6-Month Wedding Fitness Plan

We’ve got your ticket to a toned, wedding-ready body!
Bridal fitness plan before wedding
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Hey, we love you just the way you are! But if you have a fitness goal you'd like to achieve before your wedding day, look no further than our safe and effective workout plan. The program is made up of two-week cycles, so if six months sounds too long, just take it two weeks at a time. And the best part? No gym membership required!

If you don't have six months and you're freaking out about a workout plan, consider a personal trainer, or an online program, like Diet Bet, which will motivate you with a supportive community, coach and even financial rewards.


What you'll need:

-Comfortable clothes

-Running shoes

-Two 3- or 5-pound hand weights, or resistance bands for bicep and tricep curls

-A mat or blanket (optional) for crunches and push-ups

Month 1

For the first month, your focus should be on getting active and engaged in the program. A good way to get motivated is to start a workout diary where you can monitor your progress. Write down your starting weight (going forward be sure to weigh yourself at the same time in the morning for consistency), and use a measuring tape to record the size of your chest, waist, hips, thighs and forearms. To stay motivated, keep notes all the way through. If you're more of a visual person, or if you'd rather not deal with numbers, take a picture of yourself every week to track changes.

Tip: Try not to focus on quick results—you don't want to get discouraged early on or you'll never stick to the program. This is about creating a healthy change in your lifestyle that will show up with time.


Weeks 1 & 2

20 minutes of aerobic activity (running, walking, jogging, cycling—anything that gets your blood pumping) at least 3 times a week.

If you're not the running type there are plenty of moves (try burpees, jumping jacks and mountain climbers), classes or exercise videos out there that will also get your heart rate going (Zumba, anyone?). Want to boost your burn? Add an extra day of activity to your week or switch a resting day to a weightlifting day.


Weeks 3 & 4

30 minutes of aerobic activity at least 3 times a week.


Month 2

Still here? Good work! Get out the diary (or your camera) again and record your progress. Don't focus too much on weight loss yet—what you should be taking note of is an increase in energy and stamina. Since you've been working out three times a week for four weeks, you should start to feel like you're getting into a routine that's quickly becoming second nature. In your journal, take extra time to write down how you feel, how you're dealing with stress and what you think you are gaining from your exercise program. During month two, you'll pair your aerobic activity with sets of crunches and push-ups, so you can start toning two big target areas.

Tip: About 15 minutes into your workout, check your heart rate to make sure you're hitting the target range for your age group. You can check it the old-fashioned way by finding your pulse on your wrist or neck and counting the beats with a stopwatch or download one of the new heart rate apps for your smartphone—they use the phone's camera sensor to calculate your heart rate.


Finding your target heart rate

To really take advantage of your workouts and stay in shape, you should try to stay within a targeted heart rate zone. To find your zone, figure out your maximum heart rate (the highest your heart should be beating during your exercise session) by using this formula: 220 – your age (in years) = maximum heart rate.

Once you've found your maximum heart rate, use the following formulas to find your target heart rate zone, which should be somewhere between 30 and 60 beats per minute less than your maximum heart rate.

Maximum heart rate – 30 = target heart rate high

Maximum heart rate – 60 = target heart rate low


Weeks 5 & 6

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

2 sets of 10 stomach crunches *

1 set of 10 push-ups (Can't do a full push-up yet? No worries. Start with modified push-ups on your knees and work your way up.)

* For any exercise throughout that has multiple sets, you should rest 1–2 minutes between completing each set.


Weeks 7 & 8

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 10 stomach crunches

2 sets of 10 push-ups


Month 3

Need a bit of a motivational boost? Write down your latest measurements or take your photo, then flip back to the first page of your journal (or check out that first photo) to see the changes you've made in just a few months. Also, get out your calendar to check how quickly your wedding day is approaching and remind yourself why you're doing all of this. Visualize yourself coming down the aisle in the best shape ever -- and don't give up! Even if you haven't lost weight, you should be seeing some results in your muscle tone by now. This month, we'll crank things up a notch by adding a set of squats to the first two weeks and sets of bicep and tricep curls to the last two.

Tip: Don't panic if you haven't lost weight or maybe even gained a few pounds—muscle is denser than fat, so you've most likely turned some of that fat into lithe, lean muscle.


Weeks 9 & 10

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 10 stomach crunches

2 sets of 10 push-ups

1 set of 10 squats

Tip: When squatting, imagine you're sitting down on a chair behind you. If you look down and your knees are extended beyond your toes, readjust your position. Doing a squat incorrectly can result in injury, so be careful.


Weeks 11 & 12

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 10 stomach crunches

3 sets of 10 push-ups

2 sets of 10 squats

2 sets of 10 bicep curls

2 sets of 10 tricep curls


Month 4

We know it sounds cheesy, but take a moment to congratulate yourself—you're halfway there and you're doing an amazing job! Weigh yourself, take your measurements and snap a photo. If you've been following the program consistently, you definitely should notice some substantial changes by now. We bet even friends and family are starting to notice. (Prepare for compliments to start pouring in soon!) In month four, get ready for chest presses (Google them if you're not sure how to perform them properly).

Tip: At this point, if nothing or very little has changed, you may need a more advanced program. Try consulting a personal trainer and a nutrition specialist for help addressing your specific needs.


Weeks 13 & 14

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 15 stomach crunches

3 sets of 15 push-ups

3 sets of 15 squats

3 sets of 15 bicep curls

3 sets of 15 tricep curls

2 sets of 10 chest presses


Weeks 15 & 16

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 15 stomach crunches

3 sets of 15 push-ups

3 sets of 15 squats

3 sets of 15 bicep curls

3 sets of 15 tricep curls

3 sets of 15 chest presses


Month 5

Okay, now it's time to get serious: There are only eight weeks to go until your wedding. Weigh in or snap your photo. Now, where do you still need some help? Is it your stomach? Thighs? Butt? Pick one or two areas and focus, focus, focus. In month five, you'll continue along with the same program, but add in three extra sets of 15 for whichever area(s) you'd like to improve most. With every crunch, squat or curl, envision yourself looking gorgeous in your gown—you'll get there.


Weeks 17 & 18

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 15 stomach crunches

3 sets of 15 push-ups

3 sets of 15 squats

3 sets of 15 bicep curls

3 sets of 15 tricep curls

3 sets of 15 chest presses

3 sets of 15 extra target area of your choice


Weeks 19 & 20

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 15 stomach crunches

3 sets of 15 push-ups

3 sets of 15 squats

3 sets of 15 bicep curls

3 sets of 15 tricep curls

3 sets of 15 chest presses

3 sets of 15 extra target area of your choice


Month 6

Can you believe there are just four weeks to go?! As you get closer to your wedding date, your crazy schedule may threaten to derail your exercise program, but do everything you can to stay on track. Weigh in and take your measurements, but don't be surprised if they aren't as important anymore—the way you feel should be motivation enough to keep exercising. You'll continue to workout at the same level as last month. If you're having trouble finding the time to keep up this pace, cut back the number of sets you do, but swap in heavier weights to keep the intensity up.


Week 21 & 22

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 15 stomach crunches

3 sets of 15 push-ups

3 sets of 15 squats

3 sets of 15 bicep curls

3 sets of 15 tricep curls

3 sets of 15 chest presses

3 sets of 15 extra target area of your choice


Week 23 & 24

Complete the following at least 3 times per week:

40 minutes of aerobic activity

3 sets of 15 stomach crunches

3 sets of 15 push-ups

3 sets of 15 squats

3 sets of 15 bicep curls

3 sets of 15 tricep curls

3 sets of 15 chest presses

3 sets of 15 extra target area of your choice


This program has been vetted for safety and effectiveness by Greg Doyle, CSCS, founder of the Wedding Gym and author of Fit for a Bride.

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