Sunday, June 14, 2009

Meet the Expert: Cynthia Conde, Fitness Expert

In this week’s Meet the Expert column, we interview Cynthia Conde, fitness expert and creator of Bridal Bookcamp®. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified trainer and has helped hundreds of brides slim down for their big day.

I don’t think there is a bride in the world that doesn’t want to look great on her wedding. How do you counsel brides to slim down?

First thing I do is have my brides do a 2 week cleanse and detox. Week 1, they begin to cut caffeine, cigarettes, processed foods, sugar and red meat from their diets. Week 2, they begin their cleanse. Week 3 and forward, its on the clean eating and hard training, until the W-Day, then its on to maintenance.

What are the biggest problem areas for brides that they should focus on before their wedding?

Biggest problem areas will always be thighs, butt and abs for most women. Although a wedding dress will cover these areas, there is still the destination wedding at a hot locale and honeymoon (bikini time) to think about. The bridal focus is to blast the upper back, biceps, triceps and forearms, and give equal attention to the butt, abs, and thighs. I teach my brides to dig deep and get in touch with their inner athletics by staying focused and training hard.

In light of the economic climate, how are brides and grooms shaping up and slimming down on a budget? Many gyms are increasing their rates and brides are finding it difficult to cope.

It's funny. There was a recent article in the New York Times that stated the fitness industry is recession proof, and I couldn't agree more. I have not experience a huge drop in brides signing up for my Bridal Bootcamp program. Although I will admit that instead of doing private Bridal Bootcamp with our instructors, some have opted for the more economical Bridal Bootcamp group program. The reason, brides will anything to look good on their wedding day!!!

As you work with brides, they talk about their destination wedding plans. What trends do you see in destination weddings as you work with your clients? How have the needs of engaged couples changed over time?

I am seeing more brides choosing destination weddings for two reasons. The idea of a getaway wedding is super romantic especially on a warm tropical beach and its sure a lot cheaper than paying for a traditional wedding. The needs of engage couples change dramatically. After, the honeymoon, the trends is to be more relax with one another, that usually leads to more eating and less activity. The winter holiday season rolls around, and add 10 to 15 pounds of excess weight. Also, when a bride become pregnant, her hubby usually gains weight as well.

What's the most dramatic change you've seen a bride make/go through?

The most dramatic change I’ve had was my first client, Pandora Kinard, who lost 100 pounds in 8 months!

How important is it to incorporate weight training?

Incorporating weight training is super's the only way you will be able to harden your body. Remember to leave no area untouched.....train on every crevice of your body. The hardest areas to hit are the inner thighs, lower abs and the crease of your butt.

What's the best way to maintain once you've reached the weight/fitness level you want before your wedding? Do you ever see whole wedding parties come in together?

The best way to maintain your body is to incorporate push ups, assisted pull ups or military, pop squats (jumping squats), abs - (best exercise leg raises and twisting crunches) and cardio (I love jumping rope and doing the strainmill, 3 to 4 times per week).

What is your important of incorporating weigh loss medication like Alli in your pre-wedding program?

I'm an organic girl. I don't push weight loss supplements. I do like whey protein, folic acid, and green drink (aloe vera juice and liquid chlorophyll) and berry drinks (antioxidant). Safe and healthy cleansing programs are the way to go. Being an efficient pooper is the key to getting rid of belly bloat and losing weight.

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