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I have a rather practical problem...

I want to be able to carry 10kg bag from store to home without taking any breaks.

In other words: I want to be able do a nonstop suitcase carry for 10-15 minutes with a 10kg weight.

At first this doesn't sound too difficult, but there are two things to consider...

  1. I'm short and skinny guy and this 10kg actually represents 20% of my bodyweight.

  2. I'm legally blind, so I have to carry my the bag in my weaker hand while my dominant is wiedling the white cane.

Thus far I've been thinking 2 different approaches...

My first idea was to grab a 10kg dumbell and then start improving my time.

In second thought I figured it might be actually better to first reach the desired time/distance with lighter weights (my adjustables go 5kg - 7.5kg and 10kg) and then increace the load after I've reached the desired time with lighter weights.

I'm currently gravitating towards the 2nd approach. Is this the way to go?

My second question is that I've now practiced this as a farmers walk (weights in both hands) since I figured it would be better to first reach the desired time with equal weights and then start doing the same with unequal weights. Is this reasoning sound?

And thirdly: I'm currently following Reddit's /r/bodywegiht_fitness recommended routine (Summary on Google Drive (PDF)), which is already quite long and time consuming routine. For time being I've just done the walk at the end of the routine, but I wonder if I should do more modifications to the routine? How should I modify it?

Thank you in advance, and sorry for typos. English isn't my native language.

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    If the goal is to carry the suitcase, what's your current failure point? Do your legs tire during the walk? Shoulder? Core? Grip? What causes you to have to take breaks?
    – C. Lange
    May 16 at 21:18
  • I think my failure point is grip, although my shoulders and arms feel quite sore after the trip. I'm not sure about the core, but legs are definetly not the bottleneck.
    – TukeV
    May 17 at 10:03
  • Does it have to be a suitcase? Not a messenger bag or anything with a shoulder strap? May 21 at 2:50
  • I meant suitcase carry as the name of the exercise, where you pick up a single dumbell or kettlebell with one hand do the walk to differentiate it from the farmers walk where you hold weights in both hands. In the real life I'd be probably carrying either a shopping bag or cardboard box which has handles.
    – TukeV
    May 22 at 7:56

1 Answer 1

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Strategy: general & specific

For a narrow and achievable goal like this, I recommend general strength and conditioning (S&C) alongside practicing the specific skill. That will build muscle as well as experience in the chosen task.

General training

Bodyweight fitness routines are great but they often don't solve the "skinny" problem and are slow to build strength for this kind of task. Lifting weights is the most effective path to your goal.

General S&C means some sort of squat, some sort of deadlift, and for the upper body a push and a pull. Sometimes people add a fifth fundamental lift for locomotion, which makes a lot of sense for you because it is your specific training goal. Learning to goblet squat, do a Romanian deadlift, work towards pull-ups and dips, while finishing every workout with farmer's walks would be an extremely reliable approach.

Specific training

Doing an exercise with a very similar weight & time to the goal is helpful. This builds confidence that you can do the task itself. However, it is often more productive to train heavier (and thus shorter) in order to stimulate your body to develop strength and muscular endurance. Consider short, heavy farmer's walks too.

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  • What's your opinion about the progressions I pondered in my question? Should I grab the lighter weights first or immediately go for 10kg weights?
    – TukeV
    May 17 at 10:30
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    1. how did it go when you tried it? 2. training too narrowly for a specific task is an error. Achieving a reliable level of general strength must be the first training task. May 17 at 12:59
  • Last time I walked with 10kg weights, I clocked 3 minutes. I have already reached my goal of 15 minutes with 5kg and yesterday I ended my routine by walking two times for 5 minutes with 7.5kg weights. I'm not planning to drop my current bodyweight routine, because I still want to keep working on my cali related goals as well. My original reason why I wanted to ask this question was because I didn't know how to adapt the farmers walk for pure endurance training. All the articles I found were about strength and hypertrophy training with maximum loads and relatively short TUT.
    – TukeV
    May 17 at 19:13
  • exercises which are shorter & heavier than the task can be more useful than mimicking the task, because they cause more stimulus to develop necessary attributes May 18 at 8:22
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    no, 15 minutes TUT is not short by any strength-endurance definition. but strength-endurance is still a function of strength, which means that increasing your (general) strength will make endurance tasks easier because they are a smaller % of your ability May 18 at 9:36

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