Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
June 4, 2023

Interview With Powerlifter Jo Jordan of Orlando Barbell
by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com

Make It Rain - Jo Jordan - Orlando Barbell

Jo Jordan is a man who signifies what a powerlifter should be. The man is super strong, big, lean and has attitude. Jo Jordan either competes in the 242lbs weight class or 275lbs weight class and I think everyone could gain some knowledge from Jo's interview. I was fortunate enough to talk to this freak and enjoyed picking his mind had. So, with no further ado everyone here is Jo Jordan!

Powerlifter Jo Jordan of Orlando Barbell 1) CRITICAL BENCH: I am here with a man that exemplifies what a powerlifter should be. Jo Jordan tell the Critical Bench readers about yourself?

My name is Jo Jordan and I live in Oviedo , Florida. I have been married to my wife, Kim, for 10 years and I have two children. Meredith is 5 and Lynsey is 2. I am a stay at home Dad. I compete in the 242 and 275 weight classes of the AAPF.

2) CRITICAL BENCH: Jo so you train at Orlando Barbell, tell us about the gym? Who do you train with? What are your training partners like and what is the atmosphere like?

OBB is accessible to all types of people, whether you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, athlete, or someone that just wants to be healthy and fit. The owners are Brian Schwab and Brian Tincher. We have two power racks, a mono-lift, SS Bar, Fat bar, Texas Power bars, and a variety of chains, bands and boards to use. We have approximately 3000 lbs. of weight available and Dumbbells that go up to 125... I train with Ronnie Paras, Darrell Tugboat Garvey, Brian Kingpin Schwab, Brian Tincher, John Land, Daniel Tinajero, Mark Lessmann and Dutch Flesh. They are all a great bunch of guys, willing to help you out any way they can. We are very competitive and supportive at the same time. We play music like Pantera and Killswitch on our Saturday bench sessions and yell at each other A LOT! We constantly push one another to get better and stronger.

3) CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about 5 of the best powerlifting meets that you have ever been to and what each experience was like?

..5th place-. 2005 APF Southern States It was only my second APF meet and there were a lot of competitors. Everyone was really cool and supportive and it is when I finally squatted over 800 pounds and totaled 1900.

..4th place... 2006 AAPF Nationals Baton Rouge, LA The meet director was Garry Frank and he did a great job. He had fruit, sandwiches, Gatorade, etc. in the back for the lifters. His spotters and loaders were outstanding and never had a misload or let the weight hit the floor. The judging was very consistent and the music was blaring!

Powerlifter Jo Jordan ..3rd place... 2006 APF BYRD Memorial I put this here because it was a memorial meet for a friend of mine from Lake City who tragically died last year. The meet promoters were Tony Curtis and Toby Irby both good friends of Byrd and they did a great job with their first meet. In the back we had Red Bull, Gatorade, water and Subway. We had two monolifts and benches in the back to warm up on and plenty of space. There was a DJ that kept the crowd and lifters going and there were new rivalries born.

..2nd place... 2006 AWPC Worlds Flint , MI. This is by far the best meet I have ever done and mainly because it was my first trip to a meet of this caliber. Detroit Barbell was there as spotters and loaders and helped lifters with anything they could. We had 2 monolifts and benches in the back, plenty of room, dressing rooms, a lounging area, a kick ass screen displaying lifters name, weight being attempted, loading chart and time remaining. We even had Matthew Kroczaleski announcing. Heck, I even had Laura Phelps tell me, Good Job. That means a lot to a person to be acknowledged by your peers. Let alone Laura Phelps!

..1st place... 2006 Arnold Classic WPO Finals I was there to help Brian Schwab and to meet some lifters I have only been able to read about. Wow, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. We're sitting in the back and watching guys like Louie Simmons, Oleksandr Kutcher, George Halbert and Chuck Vogelpohl walk by. It was beyond my wildest dreams. The electricity and power in the air was addicting. I was especially proud to wrap Schwabs knees and even got on stage as his official hand-off guy. This may be the only way I will ever get to be on a WPO stage so I was enjoying every minute of it.

Jo Jordan Powerlifter

4) CRITICAL BENCH: That's pretty cool. We interviewed Laura Phelps and now you, WELCOME TO THE HARDCORE SIDE OF POWERLIFTING! With your experience tell us which fed is your favorite and why out of the APF, APA, and USAPL?

3rd favorite-- APA Scott Taylor is a great guy, but tries to do everything on his own. The judging was inconsistent and certain main stays were missing, like chalk. Overall the APA is very lifter friendly and has great guys to compete with.

2nd favorite--USAPL Great place for lifters to start at or stay with if it's your cup of tea. They are very strict with judging and the gear you can wear, but I hate the politics involved. It's also, too quiet. I get looked at funny when I start yelling in support of a friend of mine when he does USAPL meets. Maybe it's just me.

favorite--- APF/AAPF Very lifter friendly, great lifters, great equipment, always are playing hardcore music. Judging is getting better, especially here in Florida.

5) CRITICAL BENCH: What are your best powerlifting maxes?

My best lifts are 832 squat, 580 bench and 611 pull.

6) CRITICAL BENCH: How do you train for a bigger squat, a bigger bench press and deadlift?

For squat--- I use a Hybrid Westside routine for my squat. I do high, parallel, and low box squats in rotation. I also rotate the bars between the SS Bar and a Texas squat bar to save wear and tear on my shoulders. I use bands in a circa-max 3 rep phase by adding a band every week. I start with a purple band, then add a green the next week and a blue one the 3rd week. I will then take a week and do free squats (no box, bands, or chains) when I start back I will do the same thing with the box, but use chains instead of bands. 6 weeks out from a meet I will not use chains or bands for the squat and I take the box out at 4 weeks away. The weight is normally 70 90% of my 1rm, but it depends on how I feel that day. Reverse hypers, kneeling squats, and sled dragging. I don't do speed work for my squat or pull. I will wear only my ace briefs or pro briefs up to 7 weeks out and then I suit up.

Powerlifter Jo Jordan

For Bench Press--- I do ME every week in a bench shirt (DD Karins) off boards. I start with a three board and drop each week until I am touching. I then start over. I work on my setup, technique, and acceleration on every rep of every set. My bench has gone from a 480 last year to 580 as of right now. I then do a 4-6 inch lockout in the power rack and then either a 3rm on the decline or a 3rm on the floor press. For speed work I rotate between bands and chains w/ the bar weight at 40% of my raw max. I've started doing plyometrics w/ a 40lb. medicine ball off the floor and try to launch it as high as possible. Then there are the Schwabs which are a version of the JM press, but in the smith machine. These are done with a 3 x 6-10. Lastly I do some direct tricep work with either DB tricep extensions off the floor, lying DB extensions or pressdowns.

For Deadlift-- I pull out of the rack every other week after I squat. I start at the ..3 pin and drop a pin every workout and then start over. I normally go for a max single, but I have started doing 80-85% of my 1rm for triples in hopes of working on my sumo technique since I have only been pulling this way for about 6-7 months now. I do a lot of reverse hypers, pull throughs, shrugs and rows. I am starting to do GHRs every other week too. I know these will help my pull tremendously. I pull either raw or with my pro briefs on. I will suit all the way up about 3 weeks out from a meet.

7) CRITICAL BENCH: You're a very solid, rugged, and strong shit brick house! What is your nutrition plan for powerlifting?

Diet I try to eat a lot of protein through real food. Chicken, tuna, and beef are very popular in my house. On top of that I drink whey protein from MHP and an after workout drink from EAS. I take in a lot of carbs to keep my body weight up around 248-250. I try to stick to potatoes, yams, whole wheat bread and pasta. However, I will eat an occasional pizza or two. Fats and sweets I try to keep to a minimum for both my sake and my family. I supplement with glutamine, trac, and creatine from MHP along with a multivitamin from animal pak.

8) CRITICAL BENCH: What has been your favorite powerlifting moment thus far?

That would have to be totaling 2011 and winning the AWPC worlds this year. They are both accomplishments I have dreamed about for 4 years now.

9) CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals, short term and long term?

My short term goals are to squat 900, bench 600 and pull 700 within a years time. The long term goal is to total 2301 and qualify for the WPO.

10) CRITICAL BENCH: What was the best advice that you were ever told and what has been the worse advice?

Best - Never doubt yourself or your strength. Always have faith in your abilities no matter what you do. Worst Always do 8-10 reps.

11) CRITICAL BENCH: Hahahaha! I hear ya there! If powerlifting were to become mainstream all the casual lifters around the world need to get rid of the concept of doing 8-10 reps everytime, lower the weight, and make sure they believe in themselves so they can go balls to the wall and then get proper recovery so they can keep making progress. Great advice, separates the strong from the weak. Mr. Jordan, I'm sure many beginners will be inspired by your interview. What is your advice for the beginner?

Jo Jeff Jordan OBB

Read up on the sport and learn its history. Ask questions if you don't know. Most powerlifters are happy to help. Try to train with someone that is stronger than you. It will drive you to get stronger. Last, but not least, train smart. Don't let your ego get the best of you.

12) CRITICAL BENCH: Excellent. Give me your 5 favorite things about powerlifting?

1. Camaraderie
2. Power
3. Atmosphere
4. Rivalries
5. Good natured ribbing

13) CRITICAL BENCH: What motivates you to be a strong enough powerlifter to be among the elite?

Knowing there is someone out there training just as hard as me and wants to beat me and knowing that I have to compete against Toby Irby and Anthony Acome.

14) CRITICAL BENCH: What main factors do you contribute your powerlifting success to?

My wife is the main factor. She has given me the opportunity to be a stay at home dad and be able to train with more consistency. It has made all the difference in the world. The other factor being my training partners. They push me and motivate me to be better and never let me forget who I am.

15) CRITICAL BENCH: Jo Jo it has been awesome interviewing you and welcoming you into the Critical Bench interview club among all the great strength athletes of the world! Is there anything else you would like to tell critical bench readers?

I would like to thank Ben for giving me this opportunity. It is a great experience and one that will not soon be forgotten. If you are ever in Orlando stop by Orlando Barbell and workout or just say, Hello!

CRITICAL BENCH: There ya have it, from the intense powerful and super strong powerlifter himself Jo Jordan! Critical Bench wishes Jo Jordan the best as he continues to scare the powerlifting world! haha. Good luck Jo Jordan!


Jo Jordan & Ben
Jo Jordan and Ben Tatar


Jo Jordan is Sponsored by APT Pro Wrist Straps
2007 APF Senior Nationals - June 07 - This Video Is Sick!
Jo Totals 2204 @ 242


Critical Bench Sponsored Lifter Jo Jordan
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