By Judy Wakefield
---- — Somewhat of a gym rat, Amy Beth Baron of Andover, faithfully worked out at the local YMCA two or three times a week.
Last February, this gym rat turned rabid as she took her work out to a whole new level. She decided to compete in a bodybuilding competition that judges figure, fitness and bikini appearance. The competition was just four months away.
“I trained diligently with proper nutrition, weight and cardio workouts, plus posing and model walk practice,” said Baron, who lives on Chestnut Street. “I just wanted to walk across that stage ... Winning was not my priority.”
But she did win. Baron placed first in the Novice Master’s Figure Short Division at the Northeast Classic Amateur Bodybuilding, Figure, Fit Body & Bikini Championship. The event was held in Marlboro on June 2. There were 13 contestants in her “over 40” category.
“I fought those thoughts of not wanting to work out, like everyone has ... But I stayed motivated and committed. I just wanted to be on that stage,” she said.
This Melrose native, who was a nurse before she switched gears and went to law school, is now a partner of Baron Law & Mediation, LLP of North Andover with her husband, Allan.
She said succeeding is all about staying focused on goals that you want to accomplish.
For Baron, it was concentrating on particular muscles when her workouts amped up to five days a week.
“Abs one day, biceps and triceps another day, then the back and so on,” she said. “I also like to swim and I would use the elliptical (bike).”
She managed to keep up with her yoga class and faithfully logged her daily food intake. She emailed her food logs to trainers Michael Wilkie and Pamela Murray. With posture tips learned in yoga class, she practiced walking straight and tall in 6-inch heels around her house. She would contract her muscles and keep a smile on her face.
“Now, that was hard,” she said of the high-heel exercise. “But I knew the judges would look very closely at posture and muscles and smiling...when I did that for like 45 minutes on stage I couldn’t believe it. It was really hard.”
She said her husband was very supportive during her training.
Often, her precise food measurements would take a long time and he would finish a meal before she even started.
“He was great and understood what I wanted to do,” said Baron, whose step-children are grown and living on their own.
She feels more energized these days as a typical two-hour mediation session at work is not so exhausting any more.
As for a second bodybuilding competition, Baron said there are no definite plans. She missed eating meals with her husband when she was training. Now, that’s her focus.