30 Day Bridal Shred with Donna Dawson

01 January 2017 / Supplier Spotlight

Short on time but want big results and fast? 

Every bride wants to look and feel amazing on her wedding day. The build up to the big day is an increasingly exciting but stressful time, with so much to do. Spare time to spend on exercising will be limited, but personal trainer and weight loss professional Donna Dawson has come up with  30-day food and exercise plan that will help you to get started on the routine to tone up (if you want to), bust the stress and feel better ( remember, exercise releases happy hormones!)  in no time! 

Firstly, I'd like to wish all of our brides, suppliers and readers a very HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope that the 2017 is going to be a prosperous and a healthy year for you. If you are anything like me, you have probably woken up feeling a bit slumpy and blah after eating just a few extra mince pies and having consumed too many glasses of bubbly over last few weeks. No doubt, I will be joining countless number of people across the world, who will be looking to beat the lurgy and get back in to shape so they can start the year in better health.  

While I don't believe in fad's and miracle diets, I do, however, believe in healthy eating and excercising. I have battled with my weight on and off for years and I have found I was only trully happy with the results, was when I exercised and was keeping an eye on my food. No calorie counting, just reducing or cutting put junk /processed foods and increasing the servings of veg and grains. Ultimately, it is all in the balance. 

This post is there to support every woman who wants to feel better and get healthier. I do not think that every bride should / needs to be on a diet or excerice regime before the big day. No one is expecting you to look a certain way - as long as you are happy - that is all that matters. I wanted to share this exercice plan, because I know that there will be quite a few of you, who will want to do some exercising and if you are going to spend and devote your time at it -you may as well do something that will offer great results.

So here goes the advice from Donna Dawson, personal trainer and weighloss coach at Elixir Coaching.  

THE WORKOUT 

The good news is, short bursts of high-intensity exercise are far better for you and more effective than hours of plodding along on the treadmill. Not to mention more fun!  

To maximise on results when time is limited, I recommend a progressive and varied program using a mix of resistance training and high-intensity, multi-muscle exercises. 

Tabata - it’s hard, it hurts, but it works!  

High-intensity interval training is the way to get great results and fast, so I’ve used the exercises in the diagrams to construct Tabata workouts. It’s important to use perfect form - keep all movements smooth and controlled, abs engaged at all times, but work harder and faster than you usually would. The format is based around 4 minutes – 8 x 20 seconds going hard – 10 seconds complete stop. Simple!  

It’s hard to do Tabata and time yourself using a stop watch, so download a free app on your phone or tablet to let you know when to start and stop.  

Always warm up before a Tabata session and do a proper cool down afterwards


Get running  

Running is not only a great way to keep fit, but it will give you great legs and it’s a fab stress reliever. You’ll benefit more from interval training - sprints and hill sprints - than you will plodding along for miles, so take a stop watch. Warm up for 5 minutes at a fast walk pace then run hard for 1 minute, walk for one minute. Repeat the run/walk sequence 5 times, then do a cool down walk and stretch. 

THE SCHEDULE 

Week 1 

Warm up: 

20 x shoulder circles 

10 x hip circles, each way 

20 x jumping jacks 

Then: 

10 x bent leg tricep dips 

10 x half push-ups 

10 x power lunges and shoulder press 

10 x squats thrusts 

10 (each leg) x static lunges with a bicep curl  

Tabata: 

Power lunges and shoulder press 

Squats 

Jumping jacks 

Squat thrusts 

 

Week 2  

Warm up: 

20 x shoulder circles 

20 x hip circles 

20 x jumping jacks 

Then: 

15 x bent leg tricep dips 

15 x half push-ups 

20 x power lunges and shoulder press – hold a 2k weight or similar in each hand 

20 x squats thrusts  –2k weight 

12 (each leg) x static lunges with a bicep curl –2k weight  

Tabata:  

Power lunges and shoulder press  

Squats thrusts 

Static lunges with a bicep curl 

Burpees 

(2k weight for the lunges and squats) 

 

Week 3 

Warm up: 

20 x shoulder circles 

20 x hip circles 

20 x jumping jacks 

Then: 

20 x bent leg tricep dips 

20 x half push-ups 

30 x power lunges and shoulder press –3k weight  

30 x squats thrusts – 3k weight  

14 (each leg) x static lunges with a bicep curl – 3k weight  

Tabata:  

Jumping jacks 

Power lunges and shoulder press  

Squats thrusts 

Burpees 

(3k weight for the lunges and squats) 

 

Week 4 

Warm up 

20 x shoulder circles 

20 x hip circles 

20 x jumping jacks 

Then: 

25 x bent leg tricep dips 

25 x half push-ups 

40 x power lunges and shoulder press –3k weight  

40 x Squats thrusts – 4k weight  

16 (each leg) x static lunges with a bicep curl – 4k weight  

Tabata:  

Squats thrusts  

Static lunges with a bicep curl 

Burpees 

Jumping jacks 

(4k weight for the lunges and squats) 

THE FOOD 

Take the pressure off eating healthily and balanced by planning your weekly meals. Get all of your main supplies in ready, so you don’t go for convenience foods. Lastly, keep a food diary to keep you on track and to record your progress. 

I have always believed in keeping things simple. And let’s face it, when you’re busy preparing for your wedding, do you have time or head space to calorie count and weigh every ingredient you cook? No, of course you don’t. So throw away your calorie counter, put your scales back in the kitchen cupboard and learn how easy it is to shift those inches by following these simple steps: 

 

1. Stick to low to medium GI foods to speed up fat burning. 

2. Switch to gluten-free products as gluten will stop you using your fat burning hormone Leptin. 

3. Cut out sugar. Sugar is a poison to our bodies and will stop you burning body fat. 

4. Reduce portion sizes. 

5. Drink at least 2 litres of water every day. 

6. Cut out simple carbs in the evenings. Stick to meat/fish and plenty of mixed salad or veg. 

7. Never skip meals, especially breakfast. 

8. Exercise at a high intensity at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes. 

9. Do everything you do in your everyday life twice as fast. It sounds simple, but walking to the shops or to work twice as fast will burn twice as much energy.  

10. Stay happy! Being unhappy or stressed will make your body over produce cortisol, which will make your body hold on to fat.  

I hope you will find this list helpfull and encouraging and I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Donna who has written this article for the second issue of our Norfolk Brides Magazine ( for 2015/2016) . 

If you have any questions about the advice given from Donna, you can contact her via her Facebook page or check out Elixir Insideout Website

Lots of love, 

Dalia Courridge Norfolk Brides
Dalia Courridge

By Dalia Courridge

Owner of Norfolk Brides - the wedding guide, wedding blog and inspirational hub for couples planning their wedding in Norfolk; Wedding Fair and Wedding Show organiser. Editor to a FREE annual glossy Norfolk Brides Magazine.