Brian Carroll | 10/20/Life precontest | Week 7 Day 2 | Bench with video

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. My strength is still lacking on the bench, but I hope for its return by march.

I’ve been able to string a few decent sessions in a row. My squats were very high, so that’s going to be a focus next week. I now have a few things I need to work on in the bench, which I’ll get to below. But, all in all, a good session.

Week 7, Day 2 Monday Bench

Normal 10/20/Life Warm-up


  • Bench with Bulldog bar: 325×1, 415×1, 485×1 off the 3board then tossed on the SDP: 555×1 – 5board, 635×1 – 4board, 685×1 – 3board, 735×1 – 2board, 805×1 – 1board, 755-1bd
  • Incline DB press: 3×10
  • Triceps press-down: 3×10
  • Ring triceps extensions: 3×10
  • Grip work/plate pinches


Productive session. Feeling a little beat down right now but honestly not that bad. My R forearm extensor is wrecked. I forget how hard the end of a training cycle can be. I’m literally sitting here laughing as I’ve been trying to figure out why the hell I’ve been so tired lately. DUH. 4 weeks of pretty heavy training for the first time in a year. I’ve been taking naps every day and having a hard time getting out of bed.

As for this bench session: I need to keep my belly up, not flatten out, and make sure NOT to raise my head. I was a little heavier this week, 307, so the size 60 SDP fits a little bit tighter. We are still working on the 3-man handoff and coordinating it, but all the handoffs felt pretty good on Monday.

I have one more equipped session this weekend; then I will be doing only raw stuff for the last couple of weeks. 805 felt pretty good in my hands, and for only being ‘back at it’ for about 2.5 months, it’s all coming back. As for the deadlift, I’ll find out Saturday how I’ll pull at the meet (sumo or conv) because I have no idea. It’s a little bit fun flying by the seat of my pants for this one.

I’ll probably take last warm-ups on all 3 lifts this weekend and then I’m done with the gear until the meet. This won’t be easy for me, but I’ll get through it. Next update I have will be a short article I’ll be writing this weekend. Thanks to the team for the handoffs, the support and helping me get through this cycle. I’m very thankful for you 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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