As most fitness enthusiasts of a certain generation will testify, the older you get the more effort it takes. But Madonna, 48, has never been the one to duck a challenge.
She is pulling out all the stops to reach a physical peak for her headline spot at the Live Earth concert on Saturday. And her efforts are showing. The honed physique she has maintained for years looked more muscular than ever as she dined out with friends in New York recently , showing off her bulging biceps in a vest-top outfit.
The physical contrast to the 25-year-old who rocketed to stardom in 1984 was stark. Friends say she feels under huge pressure to give an impressive performance at Wembley Stadium on July 7, where she tops the bill at the British leg of a string of concerts across the world to raise awareness of global warming.
“The state of the planet is something she feels very strongly about,” said a friend. “She feels that at Live Earth she will be speaking to the planet.
And she obviously wants to look her best. The eyes of the world will be on her and she is very conscious of her advancing years. She has thrown herself into the fitness regime like never before. And has been quite successful at it.”
Sources say Madonna has been using the so-called gyrotonic expansion system, a wooden contraption of levers and pulleys which elongates muscles. She also practices pilates and yoga and does between 200 and 400 sit-ups a day.