22 Feb Getting to Know Team PRS: Ben Sheard
What’s your name, where do you live, what gym do you lift out of, and why do you train and compete?
My name is Ben Sheard. I live in Pompano Beach, Florida and I train out of Boynton Barbell Center in Boynton Beach, FL. I train/compete because powerlifting is one of the first things I actually fell in love with growing up. You only get one chance in life, and it only makes sense to go out and do what you personally love to do.
Tell us your story-what brought you to this point where you are today:
I started powerlifting when I was 13 back in 1999. I fell in love with pushing myself and the reward of having a good performance on meet day. I continued powerlifting and playing football throughout high school, but fell into a long period of heavy substance abuse and alcoholism that robbed me of doing the things I enjoyed doing. After getting myself back on track and putting all of that behind me, I felt the desire to train and compete again.
I found a local meet in Fort Lauderdale in 2014 and signed up. I couldn’t have been happier to see that the sport was exactly where I had left it 10 years prior. Brian Carroll and his team were there, and I got to see how they operated together. I could only hope that one day I would be able to have that kind of support and bond that his team had. I competed raw for a few years, and recently made the transition to multi-ply. I have been coached by Brian Carroll for almost a year at this point, and will be making my way up the rankings as a 198 multi-ply lifter and I look forward to starting to contribute to this amazing team.
What are your personal best lifts?
Currently my best meet lifts are an 804 squat, 463 bench, and a 700lb deadlift at 198lbs.
Switching gears, but we will come back to the lifting aspect in a moment. What are your interests outside of strength sports?
Outside of powerlifting, I enjoy going on vacations with my girlfriend, who is an amazing powerlifter in her own right. Over the past few years we have gone hiking, horseback riding, rode ATV’s through sand dunes, and snowmobiling in Jackson Hole, WY.
What are 2 things you have learned over the last 2 years that have made you a better athlete and person?
Never be afraid to fail. If you show me someone that has never failed, I will show you someone that hasn’t challenged themselves enough.
On the other side of that, don’t overwork yourself in training, or your job. If you want any kind of longevity in a sport or your career, get your body and mind enough rest and keep your level of stress low.
What is the biggest mistake, or regret you have pertaining to training/competition?
The biggest mistake that I have made would be skipping my active warm-ups. I used to just come into the gym, throw 135 on the bar for whatever lift I was doing and go from there. As a result of ignoring my active warm-ups and mobility work, I have created problems with my shoulder mobility that affects my ability to comfortably get under a squat bar, among other things.
Knowing what you do now, what would you go back and tell a younger version of you 10 years ago?
Being completely open about it; I’d tell myself to put away the pain pills, methamphetamine, Xanax and alcohol. I knew that at some point I would pay the price for what I was doing, but I had no idea of the consequences I’d suffer and the pain that I would put other people through.
What do you bring to TeamPRS that you feel is unique?
I feel like everyone else on Team PRS is very established with their own lists of accomplishments. I am relatively new to multi-ply powerlifting, and in being such, everyone will be able to see my progression through the sport. Aside from that, I can hope that my story might help someone that is struggling with substance abuse/alcoholism.
Who are your mentors/biggest influences-who do you look to for advice and help?
My father has been a great source of support and influence on me. Aside from being an athlete himself, he taught me how to be coachable and to respect others. If I ask him anything, I know that the answer is what I need to hear. Inside the sport of powerlifting, there are a few guys that I can count on for honest help. Brian Carroll, Bert Underwood, Daniel Tinajero, and my lifting crew at Boynton Barbell have been a great source of advice to help me succeed in this sport.
In closing, name 2 things that few people know about you, unrelated to strength sports:
I actually love the job that I have working in the Behavioral Health field. It is sometimes a chaotic environment, and I thrive on those types of situations. In powerlifting and in life, when things don’t go as planned and seem out of control, I enjoy rising to the top.
I also secretly break out the xbox controller when my girlfriend is asleep and enjoy playing Rainbow Six while I wind down after work. I’m 31 years old, but I still get sucked into those strategy based shooting games.
Thank you for your time! Anything else you’d like to add?
I am looking forward to contributing to this amazing team with new article content and weekly training logs that display my progression as I take on multi-ply lifting.
Make sure to watch for articles and weekly log posts from Ben Sheard HERE