Does your dream dress show off your back, shoulders, arms, backside, or all of the above? If you’re like lots of other brides, your goal is to tighten, tone, and trim the fat for the big day. Total Woman wants to be there to support you during this journey and has created for you a well-rounded fitness plan that includes both strength and cardio, and will help you work towards successfully achieving your gown goals.
You only have one chance to look your best on the big day. That means it is important that you stick to your fitness regimen as closely as possible, regardless of last minute meetings with your planners, or cake emergencies. Including your workouts in your weekly schedule will help ensure you stick to them. Physically putting them into your calendar makes you less likely to skip it for something less active. Including a friend to join you will also keep you accountable to stick to those workouts.
If you’ve never really worked out before or you’re trying to get back to it, it can be confusing or intimidating to know where to actually begin. When you’re beginning a fitness program, it’s easy to become carried away and jump into a crazy-intense routine. But that’s not always the right strategy. You may become frustrated by exercises your body simply isn’t able to perform at this stage. Jumping feet-first into a routine that’s too advanced may frustrate you and end up making you want to quit before you get a single workout under your belt. What’s more, you can injure yourself by pushing your body too hard, too quickly. That is why weeks 1-4 are meant to ease you into a new workout regimen. Your goal this month is to push yourself so you are being challenged, but not so much that you hurt yourself.
A rest day is crucial for both recovery and progress. We recommend remaining inactive or if you are up to it, taking an active recovery day at least once a week. If you’re too tired to complete a workout with good form, take an additional rest day. Active recovery days would include Light activity, such as a gentle yoga class, a long walk, an easy swim, or a leisurely bike ride, are good ways to incorporate physical fitness for rest days, but only if you’re up for it.
Workouts are meant to be done at a comfortably hard pace. To figure out what your effort should be, think of a 10-point scale, where 1 is full rest, 10 is going as hard as you can, and 5 is a moderate pace which allows you to carry on conversation. When beginning a workout routine you should be going at about a 7 and recovering at about a 3. If you’re new to working out, try working at a 6 and recovering at a 2; as always, listen to your body.
Lifting weights will challenge and change your body for the better, helping to increase lean body mass, decrease fat, and enhance self-confidence. To get started aim for a weight that will fatigue your muscles in 8 – 12 reps. If you are new to weight training start small and work your way up to heavier weights. Don’t be afraid of the heavier weights; women don’t have the hormone profile necessary for bulking up.
SAMPLE WORKOUT PLAN
Below is a 28-day workout plan. You can switch up the workouts on different days. The main point to consider is to create a plan that will fit your schedule and needs so you can stick to it.