Nastia Liukin is flexible-but-firm when it comes to pre-wedding fitness. In an exclusive interview with The Knot, the Olympic gold medalist says she’s taking a healthy approach with fiance Matt Lombardi leading up to their nuptials.
“I think it’s important to make sure that you still look like yourself,” says Liukin, 27. “You don’t want to look back on your wedding day pictures and be unrecognizable. Obviously you want to feel your best.”
But for Liukin, the focus isn’t on weight loss. “I just want to make sure I feel great,” she notes. “I’ve always felt that way. Obviously I want to be toned and feel great. I’ve just been healthy in general.”
It helps that she and Lombardi motivate each other to lead active lifestyles. “My fiance and I—we work out every single day. Sometimes together,” she shares. “He played hockey [and] I can’t lift the weights that he lifts. But we’ll do classes together like Orangetheory and CorePower. I think we always try to motivate each other—even though we’re not feeling great. ‘Let’s just go do this class. It’s an hour of our day. We’re gonna feel so much better after.’ So it’s nice to have somebody that motivates you and vice versa.”
Liukin says that wasn’t always the case following her memorable 2008 run in the Olympics. “What was hardest when I stopped competing was figuring out what worked best for my body. Not to fall into the trap of the latest and greatest,” the Dancing With the Stars alum says. “It’s really what works for you. Every person’s body is so different… Personally, I like mixing it up. I get very bored of doing the same thing. I like having a routine and schedule in a sense.”
For those brides who don’t have constant access to classes, Liukin suggests an at-home workout. “Literally, all it takes is three-pound dumbbells,” she notes. “Do some arm exercises, some squats. You just find some space in your bedroom, your living room… You can find space. You can do something somewhere. I think it’s really about being creative sometimes. It’s not always easy when you have long days… but I try to get something in.”
The gymnast, a SIX:02 ambassador, believes that wearing cute athleisure pieces can help. “Being an athlete my entire life, I love that it’s in now,” she says of the style. “Now you can literally go from a Pilates lesson to going into a meeting to flying here. It’s fashionable and you can be comfortable. It embodies who I am as a person, but the kind of everyday girl now. You don’t just wear workout clothes to work out.”
This summer, Liukin will marry Lombardi in an unplugged, oceanfront ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island. The bride revealed in the same interview that she and Lombardi have finally hired a planner. Now, they’re simply looking ahead to the celebration.
“For so many years, 2008 was such a magical year of my life. Winning that gold medal at the Olympics… It was something I dreamed about for so many years and I was always wondering and curious, ‘Will I ever have another moment in my life that can match that or top that?’” she muses to The Knot. “I think marrying him is going to be even greater than standing on that podium. That’s what exciting to me: to find somebody that motivates me and makes me happy, and that excites me. We’re excited to start a life together.”