Rucking is a kind of physical activity that involves walking or hiking with a weighted backpack or a ‘rucksack’. If you want to up your fitness game, I highly recommend Rucking.
It is simple. It builds your endurance and strength. You burn more calories.
All Upsides. No Downsides.
In fact, you may have already engaged in rucking without even realizing it, such as carrying books to school or bringing your belongings on your daily commute. The truth is, carrying weight is an inherent part of our daily lives, and it’s a task that humans are actually quite adept at.
It is easy. Functional. Requires bare minimum when it comes to equipment.
If it is good enough to train elite military forces, it is more than enough to build your body and bring about a change.
Plus, it’s a great way to add variety to your workout routine and challenge yourself both physically and mentally. All you need is a backpack, some weight, and the willingness to push yourself. So why not give rucking a try and see what it can do for you?
Why you need to start Rucking
Look. I’m well aware that in today’s fast-paced world, it can be hard to find the time and motivation to hit the gym or go for a run. But it’s high time you buckle down and start your fitness journey. Or if you are already into fitness and want to level up your game, it’s high time you look into Rucking.
- Simple and accessible activity that can be done by anyone
It doesn’t require a lot of specialized equipment. The concept is simple: add weight to your backpack and start walking. The goal is to increase your physical activity, and the solution is as easy as taking a weighted stroll.
- A type of resistance training
They say resistance training is one of the best forms of exercise. And I couldn’t agree more. Rucking builds strength and muscle while building cardio and endurance. By incorporating both types of exercise, rucking can burn up to three times more calories than traditional walking, making it a highly efficient workout.
- Gets one outside
As human beings, it’s imperative that we have to spend time outdoors. In this modern day and age, we need to spend more time outdoors and moving around, and less time indoors glued to our mobile screens.
- Improves posture
Rucking can help improve your posture by pulling your shoulders back, which is the ideal position for proper alignment, even without a weighted backpack. When rucking, it becomes uncomfortable to hunch over and roll your shoulders forward, something we often do when sitting at a desk or staring down at a screen. As a result, rucking helps to promote better posture habits.
- Good for your Mental Health
One of the greatest aspects of rucking is the community it fosters. With social fitness, you can count on others for accountability and support. Rucking presents a wonderful opportunity to gather some friends, head outside, and engage in physical activity together.
By adjusting the weight of your backpack, you can match the pace of others and challenge yourself with a refreshing outdoor workout.
- The Emerging Social Aspect
Not only does rucking help improve your overall fitness and endurance, but it’s also a great way to get some fresh air and explore the outdoors. Plus, you don’t need any fancy equipment or a gym membership to get started. All you need is a sturdy backpack and some weight to add to it.
But don’t just take my word for it. Rucking has been gaining popularity in recent years, with more and more people turning to this simple yet effective form of exercise. And for good reason! Rucking is a fun, challenging, and accessible way to stay active and healthy. It has actually sparked a niche community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for this unique activity. Whether it’s through social media groups, local clubs, or organized events, rucking enthusiasts have found a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose in their love for this challenging workout.
As the author, my goal is to inform you about the benefits of rucking and provide you with the knowledge and confidence to start rucking yourself. Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or a beginner looking for a new challenge, I’m here to guide you on your rucking journey.
To get started, I’ll break down the basics of rucking, including the gear you need and the proper form to use while walking with a weighted backpack. I’ll also offer tips and advice on how to gradually increase your rucking distance and weight, so you can build your endurance and strength safely and effectively.
But beyond just the technical aspects of rucking, I’m also here to instill confidence in you. Starting a new form of exercise can be intimidating, but with rucking, you don’t need to be an athlete or have any special skills. All you need is the willingness to challenge yourself and a desire to improve your fitness.
And as part of the rucking community, you’ll have the support and camaraderie of like-minded individuals who are on the same journey as you.
So let me dive further and show you what Rucking is all about, starting with the short version and then the longer in-depth version.
How do you get started Rucking?
Now that you have a basic idea of what rucking is, let’s get you started with the Short version.
The Short Version:
As an experienced Rucker, I can guide you on how to start your rucking journey and help you make the most out of this rewarding form of exercise. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, my tips and guidance can help you get started and achieve your fitness goals.
First, I recommend investing in a sturdy backpack that can handle the weight you plan to carry. It’s important to choose a backpack that fits you well and distributes weight evenly across your back and shoulders. From there, you can gradually add weight to your backpack, starting with a light load and gradually increasing as your fitness level improves.
Next, choose your route and start with a distance and pace that feels comfortable to you. As you become more comfortable, you can increase the distance and challenge yourself with different terrains and inclines.
It’s also important to prioritize safety when rucking. Be sure to wear proper footwear and clothing, and bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and fueled. And if you’re new to rucking, consider consulting with a healthcare provider to ensure that it’s a safe and appropriate form of exercise for you.
Finally, don’t be afraid to connect with other rucking enthusiasts and communities for support and guidance. From online forums and social media groups to local clubs and events, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals who can help you stay motivated and engaged in your rucking journey.
That’s it. Simple really.
Get a Rucksack. Add Weights. Start Walking.
In case you wanted an even shorter version than the previous one.
The Long Version.
Now for the real stuff. An in-depth guide on how to get started.
In the best possible way.
Maximum Benefit. Minimal Risk.
ALL OF THIS WHILE KEEPING THINGS FUN.
Remember we need to keep things fun. This article is on how you should enjoy rucking and not look at it as some kind of ‘more pain more gain’ torture physical activity.
1. Look for a good Rucksack
Choosing the right rucking backpack is crucial for your comfort, avoiding injury, and ensuring that your gear doesn’t fail before you do.
In today’s market, there are countless bags claiming to be tactical or made for rucking, making it difficult to find a high-quality backpack that suits your specific needs.
The perfect rucking backpack has two aspects:
- fits your torso size to be comfortable and allow you to ruck freely
- has enough support and padding to distribute the weight
Optionally, if you want to focus the rucking workout on your legs, instead of your shoulders and core, get a padded waistbelt, that allows you to move the weight to your hips
One of the leading brands in Rucksacks is GORUCK. Based in Florida, they specialize in Rucksacks and other rucking equipment.
Top-notch quality. Best bang for your buck.
More on that later.
Pretty much every salesman or Rucker will tell you to go for something that is highly durable, has good capacity, and is comfortable. A little too vague, I’m afraid.
Let me delve a little deeper into what makes a good Rucksack and how you should get the one that is most suited and appropriate for you.
- Rigid and Sturdy Frame
To ensure your comfort while rucking, the ideal backpack should have a sturdy frame that can support the weight in your ruck. It can be an external frame, internal frame, or frame sheet, but it should have a rigid or semi-rigid system for evenly distributing the load of the ruck weight across your back. This feature is important in preventing any pressure points (such as from kettlebells or weights) that could cause discomfort or pain in your back.
- Made with Durable Materials
When selecting a rucksack for rucking, durability should be a top consideration. Look for a backpack made with sturdy, tear-resistant materials like 1000D Cordura fabric. The padding in the shoulder straps and back panels should also be durable and able to support heavy loads. Additionally, stress points in the shoulder straps, handles, and seams should be stitched with high-tensile thread and constructed tightly to ensure maximum strength.
Military rucksacks are an excellent choice for finding this kind of durability at an affordable price. Consider investing in one of these backpacks to ensure your gear can withstand the rigors of rucking.
- Should fit Torso Length
To achieve optimal comfort and avoid hindering your stride while rucking, the perfect backpack should fit your torso length. It should rest comfortably on your shoulders and end just before the top of your buttocks. If the backpack is too tall, the base (and weight) will sit behind your glutes, causing discomfort and impeding your stride. On the other hand, if the backpack is too short, a waistbelt becomes impractical, as it will sit too high to allow your hip bones to support it.
Therefore, finding a backpack that fits your torso length is crucial for a comfortable and efficient rucking experience.
- Wide Straps with lots of Padding
Wide straps with ample padding are essential for ensuring comfort while rucking. Additionally, over padding can be beneficial, as it allows the padding to compress over time and conform to the shape of your body, while still maintaining its comfort level.
When selecting a rucksack for rucking, prioritize those with wide, well-padded straps that can withstand the weight of your gear without digging into your shoulders. This will ensure that you can ruck for extended periods without experiencing any discomfort or pain.
Ultimately, I highly recommend GORUCK Rucksacks since they have been around for quite some time and are highly specialized in Rucksacks. After I’m done with How to Start Rucking, I will dig deeper into the different kinds of Rucksacks.
2. Add Weights
Selecting the right type of weight for rucking can be a bit challenging. The first consideration when selecting a weight for rucking is the weight itself. Depending on your fitness level and experience, you may want to start with a lighter weight and gradually work your way up to a heavier one.
The weight should be heavy enough to challenge you but not so heavy that it causes injury or undue strain on your body.
I cannot emphasize this enough. Form over Weight. Always.
The next consideration is the type of weight you want to use. There are several options to choose from, including traditional weights like dumbbells or sandbags, as well as specialized rucking weights that are designed specifically for this activity.
- Types of Weights you can use
One popular type of weight for rucking is the sandbag. Sandbags are versatile and can be filled with sand, rocks, or other heavy materials to create a customized weight. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be found at most hardware or home improvement stores. Sandbags are also ideal for rucking because they can be adjusted to accommodate different fitness levels and can be carried in a variety of ways.
Another popular option for rucking is a specialized rucking weight. These weights are designed to be worn as a vest or attached to a backpack and are typically made from durable materials like steel or cast iron. They come in a variety of sizes and weights, making them ideal for both beginner and advanced ruckers. Rucking weights are also ideal because they distribute the weight evenly across your body, which can help reduce the risk of injury.
When choosing a weight for rucking, it’s also important to consider the fit and comfort of the weight. A weight that is too large or too small can cause discomfort or even injury, so be sure to choose a weight that fits your body properly. Additionally, some rucking weights come with additional features like padded straps or adjustable weights, which can help increase comfort and reduce the risk of injury.
- Setting up the Rucksack
Setting up the Rucksack is a pretty straightforward process. To ensure the weight remains stationary and sits high on your back while walking, position it carefully within the backpack. You can use blankets or pillows to anchor the weight in place, and then tighten the backpack straps to secure it.
But why is it crucial to have a weight high on your back?
Firstly, maintaining a high-weight position enables you to sustain balance and adopt the correct posture and rucking technique, without excessively bending forward at the waist.
Secondly, when the weight is above your center of gravity and situated high on your back, you can move more flexibly, promptly changing direction as needed.
To get you started off on the right note, I’ve put together a list for choosing the right rucking weights. You’ll find it in the next section as you keep reading.
3. Wear the right shoes
Choosing the right pair of shoes goes a long way. I’ve listed out a few pointers for choosing the right pair of shoes. Most of these are pretty basic but nevertheless very important.
- Look for shoes with a sturdy sole
The sole of your shoe should be strong enough to handle the weight of your rucksack and provide enough support for your feet. Avoid shoes with thin soles or cushioning that are too soft, as they may not be able to withstand the added weight of your rucksack.
- Choose shoes with ample ankle support
Rucking can place a lot of stress on your ankles, so it’s important to choose shoes that provide adequate support. Look for shoes with high tops or extra padding around the ankle area.
- Consider the weight of the shoes
While it’s important to have a sturdy and supportive shoe, you don’t want your shoes to be too heavy. Heavy shoes can make rucking more difficult and can tire you out faster. Look for shoes that strike a balance between support and weight.
- Make sure the shoes fit properly
Ill-fitting shoes can cause blisters, sore feet, and even injury. It’s important to choose shoes that fit well and have enough room in the toe box to allow for proper foot movement. Consider trying on shoes later in the day when your feet are more swollen, to ensure a proper fit.
- Look for shoes with good traction
Rucking can take you on a variety of terrains, including rocky or uneven surfaces. Shoes with good traction can help prevent slips and falls, which can cause injury.
- Consider the breathability of the shoes
Rucking can be a sweaty activity, so it’s important to choose shoes that allow for proper ventilation. Look for shoes with breathable materials like mesh, which can help keep your feet cool and dry.
In conclusion, selecting the right shoes for rucking requires careful consideration of several factors, including sole strength, ankle support, weight, fit, traction, and breathability. By choosing shoes that provide ample support and comfort, you can reduce the risk of injury and enjoy a more comfortable and effective rucking experience.
4. Choosing a path
Once you are fully equipped with the right gear, you can get started with rucking right away simply by walking. It’s that simple. However, if you want to do it correctly, i.e., by rucking on a suitable trail or path, I have listed some key pointers to help you choose the right one.
- Look for well-maintained trails: When choosing a trail or path for rucking, it’s important to consider the condition of the trail. Look for trails that are well-maintained and regularly groomed, as this will help ensure a smooth and safe rucking experience. Avoid trails that are overgrown or poorly marked, as they can be difficult to navigate.
- Choose a trail that matches your skill level: Different trails have varying levels of difficulty, so it’s important to choose a trail that matches your skill level. If you’re just starting out, look for trails that are relatively flat and easy to navigate. As you become more experienced, you can gradually increase the difficulty level of your rucksack.
- Consider the terrain: Rucking can take you over a variety of terrains, from pavement to dirt paths to rocky trails. Consider the terrain of the trail you choose and ensure that it is suitable for rucking. Avoid trails with loose rocks or steep inclines, as these can be difficult to navigate with a heavy rucksack.
- Check for accessibility: Some trails may have limited accessibility, which can make it difficult to get to and from the trailhead. Consider the distance from your home or hotel, parking availability, and the difficulty of the hike to the trailhead when choosing a trail for rucking.
- Look for scenic trails: One of the great things about rucking is the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Look for trails that offer scenic views, such as mountains, lakes, or forests, to make your rucking experience more enjoyable.
- Consider the weather: Finally, when choosing a trail for rucking, it’s important to consider the weather conditions. Avoid trails that are prone to flooding or extreme weather conditions, and always check the weather forecast before heading out.
In conclusion, choosing the right trail or path for rucking requires careful consideration of several factors, including trail condition, skill level, terrain, accessibility, scenery, and weather. By choosing a trail that matches your skill level, offers scenic views, and is suitable for rucking, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable rucking experience.
5. Choosing a Community
I highly suggest tapping into the social aspect of rucking. There are communities centered around rucking. Rucking with friends or like-minded individuals will help you be more amicable and enjoy rucking even more. It ensures that you enjoy the outdoors and nature a lot more.
It’s a lot more fun. And even more motivating.
Here are some tips to help you find like-minded individuals who share your passion for rucking:
- Join online communities: There are several online communities dedicated to rucking, such as rucking groups on Facebook, Meetup, and Reddit. These groups provide a platform for ruckers to connect, share tips, and plan rucking events together.
- Attend local rucking events: Look for local rucking events in your area and attend them to meet other ruckers. Events such as rucking races, charity rucks, and community rucking events can be a great way to connect with other ruckers.
- Join a fitness group: Many fitness groups incorporate rucking into their training regimen. Consider joining a fitness group or gym that offers rucking as part of their program. This can be a great way to meet other ruckers and get motivated to ruck regularly.
- Ask friends and family: Ask your friends and family if they are interested in rucking or know anyone who is. You may be surprised to find that someone in your social circle is interested in rucking but hasn’t tried it yet.
- Start your own rucking group: If you can’t find a rucking community in your area, consider starting your own rucking group. You can post about it on social media or online rucking communities to attract like-minded individuals who are interested in rucking.
- Check with local military or veteran organizations: Rucking is a popular training method in the military, and many military and veteran organizations organize rucking events. Consider checking with your local military or veteran organization to see if they have any rucking events or groups in your area.
In conclusion, finding a community or friends for rucking can be a great way to stay motivated, learn new tips, and make new friends. By joining online communities, attending local rucking events, joining a fitness group, asking friends and family, starting your own rucking group, or checking with local military or veteran organizations, you can find like-minded individuals who share your passion for rucking.
Now that we are done with our in-depth Long version on how to start rucking, let’s move on to different kinds of equipment and gear for rucking.
Rucking Gear and Equipment
We are now going to look into the different kinds of gear you should equip for this sport.
You have to hear me out on this one. Investing in high-quality gear can offer a multitude of benefits. Not only will you look and feel great, but you’ll also perform better during your workouts. Wearing comfortable and well-fitting gear can improve your form and reduce the risk of injury. Overall, spending a little extra money on quality gear is well worth it for the comfort, safety, durability, improved performance, motivation, and health benefits it provides. Remember that your health is an investment, and the right gear can help you achieve your fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle for years to come.
GORUCK is widely recognized for making rucking a popular activity, thanks to its extensively tested GORUCK backpacks used in numerous GORUCK challenges. We’ll mostly be focusing on GORUCK gear due to its superiority to other brands and versatility in quality.
1. GORUCK GR1
The GORUCK GR1 is a rugged and versatile backpack designed for various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and traveling. The backpack is made from high-quality materials that can withstand tough conditions and last for years.
The GORUCK GR1 backpack features a sleek and minimalist design, with plenty of pockets and compartments for organization. It has a 26-liter capacity and measures 20″ x 12.5″ x 7.5″, making it ideal for everyday use or shorter trips.
One of the unique features of the GORUCK GR1 backpack is the padded laptop compartment that can fit up to a 15-inch laptop. The compartment is lined with a soft material that protects your device from scratches and damage.
The backpack also features a hydration port and a bladder hanger, allowing you to stay hydrated on long hikes or other outdoor activities. The MOLLE webbing on the front and sides of the backpack allows you to attach additional pouches and accessories for increased storage options.
The GORUCK GR1 backpack is also comfortable to wear, thanks to the padded straps and back panel that provide ample support and ventilation. The backpack is also water-resistant, keeping your belongings dry in wet conditions.
In conclusion, the GORUCK GR1 backpack is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a durable, versatile, and comfortable backpack for their outdoor adventures. With its high-quality construction, ample storage options, and thoughtful design, the GORUCK GR1 is a backpack that will last you for years to come.
2. GORUCK GR2
The GORUCK GR2 backpack comes in 34L and 40L models, which are approximately 14 liters larger than the GORUCK GR1. The two-compartment design of the GR2 provides ample storage space and a plethora of pockets, making it easy to stay organized.
For short-term travel, lasting from a few days to a few weeks, the GR2’s design is perfect, as it allows for an efficient organization without the need for packing cubes. Despite its travel capabilities, the GR2 backpack is still ideal for rucking and weighted workouts, just like the GORUCK GR1.
The backpack is made from high-quality and durable materials that can withstand tough conditions and last for years. It features a sleek and minimalist design, with multiple pockets and compartments for organization. The backpack has a padded laptop compartment that can fit up to a 17-inch laptop, as well as a hydration port and bladder hanger.
The MOLLE webbing on the front and sides of the backpack allows you to customize your storage options, with the ability to attach additional pouches and accessories. The backpack also has a sternum strap and waist belt for added support and stability, making it comfortable to wear even with heavier loads.
3. GORUCK GR3
The GORUCK GR3 is a larger, more spacious version of the GR2 backpack specifically designed for travelers. With a 45-liter capacity and measuring 24″ x 12″ x 9″, the GR3 is the perfect choice for extended travel or backpacking trips.
The GR3 is also designed with travel-specific features, such as a suitcase-style opening for easy packing and unpacking, as well as a separate compartment for shoes or dirty clothes. The backpack has a removable frame sheet and waist belt for added support and stability, making it comfortable to wear even with heavier loads.
In conclusion, the GORUCK GR3 backpack is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a spacious, durable, and versatile backpack for their travel needs. With its ample storage options, comfortable design, and high-quality construction, the GORUCK GR3 is a backpack that will serve you well for years to come. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the GR3 has everything you need to make your trip a success.
4. The Rucker
According to GORUCK, the Rucker is essentially “a gym on your back”. This backpack is not only designed to carry heavy weight and withstand abuse to the same bulletproof standards as other GORUCK products, but it also comes equipped with top, side, and bottom handles for performing variations of “sandbag training” and functional workouts.
Despite its functional design, the Rucker is still perfectly suited for daily use, thanks to its various size options (15L, 20L, and 25L) and versatile functionality.
The backpack is made from high-quality materials that can withstand tough conditions and last for years. It features a minimalist design with a spacious main compartment and a variety of smaller pockets and compartments for organization. The backpack has a padded laptop compartment that can fit up to a 15-inch laptop, as well as a hydration port and bladder hanger.
The Rucker also features a padded back panel and shoulder straps for added comfort, making it easy to wear even during intense workouts. The backpack has a waist belt and sternum strap for added stability, and it comes with a removable frame sheet that can be used to add even more support.
In conclusion, the GORUCK Rucker is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a durable and versatile backpack that can function as a gym in a bag. With its ample storage options, comfortable design, and high-quality construction, the Rucker is a backpack that will serve you well for years to come. Whether you’re headed to the gym, hitting the trails, or traveling for business or pleasure, the GORUCK Rucker has everything you need to succeed.
5. The Bullet: The GORUCK Bullet is a compact backpack designed for everyday use. Despite its smaller size, the Bullet is built to the same high standards as other GORUCK products, with a rugged construction that can withstand even the toughest conditions.
The backpack can be used for a variety of activities, including hiking, travel, and everyday carry. The minimalist design of the Bullet means that it is lightweight and easy to carry, while still providing ample storage space for all your essentials.
The backpack is made from high-quality materials, including 1000D Cordura fabric and YKK zippers, ensuring that it is built to last. It features a spacious main compartment, as well as a variety of smaller pockets and compartments for organization. The backpack also has a hydration port and a loop for attaching a hydration bladder.
The Bullet is designed with comfort in mind, with a padded back panel and shoulder straps that make it comfortable to wear for extended periods. The backpack also has a sternum strap and a removable waist belt for added stability.
Don’t let the size fool you though, the bag is still tested to 400lb+ loads.
Whether you’re commuting to work, exploring the great outdoors, or simply running errands, the GORUCK Bullet has everything you need to stay organized and comfortable.
6. Rucker Long Rnge: The Rucker Long Range is one of the newer additions to the GORUCK lineup. It is designed to be a versatile backpack that can serve as a gym in a bag, making it perfect for fitness enthusiasts who want to take their workouts on the go. Unlike some of the other GORUCK backpacks, the Rucker Long Range does not feature a bombproof laptop compartment. Instead, it is equipped with tough handles on all sides, making it easy to carry and transport.
The Rucker Long Range features a dual compartment design, with a front panel setup and a main compartment behind it, similar to the GR2. This allows you to carry not just weights, but also water and food for an all-day workout. The backpack is spacious enough to accommodate all of your workout gear and accessories, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and camping as well.
Overall, the GORUCK Rucker Long Range is a versatile and durable backpack that is perfect for fitness enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Its tough handles, dual compartment design, and spacious interior make it a great option for anyone looking for a gym in a bag that can stand up to even the toughest conditions.
To my hippie friends; yes you can just carrying your belongings. I climbed the world’s 3rd highest mountain pass with everything I owned on my back world’s 3rd highest mountain pass with everything I owned on my back, yes ‘yay minimalism’ but also ‘weight plates’ are just more convenient to increase weights past a point.
When it comes to rucking, choosing the right type of weight to fill your rucksack is crucial. The weight should be distributed evenly throughout the backpack to prevent discomfort or injury. It’s essential to avoid any weight that may poke into your back or shoulder blades. The weight should be compact, and it should fit snugly in your backpack without moving around during the rucking motion.
A set of tips for choosing the right kind of weights:
- Weight should be high and close to the spine
- Pick a weight that doesn’t shift
- Tighten your weights and load down to avoid extra movement
- Ensure there is ample padding and a frame sheet to avoid the weight putting pressure on a point of your back or shoulders
- Pick the right backpack for the job
Let’s explore some of the different kinds of weight that you can use for rucking.
GORUCK Ruck Plates
Ruck plates are an essential part of rucking as they add weight to your backpack, making your workout more challenging and effective. GORUCK offers different kinds of ruck plates to suit different levels of fitness and training goals.
Let’s take a closer look at the different kinds of GORUCK ruck plates:
- Standard Ruck Plate: The standard ruck plate is a rectangular plate made of cast iron that is available in different weights ranging from 10 pounds to 45 pounds. It is designed to fit in the hydration compartment of your GORUCK rucksack, which is positioned against your back, ensuring even weight distribution. The standard ruck plate is an excellent option for beginners and those looking to add moderate weight to their ruck.
- Expert Ruck Plate: The expert ruck plate is a more advanced option for those looking for a more challenging rucking workout. It is a thin, high-density plastic plate that fits into the laptop compartment of your GORUCK rucksack. The expert ruck plate is available in 20 and 30-pound weights, and it’s ideal for those who are looking for a more challenging rucking workout.
- Brute Ruck Plate: The brute ruck plate is the most durable and heaviest option offered by GORUCK. It is made of solid steel and is designed to fit in the hydration compartment of your GORUCK rucksack. The brute ruck plate is available in 30, 45, and 60-pound weights, making it an excellent option for experienced ruckers and those looking to take their workout to the next level.
- Women’s Ruck Plate: The women’s ruck plate is designed to fit comfortably in the hydration compartment of GORUCK’s women’s rucksacks. It is available in 10, 20, and 30-pound weights and is an excellent option for female ruckers who want a plate that is specifically designed for them.
- Budget Ruck Plate: The budget ruck plate is a cheaper alternative to the standard ruck plate. It is made of concrete and is available in 10, 20, and 30-pound weights. While it is not as durable as the other options, it is an excellent option for those on a budget or beginners who want to try rucking without investing in expensive equipment.
In conclusion, GORUCK offers different kinds of ruck plates to suit different levels of fitness and training goals. The standard ruck plate is ideal for beginners, while the expert ruck plate is for more advanced ruckers. The brute ruck plate is the most durable and heaviest option, and the women’s ruck plate is specifically designed for female ruckers. Finally, the budget ruck plate is a cheaper alternative to the standard ruck plate.
Sandbells are a versatile and effective way to add weight to your rucking workout. They are essentially sand-filled bags that can be used as an alternative to traditional ruck plates. The benefits of using sandbells as ruck weights include their adjustability, affordability, and versatility.
One of the best things about sandbells is that you can make them yourself at home. All you need is a durable bag or duffel, sand, and some duct tape. Start by filling the bag with sand, making sure to leave some room at the top to allow the sand to move around. Once you have filled the bag to your desired weight, roll the top of the bag down and use duct tape to secure it in place. You can use multiple layers of duct tape for added durability.
When using sandbells as ruck weights, make sure to place them in the hydration compartment of your rucksack, similar to how you would with a ruck plate. Sandbells are adjustable, which means you can add or remove sand as needed to achieve your desired weight. They are also versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises, including squats, lunges, and overhead presses.
In conclusion, sandbells are an affordable, versatile, and effective way to add weight to your rucking workout. You can easily make your own sandbell at home using a few simple materials. Use sandbells in place of traditional ruck plates to achieve your fitness goals and take your rucking workout to the next level.
TIPs for Rucking with good technique and form
Before you start rucking, make sure you stretch and warm up.
Never skip your warm ups.
Think of it as a valuable long term investment in the health of your joints, overall flexibility and agility.
To gently stretch your hip flexors, groin, glutes, and hamstrings, try the “world’s greatest stretch” exercise. Additionally, perform the “pinned calf stretch” for 30 to 60 seconds per leg to loosen up your lower legs and ankles.
When you begin your ruck, take it slow and start with a leisurely stroll for the first 3-5 minutes. This will allow your body to gradually warm up and your heart rate to adjust to the activity. The slow start will also increase blood flow to the muscles involved, providing them with essential nutrients in preparation for the workout ahead.
The proper form for rucking is crucial for both efficient stimulation and injury prevention. Let’s discuss the correct technique.
Maintain proper posture by keeping your head high and spine aligned, standing tall with your chest open. Avoid leaning forward and instead stay upright, achieving full extension of the hips while walking.
To keep a smooth momentum moving forward and save your knees, use a “glide stride” instead of pounding. Power through the movement by flexing your glutes, fully driving the hips and propelling your body forward. Keep your shoulders activated and in a slightly neutral position, pulled back and down, to avoid shrugging and maintain good form.
Engage your core. Maintain good posture by standing tall with an engaged core, neutral spine, chest open, and head up. This will help prevent usage injuries, and if you can’t do this, you’re rucking with too much weight for your fitness level.
Avoid running with your ruck, and make sure one foot is always in contact with the ground.
If you’re just getting started rucking, be sure to start with between 15-25 lbs and no more than 10% of your weight as a rule of thumb.
What is Progressive Overload? Those of you not familiar with the term, it refers to the gradual increase of weight or resistance in a particular exercise over time to challenge the body.
It is a commonly used term in fitness communities/circles.
While many people associate progressive overload with weightlifting, it can also be applied to other forms of exercise, including rucking.
Why progressively overload? Why challenge the body?
The thing is, the human body responds to stress by adapting and becoming more efficient in performing a specific activity. When you progressively overload your workouts, your body adapts to the increased stress by becoming stronger, more resilient, and more efficient. This leads to all kinds of improvements in cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and endurance, and overall physical fitness.
Now Progressive overload in rucking means gradually increasing the weight you carry, the distance you travel, or the speed at which you move. By doing so, you challenge your body to adapt and become stronger, fitter, and more resilient over time.
This. But where your vectors are distance, weights and speed instead of sets, reps and weights.
Here are some tips for effectively implementing progressive overload in your rucking workouts:
Start with a manageable weight: If you’re new to rucking, begin with a weight that you feel comfortable carrying for the intended distance. As you become more comfortable, you can gradually add weight to your backpack. Experts recommend adding no more than 10% of your body weight at a time.
Increase distance gradually: Start with a shorter distance and gradually increase it over time. A general rule of thumb is to add no more than 10% per week to your total distance. This gradual increase will allow your body to adapt and recover properly.
Mix up your terrain: Rucking on different types of terrain, such as hills or sand, can add an additional challenge to your workouts. Start with a flat surface and gradually add more challenging terrain as your fitness improves.
Increase your speed: Once you’ve built up your endurance, try increasing your speed. Aim to maintain a consistent pace that challenges you without compromising proper form.
Implement rest days: Rest is just as important as the workout itself. Adequate rest allows your muscles to recover and adapt to the demands of your training. Plan for rest days in your training program to prevent overuse injuries and improve overall performance.
In conclusion, progressive overload is a vital aspect of effective rucking training. It allows you to continually challenge your body, build strength and endurance, and prevent plateaus. By gradually increasing the weight, distance, and speed of your rucking workouts, you’ll be on your way to achieving your fitness goals in no time. Remember to always prioritize proper form and take rest days to prevent injuries and maximize your progress.
So this was my complete guide on rucking. If you’re looking for a new physical challenge or want to add variety to your routine, rucking is a great option. I’ve highlighted the importance of rucking and provided tips on how to get started, including selecting the appropriate gear, choosing a trail, and finding a supportive community.
Remember that the idea is to enjoy this globally loved activity rather than look at it as a means to punish your body for ‘Gains’.
As I said earlier, It’s too damn easy.
Get a Rucksack.