You’d have to have been hiding under a rock to miss the scandalous headlines Madonna’s generated since she began the Aussie leg of her tour, so it’s no surprise that even her trainer calls her a, ‘badass’!
In Australia with Madonna, the super busy Creative Director of Hard Candy Fitness and Madonna’s personal trainer, Craig Smith, kindly sat down for a chat with us about just what it’s like to train one of the world’s most famous people.
What’s the best nutritional tip you have?
My general tips: Everyone's goal should be to maintain adequate and optimal hydration. In order to achieve this, drink at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. Consume whole organic raw foods primarily (alternate vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, pseudo grains, etc ). Eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours between each meal to boost metabolism, regulate blood sugar, and to maintain energy. Make sure each meal consists of an organic protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Omit processed refined foods from your nutritional lifestyle. The goal should always be nutrient density, alkaline pH balanced meals as much as possible.
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As a trainer, what do you wish people wouldn’t do?
Entrust their health, wellness, and fitness lifestyle into the hands of just anyone referring to themselves as professional group fitness and personal trainers.
When did you start training Madonna and how did that come about?
I've been working with Madonna's international luxury Hard Candy Fitness brand since February of 2013. I've been her head personal trainer since the summer of 2014. That came about by her personally extending the invitation for me to train her over the course her summer holiday in France.
How many hours a day do you train her and how often?
We train 5 - 6 days a week depending on her schedule. Duration of our workout sessions are between 30 - 90 minutes depending on the focus of our session work.
What is she like as a client?
What does a typical morning training with Madonna look like?
I will usually teach my group fitness classes across New York City, complete my first personal workout of the day, prep a rocking music playlist/mix for our session, design a workout for the day, arrive to her personal home gym, prep her personal gym studio, and await for her to arrive. Then it's game time.
What kind of exercises do you give her to keep her in top form?
We vary workouts daily and go through a variety of exercises like: cardio dance choreography (Rebel Heart Tour inspired dances), pilates mat work (100's, single leg stretch, double leg stretch, teaser), barre method (plie squats, attitude derriere leg lifts, standing hydrant), metabolic intervals, and SO much more.
Is there any parts that she struggles with?
She struggles with suitable & adequate rest and recovery primarily, but totally kills every workout I design for her.
What exercise or class does she enjoy the most?
Cardio Dance without a question.
What would you say would be the three top moves to score a body like Madonna?
There are band pushups, dumbbell pulsing kickbacks, side hydrants kick outs, abdominal jackknifes just to name a few.
Does she enjoy exercising?
Madonna is an athlete - period. She is addicted to sweat.
Quick fire round. How can I -
Perfect my running technique:
Get into an excellent running biomechanics class or course, or simply do workouts that have an excellent focus on this like track & field sports and conditioning workouts where you can perfect you running technique.
Hold a plank for a minute: Pilates & yoga are both excellent modalities I recommend that can definitely help one build up the strength to sustain a plank in proper form for extended periods of time.
Do a pull up: Start with assisted pull ups until you've built up enough strength over time to take it to the next level.
Do more burpees: Incorporate burpees into conditioning and various other workouts you choose to practice that will build strength, technique, and stamina to execute this exercise seamlessly.
Avoid injury: One of many ways to avoid overuse injuries could be for one to train 5 days a week with 2 days dedicated to rest & recovery.