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I-S junior wins state title

ISHS junnior Baylee Donovan lifting weights. Emily Conroy Photo

Donovan dead lifts 363 lbs.

By Emily Conroy

Junior Baylee Donovan started powerlifting last summer and took first place at state finals in her first season.

Donovan started working with personal trainer Jacob Klatkiewicz at Fiternal gym in Stevens Point in June 2023. He encouraged her to try powerlifting.

She had been lifting weights during the pandemic when everyone was staying at home. When gyms started opening up again she began to go to the gym with her grandmother.

State championship finals were at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton on March 1.
Competition includes squats, bench press and dead lift.

Donovan said she trains four to five times a week at Fiternal, with the amount of time she trains that day depending on hr focus that day. Generally, it can be anywhere from 1 1/2 to two hours per session.

Training for powerlifting not only includes squats, bench press and dead lift, it also includes what Klatkiewicz calls accessory training.

Accessory training is focusing on muscle groups that can improve power lifts. For example, strengthening core and doing chest flys in order to improve Donovan’s bench press.

Klatkiewicz said Donvan’s training focuses on making her as strong as she can be in every asset of fitness.

“We try to increase strength of specific muscle groups that allow for better performance for the power lifts,” he said.

When focusing in on one of the feats of power lifting the workout includes a low volume of repetitions and heavier weight.

“She is mainly lifting maximal lifts, so it is just one rep at a time,” he said. “We are trying to get one effort burst. So we will be training on the heavier side of things, and keep the volume low.”

Donvan said along with school she also is in track in the spring, volleyball in the fall and works two jobs, she says her love of the sport is what keeps her moving forward.

“I want to be humble, but I am pretty good at it for doing it for my first year, so being pretty good helps me stay motivated to get better and stay with it,” Donovan said. “I also like being busy, I don’t like having down time.”

Donovan said her highest recorded bench press is 209 pounds, her highest squat weight is 314 pounds and her highest recorded dead lift is 363 pounds.

She said the most challenging aspect of her life with power lifting is her diet, which she keeps to 140 grams of protein, 230 grams of carbohydrates and 46 grams of fat per day.

Donovan said it is difficult being a teenager and having to maintain such a strict diet, but she keeps track of all of her macronutrients through an app on her phone.

She said she will be cracking down on her diet even more as the national competition is approaches.

Klatkiewicz has been working at Fiternal for three years as a personal trainer, cross fit coach, Olympic weight lifting coach and an overall health coach.

He said he has really enjoyed working with Donovan over the last eight months.

“She’s definitely determined, definitely motivated. She brings some kind of swagger in when she comes in to lift, like she owns the place,” Klatkiewicz said. “That’s why I really like working with her too, just to see her confidence develop as well as her attitude towards training. It’s awesome to be around and its awesome to coach an athlete like that.”

The national competition is in New Orleans and will take place April 19-21, she said she has no specific goals for the competition.

“I just really want to improve, I don’t really have numbers in mind I want to definitely do good, place higher,” she said. “I just want to improve on all of my lifts.”

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