A Simple Way To Transform A Basic Move Into A Powerful Weight Loss Weapon
Call it the miracle move. It’s a simple motion that melts away pounds -fast. All of those hours you’ve spent jogging, biking, and stair-climbing aren’t anywhere near as effective as this one body-fat frying exercise. What is it?
Well, it’s not quite that simple. It’s walking while carrying weights, an exercise we call the “Farmer’s Walk” in gym-speak. The move is surprisingly tough, and when performed correctly, it challenges all of the muscles in your body, helping you build a rock-solid core and burn away calories faster than anything else you could do.
Interested? Then follow this plan and you’ll be able to walk your way to a better body.
How Do You Use Farmer’s Walk Workouts?
Farmer’s walk workouts can fit into in an exercise program in a number of different ways:
• As a finisher – 2-3 sets of complexes at the end of a workout can make any session a serious fat burner.
• As a supplement – Add 2-3 sets every workout — at the beginning, middle, or end — for an extra fat burning kick.
• As a conditioning day – This is my favorite. Most of my clients have a conditioning day programmed into their workouts. I usually program three sets of two different circuits for clients to use as their final workout of the week.
Why Cardio Doesn’t Cut It
Have you ever had to change your schedule drastically? Perhaps you’ve taken a new job that required you to get up at 5 in the morning instead of rolling out of bed at 7 a.m. During the first few days, it’s awful. After a couple of weeks, though, you get into a rhythm. A month or so in, and you can hop out of bed no problem. You feel used to it. Your body adapts.
The same thing happens with exercise. When you continually subject yourself to the same movement and intensity (say, by running for 20 minutes on the treadmill), your body adapts. It gets good at it. And the better you get at an activity, the less of an impact it has on your metabolism. Keep doing the same cardio over and over, and you’ll feel (and see) diminishing returns. That’s when you hit a plateau.
You can avoid this, however, by keeping your body guessing. Change up your workouts and the exercises you do within them. And you can really kick things into high gear by working in big free weight exercises like squats, deadlifts and presses. These movements recruit a lot of large muscles at once. This not only makes them terrific for building muscle, but also burning fat by delivering a helpful jolt to the metabolism.
These big, intense lifts also ramp up something called EPOC (Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption), which refers to the amount of calories burned after a workout has been completed. Traditional low intensity cardio doesn’t have a significant effect on EPOC. But higher intensity exercises that jack up your heart rate not only burn more calories while your exercising, they give you a post-workout boost that lasts up to 24-72 hours. That means you’re burning more calories even while you’re away from the gym.
Walk This Way
To do the exercise correctly, maintain good posture with a straight back and chest up. You’ll want to use relatively light weights when starting, until you’re confident that your body positioning is correct. Beginners can also try holding just one dumbbell and alternating sides. This gives your grip a chance to rest. You can also try carrying the weights at your shoulders to extend a set if your grip is giving out.
The farmer’s walk has one golden rule: don’t drop the weights. The movement will burn. You’ll want to give up. Don’t do it. Grit your teeth and push forward.
Fire It Up
Beginners can start with a 5-part circuit. You’ll perform one set of all the exercises in the order shown. Rest as little as possible – or not at all – between each movement. When you finish the entire circuit, rest for 1 to 2 minutes. Then repeat the entire circuit once or twice more.
For your exercises (listed 1A and 1C in the circuit), select from any of the following moves: Thrusters, goblet squats, burpees, biceps curls, push-ups (try them on the weights), and dumbbell cleans. Just steer clear of moves that would leave you in a compromised position if form breaks down, like deadlifts.
During the abdominal stability portion of the workout, try moves that challenge your core like planks and side planks.
Try increasing your walk distance to 30 meters. Add on an exercise or two, and do 2 to 3 sets of each, keeping your rest periods at 1 to 2 minutes after you complete the entire circuit.
As you build strength, you can try some more challenging exercises: Bent-over rows, squats, thrusters, and push-ups. You can also pump out a quick set on a cable machine, doing seated rows or cable crossovers.
An Advanced Complex
Circuits are a good workout you can do anywhere, anytime. But they’re especially effective on Fridays. A butt-kicking complex workout at the end of the week ensures that your EPOC is elevated over the weekend, when your nutrition habits are more likely to falter. By adding these short but tough walks to your routine, you’ll be better able to burn off those excess calories before they can even think about becoming body fat.