5 Tips to Quickly Improve Your Strength Training Program Almost Immediately

By: Brian Carroll

Don’t be overzealous and think this HAS to be the week where it all comes together and you have that GREAT SESSION OR WEEK! I understand this from time to time and some weeks, especially when you are peaking strength, but this cannot be every week or even often at all. Each week cannot and will not be stellar and you cannot continuously test strength over and over. It just doesn’t work this way. Have predetermined weeks that will be ones that you will test or push your limits, but this should be very few and far between.


Have a baseline in training – I wrote a whole article on this HERE but start with as little as possible that will still elicit gains and only add “more” of anything when it’s time and progress has stalled. You’ll have PLENTY of time to add more volume, intensity and over all work in time. Tinker over time, but don’t change too much at once.

Take true off days. Easy as just NOT going to the gym on occasion. Not a light day, not a deload day but taking a day off and going to the beach, movies or out to dinner enjoy it. I promise you – taking a day off will in most cases help you instead of hurt you. Now, don’t take and twist this and go off and say I want you to take off days that are important in your programming. Use your BRAIN and when you can afford an off day in the offseason, or when nothing is coming up – take the day off and take your family out and be normal for once.

Have things you can focus on outside of training. Put time in effort into other things aside your training, diet and supplementation. Have balance in your life. I talk about this a LOT in 10/20/Life. Have other hobbies that you can stay distracted with. I like TV Series’, fishing, I follow UFC, and like fast cars. None of these have to do with strength training but they help keep me sane. Like point #3, make sure you spend time with the people you care about and do things that show them from time to time.


Don’t look at each meet as an end but look at it as a step either in the wrong or right direction. Chances are – this is NOT going to be your last meet ever. I understand that some meets will have more importance than others, but at the same time it’s only a meet and there will be more. I’ve been bad at this at times while having a sense of urgency but it’s not the end of the world, always be open for learning experiences (easier said than done, I know). I’m all for executing, winning, hitting PR’s when they are there but at some meets you wont be able to force a super good day. Take what you can get on each day, try to make it the best you can and then after the meet – pick and choose what worked and what didn’t and adjust. This is all a learning process and there is no exact recipe or cookie cutter for success!

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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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