Byrd Bench Training “Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All!”


Currently working my way down in weight to lift in the 275 class at the XPC Finals. Looking to improve on my all-time best lifts of 1040, 725, and 730lbs. I am also taking on additional online clients for personalized training. Feel free to email me at if you are interested.

The scar running down my left pec should be a direct reminder to not be a dumbass, but apparently it wasn’t enough.

Bottom line, I have no excuse! I have been at this for nearly 16 years, played football at a high level, and coached more athletes than I can count. So what does my dumbass do? Well I trained for 4 hours on Saturday morning, pushing my squat to an opener and what might be a third attempt off blocks. Rather than prepare myself for bench day, I was lazy the rest of the weekend. I ate like shit, didn’t take in anywhere near enough fluids, and did not even give my body a chance.

I spent 15 minutes just getting ready to lay on the bench. My lower back, lats, and hamstrings were either cramping up or just extremely tight. Even with the first few sets my back and lats were not happy with me. When I finally made it to my shirted sets, my body had enough. Eventually both pecs also began to cramp up. Of course this is a scary feeling for someone whos left pec already doesn’t work too well.

Here is what training looked like!
Raw up to 425
shirt on, no boards
515×1 about the 2 board
605×1 about the 1 board
700×0 touch, press, cramped and threw into the rack
765×1 2board, press but slow
800×0 2 board, cramped up again. Both pecs, back, and hamstring. This SUCKED!

I took the shirt off, iced the pec and called it a night.

On Sunday I was 284, at wake up this morning 274. 10lbs in a day will kill any strength, I promise this will not happen again. I will be forcing fluids hard for the next 5 1/2 weeks.

Don’t worry though, because even with a broken pec, and worse bench day I have had in a year, I still can press more than some make believe freak.

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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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