Welcome to Bridal Boot Camp

You can sort of see me in the mirror, struggling along!

I’ve done some crazy things in the name of journalism before (hopping a fence at a John Kerry rally to get an interview; trick-or-treating at Maureen Dowd’s house), but nothing comes close to this one: Eight weeks of “bridal boot camp”—an exercise class geared toward brides-to-be—at Sport & Health in McLean (1800 Old Meadow Rd.; 703-556-6550). On Saturday mornings. At 7 AM.

The Fit-Brides program—there’s also a resistance class on Tuesdays and a Pilates class on Thursdays, both at 6:30 PM—attracts brides such as Michelle Pycior, who started the first four-week session on Saturday and is getting married in October at Raspberry Plain in Leesburg. “I’m pretty healthy already as far as exercise and food,” she says, “but I just want to be a little more toned all over.” Her wedding dress is sleeveless with thick straps—perfect for showing off defined arms.

A disclaimer: I am not a gym girl. I run, but only outside, and weights and trainers terrify me. The verdict after class one: I was sore. Really sore. We did everything from squats to sit-ups to lifting dumbbells (I survived!) to doing this crazy running exercise that involved a half exercise ball, and I wobbled back to my car thinking my legs would never feel the same. They’re still not quite back to normal, but that may have something to do with the Cherry Blossom ten-miler on Sunday. Michelle’s reaction: “Now that I’m not heaving for air, that was amazing!”

As the class progresses, I’ll check back with updates from Michelle, other brides, and gymphobic me. Stay tuned!


Fit-Brides at Sport & Health (1800 Old Meadow Rd., McLean; 703-556-6550) runs through May 3, with a second four-week session starting May 7. The cost is $269 for four weeks, $525 for eight. The program is open to non-brides, too. For more information, contact Jessica Milligan at 703-556-6550 or

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