Powerlifting

Get to Know Sam Byrd

Sam Byrd is one of the greatest squatters of all time. With multiple World Records raw and in gear to his credit and a bodybuilder physique to match, Sam is a great addition to Team Juggernaut…

Name: Sam Byrd

Age: 31

City: Chattanooga, TN

Height/Weight: 5’7″ 220 in competition, walk around at 230-235

PRs: Squat Raw 783 no wraps World Record @220, 825 with wraps in exhibition, Multiply [email protected] WR, [email protected] WR, [email protected] WR, Bench Raw 460, Geared 733, Deadlift Raw 683, Geared 733

Where You Train: Currently at The Train Station, previously at North Georgia Barbell

How Long Have You Been Training: Since I was 14, so over half my life now

Discuss Your Athletic Background: Played baseball in high school but quit to pick up heavy stuff. I’ve competed in powerlifting, bodybuilding, strongman and even a few charity arm wrestling tournaments.

Whether raw or in gear (or with no hands) Sam is a force to reckoned with in the squat!
Whether raw or in gear (or with no hands) Sam is a force to reckoned with in the squat!

How Did You Get Introduced to Powerlifting: I took a weightlifting class when I was in high school. The weight room had a giant board in the weight room with top 10 lifts for 7 exercises. While not technically powerlifting, I decided right away I wanted to be top dog on every lift and total. That when the desire to be stronger than all arose. The first powerlifter I learned about was Fred “Dr. Squat” Hatfield and didn’t actually learn anything about the sport until years later when I was in the Marine Corps.

What Are Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses As An Athlete: My greatest strengths would be desire, dedication and consistency while my weakness would be the struggle to accept that I have weaknesses.

How Do You Organize Your Training: It varies based on what I have going on with my life or what specific or immediate goals I have set. I have base templates I have tweaked over the years for certain goals and conditioning levels.

Give Us Some Insight To Your Typical Diet: I try to live by the credo that if you can’t kill it or grow it, you shouldn’t eat it. Except ice cream-and if consumed, it must be done by the half gallon.

Sam combines record breaking strength with a bodybuilder's physique.
Sam combines record breaking strength with a bodybuilder’s physique.

What Upcoming Competitions Do You Have: I am currently training for the CAPO Nationals in August in Tasmania with Chad Smith, Eric Lilliebridge, Brandon Lilly and a few other American supastaaas. I’ve also challenged Eric Lilliebridge for a squat battle in the 2014 Arnold Classic Animal Cage. Nothing else set in stone right now but I do have some specific I would like to hit soon-all raw for now, but possibly a short foray back into gear after that.

How Do You See the Sport of Powerlifting Evolving: I see, and I hope, that powerlifting continues to shift toward raw lifting. I have been a huge proponent for this since my early days in the sport and would like to think I was at the forefront of the recent movement by competing in the New England Record Breakers raw meet back in 2006 (even though the meet failed to live up to the hype). I think what we will find is that as more and more geared lifters eschew the gear and turn raw, the top geared guys will still be among the top raw guys.

What Advice Do You Have for a New Competitor: Train hard, have fun and find balance with the rest of your life. I have met most of my very best friends at the various gyms and competitions. I have also learned a great deal from the mistakes of others. I encourage you to do the same so you don’t have to make them all yourself.

Thank You’s: I want to thank my Dad-my biggest fan and PR man-even though he will never get a chance to read this, he always believed in me even during times when I didn’t believe in myself. I miss you every day pops. My mom for the same support and keeping me well fed all these years; and to my adoring and supportive wife who has recently taken over that role. To all my training partners and friends I’ve encountered over the years, which are too many to name; Animal Supplements ad crew for their support and loyalty over the years, and all the other sappy chum-by-ya stuff.

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