The Missing Component in Strength Programming

Ok, so the title is clickbait.

Programming for strength can seem complicated because there are so many potential routes to take and so many variables to consider. 

The truth is that there are lots of good arguments for what could be missing from any training program. However, I assert that many programs are missing a vital component at a high expense: the Loaded Carry. 

Loaded locomotion will turn you into a different person.

This is not a strongman bias. The musculature and neural coordination required to stabilize while moving under load will create remarkably useful adaptations. This is true whether we consider lighter variations like the Waiter or Suitcase Carry, or heavy favorites like a heavy Farmer’s or Yoke Carry. 

Don’t believe me? It’s easier to make an argument for heavy carries…

Have a 100-something pound back squat? Great! You’ve got a 300-something pound Yoke Carry. Extrapolate these numbers out if your Squat is heavier. The greater potential for load a movement has, the greater the resulting adaptation, providing adequate recovery. This is a basic principle of Adaptation Theory. Think about the resulting changes to the muscular-skeletal system from a load as significant as something that much over than your one rep max back squat.   

This is exactly why you are seeing Loaded Carries progressing in our current mesocycle at the gym. We began with an anteriorly loaded carry (the sandbag) to test and challenge posture and capacity. Now, we’ve moved onto offset carries to further challenge stability. We do want to limit the load here however, the resulting increased ability to stabilize with a unilateral carry will enhance capacity once we increase the load with a bilateral carry. Next, we will move on to progressively heavier Farmer’s Carries to push adaptation before retesting a Sandbag Carry. 

If that feels verbose or complicated, just know that you are being made into a different animal through the inclusion of doing one of the most fulfilling things in life: picking heavy shit up.

2/1/24 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Complete 4 rounds of the following: 6 Wide Grip Weighted Pull Up

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
12 Seated Arnold Presses
10 1-Leg DB Glute Bridges
8 Dragon Flies

14 Overhead Plate Lunges
12 Lateral Ball Slams
10 Lateral Push-Ups



Find a 1RM Sandbag-to-Shoulder…

Then, complete 3 rounds for reps of:

In :90..
50′ Sled Push
50′ Sled Pull
Max Sandbag-to-Shoulder
-Rest as Needed-