For three weeks, our editors diligently hit the gym to squat, sprint, and stretch their way through the trendiest new workouts and zero in on what will get you to your ideal wedding bod. These fitness classes will whip your body into killer wedding shape — guaranteed.
The workout: Isometric movements (squats, thrusts, pliés, planks) at a ballet barre for 55 minutes, then five minutes of stretching. "I didn't really sweat, so I wondered if it was doing anything," our BRIDES tester says. "But the next morning? Whoa. I was sore in the strangest places."
The results: Slight firmness all around, the tester reports, especially in the hips, thighs, and abdomen. Targeting those "strange places" is supposed to burn fat in stubborn spots, and the stretch at the end makes the new muscle lean, not bulky. "After three weeks, I felt like I had a 'me but better' body," she says.
Calories burned: Up to 500 per class.
Price per class: From $33, depending upon location.
The workout: Running up- and downhill on a treadmill for 30 minutes, followed by weight training using rowing machines, TRX equipment, and free weights for 30 minutes. You wear a heart-rate monitor around your wrist to ensure you stay in the intense "orange zone" for 12 minutes. If it sounds hard-core, it is, even to our self-described "semiathletic" tester.
The results: This type of interval training is best for weight loss, since it stimulates your metabolism —but only if you're committed. "It took me a few days to muster the energy to go back, but I got better every time," she says. A little scared? Invite a bridesmaid to do it with you. "The social part will get you through. You'll push together, hate it together, and love the results together."
Calories burned: Between 500 and 1,000 per class.
Price per class: $28-$34, depending upon location.
The workout: dubbed "Pilates on steroids," this 50-minute class consists of repetitive movements on an amped-up machine called the Megaformer. Each move can be adjusted to your strength level, so it's appropriate for newbies and experts.
The results: "Toned arms, tight abs, and a rock-hard ass!" our tester says. (That's why it's the workout of choice for Kim Kardashian. And Michelle Obama. And, like, everyone in L.A.)
Calories burned: About 450 per class.
Price per class: It depends upon the gym, but at our local, it's $20 for first-timers and a spendy $40 for each consecutive class.
The workout: A plyometric warm-up (jump squats, push-ups on a medicine ball, high knees) for 15 minutes, boxing for 30 minutes, and 15 minutes of "the most intense ab workout ever," our tester says. (Not to sway you, but Gigi Hadid and her supermodel squad are obsessed with boxing workouts.)
The results: A toned upper half. "I have baby biceps!" enthuses our tester, who lost four pounds. But it's not just the physical benefits she loved: "Wedding planning is stressful. And there is no better way to destress than laying into that heavy bag."
Calories burned: Up to 1,000 per class.
Price per month: $79 to $169, depending upon location.
The workout: Hip-hop dancing! For 60 minutes (or 90 on Saturdays), an instructor leads a choreographed class to the latest Beyoncé and Bieber songs. (There's even a strobe-light situation to set the mood.) "You're empowered to dance like you're on a stage, no matter your skill," our tester says. "Their motto is 'When in doubt, twerk it out.'"
The results: A dropped pound or two and an awesome attitude adjustment. "Nonstop dancing really makes you sweat," our tester says. "And I walked out of class with swagger. It's not get-a-rock-hard-body exercise, but it's great cardio."
Calories burned: 500 for newbies per class; 1,000 for veterans.
Price per class: $15-$18, depending upon location.
The workout: Cycling for 45 minutes, including three minutes with weights. A computer screen on your bike reveals your reps per minute and gives you a class ranking. Don't worry; it's anonymous. (And our first-timer was "so thankful for that.") Bonus: At the end of each session, you can check the FlyWheel app to see the calories you burned, the distance you cycled, and your rank among all classes that took place at the same time in your city.
The results: Our tester was pleased to report on her toned thighs, butt, and legs but was surprised that her stomach was more defined. "The instructors say, 'Scoop your abs in,' and it makes a difference," she says.
Calories burned: 500 to 800 per class.
Price per class: $20-$34, depending upon location.