Loaded carries only.

MattM

SFG1
Certified Instructor
What does everyone think would happen if you did only (90%) carries for workouts? Obviously you would have to do a bit of squatting/hinging to maintain those patterns. Would you quickly burn out even if you constantly varied the implements/exact movements?

I'm not going to do this but lately I have become very intrigued by them. There doesn't seem to be a more "bang for your buck" exercise. They are truly the definition of "functional", a word that is often misused in the fitness industry.

Interested in opinions.
 

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I do them simply because I've heard that they fix so many issues, from strengthening the core to fixing issues with the gait of runners. It would be an interesting study. It would also be interesting to do some type of aerobic test prior and post to the study to see if you gained any aerobic function out of it. As they say, anything works for 4 to 6 weeks and there are so many different types of carries that could be done that it would only be limited to your imagination.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
If you do them in many different varieties, as in carrying kettlebells from the handle and some sandbags on your shoulder, and use proper lifting movements with them, I can see them having very good all-around benefits. They could definitely be the major part of a cycle.
 

Snowman

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I think Dan John said something along the lines of "To develop the hips well, you need to hinge, squat, and do loaded carries." I think you could do just fine by focusing on one of the three, as long as you didn't totally eliminate the other two. For general fitness, if you take care of your legs and back, everything else seems to do ok.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
Loaded carries can be very well combined with squats and deadlifts to get the weights moving.

When I was a bit younger, around ten years a go, I worked some years in construction. My main job was in logistics, as in buying paint and concrete etc, then moving them into the car and out of the car in the construction yard. It was a terrific workout, some weeks every day, all day. I've later concluded it's been probably the best GPP practice I've done.

That reminds me, if possible, add several flights of stairs to your loaded carries. They work wonders.
 

MattM

SFG1
Certified Instructor
@Antti I've always been intrigued by (and jealous of) guys who have maintained a decent physique and high strength levels simply by doing their jobs.
 

mkipper

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
Back to the original question: Carries are an amazing way to strengthen the body. I defintely agree with keeping a squat and deadlift pattern in the mix but also a ROTATION exercise (TGU, bent press ect....) I feel a program focused on carries could lock up the thoracic spine and hips from rotation. Function to me is reliance, strength and mobility in all the different ways the body can move.

Definitely open to any feedback agreeing or disagreeing with this?
 

mkipper

Still New to StrongFirst Forum
One sided carries would fall into anti-rotation or anti/lateral flexion category. An amazing exercise but still does not move you through actual rotation.
 

Geoff Chafe

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I like various loaded carries as a finisher. I often put light KB rack carries and overhead carries in my warmup, but I cannot see myself only doing carries as a workout I enjoy programming and variety too much.

I like loading medleys a lot. Fun cardio and strength work. On a strongman type day they work well.
 

Geoff Chafe

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@MattM I always do some KB rack carries if I am cleaning and pressing. Warms up the KB front rack position and stretches the shoulders. Also, teaches you to keep the shoulders packed and what the rack position should feel like.

The bottoms up rack carry is another awesome drill.
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
I saw an interview with Kostya Tszyu some time around 1995 and he was talking about training with Kettlebells - no-one here had heard of Kettlebells at that time. He was a Russian boxer who became a multiple world champion and moved to Australia in the 90's.

One of his workouts was just a form of loaded carry. He would pick up Kettlebell and not put it down for a full hour. He said in the interview that after a while you will be inventing things to do with it as it becomes very heavy after a while. He suggested to begin with a 16kg bell and you know you are in good shape when you can do it for a full hour with a 24kg bell. He also said in the interview that workout gave him a lot of punching power & endurance and he could knock out a bull if he had to.

I saw him fight several times and I've never seen punching power like that from anyone in his weight division since.
 
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Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
He would pick up Kettlebell and not put it down for a full hour. He said in the interview that after a while you will be inventing things to do with it as it becomes very heavy after a while.
This appeals to me, although I think that most mere mortals would be well served by doing this for 10 minutes, not an hour.

-S-
 

RobertS

Double-Digit Post Count
This thread caught my eye as it largely describes my training for the last year or so. I took inspiration from the 'Cook drill' on Gray Cook/Dan John's "Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums" DVD (highly recommended by the way) and it grew from there. I carry a bell for 15+ minutes per day, and include some other static positions - for example, hanging from a bar for 7 minutes a day (non-continuously). In fact it's been the most consistent year of training I've ever had and I'm pleased with the results. At my age I need training that doesn't beat me up.

(I can't say much about aerobic improvements - however, I recently jogged a 10k run fairly comfortably, off the back of a couple of 1 or 2 mile runs/month, which surprised me. YMMV, obviously.)
 
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Antti

More than 2500 posts
This thread caught my eye as it largely describes my training for the last year or so. I took inspiration from the 'Cook drill' on Gray Cook/Dan John's "Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums" DVD (highly recommended by the way) and it grew from there. I carry a bell for 15+ minutes per day, and include some other static positions - for example, hanging from a bar for 7 minutes a day (non-continuously). In fact it's been the most consistent year of training I've ever had and I'm pleased with the results. At my age I need training that doesn't beat me up.

(I can't say much about aerobic improvements - however, I recently jogged a 10k run fairly comfortably, off the back of a couple of 1 or 2 mile runs/month, which surprised me. YMMV, obviously.)
Care to into more detail on your program and the results?
 

tex0585

Double-Digit Post Count
I have been thinking of doing what the Op asked about. I was wondering about how I should program it? I do want to keep the swing and a squat in the mix. Something I thought of doing would be to carry a kb in the position I would hold it to do a goblet squat...carry it for a set distance....do 10 goblet squats..carry for a distance and do 20 2H swings. Rest when needed but work up to maybe 50-100 squats and 100-200 swings. Work up to doing this and not having to put the bell down. I'd mix in different types of carries in on other days as well as keeping a squat variant and a push variant in the routine. I'd kinda just play around with it and see how I felt. I would also warm up with OS resets and TGU's. Any thoughts/suggestions?
 
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