Interview de l'entraîneur physique de Madonna James D'Silva.
How YOU can get an A-list body
By Claire O'Boyle 12/04/2010
EXCLUSIVE Fitness guru James D'Silva has sculpted the bodies of Madonna, Trudie Styler and Gwyneth Paltrow. Here he tells Claire O'Boyle some of the stars' secrets, and puts her through her paces..
He's the man who's shaped some of the most famous -and envied - bodies on the planet.
Queen of Pop Madonna puts her rockhard abs and super-toned arms down to his workouts, Gwyneth Paltrow thanks him for her slender physique and he's helped Trudie Styler to maintain the body of a twenty-something.
Fitness guru James D'Silva has kept these demanding women in shape - but laughs off claims you need to be a millionaire to have a fabulous body.
"That is absolute rubbish," he says. "All you need is to set aside a realistic amount of time that can fit into your life, and do exercise you enjoy. Saying that exercise costs a fortune is just an excuse."
James, an expert in Pilates, yoga and dance, says every woman can find a fitness regime that will suit her body shape and lifestyle - and says his top three celebrity clients are perfect examples of this.
"Working with Madonna, Gwyneth and, most recently, Trudie Styler is proof of how different workouts can make the best of the time people have, their fitness levels and what they want from their own bodies," explains James.
Gwyneth, 37, signed up with James and in the months during her pregnancies after giving birth to Apple, now five and Moses, four. She went for two or three sessions each week.
"A woman's body will not just spring back into its old shape within weeks of giving birth," explains James. "During pregnancy it's important to do lots of pelvic floor work which I did with Gwyneth and you need to loosen the abdominal muscles before the birth.
"I hate seeing all these celebrities back to their tiny figures so soon after having babies, because in my opinion it cannot be done healthily in a matter of weeks. The abdominal muscles will not spring back into their old place for at least six months, so this should be a minimum.
"Gwyneth is a naturally willowy, slender per-son, so our focus was on keeping her legs and arms toned through Pilates and yoga because you need to be strong and healthy to hold your baby when it arrives and do all the things a new mother needs to do. Women should keep themselves strong and healthy throughout pregnancy and afterwards - the focus should not be on simply losing weight."
"Madonna is really athletic," he says. "She finds complex moves and positions much easier than most because of her background in dance. She is intense and motivated, and, to be honest, she exhausted me."
Madonna's training sessions, two hours a day when in London, were made up of non-stop cardio, combining Pilates positions with dance moves, all on a jumping board. The 51-year-old also trained on James's special Garuda Pilates machine.
"She's into very intense, calorie-burning exercise," says James. "Madonna gets so much joy out of training and she has more energy than anyone I've ever met. The easy thing to say about high-profile women like her is that it's easy for them, that all they have to worry about is looking good.
"That's not true. Madonna is incredibly hard-working and this is just one of the things she is focused on - she is an extremely dedicated businesswoman and mother too. She gets up at 6.30am every day to do everything she is committed to and this is just one of those things.
"That's what every woman needs to understand - if you want a good body, you've got to work at it, even if that just means walking for 30 minutes every day. Do what you can manage and keep it up."
Trudie, who has been doing Pilates with James, comes from a yoga background and has much softer muscles than some of his other clients.
"Throughout the DVD we made together, her muscles have become much more lean and toned by Pilates," explains James. "Trudie is 56 years old and has one of the best bodies around, that's because she works hard at it.
"She eats a macrobiotic diet with pulses and cereals according to season and where she is in the world. I know not everyone can do this, but it's the effort that matters. If you decide to do something - exercise or eat healthily - what matters is keeping to it.
"Not everyone has to be like Madonna and give 100% every day. You just need to try new things, new forms of exercise and new ways of healthy eating until you find one you can manage."
I'm a Pilates convert!
"As a newcomer to Pilates, the news that my first-ever session would be with a fitness guru who has worked with Madonna, came as something of a shock. But I thought I'd look on the bright side and hoped I'd come out of it half a stone lighter, a super-toned goddess.
Tragically that didn't happen, but Pilates expert James did introduce me to some muscles I didn't even know existed. The stretching is quite intense and although it looks pretty peaceful, it really gets your heart rate up as you struggle to hold the positions as long as possible.
Of course, having my leg hauled above my head by a total stranger with a photographer in the room was pretty embarrassing. And I blushed again when beefcake James asked me if I'd ever actually done any exercise before. But overall it was a great experience and I'd even say I'm a Pilates convert."
Abdominal curl (Abs)
Lying on your back, with legs up and bent in a chair position, gently hammock your hands behind your head, roll your head forward on the out-breath and look into the navel and hold. Then roll your head back on the in-breath. (10 repetitions)
Single leg pull (Abs)
Lying on your back, lift head and look at navel, legs in a chair position, hands gently resting on knees. On the outbreath lengthen the left leg away and draw the right knee into your forehead, change on the in-breath. On the next out-breath draw the left knee in towards you and straighten out the right leg away from you. Then alternate to the other leg. (10 reps on each leg)
Hamstring pulls (Abs)
As with single leg but pull with straight legs. (10 reps)
Criss cross (Abs)
Lying back, hands behind the head, knees in chair position, on the out-breath roll the head forward and twist to the left, drawing the left knee in towards you and reaching the right leg away. Breathe in and change leg as you breathe out. Alternate legs. (10 reps)
Open leg rocker (Abs)
Draw knees into chest and lengthen out the back of the legs into your hands until you straighten the legs out, draw the shoulders down and lift the chest. Once you have established this position stay here for 10 breaths. (10 reps)
Side plank (Shoulders, arms and stomach muscles)
Lie on your side, resting on your left elbow, push the side of the left foot into the floor and reach out your right arm and lift the rest of your body - hold for 20 seconds and change sides. (3 reps)
Forward plank (Arms and abs)
From lying flat on your front, hands in line with your shoulders, push up until you form one straight line from the crown of the head to the balls of your feet. Hold for 30 seconds, paying special attention to drawing your stomach up and pulling the shoulders down. Alternate between side plank. (3 reps)
Table top (Arms and abs)
Sitting on the floor, bent knees, place feet approx 6ins in front of your bottom and hands 8ins behind your bottom. Lift your hips up until you are flat in a tabletop position. Knees over ankles and shoulders over hands. (Stay for 20 breaths)
Downward dog (lengthens and tones hamstrings)
Make an inverted V position, where you lift your bottom in the air and push evenly with your hands and feet to form a triangle.
Three legged dog Start from the downward dog position and then lift one leg up as high as you can for 10 breaths, concentrating on length, stability and shoulder support. (alternate twice on each side)
Side lift (working your obliques)
Lying on your left hand side, on the out breath extend both legs parallel and 6 inches off the floor, lower back down on the in breath. (20 reps)
Side leg lift (Thighs and bum)
Lying on your side, bend both knees as though you were sitting on a chair. Lift the top leg on the out breath and place it back down on the in breath, paying special attention to the bottom. (20 reps and 20 little pulses)
Inner leg lift (Thighs)
Lying on your left side, place your right foot either in front or behind the left thigh, lifting the left leg up 20 times on the out breath. 20 circles of the heel one way and 20 circles the other way. (Alternate twice on each side)
Trudie Styler's Core Strength Pilates is out on DVD today, and costs £17.99.