There are a lot of movements people like to do in the gym. They push weights, pull at machines, crunch on balls, and elliptical on ellipticals. But how many times in your life will you encounter an elliptical in the wild? Can you imagine a scenario when your awesomeness will be put the test on a balance ball? The majority of the movements you do in the gym will never cross over into the tests of you daily life. At best, most people are hoping to glean some situational strength during their quest for general hotness. But there are a few moves that tick off both boxes: a move you can do that will make you hotter and get you fit for the every day tasks of being human. And in my mind, the most human of strength moves is picking up heavy things and carrying them.

The “Loaded Carry”

Go pick up something heavy. Walk around with it until you can’t hold it any more. What hurts? If you actually did it, you would find that well, everything hurts. That’s because it takes a lot of muscles to stay upright under load and a lot of calories to fuel those muscles and keep you from falling over. It really is that simple. And how often do you think you’ll be expected to pick up heavy things and carry them around? Every time you move apartments, buy groceries, run through an airport with an overnight bag, move a cabinet, rescue a supermodel from a burning building, or when your spouse throws all your belongings onto the curb, you will be performing a loaded carry. This is as “sport specific” to life as any move I know.

How to Do Them

Anything where you are carrying something heavy counts as a loaded carry, but here are a few that you can do quickly and easily in just about any setting. And as you might guess, I prefer doing them outside.

With Weights:

Farmer Walks, Suitcase Carry, Waiter Walk, Rack Carry

With a Buddy or Reasonable Facsimile:

Duffle Carry, Fireman Carry, Buddy Drag

With a Sled

Sled Duck Walk, Sled Drag, Sled Push

And of course, you could slap on a 150lb backpack, throw a 150lb bag of sand over your shoulder, and hook 150lbs to your belt. And walk. In the snow. In Utah. That’d be cool, too. Dan John cool.