The UCW Radio Host Louis Velazquez had the opportunity to have Bodybuilding and Powerlifting Champion Kate Baird on the show.
Kate Baird was born on November 17 in Wilmington, Delaware. She grew up in typical “suburbia”, an ordinary girl. She was actually quite shy, even into her adult life, though most of those who know her, except for those who know her quite well, will refute that fact. Because of her shyness and timidness, She never put forth much effort when she was younger to explore and nurture any of the talents that she had, athletically, artistically or otherwise. She was always a bit offbeat, and because of her inability to accept conformity, she was seen as being quite outgoing and confident. Self esteem was something she didn’t have until I was in my 40’s. In her words, “I’ve grown a lot since I turned 40.”
Kate’s fascination with strength and bodybuilding came one day when she was 10 or 11. Her father was watching the Wide World of Sports and the show was televising the Mr. Universe that Sunday afternoon. She admits that she watched with fascination, as Arnold, Franco, and Lou posed down.
It was at that moment that she knew that someday she would be a bodybuilder, too. Of course, in the beginning of the 1970’s, girls just didn’t do that kind of thing. Kate watched in fascination as Lisa Lyon came to the forefront in the late 70’s, always hoping that she could find someone to show her how to lift weights and grow muscles.
In the early 1980’s, Kate started dating someone who worked out, and it was then that she began her early training with a small set of plastic weights in the basement of his friends’ house in South Philadelphia.
After a year or so, she joined the YMHA on Broad Street. Finally, a real gym! She worked out hard from the beginning, most of the time by herself, learning the ropes through reading the various publications, and trying things out in the gym.
“I think people usually assumed that I knew exactly what I was doing,, basing that on the fact that I always went in and gave it my all each time I trained,” Kate explained
After she got married in 1990, she had a child, started a new career, life happened and the dreams got put on the back burner. Kate continued to work out in her backyard with her own dumbbells and bench, albeit these workouts were to stay in shape, nothing like the workouts she used to know.
Kate tried joining a gym once or twice while her son was young, but her ex-husband was a chef and was never home, and her career in real estate was not exactly profitable in the beginning. She couldn’t afford a babysitter. so she kept to her backyard training.
She slipped a disc in my back in 2001. That sure changed her life for a long time. One day in the fall of 2003 Kate just simply decided that her back was healed enough, and it was time to go back to the gym. It was automatic iron fever once again. It didn’t take very long for people to start asking her if she competed in bodybuilding.
Kate said “I gather that was based upon the fact that I have been blessed with that right shape, and the fact that I still continued to train fervently and with purpose. That planted the seed to revive the dream I always had – to be a competitive bodybuilder. After only being back in the gym less than 10 months, I actually won the NPC 2004 DE State Overall title. During my diet preparation, I actually got very sick and decided to give this competition up. Luckily I had friends who talked me back into it (though that really didn’t take any arm twisting!). After three weeks off the diet, two weeks of no training, I went back on the diet with less than three weeks to go, and still won, much to my surprise. I had hundreds of dollars worth of blood tests taken during this time, and this is when they discovered that I have blood sugar issues – borderline diabetes. My problems were due to severe drops in blood sugar and a virus on top of that. I’ve since learned to keep the carbs up! (sorry all you low carb fanatics).”
While she was training for that first contest, she met and became fast friends with a world-class powerlifter and former champion bodybuilder . It was through his encouragement and direction that Kate really began to see that she could take this sport to the levels that she desired.
She was already stronger than the average girl. He spotted this right off the bat and nurtured her. He had Kate enter my first powerlifting meet as a way of keeping her size and strength as a prelude to a bodybuilding competition.
“I know now that he was secretly prepping me for a future in a sport I have become quite passionate about. Before this, I didn’t know anything about powerlifting. I didn’t squat, I didn’t bench, and I didn’t even know how a deadlift was performed!,” she added
Kate entered her first powerlifting competition in May, 2005. Her lifts were actually very competitive in this meet, considering that she had only been “power” training for a few months. But she was hooked.
She still continues to compete now and then in bodybuilding contests, however, in the words of Kate ” I don’t think anything matches the satisfaction of getting under that heavy bar loaded with iron – pushing or pulling and rising above the challenge. Currently, I choose to lift without the squat suit and the bench shirt. I have nothing against geared lifting, but personally I just find it cumbersome and annoying to wear it. I may change my mind in the future, but right now “raw” is where I am focused.“
Currently Kate Baird holds the position of Delaware State Chairperson for the American Powerlifting Association (APA). She produces and directs two annual Powerlifting meets in Delaware – the Delaware Power Classic, and the First State Power Frenzy.
Kate’s competitive future goals include both powerlifting and bodybuilding. According to Kate she plans to be around the lifting platform and the posing dais for quite a while.
“Kate is one of those people that always knew there was greatness in front of her but life got in the way, shes a dynamite person and a true example of reaching for the gold no matter how long your dream may have laid dormant.” said Louis Velazquez, host of the UCW Radio Show.
Kate Bairds Competitive Highlights:
2004 NPC Delaware State – 1st Lwt and Overall
2005 NPC East Coast Classic – 2nd Hvwt
2005 NPC USA – 16th Lhwt
2006 NPC Nationals – 16th Hvwt
2007 NPC Masters Nationals – 7th Hvwt
2009 NPC Masters Nationals – 3rd Hvwt
2005 APF VA State – 1st place 148 lb Full Power
2006 APF DE Power Classic – 165 lb 1st Place 165 lb Full Power
APF First State Power Frenzy –1st place 148 lb Full Power
2007 APA DE Open – 1st Place 165 lb Bench Only
1st Place 165 lb Deadlift Only
APF DE Power Classic 1st Place 165 Bench Only
APA DE IronFest – 1st Place 165 lb Bench Only
1st Place 165 lb Deadlift Only
2008 IPA DE State Championship 1st Place 181 lb Ironman (Push/Pull)
APA First State Power Frenzy 1st Place 181 lb Bench Only