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Farmers Walk programing


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Fist of Fury

Hello gripboard. Now when it's finally summer again I'm planning on doing farmers walk outside. I have never trained this before so I'm really clueless in how to do it. I'm interested to know how you guys program for this exercise, distance, load, volume etc?

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FrankSobotka

I think Dan John says to do the distance you have. 

I start from the end of my garage (inside) and walk the length of my driveway, across a small street and set them down in the grass (because they roll on pavement). It’s about 20 yards for 1 pass. 

Sometimes I go heavy and do 1 pass at a time, sometimes I go lighter and pick them up to go back as soon as I set them down. (I cannot stand turning around with them, I can see a knee injury for me doing that).

Sometimes I use the 1” handles, sometimes the 2”. 

Sometimes I even use straps!!!!

Sometimes I puke, most times I don’t.  

Dont overthink it (coming from the king of overthinking things). 

Edited by FrankSobotka
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climber511

I agree with Frank - don't over think it.  As I've gotten older I favor distance over more load.  Wednesday is carries day right now.  I do a bearhug carry of a shield shaped natural stone I have - about 25 yards out and back - so a 50 yard carry - short rest and repeat.  The rock is about 110# -  I have another that is around 125# I carry every other time also.

Next comes Dumbbell Farmers walk with Fat Grips - it's 70 yards around my house - I'm doing one trip with 60# DBs right now but will do 45 or 50# for 2 laps (very Hard) or go heavier (up to 70# at times - about all my grip will do with the Fat Grips for 70 yards).  Not doing them right now but also program regular Farmers Walks with up to 100 to 110# each hand (BW total) for a lap (1 3/8" handles).  I have given up on the heavy double BW Farmers etc - just doesn't make my lower back happy).

After that I do one arm overhead KB carries for a lap around the house Left and Right - anywhere from 16K to 32K KB (usually lightish) - and done.  That's Wednesday.

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FrankSobotka

@climber511 overhead, bottoms up and overhead bottoms up carries with a kettlebell are incredible for shoulder health 

also, if you want sore glutes, abs and upper back try zercher carries with a barbell 

Edited by FrankSobotka
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Aleksandar Milosevic

Literally do them as you feel, sometimes heavy for less distance, sometimes for a longer walk, sometimes both heavy and far. It's such a great exercise. I'd do them on the "rest" days, as a part of GPP.

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FrankSobotka
23 minutes ago, Aleksandar Milosevic said:

Literally do them as you feel, sometimes heavy for less distance, sometimes for a longer walk, sometimes both heavy and far. It's such a great exercise. I'd do them on the "rest" days, as a part of GPP.

I’m not so sure that heavy and far farmers carries count as a “rest day” but maybe that’s just me. 

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japete01

All good advice.  My question, what are you training for?  For example, if you are training for a specific competition it is easier to program.  Starting 12 weeks out, I start at 50% of the competition weight and focus on moving quickly at that specific distance.  I ramp up the weight to 90% by 10 weeks out and then deload for the two weeks prior to the Strongman competition.  

If you are focused on GPP,  find your max hold at a distance of your choosing, then work on %s at that distance.  Mix up the distance every 3 months.  

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Andrew Dube

What I did most of last summer and plan to do again this year is similar to what Josh Thigpen lays out in the Cube for Strongman. Basically alternate a lighter day and a heavier day every two weeks, with alternative event work on the weeks between. Every week would be fine depending on what else you're working on.

Lighter day: 5 runs every 2min with 70-80%

Heavy day: build up over 3 sets to 90%+ with 5 minutes rest between sets

Each run is 40ft + 40ft with a drop turn, the length of my driveway. I had one contest with a 150ft walk with a drop turn at 75 so I first built up to to doing 40+40+40+40 before increasing the weight. 

3 hours ago, FrankSobotka said:

I’m not so sure that heavy and far farmers carries count as a “rest day” but maybe that’s just me. 

Agreed. I think farmers need to be somewhat heavy. I've done farmers twice in a week before and just felt flat. 

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Aleksandar Milosevic

I didn't express myself clearly, I'd do the lighter variant for GPP on "rest" days. I used to do it walking up the stairs of my building with dumbbells. The heavy work is best done as a part of a hard workout. 

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japete01

I'm more of the opinion that rest days are meant for rest, stretching, or locomotive activity.  If you never rest, your body can't get strong.  Without knowing the rest of your workout routine and general strength, it is hard to define.  If you are training grip 2x+ per week and wanting to do farmers, I would advise against it.  Then again, I'm a grip noob.  What do I know?

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japete01

Personally, I push a sled (Prowler) for GPP, do 50-70lb weight vest walks, or walk/stretch/locomotive movements.   The lower arms are fairly small muscles so I try to only train them directly 2x per week, following my standard fitness.  I'm not a grip master though, maybe @Joseph Sullivan or @Jedd Johnson can drop some real knowledge.  

Edited by japete01
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1 hour ago, japete01 said:

Personally, I push a sled (Prowler) for GPP, do 50-70lb weight vest walks, or walk/stretch/locomotive movements.   The lower arms are fairly small muscles so I try to only train them directly 2x per week, following my standard fitness.  I'm not a grip master though, maybe @Joseph Sullivan or @Jedd Johnson can drop some real knowledge.  

I work my lower arms with every exercise I do with fat bars, pinch bars and hammers no more than 3x per week. Sometimes even 2. Need a lot of recovery time, If training intensely. I am an advocate for drug free with lots of rest to grow and get stronger. This is the real time when growth and strength occurs. The rest phase. Is this what you are looking for? 

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JStepien

Don't go too heavy, too soon! Start simple then build up. Lately, I've been messing around with new handles I got in deadlifts & holds, nothing crazy

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Fist of Fury

Thanks for all suggestions and tips. I was first thinking of doing this with dumbbells but I have now realized this will not be a good way of doing it. While db's seems to be too hard a trap bar seems to be too easy. I will try to manufacture some real frames, if it's worth it. If not I will probably skip it completely and do zercher carries instead. 

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climber511
1 hour ago, Fist of Fury said:

Thanks for all suggestions and tips. I was first thinking of doing this with dumbbells but I have now realized this will not be a good way of doing it. While db's seems to be too hard a trap bar seems to be too easy. I will try to manufacture some real frames, if it's worth it. If not I will probably skip it completely and do zercher carries instead. 

Seeing as you are on the Grip Board I assumed Grip was a priority - even with the farmers walks.  Unless you are very strong a pair of Fat Grips on the biggest DBs in most gyms should be enough if you walk far enough.  Do Fat Grip on a pair of 100s for a hundred yards and get back to us.  Otherwise you are correct - heavy DBs will beat up your legs far more than a nicely built set of handles.

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Fist of Fury
13 minutes ago, climber511 said:

Seeing as you are on the Grip Board I assumed Grip was a priority - even with the farmers walks.  Unless you are very strong a pair of Fat Grips on the biggest DBs in most gyms should be enough if you walk far enough.  Do Fat Grip on a pair of 100s for a hundred yards and get back to us.  Otherwise you are correct - heavy DBs will beat up your legs far more than a nicely built set of handles.

Nope, grip is not the main focus. I just want to be stronger that's it.

Been looking for steel now and I will probably just buy a trap bar instead and do the FW with it. That will be more economical for me since I can use it for so much more and all year around.

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FrankSobotka
3 hours ago, Fist of Fury said:

Thanks for all suggestions and tips. I was first thinking of doing this with dumbbells but I have now realized this will not be a good way of doing it. While db's seems to be too hard a trap bar seems to be too easy. I will try to manufacture some real frames, if it's worth it. If not I will probably skip it completely and do zercher carries instead. 

Why no trap bar? I get that it’s a little “easier” because it’s more stable. 

That’s just an opportunity to add more weight. 

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japete01

Trap bars are also very narrow in front/behind and increase the risk of injury should you misstep.  If you want to do a frame carry, do it right.  Otherwise the dumbbells with or without Fat Gripz are fine.  I'm lucky enough to have several implements at my local gym (Iron Warrior Gym in Denver), so I don't have to improvise much.  That said, I wouldn't do a farmers walk with a trap bar.

Another thought - you could do heavy keg, sandbags (don't grip the damn handles), or stone carries.  Those build real strength as well.  

Edited by japete01
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Climber028

Don't forget pinch. Plate pinch farmers walks are brutal and don't require any fancy equipment 

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WestSlope
16 minutes ago, japete01 said:

Trap bars are also very narrow in front/behind and increase the risk of injury should you misstep.  If you want to do a frame carry, do it right.  Otherwise the dumbbells with or without Fat Gripz are fine.  I'm lucky enough to have several implements at my local gym (Iron Warrior Gym in Denver), so I don't have to improvise much.  That said, I wouldn't do a farmers walk with a trap bar.

Another thought - you could do heavy keg, sandbags (don't grip the damn handles), or stone carries.  Those build real strength as well.  

Off topic: does that gym have Inch replicas? Or do you know of a gym on the Front Range that does?

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japete01

It does not.  I just picked up a 3" Handle Rogue MonsterBell 12" (shot loadable to 250+ lbs) if you want to give it a shot.  

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WestSlope
1 minute ago, japete01 said:

It does not.  I just picked up a 3" Handle Rogue MonsterBell 12" (loadable to 250+ lbs) if you want to give it a shot.  

Thanks for the offer. I'll be at the July 6 grip comp in Lakewood. If you bring it there I'd give it a go.

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japete01

I may very well be there.  I have the IWG Rumble Strongman competition the week before and running the Spartan Race with the wife the week after, but I may show up anyway!

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Fist of Fury
57 minutes ago, Climber028 said:

Don't forget pinch. Plate pinch farmers walks are brutal and don't require any fancy equipment 

I'm sure they will build a solid upper back :laugh

I might do dumbbells after all and just use straps when the grips fails. I have dumbbells that I can load up to at least 150 kg each :D

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