International superstar Madonna, in partnership with her manager, Guy Oseary, and New Evolution Ventures (NEV), is establishing an international chain of mega-gyms called Hard Candy Fitness which will open in major cities around the world. The name is taken from her 11th studio album, which topped the charts around the world in 2008.
Madonna said she chose Mexico City because it was a stop on her Sticky & Sweet tour last year, which grossed $408 million, second only to the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang Tour. She said she liked the energy of the people.
“Our plan is to use Mexico as a place to fine-tune our brand and then expand it to other countries and, in the long term, develop a global brand that includes the United States,” she, noting that Mexico is close enough to home for her to be heavily involved.
As the glass doors of Hard Candy Fitness, Madonna’s first gym, slid open in Mexico City yesterday, a mural of white, black and violet images of the Queen of Pop greeted each client.
The first Hard Candy Fitness, the 30,000 square foot space in the exclusive Bosques de las Lomas area of Mexico City, was officially opened by Madonna yesterday, to the delight of many screaming fans.
Madonna was surrounded by three burly bodyguards at the opening of her gym. Dozens of police officers and security guards were outside to keep some 300 screaming fans at bay.
Madonna said at the opening Monday night that she also chose the country because she loves its culture, food, art and architecture and that she didn’t worry about Mexico’s wave of drug-related violence when deciding where to open the gym.
After cutting the ribbon last night, Madonna taught a dance class for 20 hand-picked members with music by Paul Oakenfold, the DJ who opened her last tour.
New Evolution Ventures, whose chairman is Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness clubs, is the designer of Hard Candy Fitness but Mastrov stated that Hard Candy Fitness is a reflection of Madonna’s point of view, with her input on every detail including music space, light and other design cues.
Madonna has been a long time advocate of maintaining a physically fit lifestyle and during her touring career, she has worked out in hundreds of gyms across the world. At 52, the Material Girl’s own workout regimen is legendary and her physique has been both admired and chided for being overdone. Her famously pumped biceps have been labeled scary by some.
Chris Dedicik, Hard Candy’s Managing Director commented, “Hard Candy Fitness is a one of a kind experience merging fitness with entertainment. We are dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our members.”
Hard Candy Fitness centers will offer the very best in innovative training methods including private, group and dynamic training including traditional classes such as Zumba, Latin Moves and Cardio Kickboxing as well as new programming designed specifically for Hard Candy Fitness. The fitness center will also include a Bike Studio, a Mind Body Studio featuring The Great Wall, where members can practice BarWorks, Sculpting, Capoeria and the newest trends in Yoga.
It will also house a healthy alternative Juice Bar/Cafe. The lavish locker rooms built with the finest materials will be a sanctuary for members who will be able to relax in sauna and steam rooms. Members will also benefit from state of the art cardiovascular equipment with personal viewing screens and iPod docks, more than 60 pieces of strength equipment/free weights and the best group fitness, functional training accessories and brands including PreCor, Hoist, Free Motion, Nautilus, Hammer Strength, StarTrac, AbCoaster, and TRX suspension training.
The lobby, whose main wall is decorated with the album cover of Celebration, is open to the public and will feature a health food bar and energy drinks. It also features a small terrace.
On the second floor, which is for members only, you can find an executive area with internet access, the personal training and cardio area with elliptical machines, treadmills, weights, bicycles and equipment for sit-ups or stretching. It also features 6 plasma screens which can be used for exclusive messages by Madonna. Dressing rooms, bathrooms, showers, and sauna are on this floor.
The third floor is divided in two areas: the dance-yoga-spinning area and the weight-lifting area. The dance-yoga-spinning area consists of three different halls. In the main 250-square meter hall, dance classes of different styles will be given. The floor of the “Mind and Body” hall, where the yoga classes will be given, is made of bamboo imported from China. The yoga room will also have a special wall used in Iyengar yoga, with ropes, props and steps to help people with less physical ability. The spinning hall is equipped with 35 bikes. In the weight-lifting area, there are 60 machines altogether.
“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,” Madonna said. “We spend what it takes to make a globally first-class gym.”
Hard Candy Fitness is the perfect combination of “hard body” and “eye candy.”