Brian Carroll | Week 5 | Days 2 & 3 |


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 all time.

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.

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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. It’s what is needed currently.

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 (finished this)
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 (moving to this starting next weekend)
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


Monday’s work


Normal Warm-up
McGill Big 3
Band Fly: 3×15
Band Skull: 3×15

Floor Press: 5×5 (added chains)
Incline DB press: 3×10 (added a band around shoulders)
Bench dip: 3×15
Grenade ball band tri extensions: 3×15
Grenade ball band fly: 3×15
Hammer Curl: 3×15

Good session. I’ll be going to to all 3 lifts on Saturday starting tomorrow to ensure I get a lot of raw work throughout the week with my assistance *(as shown above). It’s nice to get back in the groove. Byrd wanted to do chains so I added them in with him.

Nothing too heavy, but felt good to get some work done. Pec and tri mass/strength is what I’m after right now.



I did a recovery session that consisted of rolling, pec rehab and some PNF quad stretching and some chiro work. My buddy Adam takes good care of me – he worked on my hip/foot and calf some. My left side is a bit off and has been for a long time. This is due to some spine issues that I was born with (some twisting). My left foot has flattened pretty good and my calf and ankle is retarded at times. Its just part of the game!



Normal Warm-up
McGill Big 3
Band fly

McGill chin: 20 singles
Barbell Rack Row: 3×5
Sumo shrug: 3×5 DOH
2-arm KB swing: 3×10
One leg GM: 3×10
Bulgarian Split squat: 3×10

I backed off from the intensity a little bit since I ended up being a bit too sore to train last weekend and start my new cycle. Haha. So, the work was pretty easy but I got some good work done either way. Very soon, on this day, I’ll be adding in Piston squats, GHR and leg presses. I’ll work up to it.

The Arnold is about 16 weeks away and then Gracie’s meet is another 5-6 weeks after that. I have a LONG road and I don’t want to blow my wad in Feb. I’ll be pulling back some here and there since I know the path will be long. One thing is for sure, I don’t want to start out of the gate too hard and fade come the second meet next year. Not when there’s so much money at stake.

I have a plan.

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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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