T Nation

Farmers Walk


How do you guys train the farmers walk? In the past I have done one heavy day with shorter distances, and a light day with longer distances.


If youre training this movement for an upcoming comp then you have to specialize and work on your weak points in the farmers walk. Grip strength, leg and lower back endurance, GPP or on the technical aspect, how fast you grip and move, or the turning (which is my main problem) etc etc

If your just training the movement for the positive benefits of doing farmers walks rather than prepping for a comp then I would try 3 sessions a week if youve built up enough tolerance to the movement and it seems like you have with two sessions. I would do a strapped session with super heavy loads and minor walks (just dont walk till you drop though), like 10m to maybe 50m (and if you have issues turning this is a good time to make a turn drop the weight and then do your second set) , my second session of the week would be a strapless medium wt and medium distance session to work on strength-speed and the third session of the week would be a very light load done for multiple medium distance sessions to work on speed-strength exclusively.

Just the way I would do farmers if I ever did.



I followed a similar pattern.

One thing that I did that I liked was after my last set, I would actually use some straps and see how far I could go. You still work the grip a little, and it's great for leg/core work. Definitely huffing and puffing after.

Just my opinion


Yes definitely. Thats what my partner would do to work in his endurance and even though I hated it, since I hate going to failure or any sort on any movement (simply cuz it hurts man, Im a big hairy pussy) this would definitely be something I would add on a set of after my super-heavy day. Next pre-comp training will give it a shot.

Although I just hope the organizers all over America just start focusing more on maximal strength again and not make the Strongman an endurance sport by keeping light implements for distance; rahter heavy ass implements for time as far as fermers is concerned.



I do that type of routine. My grip is the first thing to go, so when I can't hold the bastards anymore I go to the straps. I also go beltless until I feel like my core is struggling, then go to the belt.


Thanks for the replys guys. I am going to farmers today (heavy for shorts distances). Also I have always thought that given a proper strength base strongman events could be trained exclusivly 3x's a week. What do you guys think?


The Strongman events are great for just about any endeavor from kicking ass to looking like you could kick ass and everything athletic. However, The squat is left out of most comps save for the WSM and even THAT is more of a SMITH MACHINE type movement. Also, everyone I know that has injured a biceps on the ATLAS STONES said he needed to curl and hammer curl more and that could've prevented the tear in the first place.

I also think chins and rows need to be performed. If you used only the Strongman equipment but squatted, chinned and hammer curled, you could probably get away with it. That is to say IF you had a lot of implements... LOGS for OHP, STONES, FW, TIRE FLIP and SLED/TRUCK PULL.

Also, on FW, practice turns in both directions... you can make up time in the turns.


I only perform the farmers walk once per week on my "Strongman day."

I do the following:

Tire flips
Sled drags
Stone lifting
Farmers Walk
Log lifts (overhead)

There is only one of the above movements that I perform every week. That's the Farmers Walk! It's always my final movement. I go for more distance with a light weight, but have gone shorter distances with heavy poundage. I found that, for me, the longer distances help improve the cardio which is more important than grip to me. My grip is already pretty good. And since I don't enter any Strongmen Competitions it matters not.

Either way you do it, it's a great exercise!


When comp training, 1-2 times a week would be the max if you're training in the gym also. If you're just doing events 3x a week, then it's possible, but I would watch the leg and lower back recovery levels.

One good way that's always worked well, especially if the two events are in the show is to work superyoke first for your leg/hip strength and endurance and then work the farmer's. This helps for both speed and the endurance needed on both events. Almost any competitor can lift the 250+ lbs. in each hand for a show, the main question is who has the fastest feet and the most endurance with the weight.

 The other issue is turns, which usually need to be practiced extensively.  5/10 (4/10 are straight up grip strength, and the other one is someone who can't walk, as happened to me in a show a couple of years ago when I tripped over my own feet!!!)drops in a show happen because the competitor's turn got screwed up and they had to waste precious grip strength fixing the momentum of the cylinders.  You can either turn wide to keep your momentum going or slow down and make a short turn.

Either way, the cylinders have to turn with you and you have to make sure their momentum stops after the turn. The best way is to turn your wrists in slightly to get the cylinders going and then turn them back, but it definitely takes practice. That's where the second workout for speed and technique during the week would come in.


How heavy should a person train farmer's walk for actual competition? I have never doen a strongman but would like to some time in the future. I watch some videos that I think were from New York. It looked like they had quite a bit of weight one there.



231 and under will have walks that are usually between 200 and 275 in each hand(for a very heavy show). Heavys usually range between 250 and 325 in each hand, depending on the level of the show and the disance you're walking.

Personally, I try to get in 2 sesssions a week for events, one day light to work specifically on weak points, and one day heavy to get ready for the show. The light day is usually to work on foot speed or grip strength.

The heavy day is usually the way Amir described it above (I'm the partner he mentions). At least one attempt is at the show weight and distance, but I try to go heavier to make the weight easier on show day (Harder now = easier the day of the show). I also practice turns, drops, etc. to minimize any mistakes on the show day.


Ihave a long way to go then. I'm doing them with 80lb dumbells on my deadlift day. I think I could do 90lb one wasy. Thanks for the info.


80lb dumbells aren't that bad. You have to remember that Farmer's handles are actually set above the weight, so it offsets some of the pressure on your grip (kind of like doing a deadlift grip, but it's already set up for you). The most I've ever held on dumbells for any extended period of time are 130's to 140's or so, yet I've done a farmer's hold w/275 in each. If I had to venture to guess, I would say that you could probably hold at least 150 on Farmer's handles. A good trick in the gym is to practice the holds (you can't walk at all!!!) with Olympic bars instead of dumbells. The extra distance and balance creates a ridiculous strain on your forearms and will increase your grip/farmer's hold quite a bit.


Thanks for the info. I wll give that a shot. I've been working over my grip a lot lately.Every little it will help.


Are there any T-articles written about farmer walk work outs?


Does using farmers walk impliments really make that much difference? I use the tricept bars (rectangluar ones) at my gym (I have gotten up to 180 in each hand for about 75 feet), so this means I am closer to my 250 goal than I thought?


Do you mean ez curl bars? If so, yes.