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Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Dede Balcom Gaetz

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Dede Balcom Gaetz! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Dede Balcom Gaetz
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 42
  • Where: St. Cloud, MN
  • Height: 5'5"
  • Weight: 140 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :10
  • Favorite Bodypart: delts, bi's, quads
  • Favorite Exercise: leg press and flat bench
  • Favorite Supplements: Glutamine always; Pyruvate Fuel and Hydroxycut for pre-contest.

How Did You Get Started?

At age 24, my husband at the time told me I was "overweight and out of shape". In the 80's most women did aerobics, but I didn't really feel challenged by those classes. The local gym was running a 2-for-1 special, so a girlfriend and I went down and joined. The owner there I think was trying to kill us, and we found out later the guys all took bets on how long we would last. I did my first show after about 6 months of training, and the guy helping me had no idea what he was doing (although I didn't know that). He had us down to 300 calories a day the last week before the show. Needless to say we looked like a couple sticks, and neither of us placed. I started reading up and talking to everybody, and went back the next year and won the whole show.

Back in 1984, we were the only women there, and it was rather intimidating. If one of us got there first, we would wait outside for the other. These days, many times I am still the only woman in the weight room, but I just march on in like I own the place!!

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I used to work every body part twice a week, once heavy and once light, with a 3 on-1 off schedule. The last few years I have just been lifting heavy all the time. I use somewhat of an instinct approach; if the body part is still too sore from the last work out, I'll do another one. I usually only get to the gym 2 days in a row, then a day off, then 2 or 3 on. With three kids, my gym schedule somewhat revolves around mom duties. So I'll do a heavy leg day Monday, heavy bench on Tuesday, Wednesday off. Then depending on how my body feels, I either take Thursday off or do back. Friday is heavy delts and cardio, Saturday bi's and tri's. Then I can start over with legs on Sunday or just do cardio on Sunday and pick up again on Monday. As long as every workout is intense, I can be more flexible about what I am doing on any particular day. I might throw in delts with bench, or do hams with back. I think I would drive a training partner crazy.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Definitely the meal replacement shakes, protein shakes and Powerbars. Back in the 80's we choked down amino's by the truckload, and ate so much tuna the neighborhood cat was always following me around. It is so much easier to get enough grams of protein in with shakes and bars. Not to mention easier to eat inconspicuously at a meeting than a bowl of tuna and green beans! As far as recovery and strength, glutamine and creatine are at the top of the list.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Because it is what I do. It's funny, my husband golfs and no one ever asks him when he is going to quit golfing. I get asked all the time "how long are you going to do this bodybuilding thing"? What I'd like to respond is "how long are you going to be fat?" Not really. But I love the personal challenge; I love the ache and soreness the morning after a big leg press. I love the camaraderie of the gym people that I never see outside the gym but inside is a whole different world. I love having a secret. People see me at work and probably think of me as school-marmish. People that don't know me see me bundled up in my sweats and grin like it's cute how the old people are trying to get in shape.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am planning on doing the NANBF USA in Kansas City in October 2002. I earned my pro card at the Central Midwest States show in May, so I will have one year to do a pro show. After the USA, I will either go to Texas or New York in spring of 2003 for a WNBF show.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

LISTEN to your body. If you are hungry, EAT. If you are tired, REST. This doesn't mean you have free license to screw around or nap all day. Your body will tell you when it needs something, or when it is ready for something else. Listen to it with your will, your dedication, your spirit. Not with the little voice in your head that says you can make it up tomorrow. Remember why you are doing this and respect what your body is telling you. Also, don't let people confuse you?. you will get many different opinions on training and diet, but you have to do what is right for you. So it gets back to paying attention to your own body and how it responds to what you are doing.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I liked the trailblazers, Carla Dunlap, Diana Dennis, and even Lisa Lyons. Rachel McLish wasn't all that muscular but she made women's bodybuilding look so glamorous. Cory Everson always managed to look like a woman even with massive amounts of muscle. I like the women that look strong, fierce, and yet feminine. Some of the women today are downright scary.