Eaton Barbell has grown over the last few years, and it’s consistently pumping out new athletes, introducing them to the world of powerlifting or bodybuilding. Three of those new athletes recently sat down for an interview to talk about their experiences competing and the work that goes into it.
Austin Snowden, Kimberly Turner, and Kristi McCabe are the three newest competitors to emerge from Eaton Barbell. All three have competed this year in their first bodybuilding competitions, sanctioned by the National Physique Committee (NPC).
Snowden has been lifting weights for a while now, but just recently took the dive into bodybuilding competition. He competed at the Tricky Jackson Classic in Lexington, Kentucky earlier this year. He placed first in the teen division, placed third in the men’s open division, which qualified him to compete in national meets, and also competed in the novice division.
For his first time on stage, he was a little overwhelmed.
“It was a rush,” he said. “It was definitely a different experience. When you first get there, you’re kind of aggravated, just from being so depleted, not having any water in you, barely eating anything.
“The overall experience was awesome, and I’m definitely looking forward to doing it again.”
Turner also competed at the Tricky Jackson, but got her bodybuilding chops at the Julie Palmer Classic in Dayton in June. At the Julie Palmer, Turner placed fourth in her open class, and she took a first in her open class at the Tricky Jackson, qualifying for nationals in just her second meet.
Prior to getting ready for the June meet, Turner hadn’t lifted weights.
“It kind of happened by accident. I knew Smitty (Chris Smith, owner of Eaton Barbell) from our kids playing soccer together,” Turner said. “I contacted him, and met up with him and Shain (Wyka).
“Theyt said, ‘You’re not in too bad of shape, so we’ll make it work.’”
Changing her diet and workout habits were both challenges, considering she started just two months ahead of the June competition.
“I was a card bunny. I didn’t lift weights or anything,” she said. “The biggest difference was the nutrition with Shain. I wasn’t eating enough, not fueling my body enough. Cleaning up my diet the way he did, it just changed my body.”
McCabe’s first show came in Columbus at the Buckeye Classic, and she got started about four months before the show and about four months after having a baby.
“I had had a baby, and at the time, she was only four months old. I had a lot more work to go than I normally do. I had seen pictures of Kim online, and I was like, ‘Wow, I would love to look like that.’ I saw her at her first show, and she said, ‘You can. You’d be great at it.’ I came in here, talked to Shain, and got started right away.”
McCabe began lifting weights about 45 minutes per day, and by the time the show rolled around, she was up to about two hours of cardio per day. Like Snowden and Turner, she also had to change her diet, cutting out sugars. But when the results came in, the work had been worth it.
“It was great. It was definitely a rewarding experience for me to be a mother of two, have a small baby and be able to get up there,” McCabe said. “That was better than I’ve ever looked.”
Snowden echoed her statements.
“The overall experience was awesome, and I’m definitely looking forward to doing it again,” he said, now that he’s used to the new diet and getting on the stage.
“My first time on stage, I was super nervous,” he said. “You could definitely tell I was nervous. I was shaking as I was hitting my poses. After you get the first one out of the way, it’s like a cakewalk after that, you know what to do.”
Snowden said he went from working out between one and a half and two hours a day to 45 minutes a day and eating six or seven meals each day.
“The first couple weeks, it was actually hard for me to complete my meals,” he said. “Every two hours, you’re eating and eating and eating.”
But after those first competitions passed, each of the three were pleased with the results, and they’re still hitting the weights every day, looking forward to the next competition.