Join Nick & Brian Carroll for the final part of the series. We delve into actionable takeaways you can use to improve your training, day-to-day living, and avoid the mistakes that cause and aggravate back pain.
Tune in to learn:
"Gift of Injury" is now available on Amazon.com. Click HERE to get it.
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Brian Carroll: “What unexpected benefits or realizations did I have?”
I’ve become a lot more thankful and grateful for my health…
And a bit less of a dick.
For the longest time, I thought that I was owed things. Or that I deserved things. Well, who the hell do you think you are to think you deserve anything?
What I didn’t deserve was my health.
Because I abused my body. I ate shitty. I didn’t take care of myself.
I overlooked a lot of things that Stu brought to my attention.
So you know the benefits that I spoke about before… being an athlete 24/7 and moving well… that was in the physical. But I kind of expected that after a while of putting those deposits in…
What I didn’t expect was to be a lot more humble, grateful, and thankful for my health. Day-to-day.
And just be appreciative of things outside of powerlifting, instead of ALWAYS having the tunnel vision for the next powerlifting meet.
Having it all taken away from me granted me a lot more thankfulness… in the process.
Nick Ritchey: We’re joined today by special guest, Brian Carroll, for episode 153 of the Limit Slayer Podcast.
Brian is a world champion powerlifter who went from daily, debilitating back pain with 2 crushed vertebrae…
To pain-free living and squatting over 1100lbs in competition.
In the last episode:
In response to the last episode, the Rogue Trainer called it, “The best podcast regarding no BS real world training, diet and science! Check out my great friend’s latest podcast!!!”
Thank you for taking the time to comment, share and encourage us with your kind words.
In this episode, we look at special considerations for injured and aging lifters…
So you don’t fix, or break, what ain’t broken.
We talk about how misinformation, semantics and one-upsmanship can get you in a heap of trouble.
And end with some solid advice you can put to use right away, whatever state your back is in, to become pain free and stronger than ever.
Enjoy the final episode of our series, and don’t miss out on any of the special bonuses we’ve prepared for you at the end of this episode!
The Limit Slayer Podcast Episode 153 with Brian Carroll Begins… NOW!
Hey Brian, how ya doin?
Brian: I’m great man. How’s it going?
Nick: Pretty good. Last time we had to end a little bit short because…
Were you getting a pedicure?
Or was the Mrs. getting a pedicure?
Brian: C. All the above.
Nick: [laughing] C. All the above. OK.
So I’ve never had a pedicure. How is that?
Brian: It’s good. You know something weird? And I haven’t asked Stu about this yet. But since I rehabed my back, my feet are much more sensitive.
It’s the weirdest thing.
So when it comes to scrubbing them with the callus remover, my feet are way more sensitive. So that’s really ticklish. But as far as just getting the feet manicured up, and then a foot, leg and calf massage, that’s good.
I would recommend you trying one.
Nick: I’ve definitely had the massage. I’ve never had the manicure before. Like you I’m just ticklish as all hell down there. You know they try to touch me and I’m like [giggling].
You get into it after a while though. It’s all good.
Brian: Yeah, I have to kinda go…
You know how I talk about in Gift of Injury, that visualization? That place you go to…
I actually have to go there a bit so I don’t lose my shit.
Nick: Yeah I’ve got to focus down at the beginning so I’m not jiggling all over the place. [laughing]
Brian: Yeah, it’s funny. The parallels to lifting, or sport, and life are great.
Nick: Yeah the lifting kind of prepares you for everything in life. Which is again why the book is so relevant. Especially with the spine. Because it’s involved in…
Brian: Absolutely everything. Good or bad. You might be making deposits. You might be making withdrawals and not even know it.
Nick: And that’s one of the really hard parts. Like, how do people know if they need help?
We talked about the Johari window in the 1st episode. But a lot of the time you just don’t know that you’re doing something wrong until fate happens…
You get in front of the right person. And they’re like, “Hey buddy! You might not want to bench press that way.” Or, “You might not want to lift things that way.”
And you have no way of knowing until somebody points it out to you.
…or you get hurt.
Brian: Or yes, exactly.
That’s what I was going to follow up with.
You don’t know the stove is hot until enough people tell you not to touch it. OR, you decide to throw your hand on the burner when no one’s looking. Then you learn the hard way. And it’s grooved into your brain.
Like we talked about with pain and happiness. That the very highs and lows are grooved in our brain with emotion and feeling.
And we learned that way very well .
Nick: That’s one of my favorite analogies too. The stovetop and putting your hand on the fire. Because mom can say to the baby,
“Don’t touch the fire. Hot. HOT!”
And the baby is like [cooing]. And they’re just going to touch it anyway. And they’re going to cry. And scream. But they’ve got to touch the fire to know sometimes. You know?
Nick: Let’s see. I’ve had some barbecue, baseball and beer these last couple of days. So [laughing] I’m having a good time over here.
But there was a big earthquake.
So the national exams have been postponed for the first time ever. Kind of interesting times over here.
Brian: What’s going on?
Nick: There was an earthquake. Nobody was killed or anything, which is good. But it was a 5.4 and it wasn’t on the Japanese line.
Brian: It wasn’t tiny.
Brian: No, it was pretty big. And so the next day…
There’s this big national exam. Kind of like the SAT. But it’s on the same day for all students. And it’s in 1100 schools. So they had to shut down all those schools in order to accommodate for the earthquake.
It’s been postponed till next week. So everyone’s just kind of confused. There’s a lot of chaos over here because of that.
Brian: I’m glad you’re good. Looks and sounds like you’ve been kind of hiding out and having fun a little bit.
Nick: Yeah, really. I had the day off, so it was good. But let’s get back into our stuff here. If it’s alright with you, let’s go over some of the things we didn’t cover yet.
I think I have three more things on here. Then we’ll get into some of how it’s transformed your life. Some of the benefits I’m already seeing from it. And then the major takeaways for our listeners.
Brian: Sounds good. Let’s do it.
Nick: Cool. I wanted to go straight into retirement. You talked a little bit about that in the end of the book.
How is your training going to be changing for health and longevity?
You mentioned your weight. Or possibly some power-building. Let’s just go into that a little bit because I’m curious what your training’s going to look like in retirement. I have a lot of friends that are older lifters. In their 40’s and 50’s. They’re just not able to push stuff like they used to. Maybe keeping them in mind.
How are things going to change?
Brian: Well for someone who is older than I am. Or anyone that’s put a lot of miles on their body, and kind of moving towards retirement. Or actually in retirement…
I suggest lightening the load.
And lightening the intensity overall.
That means not having to go to you know 80, 90 percent of what may have been your one rep max at one time or another.
Do things that are going to build athleticism for day-to-day activities. Whether it’s pulling the kid out of the crib, or just being able to walk or go hiking. So you know,
To be able to reach down and grab your kid out of the crib.
When you’re building a powerlifter body, ideally the hamstrings ,the back, the quads, the lats… Everything is going to be really, REALLY tight. To be like a spring. To produce that much force and stay resilient.
Well, when are you going to start laying mulch in the yard, you need a little bit different athleticism.
So what I would suggest is for people to be well rounded:
Again you can get creative with it.
Utilize less rest. Move faster and you don’t have to worry about loading the bar so heavy to still get your work in.
I mean, there’s a lot of different ways to attack it.
But as far as my training, I’m still doing the squat, bench and deadlift. But versions of those lifts. So I might do the safety bar squat. It’s better on my shoulders.
Nick: Yes. Yes.
Brian: Yeah, I’m doing a belt squat now more, which doesn’t load the spine nearly as much. I’m doing floor press, which is better on the shoulder and pecs instead of the bench press. And then for the deadlift, I’m doing elevated block pulls.
So it’s going to take some work to kind of detune the body, if you will, for a long time. And the hardest part…
I saw Donnie Thompson talking about this the other day. For those listening in that don’t know who Donnie Thompson is, Donnie Thompson was the first guy to total 3000 pounds. Super-heavyweight guy from South Carolina. Inventor of a bunch of different things like the bowtie and body tampering. And he isn’t paying me to say that. It’s just something that he’s kind of known for now since he’s retired.
But he said the other day…
The hardest part about all of this retirement and training is, getting his bodyweight from 390 or 400 pounds, down to 300 pounds. So it’s going to take time.
What’s going to have to happen…
I’m going to have to exercise more. Be more active. And do what ?
You know it’s going to start with the basics. Then we can get really cut with the fine-tuned diet.
Nick: And that’s a really tough combination for retired athletes.
Because you’re used to eating SO MUCH for competition. And having such heavy training loads. You’re just you’re burning through calories…
And then when you decrease the activity…
With 10 years of competitive eating behind you, it’s really hard to switch that off. I know. Even myself. It’s really tough. And I’m not lifting anywhere near what you guys are.
But going from super athletic to training twice a week, for example, there’s a big shift there.
Brian: Yeah. So you’re just gonna have to become competitive.
We talked about being an athlete 24/7. Being resilient and moving well at all times whether you’re mulching your yard. Or you have a chartered fishing company. Or something where you are out in the boat bending over all day.
Move well. Treat your body with respect.
At the same time, be competitive with yourself. Just because you’re not competing in powerlifting doesn’t mean you can’t be competitive. Whether it’s walking a faster mile, running a faster mile, or getting more repetitions in under a minute for an AMRAP set.
Whatever it may be.
You’re always going to have the competitive nature, right?
It’s just like the older guy that we all knew that was the cool coach. That would talk about girls with us and like, “I may be old, but I’m not dead!”
The mind doesn’t change, the body just does. Right?
Nick: Yep, “I’m not dead yet!” My dad has a T-shirt with that on it. Good old Monty Python.
Brian: When I was shown that in 10th or 11th grade… I watched it on the educational channel. I couldn’t believe they’re playing it on the educational channel. Because the only thing educational about that movie, is comedic genius, right?
It’s great stuff, but it caught me off guard.
I became a fan since then. I just happened to catch it one day when it was playing on the local educational channel.
Nick: Good old Monty Python.
Apparently the Brits aren’t nearly as enamored of them as Americans are. We just we just love that style of humor I guess. It’s good stuff.
Brian: Well, it’s weird. Because people either love it, or they think it’s ridiculous. Right? My favorite part of that whole movie is when Sir, is it Sir Galahad?
Nick: Yeah, I think it was Sir Galahad.
Brian: When he storms the castle and kills everybody. Then apologizes. Because he got the note [Nick laughing] And he met the prince at the top, instead of a princess, that needed rescuing.
Nick: They’re all dancing on the tables and you know [laughing]
Brian: You ruined the wedding, killed everybody, stabbed the bride or whatever. Yeah, it’s hilarious.
Nick: Oh my. Have you watched… do you watch Game of Thrones at all?
Because it just brought back to mind the red wedding.
Brian: Oh man I have a feeling what the Red Wedding means, especially in this context.
Nick: Yes, yes, yes…
Brian: I watched the first season and me and my wife were kind of, I don’t know… We’re probably gonna give it some more time and watch. But I’ve heard that you’ve got to make it to the second season.
I don’t think it’s a bad show. But my expectations were so high, that they were they were not going to be met in the first season. And there’s a lot of shit going on with the different kingdoms and who’s in charge. And what’s the deal with the emp, and all this.
It was taking me a while to process everything.
Nick: Oh sure. And, to be honest. There was too much dick in it, for the first season, for my liking.
Brian: Yeah, there’s just… I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand who was actually in charge. As they were all supposedly equals of the kingdoms. And then, I don’t know. I’ll give it another shot.
You suggest I do that?
Nick: Well, I was kind of on the fence for the first one. And then I just watch it with co-workers on a school night after we were done. You know, from the office. So, I wouldn’t go out of your way to watch it.
But it’s a fun show. IF you’ve got time for it.
Brian: People talk about it like it’s the best show ever made. And I mean, there’s a bunch of really good shows. My favorite show of all time is “The Wire” I think.
Nick: Same here. Definitely. Seen every season of it. I’m really sad that it stopped. Because they could’ve kept rolling with it forever. And it was magnificent.
Brian: It was a beautiful, beautiful, well put-together show.
Excellent character development. And then, the fourth season, when the most crazy thing out of the whole series happens… that totally caught me off guard.
At the convenience store. Awful.
Nick: Yeah that was definitely one of my favorites.
But I’m sorry. Back to your book and all that fun stuff. I love talking… we could talk TV… that could be another podcast right there.
You talked a bit about retirement health, longevity, how you change your weight selections…
I thought it was great how you addressed each one of the lifts as well. You’re using the squat belt. I’ve never used one of those. But I’ve always wanted to try it. Because I feel that it would be really good for, like you mentioned, longevity.
They’re not loading the spine as much.
I wanted to talk a little bit about breathing and bracing. Because these were mentioned a lot in the book. And you can kind of talk about it or read about it. But I think it’s one of those things where you want to see a video about it…
That really kind of shows how it’s working.
Do you have any go to resources for this by chance?
Brian: There’s a couple videos that Stu and I did together about bracing and creating stiffness. But to summarize it without having someone in front of me…
Having them push out laterally into their abdominals…
So there’s one mistake people make. And that’s sucking their gut in, right?
You don’t want to suck it in.
Nick: That’s Paul Chek isn’t it?
Suck-in that belly button.
Brian: Yes, you don’t want to do that.
Brian: Second thing you don’t want to do is make your belly just huge. You want to make it stiff as if you’re trying to push it out laterally right. [Yep.] So as far as breathing goes, there’s a lot of different opinions on this.
Some people like to get a big gulp of air and hold it for a 1 rep max. Some people like to get a medium gulp of air and then sip it in and kind of [sipping air sound]. Let some out. Sip some in. Get just the amount — I think McGill says 70% of lung capacity or something like that…
And that’s what I go with because every lift is going to be a little different. I might have more air than I expected and I only need a little bit of a sip, and then start a lift. Or at the bottom, if it’s a deadlift, sometimes I don’t have enough air. And I have to sip a little bit more.
And so it just depends for the squat. It’s generally a nice medium breath. And then a couple sips. And then I hip hinge and go.
Nick: OK. I think I might link to a couple videos for that then — I think Chris Duffin has one. That’s pretty good [Yeah] about how to do the breathing. And…
Brian: Duffin’s great. Yeah.
Nick: And when you talk about the pressure breaths, I think Mike Tuchscherer is really good at them. You can see it in some of his training videos. Where he gets all breathed in and then [sipping air] that kind of thing going on.
Brian: Mike and Chris are two people that are smarter than I am. And they can break down the technical aspects of it very well.
Nick: OK. I was just curious if you had any favorite videos on that. Because I think you did an excellent job of describing it. I think the book does a good job. But it’s one of those few things where you just kind of have to have a video… to really get your mind around it.
Brian: Yeah. And then the abdominal brace…
Stu does a really good job describing it in Section 2. And he actually is doing the demo of the Okinawan strength. The pecs down. The lifters wedge. Standing there being stiff with the handshake. That part and the Arrow showed the abdominal pushing out laterally. But as far as the video…
A video would really help.
Nick: And I’m sure there’s a video of Stu doing, like you said, the Okinawan brace. I’ll see if I can dig that up. Stu’s… I think he calls like the horse stance. Or something. [Yup]
OK, I’ll try to put that in the show notes as well.
So that’s breathing and bracing. Because that’s fundamental to how we’re doing all this spine stuff. Making sure that people can get into that position. And do the lifters wedge. And so forth.
Brian: It all starts with rooting into the floor.
That toe grip that we illustrate so well in the book
Nick: That was an excellent.
Brian: Relaxed foot versus a gripped foot… it’s like night and day.
We say white knuckles with bending the bar to finish off that lifters wedge, right? To apply force to the bar…
But it starts by rooting in into the floor. And actually gripping. And we say “white knuckles” when bending the bar… those feet are white too when they’re gripping the floor correctly.
Nick: And I believe it’s so important… getting that proper grip. And I think I think I saw Pavel first talking about that back in the good old “Beyond Bodybuilding.” He had some videos with that as well. And talking about the floor grip.
But you guys do such an excellent job of talking about the different cues for screwing it in. And getting that tightness…
That’s fundamental to every standing movement. Because the calves fire first in everything you do standing. So getting that stiffness down is key.
Brian: Yeah, Pavel’s great. Pavel and Stu go a ways back. And they both learned a lot from each other. And we cite him a bunch in the book as well.
Pavel’s a great mind.
Nick: Yeah. Now, we’ve kind of covered everything that I had for my big questions. A little off-topic fun stuff other than Game of Thrones.
First off, on page 74, there is… it was like an Easter egg or something…
You’re talking about facial expressions and neural drive… and then BOOM! There’s you staring down a gorilla. Right through the glass…
That was great.
Brian: Yeah. So we were at the Omaha Zoo in 2008.
I just competed at nationals. Hit my first 2500 pound total and I was lifting at 242. So we had an extra day in Omaha and we said, “What do we want to do?” Well, I hear the zoo is pretty cool… so we went down to the zoo.
It had a nice gorilla pit. And I’d never been to a gorilla pit before. Because the one here in Jacksonville was under renovation forever. [Okay] And I quit. To be honest, I quit going to the zoo when I was in elementary school.
So we went to the zoo. And I see the gorillas. And I see how much they weigh. You know the smaller one’s 250, the medium size one’s 350 pounds, and the largest one’s 550 pounds. Right?
Nick: Ah, they’re beautiful aren’t they?
Brian: Yeah. I start staring one of them down from across the way…
And that one comes over and stares me down. And the bigger one, which was the smaller of the three. I believe the smallest of the three. The one I pissed off…
Came running over at me full speed. And came and slammed against the glass… about made me wet myself! And I took off running, of course. But that was one of my prouder moments of that day…
The stare, not me running.
Nick: Yeah, pissing off the gorilla man… I mean… they could… it’s kind of like the elephant that’s tethered with a little string. Right? They get conditioned…
But a gorilla is like, “Fuck this! I’m gonna break it down!”
Brian: That’s what I thought he was trying to do, because I challenged his manhood.
Nick: Yep. All right. So that was a fun part of the book.
This this is a question I think Elon Musk, the entrepreneur, asks to a lot of people that are interviewing for funding.
“What’s one thing you know that most people think isn’t so?”
I think it’s a fun kind of question.
Brian: “What is the one thing that I know to be true that most people do not believe in?”
Yes, that’s a good question man. You didn’t let me prepare for that…
Nick: I am terribly sorry. Shall we come back to it in a minute?
Brian: No, I’m just stalling. So, there’s one thing that I think is still heavily debated. And that’s overtraining…
Overtraining, and deloads being necessary.
So I’m glad you asked that question.
We know for a fact that the body DOES get overstimulated. For one person, it might be a different stimuli for another person. Can be completely different, more or less.
But eventually, we know that nothing is linear. Eventually, you push too hard. Micro tears or micro fractures turn into macro tears or macro fractures.
And the body will break down.
Too much stimulation will end up causing insomnia. It could end up causing you to get physically ill, sick. There’s lots of things that happen when you push the body too hard. And we know that, just from a stress standpoint, when they’re going through a divorce or a job change or something, they get physically ill when they have too much stimuli.
So all the more reason when someone’s pushing physically, the body will break down regress. You end up getting sick. End up tearing something off due to fatigue.
So I’ve had a lot of debates with very smart people about deloading. And it being necessary to avoid CNS overstimulation. And their arguments is, well…
“Why do you need to deload every three weeks?”
And I say, “You don’t need to deload every three weeks.” But that’s a good rule of thumb. And it’s a good starting point. Some people can go five and six weeks without deloading.
Until something breaks off. Until they have to scale it back to every fourth or fifth week, or third or fourth week. So I think a good starting point for everyone to stay ahead of that crash.
"You want to ride the wave, but stay ahead of the crash." -Brian Carroll
So for me, every three to four weeks is perfect. Now, if I still feel nice and fresh and recovered on that third week, I may plan to push it for the third week. But a lot of times, after two weeks of pushing…
That third week my body is asking for the reprieve. For that break. And that’s just a day where I can attack weak points a little bit more. Back off the intensity. Back off the volume and load.
And I can sharpen my mental preparation, my form, and I can use that. Because we all know that you’re not going to sharpen your form when you’re handling 70, 80 and 90 percent of your best.
Nick: Oh definitely.
There’s definitely people out there that say “don’t do it.” But I think what ends up happening… you end up getting into the so-called “natural deload.” Without even thinking about it.
The same thing happens with diet. If you end up restricting your calories consciously, you end up moving less unconsciously. You can go around and can track people’s movement. (it decreases for those people who don’t believe it)
Well there’s definitely some kind of compensation…
But I think the better approach is like,
“Look, my body’s going to need to recover. Let’s let it do that every three to four weeks. Stay healthy. Keep getting stronger.”
You’ve definitely got the right mindset.
And I’ve definitely screwed that one up. FAR too many times. And it’s gotten me injured. And stalled my gains… and all that fun stuff. For YEARS (when) added together. It’s just ridiculous. So you know…
Take it from both of us. From everyone that knows what they’re doing…
Brian: Yeah. It’s one of those things that eventually… it catches up with everybody.
And a lot of people like to play the semantics game. “There’s no such over-training, it’s only under recovery.” And okay, fine. You want to say you won the argument by me meeting you in the middle there, that’s fine with me too.
You’re under-recovered because you’re training too hard.
Nick: Yup, I’m sorry. I work at a school. We have a couple English teachers. And some of them are just grammar Nazis…
And I just don’t give a shit.
Semantically, OK. You just want to be right. You are right. Congratulations.
Brian: You know what. You know we can go down one of these rabbit holes to these side topics but real quick…
People think that powerlifting and bodybuilding forums are nasty.
Have you read some of the Reddit threads on grammar? Or punctuation? Or any of that stuff?
Those people are absolutely cutthroat, and they’re talking about whether an apostrophe applies or not.
Nick: Yeah. We’re talking apostrophe’s…
But let’s write out pages and pages of semantics…
The funny thing about languages is that they evolve. They may have a perfectly coherent and good argument that, in 10 years, no longer applies.
Oh, yes. You’re right today.
Brian: As a writer, that’s very frustrating. Because you ask two people that are equally established in writing, or academically, or whatever…
And all have different opinions. And they’re both be kind of right. So it’s like what do you use? Yeah?
Nick: Well… And it comes to writing for the web. Or writing sales copy.
It depends on who you are writing for and what your goal is.
I used to write excellent academic essays. And that writing is no good for copywriting. If you’re trying to sell stuff… I’m getting better at the whole sales bit. But I used to be the world’s worst salesman.
I’d be like, “So, it kind of makes sense for you to want this right? Yeah? No. Okay, that’s fine. How about I buy it for you…”
Chris was the worst. There’s all these people who are incredibly affluent. He’s giving them his book for free at the SPA because he couldn’t sell himself. And it’s too bad because you need to know how to sell yourself in this world.
And realize that it’s not about, “I win you lose.”
It’s about, “Look. This is what you really NEED.” Like you.
You spent a couple of years writing this book. Putting years of condensed knowledge into something that costs less than a personal training session. As a collaboration with Dr. Stuart McGill, who’s been fixing backs for 30 years.
"For forty dollars, if you have any back pain… why is this not the first resource you're going to?" -Nick Ritchey
Brian: Yeah it’s crazy.
It’s full color and it’s good.
Obviously, I’m biased. But it’s a great, high quality production. It’s not it’s not something we put together at the local Kinko’s. It’s a legit book, full color, and we’re very proud of it.
But it is funny about the whole grammar thing. Because I have a friend that is working on his Ph.D. And he has to tailor his punctuation, and his grammar. Depending on his professor at the time.
Each class as has to changed it
Nick: Yeah, it’s just pandering to the professor.
I had one professor I didn’t like in university. The class was writing to convince, inform, and persuade. And I was in her boss’s class…
And she’d like flunked me.
I was like, “This is a damn good essay.”
I’m acing this other guy’s class. I’m the top student. And I talked to him about her because she was being a douche. So, he ends up talking to her…
And I end up getting an “A” on my paper. We have no more problems. It’s just silly.
Brian: A 180 degree change in your grade?
Nick: Yeah, because I was writing good essays. But she personally didn’t like me. Well, I was kind of a prick. She was kind of an idiot. And we just didn’t get along.
So, of course, that reflected on my grade.
And I understand it now because I’m on the opposite end. Because kids are doing the same thing to me as a teacher. I’m a teacher for two more months here…
So it’s Karma, right?
Comes back at you.
Brian: Oh, it does. That’s well put.
Nick: Yeah, let’s see… I wanted to ask… another thing you mentioned was Ria…
You got Ria into a powerlifting meet. How did that go for her?
Brian: It went well. She did one last October. And she grew up running track. She grew up with more of an athletic / bikini build, than like a powerlifter, big joint build. And she still pulled a 330 deadlift in her belt at 148 [nice].
And that means she did more than double body weight for her first meet. And we’ve been training. She’s been deadlifting for the last ten years with me. But she wanted to do one with me before it was all said and done.
And she total 710. A 235 squat in wraps, a 145 bench, and a 330 dead.
Nick: Awesome! Well, props to her. It’s great that she’s out there, supporting you, and getting into it a little bit as well.
That’s really cool.
So you lift with your Mrs. and I left with my Mrs.
I didn’t push her into it. We were married for like, five years before she started training with me. But now it’s a really nice thing we look forward to. You know, each week training together a couple of times.
Brian: That’s a very tight rope that you have to walk when you train a spouse.
Because other factors can influence the mood of training, and programming, and that kind of stuff. You can start getting your feelings hurt. And people get mad and frustrated.
And obviously, you’re hardest on the ones you love. So it’s difficult at times.
Nick: Oh, that’s another good point!
That could be another rabbit hole right there… just about how we’re the hardest on the ones we love. Like, I am scathing sometimes to the people I love…
Which is terrible.
But at the same time, it’s like, “Look. I know you’re going down a rabbit hole. And I’m trying to pull you out here. Just don’t go down that one.”
But we don’t say that to strangers. To strangers we’re like, “Oh, you got some fluffy, fufu, bullshit in your head? Good for you!”
Brian: Yeah, with a stranger you let fly, offend you, say some ridiculous stuff to you, and let it go.
Meanwhile you’re in the kitchen. And your wife says something. Like even just moderately, potentially, take taken wrong… you know?
And then you bite her head off…
Whereas with a stranger… you shake their hand, and walk away.
Nick: Exactly. I also wanted to bring up this video I saw in the intervening weeks. With Dave Tate in 2012…
You’re talking a little bit about “life balance.” So we’re getting kind of meta here. But you’re talking about life balance in relationships. I know he’s talked about the all or nothing mindset. I think you talked about it a bit there as well. About finding a bit more balance.
And I definitely know how if I focus in on one thing, that’s the only thing in my life for a while. And you’ve got to be mindful of not letting that stay on… that switch be on for too long. Because everything else kind of goes by the wayside…
And that cannot be year round.
Brian: Yes, so, that that video that I did in 2012 talked about having an off and on switch.
Basically, you have to have some downtime. Now, people debate balance. “There’s no such thing as balance.” “Kind of balance.” Not really.
I see it both ways.
I’m incredibly unbalanced when I’m pushing towards something. Whether it be a meet, a book or a certain goal. Right? The only way I’m able to keep the ship from sinking is, when that is not going on, my attention is focused mostly on something else. To try to make up for that lost time.
Let me give you a powerlifting analogy.
So in the off season right now, I have a bunch of different things that I’m taking care of. That I would not be doing if I were prepping for a meet. I’m spending more time with the wife. I’m more available for travel. You know, we’re doing the things that I wouldn’t be doing otherwise.
I’m getting some medical procedures done. I’m having my wisdom teeth taken out. Remember, I told you I couldn’t do tomorrow night as I’m having my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow morning?
Nick: Good luck with that by the way.
Brian: What’s that?
Nick: Good luck with that. My Mrs. had hers out recently.
Brian: Yeah. I’m 36. I don’t know why the hell I have them. It’s ridiculous.
So yeah, it’s one of those things that I wouldn’t be doing two weeks out from a meet. I take the things that I need to get done, but aren’t emergencies, or have to be done right then. I do live in the off-season…
Traveling, spending time, eating the foods that I want to eat.
But when I’m focused on a goal, that goal is my number one priority. Within reason. So you have to have that person you’re with… you have to give them an out.
Whether it’s an NFL athlete that has the 16 week season, or whatever it is they’re playing now. Plus pre-season. Plus the playoffs. Well, when you’re done in February, hopefully your season ends in February. If you’re Super Bowl champion or whatever…
When it comes time to come back home. Spring practice comes up soon, and they start having camps and stuff. But those three months that you’re not there on the set.
You need to be making up for that time you’ve been gone.
Living in another city, traveling all the time, focusing on football or baseball or whatever it is, and making up for that lost time.
Nick: Definitely. And I’ll just mirror that real quickly.
I’m starting my own business here for 2018. So I put in a lot of weekends. And a lot of nights.
But my wife and I are teachers. So when we have vacation. That’s what we do. I am just there to play with her.
So we go travel. And we just have a good time together. And like you said, make up for lost time…
Because life gets busy.
Brian: Yeah. Because otherwise, if it’s just a continuum, over-and-over with the same rituals…
Nick: Who wants to be in that?
Brian: Eventually, that that person, no matter how loyal or dedicated they are. They’ll start to fade on you a bit.
So they need an out of some sort.
And just remember, even the people closest to you do not care about your goals as much as you do. They care a lot.
Especially your wife.
My wife. They really care. They want to see you succeed. And they want to see me succeed.
But I can promise you, they’re not as hard on me as I am on myself. So I want this A LOT more than they do. So you’ve got to keep that in mind. That you’ve got to give them some kind of out.
Every once in a while at least.
Nick: Yeah, I think there’s just some good life advice. I’ll link to that video in the show notes as well.
Thank you for elaborating on that.
Again, what I like about you… You bring a lot of real world perspective. And again, you don’t get caught up in semantics like a lot of the people do. You know, arguing about the minutia.
So it’s really enjoyable talking to you and [likewise]. Thank you. And the next thing wasn’t on the mind map, but I was wondering…
Do you have a bucket list?
Physically and professionally? Things you’d like to do?
Brian: Yeah. One of them is I want to be on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Nick: Oh lovely. OK. Do you know Neil deGrasse Tyson?
Nick: Yes. OK. So, Joe Rogan’s podcast. That would be awesome. So why would you like to be on Joe Rogan’s podcast?
Brian: Well, number one, it’d be great for my brand.
It’d be great exposure. He’s got a big following. I’ve met Joe before, at one of his comedy routines. It was great. He’s a pretty cool dude. And the biggest thing is, I think that would help get my story, and what I can talk about, and do seminars on, and help people with.
It will take that reach the next level by having an audience and the millions, like he has.
At one time, he had 80 million downloads a month including YouTube, iTunes, SoundCloud or whatever. It was a bunch. I don’t know if it’s still that big. But that’s one thing that I would like to do from a professional standpoint.
Another is to teach courses with Dr. McGill, which will happen. So maybe one will help the other happen. [Yeah] You know what I mean?
Nick: And when just get that your bucket list out there — you’d be surprised how people will try to help you. If I have any say in the matter, I’ll see if we can get it on his radar. That’d be awesome.
Brian: I love doing podcasts because I can I can keep it really narrow, and just talk about the topics at hand. Or I can… I’m pretty well versed in different things too. Whether it be music, or TV shows, or even sometimes pop culture. So I can, you know, I like to talk politics sometimes too.
So it’s just one of those things that I would like to think I could offer some decent insight with the audience.
Nick: Yeah definitely.
I think you’d be a good fit because, with his podcasts, it’s kind of all over the place. Right? So that’s that. That would be good fun. So you hear some different stuff.
Brian: Yeah. As far as professionally, or as far as any other bucket list items, I’d like to have a house in the mountains. A secondary house, like a winter home or summer home.
Nick: Do you have an idea which state you might be interested in having one in?
Brian: Well we’re going to a cabin in North Carolina next month. So I’ll be able to give you a better answer soon.
[OK] Yeah because, I’m a southern boy. All I know is the sun and the beach. So it would be nice to have four seasons every once in a while.
Nick: Yeah, except you could probably do without the Minnesota winter. I’ll just say that.
Brian: I can do without the whole Wisconsin, Michigan, Montana. You know all that winter…
Ohio is dreadful in the winter. I get there every year for the Arnold in March. And it’s always overcast and gray, with snow. And a lot of the time, snowy sludge everywhere, with ice.
Ice, and snow, and mud is nasty.
Nick: Yeah, that said, if you ever have the chance to go to Norway, or get up to Svalbard, or somewhere by the Arctic north…
Polar night, polar bears and all that stuff… it’s just friggin awesome. And ice caves, glaciers… it’s absolutely gorgeous. You don’t see that during polar night, because it’s freaking black out. Which I didn’t realize. And spent a whole lot of money on…
Getting to the airport, there was an avalanche. So we sat around the airport for like, a day.
Brian: Another thing that is going to happen sooner than later is an Alaskan cruise.
Nick: That would really be fun!
Brian: Yeah, as far as bigger things than that, nothing huge.
"I just want to be happy and live a decent life." -Brian Carroll
And you know, I have my health. So I have that. That’s the biggest thing through Gift of Injury. I’ve got my health back. Not just the return to lifting which, is obviously an added bonus. But not having day-to-day radiating back pain is pretty damn awesome to.
Nick: Yeah, and if you can keep that up…
Hopefully you’ll live long, and strong, for a good long time.
All of us.
All we can really hope for is living a good, healthy, long life. Right?
Brian: Right. And then, you know, another thing Nick is…
Writing the book with Dr. McGill’s a bucket list item too. I didn’t know it would happen, this quick. But I’ve got to add that to it as well. That’s pretty damn cool.
Nick: Yeah, props to you for that. Just getting together with him and making it happen…
And making it happen so quick! But I think it’s one of those things where it was just kind of meant to be. He had this stuff in him, and you’re the perfect case study. And then putting things together — I’m really glad you guys did the collaboration.
It turned out really well.
Brian: I’m glad that people are enjoying it. Earlier I saw Mark Bell had Stan Efferding…
Stan Efferding is one of the only top powerlifters and bodybuilders that did it at the same time. He could look that way and still total 2300 pounds in wraps, like Stan did. And obviously Mark’s a former good powerlifter in his own right. Total 2600 at 308 at one time…
But they were talking about Gift of Injury earlier. Because Stan is utilizing the principles of getting his back in shape. As he’s turning 50. He just turned 50 a couple weeks ago. And had good things to say about Stu’s work. And my work.
And the word’s gonna spread. So that’s pretty cool.
Nick: Oh for sure. And you got…
How did you get Bill Kazmaier on onboard with the forwarded?
That’s pretty awesome too.
Brian: Yes, Stu and Kaz go way back.
They’ve done work together a long time ago. And they have a really good relationship. I’ve only met Kaz one time. That was at an expo. But obviously, he’s familiar with the work because he saw what we were doing together. And it’s been in the works for about 5 years now. For a little over four and a half years.
So I couldn’t think of a better person to endorse it than Kaz.
Nick: Yeah definitely. And Stan — he’s getting up there in the years. But he’s still a freaking beast. My goodness. He’s still been posting stuff online.
How does this guy keep doing it?
Brian: Yes, Stan is one of those guys that’s good at everything.
And Mark Bell told me that a long time ago, when I was one of the first powerlifters to write for Mark Bell’s magazine. Back in 2009 and 2008/2009. And Stan was too. And Mark said to me one time, he goes,
“Dude, your articles are great. So were Stan’s. But Stan is pretty much great at everything.”
And if you listen to Stan talking, he’s extremely intelligent. Very cerebral. And it’s not a surprise that he is able to turn pro in bodybuilding. And then break world records in powerlifting. Because he’s smart, and he’s very methodical with everything that he does.
And it has a rhyme and a reason. And that’s, to me, a sign of very high intelligence.
Always having a purpose to what you’re doing.
Nick: Yeah. So he’ll focus on…
He’ll get good at something, and then get it out there. Because again, knowledge without application is kind of worthless. [It is, yeah].
So let’s get back into the takeaways for our listeners, being mindful of the time here. I’ve really enjoyed…
I could just go on tangents with you forever, it feels. But what are some of the transformations you’ve gone through. I want to look at like how life has changed.
What are the most salient or unexpected changes from this process?
And then a few more follow ups on that.
Brian: OK, so you want to start with some of the biggest changes in my life since this book process? Or since… where do you want me to go with that?
Nick: Since the rehab process.
Since you started working with McGill. So more or less, just focusing in on the injury. And then the biggest changes to your quality of life, for example.
And then, what was unexpected that just came out of the process?
Brian: The biggest things to take away are moving well, and being good to my body.
And just realizing that, “Hey dummy, the body is a limited resource.” If you’re going to burn a candle on both ends, don’t expect to be able to go in and lift at Team Samson, and be anywhere near 100%.
So I was making more deposits and withdrawals. That is a big thing that a lot of people… they don’t look at it until they’re way overdrawn…
And they’re bankrupt.
They’re like, “What happened to me? Man, I was just lifting well last week / month / year. Had no pain.”
A lot of injuries are cumulative. And we think they all of the sudden, they just happen. When they’ve been mounting for days, weeks, months, years… even decades sometimes.
So the biggest thing is moving well and not abusing your body. And learning to say no. You know, you have people that ask you to move. Well now, when I have people asking me to move, or to move their refrigerator…
I politely say, “no thank you.” Because here’s the thing…
What’s worth more to me?
My reputation of maybe saying “no” to somebody… or my back health?
I’ve already been down that road before. So man, I’ve learned to say “no” and avoid situations that compromise by my back, and my health.
And I’m just smarter overall with what I put into my body.
Nutrition. That’s a big, BIG take-away.
You don’t need to eat like a bodybuilder to perform like a powerlifter. But you don’t want to put a bunch of junk in your gas tank either, and have extra body fat. And you want it to burn efficiently.
So again, it’s not going to be a chicken and rice diet for everybody. But it’s not going to be a McDonald’s diet for most people either. I don’t think it should be. Especially when you start mixing in simple sugars and saturated fat. And we know what that leads to…
Not good stuff with your heart and arteries.
Nick: Yeah, I think when it comes to diet…
So I used to be… you can see me right now on the on the cam… I’m about 189. And that’s a little heavy for me right now.
But I used to be 250 pounds. And that was pure FAT.
I was not athletic. I played video games. I used to be friggin huge. And when it comes down to it, it’s really just, “Eat really well most of the time.” And then, when you’re not going to, you fucking enjoy it.
But pick your battles.
And once the apple pie stops tasting good… don’t have five more pieces of it. You know? It’s really picking your battles. And then just realize, “OK now is a good time to stop.”
That’s all there is to it.
Brian: That’s a good point.
And we’re not going to say, “Hey, there’s no time off. You’ve got to push forever. You can’t ever eat junk food.”
Have your junk food at times that are a little bit better planned. Like after a training session, when your weight’s on point.
Not when you’re already overweight for the training cycle, and you decide to eat it because you’re stressing. Be very strategic with the times that you cheat, or you do the things that that may or may not be so good for your body.
You need to always pick your battles, and decide if the juice is worth the squeeze, in everything that you do.
So going to the next part of the question.
What unexpected benefits or realizations did I have?
I’ve become a lot more thankful and grateful for my health. And a bit less of a dick.
You know, for the longest time, I thought that I was owed things. Or that I deserved things. Well, who the hell do you think you are to think you own you deserve anything?
What I didn’t deserve was my health, because I abused my body. I ate shitty. I didn’t take care of myself.
I overlooked a lot of things that Stu brought to my attention.
So you know the benefits that I spoke about before… being an athlete 24/7 and moving well? That was the physical. But I kind of expect that after a while of putting those deposits in…
What I didn’t expect was to be a lot more humble, grateful, and thankful for my health. Day-to-day. And just be appreciative of things outside of powerlifting. Instead of always having the tunnel vision for the next powerlifting meet.
And having it taken away from me — granted me a lot more thankfulness in the process.
Nick: And that’s one of the things that’s really interesting.
When it comes to thankfulness, some people just aren’t grateful for anything. But one of the easiest ways to be happy is to just find things to be thankful for. And obviously, when you’ve had them taken away, then you’re you realize it more when you’re missing them.
One of the big takeaways from positive psychology is like keeping a gratitude log.
One of the things I do with the Mrs., or try to do with the Mrs. every night before bed, is just sharing three things that I’m grateful for…
That we enjoyed together for the day.
Or that I appreciated about her.
Or something like that… and it’s a very it’s a simple little exercise. But it gets your head in the right place. Makes you feel good.
And mirroring what you said, you’re not entitled to shit.
When you’re a kid, you feel entitled to the world. Because kids are inherently selfish. That’s what they are. But a lot of adults, they don’t grow out of that until they’ve overcome a whole lot of difficulty.
And some people never grow out of it.
They’re just 60 year old entitled bastards nobody wants to talk to…
Brian: Yes, the same kid that says “mine” and snatches his toy back.
Well, we see a lot of adults like that too.
And they think that they’re just entitled to whatever. And they’re still snatching their toy back or whatever it may be, 30 years later. That’s the person that most people don’t want to be around because they’re selfish and self-consumed with all of their needs.
So I’m thankful that I’ve learned through them.
You know, the school of hard knocks. You know a lot of just slowing things down. Being grateful for what you have. And understanding that no, things aren’t perfect, but there are a lot better than they were. Or they could have been.
So that’s like my mantra now.
Nick: Well that’s a damn good mantra to have, in hindsight.
We kind of went into advice towards your younger self. Be more grateful. Stuff like that.
Is there any other advice that you’d give to your younger self?
We’ve covered a lot of this, but is there anything we haven’t covered that we’ve missed on the radar?
Brian: Well, even the last couple of years I’ve had problems with being patient with the process…
Whether it be writing a book, or you know, a PR in training. And some things were kind of loose with my discipline at times. So maybe my training would be perfect. Maybe my diet would be perfect. But I would skip my vitamins and supplements every once in a while…
Or maybe those three components were good, but my sleep sucked. Or I had other drama and stress in my life that was self-inflicted. There would be five moving pieces and only three at a time would be just right (camera: Nick mimics juggling).
So I wasn’t always controlling what I should control, or what was controllable. And I’d be juggling like you led onto there…
Having everything right, but not always at the right time. Because I’d be undisciplined and sometimes be impatient.
So man, that’s huge.
It’s huge for me realizing that, in the last little bit of time, that there’s things that I’ve overlooked. Even though at times, I thought I knew everything.
Nick: That’s a damn thing about aging. My dad says, “You know, I used to have all the answers when I was 16. And now, I’m not so sure.”
Brian: Yeah. “I don’t know,” is a good answer a lot of the time.
Nick: Or “it depends” is a go-to.
“Right. Yeah, okay. It depends… let’s get into more specifics.”
Then we NEED to get into semantics. Because, like (for example) I’m giving you a lot of broad questions.
Well, what’s the time frame?
What’s the context?
I try not to talk too much because I want to give you a lot of time. But you also need some time to setup that context. So you can answer the question more easily.
Brian: Yeah, I would definitely go back and tell younger Brian,
“Be patient. Be more disciplined. And understand that it’s a 20 year game, not a two year game.”
Nick: You mentioned in your book your… not a 10 year vision, but your future plan. You said maybe getting down to about 200 pounds…. you also mentioned possibly a power-building book coming out that you’d be working with.
Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Brian: Yes, so Tucker Loken, who’s a bodybuilder. Danny Vega, who’s a powerlifter. He ran a half marathon and he’s a former college football athlete. Just overall great athlete.
Us three are putting together a power-building book. Which is going to take components of powerlifting and bodybuilding, and kind of meet in the middle well. Where you will not be stage ready, and you won’t be powerlifting meet ready, but you get to be somewhere in between.
Because you’ll look the part. And you’ll be able to lift the part. So that’s what a lot of people want right now. They want to be able to NOT be the person that’s “all show and no go.” Like some people say a lot of bodybuilders are.
So we’re putting together something that’s going to be great for the average gym goer. That doesn’t want to specialize in one thing. But wants to look good and live well.
It’s going to be a hybrid approach to powerlifting and bodybuilding.
Nick: I’m looking forward to that because, like right now, I’ve been going through…
I alternate hypertrophy and strength blocks. And basically, I’m not looking to compete anytime here soon. I’d love to compete again in the future, but I need a proper setup for that. I’m in South Korea. I don’t have a really good gym. I don’t have the implements, and so forth.
It’s just a pain in the ass.
It’s possible, but it’s really, really tough. So I’m just trying to look better. Be strong. And increase work capacity. So keep on increasing the work capacity. Keep getting stronger. Looking better. That type of thing.
I’m looking forward to your collaboration.
Brian: And we’re going to also have some things for people with a limited assortment of implements or equipment…
For the person that also travels in the hotel room. They can only do bench, dips, pushups… bench dips on the bed… And they have access to some bands or whatever.
We’re not talking about the really nice Hilton gym downstairs that a lot of the hotels do actually have now. So we’re going to take it for the business person that travels a lot too. Not for the powerlifter or bodybuilder.
The gym pop if you will.
Nick: That’s something I tried to get Chris to write five years ago.
I was like, “My dad’s on the road. I know a bunch of executives that want to get a good workout in the gym. And they’re missing that resource.”
So definitely, put that out there. I’m sure people will just eat it up.
Brian: Still a lot of the same basic principles.
You know it’s a little bit for the higher reps as such. But a lot of hypertrophy training in there. And we’ll still have the basic squat, bench and deadlift work. But you know how you go about would be a little bit different.
Nick: OK. I’m going to go with some of my takeaways off-air to save your time because I know you’ve got to run here pretty soon.
So let’s go with things that everybody can take away here.
So athletes can go buy a copy of your book from your website: PowerRackStrength.com
And I think regardless of level it’s going to help them assess and self-coach themselves. But also, they can use this book with their coach.
I know I’m going to be giving my copy out.
Now that we’ve had our interviews. And I’ve highlighted the hell out of it. I’m going to be giving it to my co-workers to do and to look at, and my clients to talk about. And then we can work on some of the stuff together. I think that’ll just make people, help them shore up their weaknesses.
And be stronger than ever.
Any other advice… what are your big three takeaways for athletes that you think they’ll get from this book?
Brian: #1 is if you are hurt, back injury is not a life sentence.
#2 best case scenario, you avoid the back injury. We’ll tell you how to build a nice and durable strong core. And we teach you how to end up doing the powerlifts with good form.
Another big takeaway is this book is not just for strength athletes.
It’s for the person that wants to be able to do things pain-free. Or someone who wants to avoid maybe a back injury. Or someone that had a back injury a long time ago and wants to get back into training a little bit. And is interested in and lifting.
I think that most people should do some form of the squat, bench and deadlift no matter what their training goal is. Whether it be a trap bar or a goblet squat. Or a dumbbell press.
They’re all forms of the squat and deadlifts
Nick: Or the variations you mentioned earlier.
A lot of my populations are aging and their joints aren’t nearly as good as they should be. So rack pulls instead of from the floor. And all that good stuff. Definitely.
Brian: Yeah. So this will apply no matter what level and what your end goal is.
It will it will help you, and especially for any clinician chiropractor, physio, physical therapist. You’re going to be working with a lot of strength athletes in your time. And a lot of people that want to be able to get back to powerlifting 101. And that’s to be able to stand up with the hip hinge. Right?
Stu shared a story that you talked about how powerlifting 101 is pulling your hips through. And we break down the basics. To the most basic thing you can think about with the hip hinge…
And we take you all the way to world class performance. With the squat, bench, and deadlift. So there’s something in there from a to z for everybody.
Nick: And I’m probably going to spend 15 minutes on that. I’ll make that a bonus or something with all the takeaways. So the McGill 3 that you talked about. Learning the lifters wedge. We had the 90 year old story back in episode 1.
I also wanted to get to, “When in doubt…”
There’s always the “do it yourself” (DIY) the “done for you” (DFY) and the “done with you approach.” (DWY)
Tell me if I’m wrong here, but the DIY… I’m just going to frame it and then throw it to you.
So DIY – not too serious. If there’s no hurry, you can always try to do things yourself. And then if you’re not successful, you can get outside help. And I only recommend that if money is a real problem, right?
You can always do things yourself and maybe take some pride in that.
But I know with weight loss, if I would have gotten a coach, it wouldn’t have taken me 12 fucking years to figure it out…
And that’s just because I was a poor college kid. And I didn’t know any better. And I didn’t know someone I could trust for that advice.
That was pre-Internet as well.
Like now, the Internet exploded with good advice. There’s a lot of shit, but when you learn how to filter it, there’s a lot of good out there.
So the done-for-you (DFY) approach is more for celebrities and pro-athletes. People are managing their diets or supplementation. And maybe keeping them legally safe. Like, “My coach just gave me this thing I’m supposed to take,” right?
So DFY for celebrities and pro-athletes.
"But a lot of the time, the quick fix is not the best. If you want to do this, and enjoy these benefits for life, you’ve got to make it your own." -Nick Ritchey
And then there’s the done-with-you (DWY) approach. Which I think, tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m thinking that’s probably your recommendation…
Get a good coach.
Work with somebody.
Just to quote you earlier, you said, “This adjustment was as much mental as it was a physical and it would involve a total 180 degree turn in my approach.” (That was) when you were first talking about working with McGill.
So you have three articles on your website. I’ll point people to those as well. Maybe you have more on coaching. I think those are all great resources.
But what’s the greatest value of a coach for our listeners?
I’m cutting some stuff short so we can get you out of here.
"The greatest value of a coach is to help you avoid the mistakes that they have either made, or they've seen made. Over, and over, and over." -Brian Carroll
And you know, you hit the nail on the head with the 12 years of dropping the bodyweight.
Go in with an open mind because there’s a reason why you’re going to that person. Because you either did it yourself and messed it up.
Or worse, like I did.
I tried to rehab myself and I messed myself up worse. Or you have no idea what to do. So why not go to the source? Unless money is a huge problem. Then, you know, get some books.
And at the end of the day…
They’re like your accountability partner, in a lot of ways. And if they’re not pushing you… And making you question some of the stuff that you’re doing now… For instance, they’ll say, “Well Brian, how come you do that?”
You know, you always need to have a purpose for what you doing.
And if you can’t answer right away, why you’re doing what you’re doing, the chances are that what you’re doing might not be good for you.
So always have a purpose for what you do.
And that coach will keep you accountable to that.
And I think that’s one of the biggest things that the coach…
If a coach is always patting you on the back and saying “Yeah, that works.” Or never giving you alternatives [rah rah rah!] Yes, And never giving you alternative suggestions for what you’d like to do…
Then chances are, they’re not paying you too much attention.
I am accepting clients. I coach people from general population to athletes that may have hurt their back or had setbacks. Or people that want to avoid back injury and have resilient strength for a long time.
I talk with, Skype with, and coach with those athletes as well.
And the best way to get in contact with me is through PowerRackStrength.com
We’re getting ready to totally redo that website. So the search function for articles and everything is going to be much easier. And it’s going to be a lot more up-to-date. So we’re really looking forward to that here the next month. So hopefully, by the New Year’s.
Nick: I know Stu recently had his whole website redone.
is it going to be the same guys doing yours?
Brian: Different guy. I thought about looking at him. But then, the original guy that did my site sent me to someone that was even better than him. Because PowerRackStrength started off as only a place to sell books. It wasn’t going to have any content or any of that stuff.
So it’s grown quite a bit. It’s not really in its best form right now for what I’m trying to do.
So we’re going to totally redo the whole thing and showcase a lot more of the coaches and the athletes. Articles organized better. Shop easier to find. The whole nine. So I’m really looking forward to that.
Nick: Good luck with that.
I just wanted to say…
Your book, Gift of injury, is one of the few books that I really recommend EVERYONE read.
I really wish I’d had this book when I was first starting out. You talk about one of the big things of coaching is, for my engineering friends, there’s this constant feedback loop. This constant self-correction…
Because the body changes faster than the mind.
You have to keep on getting your mind ingrained in the right thinking processes. And if I would’ve had like a coach, if I had this book and he was like “Read this book. Go read Gift of Injury.” I do all my highlighting and stuff, and he’s like “Alright, now go read it again. And tell me three things that you picked up this time that you didn’t get from the first reading.”
That would have been extremely helpful for me.
So this is one of the books that I really recommend to everyone.
Our connections breaking up…
You’ve got an appointment. Do we have time for the +1, = and -1 real quick?
Nick: Perfect. All right. So +1, who inspires you?
And who would you love to learn from?
Brian: Oh, there’s a lot of people I’d like to learn more from.
Pavel. Any young buck that’s up and coming in powerlifting inspires me to sharpen my game up more. Learn more. Anyone that comes out with a good product. Anyone that brings something to my attention, that may question some of my principles. And makes me want to sharpen up more, and make sure that I’m on the right path.
I think questioning things is great. So Pavel’s one I’d like to learn from. I would like to spend more time with Dr. Stuart McGill and work on more performance aspects. Obviously Stu is someone I would like to spend time around.
He has such a great deal of knowledge with everything he did in powerlifting and strongman. So those are the three people. Obviously, I’ve worked with Stu extensively. But in person, not as much as I’d like to. Only four or five times or so in person.
Those are the three that come to mind right away.
Nick: Okay, great. Who would you like to collaborate or work with?
I know you’ve already got the power-building book coming out.
You’ve got a course coming out with Stu.
Do you have any other seminars or anything that you’re going to be doing here in the near future?
And is there anybody else that you are thinking of collaborating with in the near future?
Brian: Seminar’s. I have a couple planned. I’m going to be updating the website soon.
I’ll be all over the country in the next year and maybe even out of the country. In the U.K. and possibly Spain for a couple different seminars. Yes, so the words growing which, like I mentioned Rogan earlier, that would really help spread the word.
And doing great podcasts like yours really helps spread the word.
A little bit of your time. New listeners learn about Stu and I. I don’t have any collaboration planned or any that I want to think about now until I get the finished power-building. Stu and I get this book up and out and holding its own with the promotion.
The power-building book…
I’m going to revisit cutting weight and do a second version of that. But I think some opportunities will present themselves over the next couple of years as more people read Gift of Injury and see what I’m about.
Nick: I’m sure you’re going to have a ton of options. So good luck with all that.
And the last the last thing was, who is the ideal client that you want to work with?
Brian: An online client that listens well. Someone that…
Trust me, most of all my clients are online.
People come see me every once in a while, but I’m working on opening up a facility that’s not Team Samson because that’s out of Driggers gym that I’ve been training at for 14 or 15 years.
I want my own facility where I can have, basically, a lab there.
Where I work with athletes. Teach them proper form. Teach them to move well. Pull performance out of. Keep them from getting injured and the whole nine. So that’s something in the near future that I’m really going to work on having to start small.
And I’m really looking forward to doing that.
But the ideal client is the one that trust me. Understands that I’ve been there. And that if I don’t know the answer to their problem right away, I’m going to work with them to help get to the bottom of it. And get them back on track because that’s likely why they hired me. Because they’ve hit a roadblock or they’re hurt.
You know the worst client is the one that knows it all, and it doesn’t want to listen.
Who wants to pay me to repeat back to them what they told me.
That’s the worst one.
Nick: And there’s a lot of those. Sadly.
Brian: Yeah, and it stinks.
Because a lot of that time, they start off listening to you and and roll in with you. Parallel what you’re trying to accomplish. Mirroring, if you will.
Then after a while, they start getting loosey goosey. They start adding things in.
And the worst one is when they add things and they hurt themselves. When they’re getting out of injury and they want you to figure out how to get them pain free again. That’s very, very frustrating.
That’s the worst type of client.
The one that does too much, hurts themselves because they get ahead of themselves. They think they can handle this load. They’re only supposed to go to 225. They go to 455. They hurt their disc again, and they say “fix me.”
And I’m like, “that’s not how this works.”
Nick: Yeah, well, I think that’s a good place to stop here.
I am going to close off the show. Good luck with your other meetings.
Thank you again Brian for spending so much time with us.
It was an absolute pleasure!
Brian: Thank you so much for having me once again.
Have me on anytime you need me. Let me know and I’ll be on it.
And thanks for letting me promote “Gift of Injury” with Dr. McGill and myself.
It’s been a great time.
You’ve reached the end of episode 153 of the Limit Slayer podcast with Brian Carroll.
For the next episode, I was contacted by the 4th largest running website in the world, and asked if I would like to interview their CEO. So I read up on the guy, did my due diligence, decided to give it a go.
We got on Skype, hit record – and had a blast.
Now, I stopped running about a decade ago. After coughing up a shot-glass of blood every morning for a month… but that’s a story for another day.
Runner or not, I think you’re going to find these episodes very interesting.
That’s next time.
But before you go, don’t forget to check the show notes for THIS episode.
We’ve got videos for you on breathing and bracing with Chris Duffin and Mike Tuchscherer. Videos on how to perform the McGill big 3 with my old training partner, Muscle Russell. Who I got to visit in London at the start of the New Year.
You can download a 1-page cheat sheet for Gift of Injury. With the most important takeaways, page numbers for key concepts, templates, resources, etc.
PLUS an activity sheet, giving you 3 things you can start doing RIGHT NOW, to get, AND KEEP your back STRONG, and PAIN-free, for life.
Just visit LimitSlayer.com/BrianCarroll
That’s B.R.I.A.N. C.A.R.R.O.L.L.
Thanks again to Brian, for writing an excellent book, and coming on the Limit Slayer Podcast to share it. The wisdom you’re spreading has SO much potential to improve lives. I want to get it into as many hands as possible.
And to help make that happen, I’ve prepared 3 special gifts, just for listeners own a copy of Brian’s book.
The first gift is the best, and only available to the first 10 people who order Gift of Injury from the link in the show notes.
The second gift addresses the ONE major shortcoming of Brian’s otherwise excellent book. So you can extract the book’s full value on the first go.
Regardless of speed, it’s available to everyone who owns a physical copy. Just don’t forget to claim it!
And the 3rd gift, well, you’ll just have to visit the show notes to find out what it is, and how to get it…
Episodes, downloads, links and bonuses – you can find it all at:
Thank you for listening.
And till next time,
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