How Do Fitness Experts Get In Shape for Their Weddings? Brides-to-Be and Spin Instructors at Recycle, Emily Susen and Elyse Winer, Tell Us

The writing is on the wall - literally. Recycle brings good vibes, really good vibes, to the Boston fitness scene. Independently owned by a powerhouse entrepreneur and cycle enthusiast, Cate Brinch, and stacked with classes taught by some of the city's most motivational and fun-loving personalities, it's a place where you willingly check your cell phone, to-do list and stress at the door for a sweaty, heart-pumping 45-minute spin class that feels more like a dance party than a workout. 

Since not one but two of Recycle's instructors are brides-to-be, Emily SuseN and Elyse Winer,the question had to be asked: how does a fitness expert plan her wedding?

Hint: be in physical and mental shape; add a fitness component to the wedding itinerary, and do not buy into the wedding diet.

As a bonus to this article: if you're wanting to work out with a group of motivated and fun brides and bridesmaids, check out the Deals & Perks Page for details on Recycle's Brides & Maids Bootcamp led by Emily and Elyse and taking place on Tuesday July 21, 2015! You can register at this link.

Q: Let's start with the fun stuff, When AND HOW did you get engaged?   

Emily Susen of Recycle

Emily Susen of Recycle

Emily:Tom and I got engaged at our favorite beach in Bermuda (he has family down there so we're lucky to get to go a few times a year). We went down for a long weekend last March, and right from the airport, he asked our cab driver to take us to Cooper's Island instead of our hotel. I knew right away something was up because it wasn't exactly beach weather and we still had our suitcases! It was an exciting and nerve wracking 10 minute cab ride because I knew what was coming and Tom knew I had figured it out (it still didn't stop me from being a blubbering mess when he popped the question). We got to the beach which was completely empty except for a picnic set up for us, and he got down on one knee and proposed. His mom and brother had been hiding behind the rocks so we were able to get pictures of everything! We then got to enjoy a bottle of champagne and snacks on the beach. It was perfect!

Elyse Winer of Recycle

Elyse Winer of Recycle

Elyse:Alec proposed on Saturday, April 25th at his apartment in New York City.  We had been set up by a mutual friend (and Recycle client!) and officially met on New Years Eve of 2013.  From that day forward we had committed to a long distance relationship, traveling back and forth between Boston and NYC and racking up plenty of Amtrak points!  After Alec had taken the Massachusetts bar so that he could practice law in Boston, we were finally ready to move in together after 1 and half years of living apart.  Because it would be our last weekend in NYC, we felt it was only right to visit the location of our first date, Flex Mussels, for dinner.  After reminiscing over an incredible meal, Alec made the excuse that he had to run back to his apartment to change a contact lens.  When he opened the door to let me inside, I saw that the entire space had been transformed.  Roses and pictures of us lined his apartment entrance.  At each rose was a letter for me to read, starting with the beginning of our relationship, and ending with our future.  The living room was covered in pictures and candles, and across the window it said "I LOVE YOU" in big red letters. Alec got on one knee, and the rest is history!  

Q: wheN is your wedding?

EMILY:September 5, 2015. We're getting married at The Unfinished Church in Bermuda. The setting is beautiful- old church ruins on top of a hill overlooking the water, and then we're taking a boat to our reception at Cambridge Beaches Resort.

ELYSE:April 2, 2016 at the Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach.  

Q:Are you doing anything for your wedding that integrates fitness?

EMILY: Six of my friends who are coming to the wedding are also instructors so I'm definitely banking on having some beach bootcamps!

ELYSE:Yes!  My makeup artist (who is also a dear friend) will be leading a yoga/barre class for the ladies on the day of the rehearsal dinner.  And the beachside location of the hotel where we are hosting the wedding provides a great spot for a run!  

Recycle Studio, South End location

Recycle Studio, South End location

Q: How can spinning get you in shape? What are the greatest benefits?

EMILY: Spinning is not only a great cardiovascular workout, but it's a great stress relief as well. It's one of the few workouts I can really zone out in and just push myself super hard and sweat, sweat, sweat! While our classes focus strongly on cardio and your legs, we also incorporate upper body and core work, which is a big plus. You can also do it at your own pace. We're all human- you have those days where you feel like Superwoman and other days where you feel like a lethargic hippo, but I love that you can still get a killer workout, no matter how you're feeling that particular day. You're in a dark room, there are no numbers on the bike, no clocks on the wall. You just get in the zone and sweat it out. And, it feels like you're at an awesome dance party!

ELYSE:I've tried every workout and spinning continues to be my favorite total-body, cardiovascular workout.  Not only can you burn an insane amount of calories and sweat your face off, but you're always going to walk out of the room feeling motivated to conquer the day ahead.  The interval training we focus on at Recycle (a mixture of lighter and heavier resistance) gets your heart rate up so you can burn more calories in less time.  You'll also have the opportunity to get a total-body burn in class, not only focused on leg work.  We emphasize the core in almost every move we do, and incorporate plenty of upper body work and repetitive lifting with light weights to sculpt and tone your arms.  The biggest benefit of spinning is that 45 minutes can often feel like 5 when you're rocking out to great music and kicking ass alongside a group of spirited and fun riders!  When your workouts feel more like a treat and less like a chore you'll push yourself harder and be more likely to come back again and again.

- Elyse Winer

- Elyse Winer

A: are you doing anything different WITH YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE pre-wedding?

EMILY:I'm lucky to have a "job" that also helps me get my workout in for the day! Teaching at Recycle definitely helps to keep me in shape. I also love to lift, so I do strength training three times a week, either at a Barry's Bootcamp class or on my own. Pre-wedding, I've been incorporating more barre and yoga classes into my routine, which has been a challenge because I really love doing more high intensity stuff! But it's important to mix it up and keep your body constantly challenged, and I've surprised myself by liking the new classes and the results.

ELYSE:Teaching at Recycle keeps me in great shape, but I love to incorporate different workouts into my regimen to diversify my routine and keep my body challenged.  Hot power yoga is a great compliment to spin as I find that it really opens the shoulders, hips and spine and strengthens the core. I also try to mix in weight training/plyometrics that I can do from home or my apartment's gym using hand weights, a kettle bell or my own body weight.  As for the pre-wedding regimen, I think it's important to just try to move everyday.  There are so many different studios/gyms available to us in Boston, and I'm always up for shaking it up and trying something new!  

Q:I FEEL LIKE It's IMPORTANT TO BE IN GOOD SHAPE MENTALLY TOO, especially with juggling A new, SECOND job - wedding planning. have you felt any of the planning stress and if so how do you alleviate it?

- Elyse Winer

- Elyse Winer

EMILY:Mental shape is so important! I've finally come to realize that this past year. You need to take time for yourself to relax and unwind, whether it's a zen yoga class, a massage, meditation, etc. I have had some stressful moments, but I always take a step back and just remember that the whole point of this wedding is that I'm getting married to the guy I love, and everyone is coming to celebrate that. It's easy to get caught up in stressful details, like "what kind of napkins and charger plates do you want?" (umm.. who cares?!) but at the end of the day, you have to focus on the big picture. I've been going to Chill Yoga at Exhale for the past year and love it. It's like my "me" time for the week. I always feel like a weight has been lifted when I walk out of the room! Also, I make lists and do things in bulk so I'm not sitting at the computer or on the phone all day. Block out certain times to do wedding planning, but don't let it consume your whole life.

ELYSE:A workout may challenge you physically, but if you don't allow yourself to unplug, you're missing out on some of the benefits that 'getting in the zone' can have on your overall health. I always try to encourage riders to take a moment to focus on one thing - the beat of the music, the sound of their breath, the intention they've set for the class - and not think about their to-do list or what happened that day.  Pre-wedding stress is inevitable, but a solid workout is a productive way of dealing with any of that anxiety.  

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR Thoughts on the infamous Wedding Diet?

EMILY:Getting in shape is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I've seen brides starve themselves and work out like crazy leading up to the wedding, which never ends well because your results won't last. You shouldn't go to extremes to lose weight just to fit into your dress. If you're looking to tone up before the wedding, start making lifestyle changes months in advance, don't rely on a crash diet! I think it's important to look and feel your best on your wedding day, but you should be smart about it.  Eating a clean, organic diet with lots of vegetables, lean proteins, fruits and healthy fats will make you feel good-looking good is an added benefit!

ELYSE:A wedding is a great opportunity to rethink your diet and make healthier choices.  Extreme or crash diets aren't necessarily healthy or sustainable, and often make brides feel irritable and cranky leading up to their big day.  A wedding diet to me means eating the foods that make me feel my best, and avoiding the foods that deprive me of energy/cause me to bloat. This means replacing alcohol, refined sugars, dairy and caffeine with healthier options like all-natural whole foods, fruits & vegetables, lean proteins, and more water!  There are a lot of great apps out there to help hold yourself accountable.  I work at a startup in Boston called Lose It! and love using the app to track my food intake and set daily calorie budgets based on my goals.  Cutting out the junk also has the added benefit of improving the overall appearance of my skin, something I'm definitely after for the wedding.

- Emily Susen

- Emily Susen

Q:The weights USED at Recycle are JUST A FEW POUNDS yet definitely tire out my arms; what's the key to that vs. using HEAVIER weights?

EMILY:With the lighter weights, we focus on high repetition counts and also choose exercises that focus on smaller, micro movements.. hence why you get that burn! When you use heavier weights, you tend to focus on lower repetition counts and bigger exercises. You are still getting a burn, but working your muscles in a completely different way. Guys tend to have a harder time with the 2lb weights simply because they're not used to working their muscles in that manner. (Side note to all men everywhere: it's not because your "arms are heavier" that you can't keep those weights up!!) I think it's SO important to work with both heavy and light weights, that way your body doesn't get used to just one way of lifting.

- Emily Susen

- Emily Susen

ELYSE:Repetitive lifting of light weights can be a KILLER!  I think people are typically shocked when they see just how heavy 2 pounds can feel after a 6 minute arm song.  The key is repetitive movements which are great for shaping and defining the muscle.  Whenever you repeat any movement that many times the muscle is going to start to exhaust itself and you're going to feel the burn!  

Q: Do you have a lot of brides or grooms coming to RECYCLE for an extra boost pre-wedding? Bachelor/ette parties?

EMILY:Yes! We host bachelorette parties frequently, and they're a blast. Everyone seems to go extra hard knowing there is a glass of champagne waiting for them post ride... We do get a lot of brides and grooms coming in. I think the grooms are generally surprised at what a tough workout it is, and how badass their future wives are :)

ELYSE:YES and YES!  It's great to see couples making a commitment to get in shape together in advance of their wedding date.  The couples that spin together, stay together :)  At least this is what I tell Alec when I drag him to class on Saturday mornings!  When you have someone there to hold you accountable for that 6 AM class you'll be a lot less likely to hit the snooze button.  Getting in a social sweat before the big night out has become very popular for bachelorette parties. Recycle's space is great for socializing and popping some bubbly after the ride!  

Q:Favorite songs to work out to when you just don't wanna do it and/or when you want to nail it?

EMILY: Stay Boss (CFLO Bootleg)- Rick Ross; Head Like A Hole- Nine Inch Nails; Outside- Ellie Goulding &  Calvin Harris

ELYSE:This is a tough one but here it goes: Lose Yourself by Eminem, Love on Top by Beyonce, Circles by I See MONSTAS. 

Q: must plays at your wedding?

EMILY: Anything funk/soul!  MJ, Stevie Wonder, Aretha, Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield all make frequent appearances on our playlist. I'm pretty sure my fiance will be the first and last one off the dance floor...Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder; Hold On, I'm Comin by Sam & Dave; Give Up The Funk by Parliament

ELYSE: I love all Frank Sinatra (so he will be a must).  And anything top 40!   

Q:Favorite motivational phrase?

EMILY:The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to stop me.

ELYSE:Your life does not get better by chance.  It gets better by change. 

Recycle offers classes daily at its two locations: 9 Newbury Street and at 643A Tremont Street; 617-366-9670;, Instagram: @recycle_studio, Twitter: @recycle_studio, Facebook/RecycleStudio