When he’s not engaged in the busy workload that comes with being a lawyer, IFBB Pro Eddie Baird is making a name for himself in the Men’s Physique division. Recently, we talked to Eddie about his training, dieting, staying in shape with a busy schedule, and what it takes to be a champion.
FRxM: How did you get into fitness? Were you always very active growing up?
Eddie: I played a lot of organized soccer and volleyball growing up, but my ectomorphish genetics precluded me from getting involved in football. Near the end of high school, I finally got tired of being 5’11" and sub-150 pounds, so I joined the local YMCA and began working out and learning about proper nutrition. For me, that initially meant eating everything in sight just to gain a pound of muscle. I learned more and more as I went through college, and made some quality gains during those years.
FRxM: How did you get into competing? When did you start, and what was it like to compete in your first show?
Eddie: Predictably, I was drawn into competing by watching and following my wife [IFBB Bikini Pro Jaime Baird] through the early years of her competitive career. By that time, I had been training for close to 15 years, and finally decided to apply it to a competition. A good friend from the gym and bodybuilding promoter, Deke Warner, suggested that I compete in the Florida State Championships, which I entered as a novice in the bodybuilding division in 2009 (Men’s Physique did not yet exist). During my prep, I learned a great deal about the "process" and about myself. For the first time, I learned what it meant to be "depleted" in every sense of the word. At the same time, I never could have predicted the sense of achievement and fulfillment I felt when I performed my routine and was presented with my trophy by my wife on my high school stage, where I had performed as a drummer many times in the past. It was a truly remarkable experience.
FRxM: Do you work out with your wife? How do you motivate each other?
Eddie: Jaime and I sometimes like to train together to mix things up and get each other out of our comfort zones. We take turns designing workouts, and I have gotten Jaime doing some heavier traditional compound movements, while she has turned me on to faster-paced programs involving plyometrics in between sets as the "rest" period. This usually leads to one or both of us being very sore the next day. We also really enjoy going to the track together to do sprints, plyos and stair routines.
FRxM: Why does Men’s Physique appeal to you, as opposed to the more hardcore bodybuilding shows?
Eddie: Based upon my God-given genetics, in large part, my physique is what it is at this point in my life. So, if "hardcore" means bigger and freakier, the two divisions are the same to me in terms of my individual physique. Obviously, Men’s Physique has board shorts and no mandatory poses or individual routines. For me, though, my prep for bodybuilding and physique is virtually identical. My diet and workouts have evolved over time as I have learned and gained experience, but that is a function of my becoming a "smarter" competitor, and not because I switched divisions. Additionally, I came into my physique shows at almost the same weight as my bodybuilding show, and was actually more muscular and better conditioned in my physique competitions. This was a real improvement for me, and something I am particularly proud of.
FRxM: What’s your daily on-season diet like? Do you allow yourself any cheat days?
Eddie: During contest prep, I typically eat seven meals a day, consisting of chicken, beef, some fish, rice, sweet potatoes, lots of green veggies and healthy fats. I also use MyoFusion to ensure that I hit my protein numbers, and one of my favorite on-season meals is a bowl of oats with MyoFusion and a tablespoon of almond butter. I usually get in at least one cheat meal a week, which is necessary for me to keep from flattening out and getting stringy on the way into a show.
FRxM: What is your weekly training schedule like?
Eddie: I usually follow a four to five day split, training each body part once a week. Off-season, I aim to do three to four cardio sessions a week and six to seven sessions during contest prep.
FRxM: What are some mistakes guys make in regards to training?
Eddie: Not eating enough good food, eating too much bad food, lifting too heavy with poor form, not enough cardio, extreme off-season "bulking."
FRxM: How do you stay motivated?
Eddie: To me, maintaining perspective and overall balance is key. While competing is a significant part of my lifestyle, I do my best to never let it dictate every little detail of my life. Staying connected with family, friends and my dogs, making my career a priority, and using fitness to "fuel life’s success" (as Jaime puts it) are all tenets of my outlook on things. There is a fine line between dedication and obsession, and I would hate to become so lost in something so as to become a one-dimensional individual. Instead, I have a thirst for knowledge, and strive to learn as much as I can on many varied topics. For me, that is a well-rounded, enriching and rewarding lifestyle.
FRxM: Any advice for guys who want to get in shape like you?
Eddie: Focus first and foremost on your diet, followed by your training regimen, then supplements. Eat whole, healthy and balanced meals. Eat something green with almost every meal, don’t be afraid of some healthy fats, and make good choices when you go out to eat. Keep your training intense and efficient, and don’t feel the need to be in the gym for two hours a day. Vary weight and rep range by feel over time. Time cheat meals and refeeds to coincide with training your weak body parts. Don’t neglect cardio, even during the off-season, and combine some steady-state and HIIT training to keep things fresh. Above all, listen to your body, and engage in constant critical analysis of how you look and feel based upon your diet and training. Look in the mirror before you get on the scale.
FRxM: You are also a lawyer, what kind of law do you practice?
Eddie: My practice is devoted to construction litigation, and I represent architects, engineers, contractors, construction managers, owners and material suppliers in large, complex projects such as hotels, power plants, airports, convention centers, water treatment plants and the like.
FRxM: How do you find time to stay in shape with a full-time job?
Eddie: Lots of cooking on Sunday. Jaime and I devote at least half a day preparing, cooking and packing our meals for the upcoming week. Half is ready for the first part of the week, and the other half goes in the freezer for the end of the week. We cook vegetables two to three times a week because they don’t keep well, but having most of our food prepared puts us in a position where we are never scrambling for a meal. If something comes up and I have to miss a workout, I just deal with it and try to make it up later in the week, but I would feel much worse about not having my meals prepared for a day or two.
FRxM: What do you do when you’re not competing, training or working?
Eddie: Currently, I am fortunate to be on vacation relaxing in the Florida Keys with my wife and friends. I really enjoy diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating and pretty much everything else in and on the water. I am also an avid auto racing fan and have been known to hack my way around a golf course here and there.
FRxM: What would you say it takes to be a champion?
Eddie: The easy answer is all the typical responses: dedication, discipline, preparation, etc. However, I believe that those things are merely the minimum requirements to have the opportunity for one to be a champion. In order to truly excel and succeed, I think that above all, you need to be able to positively respond when faced with adversity. It’s easy to follow a plan when everything just falls into place exactly as you expect. But, if you get a flat tire, have a work emergency, get sick or experience anything else that you did not anticipate, you need to have the ability to take a step back, keep your wits about you, and decide how to take action to minimize any negative impact. When everything seems to go wrong at once, your ability to avoid going into crisis/panic mode and figure out how to promptly get yourself back on track will tell you exactly what you’re really made of.
FRxM: What’s next for you? What’s your next goal?
Eddie: Right now, I am enjoying the off-season and maintaining balance in my life. I am undecided on my next show, and may compete later in the year.
FRxM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Eddie: I would like to thank my wife, Jaime, for inspiring me to improve in every sense each and every day, the NPC and IFBB for creating our promising physique division, Gaspari Nutrition for always supporting Jaime and me, and my fellow competitors who carry themselves on and off the stage with dignity and class.
|2009 Florida State Championships:||3rd place, Novice Bodybuilding|
|2011 NPC Orlando Europa:||3rd place, Men’s Physique Tall|
|2011 NPC Pittsburgh:||3rd place, Men’s Physique Tall|
|2011 NPC Jr. USA:||4th place, Men’s Physique Tall|
|2011 NPC Team Universe||2nd place, Men’s Physique Short (earned IFBB pro card)|
|2012 IFBB Orlando Europa||3rd place, Men’s Physique|
|2012 IFBB New York Pro||3rd place, Men’s Physique|
On-Season Weight: 170
Off-Season Weight: 178
Currently Resides in: Orlando, FL
Favorite Supplements: Gaspari Nutrition’s SuperPump MAXSour Apple/Vasotropin stack, MyoFusion Milk Chocolate, and Anavite.
Favorite Cheat Food: A good burger and fries backed up with a real piece of cheesecake is tough to beat in my book.
Website: I am not very active in social media, so the best way to keep up with me is to follow @JaimeBaird on Twitter, or find one or both of us on Facebook.