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Farmer's walk - handle vs weight


gripmaniac

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gripmaniac

Having decided incorporating Farmer’s Walk into grip workout program is well overdue, I’ve come up against a rather perplexing question – “How should I make this exercise progressive?”

Specifically, I’d be interested to hear people’s ideas on whether I should:

[A] – Use progressively thicker handles while keeping the weight constant until I reach say 3” handles then increasing the weight and starting over.

– Use progressively heavier weight until reaching a weight goal and then starting over with a slightly thicker handle.

[C] – Focus on increasing distance ahead of weight and/or handle thickness.

I intend doing this exercise 2-3 times per fortnight with 2-3 “sets” for a predefined target distance (assuming distance is not the changing variable). In any event progress is only expected to be made every 2-3 workouts.

In terms of handle thickness, I have an ever-growing collection of various gauges of steel piping that I’ve cut to length to fit as sleeves over my dumbbells.  

If anyone has done a lot of experimenting with this exercise I’d be very interested in your  (and anyone else’s) thoughts!

GM

BTW - The new gripboard looks great!!!!! Really like the new bells and whistles!!

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First, I would focus on distance, with a decent amount of weight.  Let's say 80 pounds for 100 feet.  Then, I'd move up to 100 pounds for 100 feet.  After that, maybe 70 pounds on a 2 inch handle, use that till you can get 100 feet.  Then work up to 100, ect, ect, ect.

The weights, handle diameters, and distances are up to you, but I would stick to long holds instead of heavy weights.  For me, it seems that my grip progresses better when I'm holding lighter implements for longer time.

But, it sure would be fun to try 200 pound farmer's walk implements.

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Guest 68-1005097157

As you point out, there are many ways of incorporating progression for Farmer's Walks.  The best one is going to depend upon your goals.  The lighter the weight, the more that endurance is going to be a factor.  The thicker the handle, the more that grip is going to be limiting.  The best results will probably be obtained from varying these factors from time to time.  

    In general, however, my personal preference is to use a not-so-thick handle (less than 2") and a not super-heavy weight.  In this manner, the farmer's walks are a very full-body exercise (with, say, 3" handles grip is going to be so limiting that your legs, traps, etc. will not get much of a workout) and require a fair amount of endurance.  As most of my other grip training focuses just around strength, I think incorporating some exercise for grip endurance is important.  This also makes it more functional as it is not uncommon in day-to-day life to have to carry moderately heavy objects a decent distance (e.g., suitcases).

    Lastly, I would recommend moving as fast as possible and (on your last set, at least) going until the implements physically fall out of your hands.  Farmer's walk is truly one of the best exercises out there.

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i was thinking that you could use a relatively thick handle w/ light weight then when your grip fails use straps (gasp!..) to continue the lift and even add weight. this way both grip and legs/traps/back get fully fatigued...what do you guys think?

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gripmaniac

Thanks Guys.    I think I'll start off with say 2" handles and focus on increasing distance for awhile and see how things go.

I never thought of using straps upon reaching failure.  Man.....that would be a real test of devotion! :D

GM

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Guest Daniel J

I think you have a good plan already laid out. If you are completly new to farmers walk I would suggest using a comfortable grip size and add weight to a relatively long course, like 100ft.

The farmers walk is a really good move to get you strong if you do it heavy. Using it to tax your grip is kinda defreating the purpose of the move. I would suggest static holds with wide handles for grip improvement.

Clayton. I did 200lbers last month-managed to get them down the driveway and half way up. (the driveway is 15' long :) )

It was great to actually feel it the next day even if I only walked like, 22'.

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gripmaniac

200lbs.....Phew!  

I can appreciate that Farmer's Walk is a good fully body exercise - But if your grip is the first thing to give out (which to my way of thinking is likely to occur if you use a thick handle) then doesn't it become a predominantly grip training exercise??

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Guest Matt Brennecke

What is the purpose of doing farmers walk for you?  If it is about grip, then you might go with the thick handles and shorter walks for more reps.  However, if 200 sounds out of reach to you, strength is an issue too.  I would start with 1" handles and at least 100 pounds each, and work til 100 yards is doable.Then add 20 pounds and go again, til you can get 100 yards again. When you can lift and carry 200 for 50 or more yards, then think about thick handles. Til then, do normal handle walks, and thick handled holds or deadlifts.

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Guest DavidHW

FWIW, I like training farmers with regular thickness Olympic-style barbells. I don't have access to the PDA handles that would probably make my training a bit easier, but you definitely build up and strengthen the stabilizers doing 205 per barbell -- each max-limit walk is a new adventure in swinging and swaying bars, not to mention ducking workout partners.  :)

David

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gripmaniac

Matt,

I'm looking at using Farmer's Walk as predominantly grip training exercise.  Bearing this in mind I'm trying to figure out the most effective way to do this exercise so that it will train my grip more than anything else.

.......Thinking about it now I reckon "lighter" weight with thick handles for progressively longer distance is probably the way to go.  ???

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