World Record squat: 5 takeaways (1306)

World Record squat: 5 takeaways

World record squat. This article will give five takeaways on how I built the world’s first 1300lb squat. The changes were pretty simple but very effective. Some of the changes I had tried before, while others, like adding body weight, were not at my disposal years ago. Even after competing for over 20 years, there are areas that you will have to continue to hone in and perfect. You have never arrived; you are always learning and adapting.

Bigger body, world record squat

Some of you know that I have competed from 220-308. After rehabbing my back, as documented in my co-authored book with Dr. McGill, Gift of injury, I dropped down to the 242 class from 275 due to my back not feeling good at 275. Whenever I got around 270lbs, my body felt like crap, so I had to stay at 265 or less. All of this changed when I came off supplements in 2019, and I just ‘took the leash’ off and let my body grow while clean. I noticed as I approached 270, then 280, and eventually 300lbs plus, that I felt good at the added bodyweight, not bad. As I returned to supplements, I was far bigger and stronger than ever.

Wider squat, better for world record squat

I struggle with going wide. I have short femurs, a long torso, and moderately deep hip sockets, which means I’m not meant to squat wide and deep. But, I did need to go ‘wider.’ So, after much encouragement over the years and going back and forth between wider and less-wide, I stuck with going wider after a session with Hoff in 2020, which made a huge difference.  It took some significant adjustments, but it worked well. I find the perfect stance, and it felt perfect. My confidence was at an all-time high going into the meet with these changes.

SquatMaxMD for volume and quads

The assistance exercise I relied on most during 2019 and 2020 is the SquatMaxMD. To me, it’s by far the best belt squat machine on the market, and this helped me build my work volume up (without having to have a bar on my back.) And this allowed me to attack my weak point in the squat, which is my quads in the second half of the squat, without torching my knees or my back because it’s just like a natural squat, unlike many belt-squat machines which use pulleys and levers.

Coming off the supplements

Let’s say it’s been a while since this happened. So, as you might know, I needed to come off TRT so I could fix my fertility issues. I came off for the better part of the year and kept grinding through the process, no matter how I felt. I didn’t feel as bad as I thought, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. Once we achieved the pregnancy, it was time to resume my TRT, and this allowed me to get back on. Coupled with my body feeling good at higher body weight, I could take supplements that made me too heavy in prior training cycles. My response to these supplements was drastic in a perfect way.

Bands and chains/ bars / raw lifting

During this extended ‘offseason’ time of being off supplements with no competition in sight, I broadened my horizons and ventured out into more specialty bars, chains, and bands, and no gear besides knee wraps and a belt. I got out of my comfort zone and got very strong with triple bands, lots of chains, and using bars which I sucked at and exposed my weaknesses. Not only did my legs get a lot stronger, and my core became stiffened and tuned in, as did my entire body. More than ever. This much-needed change of pace was a game changer.

As you can see, it wasn’t just one thing I changed. It was a combination of a lot of changes and adaptations. During this time, I also moved my gym into my garage and added new team members, which are invaluable. You cannot do this alone, and teams, as I mentioned in this recent video, – “the hardest part of powerlifting.”

Everything matters! Remember this!

For those wanting coaching help or would like to do a virtual or in-person consult for lifting, back injury, or programming help, please book a session HERE. 


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Brian Carroll

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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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