TYLER (KYTX) - A Brazilian bull rider is finding Fit City Success right here in Tyler. Robson Palermo attributes much of his success on the bull riding circuit -- to weekly personal training sessions at ETMC's Olympic Center.
Robson Palermo is in third place on the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series standings. He believes he's bucking the competition by focusing less on bulking up at the gym and more on core conditioning.
"I've been going everywhere here in the US and I have a 32 event year, plus finals in Vegas," says Robson Palermo.
That's why 28- year old Robson Palermo has to keep his body in tip top shape to last 8- seconds on the toughest bulls in the world. "I told her, I need more balance, not to be more strong."
This bull rider turned to Cara Erwin at ETMC's Olympic Center. "It's definitely a first," says Cara Erwin. He wanted to take his fitness to the next level.
"First of all, I did a lot of research on the movements they make when they're riding, watched a lot of videos seeing how they move on the bull, and I talk to Robson a lot about different injuries he's had and things he's been coming from and so it's been a lot of research to find out what movements he needs to work on to become a better bull rider," says Cara.
Cara tailored a program for Robson with movements specific to his sport. That includes using bands to work on explosive movements. "Making sure, if he gets in a grind on the bull, that he can really explode it back in the opposite direction," says Cara.
He also uses an exercise ball to perfect his balance. All of which simulate bull riding to help him improve his ride. "It 's like a dance. Everywhere the bull goes, I go. Kara's been helping me a lot," says Robson.
It may sound more yoga, than bull-riding, but stretching is another key component of Robson's recent success. "It's been really good for me in making me more flexible. If you come to the gym and just lift weights and get so big, it's not going to work," says Robson.
What is working is Cara and Robson's partnership. "Well, I want to be a world champ. I'm almost there," says Robson.
Cara says, "It makes me feel very privileged to be a part of his journey. I see him win and it makes me happy for him. More than anything I just want to make sure he's staying safe.
While Robson is nursing an injury after being stomped on by a bull in Canada recently, he says with Cara's help, he'll be fit to compete this weekend in Oklahoma.