Brian Carroll | 10/20/Life new Offseason | Week 5 Squat and Deadlift with voice-over training video

I'm currently training in an offseason approach using the 10/20/Life method. I've only been back to training for about 20 weeks, and shoulder has been cooperative, with very few roadblocks and setbacks. Huge thanks to Andrew Lock for the help in my shoulder progressions and understanding a better way to incorporate more efficient cervical, thoracic, and rotator/shoulder training into my approach. Still so much to learn! I've been working on a lot of things this year, one building my powerlifting Team here at PRS HQ in Jacksonville, Fl. I feel like I need more time to get my shoulder used to load (before getting into a SDP bench shirt)

I will pick out a tune-up meet soon.

I will be attending the WPO Finals this year in IL. It will be nice to sit back and have no pressure at a high-level meet.

Week 5, Day 1 Saturday’s Squat & DL Session 9.14.19

Normal 10/20/Life Warm-up


  • Squat with Strong, Average and Light bands: top set of 2 – 345×2 RPE 7 – then a single with 465
  • Deadlift 4″ block: 500×2, 545×2, 585×2 – no belt.
  • Belt squat Pause style: 4×5
  • Sled drags: 4x50yd


Good progress this week. I added in my Atomic Knee wraps early in the session and felt better in them as I went. I’m good at giving out advice, but sometimes it’s quite painful (literally with a tight wrap) to take your own. I’d never advised anyone to add knee wraps (or any variable) for only their top-heaviest set, but I’ve not done this myself. By doing so, I felt a great deal stronger and got used to them more and more each game. I’m going to wear my knee wraps more, and also take my advice more often.

I worked up to a 465×1 in wraps plus all three bands, and it felt pretty light. I’ve added in some top set singles each week because honestly, I can’t stay tight with heavyweight for reps and I risk too much. The set prior, I beat last weeks triple with a comfortable double, and it was pretty easy.

Deadlift felt pretty solid too. Admittedly, I was pretty tired after squats, but this is great conditioning to keep pushing on when you don’t feel like it. I’m ready for the deload, after Monday’s session as I’m whipped and the bands have made this process hastened. Fantastic energy in the gym Saturday, and everyone hit some really nice lifts. Looking forward to more training with this group.

Someone asked me the other day on social how I’m adding in AR (accommodating resistance) to my programming. It’s effortless: I’m using RPE each day as I advise in 10/20/Life, but less weight and more band or chain tension. As I ramp up in intensity (total relative weight lifted), I add band or chain and or straight weight each week as I’m going heavier in RPE. I’m not using any particular percentages with it, and I’m not doing speed work with it, just adding it into my squats and benches, for now, to switch it up and work my transitions and explosiveness. That’s it. I’ve used bands and chains off and on for a long time, but in the last 6-7 years, I have not very much. It’s what I started with, so it’s time to get creative once again for a bit.

On another note, I’m going to go in my gear less. In the past, I’ve been worried about getting hurt with too much raw work. Why? Because I was keeping my body weight so low (which is hard for me) and eating so little during precontest that I was primed to blow something off. I don’t think that’s going to be the case anymore, but I will be judicious. I need to find the perfect mix.

With all that said, I’m still doing linear training, with scheduled deloads every 3-4 weeks and will be designing my programs from the same philosophy I always have. I need as many tools on my belt as possible and having this year as downtime has allowed this, thankfully.

I’ve gotten a little bit stale over the years, obsessing about keeping my bodyweight down to hit a goal so I could finish with the sport. My bodyweight was more important than anything, to stay within striking distance from 242.5. I’m not going to say never, but under 270 for me right now is only too light and takes too much focus away from the more important things: have fun and lift big weights. I will never say never, but I want to move up for a bit and see what happens. My body seems to be tolerating the added bodyweight pretty well, though 300+ is too much. I hit 309 this am which is too heavy.

I’ve had a lot of time this year to think about what I want to do, and where I want to go with lifting. The truth is I will always be involved with powerlifting, and I’d like to forever compete at some level in some way. I’m focused on getting strong again, and slowly adding in some gear over the next month or so as my assistance work.

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Brian Carroll

Brian is a world-class powerlifter with over two decades of elite and pro-level powerlifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones and that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world-class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom-free) and is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching in Jacksonville, FL. Brian’s impressive recovery has given him the opportunity to teach and deliver talks to physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, professional strength & conditioning coaches and experts from all facets of sport, on how to avoid injury, while building anti-fragile strength and resilience in athletes.
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