No Ab Activation with Farmer Carries

I am doing a hypertrophy exercise (45 secs then 1 min rest period) carring 18kg (39.68lbs) and still not getting my main abdominal to kick in. I am doing everything, breathing, tucking in my main abdominal, still nothing! I just don’t know if I am doing anything right/wrong, including other basic main ab exercises I can do without resistant bands. I just want a bit more help so I know exactly what to do and some tips as well.

It’s not heavy enough. Put your bodyweight in each hand. Use lifting straps. You will feel everything in your body “kick in”

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Sorry I meant to say I am currently carrying 14kg while doing the suitcase version. That was a typo on my behalf. I don’t have any straps to use or anything. I am home lifting and also a natural lifter too and eating about 5,000 to 6,000kj as well. I am not sure if that is effecting it too cause I am eating well and a big health nut as well and also eating the occasional fish and chips too from the fish market. I don’t know if that effects that as well cause that occasional thing has no added anything and all real stuff. Sorry if the food stuff seems a bit redundent but I am doing the best I can. And plus I am a female as well so I am not sure if that is going to change much. I just want to meet my goal is all. :blush:

Try zercher carries or front rack carries

I wish. I only have Dumbells. I tried to it with dumbells but since both bars were off by a few cm, the whole thing just kept tumbling down cause of how much weight it couldn’t handle and if you want to know what type, you have to screw them on with a large bolt but even that I struggled with. So that sucks. Sorry if I am not helpful :sweat_smile:

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Farmers walks can be strange in that regard. Your abs are working even if it doesn’t “feel” like you think it should.

Sucks you can’t do Zerchers as they are the one farmers walk that simply exhausts my core.

Like I am tighting my main abdominals to the best of my ability including glutes and back. My legs are think but muscular at the back of them, arms are over 70% toned and obleques are roughly just under 50% toned. As a female it sucks cause it feels like I have to work my ass off and go as heavy as possible, and I understand that females have 2/3rds less testostrones than your average male but can get more of the benefits during their menstrual cycle. I am doing way more work on my menstrual cycle. I am pushing and pushing trying to get results… It’s just so frustrating for me. But I am hoping the regular carriers will help me as soon as I get more weights from my local retailer. And hopefully de-stress a bit more. But thanks mates.

Well rest assured your abdominals are working when you do these. You might not feel them like you would a Swiss ball crunch or a zercher carry but they are working.

You could also try simulating a zercher by holding your heaviest dB horizontally in front of your upper chest. I haven’t tried this before but may be worth a try.

Thanks mate. I will. Sorry about before, I just want to get the results I please. I am doing everything it’s just nothing I do is working. Bit thanks again anyways. :blush:

Try CT’s abs superset

  1. Zercher squats from pins 5-6 reps
  2. Ab crunches or garhammer raises AMAP
  3. Farmers walks for 40M.

Dude… Preach it. I use the yoke apparatus. Up to 240 for about 70 feet. Brutal.

I also forgot to mention that I am a natural lifter who doesn’t use subs and only what nature intended, and since my ideal days that I am doing are 3, and lift 14 kg for the suitcase version, can that have any effect on my entire body? It’s slow the process but it’s working but very slow. Can too much volume be the cause of it? I am pretty confused. Once I know I can focus on what I need to do. I am getting a good solid of protein and carbs from food sources (thank Christ I live in Australia) and still oh so slowly getting there even though I have a tad bit a sweet tooth for sugar free chocolate hahaha, but anyways if anyone can let me know, that would be the best. :blush:

It’s no surprise CT didn’t waste his time replying to your question…dude it’s because you are a big pussy!! First of all Farmers Carries are not an “AB’s” exercise per say, and unless you’re under 12-ish % body fat you should be less worried about doing “AB” exercises and more focused on being a MAN and lifting some weight to start with!

You don’t need straps either…one of the many benefits of doing the F.C. is increased "GRIP"strength which will in turn allow you to start being a MAN again and actually lifting weights that will help you improve! The one dude is right, use heavy DB’s for carries of 30 seconds to target hypertrophy and strength…fat loss is an added benefit. Do slightly lighter carries for 1-1 ratio (Full minute) if you wanna target fat-loss more than strength.

I designed what I call ~Metabolic Strength Power and Core Complexes~ and they are kick ass if you got the balls and the conditioning! I am a 180 lb 6’ 47 yr old competitive Hockey player who just won’t give it up. This is what I use in my training’s at various times…

~90 lb Dumbells FC’s 30 seconds distance
~Hammer Strength Crunch machine 115 lbs X 12 reps
~Battle Ropes Double Slams 20 reps
~Cable Crunches (Properly executed) the whole stack 12 reps
~Vertical Jump Series (Explosive) 12 reps
~Ab Wheel 20 reps

Complete all stations as fast as possible with as little rest as possible back to back to back…

3 Min’s rest, then repeat Complex for a total of 3 (Giant) sets!

I would usually do these at the completion of my regular workout and it would take 15-20 mins with the goal being to complete the whole thing as fast as humanly possible! You can also mix in other exercises i.e. Med Ball Slams, Broad Jumps, Agility Ladder, Longer carries, different carries (Overhead DB carry is one of my favorites-it helped finally heal to 100 % my rotator cuff injury from a MT Bike wreck) , other Ab choices etc etc…I always limit this intense activity to a 20 min max time frame!

Good Luck

Uhm… that’s because she is a woman.


First post and H4L comes at the OP at 100 MPH…intriguing…

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Seriously dude. How can I do that when I can’t afford all of that equipment and famer carriers do everything at little cost and don’t forget, females have more trouble toning as a natural lifter than your average male due to them having 2/3rds less testosterone then your typical male and can only rise by a small percentage during their menstrual cycle including metabolism. This is why I don’t take subs at all! I agree with ChickenLittle that females can work like men but the way they take in nutrients is completely different. This is why females need more carbs and protein and carbs than your average male cause they major issues burning fat off due to their body type composition. Being a female nattie is hard enough for me. males its less of a chore because again, we have a pear shape. I refuse to take subs because of the price tag. They are so expensive and over time they be just as expensive as my water bill here in the land down under because of water restrictions. So sorry to say this but I am a casual and your telling this to me as a competitive body builder witch I am not. I simply here to be fit, have energy and be a health nut. I even barely have any sugar in my diet and take artificial/natural sweetners as my sugar substitute. Thanks ChickenLittle for saying that. I appreciate it. I know its nothing at all but still. Thanks. :slight_smile: