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The Wedding Workout: New Ways to Get in Shape By Your Wedding Day

You found your one true love, hunted down a gorgeous gown and even convinced
your best friend not to tell that embarrassing story about your senior prom at
the rehearsal dinner. After all that work to make your big day extraordinary,
why settle for a boring pre-wedding workout regimen? Your exercise routine
doesn’t just help you look your very best, it can also offer stress relief (when
you might need it most), if you keep it interesting. We found local studios
offering classes to keep your workout exciting, whether you need to get
motivated and inspired, or relax and rejuvenate.

Aerial workouts employ silky, super-strong fabrics suspended from the ceiling
to help you unleash your inner Cirque du Soleil spirit. Time Out Studio offers
two different aerial classes in a room strung with luxurious U-shaped lengths of
red fabric and lit from above with twinkling lights. Aerial Stretch is an
introductory class, mixed with plenty of yoga-inspired movements. Aerial
Conditioning is an athletic class that demands more core conditioning,
upper-body strength, and inversions. The workouts are undoubtedly fun, but owner
Jeanne Schmit touts another benefit: fascia hydration and release. Fascia is the
connective tissue around your muscles, and keeping it loose and pliable is
important to your overall health. She encourages brides to try a mix of classes
in their pre-wedding workout schedule. “You’re looking forward to getting
married,” says Schmit. “You want spice in your marriage, and you want spice in
your exercise routine as well.” 

Interval Training
Orange Theory Fitness offers a unique brand of interval training that
combines cardio and strength training to increase your heart rate to 85 percent
of your maximum capacity—what their trainers call the “orange zone.” Mike
Calawerts, head trainer at Orange Theory’s Minneapolis location, says that if
you stay in this zone for the majority of your workout, you will continue
burning calories long after you’ve finished on the treadmill; who doesn’t like
that? When you arrive, you (and everyone else) strap on a heart monitor that
sends your data to a flat-screen monitor. Trainers monitor your pulse and effort
while you work out, so you get the benefits of a group class combined with the
individual attention of a personal trainer. Each class is broken into two
sections so that no two workouts are exactly the same. You’ll spend time on the
treadmill and rowing machine, as well as using free weights and suspension
training, so your workout never feels routine. Afterward, you’ll receive your
data via email to help you stay on track. 

Boot Camp
When personal trainer Molly Doyle got married last year, she discovered many
brides-to-be who were excited about kicking their pre-wedding workout into high
gear. Her four-week Bridal Bootcamp is more than just a workout, it’s a place to
talk shop with other ladies in the midst of wedding planning. “It’s great to go
somewhere where you’re all in it together, to support and encourage each other,”
says Doyle. Her clients meet at her St. Paul studio, but she often takes them on
a mini tour of the city. No two workouts are the same; they might visit a park
for isometric exercise or hit the stairs at a nearby track. While it’s a total
body workout, she loves to focus on the back and shoulders. “Nothing looks
better in a wedding dress than a sculpted pair of arms,” she says. But the best
part is watching the transformation that happens inside each woman. “I have so
many brides say their dress fits differently and they feel strong and
empowered,” says Doyle. “It’s about feeling your best inside and out so you can
bring that energy into your new life.”

Everyone thinks of yoga as stress relief, but it can also be an incredible
workout. Omar Bliss, instructor at Life Power Yoga’s Minneapolis location,
describes his classes as power yoga. The workouts take place in a beautiful
space with soaring ceilings and a polished wood floor, all lit by a glowing
fireplace and heated to around 96 degrees, which loosens stiff muscles and helps
you sweat and detoxify. Classes include isometric contractions for toning, as
well as pose holding, a technique that creates a more athletic approach to
traditional yoga. Bliss says there is plenty of upper-body work. “It definitely
helps tone up arms,” he says. Adding yoga to a regimen that includes cardio and
strength training helps to tighten and lengthen muscles. “Since the human body
is always adapting to do the least amount of work, it’s a good idea to change it
up so your body doesn’t know what’s next and has to recruit new muscles,” he

A spinning class at The Firm with Kelly Miyamoto, co-owner and instructor, is
like a non-stop dance party that’s guaranteed to relieve stress. High-energy
music blasts you through a tiered workout that gets results. Spinning is a great
option for any fitness level, whether you are an elite athlete or haven’t worked
out for months. “Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before,” says Miyamoto.
“We all start together, we all end together and nobody gets left behind.”
Spinning is also low-impact, making it a good option for those recovering from
knee injuries. Since spinning appeals to guys, too, many couples come to class
together. In fact, she just had two clients bring their entire wedding party to
the studio for a pre-wedding-day workout. Everyone left with rosy cheeks and a
healthy smoothie to keep them energized through the day. Miyamoto felt a surge
of joy watching them walk out the door to start their new life together. “They
were a young couple looking great and feeling great,” she says.

Personal Training
Personal training is usually the most expensive option, explains Lily Smith
of Steele Fitness, because it’s highly targeted assistance that gets results.
Brides hire personal trainers for accountability. “It’s much easier to keep an
appointment with a person than it is to keep an appointment with a treadmill,”
says Smith. Hour-long sessions are held at one of Steele’s five area locations,
or trainers can come to you. “It’s not just moving along the line of machines
and doing sets,” says Smith. “No session is identical; you’ll always feel
challenged to do things you haven’t done before.” Heart rate monitors
automatically record and download your data to your smartphone. Clients can use
the technology to track every workout they do, even without a Steele trainer.
Steele’s luxurious amenities are another plus. With waterfall showers, thick
terrycloth robes and towels, and sleek bamboo floors, the locker rooms feel like
a boutique hotel, not high school gym class. 

Barre Bliss with Mia Jennemen isn’t just a barre workout. Her studio in
Uptown is filled with all the tools of the trade: Cushy yoga mats, free weights,
resistance bands, balls and stationary bikes are just a few of the extras she
uses to help her clients feel their best. In addition to traditional barre work
to strengthen your core and firm your legs, her classes incorporate isometric
exercises to tighten your waist and tone your triceps. “The more you work a
posture, the more it works,” says Jennemen. Her dance training and love of yoga
inspired her to create a class that includes plenty of stretching and
lengthening. She calls the class low-impact, but that doesn’t mean your legs
might not shake as your muscles are challenged. “I’ve seen people lose inches
doing this workout,” she says. Your wedding-day workout should be about total
wellness, and helping balance your body and mind during what can be a joyful but
hectic time. “Barre helps you carry yourself like a dancer,” she says with a
smile, “and stand tall on your wedding day.” 

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