Brian Carroll | Week 4 | Fluff and buff


The book above “back mechanic” is a GREAT book that I read recently by Dr. McGill. Anyone that could potentially suffer from back pain should buy and read this book. Its very easy to understand and gives you the tools to be your own ‘Back Mechanic’. You can get it HERE

I just finished competing at the RPS Conquest Meet on 10/3/15 where I squatted 1100, benched 780 and pulled 760 for a 35lb squat PR and a 30lb total PR with a 2640tot for second alltime.

Am I happy with the results? NO, but I’m content for now. I realize I have a few things I need to work on going forward as well as some things to dial in.

Get some 10/20/life Swag HERE


I’m doing a LOT of rehab work lately with no bar in my hands or on my back pretty much. I’ve been doing a crap load of McGill big 3 every day as well as stir the pot and rolling the crap out of my ITB/lateral quads and hips.

Saturday – I didn’t train. I was supporting a teammate at his meet and he did very well. He competed at a LIGHT 220 and hit 650, 400, 680 – 1730ish in just a belt and wraps.

Monday –

Normal warm-up
Mcgill big 3
Band fly
Band skull

Band fly – 3×15
More band skulls: 3×15
Banded Incline DB press: 4×15
Bench dip: 3×15
Driggers press (multiple angle skull): 3×16
Explosive push-up: 5×5
Hammer curl: 3×12

Done. Great session and felt good to be back in the gym after missing Sat. I should be done traveling for a couple of weeks so I should have more consistency. Thank god.

Tuesday, I did a recovery session – check it out:

Normal warm-up:
McGill big 3
Band fly

More birddogs: 5 sets 10 sec hold
Band fly: 4×15 – different angles
Band skull: 3×15
PNF quad stretch – 3x
Foam rolling – quads, ITB, hips, glutes – 4 rounds

I’m back on my walking game so my legs are kinda jacked up. Keep in mind, I only do what is necessary for my goal and never do just to ‘do it’. right now, I need some rolling and active ROM work on my hips and quads, so that’s what im doing.


Some might assume that I’m coasting at this point. In some ways, you are right.

What the younger guys and gals should and need to learn/ realize is that you can’t push too hard year round, indefinitely. I’m talking to the guys that have been competitive for 5 years or less that still think you can and will continue to progress in a linear fashion…. Trust me, something will eventually give. You cannot keep this up and will be the end of YOU, in most cases.

There has to be down time to let your body heal. Mind needs a break and time to refocus on the goals. This is not a race. Powerlifiting training is a specific approach to building the squat/bench/deadlift – nothing else. Relieving stress, blowing off some steam and pushing hard all the time may be good for the mind, but concerning powerlifting and being good at it, blowing off steam in the gym with maniacal sessions more than once a blue moon… might be the worst thing you could do. IMO, You must always have a plan, downtime, deloads and only do as much as you need to do, not as much as possible. Build up to it, sure – but this takes time to actually KNOW how much stimuli (work) your body actually will need.

What I’m doing now

I’m doing a lot of pre/rehab – back, shoulder and hip work right now. I’m at the point now where being healthy and available is far more important than significant strength gains over each cycle. Yes, I attack my weak points and put work in but your body will be a complete weak point if you push volume/intensity too hard together for too long and it falls apart.

** keep in mind, I have ZERO pain in my body. It’s preemptive. It’s prehab to prevent and the rest of the work is rehab bc my I will always be rehabbing my back. It’s a life sentence but I’m pain free and wouldnt have it any other way.

I have the Arnold next march. I have not even thought about the meet to be honest. Time will come for that but no need for that now. Right now the focus is on healing and recovery!

Focus of this 5 week block
No bar in hands or on back – all DB work to work the muscles not the movement
Direct ham and quad work without loading spine – Bulgarians, One leg GM etc
Hip mobility – Bw squats, goblets
Biceps tendon/shoulder health – rear delt work, band shoulder dislocations
Back health with unloading the spine – mcgill big 3, walking daily

Next 5 week block
Work all three lifts on same day – light RPE and raw. Will be good for work capacity, high volume with lower intensity and allow for LOTs of assistance work throughout the week!
Day 1 -Pause squats – work hip mobility
Floor press – great movement for me to build raw bench power
Deads – pause conv deads – working below the knee to keep perfect position and work the mid range.
Day 2 – crap load of upper body work/bench ass. DB presses, dips etc to add mass to triceps and pecs
Day 3 – direct upper back and quad work – leg press, piston squats etc

I’m looking forward to finishing up this block and rolling into the next one!

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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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