L.A. in Love: Bridal Boot Camp Is in Session

Vowing to wow at your wedding

So you said “yes” to the proposal. Now you’re probably thinking, I’ve gotta get in shape for the wedding. Lucky for Los Angeles residents, there are a multitude of fitness regimes available. But before diving into one, take heed that all workouts are not created equal. Keeping a few things in mind will ensure top form by the big day.

In December 2014, Camila Quiroga found herself in this very position. A Christmas Eve proposal was followed by plans for a wedding the following November. Quiroga kicked up her normal workout routines, including spinning classes at RPM Fitness Studio in Toluca Lake. As time ticked past and her measurements weren’t shifting, the bride-to-be started taking notice of RPM’s Slimfit Bootcamp—specifically, members of a wedding party who were banding together to be photo-ready for upcoming nuptials. Quiroga recalls, “I thought a little added pressure would help my cause.”

RPM Fitness Studio owners Karyn (front) and Cynthia Graham
RPM Fitness Studio owners Karyn (front) and Cynthia Graham

Photograph courtesy RPM

Quiroga met with RPM owners Cynthia and Karyn Graham. The sisters have been conducting boot camps for over 15 years. “We’ve had many wedding party members sign up,” Cynthia Graham says. “For this one, life-altering day that will be documented in photos, people are motivated to do whatever it takes to get in the best shape of their lives.”

Before enrolling Quiroga, RPM held a consultation to make sure its boot camp was the correct fit. The trainers formulated a plan with the bride, based on specific dates and functions surrounding her wedding. The questions RPM puts forth to the betrothed are the same ones anyone entering into a boot camp scenario should contemplate. “Let the trainer know what your goals are,” says Graham. “For brides, it’s usually all about losing weight for the dress.”

When cleaning up one’s diet, Graham says to consider a boot camp that includes a nutrition element. “Not only does RPM consider everything from blood type to eating behavior, we gauge intake, adjust for possible allergies, and work towards reducing inflammation.”

Quiroga didn’t have a number she was striving to reach on the scale. Still, keeping a food journal along with being weighed was enlightening. “Through the process, I learned about how food effects my mood, stress, hair, sleep, skin… an eczema issue I’d dealt with even improved” she says. “During the incredibly stressful wedding planning time, boot camp served as forced self care.”

Along with hitting the scale, Slimfit Bootcamp involves tracking body measurements. “This isn’t just about fitting into the wedding dress,” Graham says. “Certain workouts have different impacts on the body. For example, a CrossFit boot camp might cause some exercisers to bulk up, whereas cardio-based boot camps burn calories, but don’t necessarily tone the body.” Key, too, is a program that includes abs/core work and stretching. Equally important, Graham says, “Make sure the elements of the boot camp are something the bride or groom will like. If they hate it, they won’t commit to seeing it through.”

Camila Quiroga before and after bridal boot camp
Camila Quiroga before and after bridal boot camp

Photograph courtesy Camila Quiroga

The five-week, Slimfit Bootcamp is a full-body, 90-minute workout held five days per week. The program’s cross-training keeps bodies evolving. On “off days” yoga and stretching are recommended. The group component lends itself to accountability.

When it came time for the final fitting of Quiroga’s wedding dress, she’d gone from a size 12 to an 8, requiring the dress to be rebuilt. (Oftentimes, brides face the opposite size dilemma.) “It was a good investment,” she says. “On my wedding day, I felt good inside and out, something I decided needed to continue beyond that one day and become part of my lifestyle.”


Photograph courtesy Camila Quiroga