Brian Carroll is the newest addition to Team EliteFTS. He is now both a sponsored athlete and member of the Q&A staff. Brian’s accomplishments include being a three-time APF Senior Nationals runner-up, two-time WPC runner-up, 2006 WPO semi-finals runner-up and 2008 WPC 242 Bench Champion.
Introduce yourself to the readership and tell us something about yourself and how you got started in powerlifting.
I was always a pretty strong guy where I went to high school in Jacksonville, Florida. That led me to start doing bench press competitions in 1999. I continued to be a gym rat and hit a 410 raw bench press at 190 pounds. I got away from powerlifting for a while when Skip Sylvester introduced me to the sport of bodybuilding. Although I will say, I was always better at lifting then bodybuilding. I think Skip realized this, and in late 2002 he suggested I should participate in an upcoming APF meet in town. Actually, he didn’t just suggest it. He didn’t give me a choice. He told me I was doing it! I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I do know that I made it through the meet with a 705 squat, 424 bench, and 622 deadlift at 220 pounds. I was hooked! Since then my best PR’s are:
1,030 squat, 633 bench, 755 deadlift for a tenth place
All-Time 2,375 total at 220 pounds.
1,052 squat, 785 bench, 771 deadlift for a third place
All-Time 2,570 total at 242 pounds.
1,100 squat, 760 bench, 800 deadlift for a third place
All-Time 2,660 total at 275 pounds.
Where do you train, and what was your first piece of equipment?
I train at Adam Driggers’ house. He has a gym in his backyard and it’s an incredible training facility. The Team Samson guys are a better group than I could’ve ever asked to train with me. I couldn’t imagine doing the commercial gym deal – at least not for the heavy days.
Let’s see…the first piece of equipment I ever bought was a monolift in 2007, but I did buy some bars years before that. I recently purchased a leg press, a Mastadon squat bar, and a preacher curl bench…haha.
How do you feel about the Prowler?
I’m always ready for one. I really don’t want to say I want one to show up at my house, but if one does drop by the house, I will be ready. I hope it don’t stay long, because I keep my 12 gauge loaded with tactical slugs, so…
I’ve always admired the site and what it provides. Any chance I’ve had, I’ve talked with Dave and shot the bull. I really like the idea of having a team of lifters that can work together and provide help with a broad variety of knowledge and experience. I’ve wanted to be a part of that for a long time. Now that the time is right, I will make the best of it and give back to the best of my ability. I really enjoy lifting, of course, but I also like to help others achieve their goals and succeed.
What are some goals you hope to achieve this upcoming year with EFS?
I hope to represent EliteFTS to the best of my ability in every aspect of my lifting and coaching. Although I enjoy lifting more, coaching is almost as fun, and I’d like to help lifters take on their goals and lead them to achieve even more than what they think is possible. I also hope to hit my stride in my new 275 pound class and make a run for that all-time total record of 2,799. I know that is a ways in front of me, but if I can keep consistent gains coming, it’ll be here soon enough. I just have to do what I can on my part with training, nutrition, supplements, rest and recovery.
What EFS staff members helped you the most and who did you consistantly follow?
I’ve always followed Matt K’s and Schwab’s logs since 2006, and more recently, I’ve been interested in Jeremy Frey’s and Al Caslow’s logs. Dave’s log is always full of info, and Wendler’s is witty and fun to read. As far as help, I would have to say that Caslow has helped me get my deadlift officially over 800 by suggesting full-range doubles.
What’s your training philosophy?
Listen to your body. Try many things and keep the ones that promote success. Remove the ones that do the opposite. It’s that easy. A little bit of my training comes from a variety of different powerlifting philosophies and even bodybuilding movements. It’s what you do in the meet, not in training. That’s the most important thing to keep in mind. I don’t work with resistive bands and rarely do chains. I’m starting to incorporate reverse bands into bench and squat training.
I train 4 days a week:
I enjoy Fridays the most because it’s squat day. I really enjoy all the lifts, but I think I excel in the squat. It is the one going the best and the one feeling the most comfortable right now!
My assistance work varies. For bench, I do board presses raw and shirted, skull crushers, floor presses, incline dumbbell presses and bar presses. For deadlifts, I do stiff-legged deadlifts, block pulls, GHR, reverse hypers, rope crunches and shrugs. My assistance work for squats are leg presses, close stance squats and lots of abs.
Do you have any embarrassing powerlifting moments due to stupidity?
Yes. This was very embarrassing. For the 2007 Pro-Am, I was cutting down to 220 from well over 250 pounds. It was a brutal experience with the carb depletion, water loading and basically eating like a rabbit for the last week and a half. Well, I made it down to 224 pounds after sweating all night, literally. Finally it was time to weigh in, and my body was done. I weighed in, and in the blink of an eye, I was eating and drinking like a champ…until I puked it all back up immediately.
Now, I have lots of experience cutting weight and that had never happened, so I knew something was really off this time. The morning of the meet, I ate breakfast with Jim Wendler in the hotel lobby. That dude had me cracking up, even though I didn’t feel good at all. I remained optimistic anyway.
I showed up for the meet and my squat warm-ups felt HEAVY! Very heavy, actually. So heavy that my last warm-up crushed me and it was only 900. So what did I do? I had my handler lower my opener by 120 pounds. When he went to change it, the score table replied,”850 from 970 pounds? Did he break his f@#$ing leg?!?”
Long story short, I ended up getting crushed with 850. Keep in mind, it was less then a year after I reset the all-time world record at 220 with a 1030 pound squat – a record that was set by the immortal Chuck Vogelpohl. To this day, I still have to explain to people what the hell happened! It was a humbling experience, but a lesson learned. You can’t put your body through hell for weeks and expect to lift at your highest level.
I want to thank Dave and EliteFTS for this opportunity, along with my girlfriend, Ria, Team Samson and all the people that have helped me succeed.
Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at www.EliteFTS.com.