Powerlifting and Loaded Carries

Hey Guys,

if i want to bring up my Squat, my Bench and my Deadlift and want to get better in Farmer Walks, what is your recommendation?

I tougth about a 3 Day split (dont have more time)

Squat (5x3)
Farmer Walk for distance

Bench Press (5x3)
Farmer Walk for time

Deadlift (5x2)
Farmer Walk easy

but i really dont know about the assistant and supplement work…

Press on Benchpress, Rows on Deadlift…what on Squatday?

Your tipps are welcome :slight_smile:

If you don’t want to get better at farmers (ie because you have an event). Then probably best to go heavy for short distances - 15-30m.

Distance is okay when you hate yourself and want to suffer (good to do now and again) but I don’t know how much they will benefit the powerlifts.

Not sure if there is a benefit to doing “easy” farmers (ie. I’d have a bunch of stuff before it)

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Maybe you get me wrong, maybe i talked shit:

i want! to get better at farmer walks and boost my grip and my performance for upcoming events.

so do you recommand short distances…every training? or a mix one day 15-30m for strength and one with 30-50m for hyperthrophie?

Honestly, I don’t think any of that is optimal. At all.

  1. Reps are too low, especially for bench and squat. You’ll want some 8-12 rep sets in there for each one. Something like 2x5, 1x5+, 3x8-10. For DL you could get away with 3x2, 1x2+, 3x5-8;

  2. Not enough frequency for squat and bench, you’d want to hit them twice a week;

  3. You need a LOT more upper and middle back work, both vertical and horizontal pulling. Something like 100-200 reps per week; and

Lastly, my experience with carries is that up to a point you really don’t need to train them - that point being competing in strongman or having a specific distance/time/weight goal. I can do carries reasonably well on a whim (bodyweight per hand for 10 m with handles, trap bar carries around 2.25 times bodyweight for 20 m, all beltless) and I don’t train them at all. That’s what I mean by up to a point - if I wanted to go significantly beyond that I’d need to train them specifically.

Thanks for the feedback. Squatting more than 1 time per week doesn’t work well for me. The last time i squatted for 2 or 3 times a week my hip and lower back got hurt (and that was not the first time for example, Westside, Ws4sb, ss, bill stars 5x5)

so with that in mind i am exactly where i started, what should i do as assistant, should i do any? i like the idea of a 3 day split with every day focusing on one movement.

Squat 5 x 5
Legpress 4 x 10
Romian Deadlift 4 x 10

Bench 5 x 5
Press 4 x 10
Dumbell Bench 4 x 10

Deadlift 5 x 5
Row 4 x 10
Chinups 4 x 10

i think every “normal” person made the same experience. I really don’t know anybody who can’t carry when they are trained. But i am blessed (or doomed) with really bad gripstrength, thats why i want to train famerwalk more often.

If you, as a far ahead lifter, tell me onetime a weak per movement is wasted time, i believe you, but please help me with some structer :slight_smile:

No worries. That extra information gives us something to work with @viktorwolkow so:

Better base to work on, but why not

Squat 2x5, 1x5+, 1x20x60% of first three sets
Single leg (lunge or split squat) 5x10
Romanian DL, double overhand, no straps, 5x10
Back raise or reverse hyper 5x20

Too much pressing, not enough rowing. Why not

Bench 4x5, 1x5+
Press 5x10 supersetted with chinups
Barbell row 5x10
Bicep curls 5x20

Best one I’ve seen yet, although still could improve IMO, for instance

Deadlift 4x3, 1x3+
Close grip bench press 3x12 supersetted with chinups
Kroc row (work up to one set of heavy dumbbell rows, as many reps as possible - aim for 20 as a minimum, per hand - without straps)
Abs - hanging leg raise or ab wheel 5x10-20

Not exactly. It’s just that often, once a week gives suboptimal results. If - as in your case - training a lift more than once a week hurts, of course it’s a bad idea.

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Are you using implements or dumbbells?

Squat Day sounds good :slight_smile: yeah i know, i would do a totalbody training if it wouldn’t hurt, but…yeah.

On Deadlift Day. Why should i go with close grip bench if i could do regular bench?

Looks a lot like lowerbody / upperbody / total body. i’m definitely going to try this and maybe adjust the exercises.

I am using dumbbells and barbells most of the time. the only “machine” i use is the chest-supported row because i can feel my lats way more than bb rows.

Sorry; I was explicitly referring to farmer walks. Are you using farmer’s walk implements, or are you just walking with a pair of dumbbells?

walking with dumbbells around the cardiozombies, like i said i switch the duration / distance every workout because i need every component of gripstrength

It’s a great bench driver and also is generally easier on the shoulders

You aren’t really getting the training effect of farmer’s walks with this. Dumbbells don’t allow for the kind of loading that implements provide, and it becomes more of a grip exercise.

I would pick a different loaded carry. Something like sandbag or keg carries.

hm that is a good argument, i will try it! And thanks for the help!

that is something i really want to and that is why i am using dumbbells! :slight_smile: but you are welcome for your help.

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I don’t quite understand your logic honestly. You can buy farmer’s handles for cheap using hand tools if you really want some, but if you just want to do A loaded carry, a big heavy rock or sandbag or keg will do well.

I am training in a commercial franchise gym, going there by citybus… and i should bring my own…hm maybe 20kg farmer handles there? okay.

as i said befor, i want to train my grip and think farmer walk is the best soulation, you said that without the handles i mainly train my grip…soo?! i want grip, i get grip, everything is good.

Yeah, that’s what I would do. You can make them out of railroad ties or plumbing pipes.

You said you want to train your grip, but the topic is about powerlifting and loaded carries, and you also said you want to get better at Farmer’s carries. You’ll forgive me, but I feel you keep changing your goals as you write, and it makes it difficult to offer advice.

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For your grip, carry dumbbells as long/far as possible. Long holds are good(best?) for grip stuff. Dumbbells are way harder to hold than real implements.

For your mid-section, carry 1 dumbbell. “Suitcase” style. Lock your guts in and stay upright.

For your traps/upper back carry two dumbbells with your shoulders shrugged up and held high.

For variety, hang the dumbbells from short Stretch bands. They jump all over in an unpredictable, exciting way.

Carrying dumbbells around is pretty “General.” Training the farmers walk, with contest implements is very “specific.” Having a better grip, stronger obliques and traps(General strength) will prepare you for more specific training. In a contest, picking the handles up, balancing them, accelating but Not going to fast, leaning forward but not too much, turning and getting all the way over the turn/finish line(s) are important.

Build your base with dumbbells. Get that General, “manual labor” strength. Build mental toughness holding the dumbbells as your forearms and fingers burn.

Before a contest, get your hands on some heavy, clumsy implements. Practice and build your skills.


While I’m at work, whenever I see stones or rocks that look like I can pick them up I try it. Just do a ton of odd object lifting when you see it fit. It doesn’t have to be programmed. Just go have fun outside finding random shit to pick up, carry, throw, run with, whatever.


You can use 2 hammer curl bars hold in the middle and use as you implement, you can probably load a lot more this way than with the dumbbels your gym got. I do them this way and they work perfectly.
ps: choose good bar collars.

Sounds interesting, maybe i can fit it into an extra day sometimes!

Thats exactly what i want to! I try to incorporate every variation after the mainwork. For Example Suitcase on Bench day etc.

Thanks guys for feedback :slight_smile: