After joining the boys weightlifting team his freshman year of high school, Joshua Jones made huge strides in the sport. In his senior year, which was shortened due to the pandemic, Jones went 4-1 with a max of 330 pounds on the bench press and a max of 250 pounds in the clean-and-jerk.
Jones competed in the 199-pound division.
Jones also played two years of varsity football at Winter Haven High School. He graduated from Winter Haven on June 19.
How did you get into weightlifting?
I started weightlifting my freshman year. I was running track then (and) I was training with Coach Jones — he was a football coach and he convinced me to do weightlifting cause I needed more muscle to get to the next level. I like lifting weights because it's fun to me.
Who has helped you the most with improving in weightlifting?
Coach Jones, Coach Tate and Coach Ellis. I can't even explain. I was skinny. I was 150 (pounds) and he (Jones) was like you gotta get in the weight room. In a three-year span I gained 50 pounds and got to 200 pounds. We did a lot of incline bench. We would do light sets and a lot of reps so I'd do 135 pounds and 10 to 12 reps. ... Every Friday we did leg day (and) that was the worst. My freshman year I was only doing 135 pounds, 10 reps each set (and) that was very aggressive (because) every rep had to be perfect and if it wasn’t I had to do it. Some days I didn't want to go. Coach Tate and Coach Ellis, they go off the bigger, faster, stronger (program) and that really helped me a lot.
What’s your favorite lift?
Bench press — I love bench pressing.
What’s your favorite part about weightlifting season?
My favorite part is meeting people from other schools. In football, it’s like a rivalry, but in weightlifting it’s all good — a very friendly environment
What are your plans after high school?
I'm going to Alabama A&M. I have to try out for the football team, but once I’m on the roster (then) I’m a walk-on.
What’s your favorite memory from weightlifting?
The best memory was when I first hit 315. I thought I was the man then.
What are you going to major in?
Business management and administration.
What are some of your hobbies outside of weightlifting?
I love listening to music. I listen to a lot of 90s rap.
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Dark Knight.” Hands down. (I) love Heath Ledger and how he did another role. Most actors do not do that and the Joker is a hard part to play. You have to be very talented to do that. Excellent plot, love the whole story line and how it’s played out.
What’s your favorite TV show?
If you want to go old school, I like “Gilligan's Island.”