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Madonna’s trainer, Craig Smith, knows how to motivate the pop star and squeeze workouts into her hectic schedule. Photo: Courtesy of Hard Candy Fitness

Ever wonder how Madonna stays so ripped? Maybe it's the same overachieving mentality that launched her to musical stardom…but maybe it's her badass coach.

To find out how she really balances work and working out, we caught up Madonna's head personal trainer, Craig Smith, who is getting the singer fit for her upcoming Rebel Heart World Tour. He's also the creative director behind Madonna's Hard Candy gyms and fitness brand. “Training Madonna is the equivalent to training a world-champion athlete,” he says. “Our training philosophy is simple: Harder is better. We go hard or we go home.”

Given his extensive background in track and field, Smith incorporates running-biomechanics techniques, conditioning drills and interval burst methods into both classes and personal sessions with Madonna. His focus is always on quality over quantity to accommodate the star's hectic schedule and maximize results.

Here are 10 tips he gives Madonna — simple, straightforward reminders that any athlete can incorporate.

Develop a weekly healthy meal plan that consists of 6 meals a day

Clean and healthy eating is going to be a key factor and vital to maintaining optimal health and fitness goals. Nutrition makes up at least 60 to 70 percent of your fitness and overall health results.

Example meal plan:
Breakfast: Breakfast shake & quinoa porridge
Snack 1: Protein/energy bar
Lunch: Citrus cucumber salad
Snack 2: Smoothie
Dinner: Veggie burger patty with mixed greens and sweet-potato mash
Snack 3: Greek yogurt with strawberries and bottle of water

Consume half of your body weight in ounces of water a day.


Smith promotes six fortifying meals a day, including three squares and three healthy snacks, plus plenty of water. Photo: Shutterstock

I weigh 170 pounds; therefore, I drink 85 ounces of water daily.

Write down your fitness goals and take massive action toward attaining them

You have to have absolute clarity about your fitness goals, and why you desire to embark on a new path to optimal health. Focus on your internal and external goals!

Commit to a consistent schedule of at least 20- to 30-minute workouts

Even if Madonna has only 20 minutes in her busy workday, we always make it a point to take advantage of the opportunity to get a workout in.

Schedule your workouts in a time frame you will stick to


Early-morning workouts seem to keep athletes on track the best. Photo: Shutterstock

The earlier you can get your workouts in (a 5 to 7 a.m. timeframe, for example), the more likely you are to avoid interruptions and distractions, both at the gym and with things outside of the gym.

Fitness should be enjoyable

Find exercise modalities, movements and methods you connect with. You'll be more likely to not only enjoy your workouts because they are fun and there is variety, but you will actually stick to doing them!

Even if you can't get to the gym, get your daily workout in

The reality is that sometimes it can be hard to get to the gym. But utilize those times to get creative, and maybe do a portion of or your full workout at home, outside, or even at your workplace. The mindset should be to not miss a single workout and make sure you do them on the regular.

Always sweat in style

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Craig Smith combines a background in track and field, choreography and nutrition to take a holistic approach to making fitness fun and sustainable. Photo: Courtesy of Hard Candy Fitness.

When we look good, we feel good, and you'll be more motivated to actually get to the gym to show off your new gear and footwear while you sweat it up in a fitness class, on the treadmill or in your own killer workout. So definitely take the time to invest in gear and footwear that is suitable for your workouts and that you feel good in.

Work out to a rocking playlist

Music is absolutely therapeutic and can be just the ideal motivation needed to get through a workout. So whether you like going hard in your workout to the sounds of Madonna's new album or you're all about the sounds of hardcore hip-hop lyrics and beats, create that amazing playlist that's going to keep you inspired.

Relaxation and meditation

Rest and recovery days are going to be just as important (if not more important) than actual workout days. Take time to reflect and check in on all the awesome things you've completed in your workouts.

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