If you’re getting married this summer—or even if you’re not!—now’s the perfect time to tone up and slim down.
We know it’s tempting to put off workouts while you’re in the thick of planning, but research shows that exercising will actually help reduce stress, get you energized and make you feel happier. We’ve found five unique fitness options in the Milwaukee area that are fun, motivating and get results.
Where to go: B-fit, 219 N. Milwaukee St.
What it is: Sound out the word, and you can probably figure it out. “Piloxing uniquely mixes Pilates and boxing into a fat-torching and muscle-sculpting workout guaranteed to whip you into shape,” says B-fit’s Angelina D’Amico.
Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to firm up. You’ll see changes in your back and arms (ahem, ladies who are wearing sleeveless or backless gowns), plus firmer shoulders, core and legs. “Piloxing will help you look and feel sleek, sexy, beautiful and confident,” D’Amico, a personal trainer, says.
What it’s like: During the hour-long class (which is offered at many different times each week), you’ll do a mix of Pilates, boxing and some dance, plus floor work. Ponying up for a set of Piloxing gloves ($20 at B-fit) is beneficial, too—“the gloves are weighted only half a pound, but you definitely will feel the difference,” she says.
What you’ll pay: Each class costs $10, but you can buy packages of five for $40 or 10 for $75. B-fit also offers unlimited class access.
Where to go: Various YMCAs of Metro Milwaukee: Downtown, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave.; Southwest, 11311 W. Howard Ave., Greenfield; Tri County, N84 W17501 Menomonee Ave., Menomonee Falls; and Feith Family Ozaukee, 465 Northwoods Rd., Port Washington.
What it is: Using a suspension strap, participants get stronger and leaner through resistance training. “TRX is part of the new revolution of small group training at the YMCA,” says Maryann Kmet, group fitness coordinator at the Downtown Y. “It is extremely results driven.” You can choose from four different TRX classes, from beginning to advanced.
Who it’s for: Women and men of any physical ability. Milwaukee newlyweds Kevin and Talia started TRX before their wedding. “It made me so much more comfortable and confident in my wedding dress,” Talia says. “All of the cardio work also helped us to dance through every song at our reception without tiring.” Even now that they’re married, they say they still look forward to class each week.
What it’s like: Both for beginners, TRX Masters allows slower acclimation to suspension training while Core tightens the learning curve. TRX Cardio Circuit, the next step up, focuses on a whole-body workout. Finally, Fusion, the most challenging, blends Core and Cardio Circuit. All classes last less than an hour.
What you’ll pay: A Y membership is $40 per month.
Where to go: There are several Jazzercise locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin—enter your ZIP on the website to find the one nearest you.
What it is: Fitness through dance—and, according to the website, you can burn up to 600 calories during the one-hour class!
Who it’s for: “Anyone who likes to have fun while they’re working out,” says Lisa Booz, instructor and class owner at the Brookfield location (17800 W. Bluemound Rd.). Brides might even learn a couple of dance moves they can show off at their reception, she adds.
What it’s like: A typical Jazzercise class includes about 35 minutes of cardio (dance!) with 25 minutes of muscle toning and stretching. If you’re new to working out, or haven’t done it in a long time, don’t worry: “All of my instructors are so awesome at cueing new participants through class,” says Booz, who’s been Jazzercising for more than 25 years. “Generally, once they come to their first class, they are hooked!”
What you’ll pay: It varies, and there’s usually a one-time joining fee. At Booz’s location, the monthly cost for unlimited classes is $45 for a six-month membership and $40 for a yearlong one.
Where to go: There are several of these in the area; we interviewed Catherine Andersen of Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp, 4170 N. Port Washington Rd., Glendale.
What it is: “The group is like a team,” says Andersen, a personal trainer who owns the fitness company with her husband. “We don’t yell at you. We have people who are 100 pounds overweight, and we have people who are elite athletes.” The best bridal result Andersen says she’s ever seen: a woman who started boot camp eight weeks before her wedding and lost 16 pounds after following the trainer’s advice.
Who it’s for: Those who get bored fast and want a non-competitive, non-judgmental environment—including women-only classes, which run in the morning. Andersen explains that her clients enjoy the challenge boot camp offers: “We push them to a point they never thought they could reach, and they tell us they could never have done it on their own.”
What it’s like: Since Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp opened five years ago, Andersen says they’ve never repeated a workout, whether the session was indoors at their facility or at one of the outdoor locations. “Some days it’s lifting, some days it’s focused on core, some days it’s partner work, some days it’s fitness games,” Andersen says. “It makes fitness fun!”
What you’ll pay: Again, the cost varies, but at Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp, prices range from nine hour-long sessions for $199 to 20 sessions for $299.
Where to go: Most gyms around Southeastern Wisconsin offer it, but we talked with trainers at Invivo, 2060 N. Humboldt Ave.
What it is: One-on-one training sessions, most of the time…“You can also drag along a friend for a fun partner session, or work in a small group personal training setting,” explains Mauriah Kraker. Adds her co-worker Garrett VanAuken: “I focus on functional and whole body exercises—things that are going to burn a lot of calories, and transfer to make everyday life a little easier.”
Who it’s for: Motivated people. Before your first session, your trainer will find out why you’ve come. “We then can create an individualized program that is tailored to meet particular goals,” Kraker says of brides she’s helped, “whether that is losing weight to wear their dream dress, feeling confident and great on their special day, or preparing for the hikes they are planning for an Asian honeymoon.”
What it’s like: Get ready to work hard, but come in smiling, suggests VanAuken. “But once the session starts, you can growl, curse, yell at me all you want,” he says. “It just makes me want to push you harder.” Sessions typically last 30 or 60 minutes.
What you’ll pay: Prices vary greatly around the area; at Invivo, the popular five-session package costs $325.
What workouts have you had good luck with?
**Special thanks to Jamie Schwefel and Lora Ehmke of Invivo for their additional help.**