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Bridal Boot Camp: Getting Your Wedding in Shape

Fitday Editor

It may be the most nerve wracking question you'll ever ask yourself... "How do I look in this dress?" No woman wants to look anything but spectacular on her wedding day. It may be short notice for this year's summer brides, but now's the perfect time to march down the aisle and plan for next year. With that in mind, here are five great tips for getting in shape for your big day.

1. Total Body vs. Targeting

Remember, just because your upper back is revealed in your dress doesn't mean you should forget about your lower back. Fitness is a total body thing, not just body parts. Focus your workouts on your entire body including your core, legs, arms, back, and shoulders. This will help you achieve a healthier, fitter look. It will also help you avoid looking "bulky": no one wants Popeye arms on their wedding day.

2. Don't Forget the Cardio

One of the most important aspects of a great wedding workout plan is plenty of cardiovascular exercise. Not only does cardiovascular exercise improve your stamina (honeymoon planning!), but it also helps increase the appearance of lean muscle. What does lean muscle do? It makes you look toned. Remember Demi Moore in "Striptease"?

3. Make Your Training Personal

When you're planning your wedding, the last thing you need to worry about is how you'll find the motivation to get in shape. Think about enlisting a personal trainer to help reach your wedding day fitness goals. You already have a professional photographer, a DJ, and a cake artist. You might as well invest in a wedding present that will really pay off! Many gyms, fitness centers, and personal trainers give discounts and deals to brides, couples, and wedding parties. Some of my favorite clients have been brides and grooms!

4. Keep Things Interesting

Nobody wants to be bored, especially during a workout. Try new things to spice up your gym life. Take your bridal party out for a pole dancing class. Have a groom vs. bride day at a paintball park. Take your party out for a spin class at the local gym. Take a lesson in jiu-jitsu or a group kickboxing class. As long as you're actively burning calories, you're working towards your wedding day goals.

5. No Crash Diets

Many people looking to lose weight or get in shape fail to realize that your body needs you to eat to fuel it. Start early on a healthy eating plan six months to a year before the big day. This will help your body adapt, and will also help show off lean muscle, provided you cut out a lot of the fatty stuff. And most importantly, eating nothing but cottage cheese for two weeks before your big day is not going to help you all that much!

Ryan Barnhart, MS, PES, is a certified Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). He also holds a master's degree in exercise science, as well as a bachelor of sport management, both from California University of Pennsylvania. Ryan has worked with numerous collegiate and amateur athletes across many different fields. Ryan also has had the opportunity to work with several professional athletes. Recently he has worked with amateur and professional athletes within the emerging sport of Mixed Martial Arts.

Ryan is currently the director of fitness at a 700+ member gym near Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys working with weekend warriors, athletes, and everyone in between. You can contact Ryan at [email protected].

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