Inman Mile Training – I’m going to do it

by Kilo on September 19, 2011

The Inman Mile is something fairly insane that I’m going to start training for tonight. I first heard of it on the USAWA (United States All-Round Weight Lifting Association) and have not been able to get it out of my head since.

Here’s how it works:

Put 150% of your bodyweight on your back and walk for one mile. You can rest, but you can’t put the weight down and you can’t let it be supported at any time. Oh, refreshments are allowed, so if you need a Pop Tart or something on the second lap, go for it.

It seems to me like the way to do it would be with some sort of yoke, but it looks like you’ve got to do it with a barbell for it to be official.

As I’ve read, I can’t find an instance of anyone who has completed the challenge. I’ve been doing a ton of loaded carries while I’ve sorted out some issues with my ribs that have kept me from doing anything else very heavy.

Tonight I’m going to have a go at this with a very light weight–probably between 135 and 185. I have no doubt that even those weights would be incredibly challenging for me at that distance, particularly with a barbell just sitting on my back. We’ll see.

If I were to try the event today I’d have to put 380 lbs on my back and walk for a mile. Yikes.

Priority will be on monitoring my knees and making sure to not go too far, too heavy, too quickly.

I’ll report back tomorrow. Oh, and here’s a video of a stalwart gentleman beginning his own Inman Mile training.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

John Sifferman September 20, 2011 at 8:38 am

So, how’d it go? If I was brave enough to tackle this (I’m not), I’d probably start with 50% load and only a quarter mile. Even at that, maybe with 100 meter intervals. I also imagine a safety squat bar would help with comfort, too.


Kilo September 20, 2011 at 10:04 am

John, I made it half a mile with 200 lbs. Nasty stuff. Honestly, it was my forearms that made me quit. It’s an unusual position to support for that long. I never think about my arms when I’m just doing squats. This was something else, though.


John Sifferman September 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

If you could find a way to balance it with hardly any use of the arms at all, I bet that would improve performance a lot. The safety squat bar would be one way, but a yolk might work even better. Of course, then it probably wouldn’t be a true Inman Mile.


Kris Wragg September 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I think this challenge is insane, but I can’t help but be tempted to try it.

I’m also intrigued as to how much weight I could farmers walk for a 1 mile distance. Maybe I’ll start with a 16kg KB in each hand….


Kilo September 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Kris, I think you’ll be fine with the 16kgs. Once we can all do it, we need to get together and make a parade of it. I’ll ride an elephant.


Kris Wragg September 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

How many people does the elephant need on its back before it is doing an Inman mile? Would you all need to hang off a 20ft barbell for it to count?


Boris September 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

A Manta-Ray on a cambered bar might make it a little easier, but that’d essentially be the same as a yoke.


Ben Edwards October 16, 2011 at 4:29 am

The USAWA guys (I’m a member too) are just strong enough and crazy enough to actually train for and achieve the Inman Mile. Especially the lightweight strongman competitors at Al’s Dino Gym in Holland, Kansas. I have a friend who has done a mile with 100% of his weight but has only done 1/2 mile with his full bodyweight.


Kilo October 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for the info Ben. I’d love to see those guys.


alan January 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Kilo, are you still working on the Inman? Ive been working on this for about two months now, focusing on lunges and back.


Kilo January 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I’ve been working it with very light weights. I’m trying to go the full distance as often as possible while keeping things feeling fairly easy.


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