Discover why Dan John thinks walking with weights can change your life.
The year is 1992, and "Walking in Memphis" has just helped American singer-song writer Marc Cohn win the Grammy for Best New Artist.
Recounting the time he visited Graceland in 1986, Marc's song tells of a spiritual awakening where he heard Al Green preach gospel, then met with inspiring fellow musician Murial Wilkins (she invited Marc onstage to sing).
For sure, it's a great tune - but what makes it so special?
Well, it just so happens Marc's song finds itself in a very select group. How? The song's popularity forced a re-release by another artist.
Indeed, the title proved so popular, that songstress Cher covered it just a few years later thereby securing a further worldwide hit.
Okay. I know what you're thinking... What in blazes does a Cher cover have to do with your weight training?
The walking part of this pop tune provides us with a clue. Why is that? For our answer, we need to examine an equally inspirational strongman tradition.
Anyone who has ever watched the World's Strongest Man on TV will be familiar with The Farmer's Walk. This strongman contest is a grueling event that ruthlessly sorts the men from the boys.
So why is this exercise so exceptional?
Two reasons spring to mind:
Strength coach Dan John is a diehard fan. He believes that if you haven't been doing them, they'll change your life.
Dan says, "Get back to me after doing these for three weeks. Obviously, your grip will be better. Your legs will be stronger. You'll discover the weights room isn't that tough anymore. You'll look leaner, but bigger."
But, hang on. Won't squats and deadlifts do the same thing for you?
Not really. You see, what differentiates the Farmer's Walk - and walking with weights - is that you're moving forward. With each heavy step, this exercise becomes a single leg stance and core stabilizer challenge. Also, unlike squats and deadlifts, this move trains your lateral chain muscles of the frontal plane, thereby making it a completely different animal as you walk on by.
Dan suggests you use this move as a workout finisher. He often performs this low-tech exercise walking down the street with his training buddies after finishing his routine.
And the low-tech part deserves special mention. How come? Because there is no need to complicate this. While you are learning to walk, a couple of moderately weighted dumbbells is all you need to begin playing with this exercise.
Walk tall. Take baby steps. And when things start to get easy, carry a heavier weight or increase the distance.
And who knows. If you're lucky, one day you might find yourself walking in Memphis.