Health and Fitness Tips from Clarice Barnett

Sep 4, 2019

Guest Blogger: Clarice Barnett

Clarice, who is a trainer at Bridgewater Performance, has some great tips and FAQs for brides-to-be who are wanting to start a fitness routine before the big day!

How do I stick to a fitness plan if I am new to it?

  • It may sound cliché’ but do your best to focus on progress, not perfection. The successful clients that I have worked with are the ones that have found that balance in life between working out, eating healthy, but still living a normal life. Don’t cut everything bad out of your diet at once or starting by working out for 2 hours daily, 7 days a week. Find ways to be active that you actually enjoy. If you hate walking on a treadmill, get your cardio in with Zumba or a walk outside. You will stick with it better and longer if it is something you actually like to do. Start small with limitations and start early so that you have time to reach your dream look!

Realistically, when in advance should I start working out for my wedding?

  • Ideally, at least 12 weeks before the big day, but it also depends on your goal. If you are not needing to lose much, but you are wanting to lean out a little (“tone up”) then you would probably be okay starting about 12 weeks out. If you are wanting to lose over 30-40 pounds, I would encourage you to start closer to 16-20 weeks out so that you are feeling your best and losing the weight in a healthy approach.

What are practical ways to not stress before your wedding?

  • Being stressed often has negative side effects such as: acne breakouts, lower belly bloating, poor sleep, and many others. Finding ways to de-stress and incorporate self-care is super important so that you are not seeing any of these side effects, especially getting closer to the big day. Take time to take care of yourself is necessary, whether that is spending your mornings with lavender oils diffusing next to you while you cuddle up with some coffee and a book, getting your hair done, going for a walk, or taking a bath with some candles and a bath bomb.

What exercises should I be doing for my upper body for my dress?

  • One of the biggest areas that is often exposed for brides is their arms and upper bodies. People will put so much emphasis on the arms, but shoulders and back are super important to how your upper body looks as well!


Here is an example of an upper body exercises that I would give to a bride with this question:


    • Wide-Grip Cable Pulldowns or Chin (pictured) /Pull-Ups
    • Dumbbell Rows (Bent-Over (pictured) , Chest Supported, or One Arm)
      • Bent-Over One Arm Row Pictured
    • Cable Rope Face Pulls


    • Standing or Seated Shoulder Press
    • Dumbbell or Cable Lateral Raises
    • Dumbbell or Cable Front Raises
    • Dumbbell or Cable Rear Delt Flies


    • Dumbbell or Cable Bicep Curls
    • Dumbbell or Cable Hammer Bicep Curls (pictured)
    • Dumbbell or Cable Tricep Extensions

Does lifting weights make women bulky?

  • This is probably the most common question that I get asked from people. A bulky appearance is due to lots of muscle mass covered in body fat. Building that muscle mass could take years for women and is often caused by an excess of calories and consistent heavy lifting with low reps. If you are working out and eating with the goal to lean out or “tone up” for your wedding day, the last thing lifting is going to do is leave you with a bulky appearance. If you are sticking to just cardio to lose weight, you may end up with just a skinny look with no muscle or tone to show off. With a proper lifting and cardio regime and nutrition, lifting weights will give you that beautiful “toned” look on your wedding day.

What are the benefits of having a personal trainer or being involved in group classes?

  • Going off of the last question, having a personal trainer provides the benefit of professional guidance instead of having to figure that all out on your own.
  • Having a personal trainer will push you in the right way so that you look and feel your best on your big day. A trainer or group classes can also provide accountability to motivate you to stay on track with your goal.

Want to connect with Clarice? Email her at



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