The three-month wedding workout by Jonathan Nardinochi

09 May 2016

Personal trainer Jonathan Nardinochi offers a three-month workout to get you fighting fit and looking fabulous on your big day

As the big day approaches every bride and her entourage has a thousand things to deal with – organising the hen night, attending the bridal shower, making sure that the men do strictly as they are told and nothing more. And of course... fitting perfectly into dresses and being in absolute tip top shape for the photos and videos.

If you have a fitness goal you'd like to achieve before your wedding day, look no further than this safe and effective workout plan.

Over the next three months the amount of exercise you will do on a weekly basis will change. Everyone’s lifestyle is unique, so here are some guidelines for you to follow.

Nutrition for the lean body

First, you need to rethink your whole nutrition approach to provide a new set of nutrition rules and habits that swiftly moves you in the direction of your goals.

  • No skipping meals, that means breakfast. You can do 3-4 meals or 6-8 meals, whatever fits your lifestyle. You don’t need to eat a full meal but you do need to eat meals and snacks that conform to the other rules below.
  • In each of these meals, eat complete, lean protein each time you eat. Note: If you’re a vegetarian, this rule still applies – you need complete protein and need to find non-animal sources.
  • Now think of the old adage, 'meat and two veg'. Eat vegetables every time you eat.
  • When it comes to the dreaded carbs, just be sensible. Don’t stack the pasta a mile high, eat it only when you deserve to. If you want to eat a carbohydrate that’s not a fruit or a vegetable, you can – but you’ll need to save it until after you’ve exercised.
  • Learn to love healthy fats. Eating all three kinds of fat in a healthy balance (about equal parts of each) can dramatically improve your health, and even help you lose fat.
  • Focus on whole foods. Most of your dietary intake should come from whole foods. There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful, but most of the time you’ll do best with whole, largely unprocessed foods. 
  • You can allow yourself '10% foods' – foods that break rules, but which you’ll allow yourself to eat (or drink, if it’s a beverage) 10% of the time. Just make sure you do the maths and determine what 10% of the time really means. For example, if you’re eating six meals per day for seven days of the week – that’s 42 meals. 10% of 42 is about four. Therefore, you’re allowed to 'break the rules' on about four meals each week.

Month 1

  • For the first month, your focus should be on getting active and engaged in the programme. You’ll be looking at completing 2-3 sessions of resistance training, 2-3 sessions of low intensity activity, such as a run or swim and one stretching session.
  • Start a workout diary where you can monitor your progress. Use a measuring tape to record the size of your chest, waist, hips, thighs and forearms. Take a picture of yourself every week to track changes.
  • No scales. These just lie to you and can make you panic nearer the day. We don’t need that, so get used to not using them from now. We will use pictures, measurements and generally how you feel to monitor progress.
  • This is about creating a healthy change in your lifestyle that will show up with time.
  • Good exercises to use in this month would be:

Reverse lunge - one of the best exercise for quad and glutes

Burpees - an awesome, calorie-torching, strength-building, full body exercise

Push-ups (can be done on knees) - strengthen your chest, firm and tone her arms and stabilize your core, or abdominal, muscles. Your legs and buttocks will also grow stronger and leaner since your legs help support the weight of your body when performing push-ups.

  • Incorporate these exercise into a circuit style training with 1-2 more exercises. If using weight, don’t go below 8kg and progress. Make it as heavy as you can without sacrificing technique. You will not become 'hench', just lean and strong, which will always look good for the photos.


Month 2

Still here? Good work! Take a moment to congratulate yourself - you're halfway there. Get out the diary and camera and record your progress. Since you've been working out three times a week for four weeks, you should start to feel like you're getting into a routine that's quickly becoming second nature.

  • During month two, you'll be splitting the sessions into upper body and lower body routines. These splits will allow you to train your muscles with enough frequency. Plus, you will be stimulating a lot of muscle each training session so your metabolism will be elevated for longer. Furthermore, these two splits will help you build a lean and sexy body much faster than any other split. Again 2-3 resistance work sessions, but now we are cranking up the low intensity sessions to 4-5 times per week. Still one stretching session
  • Exercises to include into your training:

Mountain climbers - strengthen multiple muscle groups in addition to the cardiovascular system

Plank - you probably already know and love the core-tightening power of the plank

Weighted squat and press – full on multiple compound move, bringing together lower body and upper body.



Month 3

Just four weeks to go?! As you get closer to your wedding date, your crazy schedule may threaten to derail your exercise programme, but do everything you can to stay on track.

  • Upping the intensity and now training 3-4 sessions of resistance training, 2-3 low intensity sessions, 1-2 stretching sessions and now bringing in the sprint (HIIT) sessions, 1-2 per week. Run up some hills for 15–20 seconds. Great for the glutes.
  • The circuits will be split into body parts: legs, arms and abs. Targeting the difficult areas to get that toned, lean look and looking at no more weight loss, you will be in the final throws of your dress fittings so now is not the time to drop lots of weight.
  • If you're having trouble finding the time to keep up this pace, cut back the number of sets you do, but swap in heavier weights to keep the intensity up. Enjoy the final month.
  • Exercises to bring in:

Split squats – feel the quads burn

Glute bridge – great butt builder

Tricep bench dips – moulding the back of your arms. No more bingo wings.

Lateral raise with bands - shaping for the shoulders

One arm row – great for defining the back




For more details on Jonathan Nardinochi's bridal workout, visit 

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