Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NO RIGHT TO BARE ARMS; Madonna's Veins Have Drawn Comparison with an Exhibit by Anatomist Gunther Von Hagens. Are We Simply Jealous of Her Dedication or Has She Overdone It? Liz Hoggard Asks the Experts

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NO RIGHT TO BARE ARMS; Madonna's Veins Have Drawn Comparison with an Exhibit by Anatomist Gunther Von Hagens. Are We Simply Jealous of Her Dedication or Has She Overdone It? Liz Hoggard Asks the Experts

Article excerpt

Byline: Liz Hoggard

What exactly is her fitness regime?

Her trainer is Tracy Anderson (also credited with getting Gwyneth Paltrow her ultra-toned legs), the American fitness coach who puts Madonna through her paces two hours a day, six days a week. Includes "dancing" on a treadmill and lifting light weights.

Are prominent veins caused by exercising like crazy then?

"Madonna does look like she's overtrained - the lack of body fat and the prominent veins can't be healthy, either mentally or physically," says Kathryn Freeland, founder of London's Absolute Fitness whose clients include Cate Blanchett. Ben Kilner of Fit4Life London Physio & Personal Training at The May Fair Hotel says: "As we get older, our skin becomes thinner and doesn't store fat so well which makes the veins more visible. So it could be overtraining or she could finally be showing her age."

So a generous portion of fish and chips would sort it out?

Madonna sticks to a strict macrobiotic diet, which cuts out most sugars and fats, so that's not likely. "I think it has gone too far," says Freeland. "It looks like she has very low body fat, which can lead to a change of hormones, premature bone den-sitloss and a decreased immune system. We need body fat to protect our vital organs; it helps regulate body temperature." For Kilner, "the macrobiotic diet emphasises fibre-rich wholegrains, vegetables and beans, which is definitely a positive thing compared with our society's obsession with fast foods. But I feel the microbiotic diet is too restrictive and is lacking in protein and certain fats, which can cause low energy levels." "She looks malnourished," says Dalton Wong of London gym Bodyism. "If you work out excessively, your body can't tell the difference between exercise stress and other stress, so it starts taking fat from your body."

Should she have kept up the yoga and Pilates?

Banned in the Madonna camp because they "mess with your system and your muscles". "Absolute nonsense," says Kilner: "If they are messing with your muscles, they are messing in a good way. I'm a big believer in Pilates exercises, as are many of today's sports stars. …

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