Loaded Carries For The Win

I like loaded carries. They’re easy to do and for me, should be a staple of any programme, much like pushing, pulling, squatting and hinging. That’s why I use them a lot in my programming. This article is going to explain why I use them so much…

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It doesn’t matter whether your goal is fat loss, strength, injury rehab or increasing your fitness, loaded carries have their role to play. No matter the variation, loaded carries have heaps of benefits;

  • Increase Muscle Mass

Due to the increased amount of time you spend under load (or time under tension) when performing loaded carries, it puts greater stress on your muscular hypertrophy and hormonal adaptations. Basically this means you work your body as a whole, causing damage to your muscles so that it encourages muscle growth. Strength and muscle building training after all is just breaking the muscle down so it can rebuild itself to be bigger and stronger.

  • Ignite the Central Nervous System

Being able to train the Central Nervous System (CNS) when performing loaded carries can mean big increases in your results when it comes to training maximal strength and power. This is because, by learning not to burnout your CNS when you lift a heavy weight, you’ll be able to fire and recruit more muscle fibres at once which will allow your force output to increase. Training the CNS can also lead to you improving your bracing, breathing and developing tension under heavy loads; all important factors that are sometimes forgotten about when it comes to training.

  • Develop Strong Stabilisers

When it comes to movement efficiency, getting stronger and reducing your risk of injury, your core, hip and spinal stability play a massive role. Adding in loaded carries into your training can help develop thick core musculature and increase your awareness and stabilisation of your spine and supporting muscles.

  • Increase Grip, Back & Core Strength

Increasing your grip, back and core strength will massively help you to be able to train harder, heavier and more often. All important factors when it comes to increasing strength, power output and muscle growth. All of which are worked when you perform loaded carries.

Top Loaded Carries

Now you know the benefits of loaded carries, here are my favourite variations to use

Farmers Walk

Double KB Front Racked Carry

Offset KB Front Rack & SA KB Farmers Carry


Suitcase Carry

Zercher Carry

Yoke Walk

Great session at Iron Athlete Gym today, got to play around with a superyoke… and now I want one. Commentary courtesy of Chris Kershaw #CoachSteve #strongman

Gepostet von Coach Cuthbert Training Systems am Samstag, 25. März 2017

All of these variations can be programmed depending on your goals. If it’s strength you’re after, load them up heavy and carry for short distances. Fat loss, use moderate weights and longer distances, or even throw in some carry medleys to really challenge yourself. For fitness, use light weights and aim to carry for time.

Take Home Points

Loaded carries are one of the simplest exercises to perform but have a huge amount of benefits. They’ve also been used in programming for a long time, whether your goals are strength, fat loss or increasing your fitness. Not only that, they add a bit of variation to the norm when it comes to training; and let’s face it make you look pretty badass. Why wouldn’t you use them in your training? Trust me, give them a go and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Thanks for reading,

Coach Steve

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