crossfitting into your dress

It’s just dawned on me that I’ve never posted about health or fitness, both of which are a huge part of my life. I’m a runner, CrossFitter, and eat mostly paleo (more on this another time). While I’ve tried a lot of workouts and diets, this combo has me looking and feeling my best.

I know how it feels to want to get into perfect shape for your wedding. (My husband and I used to go to the gym together every morning at 5:30am in preparation for our big day.) I also know how it feels to want your body back after a baby. (I’m proud to have lost the baby weight and am in better shape than I was before I got pregnant.)

I was going to write about CrossFit and why I love it, but realized that I could do one better. So I asked Alycia McGinley, co-owner of CrossFit Aspire, to explain why this workout is perfect for brides and here’s what she had to say…

“Regardless of dress size, budget, or personal taste, most brides-to-be can agree that they want to look confident, happy and healthy on their wedding day. A radiantly healthy bride seems to glow as she sashays down the aisle. Her hair is shiny and vibrant, she has a beautiful smile and crystal clear, soft skin. Real life brides-to-be, however, are often over-stressed and turn to crash diets as a means to turn them into their version of the ideal bride.

What if, instead, we concentrated on becoming the best, healthiest version of ourselves on and after our wedding day? After all, we are committing to love another person for the rest of our lives, so doesn’t it seem fitting that we’d make that commitment to ourselves, too?

A well rounded strength and conditioning program might be just the thing that can turn a sleep deprived, anxiety ravaged girl into a strong, confident and healthy woman. CrossFit Aspire in Cherry Hill works with women (and men!) to educate them on the effectiveness of weight lifting and short, intense conditioning  that cause noticeable changes to body composition and overall health and athletic ability. The complementary nutrition program, which includes a food guide, seminars & nutrition counseling, can take a clueless bride from dieting to focusing on seeking and eating nutritious whole foods.

What is CrossFit?  CrossFit classes are hour-long, closely coached small group workouts that focus on building strength and increasing one’s capacity for stamina, endurance, speed, flexibility, agility, and power. A typical class includes a group warm up, instruction and technique review of a common barbell lift (usually a squat, overhead press, or deadlift) and short, yet intense cardio workout that usually leaves people on the ground, out of breath and feeling like they got a great workout. The intensity of the workouts is what draws people in, and the variety (the workouts change every day) is what keeps people coming back.

Strength training and barbells? I don’t want to be the Hulk! A common misconception is that strength training will turn a girl into a big, bulky she-man. The truth, however, is that high repetition, moderate- weight movements, in combination with a sub-par diet, is what will most commonly lead to that ‘bulk’ that women are afraid of. Instead, CrossFit utilizes heavy weights and a healthy diet, to make women ‘tighten up’ and lean out, rather than get bigger.

I already have a gym membership, but the gym is boring.  CrossFit gyms are completely different than regular gyms. The coaching that accompanies each class is often more closely resembles personal training rather than a gym membership.  At a fraction of the cost of a personal trainer, CrossFit is often used as a means to get wedding dress ready, and is continued for years to maintain and build upon the progress that was started before the wedding. More importantly, this workout program actually leads to results….and fast! Within the first few weeks of CrossFit and eating whole, real foods, women typically experience body fat loss and an increase in strength, coordination and stamina.

In addition to creating strong and healthy bodies, CrossFit seems to have a universal positive effect on the minds and self confidence of women. For many, it’s the first time in their lives that they’ve truly pushed their bodies to the limits and realized that they were stronger and more capable than they once thought.

It’s always an amazing moment when a women realizes that she can lift a heavy weight, or move faster than some of the men in the same class. There’s a quiet pride that goes along with knowing that you are more capable than you once were. The women in my gym are some of the happiest, most confident women who are comfortable in their own skin because they look AND feel great. And that’s a great thing.

Here’s to a happy wedding, a radiant bride, and a healthy life together!”

Check out beautiful and strong Alycia on her wedding day…

images via alycia mcginley

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