23 September 2011

Shit You've Probably Never Tried- The Overhead Walk

To begin, I hold no illusions that this is in any way a novel exercise.  I'm sure a quick google search will reveal that 198,734,867 other videos detailing the manner in which other people do this.  I don't care how or why they do it, however, and figure you guys might like another take on how this exercise could be done.[ed.- After initially writing that, I actually bothered to look, and the results were hilarious.]  Before I get into the hows, let's deal with the wherefores.
For those of you who are foreign, non-native English speakers, or possibly retarded, "wherefore" doesn't mean "where"- it means "why".  The misuse of this word annoys the tits right off me, so stop doing it.
So, the wherefore for the Overhead Walk- it will probably boil down to boredom and curiosity.  I started doing them initially because my old roommate and I started taking a bunch of plates and a barbell to the park on Saturdays, grilling a shitload of steak, drinking a tremendous amount of liquor, and lifting for a few hours.  We ended up getting bored with cleans and snatches and the like, so one of us decided to snatch 135 and walk with it as far as they could.  When they ditched it, the other one of use would yank it out of the ground (where it would be deeply embedded) and then walk as far as they could.  We'd do this for an extraordinary period of time, and left us sore as a motherfucker the next day.  Given a preference, that's how I'd still do it, outdoors, over uneven ground, drunk, and to death, but I lack access to both a masochistic training partner and barbells and plates I can take outdoors, I'm forced to do it inside by myself (as will happen occasionally to the best of us).  Which means I go as heavy as I possibly can, because fuck cardio anyway.

For those of you who want a little more reason for the things you do in the gym, you'd do well to remember that many bodybuilding pontificators and some sports scientists (among them Dr., Charles Staley), emphasize the time during which one's muscles are under tension as a critical part of program design.  Clearly, as I spend the vast majority of my considerable time in the gym lifting as violently and briefly as possible, this is not a key component of my training.  I do, however, believe that it is a fairly good indicator of training volume, and thus should probably not be completely ignored.  This type of exercise will drastically increase your time under tension, as it's a sort of combination static-hold, microrep partials, and endurance exercise all rolled into one gigantic bag of awesome.

As to the how, it's fairly simple- you clean and press or jerk, or snatch, a weight overhead and then walk with it until you don't feel like it any longer or cannot.  I enjoy using a variety of rep ranges, weights, and techniques for this type of exercise because mixing this sort of thing into a workout is all about spicing shit up a bit.  Like just about every other facet of training, this is hardly rocket science- just figure out what you like and do it.  A lot of it.

As to the when, Overhead Walks are a nice way to mix it up, give you something to do on a day you want to train but have no idea what you want to do, or are spending the day in the park grilling, drinking, and lifting.  I do them very infrequently (like, once a year), but I always enjoy them when I do them.  If I did them more often, I'm certain I'd have no problem going heavier with them, but I'm far too focused on other lifts right now to get sidetracked with this silliness.  For those of you who are already winding up a nice cry about how I walk around with more weight than you overhead press and you could never do this and blah di fucking blah blah- suck it the fuck up and press more.  When you're pressing, make sure you lock out each rep and hold it.  If you do that, walking around with heavy weights overhead's easy as fucking on a dead bear.



  1. This looks awesome. I know Dan John advocates loaded carries of sorts, but I haven't seen it done like this before.

  2. I wish my gym had bumper plates and/or nearly endless amounts of empty space. Walking around with 245 overhead must feel pretty gangster. Earlier today I pressed 105 overhead for reps with practically no leg assistance (I'm a female, so 105 isn't lame) and that felt awesome - I can only imagine 245. Gonna work this one in post-meet for sure.

  3. OH WOW 'J' YOU'RE FEMALE! I hadn't planned on wanking this morning, but I will now! Got any pictures of yourself?

  4. '...,I'm forced to do it inside by myself.'

    I see what you did there.

    Nice article, overhead carries work nicely with stacked plates aswell.

  5. They work with heavy KBs too. Good fun.

    (Seems there's more than one J in the world too lazy to put the rest of their name in.)

  6. Shit, I actually used to do these. I had heard that they were good for training the "core", but after deliberately waddling around the garden for a while I still felt nothing until I leaned too far backwards and pranged my back.

  7. How the fuck did that guy clean that log? Goddamn.

  8. I was thinking the same thing.

    That's a big ass fucking log.

    And I don't have anywhere to do these, but I'll have to start doing extended holds at the end of my overhead presses/etc.

  9. I've been doing this unilaterally with a heavy db as "waiter's walks" and can attest to the amount of abdominal pain the next day.

  10. great fun to do with a bigarse rock down the street, neighbours look at you like your about to throw it at their car/dog/child

  11. I do this almost daily actually. I tend to carry heavy chunks of steel over my head because it's easier on my back. Great shoulder exercise that came about as more of a necessity for me than anything else.

  12. Great "Shit You've Probably Never Tried"... except it seems like quite a few of us have tried it! Doesn't degrade from the awesomeness of overhead walking though.

    I used to do this a lot with an 87 lbs sandbag at work. I had a job where I did was babysit a machine that ran itself. The place had a 1/4 mile circular driveway and I'd walk around it, each time doing a different "walk": overhead, zercher, elephant, etc.

  13. Great post, i used to do this with a barbell and thought it was pretty hard core. Then i tried it with a slosh pipe (a plastic pipe about 2.5 m long,diameter depending on how heavy you want it to be, filled to 2/3 with water). It was true hell, I highly recommend you try it, the water moving inside the pipe kills your core. Slosh pipes are easy and cheap to make, there was an article on tnation about them with instructions.

  14. Yes! You're right about "wherefore". I know this without having to look it up. How's that? Because when I was in high school, our C.P. English class had to read out loud the entirety of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

    There is a line in that play that has become part of our speech and I'd say that about 99% of the time it is used outside of its true context. In other words, if you actually read the play, and consult Cliff Notes or something similar, you will learn what Juliet was ACTUALLY saying:

    Juliet is lamenting Romeo's name, alluding to the feud between their two families.*

    Juliet, in that line is NOT asking; "Romeo! Where the hell are you at? Right Now you no good bastard?? You're supposed to be picking me up for a date, Remember??? Pick up your Cell you pig headed man or I'm going to drink poison and kill myself!!!!"

    So now, with great humor and some intelligent insight, every reader of this post will have Learned Something New Today. . .That is, of course, Unless You Already Knew This. Which, if so, I then welcome you in to the upper ranks of the Epistocracy!

    *American Psychological Association (APA):

    romeo-romeo-wherefore-art-thou-romeo. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/romeo-romeo-wherefore-art-thou-romeo

  15. Submit your blog or website now for inclusion in Google and 300+ search engines!

    Over 200,000 websites handled!

    SUBMIT NOW with I Need Hits!!!