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8 Bridal Boot Camp Workouts to Get Fit for Your Wedding

by
author image Jill Penfold
Jill is a NASM-certified personal trainer, Tabata Body Master trainer, prenatal and postpartum certified and group instructor. She specializes in bride training, preparing women for their big day by getting their bodies in tip-top shape. An athlete herself, she works hard in the gym to stay as fit as possible and always looking for ways to better herself in her chosen field.
8 Bridal Boot Camp Workouts to Get Fit for Your Wedding
Whatever you wedding day goals, working out can help you feel and look your best. Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

You’ve said yes to the dress! And now you want to do everything you can to feel confident and look your best when you walk down the aisle.

Your wedding day is one of the biggest and most wonderful celebrations you’ll have, and you should feel like a million dollars. Whether you need to lose weight, tone up or stay exactly the same size, fitness can play an important part in your preparations for the big day.

Here are three ways working out can help you get ready for your wedding.

1. Stress Relief: Finding time for a workout can take your mind off the stresses of wedding planning and release some built-up anxiety and stress.

2. Health and Well-Being: Improving the health of your heart and lungs will supply fresh oxygen to your entire body and leave you feeling fresh, motivated and positive.

3. Accountability: This is your body. Take care of it. No one else is going to tell you to exercise. You have to do it for yourself. Print the calendar below, put it somewhere visible and mark off the days as you complete them.

Follow this calendar for your 4-week bridal boot camp.
Follow this calendar for your 4-week bridal boot camp. Photo Credit Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM

Start With a Warmup, End With a Cooldown

Before each session, get your body moving and your heart pumping using this easy warmup circuit.

Here's how to do the ground to overhead stretch
Here's how to do the ground to overhead stretch Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Easy Warmup Circuit

Total Time: 5 minutes

30 seconds of each:

  • Air squats
  • Ground to overhead stretch (see above)
  • Squat jumps
  • High knees
  • Plank jacks

Do two rounds.

Once you’re warmed up, simply follow the workout circuits for that day. Take your time, and don’t rush your training.

After each session, use the cooldown circuit to return your body to its natural resting state.

The first four stretches in your cooldown series.
The first four stretches in your cooldown series. Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Quick Cooldown Circuit

Total time: 11 minutes

30 seconds of each

  • Side stretch (both sides)
  • Straight-arm stretch (both sides)
  • Quad stretch (both sides)
  • Hamstring stretch (both sides)
  • Downward-facing dog
  • Upward-facing dog
  • Child’s pose

Do two rounds.

Both the warmup and cooldown are non-negotiable.

Your Weekly Circuit and HIIT Workouts

Since most wedding gowns are either sleeveless or backless, I focus a lot of attention on the upper body. You’ll find these workouts in the strength circuit. You’ll follow that up with some cardio circuits to torch calories and tone up all over.

And then two days a week, you'll do one of these HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. HIIT is a proven method of cardiorespiratory training that involves bursts of all-out exercise followed by a brief rest. Give it your all for just 20 to 30 minutes, and you'll reap the benefits of EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which is also known as the afterburn effect.

A simple, 4-move circuit.
A simple, 4-move circuit. Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Monday of Week 1 and 2: Circuit 1

15 reps of each:

  • Biceps curl
  • Triceps kickback
  • Front raise
  • Reverse fly

Do four rounds.

After each circuit workout, you’ll do 10 minutes of cardio burn:

Burn calories while continuing to tone your upper body.
Burn calories while continuing to tone your upper body. Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

60 seconds of each:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Squat jumps
  • Dumbbell side rotation with punch
  • Plank jacks
  • Russian twists
Just 20 minutes and you're done!
Just 20 minutes and you're done! Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Tuesday of Week 1 and 2: 20-Minute HIIT Workout 1

60 seconds of each:

  • Dumbbell side rotation with punch
  • In-and-out squat hops
  • Plank jacks
  • Invisible rope
  • Rest

Do four rounds.

Focus on your chest, shoulders and biceps.
Focus on your chest, shoulders and biceps. Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Wednesday of Week 1 and 2: Circuit 2

15 reps of each:

  • Front and side raise
  • Push-up
  • Biceps curl
  • Plank taps

Do four rounds. And don't forget your cardio burn finisher!

Ease your tired, sore muscles with this yoga series.
Ease your tired, sore muscles with this yoga series. Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Every Thursday: Yoga/Stretch

Hold these five poses for 60 seconds each as many times as needed (aim for six rounds).

  • Downward-facing dog with calf pedal
  • Upward-facing dog with hip rock
  • Straight-leg seated lower-back stretch
  • Hanging head and neck stretch
  • Child’s pose
You got this!
You got this! Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Friday of Week 1 and 2: 20-Minute HIIT Workout 2

60 seconds of each:

  • Side-to-side hops
  • Donkey kicks
  • Dumbbell side rotation with punch
  • Russian twists
  • Rest

Do four rounds.

Every Saturday: LISS

It’s important to include a steady-state cardio day (LISS) into your training once a week. On this day you get to choose a 45-minute workout or class.

Every Sunday: Rest

Resting and recovery (thank goodness!) usually happens on Sundays, but you can pick any day of the week that works with your schedule. Take the day off and get out of the gym! If you overwork your body it will hold you back. Allow yourself to recover and reap the benefits the next day.

Target your triceps and shoulders.
Target your triceps and shoulders. Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Monday of Week 3 and 4: Circuit 3

15 reps of each:

  • Front raise
  • Reverse fly
  • Overhead press
  • Overhead triceps extension

Do four rounds. And don't forget your cardio burn finisher!

Feel the (after)burn!
Feel the (after)burn! Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Tuesday of Week 3 and 4: 30-Minute HIIT Workout 1

60 seconds of each:

  • Speed skaters
  • Sumo squat pulse
  • Burpee plank
  • Invisible jump rope
  • Rest

Do six rounds.

Your fourth and final circuit!
Your fourth and final circuit! Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Wednesday of Week 3 and 4: Circuit 4

15 reps of each:

  • Side raise
  • Plank taps
  • Overhead press
  • Biceps curl

Do four rounds. And don't forget your cardio burn finisher!

Every Thursday: Yoga/Stretch

Hold these five poses for 60 seconds each as many times as needed (aim for six rounds).

  • Downward-facing dog with calf pedal
  • Upward-facing dog with hip rock
  • Straight-leg seated lower-back stretch
  • Hanging head and neck stretch
  • Child’s pose
Your final HIIT workout!
Your final HIIT workout! Photo Credit Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

Friday of Week 3 and 4: 30-Minute HIIT Workout 2

60 seconds of each:

  • Invisible jump rope
  • Dumbbell side rotation with punch
  • Side-to-side hops
  • Plank jacks
  • Rest

Do six rounds.

Every Saturday: LISS

For your 45 minutes of LISS, choose your favorite low-intensity steady-state cardio like walking, jogging, conversation-level running, hiking, dog walking, tennis or the elliptical.

Every Sunday: Rest

Thank goodness for rest days, right? Enjoy your day off and give your muscles a chance to rest and recover.

You can't out-exercise a bad diet.
You can't out-exercise a bad diet. Photo Credit Elena_Danileiko/iStock/Getty Images

Don't Forget Proper Diet and Nutrition

If you’re looking to lose weight in addition to toning up, you’ll need to first get your diet and nutrition in order.

Here’s a short list of things I recommend cutting from your diet to promote a healthier and happier you. It will also help with weight loss and overall wellness. I use the acrostic “Cut the CRAP” to help remind my clients what to avoid:

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Refined sugar
  • Artificial foods
  • Processed foods

I also recommend avoiding dairy, dough and fruit juice.

Although it’s easy to get caught up in what you can’t eat, it’s important to focus on all the healthy, nutritious foods you can eat. Here’s a short list of fresh foods that will fuel your body with sustained energy.

  • Superfoods like spinach, broccoli, walnuts, lentils, pineapple and grapefruit
  • Eggs and lean meats like chicken and fish
  • Leafy greens and fresh veggies

And here’s my go-to snack list. Prepare these at the beginning of each week to set yourself up for success.

  • Nuts: They’re packed with energy, and a handful of almonds (14) has 100 calories. Perfect as a quick hunger-avoidance tactic.
  • Fruit: Don’t overindulge with fruit; some types are high in sugar. But I do encourage a sliced apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon, frozen banana slices or raw blueberries and raspberries.

What Do YOU Think?

Are you getting married soon? Are you planning on working out leading up to your big day? What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight? Tone up? Or just look and feel your best? What's your plan? Do you think you'll try any of these workouts? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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