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Rising Star Rachel Baker Shines

Hardly a household name before 2009, new-comer Rachel Baker has people talking. Rachel most recently took “Overall Winner” of the Natural Figure Division for the 2009 IFPA Yorton Cup World Championships. 

Listen to Rachel’s interview with hosts John Hansen and Mike Neuman (player is at the top of this article), then check below for Rachel’s story in her own words.

Here’s Rachel’s story: I was a competitive gymnast growing up.  I began weight training in high school as part of physical therapy for a knee injury.  My nagging knee problems put an end to my gymnastics career but sparked my love of lifting weights and working out.  Lifting became my outlet.  It kept me strong and limber enough to do other activities I enjoyed such as skiing, gymnastics and football. 

I spent the summer of 2008 doing rehab for a broken hand and my 5th ACL reconstruction.  As fall approached I commented to a friend about my frustration at getting back into my workouts.  My friend talked me into training for a competition and introduced me to some trainers and show promoters that showed me the ropes.  From there I scoured the internet for diets and lifting routines geared toward competitors.  I entered my first competition in May of 2009; the OCB Eastern Regional’s, did pretty well, had a great time and was hooked.  Within two months I competed in two more competitions: The INBF Natural North America and The INBF Barbados Grand Prix and earned my pro card in Figure, Fit Body and Bodybuilding in the WNBF! 

I took several months off during the summer and then began training for the drug-tested NPC BWI in October.  I won first place in Figure in that show and qualified for national NPC competitions.  I decided to compete in the NPC National Figure Championships in Hollywood, FL at the end of November.  Almost as an afterthought I decided to enter the Yorton Cup IFPA World Championships to help prepare myself for Nationals a week later.  I didn’t think this was an option until I learned that the IFPA would recognize my pro cards from the WNBF. 

I was shocked, honored and ecstatic when I won the Yorton in Figure; my very first pro show!  Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that within a year I would be standing on a professional stage and coming out victorious!

My philosophy is that you compete against yourself.  You have no control over who is judging, what the judges are looking for and who shows up to compete.  You are the only constant amongst all of the variables.  You need to be confident in the package that you bring to the stage.  If you have dieted, trained and conditioned yourself to the best of your ability then you’ve already won and if the judges happen to agree then that is just icing on the cake!!

I’ve had an amazing “rookie” year and I can’t imagine it getting better than this but there is always room for improvement.  There are changes and improvements that I’d like to make.  It was easier being the underdog but now that I’m on the radar-watch out!  I can’t wait to see what 2010 holds for me!

Age:  39

Height: 5’2”

Weight: (off season) 115, (competition) 106

Occupation: Private Tutor

Current Residence: Lutherville, Maryland

Years Training: 22

Years Competing: 1

COMPETITIONS AND AWARDS

·         OCB EASTERN REGIONALS:          Baltimore, Maryland       May 2, 2009

o   2nd Novice

o   2nd Masters

o   2nd Open Short

·         THE INBF NATURAL NORTH AMERICA:   Falls Church, Virginia       May 30, 2009

o   2nd Open Short

o   1st Masters

o   1st Fit Body (earned Pro Card)

·         THE INBF BARBADOS GRAND PRIX:          Barbados             June 20, 2009

o   1st Figure (earned Pro Card)

o   1st Bodybuilding (earned Pro Card)

·         NPC BWI:            Sykesville, Maryland       October 3, 2009

o   1st Masters

o   1st Open Short

o   1st ALL AROUND (qualified for Nationals)

·         IFPA YORTON CUP PRO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:          Bowie, Maryland     November 13, 2009

o   1ST Open Short

o   1st ALL AROUND

NPC NATIONAL FIGURE CHAMPIONSHIPS:          Hollywood, Florida