As promised, this week I will tell the tale of Tom and my training session at Madonna's Gym, HardCandy Fitness, in Santiago.

Seeking help in my quest to get fitter before wedding dress fitting, I signed us up for a session in Madonna's gym. Yes, Tom too - marriage is all about sharing after all.


As we wandered in, Lilly came bouncing up. Black-hair tied back in a tight ponytail, muscles clad in (yes you guessed it) tight lycra, she welcomed us into her fold.

'Change and meet me here in 5 minutes,' she said with a bright-white smile as we sized up the sea of high-tech machinery.

Unchartered territory if ever I saw it. Madonna's members were pumping, squatting and stretching on machines so high-tech they've come full-circle and are basically back to being tools of manual labour.

Pulling on ropes and climbing up mock stairs, these guys are mimicking the life of sailors and mountaineers. Only with slightly more Madonna-esque motivation spurring them on - the walls read 'Harder is better', 'No sweat no candy' and 'Nobody said hard would be easy'.


And if you're wondering what 'hard' means, then there are enormous photographs of the Queen of Pop on the walls for reference.

Setting us up on cross-training machines, Lilly plugged in 6-minutes each and disappeared to find weights and mats.

Warmed up, we started a series of sit-ups, arm weights and quick cardio steps.

'You need sweat for results!' said Lilly as we started to 'glow'.

Next we moved to the sailor stuff, one of us pulling on ropes, 'hoisting the sail' or 'raising the anchor' style; whilst the other pulled their own body weight up and down.


Music filtered through the door of the studio to one side, and lines of girls in brightly coloured lycra began moving in sync to the Latin Dance class.

Lilly took us through squats and leg weights, and lastly we mounted the stair machines and climbed for 15 minutes, the equivalent of reaching the top of the Taj Mahal.

Asking about our 'individual goals', Lilly suggested Tom bulk up and I slim down, pinching my upper inner thighs just in case there was any confusion as to exactly where she was referring.

Sweat we did for sure (and not just in the sauna) and my resolution is to work-out three times a week. I may even sign up and join the Hard Candy crew...

I asked Tom what he thought. 'I think I've pulled something,' he said.