T Nation

Loaded Carries: How Often and How Heavy?


My gym has no specific equipment for loaded carries, heaviest dumbbells are 80lbs (36kg).
Right now I’m doing them twice a week, as finishers after the workouts.
Once overhead carry (on press day), I pick a 44 pounds plate and carry it overhead for 1 minute, then rest 1 minute, and repeat for a total of 3 times.
The other (squat day usually), I do suitcase carries. I pick a dumbbell about 50lbs and simply walk as much as I can for each side, rest 1-2 minutes and repeat for a total of 3 times.

Wanted to add the farmer walks on another day, but (if grip allows) I’d be limited to 160lbs total and I weigh 170lbs. What distance should I shoot for to make them effective? Consider that after the workout, grip might be a very limiting factor on these. I don’t think I could go, say, one full minute.

What other kind of carries do you know that can be performed without specific equipment?
I thought about walking with a barbell in the front rack position but no clue about how much weight and what distance should I shoot for - 50% front squat’s 1RM?
Zerchers are out of question


Don’t carry barbells around a conventional gym. Eventually you’ll need to drop it and that will get your membership revoked.

Don’t know where you live or your money situation, but everyone can afford this: Get an old army/navy “sea bag” for $4-$10 at a surplus store or online. Some guys fill them with sand in trash bags but eventually the sand always leaks. I recommend wood pellets or gravel (lowes/home despot). You can use them for any kind of carry you need and drop them from overhead without worrying about damaging the parking lot or the bag.

Bear hug carries are the worst, they squeeze your breath out. I hate them. They are effective.