Loaded carries should be a regular part of your training routine. They build muscle, torch fat, and ramp up performance. The farmer's walk is the simplest of the loaded carries. It's just the easiest way to pick up heavy shit and get jacked.
The Commercial Gym Problem
A heavy farmer's walk will fry your whole body fast. It'll also help build some meaty traps, shoulders, and arms. The core challenge isn't half-bad either. So the question is, why aren't you doing them more often?
These are your two most likely reasons:
- Your gym doesn't have enough weight.
- They take up more floor space than what your gym has available.
In a busy commercial gym it's a challenge to do farmer's walks. That is, unless you want to practice dodging the machines and the people walking around while on their phones.
That's where the slingshot farmer's walk comes in:
You get added resistance from a band, and it only requires 10 feet of floor space. You'll walk forward with pride and purpose while keeping everything engaged. The band will add more horizontal resistance the further you walk out.
You'll then walk backward while you resist being slung back by the band – the whole time carrying the heaviest dumbbells you can handle, or the heaviest your gym has available. Attach your bands to anything that'll hold them and use whatever floor space you can claim.
If you've tried farmer's walks with dumbbells before and found they weren't heavy enough, the bands help. They require more horizontal force output, as well as eccentric strength to resist the backpedal. This makes things a whole lot harder and can help make up for limited access to heavy dumbbells.
Slingshot walks can also be combined with any other heavy implement, including specialist carry handles, sandbags, Dead Balls, kettlebells, or trap bar carries.
All you'll need are two resistance bands and 10 feet of gym space. I say "two" because it helps you get the distance without the resistance hitting too hard and too soon.
Pick a weight that's a challenge. Working up to 50 percent of your bodyweight in each hand is a good goal. Use straps if you prefer, or go without for the grip and forearm challenge.
Step inside the band so it sits in your hip crease. Walk forward and then backward over about 10 feet, or whatever you and your bands can handle. Coach yourself with this cue: "Think tall and stay tight."
Your goal each week is to increase either the load or duration of each set. Using a time goal rather than a distance goal with this variation works best. Here are some examples:
For a conditioning effect, use a 1:1 work-rest ratio:
- Week 1: Walk 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds. Do 5 rounds.
- Week 2: Walk 35 seconds, rest 35 seconds. Do 5 rounds.
- Week 3: Walk 40 seconds, rest 40 seconds. Do 5 rounds.
- Week 4: Walk 45 seconds, rest 45 seconds. Do 5 rounds.
For a strength/hypertrophy effect:
- Week 1: Walk 30 seconds, rest 60 seconds. Do 4 rounds.
- Week 2: Walk 35 seconds, rest 60 seconds. Do 4 rounds.
- Week 3: Walk 40 seconds, rest 60 seconds. Add weight. Do 4 rounds.
- Week 4: Walk 45 seconds, rest 60 seconds. Keep heavier weight. Do 4 rounds.