up her effort in exercising. She has a lifestyle obsessed with fitness. Despite having had two children, her stomach is washboard flat. She is 5 ft 3 in tall and weighs about 50 kg (110 lbs). Let’s find out what Madonna has done to stay in shape from head to toe.
* First Session of Exercise - In the early morning, she practices Ashtanga Yoga which is a high-intensity form of yoga for advanced practitioners only at her home gym. This yoga has helped her to tone her muscle and build up her cardio rating. She is already on the Third Series of Ashtanga which is the equivalent of Olympic athlete standard.
* Second Session of Exercise – She does pilates after yoga. Her favorite studio is North London Pilates. She also is regularly spotted cycling to the studio.
* Third Session of Exercise – After lunch, Madonna keeps working out during the day. She likes alternate this third daily session of exercise. Sometimes, she does weight lifting. Sometimes, she does other exercises such dance floor workout, cycling, swimming, biking, or even martial arts. On Sundays, she will do horse riding which she credits with toning up her thighs. By mixing and matching activities, I believe that she tries to increase her overall fitness and reduces the potential for injury from overuse a specific muscle groups.
Madonna also has a StairMaster stepping machine in her office, which she often works on as she takes calls. Incredibly, during her pregnancy with Lourdes, she maintained a 45 minute a-day StairMaster regime right up until the day before she gave birth.
In year 2006, a new fitness machine, Power Plate, causing a stir in England because of Madonna. After report saying that she has bought the Power Plate, sales have reportedly soared. Power Plate is a vibrating platform you can stand on while working out which the manufacturer claims that it can strengthen and tone the muscles within 15 minutes. I have written a separate article on this gadget – Who Else Want To Get Whole Body Vibration Training?
In addition to that, Madonna normally has 3 sessions of hour-long shiatsu massage a week to help relieve strain in her muscles. How we hope we can be rich like her to afford that.
Guided by diet coach, Madonna eats organic whole food diet, rich in lean proteins which comprises most of her macrobiotic diet (which I will explain later).
* Breakfast – She will have a vegetable soup for breakfast along with either fresh vegetables or fruits or their juice.
* Lunch – She eats lots of steamed vegetables and protein-rich dishes made from tofu, seeds, bean sprouts, etc.
What is macrobiotic diet? Here is the brief information about it:
* Macrobiotic is a dietary regimen which includes grains as a staple food supplemented with vegetables and beans.
* Highly processed or refined foods are avoided.
* Sugars, spices, alcohol, eggs, meat, and cheese are avoided too because of yin and yang properties in food.
* Food should be organically grown and eaten fresh.
* The Macrobiotic lifestyle also governs how food should be prepared. No microwave should be used and rice must be cooked in a pressure cooker. It also addresses the manner of eating. Food should be eaten and chewed slowly, in a relaxed manner. Overeating is certainly not recommended.
* The basic macrobiotic diet consists of:
o 50% whole grains
o 25% seasonal vegetables, cooked or raw.
o 10% protein foods – such as fish or legumes.
o 5% sea vegetables
o 5% soups
o 5% fruit, nuts, or seeds.
* The macrobiotic diet is derived from Japanese traditions. During one interview, Madonna told a group of Japanese journalists that she has a Japanese chef in London that travels everywhere with her and she even half jokingly said that she has eaten more Japanese food than the Japanese journalists.
Her husband, Guy Ritchie, has always wanted her to fatten up a bit. He often comes home with bags of sweets and chocolates for the children and try to tempt her to eat one. Even at her country mansion, when the chef makes apple pies, she will sit there and supervise, but she barely touches the food. She might have a mouthful, but she would never eat an entire portion. Though she drinks organic wine, but she will put in an extra hour in the gym afterwards.
Madonna in the movie “Swept Away“
Why Madonna is Crazy About Fitness and Health?
Madonna takes care of her body well. She is never in drug. Few years ago, rumor said that once she went to see a doctor when she was desperate to have another baby. The doctor told her that it was hard for her to conceive as she was already in her mid-40s. That sent her into absolute fury and Madonna’s reaction to these things is to start exercising like a maniac.
Some Other Interesting Facts about Madonna’s Obsession of Fitness
* Madonna stays only in those hotels that have excellent gyms. Not many know that Ritz Carlton in Miami spent tens of thousands of dollars to customize one of their suites for her stay so that she could work out when she stays there.
* She takes only Christmas Day off from the workouts. If she has a bad day, she exercises furiously. Therefore, exercising is like an emotional crutch – she might have a row with Guy for example, and her response is to start exercising like a fanatic.
* She fills in a chart weekly recording her weight, body fat percentage and calories consumed.
* She does not really eat in restaurants because of her concern of not knowing what is in the dish.
* Before each show or concert, she spends an hour in hair and makeup, then performs some vocal exercises. After that, she warms up with some form of exercise, including some free weights.
* At dinner parties, she likes turning to the person sitting next to her and dissect the nutritional values of what they have on their plate – how much fat there is, how much exercise it would take to burn off and the potential damage it could do to their bodies.
* Only someone like Madonna can afford lifestyle like that. After all, she is a celebrity. Her personal staff of nannies, chefs, trainers, and nutritionists ensures that her fitness never have to take a back seat to cooking, cleaning, or babysitting.
* At the early 50s, it is a matter of time Madonna will undergo menopause which bone loss will accelerate and the tendency to gain weight is high. Madonna has done cardiovascular activity, strength training and flexibility to preserve her bone density and stay slim.
Madonna’s “muscular” arms.
* However, Madonna’s extreme levels of exercise may do worse than good for her in long term. I do not find her muscular arms attractive. It is just too much. She definitely looks better if she has extra 5 pounds, especially when she get older. A bit of fat can be good. She has denied her body all the energy-giving foods and with that extreme level, she can become exhausted one day. Her obsession with staying young looking has actually aged her. Sharon Stone, who is same age with her, looks much better. Therefore, I still prefer the version of Madonna with more body fat. She looks more gorgeous with sign of femininity.
* Madonna may beat up Jessica Biel with her muscular arms, but, if I were to choose a role model for the girls when come to fitness, Jessica Biel will be the choice.
* Having said that, I am not saying that we can’t learn something from her. Her choice of making fitness as a lifelong pursuit and her ability to stay in shape is much longer than many professional athletes. Trust me, lifelong commitment to health and fitness is not easy and Madonna has done it.
* The other thing, Madonna is in phenomenal shape not because she has used Power Plate for 15 minutes a day, but because she has spent the past 25 years working out.
Exercise is good, but do not be an exercise fanatic. It is all about balance. Moderation. Over training is not the way.
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