Goal #1: More muscle definition and arms that look 'toned at rest.'
The Plan: With her insider’s perspective on the workout scene, Melissa Gelula, co-founder and editorial director of healthy-living website Well+Good, knew Ariane Hundt’s Slim and Strong program would be a perfect fit, so she signed up 4 months before the big day.
The Workout: “Ariane is a trainer and a nutritionist, and after 3x-week interval training classes with her, I went from doing a few pushups to being able to bang them out and hold a 3-minute plank. I’d leave everything I had in a pile of sweat on the floor in those sessions.”
Foodwise: “I ate four or five small, protein-dense meals a day. I don’t eat meat, so there was lots of salmon and eggs in my life. I did away with sugar, wine, and desserts.”
Results: Gradually, Gelula’s muscle percentage went up and body-fat percent went down. “I really liked how I looked in my clothes. Also, I was never very athletic as a girl. I found fitness in my life much later, so it was amazing to see what my body could do.”
Tip: “I’m really busy and hitting the number of workouts was challenging. I was also prepping and cooking a lot more. So I prioritized the hell out of these things to make sure they happened.”
Goal #2: "I believe my exact words were, 'I want to look slamming on my wedding day.'"
The Plan: Determined to find a fitness outlet near her new home, 8 months before her wedding, Mandy Unanski Enright, RDN, certified fitness instructor and founder of NutritionNuptials, walked into a local hot-yoga studio and never looked back.
The Workout: “Rather than be intimidated by how bendy and advanced my classmates were, I was inspired. I became a regular, practicing 5 to 6 times a week. I never thought of yoga as ‘working out.’ It was a chance to escape, play and get out of my head. I became more toned, flexible and stronger. Clothes were fitting me differently.”
Foodwise: “My fiancé and I followed the ChooseMyPlate.gov guidelines: 1/4 plate of protein (usually fish or chicken), 1/4 grains, 1/2 fruit/veggie. Portion control and only serving one plate per meal became a habit.”
Results: “I wore a strapless, form-fitting gown that left very little room for error in the ab, shoulder, arm and back regions — and I felt amazing by the time my wedding rolled around.”
Tip: “A kitchen is the place to enjoy a meal together, so my big rule is: ‘No technology at the table.’ Avoiding such distractions helps to curb overeating as well."
Goal #3: To up her overall awesomeness and "be the best version of myself on my wedding day."
The Plan: Melissa Fields, a trainer at Peak Performance, in N.Y.C., devised a program with the skill and precision that comes from training clients every day, ramping up her typical weight-training routine and adding cardio doses of treadmill, rower and elliptical.
The Workout: “I designed a 3-month program broken into progressive phases, each month requiring more time and intensity than the last. I began with 4 hours of training a week, increasing to 5.”
Foodwise: Fields embarked on an equally precise plan: 1500 calories per day for the first 2 months, 1250 in the final month. “I cut out alcohol and soda; I had a shake after every workout to increase my protein, and snacked on string cheese and hard-boiled eggs.
Results: “An allover ‘tighter’ physique. I looked great in my dress, but more importantly I felt so proud to have followed through and succeeded in my plan.”
Tip: “To stave off late-night cravings, I’d make sure to have one last snack before dinner.”
Photo Credit: Juan Algarin