T Nation

Loaded Carry-Focused Program?

Hi CT,

Do you think it would be feasible to do a program that focused on loaded carries? What would some of the benefits/drawbacks be? I imagine the barbell lifts would still be used as accessory work and to improve strength throughout.

Loaded carries are awesome and can be used for several goals. I would not personally use them as the main workload for a program though. Heck, even strongman competitors who need loaded carry strength more than anybody else still use the big basic barbell lifts as their main training tool.

I get what you want to do. You fell in love with loaded carries and a workout “themed” around loaded carries feels cool and fresh.

Will it work? Sure. Any program where you are moving weights around and trying t gradually get stronger will work to some extent.

Will it be optimal? Well… it will be optimal if your goal is to be strong are loaded carries. Not ideal if your goal is to build a great physique or be super strong in the big basic lifts.

Don’t get me wrong, loaded carries will greatly help in your question to get stronger and can even help you add some mass. That’s why they are awesome as ASSISTANCE exercises.

You know, I could come up with a loaded carries program that would deliver some results. But I do not believe that it is a good way to train so you will have to pardon me for not making any recommendations.

1 Like

It was more about seeking firstly whether an experienced coach sees it as a viable option, and if so, then inquiring about how that would work. But I’ll accept your wisdom and leave it at that!

You’re right though, I love loaded carries. They’ve always been my favourite exercises, but I can never justify adding them into my different training phases because of everything else needed to support that phase’s goal. I think it might be because, as someone who trains combat sports, loaded carries feel very “combative” to me, and I have more fun training them over any other lift.

As an aside, if someone didn’t have access to a large swath of space to do loaded carries, would it be possible to do them on a treadmill IF a safe way to “rack” them could be found? Or is it just a disaster waiting to happen?

Well you would need to find a treadmill where you have room to hold on to the objects, most treadmills have side handles what would make it hard to carry stuff.

But there exist a treadmill/farmer walk combo

Lots of carries in this program. This was a fun one.