Go Heavy Without Handles
05/10/2021 | Andrew Tracey
Andrew Tracey is a long time collaborator with Bulldog Gear. A coach, writer and current fitness editor of Men’s Health Magazine, he has been in and around the fitness industry for the past 16 years. Having enjoyed and endured a number of disciplines from endurance racing, to strongman, to Crossfit AT enjoys getting neck deep in the practice just as much as the theory.
It’s no exaggeration to say that loaded carries are criminally under-utilised. Carrying a weight from A to B represents, to me at least, true functionality; after all, what other group of lifts can boast the same level transfer to real world activities?
That being said, there are a few practical reasons that carries don’t feature more prominently on most trainees movement roster; the first being space. Commercial gyms packed full of treadmills, pec decks and cable pulldowns are designed to make the absolute most out of every square foot, turning them into mazes of machinery, less than ideal for taking something heavy for a walk. But with the rise and rise of open, functional spaces, and moreover, trainees taking training into their own hands with home and garage gyms, this is much less problematic.
The second issue? Specialist equipment. Plenty of carries can be performed with more traditional kit such as dumbbells or kettlebells, but to get the most bang for your buck, sometimes you just need to go heavy. Loaded carry implements such as farmer’s walk handles, yokes and sandbags are more than worth their price tag, but if you’re not ready to flash the cash (or storage space is at a premium, see issue one), then this quick hack let’s you double on the usage of some common kit you probably already have in your arsenal- gymnastics rings and bumper plates.
Throw in these heavy farmer's carries to target your upper back, core and grip, building a body that's built for life.
LOAD IT UP
This one is kick yourself simple.
Grab your bumper plates and stand them upright, flat against one another.
Pass your strap through the centre of the plates, as well as the the ring.
Pull your strap tight, positioning your ring on top of your plates, creating a ‘handle’.
Repeat the process for an equal amount of plates, for your other hand.
Get to walking.