As the glass doors of Hard Candy Fitness, Madonna’s first gym, slid open in Mexico City on Monday, a mural of white, black and violet Warhol-esque images of the Queen of Pop greeted clients.
But it was no disco with exercise machines or Hard Rock Cafe-style temple of Madge memorabilia. The facilities are not much different from any other high-class gym in Mexico City, and very little screams that this is Madonna’s first fitness venture, apart from the name — the title of her last album — which she says in fitness parlance is the perfect combination of "hard body" and "eye candy."
"It’s a sexy name that gives you the opportunity to have fun and to build strength as far as the imagination will allow," said the pop star. Her touch is in the mosaic design of the bathroom tile and in the yoga salon’s bamboo floor imported from China. "She chose the graphics, colours, the machines," said Chris Dedicik, general director of California-based New Evolution Ventures, Madonna’s partner in creating the gym. "She has weighed in on the choreography of all the classes and given them a twist to make them more dynamic, and to better reflect her style."
Members can do cardiovascular exercises on five types of advanced-technology machines chosen by Madonna, many with individual viewing screens and iPod docks.
The yoga instructors are trained in various styles, inspired by the knowledge the singer has accumulated in her travels. The yoga room will also have a special wall used in Iyengar yoga, one of very few in the world according to Dedicik, with ropes and steps to help people with less physical ability. A balcony outside will feature plants and Zen-style decor, all at the singer’s request.
“If any of you have seen my shows, you know that I don’t skimp on them and the same is true for the gym,” she said. “We spend what it takes to make a globally first-class gym.”