Madonna’s Workout Routine Is Not Nearly As Insane As You’d Think
Madonna’s personal trainer is opening up about how she looks that fit at age 57. And, according to Craig Smith, who has worked with the Material Girl for two years, she doesn’t work out as much as you’d think.
Madonna currently works out for at least 30 minutes, six days a week, Smith tells Daily Mail Australia. “I vary the workouts every single day,” he says. “She does a combination of circuit training, interval training, and resistance training. Dance is obviously a huge part of that.” Those workouts include barre training, yoga, martial arts, and boxing, and Smith says they cover everything from core strength to flexibility.
Madonna also uses light weights of 2.5 to 5 pounds for her barre training, with 20 to 30 reps each.
According to Smith, a “typical” daily workout for his client includes a dance-based warm-up to get her heart rate up. Then, she shifts to upper body work, like 20 reps of push-ups, planking for up to 80 seconds, and core work. She’ll finish by focusing on her thighs and legs with some isolated core training, stretching, and meditation.
Madonna’s workouts seem surprisingly doable, and they are, says Jim Pivarnik, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Michigan State University. Pivarnik tells SELF that Madonna’s tactic of mixing it up is “outstanding,” adding “the more you can mix it up, the more you can prevent overuse injuries.” However, Pivarnik points out that Madonna is still using most of her muscles on any given workout, she’s just emphasizing different muscle groups on one day over another.
Mixing is up is also great for keeping yourself from getting bored of your workout. But you want to still target some of the same muscle groups, he says, because that’s how you work them enough to really make an impact. “Your body doesn’t know the difference, whether you’re punching a bag or using a weight machine.” Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of New York City-based fitness training studio PhilanthroFIT, tells SELF, “Some variety is important, but repetition is essential to allow your body to adapt to the training and then make progress.”
In order to strike a balance—mentally and physically—Pivarnik recommends aiming for five days of cardio with two days of resistance training (on cardio days or “off” days).
Want to mix it up, but can’t reach Madonna-like levels of variety? Sklar suggests doing a different workout at least once a week to strike a good balance between condition-building repetition and mental fatigue. And, if you need more variety than that, he suggests doing small daily variations, like running a different route, doing your workout in a different order, or trying out a new dance class.
As for the light weights Madonna uses (which are typical in barre workouts), Pivarnik says they’re good for creating lean muscles without bulking you up. However, feel free to grab a heavier set, too. Lifting heavy (and moving between sets quickly) can count as cardio, too. A good rule of thumb, per Sklar: If you can’t perform eight reps, the weight is too heavy. If you can perform more than 12 reps, the weight is too light.
While Madonna can get her workout done in just 30 minutes, Pivarnik points out that she also gets an additional cardio workout from her onstage performances. “You’ve got to consider the whole day,” he says. Plus, Madge’s trainer himself admits that “80 percent” of her fitness is attributable to her regimented diet. (And that’s not even mentioning what must be rockstar genes.) So, it’s good to keep in mind that while adopting Madonna’s workout routine might make you more toned, it probably won’t make you actually look like Madonna.