Brian Carroll | 10/20/Life precontest | Week 7 Day 1 | Squat and DL

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.

OK, so I’ve built some momentum over the last couple of weeks and got some solid training in. I’ve had some hoops to jump through over the last couple of months, for sure, as my weight is WAY up, so all new gear and sizes can be challenging. We found out we were pregnant in late August, so I’ve only been back on my TRT for about 2.5 months, so strength is coming back fast. BUT, I need to be realistic for December and not get ahead of myself. I have a lot of work to do before March.

Those that feel they have it all figured out as far as prepping and mastering strength in general, especially when it comes to gear, is silly unless their name is Dave Hoff or Shawn Frankl. I have a decent ‘idea,’ but there are so many variables that it’s a lifetime of learning. What I’m trying to say is I’m still trying to figure it all out.

Week 7, Day 1 Saturday Squat & DL Session 

Normal 10/20/Life Warm-up


  • Bulldog bar squat: 450×2, 550×1, 700×1, added full gear: 865×1, 1015×1, 1125×1
  • The session got cut off right before I started to deadlift…

I need to really dial in my depth on this last heavy session this weekend plus get a deadlift in, so that’s the focus. Dialing in the form and perfecting it. 1125 felt good on my back, and I need to get LOWer.

I have to say that I enjoy training so much more being larger and not having to worry so much about every single thing I put in my mouth for fear of gaining 2lbs. I might not even bother about 275 for the Arnold. Who knows, it is a long way away.

I leave very soon, so Saturday I’m going to take all last-warm-ups or something like that on squat/bench/deadlift then be done with equipped lifting until the meet. Not an ideal finish, I’ll get it in. While I’m traveling, I will focus on all the assistance work and raw work that I’ve found to be so important.

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Brian Carroll

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Brian Carroll is committed to helping people overcome back pain and optimizing lifts and movement. After years of suffering, he met back specialist Prof. McGill in 2013, which led to a life-changing transformation. In 2017, they co-authored the best-selling book "Gift of Injury." On October 3, 2020, Carroll made history in powerlifting by squatting 1306 lbs, becoming the first person to break this record. He retired with a secure legacy and a life free from back pain.
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