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A Fall Workout Survival Guide for Spring Brides-to-be

About this time of year, the leaves start changing, the weather cools, and comfort food season begins. The battle of the winter bulge in in full swing, which makes getting into shape to feel great for a spring even more challenging.

When Sean and I got married this last July, I worked my tail off for months to feel great on that day. So in honor of comfort food season, I wanted to share what got me through the last few months of juggling planning, intense workouts and life, of course, because show of hands: is there anyone who doesn’t want to feel fabulous and fit on their wedding day? Didn’t think so. We’re in this together, girl!

The problem is (at least it was for me): the time leading up to your wedding is one of the busiest times of your life. Most of us modern girls are all normally busy trying to “have it all" as it is, and add planning the biggest event you’ve likely ever thrown into the mix, and it’s easy to blow a fuse, or two.

While planning our summer wedding, starting my pre-wedding workout plan felt like just one more box to check off my longer-than-ever to-do list. Now, looking back on the weeks before our big day, I’m certain my workout routine saved my sanity, and probably my fiancé's too.

Since my husband happens to be a Sports Performance Coach, for University of North Carolina, Charlotte, I was lucky enough to get a custom six-month pre-wedding workout plan. And I want to share the love. Outlined below is the routine that was incredibly fun (most days), helped get me into the best shape of my life, and landed me a little feature on this online publication:

MONDAY: Run, 3-5 miles

TUESDAY: Lift – Sean’s gym workout. *See below.

WEDNESDAY: Flywheel Spin class (Jenna is THE BEST!)

THURSDAY: Hot yoga

FRIDAY: Off-day (3-5 minute plank + 10 minute living room bodyweight workout)

SATURDAY: Long run, 6-9 miles/PLAY DAY

SUNDAY: Off-day/PLAY DAY (3-5 minute plank + 10 minute living room bodyweight workout)

When I first met Sean and he talked about getting me to lift weights, I was beyond nervous. The last thing I wanted was to feel bulky, hurt myself, or be completely bored to death. Today, I could not be more pleasantly surprised by the way lifting has made me feel.n fact, I attribute it to helping me get longer leaner muscles and toned arms and legs, like I’ve never had before. I feel more fit now than when I was just endurance running. I’ve run several half marathons and two full marathons, but feel better physically now than I did after either race.

Here’s the first real lifting routine I’ve ever stuck too, and could not be more pleased with the results:

Warmup: 5 minutes of cardio. Jump rope, use the rowing machine, or run...just mix it up and get your blood flowing!

Workout: Each exercise is in sets (a.k.a. the times you repeat it).

A1) Reverse lunges with Y reach -- 3 sets x 6 repetitions per leg; up to 20 lbs weights

A2) Wide Push-up (5 seconds down) -- 3 sets x 10 repetitions

A3) Ball Roll Outs -- 3 sets x 20 repetitions

*Jump rope - 1 minute*

B1) Squat to Press -- 3 sets x 12 repetitions

B2) Straight Arm Pulldown -- 3 sets x 10 repetitions

B3) Glute Bridge -- 3 sets x 15 seconds/leg

*Jump rope - 1 minute*

C1) Single Leg Balance Squats -- 3 sets x 10 repetitions/leg

C2) Incline Bench Press -- 3 sets x 8 repetitions

C3) V-ups -- 3 sets x 15 repetitions

*Jump rope - 1 minute*

D1) Tuck Jump -- 2 sets x 10 repetitions

D2) Frogger Jump Backs -- 2 sets x 15 repetitions

D3) Mountain Climbers -- 2 sets x 25 repetitions

Cool Down: Stretch or ride the stationary bike (easy) for five minutes.

For me, working out has to be fun to be effective. If I do the same routine everyday, I won’t last two weeks. The trick I’ve found that really helps make working out fun is mixing things up and keeping some “off/play days” for things that don’t feel like working out (i.e., dancing with girlfriends, wakeboarding or taking a long walk with a friend). So get out there, stay fit, and most importantly, have FUN!

I hope this routine inspires all of you fit chicks before the holidays, and gives a little "you can do it" boost to you brides-to-be.

Happy lifting,

Brooke

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