For months Desiree Hartsock has been focused on planning her intimate California wedding with Chris Siegfried, whom she met on ABC’s The Bachelorette. But when the subject of cravings comes up after a quick warmup at Elite Fitness in Bellevue, a juicy burger is at the forefront of her mind.
“A burger does sound really good right now,” said the 28-year-old. On mornings when she dashes to the gym with only a banana for breakfast, she starts to dream of delicious, fatty foods like warm cinnamon buns and crispy waffles. But by the time her workout is over, a plate of rich comfort food is far less appealing and she usually opts for more fruit.
Her motto is everything in moderation. If she’s really craving a burger, she’ll eat one but spare the fries. And for the most part, she eats healthy. The same can be said for her wedding workout plan. She’s not spending day and night in the gym or crash dieting. She’s working on maintaining her athletic figure by adding a tad more intensity to her workouts before the big day.
“These are pictures you want for a lifetime and you want to look your best, but I think you also want to look like yourself,” she said. “I think too many brides push themselves too hard and they end up not looking like themselves and looking unhealthy.”
Hartsock has always been motivated to keep her body in tip-top shape. For her, it’s not just about looking good; it’s about relieving stress and keeping her energy up.
“I’ve worked in bridal my whole life and so I’ve seen so many brides and I know what they go through,” she said. Hartsock was a bridal stylist before being cast on The Bachelorette. “All that stress and all that planning, and I think it’s important to take care of yourself. Even more so right before your wedding because your skin will be better. When you’re healthy, you just have a glow about you.”
In the gym, Elite Fitness co-owner Dave Johnson is constantly pushing Hartsock to her next fitness goal. She’s never stationary, so her heart rate is always up and her workouts are always different. She never knows what to expect, which keeps her on her toes. Hartsock says she has a love/hate relationship with working on her legs. Which, for the record, look like they could belong to a model.
“That’s where I gain all my weight so I love working it out but it’s also where I get the most sore and the workouts are always more exhausting because it’s more cardio, but it’s good.”
Getting to the gym isn’t always easy for Hartsock. She’s been designing a collection of wedding gowns with Maggie Sottero that requires her to travel, plus she’s had to travel to friends’ weddings and keep her blog, fresh.
But according to her trainer, being out of town is no excuse for missing a workout. He often sends her an email with a workout she can do anywhere. (Try one of her travel workouts below!)
“The reality is with Des and a lot of our people, they do travel and have deadlines and stuff like that. It’s a reality you can’t ignore but it’s not enough to go, ‘Well I can’t get in shape because I travel or I have deadlines at work,’ because you can do it, you just chip away at it,” Johnson said.
He encourages brides-to-be to exercise before their weddings to manage their stress. Plus, it’s the perfect carrot to work toward.
“It’s a great motivator,” said Johnson. “A wedding is awesome because that date is coming. You’re not going to cancel your wedding because you’re not in shape for it. So, it is a good kind of finish line to shoot for.”
But Hartsock is looking far past her wedding date finish line. Her workouts are more for her days as a wife than her one day as a bride.
“Your wedding is going to come and go,” she said. “For me it’s mainly maintaining [working out] as a lifestyle. I’m going to push harder for the wedding because I want to look good but I’m going to maintain and keep coming to Elite afterward,” she said.
Hartsock’s Traveling Pre-Wedding Workout
1. Slide shuffle across a room and back, then do 20 running-in-place high knees. Repeat five times.
2. 20 jumping jacks, then five burpees. Repeat five times.
What’s a burpee? Start in a standing position. Hop down into a push-up position then jump back up quickly into a standing position.
3. 10 push-ups on a bed
4. 20 alternating leg lunges
5. 20 sit-ups
Repeat steps five times.
6. 16 one-legged burpees (alternate each leg eight times)
7. 15 tricep dips on chair
8. 15 “V-ups”
Repeat steps four times.
9. 10 full squats plus 20 squat pulses- at the end of the tenth squat.