Brian Carroll | 10/20/Life Offseason | Week 9 squat and why I haven’t enjoyed competing as much the last 5 years

I'm currently training in an offseason approach using the 10/20/Life method. I've only been back to training for about six 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!

Right now, I’m only training three days per week, and have not been doing my optional 4th-day fluff and buff. I have tried to scale back my training not just because I am healing up an injury, but making the transition into a new gym and team as easy as possible. I look at it like investing in my future lifting and business. It’s been a fun process, with a ton more to do. I will step it up more in the coming weeks, but right now, I’m spread pretty thin.

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 a new article on Friday.

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.

Currently, I have no meets picked out but that should change soon. I’m taking my time and enjoying the process right now which is something I’ve struggled with in the past. However, we do have 3 lifters competing in Holly Hill, Fl this July. Thomas, Steve, and Zach; all lifting at 220, 198 and 242 respectively. Dondell Blue and I are really enjoying the new blood in the gym, as well as passing on whatever we can to the newer generation of lifting.

I’m also stoked to mention that Dan Bell, holder of a top raw total in the world with a 2458 total at SHW will be joining us to train from time to time as he just moved to Fl, about an hour and a half south of us. With this 100lb weight advantage, I’ll try to keep up with him but in GEAR! 

Since we will have an SHW lifter in the near future, We will be looking to fill a few spots of 165 lifters, 275, 308. If you are wanting to grow, and learn for free and train with some of the best and most experienced group in the south. The requirements are simply to want to help, learn and get better. No level of strength is necessary, just the willingness to commit to the process and dependability; non-negotiable.

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

Monday’s highlights: (5.6.19)

  • Day 1 Bench
  • Floor press to a set of 3, RPE 9 basically
  • Added weight on floor press
  • The overall volume of assistance work is up

Monday’s Bench session:

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


  • Floor press: sets of 3 to 345 – I didn’t have much left and felt time for a deload
  • Close grip floor press: 295×5, 4
  • Standing OHP: 2×6
  • Incline DB press: 2×6
  • Stir the pot: 100

I pushed this about as hard as I should have without crossing the tipping point. We use this term a lot of the thin line we should ride which is also known as ‘ticking the dragons tail’ aka playing with fire. Sometimes we cross this line and get burned/hurt. My job right now is not to cross this threshold on the bench press, but give it enough stimuli to continue to build.

Wednesday’s highlights: (5.8.19)

  • Day 2 Pull: Sumo
  • Rack pulls for assistance work, conventional
  • Worked quad as assistance work/hams on Saturday
  • Finished up the belt squat

Wed’s Squat session:

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


  • 405x1x5 singles
  • Rack pull at the knee: 500x3x3
  • Belt squat: pistons
  • Stir the pot: 100

This session felt better than the week prior but man things are catching up with me. I was too stiff to get in perfect position sumo, and it showed. I will undoubtedly be deloading this week! All in all, I got the work in, and I’m feeling better each week.


Saturday’s highlights: (5.11.19)

  • Day 3 Squat: SSB sets of 5 then 3 with 100lbs in chain.
  • Heavier on Good morning (still, no belt)
  • Heavier on belt squat as well
  • Added nordic curl to the scheme. These will be my four staples for the squat over the offseason.

Saturday’s Squat session:

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


  • SSB with Chains: 385×2 425×1 – plus 130lbs in chains
  • Good morning: 3×5 – 315 no belt
  • Belt squat: 5 plates for 3×5
  • Nordic ham curl: 3×3 – with a slow eccentric (3-4 seconds)and concentric – getting better at these.
  • Stir the pot: 100


My hips were tight from the Wednesday session negatively impacted my squat form. This was for sure when I realized I must deload or risk tearing something off. It’s just part of the game, not complaining.

I’m looking forward to this lighter week. I need it. I’ll focus on moderate volume and dialing in the details.

To be 100% transparent, I haven’t enjoyed my training since I came back from my back injury until recently. I still loved it, but I didn’t enjoy the process. It became a point to prove, that I could come back, and I let some anger and bitterness guide my GPS for a couple of years. In short, I was afraid of never reaching my full potential. Once you start chasing numbers, the stakes get much higher, and the pressure to perform can be crushing. I create this pressure because truthfully, not too many people care enough for this to matter. But, the fact remains that training and pushing the limits mean a great deal to me, and this is why I will continue competing and will push, learn, help and give back.

Over the last 5-6 years, I became so focused that I stole the fun out of it. Now that it’s become more of my job, it’s been harder to balance being a lifter, coach, and speaker. I do my best to focus 100% on whatever I’m doing at the time; totally work on progress.

The group I have coming to the house currently has a great deal of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

My verse for this week: Isiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

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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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