Loaded Carries

Loaded Carries are common events in strongman competitions and usually occur over a set distance or time. Two examples are the Yoke Carry (left image) Farmer’s Walk (right image) in Figure 15 below.

Figure 15.  Yoke Carry (left image) Farmer’s Walk (right image)


Most gyms or rugby clubs do not have a yoke for Loaded Carries, but the Farmer’s Walk is possible with minimal specialist equipment. Carrying very heavy objects is one of the most effective forms of whole-body training, placing multiple force production and stability demands on the body. It can also improve anaerobic conditioning and strength endurance. Loaded Carries also challenge postural stability and develop grip strength. The time muscles spend under tension in Loaded Carries is a very potent stimulator of hypertrophy. For example, the trapezius and upper back muscles will have a great deal of tension placed on them during the Farmer’s Walk.

To progress, either increase the load or increase the distance or time the load is carried for. Other awkward heavy implements such as water-filled kegs or sandbags can be carried for additional variation. The unstable nature of theses implements will add to the challenge.