Gift of Injury

Dr. Stuart McGill | The Professor | Brian Carroll | The Athlete


In the highly competitive world of strength athletics, a back injury is seen by many as the ultimate career-ender. In truth, if handled properly, it is far from a death sentence. Follow the journey of international powerlifting champion Brian Carroll, who can attest to this first hand. This remarkable athlete went from 1100 lb squats and 800 lb deadlifts to unending pain and disability after a massive spinal compression injury. After a fortuitous meeting with leading back expert Brian Carroll World Record Power Lifter – Dr. Stuart McGill, he reset his training and his life to fight his way back to the top of the winner’s podium.

Glean expertise from McGill and Carroll, both masters in their field, and learn how to orchestrate your own triumphant comeback. Whether you are a former champion yourself who has fallen on hard times, or someone starting a new foray into the world of strength training who wants to avoid injury and maximize training, the wisdom found within these pages is sure to take your resilience and lifts to the next level. Over 200 full color, rich illustrations demonstrate technique.


From Ed Coan, Greatest Powerlifter of All-time:
“Gift of Injury pulls no punches, sheds light on what injury does to your physical and mental health and explains how to beat injury/pain to be happy once again! Every strength athlete should read this book to pull maximum performance out of the body while building injury resilience.”

From Stan Efferding, Worlds Strongest IFBB Pro Bodybuilder:“Back Mechanic and Gift of Injury are as much about injury prevention and performance optimization as they are about rehabilitation. And they’re not just for athletes. The simple and effective methods provide immediate and permanent results for everyone experiencing pain. Dr. McGill and Brian Carroll are changing lives.”


Purchase Book

Purchase Book

• Over 200 full color, rich illustrations demonstrate technique
• A combined 50+ years of experience distilled into the ultimate manual
• Back Injury is not a death sentence for anyone, even the strength athlete
• Utilize the steps contained in this book to beat back injury AND return to competition
• Pain-free? Anyone who trains will enhance their injury resilience and performance
• Understand the role of the spine and the coinciding muscles of the core
• Avoid the common myths that are perpetuated in the strength & rehab industry
• Apply the established principles and nuggets of wisdom proven over and over with strength athletes


Foreword by Bill Kazmaier, 3 time World’s Strongest Man:
“I implore any strength athlete, whether they are injured and at their wit’s end, or healthy and striving to achieve their best with longevity, to read this book. The wisdom in these pages has helped me and Brian Carroll, and it will help you.”

From Pavel Tsatsouline, Chairman, StrongFirst, Inc.:
“Gift of Injury is an extraordinary book that proves the adage that safety is not the opposite of performance but a part of it. Packed with priceless cues, it is a must for every serious strength athlete and coach.“

Hear What Readers Have To Say About Gift of Injury

“As a doctor working out of Pasadena, I have been studying the work of Professor McGill for the past two years. I can say with the credentials and authority of a medical insider that McGill’s teachings are light years ahead of the conventional medical approach. And I can attest to this effect from my own professional experience in the demanding domains of both pain medicine and occupational medicine. I’m now able to consistently restore bad backs with what I learned from Professor McGill’s books and courses. One intriguing aspect of Professor McGill’s clinical practice is his work with elite athletes with low back pain. Many of these athletes have seen “top” spine specialists around the world and been told they had career ending injuries. They are lost–until they find Professor McGill.

The story of Brian Carroll is one such story. It is the story of an improbable comeback from a devastating spine injury. As a world-record setting lifter, Carroll loaded his spine to extremes that boggle the imagination. When a host of injuries and excessive training and competition broke his spine down, the conventional medical establishment said all that was left for him was surgery, athletic retirement and probable lifelong disability. (For the medically inclined: he had a complete fracture of L5 with a deep split fracture in his sacrum.) The journey from that nadir, with Carroll contemplating suicide after a particularly depressing visit to a back surgeon, to his return to a champion lifter again seems miraculous.

Except it’s not a miracle–it’s what happens when science combined with clinical wisdom meets an athlete who who will not give up on the dream. Professor McGill discusses the scientific principles and specific program he used to restore Carroll to elite form. In these pages you will find a story told in alternate parts by McGill and Carroll. It is part memoir of Carroll, part primer for how the McGill method works, part instructional guide for lifting and spine recovery all told through the prism of one man’s injury. It is a story of ambition, loss, healing, friendship and overcoming the odds to become better than you ever were–after you’ve been left for dead. What is the gift of injury? The possibility of resurrection of not just a spine and a career, but of a man. This masterpiece tells you how.”

— Medical Doctor – Pasadena, CA

“It’s a brilliant, fantastic book, one that should be the standard of the fitness industry! It’s a rare book that honestly confronts, analyzes and fixes the athlete. Oh, sure, you can find books with little band stretches, mobility work and some time in the tub, but Stu McGill and Brian Carroll take us inside both the athlete’s and the therapist’s minds. Section Two alone is a book in itself; it is more of a weekend workshop showing what the best and brightest do in their approach to training.

There are so many insights throughout the book, but this little hint really made me think: Brian walked 15 minutes a day with free swinging arms before every meal as part of his back injury fix. It just struck me that this simple point was the culmination of so many tests, discussions and hands on work…and it is so simple, logical, and practical.”

— Dan John

“This book is a must have for all athletes and coaches alike, the best of its kind.”

— Ryan

“If you have suffered from back pain (as I have) and have begun to give up hope of ever getting out of pain then you MUST read this book. If anything, Brian Carroll’s story will give you hope.

The book if chock full of information and ways to take control of your life, back and pain. It’s especially geared towards the powerlifter, but I suspect most athletes can relate and will benefit from the information contained in this book. This is the kind of book you read and wish someone would have put it into your hands years ago!”

— Dan B.

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