Sunday, November 2, 2008

Professional cheerleaders fitness

Making cheerleading a profession means lots of hard work in staying fit and watching one's diet. Though the previous post showed professional cheerleaders in provocative poses and minimal clothing, that is only a part of their profession. These cheerleaders are an important part of their sports team setup and are active in their community. In fact competition for getting into one of the professional cheerleading squads is cut-throat and life as a cheerleader is not glamorous. Ask Leigh Garner.

Leigh Garner is a cheerleader for the Tennessee Titans. Leigh joined the squad only three years ago but she is in her mid-30s! Before this job she was a cheerleader with the Nashville Kats for five years. And in her early career Garner was a dancer for ten years.

During the five-week training camp before the football games begin the Tennessee Titans cheerleaders have Fitness Fridays, two-hour exercise sessions with director of cheerleading Stacie Kinder's husband, a former Olympic trials champion in decathlon. All the women are weighed and measured to ensure that they are in the same shape that they were when joining the squad. And regardless of how long they've been in the squad, each and every girl has to go through cheerleader tryouts every year!

And another eye-opener is their salary....they don't get one. Professional cheerleaders are paid an hourly wage only when they're cheering or doing promotional events. So they all have other regular jobs to earn a decent living; Leigh Garner works as a nanny.

For her fitness Leigh Garner hits the gym daily, doing spins and turbo kicks. Twice a week she also does strength training with weights to sculpt her muscles. Leigh is 5' 2" and weighs 110 pounds (50kg).

Professional cheerleaders diet

To maintain this weight Garner has to watch what she eats......but she does more than that. The poor girl count's calories, limiting her daily intake to 1700. "For someone my size, that might seem like a lot," she says.
Leigh GarnerCheerleader Leigh Garner eats breakfast at her home in Brentwood. Photo in the Tennessean
Leigh stays away from potatoes, pasta, sugar, white rice, alcohol and sodas. She eats whole grain bread and Greens Plus bars, which are organically grown and packed with superfoods, soy protein and herbal extracts. Garner grew up on a farm, where her mom served dinner each night with lots of vegetables. "She used to tell us if we didn't eat our vegetables we would get scurvy," Leigh says. "I've never been one to eat a lot of junk food." Leigh Garner is married and also cooks for her husband. Her favorite moment as a Titans Cheerleader: "When my husband proposed to me in the middle of practice with 20 dozen roses!"