T Nation

Don't "Feel" Loaded Carries

Coach, I read your article on Thibarmy about timed carries.

Love the article, and I do carries about 4x per week.

Question: I don’t “feel” carries in many of the muscle groups you mentioned, except the forearms (of course). My grip is usually the first one to wear out, but I’ve never felt my traps work on a dumbbell carry, my serratus on an OH carry, or my abs on really any carry. And none of those are sore after. Am I doing something wrong? Or is my grip just limiting me?

the way you describe it sounds like light weight. yes, grip normally goes first
maybe this will answer your own questions

Yesterday I did makeshift zercher walks using an old log with kettlebells suspended on strength bands. My intercostals are definitely feeling it today.


You’re not doing them heavy enough

Maybe I’m not doing them heavy enough, but I’m not sure.

I weigh 170#.

I’m doing DB carries with 150# and trap bar carries with 205#. The DBs roll on me pretty bad which is why I question my grip. I’ve been going about 30 sec and just upped it to 60 today.

My max BB deadlift is 300# and max trap bar deadlift is 350#.

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Body weight in each hand. You will feel everything.
I also recommend something for distance (40m?) and trying to get heavier and faster over time. For time only is good for conditioning mostly

That’s great advice… for someone about twice as strong as me. I can DB carry 150#, so you’re just telling me to carry more than twice that, i.e. my 1RM trap-bar deadlift, for distance. You might as well just say “be a ton stronger.” Duh.

Start somewhere. Measure out about 40m. Keep going up in weight until the point where you reach that 40m and you hate life and can’t go another inch. Back off 5% and work on that

:roll_eyes: Is that how progressive overload works? I had no idea.

Seriously though, I asked the question to Coach Thibideau to see if there was a form or technique issue making me not feel the muscles working. I don’t need to be told “lift more” - I can figure that one out myself.

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There’s no point in doing farmer walks with DBs, there is no reference to this in Thib’s article. It says use DBs for goblet carries.

70kgs in each hand is nothing for a farmer’s walk and it’s why you feel nothing.

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Increase this and add straps. Put 80% of your 3RM on the bar and walk it for the time. Chest up shoulders down like you’re in the starting dip position.

Farmers for life.

Actually it’s 70 pounds (#) and it’s all I can carry, but thanks for the pep talk.

This seems a bit out of line to me. I do farmer’s walks quite a bit, and walking around with twice your body weight is no joke. While I don’t doubt it can be done by some strong members on this forum, most can’t even deadlift 2X their BW (let alone, then walk around for 40m with it).

That said, I prefer Dan John’s advice: vary the distance and load every time.

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Best advice I’ve gotten yet. Thanks.

Good luck bro

I agree with this to a point. But my point is simply that no one will ever “feel x, y, z” working unless it is a truly challenging weight. The number is irrelevant. You should be begging to quit at around 40meters to get the strength gains the OP is looking for. But 4 sets of 60 seconds 4 times a week is not gonna do the trick.