Whether you’re jetting off to the Amalfi Coast to get married in a quaint Italian church in front of a select group of friends and family, a converted barn in the English countryside with a marquee glittered in fairy lights, candles and cherry blossom, or a local registry office with nothing but a bunch of Calla Lily and Ranunculus in hand, every bride wants to look the best on their wedding day.
After all, when it comes to reminiscing at wedding photos years later, who doesn’t want to flick through snapshots of their first leap into the unknown of marriage, love and family, without the heartwarming memory of slipping into a perfectly fitted ivory-hued dress on the morning of their wedding day, and looking into the mirror at a glowing bride looking undeniably like a modern-day princess?
However, preparing for your wedding day is no mean feat – and no, we’re not talking about the stress of finding a venue, picking bridesmaids’ dresses, making the decision of whether to go for the salmon or chicken, and agreeing on the first dance song.
Following the news that Pippa Middleton completed a three-month ‘strict bridal body boot camp’ at the Grace Belgravia health club (which reportedly featured a 360-degree programme including a personal trainer, skincare and leg toning treatments, yoga, pilates, spin and dance classes) ahead of her wedding to hedge fund financier James Matthews in May, we’ve been on the look out for a bridal fitness plan that offers high-quality results, without the Belgravia price tag.
After all, when you’re forking out thousands of pounds on a reception venue, accommodation and bridal accessories, the last thing you want to do is spend even more money on an exercise regime you’re not entirely sure will get you feeling fit, healthy and toned for your big day.
That’s why we recruited the help of Fit Class Ltd personal trainer Matt Fish to give us the low-down on how to tone up for a wedding, which exercises you need to prioritise, how to maintain a healthy eating regime on hen dos and the honeymoon, and de-stress after all that boring ‘wed-min’.
1. If you’re hoping to get toned for a wedding, realistically how long should in advance should you start working out?
Ideally, I would recommend 12 weeks. This is so a client can get their diet in check and focus on certain areas, with correct technique and form. If the bride is advanced in the gym, I would recommend 8-10 weeks, so long as they’re committed to their training regime.
2. What are the most common areas of the body brides ask you to help them with?
This depends on the wedding dress and how it fits. Upper arms are the most common area that brides ask for help with, including their shoulders, triceps and biceps.
3. What are your top tips to focussing on these key areas?
For upper body exercises, I would suggest doing two compound exercises (exercises that use more than one muscle group) such as a chest press and lat pull down. The chest press targets the chest area and tricep, while the lat pull machine focuses on the back and bicep.
For the shoulders, I would use a tri-set of shoulder presses, lateral raises and front raises to hit all areas around the shoulder joint.
For the bum, I recommend hip thrusters which are good for activating the glutes and hamstrings, and then squats and lunges to target all the areas of the quadriceps, hamstring and glutes.
4. In terms of preparing for a wedding, what training plan would you advise a woman to do?
I’d suggest a combination of HIIT workouts with resistance/weightlifting exercises.
The HIIT workouts helps to burn calories and lower body fat whilst the resistance workouts add muscle to help tone specific areas*.
5. If you have 30 mins to do some exercise each night, what’s your favourite workout you’d advise a client to do?
I would do resisted HIIT workouts with compound exercises. For example, I’d suggest a bride does a series of squat presses, chest presses, and weighted burpess and renegade rows.
You can perform each exercise for 40 seconds with 20 seconds rest in between each one. I’d do at least three sets of this routine.
6. If you’re strapped for time before a wedding and have a month to go but still want to work out and tone up, what workouts should you prioritise?
A month isn’t long so you would have to hit it hard. You should keep your workouts high intense with limited rest, making sure you are performing exercises with correct form and technique.
Also, you really need to concentrate on eating clean and limiting your alcohol intake.