Why is it that every time you do farmer walks, you get a slightly chilly or cold feeling in your body and even shiver a little?

This almost always happens when I do farmer walks.

The farmer’s walk or “farmer walk” is a strength training exercise in which you simply walk around while holding—with arms straight at your sides—heavy weights.

The weights may be dumbbells, kettlebells, plates, a hex bar (walking inside of it) or a weighted bar in each hand.

This exercise works the back, shoulders and forearms (forearm muscles control grip) plus loads the legs.

I’ve noticed that nearly every time I do the farmer’s walk, I get a mild chilly sensation throughout my body, as though the temperature in the gym has suddenly dropped to 65 degrees. I even shiver a little.

This occurs when there’s a duration component to the exercise. For example, I can sustain a walk with a 45 pound plate in each hand.

If I’m carrying a 75 pound dumbbell in each hand, however, the shivers or chilly feeling do not occur, because the duration lasts under 30 seconds.

But I’m going for around three minutes with the 45’s, and at some point into that, perhaps around the 40 second mark (I’ve never timed it) I begin feeling the shivers. It’s not anxiety.

This exercise is among the easiest to perform, as all you do is simply walk while holding something with both arms straight at your sides. It mimics real-life movement and thus is a great functional exercise.

I have no idea why the sensation of a room temperature drop happens. It does not happen with the deadlift or other big compound moves that I do, or any exertion that goes for a few minutes nonstop.

As a former personal trainer, I am unable to draw upon my knowledge of fitness and kinesiology to come up with an explanation. It’s pretty much been happening ever since I decided to incorporate heavy farmer walks into my regimen several years ago.

But the sensation of slight cold ends before the farmer’s walk ends.

Is this really strange or what? And it is not related to gym temperature or weather outside.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this. Hopefully others who experience a sensation of cold and shivering while doing farmer walks will post their comments below.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Freepik.com