You've chosen the perfect man. The wedding date is set. You've found the dress of your dreams, but are you prepared for the commitment? It promises to be intense, demanding and ongoing - fraught with some predictable ups and downs. There will be times you'll want to throw in the towel but, if you are truly ready for commitment, it's worth the effort.
No, I'm not talking about marriage vows. I'm talking about your pledge to premarital workouts so you'll look and feel your best as you walk down the aisle on your wedding day. Keep in mind that long after your momentous day, the food, flowers, cake and entertainment will be just a vague memory. On the other hand, your photograph on the mantel will be a reminder forever.
So what should a premarital workout consist of? Whether or not you have weight to lose, a nutritious eating plan, cardiovascular exercise and strength training will be key in achieving the look you desire. If you need to shed pounds, your weight-loss goal should be no more than an average of 2 pounds a week. More will steal much-needed energy and rob your body of beautiful lean muscle, leaving you looking like a sickly bride in your wedding photographs.
While the style of your wedding gown will dictate your strength-training focus, remember you can't spot-reduce - but you can spot-strengthen. This training should target the area of your body your dress draws attention to and highlights. For example, if you are wearing a strapless gown, you should be targeting your shoulders and arm muscles.
But first, choose a gown that reveals your best features. If you are unsure, seek the advice of a wedding fashion consultant to help determine the style that will flatter your natural physique. You cannot expect to change your body shape completely, no matter how much time you have before the wedding.
Here are four main bridal gown styles and their targeted training areas. Start with one set of 12 repetitions and progress gradually to 2 to 3 sets for all exercises. If weights are involved, choose weights that fatigue your targeted muscle area after 12 repetitions. The 12th repetition should be the last one you can do with proper form. If you cannot perform 12 without pain or major struggle, the weight is too heavy. If you can continue easily past 12, the weight is too light. You should feel challenged but not fearful of injury. Exhale on the exertions.
Open back or halter dress style. Focus on upper and lower back and shoulders.
Strapless or arm-baring dress style. Focus on shoulders, arms.