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Heavy Carries


Heavy carries, we know, they’re not super sexy, but Coach Tom said, “Pistols are not real life. Carrying your kid, a diaper bag and groceries at the same time is.”

Our job at Madlab is to prepare you for life so that life is a little easier. Sure, being able to do a single leg squat means you have considerable single-leg strength, but it’s not going to help your body function when it’s unevenly loaded as you’re walking for 400 meters to your car.

Other than mimicking life and thus preparing you for things you do in the world, here are four things we know you’ll get out of the heavy carries:

Grip strength:

And get this, grip strength has been shown to be correlated with living a longer life, and specifically to heart health. Feel free to pick apart the research, of course, but there has been a number of studies that show a correlation.

Prepares you for offset positions:

Most of the time we practice linear movements, but life and sports don’t happen in a linear fashion. Life happens in the traverse plane, which the unevenly loaded, multi-position carry work should help with.

Will transfer to other movements at the gym:

Becoming more familiar and stronger with the front rack or overhead positions, for example, will allow us to add new variety to other movements, such as overhead or front rack lunged or step-ups.

Shoulder strength and stability:

Does your shoulder girdle feel a little healthier after these last five weeks? Although Chesty has a point that this might also be due to all of the shoulder CARS, we hope that five weeks of various carrying has gone a long way in stabilizing and strengthening your shoulders.

Bottom line:

Our programming is for the real life long game, not for short-term gimmicky gratification, and carries fall perfectly with our mission.

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Coach Emily