Anthony Donskov

Anthony Donskov is the founder of DSC where he serves as the Director of Sport Performance. Donskov holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science & is the author of Physical Preparation for Ice Hockey.

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Filling The Potholes: Loaded Carries

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There is no such thing as the perfect program. The holy grail of exercise prescription does not exist. However, the journey to this never-ending destination is where we find meaning, growth, proficiency and answers. It’s also where we find gaps; pot holes that when filled create better programs, and better programs create bigger, faster and stronger athletes. I recently heard Coach Dan John lecture the staff of MBSC (Michael Boyle Strength and Conditioning) regarding what he calls “intervention.” Intervention is the equivalent of road construction! Find the potholes and fill them. Fill them quickly! 


According to Coach John there are five movements. As Coaches, we need to expose our athletes to all of these. The list is based in order from “everybody does it” to “what are you talking about?” Take a look at the list below. Is there a pothole in your current programming based on your recourses/logistics? Coach John suggests: “find what they haven’t done, deal with it first.” The biggest improvements may come from movements athletes are not exposed to….these are the potholes.

  • Push
  • Pull
  • Hinge (Clean, Snatch, DL)
  • Squat
  • Loaded Carries

Finding the gap:


At Donskov Strength and Conditioning, we constantly assess our programs, always looking for a better way to do things. Each of our athletic development programs has a push, pull, hinge, and squat movement. However, up until this summer, our potholes have been loaded carries. These have made a HUGE impact on our athletes. Coach John thinks that this is the most missed movement in program design and the #1 movement to elicit change. Why do I like loaded carries so much?

1.)  Huge metabolic driver

2.)  Self Impaired Exercise

3.)  Grip strength

4.)  Posterior Chain activation

5.)  Core activation (anti-rotation/extension)

6.)  Hits the CNS like a ton of bricks

7.)  Instant Impact on Program Design

8.)  Puts the shoulder in a retracted/depressed position

9.)  Easy to Coach

Loaded carries have made a tremendous impact on our program design. Two of our favorites are loaded Farmer’s Walks and Suite case carries.


Coaching the Loaded Carries: Farmer's Walk



Farmer's Walk



Suitcase Carry



As Strength and Conditioning Coaches our job is to find the potholes. To constantly look for ways to improve performance and elicit better results for our athletes. The simplicity of Coach John’s message is summed up as follows; Rule #1: find out what your athletes have not been exposed to and attack it. Weather its hinge, push, pull, squat or loaded carries.   In our case, loaded carries were at the bottom of the list, a pothole that has now been covered by sweat, strength, perseverance and results.


Anthony Donskov, MS, CSCS, PES, is a former collegiate and professional hockey player, founder of Donskov Strength and Conditioning Inc., ( and Head Instructor/Director of Off-Ice Strength and Conditioning for Donskov Hockey Development ( He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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