As we've mentioned many times, rucking is one of our favorite forms of crosstraining.
That's partly because nearly anyone can do it, and because it doesn't take a lot of equipment (though it certainly helps when you do have the right gear, and of high quality).
How to Ruck: What You'll Learn On This Page
"20 Strength and Endurance-Building Rucking Workouts"
Our popular, rucking workouts e-book will add some variety & fun to your training!
Whether you're just learning about rucking, or if you're a well-experienced rucker, you'll find something of value on this page.
If it happens to be review for you (reminders are good), then it may be something you can share with friends who may have questions about rucking.
Before we dig in to some of the usual FAQs about rucking, we've got a video for you.
A Video Message from Jason McCarthy, Founder of GORUCK
"RUCK-ING [VERB] To put weight on your back and go for a walk. More weight or more miles equals more results, more friends and more time together equals more fun." - GORUCK
Your First Time Rucking
As we were learning how to ruck, we weren't sure we were going to love
it. So, we started out with the most basic of equipment as we prepared
for our first rucking event; 31 Miles for 31 Heroes.
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Here are the 3 things we had:
2 Bricks - the bricks were to signify those who'd given their lives as part of Extortion 17, as well as their families and their hardships and grief endured.
A Backpack - we didn't have anything too special at the time, just your run of the mill, school-type backpack.
A Nalgene Bottle - even though you'll be moving more slowly than if you were running, you have to stay hydrated!
We made it through that event, though friends who were with us might accuse my routing skills as giving us closer to 41 miles than the 31 intended!
There's no learning curve to rucking. No special skills are required. Once you've got the weight on your back, all you're doing is walking.
And, you can plan rest breaks, as needed. It isn't a race (unless you've signed up for a time-based event, or your training program calls for specific paces and/or finishing times).
Most people are comfortable enough (when rucking in cool places) to carry a camera. We've seen some great photos from friends out rucking the world!
Starting to wrap our ruck bricks.
Our bricks for rucking, fully wrapped. (Go Pats!).
31 Miles for 31 Heroes.
So, How Have We Upgraded Since?
Where we'd carried bricks, a regular backpack, and a Nalgene bottle on our first outing, we knew we enjoyed rucking enough to make significant upgrade to our equipment.
Here are a few of the areas in which we've made upgrades:
A GORUCK Rucksack - these are the best available, military-grade rucksacks suited for active duty, GORUCK events, and for everyday carry by civilians & athletes. In our arsenal, we have the GR2 (best for travel), GR1 (our everyday carry and training ruck), and a Kids Ruck (my niece's!). There's nothing more durable, and they're backed by the Scars Lifetime Guarantee.
Recommended Reading: Click through to our article on choosing the best rucksack to suit your needs.
A GORUCK Rucking Plate - the bricks we used initially had great significance, but they aren't suited to long carries, they're clumsy to wrap and pack, and there's difficulty in adding weight well. So, we upgraded to GORUCK ruck plates, more compact and with greater stability, and a perfect fit for our GORUCK rucksacks. Most often, we'll carry a 30lb. rucking plate, though it is most commonly advised that you begin with 20lb. when just starting out.
A GORUCK Hydration Bladder - again, if you're going to do something, best to do it right from the get go. We still carry our Nalgene (as it is near indestructible), but the GORUCK hydration bladder was a perfect fit for our rucksacks, maintaining comfort, carrying a significant amount of water, and being very easy to keep clean. Plus, we drink lots of water when training, so having the hydration bladder means fewer trips trying to find a place to refill.
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