Train a la UP Pep Squad!

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 27, 2015 03:04 PM
Train a la UP Pep Squad!
The formula to a UP Pep bod = Utak, puso, and a lot of discipline! (Photos by Paul del Rosario for UAAP Magazine)

Even if they finished third at this year’s CDC, the UP Pep Squad still kept their head high with a string of wins at the Cheerleading World Championships held in Berlin last week. The silver from the Cheer All Female category and two bronzes from the Small Groups Mixed and Cheer Dance Doubles categories they nabbed there have marked their astig label anew. We might not have caught them perform live, but we all knew one thing—they were being sexy doing it.

Sigh, how to be like you, UP Pep Squad?

It’s a struggle, really. There’s the rigorous training, diet, and all. Plus, yoga, ballet, jazz, and core classes.

“We do core and conditioning exercises almost four times out of five training days,” says UP Pep captain Cam Lagmay of any preparation for a tournament. “Training is six hours a day which is, like, 36 hours a week.”

It helps that the Lalaine Pereña-coached squad is also partners with gym franchise Gold’s Gym to help them work on their muscle groups. The members are expected to work out at least three times a week at Gold’s, with many opting for the Katipunan branch as it’s the nearest to Diliman.

If you aspire to be as fit as these award-winning athletes, then you reaaaalllly have to be as disciplined. If you’re missing a gym membership card or workout equipment at home, here’s a fitness cheat sheet to help you build both muscle and core strength crafted by UP Pep’s Lagmay and member Joseph Guevara themselves! Grab a partner while at it!


For the shoulders, biceps, and triceps: Partner handstands, 3 sets, 10 reps

1. Get a partner or spotter. Do a regular handstand and have him hold your legs up by the knees. Make sure your core is engaged the whole time to avoid arching. Always keep your head in line with your spine.
2. Do a pushup. Return to original position. Note that if a spotter is not available, you can do this exercise against a wall.

For the lower back: Partner rows, 3 sets, 10-12 reps

1. Get a partner or spotter. Using him as support, lay on your back with him anchored in front of you. Reach for his hand.
2. Keeping a firm grip on your partner, perform your rows as if doing low rows at the gym. Don’t arch your back. Keep it straight and in line with your spine.
3. If it’s your turn to do the pulling, aim to squeeze your shoulder blades together (to the back) when you pull your partner up.

For the core: T-stabilizer, 3 sets, 15 reps

1. Start in plank position. Remember to keep your core engaged to avoid dropping your hips.
2. Shift your weight to your left hand and rotate your body, raising your right arm as you do so to form a T.
3. Hold the position for one to two seconds and then return to plank position.
4. Repeat in the opposite direction.

For the triceps: Tricep dips, 3 sets, 12 reps

1. Hands planted firmly on the floor, cross one leg over the other.
2. Using the strength from your arms, lift your hips away from the ground as if doing an inverted pushup.
3. Remember to keep your hands directly underneath your shoulders to properly target the triceps.
4. Make sure to carry your weight the whole time so your hips won’t drop down to the floor

For the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core: Squat jumps, 10-12 reps, 3 sets

1. Put your hands behind your head and perform a proper squat.
2. Jump. The higher the jump, the better. Remember to land lightly on your feet to lessen the impact on your knees. Keep proper form when performing squat jumps and make sure your knees don’t go over your toes when you squat.

This story was derived from a story published in UAAP magazine September 2015 issue, originally titled "The UP Pep Squad Workout" and authored by Ria Gamboa. With additional text and interview by Barry Viloria.

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