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An Interview With Josh Bryant - Part Two!

In part two of this interview with young gun Josh Bryant, Josh talks about what it feels like to bench over 600, his future goals and much more!

Note: This is part two, click here for part one!

For month now, I've been in contact with Josh and he's made tremendous progress. He even went on to do a meet last fall where he did a 600lb bench without a shirt! The video is on his website if you need to see for yourself and he also has a few videos of him lifting with the bands, which in a future article I'll explain in depth of its uses.

He's also trying his hand in the strongman arena which he should do very well in but is still going to do more powerlifting competitions this year. See what he's been up to in this interview. Visit his site at: and if you have any questions, email me at Enjoy!

The Interview

Curtis Dennis Jr.: Please re-introduce yourself, Josh.

Josh Bryant: My name is Josh Bryant. I am twenty-three years old, and live in Santa Barbara, Ca. I am a professional powerlifter and will be doing my first strongman contest on May 15th. My next Power meet is August 13th in Las Vegas, it is Nick Busick' Mountaineer Cup Professional Powerlifting Meet.

I am an assistant speed-strength and conditioning coach at UCLA working primarily with football under the eye of former powerlifter and powerlifting coach Doc Kreis. I also own and operate my website, I sell nutritional supplements at a discounted price also offering online personal training.

CD: How has your training been since the last interview?

JB: Excellent. Especially in the deadlift. Right now I am doing lots of conditioning getting ready for the strongman contest. Mainly interval training. I am trying to increase my anaerobic threshold by increasing the capacity of my non-oxidative energy systems.

After May 15th, I will begin a full power cycle once again. However I am still using the powerlifts to subsidize my strongman training. I believe this cross training will provide great increases to my total.

CD: Recently you benched 600.75 RAW, how does it feel?

JB: Great, I am happy to know I could do well in any area or any set of rules. Building a base is what many younger lifters lack. Luckily I got started by a powerlifter named Steve Holl, he is old school and taught me the importance of building a good base.

CD: Was your training any different prior to your last meet?

JB: Of course somewhat, but I stuck to my basic philosophy. Train the core lifts heavy, do the necessary assistance work, eat high protein, short sprints, jump training, and plyometrics.

CD: What's going to be next for you now?

JB: California Pro-Am Strongman on May 15th. Mountaineer cup twelve weeks later.

CD: You do plyometrics for your squats and deadlifts. Please tell us how they paid off for you?

JB: Plyometrics have increased the amount of force I can produce through the ground. All of my squats and deadlifts are much faster. The greater your speed the less sticking points matter, you can complete the lift so fats a sticking point is virtually non-existent.

Plyomtrics also greatly increase your GPP. Weight Lifters from the eastern block have been using Plyometric and short sprints since the 1950's. It is new to powerlifting, I didn't know of anybody doing them consistently beside myself but I talked to Jesse Kellum and he was. You want to talk explosion talk Jesse Kellum.

CD: Do you think using bench shirts are cheating?

JB: Nope. I just think they should not be supportive. The original idea was good now with multi-ply and open back I think things have gotten out of hand. Cheating is getting an unfair advantage over an opponent, everyone in the IPA can wear multi-ply it is certainly not cheating.

If car jack's were allowed to assist lift for everyone that would not be cheating at all, it just wouldn't be under my definition of bench pressing. I like the USPF standards.

CD: What is your view on training in equipment and learning them?

JB: You should get use to the equipment you are going to use at a meet prior to the meet, however don't neglect your base strength. Learning equipment is certainly not brain surgery.

CD: After Bench America, who do you feel are the best lifters out there now?

JB: Somewhat, but I am sure some other guys who could clean up won't be there. I think Vince Dizenzo could surprise some people. I think some guys from the APF/WPO would get smoked, and I think you got your Bill Carpenter's and Garry Frank who could do some smoking!

CD: How do you feel about Gene Rychlak doing 900 on the bench? Do you think the standards went up?

JB: I am a traditionalist. A bench press to me is defined by the feet flat on the floor and bringing the bar to the chest not below the sternum. This is not my own personal rule; it is a rule among many federations and the one I primarily compete in the USPF.

This lift did not meet those criteria so I don't think benching standards went up. I did not say this is cheating it is just not what I and some organizations define as a bench press. It was legal where he did it.

CD: What was your nutrition like prior to your last competition?

JB: I have studied nutrition. I have learned a lot from the ISSA courses, I was also helped a lot from Randy Woody the owner of prosperity nutrition. We designed a high protein, moderate carbohydrate, and medium fat plan.

Following this plan I lost body fat, recovered better, and felt better and of course got stronger. I used Prosperity nutrition products. I was so satisfied with the products I started distributing them and off them at an extremely discounted rate here

CD: Any ideas on how you're going to make your trek to 2500+ total?

JB: Scientific training, add more core stability work, get stronger and be tough mentally. Old-fashioned hard work and blood and guts are the most important thing. Mental toughness and learning how to compete is as important as anything.

CD: Tell us about your message boards?

JB: I have the Hardcore Power board, which is there for people to discus training, talk about meets, and advertise meets. I also have the Christian Powerlifters board this is where powerlifters can discuss God.

I am not a Bible Thumper or even one to look for as an example of perfect Christian living, I just thought this is a great place to discuss God with other powerlifters and strength athletes.

CD: Is there anyone you would like to thank right now?

JB: My parents and brother. Steve Holl, Paul Leonard, Art LaBare, Ed Coan, Garry Frank, Tommy Fannon, JPS, The peoples champ, Big Bully Busick and anyone I have trained with or talked to a lot. John Inzer for making the best power gear and supporting the sport and of course Randy Woody for making the best nutritional products in the world.

I want to thank my girl friend Erica Vargen for being so supportive. My good friends Adam, Chris, Travis and James who are very supportive. . Congratulations to the Adominator for winning the pan-am games in jiu-jitsu recently Most of all God for blessing me with this talent. There are so many more I forgot but this was impromptu.

CD: Thank-you for doing this second interview Josh, You are one stand-up lifter!

JB: Thanks Curt, you are looking like a brick outhouse, keep it up brother! Please check out my web site

Be sure to also check out:
Part One!

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