T Nation

Farmers Walk


Hi there

Love this site and the forum. Been reading for a while and decided to jump in

What do you guys think of farmers walks, I usually use them as a finisher on squat days. My gym has a little running track, I don't really know why it's there, but it suits my farmer walk needs :slightly_smiling:

The track is about 40 metres long and I carry a few kg less than my bw round it. In a couple of weeks going to change to going heavy and taking the track in 4 x10 metre sections


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I like them. Work on improving your numbers - more weight and/or longer distances.


How are you thinking of progressing these in terms of weight and/or distance?


CT has written about various walks quite a bit on here. I'd search for what he's written on the subject. The recent Layer system article touched on it. He suggests sled push/pull on squat day and I believe farms walk on upper body days. I'm pretty sure he's suggested FMs on deadlift day too (the layer system article excludes the Deadlift). He also calls for zercher carries on preacher curls day. This is all in the context of the layer system though.


As someone that competes in a sport where farmer's walks are an event, I think that the boner that the training world has recently developed over them is kinda silly.

They're a fine movement, but they tend to be overemployed as some sort of cure-all.

Got a weak grip? Do some farmers.
Need some conditioning? Do some farmers.
Core weak? Do some farmers.

Etc etc. It's akin to around 2006 or so when everyone's answer to any training problem was "Squat".

Then, on top of that, you find most trainees aren't actually doing farmer's walks, and instead are just walking around the gym with dumbbells in their hands. In reality, the dumbbell makes a poor choice for a farmer's implement due to the nature of it's design. It's constantly tying to rotate out of your hand, the pick up in insanely low, and the bells keep banging into your legs, which ultimately means using FAR less weight than would be beneficial for a farmer's walk in the first place.

All of that being said, rotating/combing farmers with some sort of front carry as conditioning work isn't a bad idea at all, just keep the intensity high. 20 meters is about as far as I'd go, with a huge emphasis on foot speed the entire time. Occasionally, load them up stupid heavy and see how far you can make it (even consider using straps), but don't do that often.


Legitimate points made (as you seem to have a tendency of doing around here), though in all fairness it is a very good (and dare I say "functional") exercise for many reasons.

I totally agree with the point about DBs. They are nowhere near farmers bars in the quality they deliver. In addition to the weight limitations, they don't require nearly as much stabilization as a longer implement.


It's one of those where, instead of saying that the farmer's walk is a very good exercise, I'm more inclined to agree that loaded carries in general are a good thing, with the farmer's just being one of many avenues available for it.

But I'm most likely just salty about it because I'm tired of seeing it recommended as a grip exercise, haha.






Exactly. Something like this.


I was thinking of adding weight and doing shorter distances. BW for 40 meters is fairly consistent now. Going for longer isn't really my goal, so I am going to go heavy and do maybe 10 meters x 3


Am I weird for thinking that farmers walks are not a good grip strengthener? I found that I got good results doing thick grip and open handed work. Now I can pick up about 300# in each hand :wink:

And honestly, farmers walks are good but risky to do after heavy squatting.


I'm of the same opinion: build your grip to do farmers, don't do farmers to build your grip.


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while we're on the topic, what do you guys think about the ironmind rolling thunder for building grip strength? I saw th3punisher recommend it in another thread and checked it out. I really want one now.


They're a trip for sure. What's unique about them is the "rolling" aspect of the design. You sink in a good grip, hold it, and then like 20 seconds into it it starts rotating on you out of nowhere. Really taxes you, and easy to set up. When I have a little more confidence in my knee, I plan to get back into it. Right now it's just all Captains of Crush grippers.


I saw this in one of the quoted articles:

I guess I don't really think 50% bodyweight per hand is very heavy.

What do you all consider "heavy" on farmers walks? And for what kind of distance?


Heavy for me was 300lbs per hand for about 50' (with straps). About 3xBW for total weight moved.

All it was good for was making me deal with how much things sucked. Not a whole lot of foodspeed to be had.

In terms of "heavyish", or what I would do toward the end of a 3 week wave, usually about 250 per hand for 50'.


I don't know where that comes from but that sounds like bullshit to me. I am a pretty short and heavy guy (5'9" and about 260#) and I can get about my bodyweight in each and walk with it for 50'. I can basically run with half that weight in each hand. I've also never needed anything more than chalk as my hands tend to sweat and ruin my grip if I don't use it. And if anything I think that using straps will make you more likely to injure yourself. When you do a heavy carry like a farmers walk you can feel the weight going through your whole body - you know when you are reaching your limit. If you cant dump that weight when something happens then you can get seriously injured.