When is the last time you saw a fresh little, wobbly headed baby? They seem fragile, although they are more resilient than all get out.
When a baby is born it has the ultimate strength training regimen: it trains daily to gain control of it’s big ole head. This is no small feat of strength either. A child’s head weighs roughly 33% of their body weight. Gaining control over that big watermelon head builds tremendous strength throughout their body.
That’s not a surprise though right? How much do you weigh? Can you imagine walking around with a head that weighed 33% as much as your body? Let’s say you only weigh 100 pounds. You would be walking around with a 33-pound head. Maybe you’re closer to 200 pounds. You would have a 66-pound head!
Can you imagine walking around with a head that heavy? No wonder they get tired so often and take so many naps. Moving their rather large heads takes a lot of energy. And, it builds a lot of strength.
Babies know strength training.
And believe it or not, their method is quite effective for adults, too.
How to Strength Train Like a Baby
Now I’m not suggesting you make your head weigh 33% as much as your body, though I’m not against that either – when you’re ready. But that’s for another article. Today, I am suggesting we practice adding up to 33% load to our bodies and learn how to move with it regularly, by performing carries.
Carrying an offset load, about 33% of the weight of our bodies, is a super. simple way to build amazing strength. You don’t have to start with 33%, I just don’t think you need more than 33%. It doesn’t take a lot of weight, it’s gentle on the body, it creates a lot of time under tension, and it stimulates reflexive contractions that strengthen the core of the body like nothing else.
What is an offset load?
It’s a load that tries to pull you out of your center of gravity. It is an asymmetrical load. For example, carrying a heavy suitcase in one hand would be an offset load. Carrying two heavy suitcases in both hands would be symmetrical. When the load is awkward and asymmetrical, the body has to work harder to keep the torso upright. This is where strength and resilience is easily achieved. This is also very similar to how babies gain their superhuman strength as well.
Really, they are superhuman. They can hold their watermelon up minutes at a time and most adults can’t hold their peanut head up for more than a few seconds.
Anyway, carries, with as much as 33% as much as your bodyweight, done 10 minutes a day*, is the secret sauce to real, functional, useful strength. You should do this. You won’t be disappointed.
*Done 10 minutes a day as I present in Habitual Strength and The Becoming Bulletproof Project – not constant for 10 minutes but working inside of 10 minutes.
Here are some types of carries that yield a huge return:
- Suitcase carries: holding a weight by your side in one hand.
- Goblet carries, Zercher carries, bear hug carries: holding a weight out in front of your body
- Rack carries: holding a weight shoulder height, with your upper arm glued to your rib cage. In one arm, of course.
- Overhead carries: Holding a weight over your head, with your arm beside your ear – in one arm. (Remember, start where YOU are. If it’s not wise to attempt to carry 33% of your weight over your head don’t. Start with an appropriate load for YOU. If it’s not wise to carry anything over your head, don’t. This is just an option to carrying load.)
- Ruck Sack, back pack carries: Just like in high school. Walk briskly with the load on your back. Swing those shoulders! (You really don’t need 33% here. 15% is plenty and you can go much lighter.)
I listed five different carries. Do all five on different days of the week for at least 10 minutes. You don’t have to start out with 33% of your bodyweight. Start where you need to. When in doubt, go light. If you can, keep your lips shut the entire time. You can add this to any strength routine you currently do. And if you need video demonstration and how-to’s make sure to log into your OSi Online Membership Account and view all of the carry varieties in the Video Library.
(Don’t have an OSi Online Membership yet? Don’t fret, you can snag your membership online for just $14.99 a month here. )
Anyways… That’s it. Carry. Explore. Be curious. Get crazy strong.
Oh, don’t worry, we’ll load the head later. When you’re ready.