Byrd: Double Overhand Pulls and Benching

Finally broke the 2,500 total mark at the Arnold, but like any lifter I feel there is more left in the tank. Focusing on some offseason goals which include gaining some weight to fill out the 275 class, improving my bench, adjusting some form issues on the squat, and adding more upper back size. The next 8 weeks will focus on raw work and speed. I feel like if I can get those things accomplished I will be looking at another PR total come meet time.


The boys in the hood are always hard! Truth is I am beat up from coaching so I didnt want to squat heavy haha! So I did some light squats as a warm up and worked my way over to pulling some stiff leg deficits. I pulled off a 100lb plate so approx 2 inches and used a double over hand grip. No I dont use a DOH grip, but I was looking to work my grip and save my bicep some. I am not a fan of using straps for most movements, because I feel grip work is very important. There are some people that using straps works great for, but those are typically the people who dont pull as well in meets or drop their deads (always exceptions). These actually felt pretty good and really worked my hams and the lats at the bottom. I think these will pay off in the long run as my hamstrings seem to be my weaker point right now.

The bench plan was to work up to about the same number as the week before using straight weight instead of chains. I misgrooved the 440 2board but still muscled through it. Pretty pleased with that as a starting point. I then threw on Brian’s shirt to help with the break in process. Some form errors on the lifts, but overall the bar speed is pretty much on the money. Right now it looks like I will be doing bench only at the Europa in Charlotte NC July 10 to see if I can bench on the main stage at the Arnold 2017. Lifting on the main stage has always been a goal of mine and I am really looking forward to a shot at this!

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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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