Bridal Bouquet: Operation Buff Bride

Your wedding is approaching and you want to look your best, not just to make your pictures look pretty, but also to feel good about yourself. “Do what you’re doing for you,” says Jennifer Joseph, personal trainer and owner of Philly FitBrides, a Philadelphia-based service that offers personalized workout programs for brides-to-be.

“It’s important to do cardio,” says Joseph. “It’s the best way to lose weight.” Weight training can build lean muscle and tone your arms, legs, back and abs. Here, Joseph gives us the skinny on how to get a wedding-dress-ready figure.

Slim Down, Buff Up

Regardless of how much time you have, Joseph recommends working out five days a week, and doing strength training on three of those days.

Days 1, 3 & 5
Do 20-30 minutes cardio
Tip: Choose something you enjoy, and avoid boredom by switching it up. “Running is best,” says Joseph, but warns not everyone can do it right away. To build up your stamina, start by walking with short running intervals. Increase the running:walking ratio until you can run for 20-30 minutes nonstop.
Do 15 push-ups
Tip: If you’re new to push-ups, start out on your knees and work up to your toes.
Do 100 crunches
Plan on 25 straight crunches (feet on floor, knees bent), 50 bicycles (alternating legs) and 25 crunches with feet raised (you can put your feet up against a chair if you have back problems).

Day 1
Do 3 wall sits, holding as long as you can

Days 2 & 4
Do 40-60 minutes cardio

Day 3
Do 12-15 lateral and 12-15 side arm raises
Tip: Start out with 3-5 lb. weights and work up.

Day 5
Perform leg circles by lying on your side with toes pointed With the top leg, draw a large circle in the air. Do 10, switch directions and repeat. Then draw 10 small circles each direction. Switch sides and repeat.