GETTING TO KNOW TEAM PRS: BRIAN CARROLL

What’s your name, where do you live, what gym do you lift out of, and why do you train and compete?  

My name is Brian Carroll. I live in beautiful Jax, FL. I have trained with Team Samson for the last 15 years. I lift and compete because I’m addicted. I love the challenge as much as I hate it at times. This off-setting dynamic is what keeps me going. Those who have never lifted equipped at a high level will never understand how difficult it is. This challenge is what has kept me going longer than most. I continue to train and compete because I never want to look back and say “I didn’t give it my all.” 

Tell us your story -what brought you to this point where you are today:  

I started lifting weights before high school. I got serious about it in 1995 when I began to become an occasional target for the older, bigger kids. I grabbed a broomstick and loaded 8lb gallon jugs of water through the handles and bench pressed on my bed and floor. True story.  

I loved baseball, but I eventually gravitated toward heavy lifting in lieu of baseball. I did my first bench meet in 1999 RAWwwwww. I knew this was something I enjoyed and wanted to apply myself. I did some bodybuilding intermittently in 2001/2002, but lost interest.  For ten years (2003-2013) I worked hard on being the best lifter I could be and competed against the who’s who of powerlifting. I learned and sacrificed a lot in this time. I then started Power Rack Strength in 2014, and here we are 4 years later – 4 books and a hell of a lot of lessons learned along the way.  

What are your personal best lifts?  

My best lifts raw are a 500 bench (close grip) for 4, 850 deadlift and 725 x 5 for the squat.  

My best-equipped lifts are:  

220: 1030, 633, 755 – 2376 

242: 1102, 788, 780 – 2651 

275: 1185, 825, 800 – 2730 

308 – 815 bench  

Switching gears, but we will come back to the lifting aspect in a moment.  What are your interests outside of strength sports?  

I love spending time with my wife, traveling, and comedy. I also am a huge fan of adult swim (adult cartoons) – one being Mike Tyson’s Mysteries and another being Aqua Teen. I love to fish when I have time, but I’m an admitted fishing opportunist – if they aren’t biting, I’m back inside. I also like fast cars. My first new car purchase was a 2001 Ford F-150 Lightning (fastest production truck ever made at the time) which I kept until August of 2017, when I sold it. I replaced this void in my heart with a much faster and more practical (it has 4-doors bro!) 2016 Dodge Charger Hellcat (fastest production car ever made). When I feel guilty, or like I may have spent too much on this car, I go for an adventurous drive and remember why it was a GREAT choice, then lose the ‘buyer’s remorse.’ Thanks for the advice, Zane.

Getting to Know Team PRS Brian Carroll

What are two things you have learned over the last two years that have made you a better athlete and person?  

The more I learn, the more I realize I have a long way to go in every aspect of lifting and life. There’s a lot of learning to do, yet.  

Anger is, in most cases, not the best way. Be assertive, but not angry. Nip things in the bud before they become an issue. This is is another hard-won lesson over the last 2 years; it was earned the hard way.  

What is the biggest mistake, or regret you have about training/competition?  

The answer is a double-edged sword. The wise person learns from their mistakes, so really, it shouldn’t be a regret, but more of a benefit of your journey. I was pretty brutal to my body (in every way) for a long time. Like I mentioned above, from 2003-2013 it was pretty hardcore. I’ll be sharing some stories (I haven’t shared) over the coming months about this time in my life.  

Knowing what you do now, what would you go back and tell a younger version of you ten years ago? 

Slow down. You have a long time to do what you want to do. Be more thorough, take your take time and do things right the first time. What’s the rush, bro?   

What do you bring to TeamPRS that you feel is unique?  

I powerlifted for many years before the insurgence of CrossFit and the explosion of the barbell lifts. I have nearly 20 years in the sport. I’ve seen the rise and fall of the WPO glory days. I competed in the 2006 and 2007 WPO. I can only think of a handful of people who can say they were/are a contender in both the old WPO and the new after over a decade. I have experience in the trenches.  

Who are your mentors/biggest influences-who do you look to for advice and help?   

My training partners at Team Samson for number one. Admittedly, it’s hard to lift with a bunch of alpha males for over a decade and a half. I’m sure some of you can relate. It’s hard to hear things at times like “you’re going too heavy, or why are you doing this?” but it’s part of accountability and lifting with a team. In 15 years, many have come, gone, come back, disappeared, etc.  Adam Driggers, the founder, has since walked away from competing (2014), but still trains two days a week with the team and offers helpful insults and advice on a regular basis. Adam has been extremely helpful to my lifting and mindset over the years and has been a great training partner. Clint Smith has been training with us since 2005, which is pretty amazing considering how much we have razzed him over the years.  

Getting to Know Team PRS Brian Carroll

Dave Tate has provided me with excellent insight and backing over the years. So has Louie Simmons, and of course more recently, Stuart McGill. The McGill influence has been life-changing. Dave Hoff over the last two years has had quite a few tips as well. I actually wrote an article on my visit to Westside which you can find here at PowerRackStrength, very soon. There have been a lot of people who have helped me along the way early on: Dondell Blue, Mike Hobbs, Skip Sylvester, Norman Jordan. For the last 10 years, Ria, my wife, is my checks and balances. If something is whack, or a bad idea, she’s usually the first to tell me no matter how bad I don’t want to hear it.  

Getting to Know Team PRS Brian Carroll

In closing, name two things that few people know about you, unrelated to strength sports:  

I can remember things most people cannot – lots of it being mindless and insignificant. Some not as much. For example, I can remember every cycle, every attempt, every number I’ve ever taken in competition over the last 19 years. So, be careful when you lie to me. I’m an elephant, I’ll remember what you told me.  

I enjoy the daily walks that I’ve been doing for five years per Dr. McGill’s advice. Walking is one of my favorite parts of the day. And since I work from home, I love going to the grocery store; I love visiting different grocery stores out of state. I have a pretty fast car, so driving fast, getting groceries (food, duh) and getting out of the house is right up my alley. It’s a win/win. Lame, or nah?

Thank you for your time! Anything else you’d like to add?  

Be patient, be kind. Appreciate those around you and show it. Be honest and upfront and buckle up, especially if you drive fast.  

 

Make sure to watch for articles and weekly log posts from Brian Carroll every week on PowerRackStrength.com/author/bcarroll/

 

Learn more about Brian and his victorious return to the platform after a potential career ending back injury.  Pick up a copy of Gift of Injury by Brian Carroll and Dr. Stu McGill. 

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Brian Carroll

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
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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