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Developing Practical Strength While Running 5/3/1?


I managed to embarrass myself this weekend (In my own eyes).

I took my baby to the park. Baby weights about 14kg. There is a about a mile long walk in the nature reserve. Thus I picked the baby up and went for a walk. I literally ended up swapping him from arm to arm every 30seconds…cursing myself for not using the pram. Cardio was fine (I do BJJ/MMA six days a week). But I felt weak…I think my wife carried the baby for a longer distance than me.

So here’s the question. What exercises and routine do you use to develop ‘real life practical’ strength? And how do your suggest to fit this in with 531?

There is no way to develop PRACTICAL strenght without using specificity.
Specificity is king and it is very important, thats why there are skinny guys in BJJ who can get their arm out of an armbar from a bodybuilder, while a bodybuilder cant do that to save his life.
As a lifter for 17 years and also a fellow fighter and a military hand to hand combat instructor i have enough experience to know that - without specificity, you are worth nothing.
Best long distance runners cant spar for 1 round. Best sprinters sometimes cant walk 20miles in a forest with full gear. There are BJJ masters who cant get up stairs without getting winded and there are powerlifters who cant push away a 150lb dude in a BJJ roll.
Because its all specific, and you cant train specificity without the actual specificity. Your wife has carried that kid probably much more than you have therefore she has done a specific training while you havent. Its nothing to be emberassed about.
When i was fighting and teaching full time and i had my best cardio, i could go for 10 rounds of MMA and after that i would go on dates and then fuck all night. I still got winded when getting up 9 flights of stairs. My GF uses that stair-cardio thingy and she can get up stairs easy but she cant do 20 burpees without choking on her tongue.

For overall purposes - the MORE stuff you do, the better. But to actually get better at something you must do the thing you want to get better with.
Nothing will train you to carry a baby in a specific position than carrying something around that weight in a simmilar position.

A collegue of mine, who is a powerlifter with 20 year experience and overall huge dude, once said to me : “people like us usually get injured while working with a showel or a rake”… Which is very true - you deadlifting 800lbs does not help you to dig a hole for 5 hours straight.


This is a pretty far to be carrying a 30-pound sandbag that cries, wiggles, and wets itself, so I don’t know what you were expecting.

Chins, dips, curls, presses, deadlifts, and all sorts of farmer’s walk variations.

By following the basic 5/3/1 guidelines on accessory work and conditioning.

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This is a really long isometric hold. Like @hankthetank89 said, you’re not doing that without trainings for an isometric hold with the same joint angles.

Take a wagon and pull/push it next time.

Your wife likely held the baby on her hip, she’s done this before. You likely held the baby in your arms, which is a very different proposition.

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Ha - this is the stroy of my life. My son has ASD and needs lots of cuddles and carries. He is 6. And heavy.

I competed in a strong man show 2 weeks back (novice only). And did okay. But my wife will carry him 2-3x further than I will. I get ribbed about this a lot.

Don’t stress.

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