Brian Carroll | 10/20/Life Offseason | Week 14; catch-up and a word about Bob Youngs

I'm currently training in an offseason approach using the 10/20/Life method. I've only been back to training for about ten weeks, and shoulder has been excellent, 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! We have a few guys prepping for the RPS meet in Orlando July 27, so I have taken my training up a notch. It's been fun following along and taking training a little more seriously, with more of a priority on getting back in shape.

Though I still struggle with my motivation to get after it right now, it’s coming back. My latest blood work has shown that my T levels are still way below normal at a whopping 100. Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. Over the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve felt more of an urge to get after it under the bar. One thing that I’m really learning more and more is patience with the process, and not rushing to the final end-game with everything that I do. It’s really helped with my overall sanity.

I still don’t have my explosive first gear, I think my second and third gears are better now. It will all come together even better than before, I 100% believe that.

We have added some accommodating resistance to the mix with bands and chains to switch it up. I see that though I’ve used bands some over the years for the bench via Paul Key, and using the overload method with reverse bands; I have not entirely used them the way that I should, or nearly as often as I should have, (I think this is accurate). I can already start to feel the benefit, and I feel silly for not adding them in more in the past but you live and learn.  I’m going to write an article about some of the changes to my approach here soon. I’m not going away from any of my tried and true principles; what I am going to do is add more variety and step out of my comfort zone.

My plan for writing is as follows: new training Logs on Monday (minimum, some days more) a rant or update here or there on Wednesday and an original article on Friday. I have failed at this to be honest, but I’m working on getting better organized.

Make sure to read my latest article which can be found HERE on my author page where I discuss my time with Team Samson and the direction I’m going forward with my team. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of you.

As always thank you to my co-brands Inzer Advance Designs and Jax Nutrition. 

Monday’s highlights: (6.10.19)

  • Day 1 Bench
  • Back to bench press went with chains
  • Moved to CG bench for assistance with same bands
  • The overall volume of assistance work is up
  • Instead of DB work to follow the main moves, we went with Swiss bar incline press

Monday’s Bench session:

Normal 10/20/Life Warm-up


  • Bench press: top set of 2: 245+150 in chain (pinky on ring)
  • Close grip bench: 185x3x3 +150 in chain
  • Incline Swiss bar press: 3×6
  • Rope press-down: 3×12
  • KB row: 3×12


As I said last week, I feel that my leg drive has dramatically improved since starting with the band and chain resistance more. I still have some work to do, but I’m glad to be back in the 400 range without any shoulder pain; I’m just not strong right now. I’ve debated doing this for years, but I finally brought my grip in from pointer finger on the slot, to my index finger, which feels much better on my shoulder. Now, I’m going to widen up once back in my shirt, but as I’m progressing raw, I’m going to keep it medium. Happy with the progress.


Wednesday’s highlights: (6.12.19)

  • Day 2 Pull: conventional this week with 150lbs in chains
  • Belt squat piston style
  • Added some lat pull-downs
  • Worked hams as assistance work/quads on Saturday

Wed’s Squat session:

  • Normal Warm-up
  • Suitcase carry
  • McGill big 3
  • Shoulder big 3
  • Goblet squat


  • top set 455×1 with 150 in chain
  • Belt piston squat with Spud harness: 3×8
  • Lat-pulldown
  • One-arm DB row: 3×10
  • Nordic curl: 3×3 with 3 seconds eccentric


I decided to go back to conv again, and it felt good. Feeling more explosive, though our chain set-up needs some work. What sucks is you need to move the chain to the outside or the middle depending on whether you’re sumo or conventional. These chains got heavy and awkward fast. Again, strength is coming back.


Saturday’s highlights: (6.15.19)

I didn’t train. I started a deload and was in NYC with a couple of clients. I did walk a great deal but didn’t do any formal training. It was a nice break. I hate training while I’m traveling. Just have never really liked it, no idea why. I’m a bit quirky, I guess, and when I’m out of my element, I get weird.

So I have been delaying saying very much on the passing of my good friend Bob Youngs; former mentor via Elitefts, and still someone I held in very high regard even after a bad break-up with EFS, and always kept in contact with him even if I wasn’t with the company anymore. He was a fantastic friend and mentor, a great listener. One that was very easy to talk to and offered sage advice, and had a great deal of wisdom to pass on to the younger generation of athletes and humans in general. When I got the news that Bob took his life, I immediately thought about what I could have done to help if I knew he was struggling so bad, the answer is I don’t know; then I pondered the last time we talked (last fall) and how I was disappointed he didn’t make it to the WPO in November (so we could catch-up) and how much I enjoyed the guy. We lost a great one, and all who knew him would agree that we need more people like Bob. I don’t know what he was going through, but I can relate to feeling so trapped and pressurized from this world that there is no end in sight; it can become very hopeless and when you get to this place, you don’t see anything changing and have an overwhelming sense of doom; when you get to this dark place, anxiety goes through the roof and the cycle just intensifies. I’ve been there. You don’t think rationally, or about the big picture and how many people love and care about you, or how much you will be missed because though you know people do care about you, you’re too numb to feel it and it just snowballs. It breaks my heart that Bob felt this way and that it got so severe he had to escape it. Bob, love you man, you will be missed by so many people; more than you’ll ever know. Your lasting ripple will be felt for years to come. Gone but never forgotten.



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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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