Buff Bride Workout

Hi friends! how’s the morning going? Yesterday was a DAY. Of course we were sending last minute info to our accountant for taxes (#organized) and the SUV’s service light came on. The Pilot switched the carseats out to our other car, took the SUV to the dealership, and after they *fixed it*, it stalled and completely broke down on the side of the highway. Crazypants. Is it Friday yet? haha. Thankfully there’s lots to look forward to this week, and some good friends are in town from Tucson. I’m so excited to catch up with them tonight. 🙂

So lately, the ol’ inbox has been filled with wedding workout requests. Ask and ye shall receive!

This one is for all of my bride friends out there. <3

Buff bride workout - a four-week plan to get you ready for the big day!

(This is also a great workout plan if you have an event coming up, or if you’re looking to switch up your routine.)

Since many of you have let me know you’re getting married this summer or early fall, I put together a little workout just for you. Keep in mind that this workout is intended for the average gym-going Jane, who is free of injuries and comfortable lifting weights. If you are a newbie (yay!!! HI) check out my intro to iron pumping post here, and I recommend meeting with a trainer just to make sure your form is on point. As always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes, and honor your body.

How to Get Ready for the Big Day

Clean up your eating routine. Now is a great time to get your eating on track. Make sure that you’re getting lots of protein (for muscle building + repair), produce (for nutrients, satiety, beautiful skin and hair) and water (for so many benefits including hydration replenishment and happy skin). 

Focus on the upper body. Many wedding dresses highlight the upper body, so this workout emphasizes back strengthening (for those low back dresses and great posture), biceps and shoulders (for those “holding the bouquet” pics), triceps and chest.

Commit to cardio! Not only will it help relieve stress and energize you as the big day arrives, but the endurance will be there to hit the dance floor all night. 😉

Dancing at our wedding

(One of my favorite memories from our wedding was the dancing!! Our friends were crazy on the dance floor, and it was amazing.)

Weekly Wedding-Ready Workout Plan

If you need help shuffling things around, let me know!

Sunday: Long cardio day. Go for a long run or take a cardio class (like dance or spin) that you enjoy

Monday: Buff bride circuit + 20 minutes HIIT (go for 1 minute HARD, 1 minute easy x 10 rounds)

Tuesday: OFF (or easy yoga/stretching)

Wednesday: Buff bride circuit + 10 minute hill climb (focus on adding resistance gradually until you hit your personal max)

Thursday: Easy steady state- 20-30 minutes

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Buff bride circuit + 10 minutes HIIT (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off x 10 rounds)

Your buff bride circuit:

Buff Bride Circuit Workout

Buff Bride Circuit Workout Form Cues

Assisted pull-ups: remember that this is a counterweight, so the more weight, the easier it is. Really focus on squeezing in between your shoulder blades as you exhale and rise.

Triceps dips: you can do these with bent or straight legs. For extra excitement, place a flat weight on your thighs. Remember to keep your chest lifted and elbows pointing straight back. If you have shoulder or wrist concerns, do overhead triceps extensions instead.

Rope beats: focus on bringing the weight UP then slamming it down. Keep your chest up and a slight bend in your knees. No ropes at your gym? No worries! Do 1 minutes of seated rows instead.

Burpees: modify by walking back to plank and walking back up. To make it even more fun, add a tuck jump at the top.

Lunge with biceps curl: watch your front knee to make sure it doesn’t extend past your toes. To switch things up, try hammer curls while you lunge on the right, and traditional biceps curls for your lunges on the left.

Squat to overhead press: make sure to keep your chest lifted and core tight. Avoid letting the weights fall down, and lower them with control. Exhale to rise and press the weights overhead.

Push-up: on your knees, toes, or modified against a wall. Keep your hips down in line with your spine, and exhale, squeezing your chest, to rise.

Plank: any plank of choice! Knees or toes is totally fine, or you can add some hip dips or saw your body slightly forward and back.

Weighted hip raises: you can do these on your back or over a BOSU. For resistance, place a flat weight on your hips. Tap your hips to the floor (keep your gaze straight) and exhale, squeezing your glutes, to press up.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Question of the day: Any random or hilarious wedding stories (as a guest or participant)? I will never forget calling the restaurant where we were having our rehearsal dinner to find out they completely forgot we were coming. There were already 80 people on the way there! Thankfully, it ended up being NBD, but when I made that phone call, my heart probably stopped for 4 seconds haha. 

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  1. Danielle on April 19, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I will definitely be incorporating this into my wedding prep! Thanks 🙂

  2. Sara on April 19, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Great timing on this! We’re getting married in October but I’m a month out from engagement pictures. I’ll start tomorrow! 🙂

  3. Kelsey Halena on April 19, 2016 at 7:25 am

    YASSSSS! This is awesome as shiz gets real that wedding is less than 6 months away. My upper body has always been my ‘bulky area’ so it’s definitely where I’ve been wanting to focus toning efforts. I’ve been trying to focus on eating like a PRO now too, since I’m definitely of the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ mentality.

  4. Ali G on April 19, 2016 at 7:33 am

    No upcoming wedding here (we passed anniversary 11 in the fall), but I do have a story!
    The night before our wedding my engagement ring and the wedding bands were stolen out of the best man’s car while we were having the rehearsal dinner. At the time it was completely awful and I had a serious breakdown but it all worked out in the end. We had hilariously terrible bands for the ceremony and a terrific story. My engagement ring was insured on its own so it ended up being relatively easy to replace.

    • Jaclyn on April 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

      OMG!!!! Did you ever find out who took them?! Was the BM mortified?! Glad it worked out for you and thank god for insurance right!

      • Ali G on April 19, 2016 at 8:42 am

        No idea who took the rings.
        The BM felt awful at the time and I think he still feels a little guilty. It was completely terrible at the time but enough time has passed now that my husband and I can laugh about it.
        It helps put perspective on the idea that it’s only a day and life goes on. 🙂

        • jaclyn on April 19, 2016 at 11:23 am

          Totally, awesome perspective. Weddings aren’t about the little things anyway right! 🙂 <3

  5. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on April 19, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Oh my goodness talk about starting the week with a bang! Things usually happen in 3’s so beware.

  6. Erika S. on April 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

    The pic of you two on the dance floor is priceless! Love it and the workout plan/ideas..!

  7. Jaclyn on April 19, 2016 at 8:35 am

    You should do more wedding related, I would love to see more of your wedding deets, hoe to budget/balance with life, school, deployments, mother in laws/all the family involved etc. 🙂

    Ps hope everything gets fixed up with your car! That is so frustrating.

  8. Julia@yogawinehappiness.com on April 19, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Aww this makes me want to get married all over again! The whole thing was so fun!! Even the diet and workouts!

  9. Kristin on April 19, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for posting… As of Saturday I am 4 weeks to my wedding so I’m looking forward to adding some new things in there to switch up.

    Love the pic of you and the pilot!

  10. Anna on April 19, 2016 at 9:41 am

    This is a great workout! I worked at fitness studio at night the year before my wedding and loved that it motivated me to get super strong.

    Wedding Horror Story: I got bullied into buying my wedding dress a size down because I was between sizes. When it came in, it didn’t fit.The seamstress told me I had to lose 10 lbs in 2 months. I had a meltdown, then realized I was in the best shape of my life, had a BMI of 20 and losing that much weight was not only unhealthy but it was CRAZY to consider. I ditched the sad dress and bought a new one (somewhere else!) that fit so perfectly that I didn’t even need a bra 🙂 Win!

  11. Lisa on April 19, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Our wedding was December 21 in freeeezing cold Minnesota (the high for the day was 12 degrees, I think!) and my bridesmaids and I had stayed in a cozy little cabin the night before the wedding. Somehow there was NO hot water when we woke up in the morning! But my sweet maid of honor had woken up before me, figured out what happened, and boiled pots of water for me so that I could at least wash up and shave my legs, haha!

  12. Tracy on April 19, 2016 at 10:41 am

    There was a tornado warning in the middle of our reception! (yay for crazy spring weather in the midwest!) The entire wedding party & guests had to go to the basement of the reception site for the warning. Luckily the basement held a fitness center so we continued the fun shooting baskets and playing on the fitness equipment 🙂

  13. zoe on April 19, 2016 at 10:41 am

    What modifications or switches would you suggest for someone who goes to a lot of power yoga classes with arm balances, long holds, planks, and inversions? can’t give up my 2x week rocket habit!

  14. Taylor on April 19, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Love arm workouts!!

  15. Kelly on April 19, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I have a question regarding push ups: I have gotten better, but regular push ups are so hard! Is it more beneficial to do “girly” push ups on your knees and lower all the way down… OR (what I’ve been doing) wide leg push ups, but only make it about halfway down?? Thanks!

    • masala girl on April 19, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      i would do regular push ups- BUT as LOW as you can go, but ONLY for as many as you can. try for 3/4 of the way down. maybe only do 3.
      then finish out the 10 or 20 or however many reps by doing them from your knees. remember to still keep a straight line to your knees.

      this is what I do, i *think* gina recommends the same. good luck! 🙂

  16. Sarah on April 19, 2016 at 11:16 am

    We got married on Friday at the town hall, but it almost didn’t happen because my now-hubby forgot his ID at home…needless to say we drove very fast to get it

  17. Katy on April 19, 2016 at 11:17 am

    This is perfect timing- I just go engaged! What do you think about wedding planners/checklists? I’m clueless about planning and would love any recs!

    • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on April 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      I feel like you can really find anything you need online, theknot.com has a ton of resources. But I also LOVE to plan things, so maybe I’m just a crazy google shark 😉


      • Katy on April 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm

        Thanks! I’ve noticed theknot.com is often the go-to site 🙂

  18. Amy S on April 19, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    OMG about your rehearsal dinner! Thank goodness it turned out ok!

    I also had something slightly crazy happen for my wedding rehearsal – we were at the church rehearsing, and all of the sudden the woman coordinating things says to me, “Your dress and your bridesmaid dresses have sleeves, right?” Um NO, THEY DID NOT…nor did I have any idea that they needed to! I nearly had a heart attack but luckily my amazing mother-in-law stepped in and told her there was no way we could possibly make any dress changes at that point, as the wedding was less than 24 hours away! The church agreed that it was fine since they’d JUST changed their policy and conveniently forgot to tell us. Oy!

  19. Emily B on April 19, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Not wedding related, but your rehearsal dinner story reminded me of it: My cousin graduated from college at Emory, and had planned for all the in-town family and guests to have dinner together afterwards. They arrived at the restaurant (a large, well-known, public chain!) to find it was CLOSED. Like, permanently. She was then stuck in downtown Atlanta on a Saturday night desperately trying to find a place for about 30 or so people to go out for dinner. Talk about a disaster!

    • masala girl on April 19, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      oh my, that’s so sad! i hoped that worked out well!! i’ve had that happen- but just a regular family dinner

  20. Amanda on April 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    My wedding day was the first time I have ever had my makeup done by a professional. I opted to wear fake eyelashes for the time ever. After the ceremony when we finally get a chance to see one another my (new) husband looks right at me and the first thing to come out of his mouth is “Are those your REAL eyelashes?” I busted out laughing.

    Also, a couple nights before our wedding my husband and his friends were hanging out and drinking. Well the best man decided to ride around on his son’s scooter. Of course he fell and scraped up his face. HIS FACE. So in all of our wedding pictures he has a raspberry across his cheek. Makes me laugh every time.

  21. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on April 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I will definitely pass this on to my sister. She is getting married in June. Great post. xo Lauren

  22. Trista Slowik on April 19, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    This is great, I’m no where near a wedding, we tied the knot almost 11 years ago and I’m expecting our third child, but I’m doing this! Looks fun and I’ve been wanting to switch it up. I do love my bodypump, could I sub it in somewhere at least once a week?

  23. Elysha on April 19, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Gina! Can you start doing your WIAW posts again this week please?! Thank you! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on April 20, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      i can do one next week!

  24. masala girl on April 19, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    EVERY TIME I think of you & Tom, that picture pops into my head. It is my favorite! Hah.
    and i’m pretty sure you’ve never shared hat story about your rehersal dinner! that’s quite scary! lol.

    and no wedding story but ummm- OH travel story! december of 2014, my dad and i were going to Australia over winter break. we found out when we were checking in at the airport that we need Visas… !!! He freaked out.
    I somehow maintained my composure and called Quantas and figured it out over the phone, only for my dad to realize he lost his wallet…lol.

  25. Sam @ Barrister's Beet on April 19, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    OMG I love that picture of you and Tom! It’s too cute! Sorry your week started off with such a bang… hope it calms down! : )

  26. Katie on April 20, 2016 at 2:12 am

    This has my name written all over it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  27. Alana Wenick on April 20, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Hey Gina! Any exercise recommendations for those of us without gym access? Thanks!

  28. Alissa on April 22, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Just wanted to check in and tell you I did this one for my arms day. It was great! (And I wish I was getting married again…to the same guy, but with different style. 🙂

  29. Cristal on April 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Gina! Do we follow the week you posted for 4 weeks? So we do the same week 4 times?

    • Fitnessista on April 28, 2016 at 9:55 am

      yep! xoxo

      • Cristal on April 28, 2016 at 6:53 pm

        Great! Thanks! I’m behind and just finished the March workout calendar so I’m starting this tomorrow!

  30. Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! on May 2, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I’m pinning this now to get myself in good shape for October!!

    • Fitnessista on May 2, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      yay! hope you love it

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