Tips for sculpting a bridal beach body


Kendra Plathe/Iowa State Daily

Whitney Plagge, a student from Latimer, works out at the Ames Racquet & Fitness Center in West Ames.

Lindsey Schwarck

Flights are booked and bags are packed, but are you really ready to sport a swimsuit in time for your getaway? Whether you are preparing for a destination wedding or tropical honeymoon, you’ll need to look your best. Deb Atkinson, personal training director of Ames Racquet & Fitness, provides simple, get-fit tips for the ultimate bridal beach body.


Before you begin your fitness routine, set goals for yourself using this simple, smart acronym. Its letters stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Remembering these five simple criteria will help you set goals for achieving and maintaining weight loss.

Trainer’s Tip: “Brides and grooms should set goals of one to two pounds of weight loss per week. Anything more than that is not safe, and won’t yield long-term results. While the scale may not change much, body composition can change with fat and inches lost.”

Recruit a friend

Establishing a workout routine with your bridesmaids or mother can help encourage you and keep you on track. Since you’re both toning up for the wedding, you can push each other on the hard days.

Hitting the gym with your future spouse can also be a good motivator. Enduring those workout sessions together can help create a bond and allow the two of you to sweat over something other than the wedding.

Trainer’s Tip: “Working out can also be your ‘me time.’ Use it to unwind from the day and focus on you. Do whatever works for you.”

Rest up

Aim for seven to eight hours of peaceful sleep each night. This helps regulate your levels of leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that tell your body when you are hungry.

Trainer’s Tip: “Studies show that sleep helps with weight loss. After a full eight hours of sleep, and a good diet-and-exercise routine, you look entirely different … Your skin will even glow.”

Drink water

We all know that substituting water with sugary soft drinks will help shed the pounds, but do you know how much your body needs? Approximately eight glasses a day is a good base, but every person is different.

To find a level that is right for you, divide your total body weight by two; this should tell you how many ounces of water to consume daily. For example, a 140-pound person should strive to consume 70 ounces of water daily.

Trainer’s Tip: “It’s important to remember to drink water while exercising … About one cup of water per hour is ideal.”

Other quick tips

— While she knows flat abs are at the top of every bride’s list, Atkinson reminds clients to “target tone, not target reduce.” This means balancing a solid cardiovascular program with interval training and long, slow workouts for optimal results.

Trainer’s Tip: “Using all your gears will help your entire body become toned, and continue to burn fat for those other 23 hours of the day,” she said.

— Buy a workout top that shows off your arms and shoulders — the areas that are exposed by many gowns and swimsuits — so you can watch as your arms gain strength and become toned.

— Work out with the Foo Fighters and Cee Lo Green. Creating a music playlist can also be a motivator.

Trainer’s Tip: “Listening to music or watching a television show can help push for duration, rather than intensity.”

— Stay on track after the wedding and honeymoon as well. “After all, being fit shouldn’t just be for an event, but for life,” Atkinson said.