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In two weeks I'm going to carry old furniture from my parents home to the sidewalk in front of the house.

How do I prepare for this event best? By training strength, endurance, cardio, HIIT, ...?

I think in general this has something to with how to best train for holding a heavy weights in a fixed position. Normally one trains by moving weights up and down but not by statically holding them in the air, so I'm not sure how to approach such a training goal.

EDIT: I should have mentioned that I'm already training three to four times a week in the gym and I'm fairly fit (althoug still overweight), so it's more a question on how to modify my current training and not about starting from scratch.

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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

2 weeks is not a lot of time to 'train' - based on the need to give your body a rest. Typically you want to plan a 10-12 week cycle of training prior to any event....given this is 'carrying furniture out' and not a major league event I would focus on technique more than anything else since the time needed to build strength or stamina is not available.

I would perform basic deadlifts, squats and farmers walks (focus on the farmers walks) - to get the technique down. Don't try to lift heavy and don't do excessive sets/reps - the idea is to get the technique down so you can apply it to lifting off balance, various shaped furniture and home items. Take your time, keep the path clear and work with a good partner in the move. Good luck!

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+1 technique over raw strength. If you've ever worked with movers, you'd find out they know how to carry something more than being just really strong guys. Proper use of straps and taking the time to disassemble things goes a long way towards getting the job done. –  Christopher Bibbs Jun 20 '11 at 20:54
    
Wow, I totally underestimated the farmer's walk. I always thought it was meant for shoulders and perhaps biceps, where in fact it trains hands/forearms and the core. The things you need most for carrying stuff :) –  Daniel Rikowski Jun 30 '11 at 17:24
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Think in terms of specificity of exercise for specific events. If the event is lifting and carrying furniture, then a good exercise would be lifting and carrying furniture or bulky weights. One of the main considerations to this event is to avoid injury so that you won’t miss any time in the gym.

If moving furniture is new to you, practice the squat position in front of a piece of furniture, testing the amount of weight to lift and where to best grab hold, your back and butt position, the lift, your breath, your ab control, the carry, your breath, and the set down. You may need a wider stance than your regular squat to allow you to get in close to bulky furniture. In this case you want to make sure that your hip adductors and hamstrings are flexible. Begin with smaller, lighter furniture like a chair or end table and work your way up gradually, concentrating on your lifting form. You may also consider wearing a lifting belt.

Get help if you can. If you do lift with a friend, work out a count to lift and set down so that you are in sync and avoid an unexpected drop - a frequent cause of injury. Before you start the job, check for any obstacles, steps, doorways to maneuver thru, loose rugs and electrical cords, pets etc., and plan accordingly. Remember that your view is obstructed when carrying bulky items so make sure your path is clear and level. Plan in advance whether you will need to use a utility or furniture dolly or hand truck so that you can work smarter and safer. Good luck.

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