Mitchell Hooper, a professional Strongman athlete, recently shared his expertise on Loading Medleys and Front Carries in a video posted on his YouTube channel. This video was cut out from his recent seminar at the Weight Pit. With years of training and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Sydney, Hooper is well-equipped to provide valuable insights and tips on how to perform these exercises safely and effectively.
Loading Medleys are a common event in Strongman competitions, which involve carrying a variety of heavy objects over a set distance in the shortest time possible. According to Mitchell Hooper, there are several key factors that athletes should keep in mind when performing this exercise. In previous videos on his YouTube channel, Hooper has discussed other topics, such as how different types of barbells affect the deadlift.
Mitchell Hooper’s Advice On Loading Medley & Front Carries
As Mitchell Hooper explained how to perform Loading Medleys in his video, he touched on a few key points. Those involved preparing for the medley, picking up the implement, performing the front carry with it, as well as what should be the main focus of any other component.
Mitchell Hooper revealed that the most important muscle group for the Loading Medley and Front Carries are the hamstrings. This is due to the body positioning while holding the implement, as the athlete is forced to lean back and in order to move, the hamstrings have to activate.
“First of all, any front carry what you are essentially doing is leg curls over and over. So, leg curls are definitely something you want to include in your training. When your hamstrings burn out, you are done.”
Next up, Mitchell Hooper stressed the importance of a proper setup before starting the exercise. Many Strongman athletes, including professionals, make a mistake when setting up the sandbag. So, Hooper revealed that his preference is to have it in a vertical position.
In addition, Mitchell Hooper advised lifting the sandbag or any other implement up to the chest, since it allows for the most effective movement.
“Understanding that all the weight is at the bottom, we want to think about how we want to carry this… If you have that low (the implement), you are going to be hitting your thighs. If you have it on your stomach, you can’t breathe. You want it up on your chest as high as you can.”
In this specific case, Mitchell Hooper loaded the sandbag into a wheelbarrow. So, his next advice was to place the sandbag as close to the wheel’s axle as possible. This means that the wheelbarrow push would be much easier. The Loading Medley, however, comes in many variations, and not all require a wheelbarrow. Even so, this illustrates the depth to which Hooper perceives the events.
“Physics of this guy (sandbag), everyone notice where I put the sandbag in… Right on the axle and your life is going to be so much easier.”
Finally, an important aspect which must not be neglected when preparing for a Loading Medley or a Front Carry is the grip strength. Holding, carrying, or pushing different objects can really affect the forearms, so training it beforehand is an extremely beneficial factor.
“This is going to turn into a grip event… The smaller the muscle goes, the more those muscles are designed to resist forces repetitively for a longer time. Our hands are designed to grab things all day… If you are not feeling your forearms doing the work, you are probably training inefficiently.”
Watch the video here:
While Mitchell Hooper has been extremely busy conquering the Strongman scene, he still took the time to post an informative video about an exercise that anyone can benefit from. His dedication to becoming the best and making Strongman mainstream is evident here.
Hooper is quickly building a reputation in Strongman, having already won the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic UK and 2022 Giants Live World Tour Finals. In addition, Mitchell has already claimed another win this year at the 2023 Australia’s Strongest International. He now hopes to continue his great form at the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic and 2023 World’s Strongest Man.