Hi Jim / Walrus brothers,
After 2.5 years of exclusively following Wendler’s Weight Vest Walrus style training, I’ve finally built my way up from only bodyweight to hit the top General standards (40kgs/88lbs vest) Jim laid out in his ‘original’ Walrus plans from the Forever book. I’m able to use 30-35kg (65-75lbs) every session now with ease, so just loaded up to 40kg (88lbs) for kicks, and breezed it.
Train just twice a week. No more than 45 minutes each time. Due to work/family and other life passions. I do least amount of work for maximum possible gain.
Stretch. Weight vest work. Sprint.
Not boasting, just want to show those who may not believe or realise it, but you can get strong and conditioned for anything in life without equipment or a gym pass. Just chin up, dips / pushups and bodyweight squats/ lunges when done with added weight vest.
Yes, I feel unstoppable, strong, fit and all those other words that mean just straight up part animal, part machine! It really is this simple.
Many thanks to you Jim!
I’ve recently received a strongman sandbag loadable to 75kg (165lbs) that I may begin to play with on a Sunday for fun and kicks - akin to Wendler’s ‘Viking Day.’
I don’t think Jim visits these forums anymore. Probably related to a lot of dumb questions from other people
What changes in body composition have you noticed
I’ve written about this 3/4 times over the past 2 and half years. I found body comp changes after just 3-6 months of following this training.
I’ve never cared for looks. Always been focussed on performance / how strong and athletic I’ve felt, and have done so by following numbers and standards rather than considering how much fat I hold or how to lose fat etc.
So all I’ve focussed on is building up to 40kg vest weight.
That being said, I lost fat and built lean tissue without even trying. Without considering it, I’m very lean yet haven’t changed my eating habits much for over a decade.
I only eat one meal/ sitting after 6pm.
This is very cool to see. I just watched a clip from Wendler’s last appearance on Dave Tate’s podcast and he talked about how his training is now entirely barbell free now. Mainly WALRUS style, or small Murph workouts.
Very awesome to see how truly minimal training can have such large positive effects. I love training with the barbell, but its encouraging to see that if one day its just no longer feasible someone else has figured out how to still be able to find a way to train hard without having to worry about crippling one’s self.
I have trained WALRUS-style quite a bit over the past year. I did the full murph with a 30# vest (2 miles Airdyne, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, 2 miles Airdyne) in 32 minutes recently after training that way nearly exclusively for a couple months. It’s a great way to train, and I like the simplicity and just “get it done” feeling. I continue to incorporate these styles of workouts in my training.
That said, I have really found the following to be very true from Dan John: Everything works. For about 6 weeks. The more trained you are, the faster you will adapt to a new training style. To me, that’s been good news to learn and experience. I went full bore in Pavel’s KB training, Tactical Barbell, high volume burpees, and WALRUS work over the last two years, spending a couple months or more with each. I enjoyed each one and saw great results, then switched it up and moved on. 531 is a great program and lifting philosophy to have a a mainstay, and then I dip in and out of new training styles. Once I realized this, I’ve enjoyed training more.
Now if only most beginners would understand that, rather than trying to include everything in their training at once. No me of course, other beginners.
@aaronru I’m all about this but can’t afford the vest… at least not one that’ll load heavier than 25 pounds.
What are your target reps now, years in, understanding you’ve added resistance in the process?
I slowly added weight to the vest, following Wendler’s main principle of start light progress slow.
Reps are usually set by the various challenges Jim Wendler wrote about in his various articles on the Walrus challenge.
You are meant to train much lighter than “testing” however my training weights are quite high as I don’t train often - 2x a week and sometimes 3x.
I sold some of my existing weights etc to fund the vest.
I have a 10kg KB that I have added to a rucksack in the past to wear on top of my weight vest, thus bumping up my total weight. It fit snugly and isn’t too cumbersome.
I read that you train walrus style twice per week. How many days a week do you sprint and do you do other forms of conditioning?
Here is my set up-
Agile 8 & Jumps 3x5: 5 minutes.
Walrus session: 30 minutes.
Hard conditioning: 5-10 minutes.
Total training time: 40-45 minutes.
Done minimum twice a week. On some odd occasions, three times a week.
Hard conditioning is normally 60-80 yard sprints x 20.
Sometimes heavy carries 60-80 yards x 6-8
Sometimes run a mile in 5 minutes or under.
Sometimes heavy bag Muay Thai strikes 3x3 min rounds.
Hope it helps
Jesus that’s a hell of a mile time.
Thanks to the lessons and role modelling from my dad and P.E teachers, I was constantly playing a range of sports and doing old school GPP daily, from very early age in my childhood, all the way through to late teens.
So, without bragging at all, any conditioning in the general sense has come quite naturally and is a strength, if compared to say strength, power and mobility, for me.
Hence, I don’t spend much time on it at all, 20 mins max, per week, to maintain decent levels. in fact, I probably do a lot of low level/ mobility / “easy” conditioning, without thinking about it.
You’ll never sell an e-book like that.
“if one day its just no longer feasible someone else has figured out how to still be able to find a way to train hard without having to worry about crippling one’s self.”
Unfortunately, this is why I actually started weighted vest Walrus only training. Due to a recurring, ever-present back pain from a deadlift injury a decade ago. Couldn’t shake it off.
It was a choice of barbell lifts and constant on/off pain, or a pain-free method. And I haven’t looked back since.
Nice going aaronru. I am decently strong on the barbell lifts and have ok cardio. I just did my first attempt at WALRUS training with 80 lbs and it kicked my ass. Gonna cut the weight in half and build my way up. This definitely seems like fantastic training for the busy man.
Jim had mentioned before - it takes time to get used to 40kg / 88lbs crushing you around your lungs for 30 minutes or more. Rest between sets is slightly more challenging.
It’s very different to dangling a couple of plates off your waist with a chinning or dip belt, and removing it after the set, resting, then going again. It’s a different animal.
Also, Jim mentions starting light and progressing slow - he actually wrote once something like adding weight vest weight when you can easily compete the 30 minute walrus session in under 20 minutes. I used that often as a measure of when to bump up the weight, and it seemed to have worked, and I aim to continue with this planning beyond 40kg to perhaps 50kg.
Couldn’t agreee more
Walrus training is a different beast altogether
Just stumbled upon this thread. Very impressive and inspiring. I think I will try this as well! I also have the forever book but never pay attention to WALRUS style workouts but it will fit perfectly now since I moved and don´t have a gym
To clarify, you only did bodyweight work with the additional weighted vest? No barbell? No Kettlebells or Dumbbells to load squats or single leg movements?
do you applied a “specific” progression model or layout when you add weight?
thank you very much
To begin with, just the weight vest was used as the load.
I had a 40kg dumbbell and a 40kg sandbag that I started to use for the goblet squats, on top of the loaded weight vest that I’d be wearing.
But for most of it, the weight vest load was used for single leg work and squats - I just did 5 sets of 50 squats so upped total squats to 250. And I did 5 sets of 20-25 for the single leg work.
As for progress… It’s what Jim has as his core principles. Start light progress slow. Big moves - pull push leg.Take rest or deload as and when needed.
Stretch lots. Sprint.
My basic 2 sessions were:
Agile 8. Jumps 3x5.
Chin up 5x5 superset with
Dip 5x10 superset with
Squat 5x50 or 5x10 if using 40kg dB.
Sprints 60-80 yard x 10-20.
Agile 8. Jumps 3x5.
Inverted Row 5x10 super set with
Pushup 5x10 superset with
1 leg work 5x10-20.
Carries 60-80 yard x 4-8 ( farmers, Zercher, shoulder walk) carried sandbags, logs or any other odd heavy items.
Both sessions lasted no more than 45 mins in total each.
Perfect for a busy working dad who has tons of hobbies.
The pull push leg circuits were done in 30 mins. I always timed them. When they were completed easily (completed in 20 mins) I added weight vest weight.
That is all.
Same 2 sessions. Done for years. Progress made was going from 0 to 18kg to 30kg to 40kg.
Pretty much spent 2019-20 with 18kg vest per session. 2021 with 30kg per session. And 2022 been using 40kg per session.
Goal by end of this year is try get 50kg, especially for my Wednesday session - I find rows, pushups and single leg much easier compared to chins and dips.
Hope it helps.
Get on it. Such a simple, easy, foolproof method of training that offers it all. Strength power agility conditioning lean tissue fat loss etcetx. I feel like a teen again physically!