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

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Brian is a retired world-class powerlifter with over two decades of world-class powerlifting. From 1999 to 2020, Brian Carroll was a competitive powerlifter, one of the most accomplished lifters in the sport's history. Brian started off competing in bench press competitions 'raw,' then, shortly into the journey, he gravitated toward equipped lifting as there were no "raw" categories then. You only had to choose from single-ply (USPF) and Multi-ply (APF/WPC). Brian went on to total 2730 at 275 and 2651 at 242 with more than ten times his body weight in three different classes (220, 242, 275), and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two other weight classes. He's totaled 2600 over 20 times in 2 different weight classes in his career. With 60 squats of 1000lbs or more officially, this is the most in powerlifting history, regardless of weight class or federation, by anyone not named David Hoff. Brian realized many ups and downs during his 20+ years competing. After ten years of high-level powerlifting competition and an all-time World Record squat at 220 with 1030, in 2009, Brian was competing for a Police academy scholarship. On a hot and humid July morning, Brian, hurdling over a barricade at 275lbs, landed on, fell, and hurt his back. After years of back pain and failed therapy, Brian met with world-renowned back specialist Prof McGill in 2013, which changed his trajectory more than he could have imagined. In 2017, Brian Carroll and Prof McGill authored the best-selling book about Brian's triumphant comeback to powerlifting in Gift of Injury. Most recently (10.3.20) -Brian set the highest squat of all time (regardless of weight class) with 1306 lbs – being the first man to break the 1300lb squat barrier at a bodyweight of 303 lbs.
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