How to farmer’s walk your way to success

Strongman is a sport that punishes weakness.

That’s because the point system rewards consistency. In a contest of 6-10 events, the winner is typically the person with one or two obvious strengths, and no glaring liabilities.

I discovered this very quickly when I started competing.

My worst event was the farmer’s walk. In farmer’s walk, you pick up and carry two implements – one in each hand, suitcase style – over a set course for time. Usually 275 pounds or more per hand, I was great at picking them up, but just couldn’t hold on.

My grip strength repeatedly let me down.

The log press, on the other hand, was my best event. It involves lifting a wooden log – or cylindrical metal log – with parallel handles carved into it 30 inches apart, from the ground to arms length overhead (a bit like the Olympic style clean and jerk).

Problem was, every time I’d move up the standings in a log press, I’d come crashing back down with a last place in the farmer’s.

Even if I was average on the other events, my pattern of poor showings in one of the sport’s standards made it impossible for me to place highly.

For a few years, it was the same old story every time I competed.

You see, in training I’d almost always start with log press. I loved to push heavy weights, and therefore preferred to tackle the log while I was fresh. And I’d mostly do farmer’s walk at end of my session. That’s because I wasn’t particularly good at it, and didn’t enjoy training it very much.

One day it just clicked that if I was ever going to climb the ranks and improve on my previous competitive bests, I’d have to bring up my farmer’s walk.

So I started training it FIRST.

Lo and behold, I got better. Even started to like it.

Eventually, I became average on farmer’s – which was BIG for me.

I was never going to be great at it…at least not while running against the province’s best farmer’s walkers.

But I didn’t suck any more.

And that change allowed me to crack the top 10 at Ontario’s Strongest Man for the first time.

Well, that lesson stayed with me, and over the years I’ve put it to good use in overcoming what I either don’t feel good at, don’t like to do, or just never seem to get around to (even named the process *farmer’s walking* in honor of that teachable moment). Most of us procrastinate on items in those categories. That’s because it’s natural to focus on the small circle of influence in which we feel we have the most control.

What I’ve found is, when something’s perpetually on your to-do list, but never gets done, it’s best to either excuse yourself from it entirely (if you figure it’s not useful) or do it FIRST – at your earliest opportunity, and at the expense of everything else.

Just taking definite action on it can be the seed of significant personal breakthroughs.

From a metaphysical standpoint, there’s a release of energy that surrounds the completion of any task that lingers beyond its *best before* date.

It eases the spiritual bottleneck, and reestablishes a sense of flow.

In psychological terms, think of it as getting rid of mental clutter.

Just like an office, car, or home can become messy, so can your brain. You end up wasting mental resources on something that’s not driving your forward progress.

Got anything like that? What holds you back?

Put some thought into it.

Then be ruthless in removing any blockage.

Do the thing you know is important, but you keep putting off. Make it your TOP priority. Wherever your track record is less than inspiring, turn THAT into your pet project, leaving other things aside for now.

I promise you, you’ll be surprised at what unfolds.

Happy Farmer’s Walking,

Conor Kelly

P.S. Not sure what’s FIRST when it comes to your fitness program? That’s where I come in. Call me at (416) 826-4844 for your complimentary personal training consultation.

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