My Fitness Journey: Fitness Model Maeve Madden Tells Us The Secret Behind Her Six-Pack
Fit model Maeve tells us how she's leaned up through diet and exercise.
Were you always into fitness?
I have always had a very active lifestyle thanks to my mother. The feeling of accomplishing goals was a huge motivation for me. By the age of 17 Irish dancing had become my career and so my passion for health and fitness really grew. I toured the world with Irish dancing shows, performed and filmed with Michael Flatley, and so being fit was a huge part of my lifestyle. I thought of myself not just a dancer but a professional athlete.
What was your body like before you started working out?
I was always the girl pounding the treadmill, doing a thousand sit-ups, and never lifted a single weight, but still rewarding myself with junk food and fizzy drinks after a workout. My body fat was high and my muscle mass low. I was skinny fat.
Tell us about your gym routine
I attend Equinox gym at least five days a week. Each day I will do 30 minutes of cardio, followed by a weights routine targeting a specific area.
For example today was glutes day, so I did the following:
- 30 mins Stair master interval training
- Lying hamstring curl 4×12 (20kg)
- Dead lifts 4 x 12 (40kg)
- Raised Sumo squat 4 x 12 (16kg kettle bell)
- Squats 4×12 (30-40 kg)
- Walking lunges 4×20 (holding two 8kg dumb bells)
I mix up my routines but they usually last around 90 minutes.
What are your favourite exercises?
- A variety of Squats for a good butt lift.
- Swiss Ball routines: they really engage the core.
- Stair Master for cardio.
How did you get a six-pack?
Following a healthy lifestyle is the key to losing fat and building muscle. You can have the most toned and muscular abs but they will not show if there is a layer of fat over them. Having defined abs is a result of lean body fat levels. My abs are not always there, some mornings i wake up and think “Boom! Hello six-pack, time for a selfie” and the next day I could be bloated and look like someone who never stepped foot in a gym. The only way to see results is to stay consistent.
What’s in your daily diet?
I drink at least two to three litres of water a day. I love sushi and fish, so when I go to a restaurant I will always have steamed or grilled fish and vegetables but my day usually goes something like this:
1. Water fresh lemon and dandelion with gluten free oats and egg whites for breakfast.
2. Green smoothie made with avocado, kale, spinach, lime, ginger, bareblends green powder and protein.
3. Chicken, prawn or goats cheese salad
4. Matcha latte or green tea.
5. Fish and vegetables or sushi.
6. If Im still peckish, a few nuts or some watermelon.
What’s the most difficult part of keeping fit?
Sugar and weekend binges. I have a love/hate relationship with sugar. It melts away my abs. What they say is true; being lean and strong is definitely 70% diet and 30% workouts.
Do you ever fall off the wagon?
Of course, but no matter how I feel I always get my workouts in. If I’ve had a terrible binge, I’m feeling hungover or I’m just not motivated, I will always go to the gym. Just being in the gym motivates me to do something; progress is progress not matter how small. One bad meal wont make you fat just like one clean meal wont make you lean.
Do you drink alcohol?
Yes I do drink, but I leave the alcohol to the weekends. I have recently started using sparkling water or soda water and fresh lime as a mixer, instead of fruit juices or sugary drinks. It’s surprisingly refreshing and helps stop my sugar cravings.
What should we cut out of our diets?
I would never refer to eating clean as a diet. I actually don’t like to use the word diet at all; it makes me feel as though I am restricting myself. That said, I would limit the following:
1. Fizzy drinks.
2. Forget the fries. In fact, take all fried food off your menu completely.
3. Processed foods or as I like to say fake foods.
4. Nut butters.
What should we include?
Be sure to eat consistently every day and try to stay clear of sugary snacks.
Include the following:
1. Plenty of water. I drink at least two to three litres per day
2. I love energy boosting matcha or green tea.
3. Fresh fish and egg whites.
We have a month to get in shape. Help!?
1. Write a plan and stick to it.
2. Cut processed food.
3. Shock your body with hilt training.
4. Drink plenty of water.
5. Do not under eat this will only set you backwards.
Are you 100% happy with your body?
Some days I am and some days I’m not. I don’t think you have to be perfectly happy with every single part of your body but I do accept my body how it is, and when you accept what you have you can be happy.