A Look in the Mirror and Time for CHANGE – Part 3

By: Brian Carroll

Read part 1 HERE

Read part 2 HERE

In early July, I posted an article about how I was making some changes in my life, training, diet and in general. Here is an update to show you how I’ve been doing and some things that I’m still having some issues with.
I outlined my goals on July 4th, 2014:

Get my weight down below 265 by around August, and keep as much muscle as possible.
Continue in off-season mode until then and continue to build my base. Soon after I will add in my new Overkill equipment to ensure that I have a correct fit. I will combine raw with equipped until I’m 10 weeks out.
Start my precontest cycle about 10 weeks out; in mid-August or so
Continue to eat well, and stay on the walking every day. I will also be pulling the sled on squat training days.
Be aware of my leverage changes and make adjustments when needed in training/programming.
Keep binge junk food eating to a minimum, and only after heavy training sessions.
Stay on my back rehab and continue to improve my deadlift. This has been the slow one to come back, but each week is better. Do the McGill Big 3 every single day.

I am happy that things have went almost exactly to plan. I have not lost much strength, the weight is now coming off the correct areas and my gear fits right now. I’ve stayed with the plan, and if I can stick to a plan for over 30 days, It becomes a habit rather than a forced plan.
Bob’s death has made a lasting impression me and one that will be with me the rest of my life.

This is not some whim of an idea that I need to be more healthy, enjoy life more and take advantage of all the gifts and people in my life that God has blessed me with. This is something that changed me inside, made me realize that life is too short to be blatantly taking advantage of good health and everything else that I have. It has motivated me to apply myself in all areas of my life.


To paraphrase one of Bob’s new years resolution blog posts, “ This year, I’m not making any stupid promises, none of that. This year, for the next 365 days, I’m going to give 100% effort every day. This is something I’ve never done, and I’m excited about it”.

I’m taking this on my for own life, because it applies to ME. Maybe you execute everything you want to each and every day, never get lazy or complacent, or you are satisfied with “OK. Maybe you have your ass on point. I was not, and I still am not, but I’m putting the effort forth. It’s very hard to really grind and push when things are a mess at times, but I’m really putting effort into making each day the best.

I’m blessed enough to wake up, now completely pain free from back pain, walk to my Keurig coffee maker, then walk 30 feet to my office and do what I love each and every day.

I’m putting more effort into my life; relationships, my attitude, my outlook, approaches to nutrition, supplementation, my interactions with people in general. I am trying harder to not pop off to people so much even when I think It’s warranted and thinking longer before I respond to someone being an ass.

I’ve achieved every goal that I set 6 weeks ago. I now have my weight down into the 260 range as I was hoping to. This was not a hard process, but it was one that took time. I really hung around the 270 mark for a time. I kept chipping away and finally, once I broke the 270 mark, I started gaining momentum and got down to my goal quickly. The initial 20 or so pounds was easy, as it was a lot of water and fat. Once the bloat and extra fat came off, it became more difficult.

My diet has been on point the last 2 months. I’ve had some slip ups here and there, namely this past week I ate a whole bunch of real good “shit food”. What was supposed to be a cheat meal, turned into a junk food festival. It was bad. I’m much better off just not keeping that stuff around, and picking some up from a restaurant when I’m out that way and not keeping in it my house so it stares at me until I dive in face first.


Aside the slip up mentioned above, I’ve been eating “fit meals’ prepared by Chad Towery in Jacksonville, FL. It’s not some bullshit MLM Body by VI crap or any of that nonsense; it’s just precooked and portioned out meals that are clean and taste good. This has been a huge blessing for me, as I’ve cut down on my portion size and my meal and nutrient timing is better than ever. If food is not ready, or I have to eat out, I will typically not make the best choice, and eat like hell or eat way too much. Weight-wise and body fat considered, we really turned the corner since I am getting my meals prepared for me and can now just eat. No more wondering what am I going to eat next? I can’t even buy the food for the price Chad charges to cook and supply the food. Keep an eye on Chad’s business, “Fit meals”. I think it’s going to explode.

“Well, Brian, what food are you eating and what does your diet look like?”

I’m getting this question a lot and also questions about my cardio, macro breakdown, etc. I don’t have anyone overseeing my diet, or telling me exactly what to eat. I’m just using things I’ve picked up from John Kiefer and John Meadows along with other things I’ve learned over the years from trial and error.

NOTE: No BS here. Want to know what I eat? Here it is. Nothing special, no special protocol that is yet to be unveiled to the public. Just eating good food.

I don’t believe you need 5550g of protein, and xx carbs/xx protein to achieve your goals. Maybe in bodybuilding, but the strength game is different IMO.

6-7am: Coffee with 2 tbsp of Coconut oil
10am: 50g protein blend shake
12pm: 1-1.5mile walk, 5-7 days per week. This is a HUGE difference maker.
1pm: Low carb wrap – approx 1-2 carbs, and 25g protein
130pm: Beef/chicken/Pork, starchy carb and veggies
3pm: Greek yogurt, nuts or peanut butter
4pm: 50g protein blend shake
530pm: Low carb wrap
7pm: Beef/chicken/Pork, starchy carb and veggies
9pm: Greek Yogurt, Berries, nuts or peanut butter

Bed time: ZMA, Vitamin C, B3, B6, Fish oil, milk thistle, and fiber.

Macro breakdown: No clue and do not care to even speculate or add up.

I’m seeing the exact progess I want to, so why even bother? It works for me so that is the goal. If I had to guess it would probably be around 200 protein, 200 carbs and 75 fat.

What I adjust is my carbs and timing for training days vs. non training days. That is all dependent on my weight. If I’m heavy, I’ll scale back the carbs for about 3 days. If I’m light, I will add in some cheat meals. I use the backloading approach to eating junk, only after I train.

On training days, I mix BCAA’s and Gatorade to consume during my workout and finish the rest as I’m wrapping up my training session in my cool down. My cool down is typically the McGill big 3.

I also change the timing of my meals on training days to account for the proper macronutrients when I need them.

This is my training split:
Saturday: Squat and deadlift (AM)
Monday: Bench (PM)
Wed: Squat/DL assistance (PM)
Thursday: BB day/core work (PM)

Currently I’m about to start my precontest phase, and by the time this goes live, I will be about a session or two into precontest phase, leading into the meet October 25 in Fort Lauderdale. This will be just a tune-up meet that will be a prelude to the Arnold Classic on March 15 and hopefully bigger things to come.

I’ve let distractions and such in the past sidetrack me and have not given my full attention to the details at time. I am referring to health, life, relationships, diet and training. This wont happen again. I’m not going to dedicate this meet to Bob for a few reasons:
1. He would make fun of me.
2. It’s pretty cheesy when you think about it.
3. I need to do it for me; this is about me.

But what I will say is I have been applying myself more because of the impact his death has made on me. It has made a lasting impact and that goes further than dedicating a single meet to him. This competition will be challenging for me due to scheduling issues with my training and a lot of traveling. I will betraveling six out of the 10 weeks leading up to the meet, but I have to make the most of it.

I have scheduled seminars, meets and other commitments that will make things not so easy at times, but difficult might be a stretch to say. Difficult would be trying to lift in Iraq in poor, dilapidated gym conditions with dismal food and weather. Not so much here. I’ll be bringing my food with me on all trips, I’ll have good places to train and I’ll be combining my training to make the most of recovery, the time that I have and where I need to be for meet day in relation to my back.So far things are going as planned and I am looking forward to competing again and doing what I love to do.

Stay tuned for Part 4 as I outline the training, adjustments I’ll be making along the way and the programming going in to this meet.

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Brian Carroll

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
Brian Carroll is committed to helping people overcome back pain and optimizing lifts and movement. After years of suffering, he met back specialist Prof. McGill in 2013, which led to a life-changing transformation. In 2017, they co-authored the best-selling book "Gift of Injury." On October 3, 2020, Carroll made history in powerlifting by squatting 1306 lbs, becoming the first person to break this record. He retired with a secure legacy and a life free from back pain.
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