Physician lifts way to national ranking

By Kathy PDecember 6, 2019

CPT Baraki competed in the 63kg (138.9lb) weight class and squatted 155kg (341lb), bench pressed 105kg (231lb) and deadlifted 180kg (396lb) totaling 440kg (968lb).

Cheering her on was her husband and coach, Dr. Austin Baraki, an Internal Medicine physician contractor at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas and an instructor in the BAMC residency program.

The two met in 2011 while attending medical school and were married in 2013.

"Just about anyone can learn to lift weights safely, so don't be afraid to try," Austin Baraki said.

Although Austin works in San Antonio and Loraine is stationed at Fort Polk, they are making it work. Since his schedule is a bit more flexible than hers, he travels at least once a month to Fort Polk and whenever possible, they try to find weekends to link up. "We work out together, whenever we can," they said. "It's nice to be able to share in this passion."

Baraki works out three times a week for about one and a half to two hours. Work outs are either in her home gym or at Wheelock Fitness Center. She plans her days around her work schedule, which includes being on call and post-call. Delivering babies usually requires additional flexibility.

"It is important to set goals and remain disciplined. Long days working at the hospital and unexpected trips to the hospital while on call sometimes requires adjustments in my training schedule. The key, however, is to not let this variable schedule open the door to excuses for skipping training altogether."

"There are innumerable benefits to resistance training and day-to-day tasks are just easier when you're stronger," said Loraine. "It's not all about competition, but I do enjoy signing up for meets as it promotes better personal adherence to my training program and allows me to work toward specific goals on a timeline," she said.

Dr. Baraki enjoys combing two of her passions -- powerlifting and Women's Health -- by promoting exercise recommendations to her patients, including the benefits of resistance training. "For example, prenatal care involves many components, including healthy eating and exercise," said Loraine. "Continuing exercise throughout pregnancy is generally recommended as it reduces the risks of some conditions and ultimately helps when it is time for the baby to be born," she emphasized.

"I was in ROTC during my undergraduate studies, then I re-commissioned upon graduation from medical school. I did my OB/GYN residency at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas."

Loraine comes from a military background. Her father, COL Jose Solis, is an active duty Quartermaster officer as well as a competitive cyclist. Her brother is also on the Army Cycling Team. "I grew up in a home where athletic achievement and self-improvement was pervasive, especially following in my father's footsteps as he maxed every physical fitness test he has taken while in service." she said.

"I don't follow any particular fad diets, but tend to be pretty deliberate in my food choices in order to maintain my weight within range of my competition weight class. I prioritize getting enough protein and dietary fiber while minimizing sugar-sweetened beverages, but I have to confess that I eat ice cream almost every night," she added.

"I am currently working to master the new Army Combat Fitness test," she said. "I am filled with joy seeing more barbells in the hands of my fellow soldiers as our new standards are emphasizing strength, in addition to other components."

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