T Nation

Training Different Carries


#1
  1. Is there a typical length for (sandbag) carries? I did a little over 60 meter with a turn and asked myself if this is an appropriate length.

  2. Is there a big difference between famers walks or trap bar carries? I imagine the balance makes the famers walk with two seperate handles more difficult but from the standpoint of investing in equipment the trap bar might also make a good lower body acessory for high rep deadlifts and such.


#2

Carry distance will vary between contests. It’s good to get good at a variety of ranges/weights. I’ve carried as short as 15 feet to as far as 20 meters.

That said, 60 meters with a turn sounds pretty crazy, and more crossfitty than strongman. I think your weight may be a little light, unless you’re training for like a hussfel stone type carry, where speed is less of a concern and you’re just trudging the distance.

As for question 2, I would actually find the farmer’s handles a better investment than the trapbar. Pretty much anything you can do with a trap bar, you can do with farmer’s handles, but you can also typically load farmer’s handles heavier than you could a trap bar. And some companies actually make farmer’s handles that can convert into a frame, which would be the best of both worlds.

The difference is going to be that the farmer’s handles can move in more directions, which you’ll really notice with a turn.


#3

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

  1. Is there a typical length for (sandbag) carries? I did a little over 60 meter with a turn and asked myself if this is an appropriate length.

  2. Is there a big difference between famers walks or trap bar carries? I imagine the balance makes the famers walk with two seperate handles more difficult but from the standpoint of investing in equipment the trap bar might also make a good lower body acessory for high rep deadlifts and such.[/quote]

  1. No, depends on the contest. The one I was going to in November is a prescribed weight for max distance. A similar event, the power stairs, also at this contest calls for a prescribed weight carried for the fastest time.

  2. The trap bar is easier to walk with but I think it is good enough practice with if you have limited money. Heavy dumb bells are actually harder but rarely are you going to find one over 150lbs, with most contests needing between 200 and 400lbs per hand.


#4

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Carry distance will vary between contests. It’s good to get good at a variety of ranges/weights. I’ve carried as short as 15 feet to as far as 20 meters.

That said, 60 meters with a turn sounds pretty crazy, and more crossfitty than strongman. I think your weight may be a little light, unless you’re training for like a hussfel stone type carry, where speed is less of a concern and you’re just trudging the distance.

As for question 2, I would actually find the farmer’s handles a better investment than the trapbar. Pretty much anything you can do with a trap bar, you can do with farmer’s handles, but you can also typically load farmer’s handles heavier than you could a trap bar. And some companies actually make farmer’s handles that can convert into a frame, which would be the best of both worlds.

The difference is going to be that the farmer’s handles can move in more directions, which you’ll really notice with a turn.[/quote]

Weight was not that heavy on purpose as I am new to training carries and still recovering from a very annoying injury. That said the 60 meters felt easy and I have done it for 5 rounds. The only thing that was difficult was breathing as I held the bag pressed against my chest. As to loading I think that is not a concern right now because I am a lot weaker than you or pretty weak in general.


#5

[quote]Aero51 wrote:

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

  1. Is there a typical length for (sandbag) carries? I did a little over 60 meter with a turn and asked myself if this is an appropriate length.

  2. Is there a big difference between famers walks or trap bar carries? I imagine the balance makes the famers walk with two seperate handles more difficult but from the standpoint of investing in equipment the trap bar might also make a good lower body acessory for high rep deadlifts and such.[/quote]

  1. No, depends on the contest. The one I was going to in November is a prescribed weight for max distance. A similar event, the power stairs, also at this contest calls for a prescribed weight carried for the fastest time.

  2. The trap bar is easier to walk with but I think it is good enough practice with if you have limited money. Heavy dumb bells are actually harder but rarely are you going to find one over 150lbs, with most contests needing between 200 and 400lbs per hand. [/quote]

To 1) The contest I originally wanted to enter had the same arrangement.
2) Money is a major factor but I think the price is not that different, depending on what company I choose of course.


#6

You can buy a sandbag for $60 and train with it. You can get rocks for free or really cheap. I think that is the best solution to train general carries. I think the trap bar will be a good investment since you can deadlift, squat, and carry with it. you might want to buy an axle too, which is surprisingly only $250.


#7

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
You can buy a sandbag for $60 and train with it. You can get rocks for free or really cheap. I think that is the best solution to train general carries. I think the trap bar will be a good investment since you can deadlift, squat, and carry with it. you might want to buy an axle too, which is surprisingly only $250.[/quote]

I do have a sand bag, not sure if that was unclear. An axle is pretty cheap but I am not sure if it is worth the money.


#8

You could buy an axle and use it for everything. You’ll be slightly limited for heavy rowing or bench pressing but that is what straps are for… It is a cheaper investment that can do what any regular barbell can plus more.


#9

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
You could buy an axle and use it for everything. You’ll be slightly limited for heavy rowing or bench pressing but that is what straps are for… It is a cheaper investment that can do what any regular barbell can plus more. [/quote]

To add to this, an axle can also be used to make a chain yoke, which is a brutal exercise in it’s own right. I’d definitely make one first thing, and honestly train the majority of your upper body lifts with it.

If cost is the issue, I would emphatically get a pair of farmers over a trap bar. Basically, you can turn farmer’s into a trap bar, but you can’t go the other way around.


#10

Since we are talking about equipment, I am also interested in a safety squat bar. It looks like an awesome tool (only had the oppurtunity to test it without weigth). Do you have/ recommend a SSB and do you value your axle higher or your SSB. Of course an axle can be used for a variety of thing and a SSB just for squats, GMs and such but my lower body strength defenitely needs to improve.


#11

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:
Since we are talking about equipment, I am also interested in a safety squat bar. It looks like an awesome tool (only had the oppurtunity to test it without weigth). Do you have/ recommend a SSB and do you value your axle higher or your SSB. Of course an axle can be used for a variety of thing and a SSB just for squats, GMs and such but my lower body strength defenitely needs to improve.[/quote]

The only reason I use the SSB is because I am a terrible squatter and it helps me with my form. I don’t think the return on investment is there for that piece of equipment.

Just to give a run down, these are the things I think are the most bang for your buck

Sandbag w/rocks
Axle
Loadable Dumbbell (you can make this with 2" nom piping and some welded collars)
Trap Bar


#12

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:
Since we are talking about equipment, I am also interested in a safety squat bar. It looks like an awesome tool (only had the oppurtunity to test it without weigth). Do you have/ recommend a SSB and do you value your axle higher or your SSB. Of course an axle can be used for a variety of thing and a SSB just for squats, GMs and such but my lower body strength defenitely needs to improve.[/quote]

I think the SSB is an amazing tool, and were I not a closet powerlifter, I’d probably replace all my barbell squats with SSB squats.

That being said, it’s a different tool from an axle. What makes the axle so appealing is how much you get out of it for such a low cost. You boil it down and it’s a pipe, no frills, but using it makes you stronger and better.

A strongman can live without an SSB, but not without an axle.


#13

Another question about axles: Do you have 50mm or 40mm thick axles? The site I get most of my equipment from offers both. I imagine 50mm is the standard but I have no idea how I am supposed to hold on to such a thick bar with my tiny hands.


#14

50mm would be the standard. That’s 1.9" to us standard folk, which is typically what you see with an axle, unless it’s like the Ironmind one, which is a true 2"

You’ll get better with practice, but that’s also where the continental comes into play.


#15

About what percentage of your standard deadlift is your axle deadlift. I ask because I have limited weigths right now and would maybe have to get some in the near future.


#16

I’ve only ever pulled a max axle once, and that was in a last man standing format. I was able to pull a tougher than it should’ve ben 585, and I got 610 to my knees but my starting position was terrible and I had no chance of locking it out. Prior to that, I had pulled 650 in the gym on a deadlift bar.

That said, it’s going to differ from person to person. The above was with straps, and if you pull without, it’ll be different.

The key difference between the axle and a barbell on the deadlift is the lack of flex and the fact the bar is further out in front of you.


#17

Now this thread derails completely but I am happy to have experoenced guys answer a few questions, so thanks for that!

Question: Do you feel like there is a certain strength level one should have before getting serious with strongman training. Strongman training looks like great fun to me but my power lifts are pretty weak, so I wonder if it would be more beneficial to try and get stronger in genereal first.

All time best lifts are 1.7x BW deadlift (sumo), 1.4xBW Squat (low bar), 1.1(?)xBW bench press, 0.7xBW strict ohp, 0.9xBW push press. 0.75x for three reps on log press.


#18

There is a minimum level of strength to be able to compete at all the events. The novice division I was in included the following weights:

Log Press, max reps in 60 seconds at 160lbs
Deadlift, max reps in 60 seconds at 330lbs
Medley: Carry 200lbs per hand in the shortest amount of time followed by drag a 700lb chain in the shortest time (50’ each)
Crucifix hold: 20lbs for the longest time

Now here is the kicker and what screwed me over: The average time between each event was about 20 minutes to a half an hour at the most. So you will need to be conditioned. The “fat powerlifter” mindset will get you screwed for strongman.


#19

Along with that, keep in mind that, also unlike powerlifting, there are very few rules about execution of a lift in strongman. This means you can really make up for lacking strength with great technique.

I’ve been to shows where ton’s of competitors could never strict press the weight we had to put overhead, but could beat the “strongest” guys there because they had an amazing jerk. Or deadlifts with some crazy hitching. You can make up for lacking strength with speed and technique, and you can make up for lacking technique with speed and strength.

Honestly, I’d say speed is about the only thing you can’t really compensate for. I mean, yeah, if you’re the only guy strong enough to even move the implement you can win, but in most cases footspeed is really the killer in these things.


#20

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
great technique.

[/quote]

I loled when you typed that. Oh, and you cant sumo deadlift.