Ready? Okay!* My Time as a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader (All 2 hours of it…)

by Charlotte on June 1, 2012 · 26 comments

Do you know how hard it is to workout without pulling your hair back?! This week I learned that I have taken hair bands for granted lo all these years when I got to workout with the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders — because not only do they have to do every single workout in their dance tights and red lipstick (that magically never smears) but they also have to keep their hair down. And that was just the beginning of the surprises!

The squad invited me out to try out one of their workouts and interview their girls and coaches. It was insanely fun and also – not gonna lie – kicked my butt. Those girls work hard for those bodies! I’m writing up their whole workout (courtesy of Lifetime Fitness - they are the official Vikings cheerleaders trainers) for Shape so you’ll get to see all of it! But I wanted to share with you my personal highlights of the night. And by “highlight” I mean “lowlight” because wow I take bad pictures. We’ve already established I’m not a natural in front of the camera but surround me with bikini models and it’s… awkwardtastic. Not to mention that all the girls were so nice and fun that I couldn’t even hate them a little for getting through an hour of strength training with nary a bead of sweat while I’d pitted out my shirt before the warm up.

Ready for the fun?

It’s like playing Where’s Waldo… if Waldo were hiding in a nunnery.

Sing with me! One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same… Seriously though, this has got to be the best picture of me ever. Hey baby, you come here often?

This pretty much describes how I was the whole evening. The girl on the left is doing the beginning of the pike push-up move and the girl on the right is doing the end. Me, in the middle, is getting karate-chopped by their head trainer as I look confused.

Okay, lie. THIS is what I really did all night: I stalked different cheerleaders and asked them questions instead of letting them actually workout. You can’t tell from this pic but there’s a line of like 30 cheerleaders behind this girl and they’re all facing the same way as they do their band step-outs. All of them except… me! So let’s focus on my adorbs Under Armour slash capris instead! (And see Jennie? They hit me right behind the knees too!) Go get you some – you still have time to enter my Under Armour giveaway!

Yay, I can jump too! Now look at the girl on the far left. See how high she is? I bet it’s the tights.

YOU GUYS. I photo-bombed a super model! Not even the cute pants can save me in this pic.

Yes, this is how I decided to pose for our one and only group shot. I couldn’t have knelt up or sat up or crossed my legs or even done the splits? Nope, I have to aim my lady business right at the camera. But hey, learn from me ladies: pose like the cheerleaders behind me, the trainers next to me or even the turf underneath me. Just not like me. Oh and get a tan.

But then in a major gear shift from the cheerleaders, two days later I got to interview and direct the photoshoot for Kendra Ruff, MMA fighter. Do you see those muscles? Do you!? Watching her move was like art. I kinda want to take this pic and blow it up poster size and hang it on my wall because that’s not creepy at all, right?

Seriously. ART. Also? She let me kick her. Hard! (She was holding pads, no worries.) I’m writing up her entire workout for as well and trust me when I say you want to try this one! All bodyweight exercises and I can guarantee at least 75% of them are stuff you’ve never tried before! (Is that just a selling point for me? Anyone else love novel exercise moves or do you prefer the tried and true?)

Last but definitely not least was my interview this morning with cutie-pie athlete Bentley Mancini, a senior volleyball player for Drake University. She worked the heavy ropes like nobody’s business. And she didn’t even smack me when I had to tug her shorts down for her in between takes (that’s me: official de-wedgifier!).


It was alotalotalot of work this week but I enjoyed every minute of it. I seriously cannot believe I get to do amazing stuff like this and meet incredible women like these ladies! Pinch me!

*They never said this. Not even once. I was a little disappointed.

If you could try any athlete’s workout with them, whose would you pick?? Anybody have picture-taking tips for me? No seriously, I’m begging you: save me from myself!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert S. Lewis June 1, 2012 at 2:00 am

Wow what a great fitness experience. Great exercise it help our body become healthy.


rebecca b June 1, 2012 at 6:06 am

My cousin is an NFL cheerleader, is going into her 3rd season. one year with the new England Patriots, now her second season with her hometown team, the Carolina Panthers. The girl is amazing, and has the ability to do almost any workout with a brilliant smile on her face!! Yes they do work hard for those bodies!!!

I love working out with her when I visit, she is always upbeat and enthusiastic…sometimes I need more of that in my life.


Sara June 1, 2012 at 6:38 am

Wow! That would have been fun to join. But I would’ve been a whale among minnows. ha! I’ve got to ask, why do they have to workout in pantyhose? (Was it pantyhose or just nude color capris?)

I would love to workout with a boxer or MMA fighter. I like the idea of body weight only exercises. Also, since I was a swimmer, I would love to swim with the elite….just magically get me back in the best swimming shape of my life. :)


Kirsten Jones June 1, 2012 at 8:29 am

This is probably one of my all time favorite posts! It was really fun to see you do a work out with other athletes and with cheerleaders, I’ve gained a respect for their hard workouts. Personally, I would love to work out with a women’s soccer team.


Katie June 1, 2012 at 9:05 am

Jealous doesn’t even begin to cover my feeling right now.

Those tights! The makeup! The hair! I so do not look like that when I workout. Err…I mean, that’s what I look like when I workout too. You don’t? Weird.

Bodyweight only exercises?!? When do we get to see these?!


Miz June 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

Oh Charlotte
as a woman who is ADDICTED to the trainwreck which is MAKING THE DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADER whateveritisreallycalled on television—I love this post.

if only my team (hello STEELERS!) had a squad.
alas, they are too…steel cityISH? and do not.


Heather June 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Yep, when I had cable I was also addicted to the Dallas Cheerleaders show! I got so excited whenever I would find a marathon of the show on.

Somewhere deep inside me, I always wanted to be a cheerleader, even when I was making fun of them. At least now I can admit my jealousy.


Jill June 1, 2012 at 9:17 am

My niece is a dancer for the NBA team OKC Thunder (Thunder UP!! Game 4 tonight baby!!) and I’m amazed…AMAZED!…at how hard she works. She works with a personal trainer every morning, then goes to practice several times a week, then to the games, PLUS she works a full time job. Whew! But she loves every minute of it. Now if I could just get them to wear a little more clothing…it’s hard seeing my 24 year old baby niece being all sexy-like! ;)

That MMA chick is my new personal hero – her muscles are amazing!


Daniela Foster June 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

Being a cheerleader handles a lot of responsible yet very interesting and enjoyable. You must need to be a model to your team. Even if it is quite hard to be a cheerleader, there are lots of fantastic things you can experience as a cheerleader. You can mingle with your teams and have fun with them during your practice. You can enjoy practicing and executing the routines. There are several adventures you can experience as a cheerleader.


Amy June 1, 2012 at 11:20 am

One of the front desk girls at my gym is on the dance team for a minor league basketball team in the area.

I would totally, totally be looking awful if I did the cheerleader workout. Sweat pouring everywhere, hair all greasy and sweaty, crotch sweat (oh yes, esp. with the tights!!).

Were in you Des Moines to do the Drake Interview? Man, we could have done lunch! ;)

Can’t wait to read Shape interviews!!


geosomin June 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I would love to know more weight only exercises…that MMA chick has fantastic muscles.

Your job looks like so much fun :)


Alyssa (azusmom) June 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

When I started reading, I thought “What?!?! Why on earth do the cheerleaders have to work out in tights and with their hair down?!?!?!” Then I realized, right: probably because that’s how they perform, so it makes sense that they workout and rehearse their routines that way.
It all loks like so much fun, and I can’t wait to read the article!


Alyssa (azusmom) June 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

When I started reading, I thought “What?!?! Why on earth do the cheerleaders have to work out in tights and with their hair down?!?!?!” Then I realized, right: probably because that’s how they perform, so it makes sense that they workout and rehearse their routines that way.
It all looks like so much fun, and I can’t wait to read the article!


Kiya June 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

OH. MY. GOD. I’m jealous times infinity. Ok, I have to ask, what exactly IS your job? And what the hell do I do to get it. Because I want it. Yesterday.

And working out/dancing with your hair down, especially with long hair, all while looking adorable? Is an art form. Your comments on the photos made me laugh out loud.

And I love the look on Bentley’s face. Oh these giant ropes? No big.


Rebecca June 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Can’t wait!!!!


Turbo Jennie June 1, 2012 at 8:35 pm

A: You are a big damn deal
B: That MMA roundhouse kick reminds me of Jenn Rosa’s roundhouse pic!
C: Thanks for the slash leggings shout out!
D: How many Vikes cheerleaders are elementary education majors?


Jody - Fit at 54 June 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm

How lucky are you!!!!!!!!! Fun fun fun!!!! That MMA lady rocks it! The cheerleaders do too. Yes, you should love that job! :-)


Lyndy June 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I’m not gonna lie, soooo unbelievably and incredibly jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cherish every minute! You have a beautiful gift with words that exudes honest and try passion!


SeeAlliRun June 2, 2012 at 8:02 am

Wow, those women are incredibly fit! I think being around so much fitness would make me feel like a fat blob. Simply inspiring.


Emma W June 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Looking forward to seeing those articles. And btw Charlotte, I’m sure with the same fake tan and red lippy you’d fit in just fine with those cheerleaders!


Another Suburban Mom June 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

They all look like fun, but I would want the MMA workout, it looks like fun. If you want picture taking advice, Hubman does a photo tip blog just about every Friday.


Ali June 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I’ve always been too shy to give cheerleading a go, even though they offer it at my Uni. Genuinely considering signing up for some cheering next year after looking at these photos, it looks tough but fun.


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