Big Bill Barnes - Bold Buck

Age: 37
Height: 5′ 10″
Weight: 400lbs
Squat: 804
Bench: 425
Dead lift: 675
Total: 1901

Grit and Determination

To say that Bill Barnes had to be resourceful growing up, is an understatement. When he starting lifting weights at the age of eleven he needed to get creative. All he had access to were old plastic/cement weights. He made his first pull down with bicycle handle bars and yellow rope thrown over a rafter. Finally he tied a loop on the end and placed a screwdriver in to keep the weights from falling off. His first bench? Made of wood. He traded a beagle puppy for it. It’s very clear that from a young age, Bill was willing to do whatever it takes to become a champion.

Bill:

“I was hooked on weight training from day one. My first workouts were all 10 sets of 10. Lifted all through school for sports and after graduating I just continued to train body building style. I got workouts from m&f and flex. By the time I was 27 I was benching 535. I didn’t start power lifting until I was almost 33 and it was a complete different world for me. By now I had already torn one pec and my bench was low 400s. Squat and deads were both 500s but I hadn’t consistently trained those 2 lifts. I had never squatted any other way then Olympic style and it was uncomfortable for me because I’m so wide. I also had to place my hands on the sleeves of the bar and move the weight out further.  I am so blessed to have found a power lifting gym 20 minutes from my home, (HOFFMANS BARBELL) I called them on the phone and talked to the owner about possibly wanting to get into the sport and someday compete. Bryan Hoffman had me on a stage 2 months later. Well now me and Bryan have been have been lifting together for almost 5 years”

 

Goals

Bill:

“Goals are simple for me, I want to be the very best I can be. Everybody wants to be number one but a select few are willing to sacrifice so much. To be somebody in this sport you will have to weather storm after storm and still keep your focus on improving. I don’t know if any power lifting elite have ever been satisfied with their progress or not, but I have not. Any way I am definitely not to that level yet but I am busting my butt to get there.”

 

Support System

Bill:

“I have been blessed by an awesome support team. My wife is awesome, her and the kids don’t really see me at all on Monday and Tuesday because I go from work to the gym and don’t get done till about 10pm. I know they don’t understand why I’m always chasing another pr or record but they love me and support me. My partner Bryan challenges me by being strong as a buck and just as competitive as I am. I have learned so much from him. He has sacrificed so much for this sport and I got huge respect for him. He also lets me know when to back off or slow down a little because sometimes I get more focused on sticking to the plan then listening to my body.  Team Hoffman is an awesome group of like minded lifters that also push and encourage me. A couple months ago I began getting sponsored by APT, and Allen has treated me awesome. I have purchased almost all of my gear from him in the past and now he backs me and it means the world. Recently Bold Buck began to sponsor me and I’m super excited to see where this relationship goes. I would have never thought I would really be sponsored by 2 awesome companies for doing something I love to do. This is a solitary and expensive sport that can eat you alive without a good foundation of people to support you and help you to break those walls that keep you from reaching your goals.”

 

Diet

Bill:

“I have dieted several times but never for performance. I have always just tried to drop body weight, but now I am eating for performance. I bought a food scale and wrote down nutritional information on different foods. I eat 400 grams of protein every day. 400 grams of carbs on training days with 250 to 300 on off days. The majority of my carbs come from quinoa, rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, Lentils etc. Protein comes from meat, eggs, shakes etc.  I eat 6 meals a day and each one averages out to 66 grams of protein and carbs. I also try to drink 2 gallons of water every day, this is harder for me than the food changes. I never thought force feeding myself would make me lose weight but I started at 401lbs and 3 days later I was 391.   I have maintained that weight really since. I figure if you can’t be skinny might as well be strong. I know this isn’t conventional and might not fit into the diet section but hold prayer to a higher standard then diet or exercise. I honestly pray on the way to and from the gym. I’m thankful that God allows me to be healthy enough to continue to do the sport I love and to continue to improve”

 

Training

Bill:

“Over the last 5 years I have done West side, 5 3 1, Cube, Lilliebridge training. Honestly all have had benefits and I’ve liked and disliked things in each of them. Over the last 2 years I have gotten more meet lift specific to what actually works for me during meet training. I try to only compete 2 times a year so I will have at least 2 different styles of training cycles between meets. I am currently doing a higher percent training with 80% to over 100% with lots of accessory work. I have 1 day each week that nothing but accessory work.  8 weeks ago I switched my dead lift training from conventional to sumo just because I suck at sumo. There was a 200 pound difference between the two styles. As of last week the difference is cut in half. When I start meet prep everything is more calculated and the closer the meet gets the more specific my training is with less accessory work. My bench training is different than anybody else that I have seen.

Week 1:
Warm up with even jumps and work to 3 heavy singles. Some heavy accessory work, chest, shoulders, triceps. I like basic movements

Week 2:
I don’t touch a barbell. I use the bamboo bar with bands and kettle bells for 12 to 15 sets of 20 reps. Then dumbbell and cable accessory work of shoulders, chest, triceps and every set is for 20 reps.  I usually end up with over 30 sets of 20 reps for this day. I know its unconventional but I have injured both pecs and this style allows me to rehab and heal much better. I wish I had thought of it sooner. I finally had to swallow my pride and learn patience with bench. It paid off in nationals with a 425 bench after I tore a pec in September.”

 

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