It’s wedding season, and there’s a good chance you’re getting ready to attend some nuptials right now—whether they are yours or someone else’s. We’ve come across about a billion wedding workouts on the internet, which is all well and good, but if you only get one shot at this (hopefully), then it’s better to go with someone thoroughly vetted as not only a bride but a personal trainer.
That’s why we turned to Anna Victoria, who has more than one million hard-core followers on Instagram who flip over her body-shaping downloadable exercise plans. She just got married and told us about the strict circuit workout she followed in the six weeks leading up to her wedding. Her goal? Fit into her wedding dress but to also feel great. “I wasn’t interested in starving myself in order to fit into my dress,” she told us.
Below you’ll find the exact fitness plan Anna Victoria followed for six weeks leading up to her wedding while also cutting down on bread and pasta and following a strict meal plan that you can download here. If you’re new to fitness, she suggests starting three months in advance. Grab some dumbbells, and let’s get started.
Crab Walk Squats: 10 Each Leg
Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell (15–20 pounds) in both hands. Drop down into a squat, holding the dumbbell at shoulder level. Step forward with your right leg and rotate your body toward the right while maintaining the squat position. Continue to walk in a squat while rotating your body left and right for 10 reps.
Stiff-Leg Deadlift and Narrow Squat: 10 Rounds
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and 15- to 20-pound dumbbells in front of your hips. Begin by bending at the waist and dropping the dumbbells in front of your shins. Be sure to sit back as you bend over. Stand up by pushing through your heels, and squeeze your glutes at the peak. Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders and keep a shoulder-width stance. Perform a narrow squat. As you stand, push through your heels. Repeat for 10 rounds and remember to exhale forcibly as you stand from each the stiff-leg deadlift and the narrow squat.
Pivot Lunge: 5 Rounds
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Begin by performing a squat, then immediately pivot to the left. You will need to lift your front foot to widen your stance to do a proper lunge. Pivot back to a squat position, then pivot to the right to do a right lunge. Repeat for five rounds.
Bicep Curl and Front Raise: 8 Rounds
Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and 10- to 15-pound dumbbells resting at your sides. Perform a bicep curl by raising the dumbbells to your shoulders. Your wrists should be facing your body. Contract your biceps at the peak of this movement. Then, return the dumbbell to the starting position and perform a one-arm front raise by bringing the dumbbell straight out in front of your body until your arm is parallel with the ground. At the peak of this movement, contract your shoulder muscles as well as your core. Return to the starting position, repeat for eight reps, then repeat on the opposite side. Remember to exhale each time you are raising the dumbbell at the peak of the movement.
Shoulder Press and Parallel Press: 8 Rounds
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and 10- to 15-pound dumbbells resting at your sides. Begin by performing a shoulder press by bringing your arms to a 90-degree angle and raising your arms until they are parallel to the ground. Then push the dumbbells up straight above your head. Contract your shoulders and core at the peak. Instead of returning your hands to the starting position, first rotate your wrists so your palms are now facing each other, then bring your arms to a 90-degree angle in front of your face. Immediately bring your arms back out to a shoulder-press position, as shown in the photos. Repeat for eight rounds.
Plyo Push-Up: 5 Reps
Begin in a low-plank position by lowering your body to the ground, then push yourself up to where your hands come entirely off the ground and you can clap your hands. Try to keep your back as straight as possible during the plyo push-up. Repeat for five reps, exhaling forcibly as you perform each push-up.
Side High Plank and Dumbbell Raise: 8 Reps Each Side
Begin in a high side plank with a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell on the ground in front of you. Begin by lifting the dumbbell with your left arm while your right arm supports you in the high-plank position. Extend the dumbbell straight up into the air until your arm is perpendicular to your body. Proceed to lower the dumbbell to your hip, and stop right before it touches your hip. Use your core strength and back/lats to help support the weight of the dumbbell as you lower it and to help you bring it back up. Repeat eight times and then switch sides.
Three-Way Hip Thrust: 5 Reps Each Way
Lie on the ground or on a platform. You can have your hands under your bottom, or you can hold onto a stable surface above your head. Keep your knees and legs as straight as possible and proceed to thrust your hips straight up into the air. Then rotate your torso to the left, and rotate your torso to the right. Repeat five times on each side and be sure you don’t let your legs fall over your head—thrust them straight upward.
Caterpillar: 10 Reps
Stand with feet together and arms resting at your sides. Begin by bending at your waist, keeping your knees as straight as possible with only a slight bend. If you feel a pull on your hamstring, bend your knees a little more. Proceed to walk out with your hands to a high-plank position. Pause for a brief moment in a high plank to exhale and contract your abdominal muscles. Return to the starting position by walking yourself back up with your hands, using your core muscles to power you through the movement. Once your hands are near your feet, stand up at the waist, still maintaining knees as straight as possible, then repeat 10 times.
Originally published June 2016. Updated August 2017.