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Tip of the week Tip: The training method that changes everything

Tipps der Woche Tipp: Die Trainingsmethode die alles verändert

Muscle building? Check. Fat loss? Check. Strength gains? Check. These types of workouts can do it all. Check it out

Pick up something heavy and walk around with it

Loaded carries are nothing more than carrying weights in different ways. This includes:

  • Walking around with weights in your hands (Farmers Walk)
  • Carrying the weight in the bends of your elbows (Zercher Carry)
  • Walking around with a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell held overhead (overhead carry)

Loaded Carries make the body work in a way you won't find in any other exercise: they combine a strong need to stabilize the core, dynamic movement, isometric tension in key muscles, and the need to fight a "micro-oscillation" - a slight but constant change in position that forces the body to recruit muscles to stabilize the load.

Loaded Carries are...

  1. Reduce body fat: Carries burn calories, promote an optimal environment and improve muscle insulin sensitivity
  2. Increase muscle mass: Carries keep muscles under tension for a fairly long period of time, initiate muscle contractions to combat micro-oscillation and provide stretching of muscles under load.
  3. Improve muscle hardness: The whole body has to work to remain stable and combat micro-oscillation.
  4. Improve your performance in the heavy basic exercises: Carries possess tremendous effects on heavy basic exercises by strengthening your core.

Stand alone workouts

Perform sets of loaded carries just as you would perform regular exercises. Each type of load/distance will have positive effects on your body composition, but you should choose the method that best suits your goals.

Load parameters for loaded carries/training with a weight sled


Minimum distance

Maximum distance

Ideal distance








2-3 min.






90-120 sec.






75-90 sec.

Fat loss

60-90 sec.


1:1 ratio

For hypertrophy development, a good option is to perform a set of Loaded Carries with a conventional exercise with weights as a superset.

If your goal is to improve your body composition, then any of the last three categories would be effective. If your primary goal is to build muscle and lose some fat, then sets of 50 to 80 meters and 90 to 120 seconds are best. This will have a maximum impact on muscle mass while burning some fat.

If you are more concerned with fat loss, then you can use the last two approaches equally. The only difference is the mindset when performing them. Regardless, you'll be working out for about a minute (up to 90 seconds) with similar length rest intervals. You will still achieve some muscle growth, but fat loss will be maximized.

Mixed training sessions

Combine 2 or 3 differently loaded Loaded Carries in the form of a circuit or use Loaded Carries together with other metabolic exercises (rowing ergometer, sprints, jumping rope, Stairmaster, etc.). This approach allows you to maintain a higher training density - you can basically train without rest for 10 to 15 minutes - which is especially true if you choose exercises for different areas of the body.

For example, you could do 5 circuits of sled pulls (40 meters), battle ropes (30 seconds), farmer's walks (40 meters) and Swiss ball crunches (10-12 reps).

Another effective variation would be 50 meters of pushing a weight sled, 50 meters of sprints, 50 meters of farmer's walks and 50 meters of walking (the recovery phase) for six rounds.

Tip: Which dieter's camp do you belong to?

If fat loss is your goal, then you need to know which camp you belong to. Both are wrong. Find out why.

By Paul Carter


When people start trying to lose fat, they fall into one of two camps:

The camp of people who diet like a monk

These people are more desperate for results than a drunk needs alcohol. They will overdo it and reduce their calorie intake from maintenance calories to starvation levels overnight.

This camp wants to see huge changes immediately and they believe they are on the right track. However, after a few weeks they will have no energy, their fat loss will diminish and their workouts will leave a lot to be desired because they will be as weak as a newborn kitten. They will be reluctant to increase their calorie intake again because their initial physical changes have shown them that what they did worked.

They don't realize that they have probably also lost muscle and now have a lower metabolic rate. In addition to this, their body has adapted to the lower energy intake and a state of homeostasis has occurred, meaning that even if they reduce their calorie intake further, they will not lose much more body fat.

It's a vicious cycle of reducing calorie intake, a loss of lean muscle mass and the need to reduce calorie intake further to keep the scales moving. And as a lighter person, your body will naturally use less energy than when you were heavier. Not good.

The other camp

These guys and gals say they're all in, but they're not. They are half-hearted in their dieting, they slack off at the first sign of hunger, they whine and they only stick to their plan when it's convenient.

These dieters will also see changes on the scales at the beginning. Most of them reduce their carbohydrates right from the start, see the weight on the scales drop and believe that their diet is working. However, the reduction in carbohydrates causes a reduction in the amount of stored water and glycogen and this is responsible for the initial 1 to 2 kilos of weight loss.

Nevertheless, they will think that their diet is working and so continue their flawed, half-hearted efforts. After a short period of time, the scale pointer will stop moving downwards because there is not a large enough or consistent enough calorie deficit to drive fat loss. And that's where the half-hearted dieters get fed up and ruin their diet with the fourth cheat meal of the week.

The solution for both camps

Here it is: Protect your muscles, set a baseline for your calorie intake and adjust it gradually.

Keep muscle maintenance as high as possible throughout the fat loss process. The more lean muscle mass you lose due to training and calorie restriction, the fewer calories your body will consume throughout the day. What causes muscle loss? In this case, a calorie intake that is too low.

To prevent this, you need to find out how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight. This is not only good for dieters who overdo it, but also for the half-hearted dieters. It will prevent them from eating too little, then getting too hungry and finally giving up early. It will also help them maintain a small but consistent calorie deficit.

You can take the pedantic route and write down everything you eat for a week and then calculate the average per day. Or you can simply multiply your body weight by 31 for a rough estimate and after a week of this calorie intake, adjust your fat and carbohydrate intake based on your weight changes. Protein intake should never be changed once it has leveled off. It should be in the range of 2.2 to 2.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Tip: The truth about push-up grips

Do these gadgets help or hurt? Here's what you probably don't know.

By Joel Seedman, PhD


Most people use push-up grips and an elevated hand position as an aid to perform push-ups with a greater stretch and range of motion. The problem? Faulty mechanics.

Push-ups performed with a strong stretch that lowers the body well below the height of the hands represent dysfunctional mechanics and lead to:

  • An inefficient recruitment scheme
  • An overly relaxed musculature
  • Inhibited proprioceptive feedback
  • A lack of involvement of the core
  • Poor posture during the execution of the exercise

Instead, push-up grips should be used to either take the load off the wrists or place the hands in a more neutral position (palms facing each other), which tends to optimize shoulder mechanics. This is because the neutral grip tends to promote better rotation and downward and backward pull of the shoulder blades compared to the classic hand position.

The ideal range of motion

The ideal end position of the range of motion at the bottom of classic push-ups is either directly above the floor or in a position where your upper body is even slightly touching the floor. The elbows and triceps should not move significantly below the level of the torso. This causes excessive stretching of the shoulder capsules and puts unnecessary strain on the shoulder joint. If you use push-up handles to utilize a neutral grip, you should use nearly the same range of motion and movement mechanics as classic push-ups performed on the floor.

If you are somehow able to achieve a greater stretch and utilize a significantly greater range of motion when using push-up grips, then you should closely examine your form of exercise execution as there are likely multiple factors at fault.

Tip: The smartest way to perform circuit training

Train every major muscle group and movement pattern with this unique and challenging workout.

By Christian Thibaudeau


Elimination circuit with increasing repetitions

This training session is almost like a game. You have a circuit with 5 exercises that cover the whole body. These must all be multi-joint exercises:

  • A squat variation
  • A variation of the horizontal press (dumbbell or barbell, flat bench or incline bench)
  • A variation of the deadlift or Olympic weightlifting
  • A variation of the vertical press (shoulder press with a barbell or dumbbells)
  • A pull-up or rowing variation

Perform all these exercises in the form of a circuit. You can rest for 60 seconds between the stations if you are a beginner, 45 seconds if you are more advanced and 30 seconds if you are more advanced. Use 60% of your maximum weight for one repetition of each exercise.

Start your first round with 5 repetitions per exercise. When you have completed one round of the entire circuit, add one repetition while maintaining the weight:

  • Round 1: 5 reps per exercise
  • Round 2: 6 repetitions per exercise
  • Round 3: 7 repetitions per exercise
  • Round 4: 8 repetitions per exercise

Until the 4th round, adding one repetition per round should not be a problem. After that, fatigue will accumulate. For some exercises you will be able to add another repetition and for some you will not. If you can't do the required number of reps on an exercise, take it out of the circuit and move on.

What happens is that you get fewer rests between individual exercises, which will inevitably lead to you having to remove another exercise from the circuit. Continue in this way until there are no more exercises left. Then you can put your head in an ice bucket.

Note: The problem with most circuits is that you need multiple stations in a crowded gym. With this variation, you can do almost every exercise in a single power rack. Most racks also have a pull-up bar. You may need to slide a bench into the rack during your breaks and use a few different barbells, but it's all doable.

Tip: Deadlifts are not enough

Yes, deadlifting is great - but it's not so great when it comes to hypertrophy. Here's why, and a better option for muscle mass gains.

by Paul Carter


The deadlift: Not so great for building muscle mass

Sure, deadlifts are obviously a great exercise for building and demonstrating overall strength - and you're going to get triggered and attack me, I want to point out that I didn't say you can't build muscle mass with deadlifts. Of course you can. But deadlifting alone is not a great mass building exercise.

Properly executed deadlifts start with a push with the legs off the floor, followed by the pulling part once the bar has passed the knees. You are not actually pulling the weight off the floor unless you are doing deadlifts with your knees bent or performing the exercise incorrectly.

Most of the muscles that do the work do so in an isometric/static position. But the exercises that involve loading with a significant stretch in the eccentric position offer greater potential for growth. Think incline bench curls, sissy squats, deadlifts with legs extended on an elevated platform, pull-ups, dips, etc. The movement in deadlifts starts from the ground, which is why there is no eccentric (negative) component when performing this exercise in competition style. No eccentric component means little growth. Here's what eccentric movement specialist Jonathan Mike, PhD, says about eccentric load and deadlifts:

"There's very little eccentric load and activity and very little time under tension, which is especially true if you count the time during which the muscles are producing a lot of force - not the total duration of the exercise."

The part of the statement regarding time under tension is important. Even if you perform deadlifts so that it takes 5 seconds to complete the concentric portion of the movement, there aren't so many muscles involved that the time under tension is so broad that those muscles would experience a lot of stimulation.

Add in the fact that the only significant joint movement consists of a small amount of hip extension (and even less knee extension when considered proportionally) and you have a series of disadvantages that don't put deadlifts on par with other major multi-joint exercises from a muscle building perspective.

Lastly, there's the fact that deadlifting seems to demand more than it gives back. Heavy deadlifting requires tremendous systemic recovery while not contributing much to muscle building. Does this mean you should ban deadlifting from your mass building arsenal? Of course not. In fact, I usually add deadlifts to a mass-building program because this exercise is an excellent tool for body-wide strength building.

A better option for muscle mass

If you want a deadlift variation that can give you more bang for your buck in terms of building muscle mass in the posterior chain, then this is a superior option:

Deadlift with straight legs from an elevation

In this variation, you stand on an elevation to emphasize both the stretching and the eccentric part of the movement, which will result in significantly more growth in the posterior chain.


By Christian Thibaudeau

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