Your Passion Doesn’t Matter

By: Jonathan Byrd

Your passion doesn’t mean shit to me or anyone else. Passion alone will not make you successful, and it will not make you a good lifter. Bottom line is, if you think passion is the trump card, well you are just wrong! Let me explain what I mean…I want you to think about football fans. They are very passionate of their sport, can tell you all about it, but damn sure are not going to step on a football field. Another great example is “Rudy” the kid had tons of passion, busted his ass and played a hand full of plays at the end of the last game. Did that trump all the talent and hard work the others players had? Hell no it didn’t, there was a reason why he was still a practice squad player.

Passion is all cute when you want to improve your strength, set some small goals or make small changes in your life. I get it, it’s motivating to you to read memes about lions on Facebook and act like that applies to you as you do another set of leg presses.

Passion isn’t excelling, passion isn’t pushing through failure, passion won’t help you go from a gym bro to a winner on the platform.

See, over the last few meets I have fallen short of my goals. A close miss here and there and you throw away what could be a great total. I have had several talks with Brian about how he handles it, and he really gave me great advice. In short, when lifting at a high level, the highs are high, and the lows are very low. It becomes much more than just training, your passion doesn’t get you to the next level, and you better have what it takes to make it over that mountain of issues that will come your way.

You have to have more than just passion, you still have to bust your ass! I have never known a person who has had long lasting success in this sport who didn’t work extremely hard. That is why I always get a laugh out of those who talk claim “I will out work them”. That is just ignorant to think you can out work everyone, even more so that just because you do more that it means you worked harder. Even better is “it’s about who wants it more”. Get the hell out of here with that shit! Don’t think just because it’s important, or something you are passionate about, that you want it more than everyone else. You simply need a lunch pail attitude. That simply means you come in the gym ready to work, get the job done, and move on to the next task. Your commitment to the task, and ability to stay the course will be what separates you from the rest.

You actually have to be mentally tough to be long lasting and successful in this sport. Like I said, the highs are going to be high, but the lows will crush you if you are not careful. Add that to the fact that injuries will happen at some point, and you will either give up or get tough! The ability to mentally stand through the storm is every bit as important as it is to withstand the physical aspect of the sport. Again, your passion alone will not help you with this aspect, it is not the trump card!

Now here is the one thing nobody wants to face, but it’s the reality. You have to have talent! You can want it so bad that it hurts deep into your soul, but if you don’t have some talent for that task, then it really doesn’t matter. Not everyone will be a great lifter, it is just not in the cards for everyone. Not everyone is going to have a top twenty all time total, they simply will not. Just like not everyone will play in the NFL, you have to have some talent to get there.

So, do you really think your passion is going to make you great? Keep thinking that, because if you don’t have other traits your ass will be watching other lifters rise to the top and you will keep telling people about how great you could have been!


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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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