Athlete Interview: Jaime Baird Perfects Her Physique For The Arnold

Jaime Baird wants to add an Arnold Classic win to her stunning resume. Find out how this hard-working Editor-in-Chief finds the time to train and eat like a champion.

After four years as an IFBB Bikini Pro, Jaime Baird is now poised for her biggest challenge yet. She's placed within the top six in all 14 contests she has entered—it's clear that this Bombshell knows what it takes to compete with the best.

Jaime is a Pro Bikini pioneer. She was one of the first athletes to compete in the event and has since seen Bikini's popularity boom. Because she has so much competition experience, Jaime has the ability to target her training and nutrition to maximize her progress from year to year. With the 2013 Arnold Classic looming large, the accomplished writer and Gaspari Nutrition athlete is ready to take her pro competition career to new heights. The competition is hotter than ever, so she'll need every ounce of her accumulated experience to reign supreme.

To better her 2012 Arnold and Olympia placements (fourth and fifth, respectively), Jaime is currently training harder than ever and is confident she will edge closer to becoming the Bikini division's number one competitor. Find out more details about her approaches to training, nutrition, and supplementation in this interview!

What improvements have you made to your physique and presentation since the 2012 Olympia?

In the offseason, or as my coach Shannon Dey of Bombshell Fitness calls it, "improvement season," I took a few weeks off to give my body a rest. When I began training again, I was stronger, more focused and saw quick progress in some of my opportunity areas.

My challenge with each show is balance. I try to tighten my lower body while keeping my muscles looking round and full. This year's Arnold is no different. My coach has been carefully tweaking my program so I look just right for the show.

My presentation will be improved by my new suit from C.J.'s Competition Wear. I just love it. It's beautiful. When you feel great in your suit, it gives you a little extra confidence on stage. As for my posing, I just need to make sure that I head into the show well-rested and feeling good. Those two factors make all the difference when you step on the stage.

Since first competing in the Arnold Classic bikini division in 2011, your placements have improved. In this year's event, where do you feel you will place and why?

I have no idea. I try to not spend too much time thinking about placements because it diverts my attention from the present. Instead of trying to figure out what might happen, I invest my energy into maximizing my current opportunities to improve and prepare for the big day. It's hard not to wonder what could happen, but from my experience, it just wastes time. Let the judges do their work, and I will do mine.

What keeps you motivated you continue improving professionally?

There is always room for improvement. I push myself every show to see what I can achieve and what I can learn about myself. But mostly, I try to share my experiences with other women seeking to be their best.

Can you describe your current training approach and the specific results it has produced? Have you made any changes to the program you used in 2012?

My training is always intense and it evolves throughout my prep so I see continued progress. So, it's hard to say how my training is different from last year's prep. I focus on making the most of each and every weight training session so my muscles stay full while I'm leaning out.

How important is nutrition to your competition preparation? Do you follow a similar dietary protocol year round?

Success in this sport, or anything related to your health, begins with nutrition. You can train your butt off, but if you don't eat strategically, you won't see results.

My diet definitely varies from off-season to pre-contest. My off-season nutrition, while still mostly clean, has a bit more variety and calories from carbs and fat. And, I definitely make room for a chocolate chip cookie or two when I'm not counting down to a show.

Can you list which Gaspari Nutrition supplements you have used to prepare for this year's Arnold Classic and describe how they have benefitted you?

AMINOLAST: This BCAA superfuel has helped to get me through many tough cardio and training sessions. With 10 grams of high-quality amino acids, electrolytes, and an ammonia scavenger, Aminolast is currently my favorite Gaspari supplement.

Detonate: I love this thermogenic. It gives me energy without the jitters, quiets my appetite, and just makes me feel extra smiley. It's exactly what I need when I'm dieting and prepping for a show.

MyoFusion Elite Protein Series: Gaspari's new protein powder is a clean and easy source of protein. The Peanut Butter Cookie Dough flavor satisfies my occasional cookie craving.

Anavite: This multivitamin was designed for the athlete. It has effective doses of Beta-Alanine and L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT). You can't find that in your average multivitamin.

Do you use supplements all year?

I think supplementation is important year-round. Intelligently formulated products can help support your goals. That said, I rely on supplements more heavily when I am dieting and training intensely to help fill in nutritional gaps and aid in muscle recovery.

What would you consider to be your major strengths as a bikini competitor?

I always think these types of questions are the most difficult. It's hard to compartmentalize Bikini because a good competitor has to have the total package: body, beauty, and presence. The keys to success are having the heart to do the work to prepare, the awareness to know what you need to do to feel good on the big day, a deep sense of gratitude for the experience to keep you grounded, and the confidence to step on stage feeling like a winner. I think all of those things start aligning as you gain more experience. As a member of the first class of IFBB Bikini Pros in 2009, I have the experience.

What do you find most challenging about preparing for a competition? How do you overcome these challenges?

Fighting off exhaustion is the toughest part of preparation for me. It's not that the diet is too taxing or the training too intense. It's the combination of those things, with work, family, and other stress that can be difficult to manage gracefully. For me, getting 7-9 hours of sleep is necessary for my mental and physical health. If I get too little sleep for too many days, I can become a little bit grumpy. I try to avoid that for everyone's sake.

Can you describe your involvement with Fitness Rx for Women?

Recently, Fitness Rx for Women Online gave me the Editor-in-Chief position. I am thrilled. It's an honor to be a part of the industry-leading Advanced Research Media team, and a dream come true to have my career reflect my life's mission to empower women through fitness. In terms of future content, we will continue to provide smart, fun content from the best and the brightest athletes and experts in fitness. Whether in the form of articles, blogs, or videos, we will strive daily to help our readers look, feel, and live their best.

What makes you the perfect fit for this company?

I began writing for Fitness Rx for Women around this time last year as a web columnist. A few months later, I was given the opportunity to write for the magazine. In the fall, I was brought on as a staff writer and helped define and direct many of our successful video projects like "Booty Beautiful," "Your Best Body," "Sexy Shoulders," "Butt Shaping," and "Train Like a Pro." Over the year, they got to know me, my abilities, and my passion for helping women achieve their best. Because of our good relationship, they extended me the opportunity to take a leadership role with the company.

What do you enjoy most about competing in bikini events?

I love getting to know my fans, reconnecting with my fitness family, meeting new amazing people, and being surrounding by others who love fitness as much as I do.

Who would you like to thank you helping you to becoming one of today's top tier bikini professionals?

First and foremost, I have to thank my biggest fan and greatest supporter, my husband Eddie Baird. Also, a huge thank you to J.M. & Debbie Manion of Fitness Management Group (FMG), Shannon Dey & Rob Rosetti of Bombshell Fitness, Joe Volgey and the entire Gaspari Nutrition Team, Cynthia James of C.J. Competition Wear, Protan, the IFBB, the ARM Team, my Bombshell family, my Orlando training buddies, my dear friends, my family (especially my Mama), and all of my fans. I absolutely would not be here without you!