In the last couple of years, the loaded carry (most notable the farmer’s carry) has exploded on the scene. Everyone from bodybuilders to Cross fitters have started to include various loaded carries into their routines and for a good reason.

A loaded carry is where an athlete picks up and carries a heavy weight and walks with it for a set period of time or distance. This can be done with various objects, such as dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, stones – really, any object that will a challenge for you to carry.

The loaded carry possesses an array of benefits. They increase work capacity, improve endurance, bolster grip and core strength and build muscle. Loaded carries also complement major movements such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press, making you more productive at the essentials.

There are many variations of loaded carries that can be used besides the traditional farmer’s carry (one object in each hand by your side). You can utilize unilateral carries (a load on one side of the body) to improve muscular imbalances, symmetry and core strength. The waiter carry (one arm above the head), rack carry (hand by the chest and shoulder) and the suitcase carry (one arm at your side) all provide unique strength and conditioning benefits. When you combine these into a brutal circuit, you have muscle in minutes.


Single-Arm Overhead Carry (Waiter Carry)

Single-Arm Rack Position Carry

Single-Arm Suitcase Carry

>> Perform this workout two times per week on it’s own, or at the end of a weight training session.

>> The workout will total 12-minutes (six minutes on each side).

>> Start by picking a weight (preferably kettlebell) you can carry over your head with one arm locked out and a symmetrical postural position for at least one minute.

>> Once you start to lose form, bring the bell down to the rack position.

>> As you get fatigued and lose form in the rack position, bring the bell down to your side for a suitcase carry until you reach the full six minutes.

>> Switch sides immediately and repeat the sequence on the other side.


For more training info from Justin Grinnell, CSCS, you can go to, or visit his gym’s website at, his Facebook page, or check him out on Twitter or Instagram. He is the author of The Grinnell Lifestyle: My Nutritional Doctrine, available on Amazon.