Weighted Carries With Sand

One of the most neglected, yet important, training movements is the weighted carry. I won’t get into any of the functional vs.  non-functional arguments, but I think both sides can agree that weighted carries are extremely beneficial.

Carrying loads is such a basic human movement that there is no denying the benefits of becoming proficient at it. The sheer number of muscles that must be used during a weighted carry make it great for building strength, improving conditioning, stability, and a lot more than I could ever identify.

In addition to incorporating sprints (cycling and foot) into my routine, I’ve also added weighted carries. During the winter, it’s tough to do these at home as I live in a small apartment. Once it’s nice outside, it’s easy enough to carry some sand into the driveway.

I start pretty simple. I grab two 60lb bags of sand. I only have extra large, military-style duffles, so each duffle has a lot of extra material. I do six walks, with minimal rest, holding a bag in each hand (farmer’s walk). For these first sets I just bunch the duffle material up and try to grip it. It’s a lot of material, probably closer to the mass of a fat-grip implement. Six or eight sets are about all I can do before my grip gives out on me. Then I start looping my wrist through a handle on the bag and gripping in the same way as the first sets. The wrist through the handle allows me to perform another 6-8 sets. After that, I pick up one bag and hold it straight over my head (in an overhead press stance) for another 3-4 sets. Distance, time, rest periods will all depend on a lot of factors. There’s no need to really over-think these.

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