30min Rant: Is your goal general health, or ultimate performance part 1

In this series of articles, I will give myself 30min to write about a topic – a rough draft to published. It will be harsh and straight to the point. Let’s see how a few of these go and if I have any friends left after this period of time. The truth is out; these really aren’t rants; they are to help people avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made. Maybe a rant or two will come about.

What is your goal?

You might not be doing the right exercises for your goal, which can be bad for longevity. Is your goal general health, or ultimate performance part 1:

We see so many people that lift now (barbell lifts) heavy, and as the big lifts have become mainstream, so many people are getting hurt.

Everyone can be a coach, and everyone can teach the squat bench and deadlift, right? No.

Everyone can be a lifter, and everyone should do the power lifts, right? NO.

These are two of the biggest reasons why so many people are getting hurt these days unnecessarily, who aren’t even competitive lifters but people who aren’t training for the long haul and taking lifting advice from the wrong people.


A year or two ago, Robert Oberst (sp) was on Joe Rogan and discussed deadlifts from the floor. He really ticked many people off when he said that most people should not pull from the floor (paraphrased). He may have also said that most people should probably not deadlift AT ALL. OH NO. Even if he didn’t say the last part, I 100% agree.

Every exercise is a TOOL. Please keep it simple. Not every tool is the correct one for your path.

When applied correctly, a specific exercise, i.e., a deadlift, can provide a huge potential benefit; just as when incorrectly applied, it can be catastrophic. Let me give you a quick example: in the NFL, most of the SC’s opt to have their athletes pull from blocks with a trap bar. Why? Do the players play low (ground level) or up high?

Also, the risk-reward is highly factored in too. Deadlifts with a straight deadlift bar from the floor can be quite risky for some people. It tends to take an occasional biceps with it. It’s a very high demand, with low room for error exercise.

Multi-million dollar athletes must be treated differently, as do children, the elderly, special needs, and sometimes most importantly, those new to lifting that have not built a base for lifting.

Speaking of those new to weights, they have little to no core, mind-muscle connection, the needed bone development, muscle-tendon-ligament strength, and adaptations to jump in and start lifting.

How should you start someone off new to training?

I will get into this next week – stay tuned. Until then, stop doing exercises you see your favorite person do and focus on what will make you better for your specific goal. If you’re a St. Bernard, stay away from the Racetrack and leave that to the greyhounds!


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Brian Carroll

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
Brian is a retired world-class powerlifter with over two decades of world-class powerlifting. From 1999 to 2020, Brian Carroll was a competitive powerlifter, one of the most accomplished lifters in the sport's history. Brian started off competing in bench press competitions 'raw,' then, shortly into the journey, he gravitated toward equipped lifting as there were no "raw" categories then. You only had to choose from single-ply (USPF) and Multi-ply (APF/WPC). Brian went on to total 2730 at 275 and 2651 at 242 with more than ten times his body weight in three different classes (220, 242, 275), and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two other weight classes. He's totaled 2600 over 20 times in 2 different weight classes in his career. With 60 squats of 1000lbs or more officially, this is the most in powerlifting history, regardless of weight class or federation, by anyone not named David Hoff. Brian realized many ups and downs during his 20+ years competing. After ten years of high-level powerlifting competition and an all-time World Record squat at 220 with 1030, in 2009, Brian was competing for a Police academy scholarship. On a hot and humid July morning, Brian, hurdling over a barricade at 275lbs, landed on, fell, and hurt his back. After years of back pain and failed therapy, Brian met with world-renowned back specialist Prof McGill in 2013, which changed his trajectory more than he could have imagined. In 2017, Brian Carroll and Prof McGill authored the best-selling book about Brian's triumphant comeback to powerlifting in Gift of Injury. Most recently (10.3.20) -Brian set the highest squat of all time (regardless of weight class) with 1306 lbs – being the first man to break the 1300lb squat barrier at a bodyweight of 303 lbs.
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