How would be a good farmer's walk routine for a beginner? How heavy should be the weights? How long the distance?
Dan John recommended one-half bodyweight in each hand to me as a starting benchmark to strive for. (Apparently this is his goal for high school girl athletes.) I found this useful. I don't go beyond 100 meters when I train this lift--usually 50m to some landmark, then 50m back without putting it down.
For further benchmarks, strongman Chet Morjaria says:
It’s likely you’ll be able to pick up and walk with more than you can deadlift.
How much you should start with depends on how much you can do today. For how much you should strive for in the near term:
I believe that 0.75 x bodyweight in each hand is a good starting point for both men and women. Bodyweight in each hand is a great aim and very achievable. Being able to do 1.25 x bodyweight will put you well above the majority into advanced territory, and 1.5 is exceptional.
His recommendations appear specific to people doing strongman training, but the benchmarks provide some context. Regarding distance, he differentiates:
- Light weight and long distance (40-60m)
- Mid weight and mid distance (20-30m)
- Heavy weight and short distance (10-15m)
This is very subjective to your personal build.
For a beginner to the concept of farmers walks: Male - 25kg, Female - 20kg (each hand) Use principle of progressive overload to steadily increase the weight to the maximum dumb/kettlebell you can use in your gym and then increase the volume of the exercise.
Keep to 50-100ft for distance covererd