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View Full Version : Farmer's Walks with a Trap Bar?


Derek Weaver
03-21-2011, 02:18 PM
I'm considering buying a trap bar for several reasons.

Not entirely related, but not unrelated, I also have been seeing a lot of mention lately of the benefits of farmers walks and carries. Everyone from Dan John (the one who seemed to have the realization before everyone else) to Cressey and his crew, even Mike Boyle has mentioned carries a lot in the last year or so.

Anyway, anyone have experience using the Trap Bar for farmers walks? I have heard it can be a bit dangerous for the toes, but I don't know how realistic this is.

Thanks.

Matt Matijevich
03-21-2011, 02:40 PM
I have never tried it with a trap bar so I cant give you any info on that. It seems like it may be a bit awkward but I cant say for sure.

You could make yourself some of these (http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/TITEFW.htm). They are cheap and work great.

Dave Van Skike
03-21-2011, 02:48 PM
come at it the other way.

i've used farmers bars for parallel grip deadlifts and vastly prefer it to a trap bar.

Derek Weaver
03-21-2011, 03:14 PM
I have never tried it with a trap bar so I cant give you any info on that. It seems like it may be a bit awkward but I cant say for sure.

You could make yourself some of these (http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/TITEFW.htm). They are cheap and work great.
Cool link. Thanks for that. I've wondered how farmers walks may workout with the trap bar tilting or whatever. Wouldn't have the same issue with farmers bars.

come at it the other way.

i've used farmers bars for parallel grip deadlifts and vastly prefer it to a trap bar.

I see. Is it because of the set up? I've seen it that some people have a lot of trouble getting set up inside some trap bars. I'm only a shade over 5'6" barefoot.

I can see where the trap bar may be better if you wanted to add some sort of a shrugging movement, but the farmers allow you to get your hands where you want them (ie, closer to your legs).

I'm over thinking this now, huh?

Donald Lee
03-21-2011, 03:19 PM
I've never done it with a trap bar, but normally, you drop the weight at the end and sort of continue forward. You can't do this with a trap bar safely. You'd hit your shins.

If you care about TUT moreso than distance you're walking, I guess that wouldn't matter so much because you could just walk at a slow pace.

Arien Malec
03-21-2011, 05:57 PM
I have a pair of bars from this guy:

http://www.myspace.com/pitbullstrongmanequipment

Good stuff, for not that much.

I don't use 'em nearly enough, though.

Derek Weaver
03-21-2011, 06:25 PM
You guys are all good people.

Arien,
How long does that guy you linked to take to fabricate and ship everything? I will probably try and make the ones that were linked by Matt, but if that fails somehow, I may hit that guy up.

Arien Malec
03-21-2011, 06:53 PM
He's a one man shop. Mine got shipped pretty quickly after he noticed my payment, but it took a month for that :-)

Grissim Connery
03-21-2011, 07:13 PM
Why's a trap bar dangerous for the toes? i've never used one before

Dave Van Skike
03-21-2011, 08:05 PM
Cool link. Thanks for that. I've wondered how farmers walks may workout with the trap bar tilting or whatever. Wouldn't have the same issue with farmers bars.



I see. Is it because of the set up? I've seen it that some people have a lot of trouble getting set up inside some trap bars. I'm only a shade over 5'6" barefoot.

I can see where the trap bar may be better if you wanted to add some sort of a shrugging movement, but the farmers allow you to get your hands where you want them (ie, closer to your legs).

I'm over thinking this now, huh?



everything you want to do with a trap bar you can do fine with farmers, if you need a lower pick, stand on a couple plates. trap bars make me feel boxed in and the feel less stable when you walk, farmers allow you to get a little side to side waddle going.

trap bar you can probably pull more that with farmers but who cares. If it's not a deadlift it's shit anyway.

Derek Weaver
03-21-2011, 10:07 PM
everything you want to do with a trap bar you can do fine with farmers, if you need a lower pick, stand on a couple plates. trap bars make me feel boxed in and the feel less stable when you walk, farmers allow you to get a little side to side waddle going.

trap bar you can probably pull more that with farmers but who cares. If it's not a deadlift it's shit anyway.

It's settled. Farmers it is

Matt Matijevich
03-22-2011, 10:27 AM
If you decide to build the ones in the link I have a few ideas or pointers(these are probably obvious for most..I am not that bright). We just used a Sawzall and a handheld drill. We did not have a vice to grip the pipe, it would have been very helpful to have one though.

1. Get the correct drill bit (http://cathletics.com/forum/showpost.php?p=88458&postcount=18)

2. Make sure the handles are straight. The first time mine were put together one handle was a little crooked and it made it really awkward.

3. The pipe that holds the weight is a not quite as wide as a barbell so my barbell clamps would not hold the weights. My friend had the idea to use pins. So on the ends where the weights go drill holes through the pipe about every inch or so. Then buy four lock pins like this (http://www.amazon.com/PTO-Lock-Pin-D-Hook-Plated/dp/B001BQ053Y). Mine were about $10 total at a local supply store. Then you can keep weights in place like this:
http://i.imgur.com/S6jNdl.jpg (http://imgur.com/S6jNd)

4. Use a bastard file to file down your cuts. Those edges will be razor sharp.


As for picking it up and carrying it. In the photo the guy is using a hook grip. I just could not get the hang of that. This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMN8ukHXtO8) has some pretty good pointers. For a long time I tried to hold them the way I would hold a deadlift with the handle more towards the base of my fingers. That was not working out too well. I started gripping it more in my palm and made some pretty good progress. Again this is probably obvious to most people.

And keep those calluses filed down. Otherwise you are going to have some rips.

Arien Malec
03-22-2011, 10:32 AM
3. The pipe that holds the weight is a not quite as wide as a barbell so my barbell clamps would not hold the weights. My friend had the idea to use pins.

I've got the same issue, but I found a spring clip + a cloth sleeve works fine (I use a cut up sock).

Dave Van Skike
03-22-2011, 12:01 PM
if you hold them in place with a pin, how to you keep adding weight?

these work with all manner of bars, axle, oly, farmers etc.

http://photographybackdrop.com/images/spring-clamp.jpg

get cheapo ones from home depot for a buck.

Matt Matijevich
03-22-2011, 12:13 PM
if you hold them in place with a pin, how to you keep adding weight?


Drill multiple holes along the bar. About 1 every inch or so. This pair needs so more drilled.
http://i.imgur.com/QRfcnl.jpg (http://imgur.com/QRfcn)
http://i.imgur.com/n6QTGl.jpg (http://imgur.com/n6QTG)


http://photographybackdrop.com/images/spring-clamp.jpg

I didn't have any luck with those. If I had any tilt when I was walking the weights slid off. I will have to try again.

Dave Van Skike
03-22-2011, 01:31 PM
weird. i guess if it doesn't jingle too much that's a good way to go.

i've never had prblems with the clamps, except they will occasionally fail and it's a big ole yard sale. that's usually form doing soemthing dumb anyway. but these get pretty widley used even for axle presses and heavily loaded squats.

Derek Weaver
03-22-2011, 01:44 PM
Thanks Dave, Matt and Arien for links and input.

I'm going to try the clamps first so I can avoid doing any more drilling than I have to.

Maybe this thread is better in the equipment forum now.

Hugh Gilmore
03-22-2011, 07:02 PM
[QUOTE=1. Get two or three drillbits because they will go dull.=QUOTE]


I'm not sure this should be happening if your just making a set, a drill bit designed for steel should last a bit longer than this.

But a newbie mistake would be to not use lube, ie wd40 or even old engine oil, when drilling, it keeps the drill bit cooler and stops it from losing its temper which would result in premature bluntness. Try and keep the bit well lubed when drilling and you will only need one drill bit.

Awesome thread, I am making a pair for definite now.

Matt Matijevich
03-23-2011, 05:12 AM
I'm not sure this should be happening if your just making a set, a drill bit designed for steel should last a bit longer than this.

But a newbie mistake would be to not use lube, ie wd40 or even old engine oil, when drilling, it keeps the drill bit cooler and stops it from losing its temper which would result in premature bluntness. Try and keep the bit well lubed when drilling and you will only need one drill bit.

Awesome thread, I am making a pair for definite now.

Great advice. I will update my post.

Ken Urakawa
04-02-2011, 07:15 AM
FWIW, I have a trap bar that someone abandoned to my care as well as commercial farmer's walk handles, and have used both for carries. I'm in that same 5' 7"ish range, and have never had an issue with shins, toes, etc., using the trap bar. Can usually jog along much quicker than with the FW bars. For taller folks, your mileage may vary.

I like the FW handles, as well. They seem to work my grip much more than the trap bar, especially since they're independent of one another, but the trap bar allows for heavier loads and makes things in the upper back work differently since my hands are much wider.

Different strokes, I suppose. I usually just use heavy kb or db, and save the effort of loading the bars, to be honest.

Derek Weaver
04-04-2011, 11:03 PM
Thanks for the feedback Ken. I'm still trying to figure it out. I contacted the guy Arien linked to, but he's not responded yet. The metal is tough to track down to try and make farmers handles myself. Considering getting the trap bar through jesup after reading your post.

Gary John
04-05-2011, 08:11 AM
I might be missing something here. You want to use a trap bar for farmer's walks?

Works great, I've written several articles about this. Try the do a set of deads, hold and walk. My favorite was a 5-4-3-2-1 (reps) and walk combo. When you finally set it down, you are done for the day.

Gary John
04-05-2011, 09:01 AM
Read through again. Have a jessup I bought through their ebay store.

Trap bar is my main bar. I use KBs or dumbbells for pressing. Trap bar gives you a squat-dead. You will know what I mean once you try it. I'm just under 6 foot, so maybe my levers work extra well with this bar.

The handles are easy on the hands for farmer's walks. You will be pleased.

Derek Weaver
04-05-2011, 12:04 PM
Read through again. Have a jessup I bought through their ebay store.

Trap bar is my main bar. I use KBs or dumbbells for pressing. Trap bar gives you a squat-dead. You will know what I mean once you try it. I'm just under 6 foot, so maybe my levers work extra well with this bar.

The handles are easy on the hands for farmer's walks. You will be pleased.

Thanks for the response Gary. I seem to remember your posting that deadlift and walk combo either here or maybe over at Draper's site. Can't really remember.

since I can't find the metal cheap enough for Farmer's I may as well go big and get the Jesup bar.

Gary John
04-05-2011, 02:17 PM
Do it yourself mostly ends up screwed up, expensive, or never finished.

I got mine with free shipping. They do that sometimes.

Again, you will be very happy you did this.

Joe Hart
04-05-2011, 03:20 PM
Perform better has free shipping and trap bars. I am getting one myself.

Derek Weaver
04-05-2011, 03:48 PM
So does Jesup, $169 shipped I think. They've also got them up on Ebay.

Gary's got me convinced.

Gary John
04-06-2011, 08:03 AM
That's about $10 more than I paid at least 5-6 years ago.

Check out Ryan Viera videos on youtube. He does some very interesting things with a trap bar. I like the big jumping shrugs off of blocks.

Gary John
04-06-2011, 08:14 AM
Derek,

Here you go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65cP4CyeADY

Near the end are the jumping trap bar shots, but all of his training log videos are pure gold. Notice low reps, huge weights. Not a bunch of sloppy high rep skinny guy crap.

Derek Weaver
04-06-2011, 12:28 PM
I'm still surprised they offer free shipping. Even with it factored into the price it's still cheap.

Gary,
Thanks for your replies and that video. That guy is a freaking beast.

I don't think he Zones or destroys Fran.

Gary John
04-06-2011, 03:35 PM
Ryan is a good guy. He has brought his Modesto JC throwers down to where we throw in Santa Cruz a few times. Excellent track and field hammer throwers.

Good luck and keep us posted.