Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Madonna's Veiny Arms

Oh here we go again. You spend your working life explaining to women that weight training is massively beneficial to their health and effective for fat loss, then the Metro print a picture of Madonna looking like an anatomy chart with veiny *ahem*.. "bulging" biceps, complete with comments from a "celebrity personal trainer" admonishing her to cut out weight training and just do Yoga and Pilates (not wanting to put another trainer down I'll assume he was taken out of context to fit the tone of the article.) Excuse me while I stab myself in the eyes.
How many women are now going to be put off weight training by this picture and accompanying article?

Perhaps I've missed something but wasn't Madonna basically the poster girl for yoga, claiming at one point to practice it for hours every day? And didn't she train with that other "celebrity trainer" Tracy Anderson, the person who once brilliantly decreed that women should never lift more than 3lbs ? (careful never to buy more than two bags of sugar at once there ladies, you'll get bulging biceps just from carrying them home!) I have no idea what kind of exercise Madonna actually does (neither does the journalist writing the article or the trainer commenting on it) but the premise that she is performing too much heavy weight training and needs to do MORE yoga is, I feel, basically crap.

The fact is Madonna is not even particularly muscular, she simply has very low body fat , probably due to her alleged macrobiotic eating habits and a very active lifestyle given that she is dancing round on a stage for hours every night. A woman with the same amount of muscle mass and a normal body fat percentage would look the toned, athletic picture of health.

The blanket recommendation of Yoga and Pilates over weight training is moronic, and is symptomatic of the general demonisation of weight training that has existed for years amongst people who are ignorant of exercise physiology (again, I have no idea what the trainer actually said and don't wish to attack him personally, only the message of the article.) Perpetuating this rubbish helps nobody.

Madonna's physique and training regime has precisely zero relevance to anybody actually reading the article, the vast majority of whom don't even perform enough physical activity to preserve the muscle mass they have, let alone build massive biceps. Just because some celebrity looks a bit freakish doesn't mean you need to avoid weight training altogether for fear of turning into Mr Universe overnight. Trust me folks; it's not that easy! (if it was my biceps would be 26 inches instead of just 25.)

Weight training as part of a properly devised exercise program is one of the most positive steps you can take toward staying lean and healthy for life. Don't let any media boneheads or "Celebrity Personal Trainers" tell you other wise. Rant over.

No comments: