Brian Carroll | 10/20/Life precontest | Week 5 Day 1 | Squat and DL and overall update

I've recently switched to a pre-contest approach using the 10/20/Life method. I've only been back to training for about 30 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. Blue and I will be competing in December to qualify for the WPO Semi-finals/XPC Worlds. I need to achieve a top 30 by a coefficient (Glossbrenner) to qualify. The goal is not to peak for this meet, but to get a total. Blue will be joining me for his first meet in about 10 years. I will be lifting at 308 for the first time besides a bench only meet or two.

I will be gone later this year for 2 weeks for work, and won’t be able to powerlift so this is going to throw a wrench in my plans for the meet on Dec 7 but I will still have plenty of training in. But, it’s an opportunity I cannot pass up. I will stay on a good diet, and have plenty of time to get the raw work done that I need to do. More on this soon.

I just returned from Chicago for the WPO. This tossed a wrench in last week’s training (and Monday’s) but I know not every session will be perfect. I was asked to do a gear demo on Sunday, while I was in town for ESPN. So before leaving town, I Squatted and pulled.

Week 5, Day 1 Wed Squat & DL Session 

Normal 10/20/Life Warm-up


  • Bulldog bar squat with 100lbs in chain: 450×2, 650×1, added full gear: 850×1, 1000×1, 1050×1
  • Rack pull from below the knee: 625×2, 715×1, 805×1-miss
  • Grip work: Plate pinches
  • Belt squat: 3×5


This was not my best-feeling training session, but looking back, since it was my first time with a straight bar in a years time, it wasn’t too bad. It’s going to take even more time getting used to the bar not sitting on my traps as perfectly as the duffalo bar. It was wanting to roll.

My gear is still fitting me awkwardly because I’m very inbetween the little big guy size and the big-big guy size–but the good news is I’m learning more and more about how to tune the gear even though it’s frustrating at times.

1050 didn’t feel bad on my back. It’s going to take me a few more session to get used to full gear again, but I’m excited. The next few weeks will be telling on where I’m at and what is realistic for December.

I don’t have videos put promise I will have some from this coming weekend. I’m also going to bench Wednesday in the shirt to handle some weight.

Lastly, I enjoyed the demo I did for ESPN, and this also allowed me to get some lifting in while I was in Chicago. I want to write more on this later, but I had a great time seeing so many people I only see once per year or even less. I greatly enjoyed the entire weekend, to be honest much more than I expected. Not that I expected to hate it but I didn’t know how to feel about going to a meet that you aren’t lifting at but should be in my head (But I was not ready nor was I qualified.) I really had a good time not having massive amounts of pressure on my shoulders and just watching everyone else do their thing. You know what I mean – the stress at these things is thick. I also learned a few things that I’m going to do at these meets that I sometimes overlook. One big thing is to stay calm and not freak out when things are going sideways. I hope I can apply it when it counts.

Huge thanks to my wife for pushing that we go on this trip to Chicago and being so awesome to put up with it all.

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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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