Losing weight before your wedding has become as expected as wearing a special dress in some shade of white, but this might be the first mistake that brides make according to trainer and co-owner of Simply Fit, Hudson Ellis. “Not all brides need to lose weight but that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from a fitness routine,” says Ellis. “Many of my clients want to tone up their arms, legs and abdomen so they will look their absolute best in their wedding dress and in their honeymoon photos.”
However, many brides are successful at shedding pounds before their wedding, which is why, for example, seamstresses at Kleinfeld Bridal store in New York will typically take in a dress twice in the two months before the Big Day. So how do they do it?
“It really depends on the amount of weight you want to lose,” says Keith Director of Director Boxing. “Ten to 20 pounds within three months is doable but demands a lot of hard work and discipline with your nutrition. Anything over 20 pounds and you really need to allow at least six months to do it in a healthy, body positive way.
“One thing that enables our clients [to] attain their goals, is working out in a group setting. It’s not just your coach you’re letting down if you don’t show up, but your friends and workout buddies who will be looking for you and texting you afterwards when you’re still lying in bed. That team mentality is a great motivator.
“You also have to remember that your muscles have memory and after a while they start to adapt to the exercises you are doing. The muscles start to use less energy and the workout becomes less intense and less effective. We combat this in two ways: we increase the intensity and change up the workouts.
“We have so much equipment at the gym, from bands, balls, dumbbells, kettlebells and more, so that the exercise possibilities are almost infinite. We switch things up constantly to make sure your muscles are always firing at their full potential.”
No matter how effective the workout, you also need to be disciplined.
“Cardio burns fat for sure but strength training produces fat burning over a longer period, so my programs often combine HIIT (high intensity interval training) with weight-bearing exercises,” says Ellis.
Experts agree that to see the biggest difference, you need 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day, five to six times a week. Ideally work with a coach, to ensure you know how to do your chosen workouts safely and gradually increase the intensity over the first two weeks.
It’s a good idea to wind down your workouts in the last two weeks before your wedding, to avoid injury and focus on something like yoga which provides more stretching and relaxation.
Erin Romney, owner and instructor at Romney Pilates Center, urges brides not to forget about the long, lean benefits that Pilates provides.
“Pilates is a wonderful way for brides to prepare to walk down the aisle,” says Romney. “Our exercises strengthen your core, lengthen your muscles and allow you to sit and stand taller. Good posture can help prevent headaches, tight muscles and back pain; it’s a really important practice for any bride to incorporate into her wedding preparation.”