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Fit into your wedding dress without dieting

8 May 2012

Diet failure

Does this sound at all familiar? You’ve tried lots of different diets but in the end, they’ve all failed. Now you feel frustrated and you wonder if you’ll ever fit into that wedding dress. Well, help is at hand. The solution is to gradually introduce a structured regime of exercise that burns calories, makes maintaining a healthy weight easy and also tones up problem areas.

Super six toning areas

Our plan focuses on training six key problem areas. By toning the ‘super six’, specific muscles will become firmer and everything will be ‘pulled in’, resulting in less flabby bits to squeeze into your wedding dress.The 'super six' are: stomach, obliques, thighs and rear, underside of upper arms, and core.

To target the super six, complete the following exercises:

  • Stomach

    Upper stomach muscles

    Sit-ups and crunches

    Lower stomach muscles

    V-sit leg extensions

  • Obliques (Sides of the abdomen)

    Oblique crunches on a stability ball

  • Thighs and rear

    Any aerobic activity such as cycling, walking, jogging, running, rowing etc, which uses the legs.

  • Underside of upper arms

    Any triceps exercise, for example: tricep dips, tricep extensions and tricep kickbacks.

  • Core

    Core exercises train your inner postural muscles. These muscles aren’t visible but are fundamental to holding you in and keeping you upright. Good core exercises include the plank, sitting on a stability ball and stability ball floor bridge.

    Exercise in harmony

    When targeting specific areas it is extremely important not to neglect the opposing muscle and ensure that the body remains in postural balance at all times.

    Example 1

    If the triceps are being exercised to tone up the upper arms, exercises for the bicep muscles should be included.

    Example 2

    If stomach exercises are carried out, back extensions for the lower back should also be completed.

    Bulking up through exercise?

    Many women focus solely on cardiovascular exercise (working the heart and lungs) because they are concerned that if they start weight-training they will bulk up their muscles – and no one likes the idea of the Hulk in a wedding dress do they? But women are not naturally predisposed to build large muscles and will find it virtually impossible to develop a muscular physique. What training with weights will achieve will be a lean, toned, slim body, with additional spin-off benefits including:

    • Increased calorie burn 24 hours a day due to the higher ‘energy cost’ of toned muscles compared with body-fat.

    • Reduced risk of osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) as the skeleton is strengthened when resistance training is carried out.

    How often should I train?

    To optimally tone muscles, training for a minimum of two sessions per week is necessary. After 72 hours, the physiological improvements that occur following a training session begin to ebb away, so a single weekly session reduces training gains. However, by completing two sessions per week (with a suitable rest period in between sessions) you ensure that improvements are maintained. It is also important to note that training for seven sessions per week will not produce seven-fold improvements. Rest is the key ingredient in any training plan and it is vital to allow time for the body to recover following training. A minimum of one day’s rest between sessions is necessary to facilitate recovery and the rebuilding that occurs after training. If rest is omitted, fatigue and over-training can occur, resulting in reduced gains because the body is still tired from the previous session.

    How many times should I complete an exercise?

    Frequently, advice is given that in order to tone up muscles, lots of repetitions with light weights are necessary. This advice is suitable for basic maintenance but to reactivate dormant muscles, challenging the body with fewer repetitions using a higher weight will bring about quicker and more improved results.

    Resistance exercises (triceps, obliques and stomach)

    Build up to completing three sets of 12 repetitions, with a 60 second recovery between sets.

    Core exercises

    Build up to holding each exercise for 60 seconds.

    Cardiovascular exercises

    Build up to completing three, 20 minute sessions each week.

    End results

    Simply by carrying out the specific exercises outlined above, within six weeks you will notice that your body has become noticeably leaner and firmer. Additionally, you will have broken out of the yo-yo diet syndrome and by sticking to your new-found healthy regime you will see your dress size dwindling – you might even need to book in for another dress fitting! Read more on getwed.com...
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