Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


The Inman Mile
Written By : Scott Bird
Filed In : exercises

Mike Johnston. Photo via EFS.

Mike Johnston. Photo via EFS.

The Inman Mile is a great exercise; effectively a supersized version of a Farmers’ Walk. Although there are several variations (see below), the most common versions are :

1.5 x bodyweight, barbell across shoulders : This is the version recognised by the USAWA, and occasionally appears at USAWA sanctioned events. Their definition is :

The lifter will have loaded onto his/her shoulders a weight equal to 150% of bodyweight. The lifter will then carry the weight a distance of one mile. Gait is optional. Resting is allowed, but neither the lifter nor the weight may be supported. Records will be kept in both pounds and time. Should the weight be touched by any aide once the lift has begun, the event is terminated. The lifter may be handed refreshments during the lift.

For obvious reasons, this is usually performed outdoors.

1.0 x bodyweight, dumbbells or Farmers’ Walk handles : This is the same as above, with the major difference being the position of the weight. Not only is it much closer to the ground (although as my lawn will attest, it still carves out a chunk of dirt when you drop the bells), but there’s a much greater emphasis on grip.

For this reason alone, the 1 x bodyweight is usually more than enough.

Where does the name come from?

I’m yet to confirm this one, but I suspect the footballer Jerry Inman may be behind it all. Or possibly Wayne Inman. Either way, it’s an impressive feat.


As with most exercises, there are a number of ways to vary things a little. A few suggestions :
Reduce the load : 1.5 x bodyweight is a lot heavier than it sounds – particularly over that distance. And if you’re doing an ‘Inman Stroll‘ (same thing, over a distance of 1.5 miles); it’ll get old in a hurry.

Try cutting back the load a bit – especially when you’re just getting used to it. Your traps will still be acutely aware of the exercise.
Reduce the distance : the other obvious change is simply to reduce the distance. After all, a mile is an exceptionally long way to carry that sort of weight.

Work up to it.

Allow the weight to be put down during rest breaks : this one makes a big difference. When it comes time for a pause, put the weight down. It’ll still be there when you start up again.

Use a Strongman Yoke : if you’ve got access to one, use a Strongman Yoke. This is a great piece of equipment, and is perfect for exercises like this.

Other things to consider

Try the dumbbell version before considering the barbell : although the weight doesn’t sound too bad – particularly if you’re used to performing Farmers’ Walks – it’s the distance that will get you. A mile or a mile and a half is a long way when you’re loaded up.

When you try this for the first time, use dumbbells or Farmers’ Walk handles. Although this really brings your forearms into play, it keeps the weight nice and close to the ground. Much safer when it comes to setting them down, and taking a few deep breaths.

Leave the equipment outside (covered) : At the start of each workout, you probably won’t mind the time you spend carrying everything up the stairs from your basement, and setting up outside. The same goes for the lap after lap of the workout itself – adrenalin will keep you going.

When it comes to the end of the session, however, you won’t exactly feel like carrying everything back inside. If possible, leave it outdoors – covered, and set up ready for next time.

Final thought

This is a great exercise, whether you make the full distance or not. Oh, and it’s also the perfect time to try out that Manta Ray you got a while ago.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter (there's also a daily version available). A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.


Leave a Reply

What's This?

Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

images of strength

'Napalm' Jedd Johnson.
Want to see (and learn) more Feats of Strength like this? Dive in.

Just Joined Us? Try These.

There are some incredible writers on the team here. To give you an idea, check these out :

If you enjoyed these, check out the complete ‘Best Of Straight to the Bar‘ list. Fantastic.

setting up a home gym?

If you’re getting ready to put together a solid Home Gym (fantastic thing), here’s how.

For more, swing by the full guide. Absolutely free.

And of course, you’ll find everything you need over in the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you’ve seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program.

If you’re a fitness professional and love the Precision Nutrition approach, check out their certification offering. To say it’s comprehensive is an understatement.

Wherever You Are, We Are.

In addition to the main site, you can share your strength-training passion with a like-minded community on :

Wherever you like to hang out, get your regular dose of strength. Straight to the Bar.

Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.