You Should Start Rucking

Written by Coach Mike

What is rucking?

Rucking is walking with weight.

That’s it.

Find a backpack (also called a “ruck”) laying around, find 10-20lbs worth of weight to throw in it and go for a walk.

It’s common training in the military because soldiers need to be able to carry their pack full of gear for long distances. Only in the last several years has it become more popular in civilian settings.

Here’s why after you finish reading this you should find a backpack or weight vest and head out the door for your first ruck.

  1. Low impact, low intensity exercise. Rucking burns 3x more calories than walking. It doesn’t quite burn as much as running does, but it is a lot lower impact. Our class workouts give you a dose of high intensity GPP, but if you’re sedentary for the other 23 hours of the day, you’re not getting as much out of your membership here as you could be. Rucking is exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise, and that’s what is great about it.
  2. Good for your back, posture, and core stability. A weighted backpack will pull your shoulders back. It’s hard to ruck with bad posture. If you’re hunched over a keyboard all day, or struggle keeping your chest up on front squats, this will really help you. It is for this reason I prefer weighted backpacks over weight vests where the weight is more evenly distributed front and back of your body (but there’s benefits of that too).
  3. Gets you outside. Sunshine is your friend (wear sunscreen).
  4. Stacking. Rucking has been a hit for me because it stacks well with other habits and things I have going on. I’m a dad now so my time is a lot more fleeting. If you’re rucking solo, you can pair with another habit like an audiobook, podcast, mindfulness, etc. Rucking pairs well with friendship because it’s low intensity enough to still hold conversations. Do you walk your dog? Great, add a ruck to your back and get something extra out of it. Don’t have enough time to go to the gym or out of town and don’t have access to a gym? That’s fine, but do you have 10 minutes to go outside and ruck? It doesn’t require a warm-up, just grab your bag and go.
  5. Accessible to all. Once you’re hooked and fall in love with it, Goruck has some high end rucksacks with lifetime warranties that you’ll find are worth paying the premium for, but the great thing about rucking is that those upgrades are “wants” and not “needs.” You don’t need to spend money on this at all. Throw some water jugs or sandbags in whatever backpack you have laying around and you’re good to go. (Once you fall in love and you do want something built for this, GoRuck Rucker 20L or 25L depending on your height).

A good starting point is a 20-30 minute ruck with 10-20lbs of weight. Once you get some experience under your belt, you can consider adding more.

Rucking is the perfect supplemental activity to the foundation of fitness you’re already receiving in our classes. I understand that most of us just want to come in for class and not think about the gym again until the next day, but adding more activity outside of the gym, such as rucking, will accelerate you towards whatever your goal is. Give it a try and pay attention to how good you start to feel after a week or two of consistently rucking 3-4x per week. You’ll be kicking yourself wondering why the hell you didn’t know about this 10 years ago… just like I am 😀

-Coach Mike