Make or Break: Byrd Squats and Deadlifts

Currently training for the XPC Finals at the Arnold. Working my body weight up to 290lbs and making the cut down to 275 class. I will use the protocols from Brian’s Manual“CUTTING WEIGHT”


As always I am fighting off nagging injuries from my past years of complete dumb ass training. This maybe the first time in 3 years that I can call myself healthy (by powerlifting standards).

Honestly I dont even know where to start. Getting ready for the 2013 XPC Semi finals I completely destroyed my left pec. Tendon tear from the bone as well as an actual muscle tear. Kiss of death for a powerlifter. Since the day of that tear I have been fighting my ass off to get back to the level where I could complete with the best in the world. It has been a long hard road, with even more injuries, mistakes, and set backs than I care to think about.

With all that said, I feel like I am in the best position I have been in since 2013. I feel stronger than I have ever been, and my bodyweight is much lower. The timing of this weekends even could not have been better for me. I needed to get a gauge of where I am at, realistic attempts, and actual goals for the meet. I have high expectations, but honestly was not sure how this weekend would go.

Squats went something like this
Got into full gear at 750 (just like meet day)

Brian Carroll_-18
I finally got the groove right at the 1055, my stance was just a little too wide and caused me some issues the sets before that.

Deadlifts: The plan was to push the dead a little. I have not pulled more than 675 off the floor in the gym for over a year now. Between the bicep tear, hip injury, and back issues I just couldnt do it. Well Today was the day to find out where I stand, not max, but to know what I could pull under meet like conditions.

Full gear

Brian Carroll_-75
755 moved very well and is 25lbs more than my best meet pull. The bar even floated out bad and I pulled it on and had a smooth pull. This is a great sign for me heading into the meet!

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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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