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Thread: Sinew by sinew, the making of Madonna's mighty muscles

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Sinew by sinew, the making of Madonna's mighty muscles

    Martin MacDonald is a body composition specialist at Loughborough University. He says:

    Madonna's muscles are not particularly oversized compared with, say, an Olympic athlete, but what is unusual is how toned and well-defined they are. I work a lot with body builders and they actually look very similar to this - like very, very lean athletes.
    When people talk about toning muscles, what they mean is reducing the body's fat level - which is what Madonna has done.
    If she wanted to perform athletically, there would be a problem, as she has slight malnourishment issues. But body builders just have to have muscles that show, and a body builder is exactly what Madonna is.


    Regarding her body shape, she's probably done quite heavy weights in the past, and after you build up the muscle it's hard to lose it. Your body wants to keep the muscle, as it 'knows' it has been used before.

    Even if she's using lower weights now, she's still using her muscles enough to warrant her body keeping them. Her new regime of one hour of cardio work will reduce her body fat level, which is why she's so defined and you can see her muscles and veins.
    Even if she is using only her own body weight during exercising (such as doing push ups), it is still a form of resistance training. It won't build her muscles to the optimum, but it will keep them as they are.
    Her veins are the same as her muscles. They are not really oversized, but they look much bigger because she's so skinny. Whether veins are prominent can often be genetic, but Madonna obviously uses her arms a lot, as they look especially lean.
    She has a well-developed cardio-vascular system, which includes not only her heart and lungs but her veins and arteries, too.
    Surprisingly, her chest doesn't look gaunt. Sometimes, on people with low body fat, you can see the bones. If she's eating a low-sugar, low-carb, no-oil macrobiotic diet, she is keeping her general body fat level very low.
    In reality, not many people could look like this even if they wanted to, as most people can't afford to spend two hours a day exercising or to employ a personal trainer. Depending how you view it, she's either committed or obsessed.

    LIZ JONES: Suddenly every woman wants intensely toned arms... but why's Madonna gone so horribly OTT?

    They are the ultimate high maintenance, must-have accessory, as ubiquitous for women of a certain age and income as a Birkin handbag. Toned arms, like Michelle Obama's, are shown off as proudly as the interlocking Gucci Gs.
    Aerobicised arms are better than any logo because you don't get them by handing over your wallet; you must surrender your soul.
    Such arms are the new breasts, stomachs, buttocks, lips, hair and eyes rolled into one. They are the only part of the body that matters if you are over 30 and determined to be regarded by your peers as slim and chic.


    1984: Natural Material Girl
    1990: Honed Blonde Ambition
    That is not to say the sort of arms sported by Madonna - though she's an extreme example - as she left a London restaurant earlier this week are meant to be attractive or sexy. That would be missing the point.
    It is not enough that women should hold down careers and be perfect mothers; they also need the kind of arms that would make Kelly Holmes green with envy to prove they are strong and in control of their lives.
    The tricep - the bit at the back of the upper arm that is liable to flap, hang and sag - is notoriously tricky to tone. You have to work at this baggy little blighter for decades, using specialist equipment, personal trainers and Ashtanga yoga. The tricky tricep will betray you if you let up for just one moment.
    This is why surgery to cut out fat from upper arms to reduce bingo wings is on the increase. How and when did the over-muscular arm become the ultimate female status symbol?
    There was a time when a plump pair of soft-as-butter upper arms was the ultimate in sexual allure. Look at Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch: she'd obviously never lifted anything heavier than a Martini glass.
    The super-sinewy benchmark was not created in that Petri dish of body fascism: the fashion industry. Models have no muscle definition. The poor creatures are too weak from lack of food to even lift their heads, let alone a pair of dumb-bells.


    2005: In film premiere shape
    2006: Toned and in the pink

    No, we first saw the bionic bicep sported by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City. While ostensibly eking out her day on screen smoking, slurping Cosmopolitans and munching cupcakes, off screen she was obviously putting herself through a fitness regime that would make Daley Thompson look like a slouch.
    I remember an early episode in which a man said: 'Ergh. Look at the veins on her arms! She looks revolting, like a lesbian shot putter.' While men feel that way about over-toned arms, I and millions of other women were wondering: 'Hmm, how do I get a pair of those?'
    A decade or so on and, thanks to the likes of Parker and Mrs Obama - whose toned arms have featured on the cover of American Vogue - women who do not have personal trainers, willpower or time have something extra to feel bad about.
    I went to the Cartier international polo in Windsor on Sunday and saw a very beautiful, famous actress friend across the pitch. I waved. She didn't wave back. I waved again.
    'What's wrong with you?' I texted.

    'I'm wearing a sleeveless dress. There are cameras everywhere. If I show any trace of bingo wings my career is toast.'
    Like Madonna, I am 50, have very little body fat and a super-active lifestyle, but my upper arms not only have wings, they have cellulite. But I've decided that all I have to do to rectify this problem is to wear sleeves. Simple.
    I texted my friend back to suggest she wear a cardie. 'People would think I have something to hide,' she replied.
    What do I think the sinews signify in Madonna? They prove a level of neurosis that is not attractive. Surely they indicate that she doesn't spend enough time reading, eating, sleeping or just sitting around.
    While many other women would like to have well-defined arms, Madonna is in a league of her own.
    Has her long-time fixation with extreme exercise led her to have a kind of body dysmorphia which makes her think her arms look fantastic, even if most people recoil at the protruding veins?
    Madonna's arms age her enormously and belittle her hugely. This is not vanity, it is vacuity.
    'Having big veins that bulge out of your arm is so cool!' wrote a young woman on a blog recently. 'They show how strong you are.' No, they don't. They show how weak you are.

    ASHLEY PEARSON: What it's REALLY like to do Madonna's workout


    Not for the faint-hearted: Madonna's personal trainer Tracy Anderson's regime is gruelling

    Having spent five weeks working out like Madonna does, courtesy of her personal trainer Tracy Anderson, I can tell you it's certainly not for the faint-hearted.
    Before I did the workout, I thought it would be hours of yoga, followed by hours of cardio and hours of muscle work and weights. In reality, it's more like two hours - an hour of cardiovascular exercise and an hour of Pilates-style muscle toning.
    The cardio portion is dance aerobics, so doesn't involve the arms any more than any kind of dancing would do. The Pilates portion does use weights, but I know Tracy does not advocate anything more than 3lb on each limb.
    But the regime itself is hard, and Madonna spends 30 minutes working on her arms every day. When I was following her schedule, we would do a series of arm exercises with no weights involved. You keep your arms out from your sides, and do various movements without ever allowing them to drop. It's strenuous, and very painful - even after five minutes. And it does build muscle.
    We also did a series of arm exercises with weights.
    The old Madonna, with her previous trainers, would do weights and Ashtanga yoga - the most vigorous form. I think this is what gave her those eye-popping arm muscles, not her current regime.
    Madonna's arms, believe it or not, are thinner now than ten years ago. And because her weight is lower, her muscles are more defined. We know she's on a macrobiotic diet, and she allegedly has two macrobiotic chefs who cook for her. She reportedly eats miso soup for breakfast, then a lot of grilled fish and vegetables with no oil or spices. It is also claimed she restricts carbohydrates to a small amount of brown rice.
    Madonna takes it very seriously - she does not often splurge. She reportedly said at one point: 'I'm not going to get fat. Deal with it.'
    I think Madonna's aware of the public reaction to her arms, but I don't think she knows what to do about it. In order for Madonna to get her lower body the way she likes it, and her abdominals the way she wants, maybe her arms will always be a little too thin.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1202880/New-arms-race-Sinew-sinew-making-Madonnas-mighty-muscles.html#ixzz0MgVXGeRw

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    I think Madonna's aware of the public reaction to her arms, but I don't think she knows what to do about it. In order for Madonna to get her lower body the way she likes it, and her abdominals the way she wants, maybe her arms will always be a little too thin.
    She should cover those nasty fugly things up, that's what she should do about it!

    (although the part about muscles remaining long after exercising them has stopped is true:
    a little less than 20 years after I stopped working out with weights 10 hours a week, my
    biceps are still quite prominent - albeit cushened by a bit more meat than when I was in
    my twenties).
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

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    Elite Member MoodyJenny86's Avatar
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    This is disgusting...this woman clearly has an exercise addiction.

    The brain doesn't need blood. It just needs to be kept wet.

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    It looks decent in 2005. The problem is she's starving herself and working out like crazy, so she's lost this body fat and weight and it looks scary. Not healthy in my opinion.

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Just another manifestation of the control issues she has. Bitch is crazy.

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    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    I think she looked best when she first became famous back in the mid 80s. She was 5'4 and 118 lbs - still quite thin with slight roundness.

    I doubt she would have need all the facial work in recent years had she not gone so overboard with the fat loss.

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    Elite Member MsDark's Avatar
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    Not that I've been this lean in years, but...back when I used to on a regular basis, I've got a shoulder vein and a couple forearm veins that would 'pop out' and show sometimes when I moved. Especially around warmer weather when I'd up the cardio in preparation to be showing more bod. But no way did I look like this.

    Not that I think she looks bad in that 80's pic, but I think she still looks good in the Blonde Ambition pic. She's got visible muscle tone, and just enough bodyfat to fill out her face and look like a female still.
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    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    Her body screams exercise addiction. Why else would you have a body like that? She would look fab with an added 10 pounds of fat on top of that muscle.

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    No, we first saw the bionic bicep sported by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City.

    What about Sarah Connor in the second Terminator? I thought that bitch was badass, but Madonna has taken it to an ugly, ugly extreme.

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    No, we first saw the bionic bicep sported by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City.

    What about Sarah Connor in the second Terminator? I thought that bitch was badass, but Madonna has taken it to an ugly, ugly extreme.
    Sarah Connor was buff in order to face The Terminator, whereas Vadge IS The Terminator! Those arms of her's look like Arnie's in the movie after he's stripped the outer skin off.


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    Gold Member BlameItOnVanity's Avatar
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    that photo scares me so bad it makes me want to hide behind something and pray.

    of course i'm talking about the madonna and not arnie.
    i just don't get why she thinks this looks attractive?
    she must do because she forever has her arms show.

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    Elite Member PinkCadillac's Avatar
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    Looks horrible, it's the worst body type a woman can have imo

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    its hard to lose muscle? did he just say that?! b/c i find it incredilby easy to lose it, they say lean muscle is what you lose first when you starve yourself/are starving and thats what pisses me off! is that when im out of the gym for a week or two due to illness or vacation or whatever i lose the muscle i work so hard for so easily and gain chubbiness over them....damnit.

    i do agree that madonna is malnourished though, but thats her insane perogative and its wierd how she has such a muscular upper body but her legs are kinda small in comparison and crappy looking. i dont know if she does that on purpose or what.
    i too have crappy legs though (and a much more defined upper body like her) so maybe thats just how her body is naturally as she works it.

    The tricky tricep will betray you if you let up for just one moment.
    fuck i know! ^ i'm 27, lift weights, and already see this shit coming!

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    Elite Member Lenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    its hard to lose muscle? did he just say that?! b/c i find it incredilby easy to lose it, they say lean muscle is what you lose first when you starve yourself/are starving and thats what pisses me off! is that when im out of the gym for a week or two due to illness or vacation or whatever i lose the muscle i work so hard for so easily and gain chubbiness over them....damnit.
    I have to agree with you. I have such a hard time to build the slightest muscle tone and I can lose it within a few days...When I stop jogging for two weeks I instantly lose one or two kilos but not an inch. It sucks.

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    Gold Member 00Kimmi00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny View Post
    I have to agree with you. I have such a hard time to build the slightest muscle tone and I can lose it within a few days...When I stop jogging for two weeks I instantly lose one or two kilos but not an inch. It sucks.
    It's mostly dependant on your body type; Ectomorph's are naturally light weight and find putting on and maintaining muscle difficult. Mesomorphs are naturally muscular, therefore don't need to do much to gain or maintain and Endomorph's are shapely and soft, but find it easy to gain muscle mass.

    I'm an ectomorph and I find it hard to keep the muscle I've gained.

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