Road to Rio Off-Season : Jon Jones (USA)

Jon Jones (23 April, 1991) is a 6’0″ 310 lb shot putter from the United States. He took 4th at the 2014 USA Championships with a personal best of 20,75m (68’1″) and 3rd at the 2016. Jones punched his ticket to the Indoor World Championships in Portland at this weekend's US Trials.

Jones was a baseball and US American football player until his 3rd year in high school when he gave-up 3rd base on the diamond for the ring. 

5.44kg (12 lb)
2009 ... 14,93m (49' 0")
2010 ... 17,32m (56' 10")
7.26kg (16 lb)
2011 ... 15,70m (51' 6¼")
2012 ... dnc
2013 ... 19,59m (64' 3¼") Ypsilanti Michigan USA 22 Feb
2014 ... 20,75m (68' 1") Sacramento California USA 25 Jun
2015 ... 20.92m (68' 7¾") Eugene Oregon USA 28 Jun

Zylstra: Where do you want to be, size wise, when you step into the ring at the Trials?
Jones: I plan to stay around 310 lbs. during competition. In the past I have found that the heavier I am during the season the better I throw. This past season I was weighing around 330 towards the end which was way heavier than I would have wanted but I still ended up with great results. This year I expect to be around 310 lbs. at my peak with the same strength that I had while I was at 330 lbs., this will only mean that I am putting the same amount of force in the shot as I would at 330 lbs. but at a higher speed.

Zylstra: What will be new in your preparation for 2016?
Jones: My biggest issue this past year with my technique was my middle to the finish… I would consistently be able to create the right amount of separation but I couldn’t put it together at the finish. I would tend to pull off the shot which Is like throwing a punch while falling backwards. To be honest I haven't really changed anything up besides working on smaller things within my technique to prepare for the Olympic Trials. I don’t plan on trying anything new this off-season.

Zylstra: What's your training set-up?
Jones: I'll be living in the same apartment I have been living the past 4 years while I was at the University of Buffalo during December to April. I wish I was going to warm weather training camp [laughter]… I feel that with the adversity of not being able to train outdoors all year only makes me stronger while living in Buffalo [New York, USA]. I am currently a throwing coach at the University of Buffalo helping out my coach, James Garnham. This in enables me to be able to train with my former coach and use the same facilities as I would while in college. Coach Garnham and I get along great and really progress while at practice. I am fortunate enough to see him everyday.

Zylstra: Any predictions for Rio?
Jones: I think that the majority of the people that watch would've said Reese Hoffa, Joe Kovacs, and Ryan Whiting would be the favorites to make this coming Olympics. Now, it's a bit up in the air.