Brian Carroll — Elitefts SWIS 2022 10.30.22

Four weeks ago was SWIS 2022. For those who don’t know, SWIS was started by Ken Kenakin of Toronto, Canada—going back in the late ’90s with presenters Dave Tate, Wendler, Johnson, Yates, Haney, Serrano, Kaz, Coan, Charles P, and so many others. The purpose of SWIS is to bring together all of the best information from the PT world, chiro world, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and coaching world in a one-weekend symposium.

So, Ria, being the great trooper she is, and I took the 12hr drive to Columbus, Ohio, and made a run road trip out of it from North Florida, through Ga, SC, NC, VA, WV, and finally out of the mountains to Ohio! I’ve made this trip four times and genuinely enjoy the route, especially in the fall. I’m done with flying (when I can avoid it) and the crazy people that come with it, so I’d rather be in control of when I arrive, especially in this climate.

The last SWIS was in 2018; as we know, 2020 and 2021 were unique years. The last time I spoke at a conference was in 2019, and I was extremely excited when I was invited to speak at this one. Ken asked me to talk about Back Pain and deadlifting. As this is something I communicate daily with clients, it presented a fantastic opportunity to share what I see every day with clients. “The most common reasons I see people with back pain (concerning the deadlift) are lousy technique, poor programming/exercise selection, and poor core training.”


My talk provided the attendees, as a show of hands, proved that most of them were, in fact, coaches themselves; Coaches can resolve much of this via proper coaching, but you can’t teach what you don’t know. So my goal was to help educate those in attendance on how to avoid the most common issues I see daily.

I am blessed to have a packed room, with every seat filled and no standing space left. I got a lot of good feedback on my talk and what people learned during this time. After my talk, we had 7 minutes to assess a person with back pain and troubleshoot. I have attached the video above for you to watch. Admittedly, I felt a little frantic and wanted to cover everything, though you cannot!

I spoke with attendees in the hallway, the bar, and the bathroom all weekend. Unfortunately, I said so much during the weekend that I lost my voice; between my talk and being on the rehab panel Saturday, I lost my voice for about two weeks. My voice was a complete mess.

At the end of the weekend, I was honored, along with about 12 other speakers, with the SWIS lifetime achievement award for my work in lifting, coaching, teaching, and helping others. I had no idea this would happen, and neither did the rest of the group. I am grateful—no other words.


I want to Thank Dave, Traci Tate, and all of Elitefts for their support over the years. Ken Kenakin for his belief and allowing me to be a part of SWIS and speak at such an event. Thank you to my wife, Ria, for coming with me and helping me organize my talk and the behind-the-scenes preparation for just a couple of hours of work. And thank you to all of you who chose to come to my room. Thank you!


PS – It is so awesome hanging out with everyone, meeting new people, and seeing greats like Serrano, Coan, Kaz, etc. I do enjoy these weekends and cannot wait for the next SWIS, especially when Kaz gives you a neck massage.

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Brian Carroll

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
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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