The Farmers Walk
by Al Myers
One of the most physically taxing exercises you can train is the ole’ fashioned FARMERS WALK. All it takes is two identical implements to carry. Just pick them both up at the same time and start walking. This event is very popular among strongmen and is contested at many strongman competitions. I think it is also a good training exercise for All-Rounders. It works the entire body – and when you are finished with a WALK your legs, back, shoulders, and arms will be exhausted. The Farmers Walk is an excellent last exercise (or often called “the finisher”) to your workout. I would recommend you do it last because if you “push it hard” you will have had enough! Brooks Kubik made this comment regarding the Farmers Walk in his book Dinosaur Training, “if you do this exercise the right way, you won’t have anything left for any other exercise.”
Like I said, you can carry about anything in the Farmers Walk. If you don’t have special made FARMERS IMPLEMENTS – use dumbbells. If you don’t have dumbbells – use 5 gallon buckets filled with sand, water or rocks. When I was a young 12 year old kid my Dad would make me carry 5 gallon buckets of milk to feed the calves. I would have to carry these buckets over 100 yards from the milk barn to the calf shed. Sometimes, I would have to come back for more milk-filled buckets! I remember when I started doing this chore I HATED it and considered it HARD WORK, and thought my Dad was mean spirited making me work like that. But Dad knew what was best for me, and he kept making me do this every day after school. Soon afterwards, I felt stronger and in better shape, and I had suddenly developed muscles I didn’t have before. I’m sure this is one of the reasons that first got me interested in weight training. I could feel myself getting stronger carrying the buckets, and soon it became easy – and I LIKED the way it made me feel! My Dad knew farm work like this would make a young boy strong, and I got to thank him today for introducing me to progressive weight training using the FARMERS WALK the FARMER’S WAY (in which the Farmers Walk includes productive hard physical work)!
Give the FARMERS WALK a try in your training program. If you are like me, you could use a little more cardio work in your training program! This exercise is very challenging and easy to improve on. You can always add a little more weight to your carry, go a little faster, or maybe go a farther distance.