Farmer's Walks - How Heavy?

Just got myself a pair of loaded carry handles for the home gym as my dumbbells only go up to 90s. Got all the way up to short 20 foot walks with my body weight in each hand(180). For those of you who consistently do loaded carry work, what are some good strength related benchmarks to work towards?

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As a 200lb athlete, 240 per hand for 50’ in 9 to 10 seconds is pretty ok.

good is subjective, but as an event in a strongman competition, I’d go with pwnisher’s assessment. That is pretty much exactly the mark I’d be shooting for. A 9-10 second run with that kind of weight is generally sufficient for a top 3 or even a win in a farmers carry event at a local comp. It’s faster than I can move with that much weight. Anything close to that mark, as a noncompetitive strongman, would be pretty good.

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Is it usually 50 feet?

What would you say is pretty good for like a 185lb athlete?

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225 per hand, same time same distance.


Damn gotta add 135lbs to my trap bar farmers walk. Guess I got a new goal to go after!

that’s actually not a farmer’s walk.

A farmer’s walk is where you have 2 independent handles to lift, rather than a single apparatus. The trap bar is more like a frame carry than a farmer’s walk. I’d set the number a bit higher on that than I would a farmer’s carry. But, at the end of the day you do what you can, overtime you’ll be able to move quickly with heavier and heavier weights, so it doesn’t matter what any arbitrary benchmark is.

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Are you asking for just general benefits or are you interested in competing?

I’ll ask you since you train for strongman and are more familiar with farmer’s walk than I am.

The program I’m currently doing for hypertrophy employees the farmer’s walk, 1 set on day 1, and two sets on days 2/3.

I’ve been doing the movement holding a db in each hand but I’ve ran out of dbs as the heaviest in my gym weigh 42 kg and I can’t really strive for longer sets because the space is limited.

What would a good alternative to farmer’s walks with dbs once I’ve ran out of dbs be, as far as equipment selection? Please note that my gym isn’t very well equipped (for example we don’t have any strongman specific equipment).

I’d just grab two one arm handles from the gym.
2 short bits of chain
2 carabiner clips
Some weights from the gym

Loop the chain through some plates (as you would fir weighted chins). Carabiner the chain to the handle.

Not a farmers handle but cheap and better than DBs.

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No interest in competition, just like to feel like I’m winning in the never ending fight with gravity. Benchmarks/goals are good to have to strive towards

Thanks, was hoping you would chime in

couldn’t you just go back and forth? Even if you’ve only got a few meters to work with, you could always walk down and back indefinitely. so distance shouldn’t be an issue.

What about a couple of barbells? pick up one in each hand, just make sure you grab the middle of each barbell. You could load that up pretty easily, I would think. The fact that barbells would be more awkward than dumbbells would really be a benefit. Most farmers handles are pretty long.

50’ is a pretty standard unit of measurement for US comps, but in turn you may see 100’ runs of 50’ with a turn. For metric, I’ve done 20m runs.

Also concur with @flipcollar regarding trap bars. They aren’t farmers at all. I’ve NEVER seen anyone move quick with a trap bar, and I imagine that’s because the weight is centered on a trap bar, so you can’t let the weight carry you. If you ever watch someone who is fast on farmer’s, you’ll note that the weight tips forward, and is essentially carrying the athlete forward while they do their best to try to keep up in a 50’ forward fall. Trap bars tend to promote a more plodding pace. Better than nothing, but not the same.

And in total total honesty, I think the internet has an unreasonable like for farmer’s walks, and it’s most likely BECAUSE people think you can substitute them with trap bars and dumbbells, but when you do that, they become a different movement. I’m not too sold on the farmer’s walk in general, because I think being evenly loaded on the side really isn’t a great stimulus compared to other carries. If I wanted to be just brute freak strength strong, I’d do front carries WAY more than side carries, by which I mean carrying an object in front of your body, like a sandbag or a keg. And that IS something you can easily DIY in a gym with limited equipment, because you can just take a loading pin and stack a bunch of bumper plates on it and carry something heavy in your hands. Front carries force you to have a strong core, they weigh down your lungs and make it hard to breathe, and you can STILL move your feet quick because the weight is in front of you.