Six Weeks to Super-fitness-Vogue
How Can a die hard fitness fan up her game to supermodel proprtions? Charlotte Sinclair pushes herself to the limit.
First, an admission. I like exercise. I am not one of those determined looking creatures you see running at 10pm on a Monday night, but I know I could be. The potential to be a weirdo about exercise is there. I'm fascinated by actor's accounts of pre-movie body-sculpting- tales of 5am starts, two hour cardio sessions followed by an hour of weight training and brutal diets. I'm even a little jealous.
No one forces you to exercise as an adult; there's no break for games on a Tuesday afternoon or compulsory bleep tests every new quater. And even if you're a workout queen, it's unlikely you're burning up the calories of a pre- Iron Man 2 gwyneth Paltrow or a pre-comenback Elle Macpherson. We don't push ourselves because, well, pushing ourselves hurts. There's cramp, and lactic acid, and sweat, and the feeling you might throw up (or actually throwing up).
I work out five times a week ( running, training, pilates), so give or take a few long runs thats roughly five times a week. I don't mind looking strong rather than fragile and waif-like (Not that I have much choice, I am predetermined to muscle.) Poring, dubiously, over an online video detailing actress Jessica Biel's punishing exercise regime, I wonder what it would be like to work out nine or 10 hours a week. Is this, actually, the bare minimum that we should be doing to achieve a truly great body? And, if so, can you exercise like a fiend and still be a normal human being?
I endeavour to find out. I sign myself over to personal trainer and bionic man Jonathan Goodair for an hour and a half, six days a week, for six weeks. Goodair, a freckled, hard-boddied, super-fit fortysomething, is a one-time trainer to Madonna, Stella McCartney and Gwyneth and the only person in Britain trained in Tracy Anderson's method (a complex series of Pilates- based moves and cardio). His double pronged attack on the body focuses particularly on the smaller, structual muscles. 'It means you don't bulk, or over-train the big muscle group,' Goodair Says, 'and the smaller muscles are the ones that pull your body in, to create the lean look.'
My first session in his basement gym in Home House does not start well. I've forgotten my leggings. This im certain does not happen to Madonna. In Selfridges' Sweaty Betty concession, Jonathan asks me about my workout routine. When i boast of having run a marathon he doesn't seem overly impressed, and when we head back to the gym and begin training, I understand why.