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Bridal Boot Camp: The Workout

The workout that will help you look sexy in your wedding dress.

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Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
Candace Meyer
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How It Works

Forget the toaster: Register here for your own wedding shape-up. This six-week Bridal Boot Camp plan was designed by trainer Tommy Europe, fitness coach on FLN's Bulging Brides who has helped dozens of women trim down for the trip down the aisle.

Do the Bridal Boot Camp toning workout twice a week -- all you need is a set of 5- to 15-pound dumbbells -- plus three (or more) weekly cardio sessions from Europe's Slimming Sessions. Plus, get additional eat-light tips from Bulging Brides nutrition coach Nadeen Boman to navigate the cocktail parties and other diet traps on your way to "I do."

Get the complete six-week Bridal Boot Camp workout plan, including slimming cardio sessions and eat-light tips!

Get the complete Bridal Boot Camp Workout video!

Get eat-light and nutrition tips

Learn more about trainer Tommy Europe

Learn more about nutrition coach Nadeen Boman

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Bent-Over Row and Kickback

Targets: Back, triceps, abs, and legs

  • Holding a dumbbell in right hand, lunge forward with left leg so that left knee is bent 90 degrees and right leg is straight behind you.
  • Hinge forward slightly at hips and place left hand on left thigh for support, keeping back straight and extending right arm toward floor.
  • Keep abs tight as you bring dumbbell up toward rib cage, bending right elbow directly behind you.
  • Keeping elbow steady, extend right arm behind you so that it's parallel to floor.
  • Bend right elbow again and lower dumbbell toward floor to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Dumbbell Chop

Targets: Shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a single dumbbell with both hands (fists stacked on grip).
  • To get into start position, pivot on left toe to rotate torso to right and bring dumbbell diagonally overhead, keeping arms straight.

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  • Bring dumbbell diagonally downward to outside of left hip as you rotate torso toward left, pivoting on right toes and bending knees.
  • Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Weighted Side Tap

Targets: Shoulders, abs, and obliques

  • Sit on floor with knees bent and feet flat, holding a single dumbbell with both hands (fists stacked) in front of chest, with elbows bent by sides.
  • Tighten abs as you lean back 45 degrees and raise bent legs off floor.
  • Maintaining raised leg position and keeping lower body still, rotate torso slowly to right and touch dumbbell to floor. Then rotate torso to left and touch dumbbell to floor to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Balance Arm Curl

Targets: Biceps, abs, butt, and legs

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides and palms facing forward, stand on right leg with left leg raised, knee bent 90 degrees, so that thigh is parallel to floor.
  • To get into start position, bend left elbow 90 degrees so that forearm is parallel to floor, palm facing up.
  • Keeping left knee raised and left arm still, curl right hand to shoulder. Lower right hand to complete rep.
  • Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Hip Raise

Targets: Hips and butt

  • Start on floor on all fours, hands below shoulders, knees below hips.
  • Extend right leg directly out to right side (like a kickstand), foot flexed.
  • Lift right foot off floor to hip level or as close to hip level as possible.
  • Lower right foot toward floor without letting it touch and repeat lift.
  • Do 15 reps. Switch legs, repeat.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Single-Leg Deadlift

Targets: Back, butt, and hamstrings

  • Stand on left leg, knee slightly bent, with toes of right foot on floor slightly behind you, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing fronts of thighs.
  • Keeping back flat, bend forward at hips until back is parallel to floor and dumbbells hang directly below shoulders, extending right leg behind you to hip level.
  • Do 15 reps. Switch legs, repeat.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Lunge Shoulder Press

Targets: Shoulders, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and, holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend elbows to bring dumbbells directly in front of and hovering slightly higher than shoulders, palms facing each other.
  • Lunge forward with left leg, bending both knees 90 degrees (keep left knee behind right toes), as you press dumbbells overhead until arms are fully extended.
  • Lower dumbbells to shoulders as you step back right foot to start position to return to standing.
  • Do 15 reps per leg, alternating sides.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Squat Thrust

Targets: Shoulders, chest, abs, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, then crouch down to place palms flat on floor in front of you, hands shoulder-width apart.

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  • Keeping palms planted, jump feet back so that legs are extended directly behind you, balancing on toes: This is full pushup position.
  • Do a pushup, bending elbows out to sides to lower chest toward floor, then jump feet forward to return to crouch position.
  • From crouch, press through heels to stand up tall.
  • Do 15 reps.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

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Slimming Cardio Sessions: 22-Minute Fat-Melting Mini

Three sessions a week of calorie-blasting cardio makes the perfect match to your total-body toning workouts. Pick your favorite aerobic exercise -- walking, running, biking, elliptical, stair climber -- and choose from among trainer Tommy Europe's beginner-friendly interval sessions below. "The speed bursts help you burn more calories and increase your cardio fitness level quicker than if you stuck to a steady pace," says Europe who has used these routines to help dozens of Bulging Brides make it to the altar a size (or two) smaller. The intensity for each interval is based on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is reclining on the couch and 10 is an all-out sprint. You can choose to do a Slimming Session along with your Bridal Boot Camp toning routine or on a separate day.

  22-Minute Fat-Melting Mini
Time Intensity (Scale of 1 to 10)
5 minutes Warm up at an easy pace, an intensity of 3 or 4.
5 minutes Increase pace to level 5, about half of your top effort, and stay there for five minutes. (If working on a treadmill, set the incline to 1 percent.)
1 minute  Push your speed up to level 7 where your sentences become choppy and it feels like you are working pretty hard. (On a treadmill, you can increase the incline to raise the intensity level or increase the resistance on other cardio machines.)
5 minutes Decrease speed (or incline, resistance) to your level 5 pace.
1 minute  Push your speed up another notch to level 8. You should be going at a challenging pace, only able to speak in choppy sentences.
5 minutes Cool down at your easy 3- or 4-level pace.

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Slimming Cardio Sessions: 25-Minute Calorie Blast

  25-Minute Calorie Blast
Time Intensity (Scale of 1 to 10)
5 minutes Warm up at an easy pace, an intensity of 3 or 4.
5 minutes Increase pace to level 5, about half of your top effort, and stay there for five minutes. (If working on a treadmill, set the incline to 1 percent.)
5 minutes  Push your speed up to level 6 or 7 where your sentences get choppy and it feels like you are working at a hard but manageable speed. (On a treadmill, you can increase the incline to raise the intensity level or increase the resistance on other cardio machines.)
5 minutes Decrease speed (or incline, resistance) to your level 5 pace.
5 minutes  Cool down at your easy 3- or 4-level pace.

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Slimming Cardio Sessions: 29-minute Mix-It-Up Session

  29-Minute Mix-It-Up Session
Time Intensity (Scale of 1 to 10)
5 minutes Warm up at an easy pace, an intensity of 3 or 4.
5 minutes Increase pace to level 5, about half of your top effort, and stay there for five minutes. (If working on a treadmill, set the incline to 1 percent.)
2 minutes  Take your speed up a notch to level 6 where your sentences are just beginning to get choppy. (On a treadmill, you can increase the incline to raise the intensity level or increase the resistance on other cardio machines.)
5 minutes Decrease speed (or incline, resistance) to your level 5 pace.
2 minutes  Increase your speed (and incline, resistance) to take it up another notch to level 7 where it feels like you are working pretty hard.
5 minutes Decrease speed (and incline, resistance) to your level 5 pace.
5 minutes Cool down at an easy, level 3 pace.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2010.

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FITNESS MAGAZINE, March 2010
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