Jonathan Byrd

Why I Love Powerlifting

Jonathan Byrd
Why I Love Powerlifting

This is not meant to be an article, I just needed to get a few things off my chest.

I renewed my love for powerlifting this weekend, at a meet that I was 10 hours away from. Sure, part of me enjoys the pain that comes from lifting. I love the ability to push my body beyond its breaking point. Sadly as you get older, that really isn’t what keeps you in the sport. PR lifts come fewer and much further apart, movements you use to love you can no longer due to enormous amounts of pain, and the day to day things that come up often take some of the joy away from it.

This weekend I had a client and long time friend Steve Lusterino. I was able to get updates on the meet from other friends, along with video updates after each lift. Hopefully this doesn’t offend him, but he isn’t the most talented lifter in the world. What he is though, is very dedicated. If its on his training program he is going to get it done, its that simple. We had been spending his offseason lifting raw, trying to build a stronger base. With 4 weeks out from a meet, Steve get baited into doing it, but equipped. We threw him in gear for a few weeks and decided to just let it fly.

Steve manages to go 2-3 in the squat, and pulls a hail marry shirt change and get his 3rd attempt bench to stay in the meet. We both worried that he woudnt’t pull well due to the offseason being all conventional raw work. His form was still solid sumo and went 3-3 on the pull hitting a PR deadlift of 705, a PR total, and winning best equipped lifter.


Those things alone are enough to get me excited to compete again, but it was the events during his last deadlift that really clicked for me. As Steve makes his last pull, Chris DF is jumping off the ground celebrating. The part of the story you are missing is that Chris had a rough day and decided to save some energy for the WPO prep. So here is a guy, who has every reason to be in the back relaxing, going crazy for Steve to hit a lift.


These are the thing that keep me in the sport, true enjoyment for other peoples accomplishments. In that moment, Chris, Skiba, and others were as happy as Steve was to hit that lift. That is what this sport is about, that is what a training crew means. It is showing up for your friends and teammates when it matters. Its being there on meet day. Its being on time, prepared to help, and prepared to wear many hats.

Congratulations Steve, and thanks for making me want to put something stupid on my back again!

Jonathan Byrd