Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding

Hardcore Walking
By Luke Allison of CriticalBench.com

Hardcore Walking

Walking has a somewhat peculiar reputation as a method of fitness. Walking is a fundamental movement and a sufficient stimulus for a range of goals. The peculiarity is that we know walking is effective, but it really is not exciting or hardcore in ways that typically inspire or motivate. No pretense here: walking is something you do because you want to do other things.

For powerlifters, jokes about conditioning including the sheer terror of large flights of stairs or distant parking spots persist. The interesting thing, the paradigm shift if you will, was hearing successful powerlifters and otherwise serious analytical people extol the value of walking. It was powerful to listen to Jim Wendler and Eric Talmant separately explain the importance and foundational nature of something as ordinary as grabbing the dog leash and taking it/them for a walk around the neighborhood. Eric Talmant took things a step further by detailing the fact that he had walked his dogs multiple times a day in his training log. Keeping track of the time spent walking was right next to nutrition/supplementation information and percentage-based training. If memory serves, walking seemed to fit into Wendler's philosophy of "eat less, do more".

The reason to walk is really quite simple: you are actually likely to do it. The complexity endemic with weight training or merely the daily grind is enough to knock people off track. Walking is available. Walking is easy. Various people have talked about free will being finite and when you run out – there is no telling what you are likely to. So with walking being least straightforward you are inclined to do it, or get back into doing it. There are also peripheral benefits especially if you end up walking outside: stress relief, sunlight (vitamin D), and a restart mechanism (start/stop/start again) people often describe as being import for fostering creativity. Plus, any real definition of fitness includes being able to actually move your body and cover distance.

move your body and cover distance

Walking is to fitness what cooking is to nutrition: nothing exotic here, but you probably need to buy your own food and prepare it (or some similar variation on the theme). Accordingly, the dog needs to be walked, and you probably need to walk it, so that is symmetrical at least.

Start simply by walking, and if you have a dog… If available, consider hiking and associated activities. If you are looking for a challenge then consider mountain climbing. Be warned though, a walk can easily go from enough, to too much, to potentially deadly in a rather short period of time.

Feel free to mix and match or combine as necessary, or as it might meet your needs. As appropriate add resistance, or adjust any of the following:

  • Volume

  • Intensity

  • Time of Day (heat mitigation/exposure)

  • Altitude

  • Backpack

  • Weighted Vest

  • Gas Mask/Training Mask

For hardcore out there, I have heard stories about people doing what they call "tactical dog walking" which as you might imagine involves walking around the neighborhood with a gas mask, 35lbs weighted vest, and what can only described a disturbingly small dog for an adult male. Just hardcore enough that the neighbors did not like it (so there is that I guess).

when using a weight belt properly, your technique suffers


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