I’m a sucker for farmer’s walks as an exercise. Somewhere along the way, strength coach Dan John suckered me into embracing these things. Coach John refers to them as “game changers.” I’m not sure he’s right at this point in my training, but I do love them.
The reason is something I’ll go into later in more detail, but basically, when you talk about how strong someone is, there are usually a few ways we judge this. One is by carrying heavy things around.
Farmer’s walks are the epitome of that display, and if you want to carry heavy things, you need to carry heavy things.
With that in mind, I really wanted some farmer’s walk handles, but I wasn’t really in a position to purchase a really good set of handles. Or even a so-so set of handles.
But then Titan announced their strongman line of products a short time back and there they were. For $50, I could have something that would let me train farmer’s walks.
These are Titan’s version of the Fringe Sport’s mini farmer’s walk handles but at half the price.
When they arrived, I eagerly tore open the package, and here’s what I found:
Um…Are these the right product?
Here’s a photo of the handles close together, sitting on my bench.
As you may be able to tell, they have a domed end cap which looks a bit different than the ones on the website.
Further, Titan lists these as weight 9 lbs each. They felt light to me, so I snagged my food scale to weight them. It came out to weigh 7.3 lbs, which is not 9 lbs.
In other words, these are a fair bit different than what I thought I was getting.
Ah, so Those are the crappy welds I’ve heard So much about
Ah, Titan. Just when I thought the crappy welds were either a myth or a thing of the past, you just had to let me know otherwise.
Yeah, these were ugly. Not the worst, but enough that I can now tell that not everything Titan sells is made in the same factory. They’re apparently using different manufacturers for their various products, and that’s why we’re seeing such variance on weld quality.
However, I do wish Titan would take a bit more time to QC some of this stuff before selling it.
In addition to the crappy welds, though, there’s also a lot of sloppiness in general in the manufacturing of these handles.
Take the weld splatter here:
This isn’t the end of the world or anything, but it also doesn’t take all that much to remove it either prior to powder coating.
Also, note the Titan sticker, their attempt at branding these, is barely there. While I don’t care one way or another regarding there being a sticker or not on these, what this is indicative of is a lack of attention to detail.
As for more sloppiness, let’s check this one out:
If you remember where the chrome and the powder coating met on the other handle, you’ll see that this one is very different. It should also be mentioned that weights like to stick on this handle whereas they don’t on the other. I suspect it had something to do with the powder coating at the base there.
I don’t even know what the hell those black specks are.
Oh, wow. Power coating issues from Titan. Shocking!
Titan’s known for its cheap powder coating. They’re notorious for it.
These pictures were taken after precisely one use of the handle, and much of what is shown I know for a fact predated them being used. Additionally, the packaging wasn’t jacked up like so much of Titan’s packaging tends to be, so the problem wasn’t these getting banged up in shipping.
And, just because it matters here as much as it did earlier, we’ll bring this photo back.
There’s no way, even after a single use, that the coating should look this bad. No way at all.
But how do they work?
They…well, they work fine.
As of this writing, I’ve used them three times so far. While the weight sticks a bit on one, that’s not really too much of a pain. It goes on fine. Removing it requires basically flipping the handle so gravity does much of the work for you, and that’s about it.
While in use, they work precisely how they should. They hold a good bit of weight and feel fairly solid in your hands.
They’re ugly, but if you’re looking for budget equipment, you’re probably not worried too much about aesthetics in your equipment. Worst case scenario, paint it yourself.
The sleeves are 10″ long which will let you load up a lot of weight on them, all things considered, depending on your plates. If you use standard iron or competition plates, you can put more weight on these than if you use bumper, but with my Rogue Echo plates, I should still be able to put 5 45lbs plates on there easily enough. 225 lbs in each hand is way more than I see me doing any time soon.
Unfortunately, Titan doesn’t mention a weight capacity on these, so be wary.
Will this work for strongman training?
In my opinion? Yes and no.
If you want farmer’s walks for the sake of farmer’s walks, then these are great. It’s why I got them. I can do plenty of weight with my farmer’s walks and build strength through the exercise.
However, if you’re wanting to compete, you are going to have to buy some different handles at some point. These don’t mimic competition handles in a lot of ways. While the weight pulls down in your hands in a similar manner, that’s where the similarities end.
Longer handles with weights on each end react differently in turns, based on what I’ve seen, than these will. As such, if you’re training for competition, you don’t want to try and prepare with these.
Additionally, they’re not ideal for medlies. You can’t sit them down as easily as more traditional farmer’s walk handles. They might be OK for the last leg of a carry medley, but anywhere else, transitioning will cost you time. If you’re trying to go from implement to implement quickly, that’s not a good thing.
On the other hand, if you’re just wanting something you can use for farmer’s walks for general strength training, then these will fit the bill nicely.