Why I Emphasize Odd Object Lifts

One of the first things you lay eyes on when you enter the Primal Strength Gym is a wall of kegs. Once you take a closer look around, you’ll see a wide variety of odd objects like a circus dumbbell, sandbags, slosh pipes, tires, logs, grip tools and other unorthodox equipment.

Odd object lifts are a Primal staple and I try to expose as many people as possible to the power of “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable”.

11170314_861436533929852_78799607907831029_nI often make a comparison to how so many people get gym strong by living under the barbell, but they quickly get exposed in the real-world when they have to lift something heavy that’s not easy to handle. Think about helping your buddy move that couch or carry a huge mattress up and down stairs. Sure you can bench 300+ pounds but when it comes time to move that bulky dresser/mirror combo, you’re screwed.

Incorporating odd object lifts into your training is the most effective way to get your strength to transcend those gym walls and build strength skills that will serve you well in life.

This is especially important for athletes. In a previous post, I spoke about how most of what we do in the gym is linear and only in one plane of motion. But as soon as you step onto a football field or basketball court, rarely does your body move in a linear fashion and you are using all planes of motion to maneuver your body.

Incorporating odd object lifts into your training (what I refer to as imperfection training) is one of the best (and only) way to mimic real life circumstances and situations to develop real world strength.

If you have not read my post on imperfection training, I encourage you to do so. It’s one of the most important posts I’ve published. It is linked here: Imperfection Training.

There are three odd object lifts that I want all people to embrace and train.

#1: Picking Up Odd Objects Off of the Ground

This is the most basic of the odd object lifts. Pick up a heavy keg, stone, log, sandbag, or anything else bulky and odd shaped off of the ground.


#2: Pressing Odd Objects Over Your Head

This can be one of the most technical odd object lifts, but it is also one of the most important for brute strength. Pressing things over your head, in my opinion, is the most primal movement man can do, and if you want to improve your pressing with a barbell, odd object pressing is vital.

#3: Carrying Around Odd Objects

This incorporates two movements into one because you have to pick up the object from the ground and then get into position to carry it.

Zercher carrying a stone or sandbag, bear hug carrying a keg, and heavy farmers carries using bars or some other type of implement are all great examples.


Moral of the story? If you want to get real-world strong and increase your performance outside of a typical gym environment, separate yourself from the barbell.

Pick up something weird and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

All the best,

— Tank

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