T Nation

1 Mile Farmers Walk Conditioning

Anyone tried this??

I love farmers walk as conditioning so im thinking about adding this 3 times a week… would it be too much?? Weight would be relatively light but TUT would be huge so forearm and traps gains should be good too

“Too much” would depend on what kind of condition you’re in and what the rest of your training and recovery looks like but that looks pretty low impact.

My 2c would be that if you’re going to commit to 3 sessions of loaded carries a week, you’d probably want to go the Dan John route and mix it up a bit in terms of weights, styles and implements.

Somebody started a thread last year about long distance farmers walks.a Few of us attempted the.

I read it, it’s stupid. That’s about as concise as I can get.

1 Like

Im doing Mass Template from the Mass Protocol Book by Tactical Barbell.
For conditioning he suggest rucking, sprints and such but i really would love to inplement FW

If you’re just doing it for conditioning, just pick up something, or wear something, and walk for a bit. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. I prefer weight vests to carrying stuff, personally, but mix it up as you see fit.

I’m going to be serious now. The exercise as described will not manage anything except being different enough to provide diversion. Actual conditioning depends on your goals. Aerobic conditioning is probably best served with interval cardio, and going after it hard. If you like FW’s, that’s a little bit of a different kind of conditioning but can work. But not with silly little weights. That’s just not a productive use of time. Moderate weights for 30-50 meters (Or yards, dosen’t really matter which) done as fast as you can push yourself with a walking around cool down in between for several sets will get you somewhere. Walking long distance with 15 or 20 lb DB’s is just retarded.


Joe DeFranco is a fan of this, but even he only used it 1-2 times every couple of months. If you want to improve your conditioning, chances are the strategies people have used forever are your best bets: intervals, tempo runs and LISS

This would not be an example of a training day to add 3x a week. This would be an example of a test or challenge or just a one-off to say you did it. As others have said, you can implement FW’s more effectively using other protocols (Dan John has some), or use a weight vest for a 2-mile walk like Wendler suggests. These latter examples could be programmed into a sensible overall plan, but walking around with a 15 lb weight in each hand would really just be a test of sustained grip strength.

1 Like

A single heavier db might be a different cat.

Split the time switching hands and shoulders.
Maybe throw in waiter carry, but be careful of solid footing.

I’ve done many db FW or trapbar workouts. They will zap your CNS if heavy.

Uh, yes, I have tried this.

I have also done mile-long yoke walks.

Don’t fucking do it, kid.

Nah, in all seriousness it’s doable but you’re better off just jogging or doing like HIIT.

*I fucked myself up really bad from a mile long yoke once. Could not resume normal training for several months and my body had HORRIBLE temperature regulation. I’d get hot really easily. My bones hurt for a while and I just never felt right since. Careful how hard you go on something like this. (so I’m only slightly joking with my initial warning)

That’s ridiculous. How long did it take you?

1 Like

Is that one mile, no drops?

1 Like

@j4gga2 Took me probably an hour or so with 275.

@dagill2 with about 40-60 drops. Carried it (275lbs) for over 500ft initially before dropping it. After that, I could only manage 50-60ft runs before having to drop it.

At one point, I was writhing in pain on the shady grass (was probably 34-35c outside) between each 50 foot run. I’d have to psych myself out just to make it to the nearest storm drain, then just heave on the ground for like 2-3 minutes before going again.

A lot of cars stopped and asked if I was okay LOL.


I don’t know if you have access to something like a track but I’m fortunate to live pretty near to one. I d experimented with similar ideas but not as long. One thing I like to do is do farmers walks for a specific length. Set the dumbbells on the side and then walk the lap back to them. I’ve done this with two hands. Sometimes I use my heaviest KB and switch hands then the next lap I do it with a different hold (usually goblet, sometimes at shoulders). I don’t necessarily prefer this to being in the gym doing them with heavier weights like a trap bar but it is a nice change of pace from a regular walk.

Doing it for a mile is probably not something I would personally do as I’m just not sure the big benefit there over shorter distances and more frequent loading/unloading. I also think if you wanted to do a whole mile you’d need an insanely paltry weight which again to me defeats the benefits seen from it.

You can make TUT big with more sets and also have the benefit of using more weight which should be better for grip strength/traps/etc. but if you just want to make your walks a bit more tiring I’d go the weight vest route although you’re not burning a significant amount of calories more than just walking without one if you’re trying to lose fat. I was actually surprised when reading about the smaller amount as one mile with a vest is way more taxing to me than a mile without.

@H_factor I think you pretty nicely fleshed out a concept that I, personally, really like when it comes to conditioning.

“Choose the means that suit the medium that suit the system”

What are the means? The tools you use for conditioning:

  • Assault bike
  • Rowing ergometer
  • Treadmill
  • Prowler / hill
  • Hill
  • Sprints
  • Strongman implements
  • Kettlebells
  • Barbells

The mediums?

  • Density (sustained output)
  • Intensity (maximal output)

The systems?

  • Aerobic (60s+)
  • Lactic (20-60s)
  • Alactic anaerobic (6-10s)

Out of all these combinations, not all of them “work” the best. For example, I’d argue that sprints, hill sprints and prowlers are best suited to the “intensity” medium, and the lactic and alactic anaerobic systems.

On the contrary, the assult bike, treadmill and rowing machine are best left to the density sides of things, sticking to lactic and aerobic work.

Strongman implements, imo, are best suited to living firmly in the same zone as sprints. They give you the opportunity to load something heavy, and stress the system with load. I think it’s best to maximise that opportunity, and as such going for such long durations is probably a poor application.