Until very recently, my opinion of working-out went along the lines that if I wasn’t borderline dying the whole way through, it probably definitely wasn’t really working. I bullied myself out the door five days a week for long, boring runs round the park and consistently chastised my lack of either fitness or aesthetic progression.
It probably sounds obvious now that I’ve written it all down, but it took me rather a while to realise that what I was doing wasn’t working for me. And even longer to start believing the people who told me things like “abs are made in the kitchen”, and that I should spend more time doing things like stretching a getting sports massages. Got there in the end though. So I’ve been trying out a series of workouts that take me away from my practiced cardio-or-bust regime.
One such is Cheerleading. I tried this yesterday morning with the LA Rams cheer squad. They’re in town because it’s LA Rams vs New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday (being aired on BBC2 at 2pm, if you fancy it). And yes, they’re every bit as all-American as you’d expect.
Now. I didn’t take to Cheerleading exactly like a duck to water, but it was great fun and way harder than I’d expected. Naturally, I feel like I’d have fared better with a bouncy blow-dry to whip around, but who am I to make excuses…
I wanted to know what it’s like being an NFL cheerleader, so I cut practice training short to quiz the girls..
How often do you train?
We practice 2 days a week for three hours each and one hour on gamedays. As well as practicing on your own throughout the week to keep the routines fresh for gameday.
Do you find it difficult to stay on top of your workout schedule when you’re travelling?
Yes. Being on the team can be extremely time consuming. So it’s important focus on healthy eating. Our practices involve a lot of cardio so it gives us a chance to stay on top of our fitness.
Do you train individually as well or always as a squad?
We all have our individual regimens as well as train together. We have a trainer who will work us out the last hour of practice occasionally.
Do you have to follow a diet / nutrition plan?
You know what’s best for your body so eating healthy is a big focus. We all strive to practice healthy dieting and eating in moderation.
Do you have treat / cheat days?
We indulge at times, but being healthy and fit is our number one priority.
Cardio or resistance?
We do both. Mostly cardio in practice.
Do you have to be a certain size to be a cheerleader?
Not at all. Being a cheerleader is about being confident, healthy, and fit.
What’s the hardest thing about being a cheerleader?
Balancing work, life, and practice. You have to be able to manage your time wisely.
How long does it take you to get ready before a game?
Some girls longer than others but I’d say between 1-2 hours.
Do you have a glam squad or do you do hair and makeup yourselves?
We have makeup artist and hairstylist at games and photo shoots to make sure we look our best.
Who decides what your hair / make-up will look like?
We have a team look that compliments every girl on the squad.
What products do you have in your beauty bag?
Tons of hairspray lol. Mascara, blush, powder, and red lipstick.