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Farmers Walk Workout (and More) – Basement Series

Farmers Walk Workout (and More) – Basement Series

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As we tackle new workouts we are going to continue to bring you those in our continued basement series. Today is no exception. We tried this T-Nation workout today – Boy, You Gotta Carry That Weight. We love to come up with our own workouts, but sometimes we find some from other sources that we just have to give a shot. This workout is pretty straightforward. You will be doing 6 different carries for a set distance or time. These carries are farmers walk with a trap bar, bear hug carry, single-arm suitcase carry, sumo carry, unbalanced farmers walk, and finally an overhead carry.

Simple, but don’t underestimate the intensity of this workout. Picking the proper weight is key in order for you to survive the full 3 rounds.

Weighted Carry Benefits

Woman with Tattoos Holding York Steel PlateT-Nation states that these are the benefits of weighted carries like the farmers walk:

  • Core strength

    • Carrying weights beside you, around you, or above you while moving taxes your core. Your core has to maintain stability during this movement. 
    • After finishing this workout we can confirm that you will feel the movements throughout your trunk. It will not be like a full-blown ab session, but it is certainly taxing your trunk girdle.
  • Grip Strength and Forearm Development

    • All of these movements, maybe with the exception of the overhead carry, involve you holding the weight for an extended period of time. This repetition of timed holds will, necessarily, tax your grip and help with the long-term development of your forearms.
    • Again, now that we have done this workout we can confirm that this is the truth. This was probably the hardest portion of this workout. 
  • Upper Back Size and Development

    • Just as your core is stabilizing your body as you move with these weights, your upper back is helping carry most of the load. Your arms assist through the forearms, biceps, and shoulders – but the real workhorse is your upper back.
    • Again, no surprise from us….we put this workout in the schedule to blast the forearms and work the upper back. No disappointment there.
  • Fat Loss and Conditioning

    • The theory here is that this is a pseudo-cardio workout if done properly. That means that if you choose the right weights and repeat the workout as instructed, you will necessarily have a heavy cardio load.
    • This is not going to be like going for a high-intensity run, but you will be huffing and puffing if you stay on cycle. I can certainly see the long-term potential for weight loss and the development of low-intensity conditioning.
  • Versatility

    • This workout is structured to require the use of certain equipment (trap bar, dumbbells or kettlebells, bumper plates, etc.). However, once you learn how to carry weights while walking, you have some built-in versatility to use other things that may be around. So, learning to carry weights, as the farmers walk, can create workout creativity and versatility.

Quick Summary of Workout

Guy In Sleeveless Shirt Holding Bumper Plate

Here is a quick summary of the workout and the weights that we used.

There are 6 movements in total.

The goal is to do each movement back to back for one set.

Each movement is to be done for 100 steps or 1-minute, whichever is easier for you to track. Remember, you will be carrying weights so might be hard to look at your watch to see when 1-minute is up. We used 100 steps in our driveway.

After you have finished the 6 movements that is one set, you rest for 90 seconds and start the next set.

You do three total sets. If at the end of the 3rd set you feel like you could do another, go for it. However, if that is the case then you should reassess whether you were using the right weights during those 3 sets. Next time try to bump it up.


Farmers walk trap bar carry – weights

  • Male – 230 pounds
  • Female – 95 pounds 

Bear hug carry – weights

  • Male – 65 pounds
  • Female – 25 pounds

Suitcase carry single-arm – weights

Sumo carry – weights

Unbalance farmers walk carry – weights

  • Male – 70-pound kettlebell and a 53-pound kettlebell
  • Female – 45-pound kettlebell and a 25-pound kettlebell

Overhead plate carry – weights

  • Male – 45 pound
  • Female – 25 pound

These are the weights that we had available. There were certain movements that we felt we could have added a bit more weight. But, since this is the basement series with limited equipment, we are making do as best we can.


Shirtless Guy Holding Two KettlebellsWe enjoyed this workout. It is a solid addition to the routine and we will certainly repeat this every few weeks. Feel free to experiment with the equipment that you use, the order, and the lifts themselves. You will not regret spending 30 minutes or so carrying heavyweights back and forth. 

Here are the other articles that we have in the basement series if you would like to take a look: