Trainer Brendan Comer

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Courtesy of Peak Performance NYC

Whether you just announced your engagement or your wedding is a few months (or weeks) away, you're probably looking to get in shape for the big day. It's never too late to start a wedding day workout program, but it's important to have a plan as to which areas of your body you want to tone. We asked Brendan Comer, Trainer at New York City's Peak Performance for his expert tips on how a bride can get in shape for her wedding day. Here's what he had to say: —Anne Chertoff

How soon should a bride-to-be start a wedding day workout program?

Any trainer or fitness specialist will tell you the sooner, the better. If the bride is serious about looking her best for her big day she should aim to start a year ahead of the scheduled date (or, if the date is within that year timeframe, the day after the groom proposes). That way, a detailed, realistic, goal-oriented program can be undertaken. It can ensure proper progression (i.e., avoiding too-much-too-soon burnout or overuse injuries) and takes pressure off the bride to get it all done in 2 or 3 months).

Wedding dresses will leave certain areas of the body bare—backless-backs, minis-legs, strapless-shoulders and arms—should a bride focus on one area or tone her whole body?

While some body parts will be shown more than others in a wedding dress, effective training programs...

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revolve around targeting the full body. There is no such thing as "spot reduction" when it comes to fat loss and changes in body composition. Multiple muscle group exercises such as squats, deadlifts, cleans, and presses demand more from your body and therefore lead to more dramatic changes in composition.

Are there any simple exercises a bride can do at home?

Lunges, planks, and if she is strong enough, push-ups. I would advise having a trainer showing her how to do them with the proper form and intensity before she starts moving the furniture around the house to make room for a Bowflex.

What about the groom? When should he start his wedding day workout program and what should he focus on?

The groom is just as responsible to look his best as his bride. Drop those ten pounds, dude! Same rules apply. If she is putting in all this effort, he should be too.

What services can a trainer provide that a bride can't get from just going to the gym on her own?

Other than proper exercise form and execution, the biggest advantage of working with a trainer is the psychological motivation and resolve. Having someone there that you are accountable towards makes you take your workouts more seriously. It also helps to have a qualified professional who can quantify gains made (i.e. inches off the waste, percentage of body fat lost, pounds of lean tissue gained).

BONUS: What's the best goal a bride can set for herself?

Feeling beautiful! If a woman is confident in herself and loves her body, it will show itself off and only enhance her aura on one of the most important days of her life. Get to work!

Peak Performance is a private training facility with a unique environment. Owners and celebrity trainers Joe Dowdell and Jay Wright offer clients a personalized routine by top-notch trainers, many former athletes themselves, who integrate traditional strength training with techniques employed by professional athletes to enhance speed, power and flexibility. To learn more about Peak Performance, visit their Web site, PeakPerformanceNYC.com.

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