She Looks Great — But How Fit Is Madonna, Really?

She Looks Great — But How Fit Is Madonna, Really?

For pop goddess Madonna, seen here performing in Nice, France, during her Sticky & Sweet tour, a two-hour show is like running a half marathon — in heels, while singing. (Photo: Corbis/Pascal Deschamps)

It’s no secret that Madonna boasts one of the best bodies in entertainment — and has for the past three decades. Her ridiculously toned arms and long dancer’s legs are the envy of women one-third of her age (which would be 56, but who’s counting?)

But when it comes to her fitness regimen, aesthetics (as impressive as they may be) are only a secondary goal. Her head personal trainer, Craig Smith, tells Yahoo Health that his main objective is to get Madonna ready for the grueling rehearsals in preparation for her next world tour.

In this way, Madonna trains like a professional athlete preparing for a season of tough competition. One show lasts for two or more hours, Smith explains, during which Madonna is dancing, jumping, and dashing across the stage. It’s similar to running a half marathon several times per week — and having to sing during the entire race.

Rehearsals can be just as demanding as the tour (if not more so), Smith explains. They begin three months before the show kicks off, and last 12 to 16 hours per day, six days per week. “That’s on top of her family and all of the other work she does,” says Smith, who also serves as the creative director forHard Candy Fitness.

To prepare for her upcoming Rebel Heart World Tour, which starts Sept. 9 in Montreal, Smith has Madonna working out about an hour each day. “We do well-rounded, balanced programs that incorporate cardio, strength, stability, flexibility, mobility, and relaxations and meditation,” he says.

From one day to the next, Smith may put Madonna through high-intensity Tabata intervals, Pilates, Ashtanga yoga, barre, core work, or a bodyweight strength circuit. For cardio, they’ll do a nonstop dance routine or kickboxing. (Dance cardio is her favorite, Smith says.)

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Kindergarteners Put A Spin On Madonna Classics Because You Can Dance… For Education

Madonna’s greatest hits have been getting a pint-sized makeover, courtesy of a California teacher and his kindergarten class.

Arturo Aviña, who teaches kindergarten at the Olympic Primary Center in Los Angeles, created a viral sensation in 2012 after filming his students re-creating the Madonna’s iconic “Vogue” video, complete with black top hats, hand-held fans and surprisingly elaborate choreography.

Since then, he’s had successive classes pay homage to the Queen of Pop’s musical catalog, with students putting their spin “Material Girl,” “Live To Tell” and “This Used To Be My Playground,” among others. In 2014, The Los Angeles Times deemed “Like An Alphabet” — in which Aviña’s students tackled all 26 letters of the alphabet to the beat of several classic Madonna hits, including “Borderline,” “Express Yourself” and “Hung Up” — the teacher’s most ambitious project yet. (Check out that video at top)

This year, Aviña’s class grooved to the 1993 Girlie Show Tour version of “Vogue.”

“With money hard to come by for regular arts instruction, Aviña’s endless creativity is a boon,” reporter Nita Lelyveld wrote at the time. “He has a knack for making learning feel like playing make-believe.”

A self-professed Madonna-holic, Aviña has also incorporated music by Björk, Garbage and Blondie (among others) in his classroom projects. As evidenced by the over 280,000 views that his original “Vogue” racked up on YouTube, it’s the Madonna videos which have drawn the most attention.

Students re-told Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” set to the 1986 hit, “Live To Tell.”

The Giving Tree (feat. “Live to Tell”) from Arturo Avina on Vimeo.

“What always appealed to me was the fact that she marched to the beat of her own drum and broke down so many barriers, but what grabbed my attention first was her music,” Aviña, who is openly gay, told The Huffington Post. “It’s given me so much joy.”

Still, the teacher aware that some parents might not see the 56-year-old Material Girl, who has never shied away from religion, politics and sexuality in her songs and music videos, as a worthy role model for young children. The music, he said, is incorporated in a way that “blends theater and music” into his school’s language arts curriculum in a child-friendly way. Parents are all asked to sign release forms before their children participate in the videos, while administrators have been “very supportive” of the projects.

Aviña had his students mark Valentine’s Day with “Living For Love.”

Madonna herself has been an particularly defiant streak of late, arguing that much ofthe backlash she’s received after the release of her latest album, “Rebel Heart,” andsubsequent performances has been the product of an ageist mindset among fans and critics. But Aviña says some of the Madge-haters could learn a thing or two from his students.

“Her music has a sincerity and timelessness to it that is cross-generational,” Aviña, who has had students tackle the “Rebel Heart” single, “Living For Love,” and hopes to create a video for another cut, “Iconic,” said. “My kids love her music! The thing about 5-year-olds is that they don’t have some of the biases that adults have, so they don’t discriminate. They like what they like and there’s no stigma about it.”

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Madonna before she was Madonna – a dance student at ADF

Madonna-Pearl Lang Jay Anderson 1978

Her name is Madonna Ciccone, and her face matches her name.

Round eyes, arched eyebrows, finely drawn mouth – Da Vinci would have loved it. It is a theatrical face, a dancer’s face. And she has a dancer’s body – thin as a blade, lithe and agile. Doll-like, she looks as if she’d snap in a strong wind.

She wouldn’t. …

Countless times over the years, critics, pundits and reporters have written some variation on that to describe Madonna, the iconic pop starlet. But the story containing this passage is different, because it dates back to a time when nobody knew who Madonna was.
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Disclosure on Madonna collaboration plans: ‘We didn’t get our hopes up’

Disclosure have addressed the reason why their potential collaboration with Madonna failed to surface.

Rumours began last year that the British dance duo were working with the pop star after Madonna posted a picture of herself with the pair backstage at the Governors Ball festival in New York during June 2014. While Disclosure denied that they were producing Madonna’s next album (‘Rebel Heart’, which was released in March), they didn’t at the time rule out a potential collaboration with the singer in the future.


READ: Disclosure On Their New Album: “I Don’t Think Anyone’s Done What We’re Trying To Do”

Now, speaking to NME in this week’s issue, available digitally and on newsstands now, the electronic duo explained that they “did discuss maybe working together” but “[we] never really got our hopes up”.

“We never really had any indication that we were going to be working together,” Howard Lawrence said. “We met her and hung out and she’s a lovely person and she’s a fan – and I mean, who’s not a fan of Madonna? We did discuss maybe working together one day but we never tried to put dates in or anything like that. But I wouldn’t say we were disappointed because we never really got our hopes up.”

Meanwhile, Disclosure have also promised that “big names” will appear on their forthcoming second album. Lawrence stated that they only collaborate with an artist “if we’re a fan of their music in the first place”. He added: “We’ve got the opportunity to work with some really big names now, but we’ve turned down a lot of amazing people because they’re not necessarily what we’re about. It doesn’t matter if someone’s famous or not; if we’re not into them, we’re not into them.”

The UK duo are currently preparing their second album for release, recently sharing lead single ‘Holding On’.


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Madonna, Ageism and Sexism

Too many people forget that Madonna, the most successful solo artist in history, has paved the way for so many artists, both male and female. With her outspoken opinions, her sometimes shocking but always thought provoking performances and her pure determination, she’s broken down barriers on women, pop stars, homosexuals, race, religion, business and everything in between. There would be no Britney Spears, no Beyoncé, no Rihanna, had Madonna not paved the way with her conical bra or her pink leotard.

Madonna is once again breaking down barriers. This time, it’s that taboo topic of age. So many people, particularly in the media, apparently feel that women of a certain age should go quietly into the night and rest on their laurels. Actresses have been complaining for years that once they hit 50 there are no substantial roles. Meanwhile, Liam Neeson continues to be in every action movie involving a daughter. Madonna won’t rest on her laurels though, as that has never been her M.O. This is a woman who sold out multiple nights at Yankee Stadium on her last tour (which beat her own record for top selling solo tour of all time.) when there had never been a woman headlining there before at all. This is the same artist who performed at the Super Bowl and got more viewers than the game itself. This is the same woman whose recent Grammy performance was the most watched (and tweeted about) performance of the night. All of those accomplishments happened after her 50th birthday.

Madonna’s age is not her problem. It’s your own problem. It’s the mindset some have that women of a certain age should act a certain way, look a certain way and talk a certain way. In fact, if you have a problem with Madonna and what she does, it’s only your problem that you’ve created in your mind. There’s no rule book that says that on a certain magical date you must suddenly stop wearing clothes that you like and must suddenly wear clothes that you don’t like because society says so. The truth is, society doesn’t get to say so. This isn’t a woman who’s chasing trends, this is a woman who starts them. If you think she’s going to listen to the countless talking heads droning on about how a woman should live her life, then you’ve clearly been living under a rock the last 30+ years. Those some people will praise U2 or Rolling Stones, while chastising Madonna. And Madonna’s the only one of them still cranking out hits. This is an artist who’s latest single, Ghosttown, became her 45th #1 hit. After all, “Bitch she’s Madonna.”

As so often happens with Madonna, controversy has overshadowed the music… and that’s quite a shame. Rebel Heart, her latest album, is one of the best albums of her career. Reflective and introspective it sounds like nothing else on the radio or in the clubs. She has written a tour de force of an album while being shocking for what it really is: her most honest, personal album yet. Diplo, a Philadelphia native, (call me, bro!) marries his avant garde club sound with Madonna’s mainstream pop sensibilities and the result is perfection. Check out the Pop Culture Whore piece for a track by track review of Rebel Heart or just do yourself a favor and buy Rebel Heart.

If you haven’t noticed throughout her white hot career spanning more then 30 years, Madonna doesn’t give a shit what you think. She’s going to be her, unapologetically. And when you can go out to the club with your friends at 56 years old and look absolutely amazing in what you’re wearing as you dance the night away, you can thank Madonna. As it is, that club probably be playing her latest hit.


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Madonna Teases ‘Many Surprise Guests’ For ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ Video


Madonna performs with Drake during day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2015 in Indio, California.  

Rebel hearts, get ready. Madonna is ready to give you her “Bitch I’m Madonna” video.

Madge headed to Twitter on Thursday (May 4) to tease the forthcoming visual, the latest from her Rebel Heart album release. “Cool Fan Art!! #bitchimmadonna video coming soooooooon !!” she wrote on Twitter, adding “With many surprise guests! Stay tuned………”

Well considering that Diplo had a hand in the song’s production and Nicki Minajappears on the track– we can count on at least two A-listers who are likely to appear in the video.



You can give the track another listen below if you can’t wait for the video to premiere.


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Speed Sisters: The Film About Girl Racers In The Middle East That Madonna Loves

The Speed Sisters are the first ever all-woman racing team in the Middle East – and now a documentary charting their success (backed by Madonna) is hitting the big screen


When Marah Zahalka was 10, she taught herself to drive. Growing up in the West Bank city of Jenin, she sat in the back of her mum’s car, watching her technique and committing it to memory. Before taking the next natural step, and, well, taking the car for herself.

“I have been crazy about cars since I was a kid,” the now 21 year old explains. “I love how they look, how they sound and the freedom I feel when I drive fast. I stole my parents’ car when I was 11, with the help of the kids from my neighbourhood. I couldn’t wait until I was 17 and could get my driver’s license.”Fast forward ten years, and Marah is now the youngest member of the Middle East’s all-female race car driving team. Dubbed the ‘Speed Sisters’, and consisting of five women, Noor Daoud, Marah Zahalka, Betty Saadeh, Maysoon Jayyusi and Mona Enab, they’ve sped their way into unprecedented territory: beating male drivers from around the world, collecting trophies and overtaking the gender stereotypes that pervade traditional Middle Eastern society.

“A car doesn’t know if you are a woman or a man!” Betty says. “I don’t think we need to be tomboys just because we like cars. We need to be ourselves.”

And their rise to supercar stardom is such a big deal that it’s become the subject of a new, eponymous documentary, which hits UK cinema screens for the first time next week.

Directed by Amber Fares, the documentary has been in the works for over five years – but suffered huge delays due to a lack of funding and mobility – not to mention being shot at by Israeli soldiers. But after Madonna spotted the trailer online in 2013, and donated $10,000 to help finance its release, production finally kicked off.

“I heard about the races and saw that there were some women racing,” recalls Amber. “I think, for me, like anyone else, the idea of there being speed tests in the West Bank was kind of a cool thing anyway and then there was the fact that there were women competing against men – and that sort of blew me away. It’s one of those stories that is so shocking because it is so unusual.”

Watch Speed Sisters make its European Premiere at Sheffield Documentary Festival on June 8th / 9th


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