Weddings are usually about the brides. Just ask Prince William. (You know, the guy in red next to Kate.) But simply because suits and tuxes hide lumps and bumps in ways a wedding dress can’t doesn’t mean grooms aren’t trying to get in shape for their “I do’s,” too.
Meet Colin Smith. The Adams Morgan resident had always meant to start working out, but life got in the way and mortgage payments took the place of paying for personal training sessions. Then he got engaged.
“When I’ve looked at pictures recently, like from [my fiancee’s] brother’s wedding in October, it’s, like, ‘Hey, that’s not me,'” says Smith, 41, who gained about 25 pounds in the past several years. “Comparing those pictures to three years ago, I would much prefer to be back there.”
With his own wedding photo shoot approaching on June 4, Smith got moving. First, he lifted weights for a month on his own at the D.C. Jewish Community Center’s gym, and then he hired trainer Lisa Glassman in April to help kick his workouts up a notch. Now he spends four hours at the gym every week, one of them with Glassman.
“She has these circuits that I do. We do lunges and then pull-ups and then leg raises,” Smith says. “They really get my heart rate up, so they become very aerobic as well as strengthening because I’m not taking a break between them.” And they’re working. He’s lost 2 inches from his waist and 10 pounds. He’s also doubled the number of push-ups he can do.
None of these moves is different than the ones Glassman would prescribe for anyone looking to get into shape, but having the invitations out guarantees Smith will work harder. The same has done the trick for groom-to-be Ben Weinstein, 32, who’s been swimming laps at the Takoma Aquatic Center three times a week.
“It’s definitely an extra motivator,” says Weinstein, who never got going on his exercise goals until after he popped the question. His May 29 wedding was the push he needed. “Just having that event, it kind of divides before and after,” he adds.
And as for Smith, whose fiancee has also stepped up her fitness regimen, happily ever after is certainly going to be healthier. “Because we’re both now conscious of how we eat and actually getting to the gym, it’s another connection we now have, which is kind of cool, right before we get married to find this other thing that we’re both motivated to do.”
Both brides and grooms had to drop pounds on the CW’s “Shedding for the Wedding,” a reality competition for overweight couples that aired earlier this spring. The show’s fitness expert, Jennifer Cohen, has advice for men who want to alter their look before they head to the altar.
» “Every guy wants a six-pack. They want to have big guns; they think that if they have big arms, that would make them more masculine. And some guys want a big chest,” Cohen says. But you won’t get any of those things if you don’t give yourself enough time. Start working out as soon as possible.
» Want to develop the strength to carry your betrothed over the threshold of the honeymoon suite? Try weighted rows from a plank position. Gripping a dumbbell in each hand, do a push-up and as you come up, draw one elbow back into a row. Return to the push-up and switch arms.
» To look picture-perfect, focus on standing up straight. “When you slouch, it gives the illusion that you’re about 2 or 3 inches shorter than you really are,” she says. “For a guy to look really great in a suit, you really want to push back the shoulders to give the appearance of better posture.”
Written by Express contributor Stephanie Kanowitz