We all know how hard J.J. Watt trains and have seen him do that record-breaking 5’1” box jump, but what about the other athletes on the field at NRG Stadium? No, I’m not talking about the players, but the Houston Texans Cheerleaders. These girls are also real athletes.
Not only do they have to train hard to look amazing in their uniforms and be able to cheer for an entire football game, but they also either hold down full-time jobs or are students. It’s not easy. I recently met with veteran Houston Texans cheerleader and professional boxer Antonieta at her boxing gym downtown Houston to find out what she does to prep for tryouts and stay in top shape year-round.
She practices the styles of Muay Thai and Krav Maga and has competed in 14 amateur matches. So, trust me when I say you do not want to get between this cheerleader and her punching bag! Antonieta does a lot of tough workouts and eats a clean diet (see below for her tips). Boxing is her go-to workout but she also likes to mix things up with track workouts, weight training and other sports.
Her hard work has paid off before, earning her a spot on the squad in 2014 and 2015 and she just made the 2016 team!
Antonieta’s fitness tips
* Eat breakfast. She likes to make her own cereal that consists of a mix of granola and unsweetened almond milk.
* New to working out? Start with your body weight first by doing things like squats.
* Try a track workout. She runs bleachers and likes to do sprint drills to mix things up.
* Stretching is important, after your warm-up and at the end of your workout.
* A small workout is better than nothing. Even when she only has 20-30 minutes she still hits the gym.
* You need to eat for energy so don’t be too restrictive on calories.
* Plan meals and take them with you. She carries her meals with her wherever she goes so she isn’t tempted to eat junk food or fast food.
* She loves eggs. Eggs are a great protein source and can be a quick snack on the go.
* Pushups are great for toning the upper body.
*If you are short on time – jump rope! It’s a great cardio workout and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Antonieta’s workout playlist
“Are You With Me” by Lost Frequencies (Radio Edit)
“Brave” by Jennifer Lopez
“Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez, featuring Pitbull
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
“Fighter” by Christina Aguilera
“La Temperatura” by Maluma. featuring Eli Palacios
“Lean On” Major Lazer & DJ Snake, featuring Mo
“Me, Myself & I” by G-eazy & Bebe Rexha
“Roar” by Katy Perry
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC
“Wanna Be a Baller” by Lil’ Troy
“Work” by Rhianna featuring Drake
“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink