Brian’s Back Pain Journey

From Hopelessness To Recovery To Competition

Empathy for the back-injured

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. He finished the obstacle course; then, He had to crawl back to the truck and lie in the parking lot until his back cramps relented.


Brian went to the doctor, got a prednisone pack, and was down for about two weeks. Like many of you reading this, Brian’s pain improved, so he continued his life. Brian had a meet in 8 weeks and competed, hitting his first 1100 squat and 800lb deadlift. We all know life doesn’t stop just because your back aches. But, looking back, he knows he made some crucial mistakes. Brian went on to squat 1185 for the all-time World Record at 275lbs. But this wouldn’t last as the injury would rear its ugly head.


Over the next four years of world-class lifting on the powerlifting platform, Brian’s body’s cumulative wear and tear was starting to mount up. Not only did Brian’s back pain return, it came back worse than ever. Brian’s performance began to stagnate, and his back pain started to take over his life. At times, he didn’t see a way out. Yes, it was that serious.


Brian tried the spine injections, the cookie-cutter mobility work, and physical therapy. He watched videos on YouTube, looking for the magical stretch movements, hanging in an inversion table, from the squat rack from bands, reverse hypers, and everything he tried seemed to make him worse.


In 2013, he met Prof. Stuart McGill, a world-renowned low-back specialist, and they put together a plan of action. The unique story of the collaboration of the Athlete and the Professor is Authored in the best-selling book Gift of Injury, as it tells how they rebuild Brian’s back and propel him to being the first lifter to crack the 1300 squat barrier.


Brian’s mission now post powerlifting retirement after 20 years competing is to help as many people as possible avoid the same mistakes he made with treating his injury and give hope to those who don’t have any once they find out that the medical system is set up to treat them, not cure them. Brian is here to bridge the gap with real-world reality and experience only someone who destroyed their back and rose back to the top can understand. Brian has empathy for the back-injured person, as he’s lived it.

Brian was taught and coached by and is constantly learning from Prof. Stu McGill as his mentor. Brian is the McGill Certified provider for Florida, located in Jacksonville, FL, where he owns his own private coaching and consulting practice, working with everyone from Average Joe’s to Athletes to Pro.

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