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From left: Hannah LeBeau, Rebeka St. Fort, Kelsi Gotauco, Allison DeJesus

Four-time NFL Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots (NEP) may count on excellent training, teamwork, nutrition, and mental discipline to win big on the football field, but they also get a boost from their cheering squad, who push boundaries of their own when it comes to conditioning and fitness. Here’s what goes into keeping spirits sky high as football’s finest dominate the game.

SEE ALSO: 11 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts

The official workout program of the Patriots Cheerleading Squad is BMAX (bmaxstrong.com). “It’s a perfect fit for their on-the-go schedules because you don’t need machines and it can get done in less than 30 minutes. Plus it delivers cardiovascular health, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and body composition,” says squad trainer and BMAX creator Andy Berler.

SAMPLE TRAINING WEEK:

4 BMAX workouts per week that include:

  • 3-minute dynamic warmup
  • 18 exercises: (dynamic, compound, and static moves) for 30 seconds on, 30 off
    core chiseler: 5 core moves for 50 seconds on, 10 off
  • On rest days: one day off and one day cardio, including running outside, on a tread climb, or their favorite class.

“We love to incorporate the Gillette Stadium ramps and stairs into training. We also have access to a running trail, a cycling studio, and the company gym on the grounds,” says Tracy Sormanti, director of cheerleading.

partner-workouts

Two Tough Moves For Teamwork

The Cheers Chair

This is a fun twist on the Wall Sit. Partners stand back to back, interlocking arms, and both drop slowly into a sitting position until thighs reach a 90-degree angle. The challenge is to be the last team still sitting.

Sumo Pushup

Partner A begins in an elevated plank position, with Partner B behind her feet in a low sumo position. Moving one leg at a time, Partner B rests Partner A’s legs across her lower thighs and stays in this position while Partner A does pushups for 30 to 60 seconds. If Partner A fatigues, she can hold the plank. Switch off until each one has done three rounds each.

SEE ALSO: 8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

Line captain Rebeka St. Fort and the rest of the NEP cheerleaders take their training seriously, which allows them to maintain a high level of conditioning throughout the season. “I mix high-intensity interval training, a strength- training workout that I call “the 100s,” and some cardio and group classes,” says St. Fort.

Here St. Fort’s killer 100s Series up close:

Upper-body workout with core:

  • Warm up on the stepper or treadmill for three to five minutes.
  • Choose one exercise for each muscle group (chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, back).
  • Take the first muscle group and choose a low weight (10 to 12 lbs).
  • Do 10 sets of 10 reps with 10 seconds rest between. When finished, you’ll have done 100 reps for that muscle group!
  • Follow with three minutes of core exercises (three different ones, one minute each), then move on to the next muscle group. By the end of the workout, you will have completed 500 reps for your upper body.

On team spirit:

“The best part about working with the Patriots cheerleaders is the constant drive shared among all of the women, both individually and as a team. We are all always working toward achieving the next goal and motivating each other along the way. This team has taught me about accountability, knowing your role, and doing your job well.” (See St. Fort’s recipe on the last page!)

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KELSI GOTAUCO

She keeps her muscles guessing to keep progressing. “Other than doing our BMAX workout, my training regimen consists of mainly compound lifts such as barbell squats, deadlifts, pullups, rows, and overhead presses. I like to follow up my main lifts with core exercises such as hanging leg raises. They’re my favorite!”

Future goals:

“I’ve always dreamed of being a fitness competitor. However, it was not until 2016 that I entered into my first competition, where I placed first in bikini debut, first in bikini open, and second in bikini novice. I hope to start another prep sometime this fall.”

Clean meal magic:

“My protein waffle recipe is delicious! It calls for 1 scoop protein powder, 1⁄4 cup almond milk, 1 egg, 1 tsp stevia, and a dash of cinnamon. I top it with peanut butter.”

Teamwork that makes the dream work:

“The best part about working with this team is that I am surrounded by so many motivated individuals. I’ve learned that as long as I work hard, I will always have something to be proud of.”

SEE ALSO: Why Bodybuilders Should Do Barre Workouts

ALLISON DEJESUS

DeJesus, who has been on the team for two years, integrates both cardio and heavy lifting. “I separate my workouts by muscle group and add three to four core exercises. At the end, I do 15 minutes of cardio, which I like to call “cashing out.”

On team spirit:

“With each season that passes, the Patriots cheerleaders sisterhood grows stronger, your confidence level boosts, and the love for volunteerism becomes engraved in your heart. I truly believe in being 1% better than yesterday. Being on this squad embodies positivity and drive!”

HANNAH LEBEAU

She’s in her fourth season with the squad and second year as a line captain, was a dancer and gymnast, but in her sophomore year of college she started developing a passion for lifting. “I follow a heavy lifting program involving the ‘Big 3’ as my main lifts: squats, bench, and deadlifts. Along with those three exercises, I do accessory work, such as rows, pullups, goblet squats, incline dumbbell presses, etc. Following my lifting sessions, I do a 15- to 20-minute high-intensity interval cardio session and some core work.”

Beyond splits:

“Though my strongest ability is dancing, I have some special tumbling moves that I acquired when I was a gymnast. I can do back handsprings, standing back tucks, and layouts.”

Bombshell beauty:

“If there is one beauty product that I can’t live without, it’s my neutral eye shadow pallet. It gives me a natural yet glamorous look for game day, appearances, or even just a night out with my friends.”

The long run:

“I’ve realized that this entire journey is a learning process and a time for us to create the best version of ourselves. So many small details go into creating the big picture that is presented to the fans. The practice and training are difficult, and we’re continually challenged.”

spaghetti-squash-shrimp

Cook this St. Fort Fave!

Lemon & Herb Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 2  small or 1 large spaghetti squash
  • Olive or coconut oil (or your preferred cooking oil)
  • About 20 large shrimp
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3  cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄4  tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1⁄4  cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

 

Directions:

1. Cook squash (400° for 40 minutes).

2. While squash is cooking, take a large skillet, add some oil and cook shrimp. Season with salt & pepper. Add garlic and sauté a little longer until shrimp is cooked through; remove and set aside.

3. In the empty skillet add lemon juice, zest, wine, mustard, and red-pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer until squash has finished baking.

4. When squash is done, scrape out all the strands and put them in a colander and place in the sink, pressing gently with a paper towel to drain excess water.

5. Whisk yogurt in with sauce mixture until creamy and smooth, then stir in parsley. Toss with squash and shrimp.

SEE ALSO: 5 Easy Protein Bowl Recipes