Now that I've given my body some rest after the APF Summer Bash, I've began to have some medial knee pain in my right knee. I'm still training hard, but I'm focusing on keeping my low back healthy and addressing my knee issues as well. The goal for 2017 is to end the year completely healthy and have a solid base to build a real training cycle on.

For programming and coaching inquires, please email or visit

This comes to me as one of the hardest Elitefts training logs I might ever write. I know that my logs are slightly behind, but I feel that it's imperative that I post this log as soon as possible to highlight some of the current events.

As many of you have known, I've dealt with low back issues off and on for a few years now. To anyone in the game, injuries and risks come with the territory. If you're going to compete at a high level, year in and year out, it's going to take it's toll on you. Everyone I've ever known that's been successful, has had to endure some time of pain, and in powerlifting that's usually a bodily injury or condition, whatever it might be.

I've thrown my back out, had minor tweaks of a pec, knee pain and issues, MCL sprain, just to name a few. I've been a high level athlete all my life, and that's something that I carry with me everyday with the ink on my body.

shirt setting back

My most recent back issues has been a period of time where I've put myself back together to make it through training cycles just to get back on the platform and lay it all on the line. I'd much rather have shit hit the fan doing the thing I love, rather than anywhere else.

Unfortunately on Wednesday, October 4th 2017 I re-injured my low back doing some light speed pulls. This has been the third time I've had my low back go out on me in less than a year. I've been doing multiple modalities and therapies to help keep me training and doing my daily life, with rather good success. But for some reason, my body is just now starting to tell me to back away.

This isn't a retirement piece, but I've officially decided that for the time being I will be stepping away from full power competing for the foreseeable future. I have the full intention on not only getting back on the platform, but hitting all-time bests before my days are done. But for now, I'm going to focus on being a bench press specialist, both raw and equipped.

I had to sit down, make some phone calls with people that I highly look up to, and talk with my loving girlfriend and make a decision at what was best not only for myself, but my future and my loved ones. I had to weigh my return on investment at this point in time. And it saddens me to have to admit this, but everything has told me I need to step away for now. I HAVE TO give my body time to heal. I'm doing myself no good with dumping thousands of dollars into therapy and treatment, just to piss it away every couple of months.

Brandon Smitley Prowler

So what is my timeline? Quite frankly, I have no idea. Right now I'm leaning towards not squatting or deadlifting until 2019. After talking with Dave Tate, I might be able to use 135 on each lift to just keep the movement patterns ingrained, but I need to give my spine, hips, and connective tissue time to do it's own thing. I need to keep going to therapy, chiropractic sessions, and performing my own modalities to rebuild my movement patterns from the foundation. All the things I teach my clients as a coach, now have come back to me finally separating those roles (athlete from coach), and doing what I need to do.

I've managed to accomplish some amazing things, and I'm not even 30. I see the sky as my limit, WHEN I'M HEALTHY. But, that's the key, I need to put my ego aside, listen to my heart, and do those things.

I want to be an amazing boyfriend (and future husband) to a beautiful girl in my life. I want to be an awesome dad that can play with his kids. I want to be a son that can help my family when they need their only son. I want to be a better man with God. I want to be a better friend for all my current relationships, and the new ones I will forge. I want to be a better coach, business person, and seek my goals. For me to do all these things, I need this time in my life to focus on health, not my numbers.


My plan is still to be one of the best competitors, coaches, and people on this planet. I'm still going to chase records and create content  for Elitefts, NutraBio, and my own brand as I have to help those that are looking to seek the goals I have and walk the steps I've taken so far.

To the older lifters reading this, you'll probably understand where I'm coming from. To the younger lifters, LISTEN to those wiser than you. I am walking proof that listening to them will work, and when you don't IT WILL come back to get you soon enough if you're going to push your body to the level that it takes to seek records and greatness.

Training has be, and will be always a top 4 priority in my life. But right now, it needs to fall to priority number 4.

My plan is to compete at APF Equipped Nationals, bench only. But that's so far away, that I am in no rush and I know what I need to do to get on that platform and excel. But for now, it's time to rest, train as I feel, love my amazing girlfriend, family, and God with 100 percent.

I'm all in. On my rehab. On my relationships. On my role as being a mentor and coach to amazing clients and Purdue Barbell students.

Thanks for all the support, and I look forward to this new chapter in my journey.

A plane must always go against the wind and gravity before it can coast into the clouds.