Raiderette Althea challenged herself this offseason by entering her first fitness competition, the San Jose Championships, in the bikini category. The third-year Raiderette placed in the Top 10 in both the open and novice categories competing with about 30 others in each.
Althea decided to get involved in a fitness competition at the start of the offseason to keep herself prepared for football season. "I wanted to keep myself in shape for the offseason and keep myself prepared for anything that would happen," she said.
The veteran Raiderette focused on her workouts and her diet for nine weeks prior to the competition. "I trained three to four times a week, all full-body workouts, and I did cardio – either the stairmaster or running sprints – about five times a week," said Althea.
Training for the competition required discipline and hard work and Althea had the support of her family and Raiderette sisters throughout, including the day of the competition. "It was good to have some kind of support system. My family is very new to the whole athletic world, but they're always there to support me," said Althea. "And even though there was practice that morning, [Raiderette] Melissa was able to still come and watch."
Althea's Raiderette experience helped her feel comfortable on the stage in front of the crowd. "Definitely different outfit-wise in a little tiny itty-bitty bikini, but I still had that performance and smile just walking on the stage," she explained.
Althea placed Top 10 in her first fitness competition!
Althea's work to finish in the Top 10 in the bikini competition was a reflection of the progress she made throughout the offseason on strength and conditioning. "I've upped my cardio. I was never a fan of running, but it definitely helps especially preparing ourselves for game day, since we're running around the field, constantly dancing and moving," she said. "And also dieting, learning about the different meal plans and how my body responds to different foods, whether it's more protein, carbs or fats. It was a big learning experience."
Now that she's conquered her first competition, Althea is considering taking on another. But first, she's ready to take the field for the 2014 season and to perform for Raider Nation. "I'm very excited. Having the first two years under my belt and getting to experience being co-captain, it's a whole new thing," said Althea. "The third year you're ready to rock it out."