Thinking about 30 minutes on the treadmill to get in some “cardio?”
Why engage in 30 wasted minutes of a hip-flexion-heavy, boring activity that won’t actually make you stronger or better?
Pick up some heavy stuff and carry it around!
Loaded Carries, my friend. Do some cardio your body will thank you for. And you won’t look like a 100 year old troll when you’re finished.
You know, that “crumpled old geezer” look everyone has after a nice, long treadmill session. Carrying heavy stuff will actually improve your posture.
Here’s 4 big reasons to do loaded carries:
- They’re about as functional as it gets. Take the Farmer Walk, for instance. You grab a nice heavy implement in each hand (DB, KB, weight log, barbell, etc. – total weight should be between 50 and 100% of your body weight, but may be lower to start) and walk either for distance or time. Maintaining shoulder traction and proper posture requires more muscles than most peoples gym workouts use in a week!On top of that, let’s face it, we all have to carry stuff at some point. These will make you better at that essential life skill…and you’ll look better doing it than your treadmill-loving neighbor! 🙂
- They’re great for core strength. Try the Suitcase Walk. Grab one heavy item and carry it about 20 yards. Switch hands and carry it back. Notice anything? The muscles of your trunk have to work hard to keep you upright and to keep the weight from moving around.Your abs, glutes, obliques and quadratus lumborum all have to work to maintain tension for upright posture under load. The anti-rotation and anti-flexion work of the core muscles increases the effectiveness of this movement.
- You get lots of time under tension. Many of the muscles being used here are not Type IIx fast twitch fiber muscles, so they need more time under tension to develop. On top of that, many of the core muscles actually get “shut off” during long duration treadmill, bike and even elliptical workouts.You see, your brain is very good at resource conservation. What that means is, as you continue to perform a low intensity activity like treadmill walking or running, you brain will be happy to minimize the effort of big muscle groups, reducing energy output and exercise efficiency. Not so with loaded carries. The heavy loads and relatively short, intense duration of these activities prevents that process from occurring.
- You’ll get a Popeye-like grip! Because you’re carrying heavy stuff, you’ll have no choice but to develop better grip strength. A cool side benefit of that may have been illustrated in recent studies linking better grip strength to longer life.
So get off the treadmill! Blow that sucker up, pick up something heavy and get carrying! It’s a real, functional cardio workout that has far too many benefits to ignore.
Want a cool way to use loaded carries for “cardio?”
I’ve been exploring ways to challenge my work capacity & cardio-respiratory fitness that actually improve my core strength & spinal stability & health.
Here’s a “cardio” workout I’ve been enjoying.
30 minute EMOM alternating between:
30 yard Farmer Walk (approx 1/2 BW)
30 yard Suitcase Walk (approx 1/4 BW, R/L)
30 yard SA Rack Walk
Rest periods spent walking.
Give it a try. I bet you’ll find your heart rate up, core challenged & yourself feeling pretty good at the end.
Then kill the treadmill. Your body will thank you…
And don’t forget! Join me at the Elite Fitness & Performance Summit in Indianapolis on September 14 & 15!
We’ve got a killer speaker lineup, and I’ll be presenting on the topic “Zen and the Science of Beach-ready Bodies, Bigger Benches and Faster 40’s!”
Click here to register: EFPS 2018.