First off, we apologise the slightly hyperbolic headline, we need to get you to read this stuff somehow. It was this or promise you free ice cream. And we don’t have any ice cream. However, if you keep reading we’ll share one of the most effective forms of exercise to improve fitness, grip strength and whole body endurance. It’s simple to do, takes less than five minutes and can be included as part of your warm up wit no detrimental effect on the rest of your workout. We’re talking about timed carries.
What The Hell Are Timed Carries?
Simply put; You pick up a heavy weight and carry it as far as you can for a pre determined amount of time. Then you rest, and repeat, for 3-4 sets.
There a number of options for how you carry the weight. If you have enough space, you can walk holding a trap bar loaded with about 70% of your maximum deadlift. But if you’re training at a normal, busy gym, its going to be a lot easier to use dumbbells. This gives you two options.
Unleash your inner strongman on this one, it’s about as basic as it gets. Pick up two heavy dumbbells and carry them at your sides. Again, sixty seconds works best, so just find a bit of space, a track, a clear area of the gym, and walk up and down till the time elapses. Then rest for one minute, and repeat. That’s it.
This is exactly the same deal, except, you guessed it, holding the weights overhead. You can do these single arm (also known as Waiter Walks, since you look like a waiter carrying a tray of drinks, except way buffer and sweatier and whatnot) or double handed. You wont be able to handle as much weight as farmers walks, but it’s a much bigger workout for the shoulders and upper back.
These can be included as part of a warm up any day you lift weights, so anywhere from 3-4 days a week. The one exception might be when attempting a particularly heavy deadlift workout, you might want to spare your grip. We suggest alternating between overhead carries and farmers walks for best results.
So there you have it, you have our permission to (PUN ALERT) get carried away.