Arnold Review Part 2: Byrd

Well the Arnold has come and gone. There was some good, and some bad, but always fun!


Meet day came, and I felt amazing! My bloat game was strong!!! I was a ugly 297lbs on meet day and felt like I was on track for the best meet of my life. Warm ups went great, strong and fast, but then shit turned ugly!!!

Warm ups
raw up to 300s
breifs up to 700s
suit for 800
straps medium for 880, head to platform.

I opened at 960 to be safe, thank god!

They were tight on the clock (for everyone) and when I got to the bar I had 3 seconds to start the lift. I just jumpe under, unracked and did what I could. I had no wedge or balance and lost the lift towards the top. Smart move and retook 960. Of course this time I crush it! I felt that if I just got a 1k squat in I could try to catch up on the bench, so another smart move and went to 1005. For what its worth everything felt great coming down…..but Jesus took the wheel! I saw the fog coming in on me at my three count, I managed to stay awake and hear an up call (I think) but I was out pretty quickly after that. Big thanks to the spotters for keeping us all safe.


Now the nightmare that was my bench 🙁

My bench has been amazing the entire training block. Last warm up was 700 to the one board and it was a smoke show. 750 opener was safe, but I did a poor job setting up properly and couldnt get a touch. We decided to go up to 775 and take some shirt out of the lift. Again another bad set up, but did get a touch. I simply ran out of gas at the top of the lift. At this point about 10 people had bombed out, and I was 5 people out from the time I got off the bench. I made the choice to go to 800. 800 put me back in the fight with the 275 class, and I knew I could bench it. This time I had a perfect set up, perfect touch and great press……Just not enough lockout on the short rest period. Bomb, meet over!

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Lessons learned, and I have a full article coming on what I learned. Some thing I could do different, some I wouldnt change. Honestly the move to 800 I wouldnt do different. I made sure I stuck around and supported my teammates best I could after my bomb.


Team PRS is an amazing group of people, I cant stress that enough. Some of the most genuine and helpful people I have got to know from this group. I will not sugar coat it, Brian expects a lot from me. Not simply because I am on the team and he sponsors me, but because we have been close for some time now. With that said, I get much more than I give! I love writing articles, coaching lifters, and just being around the team. Hell my own lifting at times has started to come second to that of the people I help. I know as my competition days are coming to close that I will have a place in this sport. In fact I look forward to the days of simply going to meets to coach and help rather than the stress that I am currently putting on my body. Until that time comes, train for chaos, and attack the weights!


I want to thank Liz for dealing with my crazy ass during Arnold week. I know its not easy, but you are a tough one! Brian, I cant even put into words how grateful I am for everything. Ria! I dont know how you deal with all of us, but thanks! Rachel, you have no idea how much help taking control of that booth was. Tuesday, Zane, its always fun to hang out with you guys. Maybe drug Zane so you can get him on a plane! Pegg, thanks for being an asshole, I needed the jokes after the bomb. Lisa and Todd are always great help, but Todd is the MVP when it comes to helping with fluids! Allison, thank you for all the support the last few years. Adam Driggers deserves more credit than he get for providing an amazing gym to train at. I worked my teammates to death on meet day, Paul Key, Channing Doyle, and Wheatjet. You guys are as good as it gets, thank you! I am sure I missed a ton of people, but my brain is till jello from the meet so dont get butt hurt haha.

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Jonathan Byrd

Jonathan Byrd is a competitive powerlifter, with over 16 years of training experience. Byrd has been ranked nationally for the past 6 years under multiple categories. His total has ranked as high as second nationally in the 275 class. He currently has a best total of 2500lbs. Best individual lifts include a 1040lb squat, a 750lb bench press, and 735lb deadlift. His 1040lb squat ranks him 26th all-time squats at the 308 class. Jonathan currently trains out of Team Samson Gym in Jacksonville, FL. Before powerlifting Jonathan was a college athlete at Methodist University as both an all-conference football player and track athlete. Following graduation he played four years of arena football in various leagues.
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