Former competitive powerlifter, strength exhibitionist, and coach Bud Jeffries passed away on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 at the age of 48. His sudden death occurred while he was training. Jeffries’ wife, Heather, posted the news on Jeffries’ Instagram page on Jan. 22, 2022, revealing that she had tried to resuscitate him herself before medical help arrived onto the scene.
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“I have been trying to find the right words to post to all of you. I am heart broken and overwhelmed to have to say that yesterday afternoon, Friday, January 21, around 3:30, while doing a light training session outside, Bud collapsed. I performed CPR until medics arrived, but after lengthy efforts to resuscitate him, he never recovered,” she wrote.
Heather Jeffries revealed that Bud had tested positive for COVID-19 in December 2021. She speculated that a pulmonary embolism was the cause of his untimely passing. However, an autopsy had yet to be performed to determine the official cause of death.
Bud Jeffries: A Life in Strength
Jeffries was born on Aug. 31, 1973. He took up strength training at the age of 14 while pursuing his goal of playing high school football. While training with local powerlifters, he opted to compete in a local meet, which is where his passion for the strength sport began. After his playing days were over, he started performing feats of strength at various events, including with powerlifting legend Anthony Clark. Jeffries once squatted 1,000 pounds from the bottom position of a squat rack, walked one mile while wearing a 300 pound weighted vest, and swung a 24 kilogram kettlebell 2,350 times in one hour.
Even though he was a prolific author and produced over 30 DVD’s covering his strength feats and knowledge, Jeffries became most famous in recent years because of the videos he posted on his social media outlets. His 57,000 Instagram followers saw Jeffries perform various lifting feats in his backyard, including 300 pound one arm dumbbell rows, single arm pressing a 100 pound dumbbell over his head while holding a cup of tea in the other, belt squats while holding large stones, and several other feats.
In recent years, Jeffries also worked as a motivational speaker, focusing on messages of personal strength, anti-bullying, and self-acceptance.
His last post on his Instagram account before his passing featured him carrying a refrigerator with one arm over his head.
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After the death of their son, Noah in 2017, Bud and Heather Jeffries started “Noah’s Army Foundation,” a non-profit organization that raises funds to go towards the tuition of law enforcement cadets.
In recent years, Jeffries had been working as a coach of McKeel’s High School women’s weightlifting team in Lakeland, FL. That team was scheduled to compete on the weekend that Jeffries passed. According to Heather in another Instagram post, the team chose to compete in his honor and won the district championship.
Featured image: @budjeffries on Instagram