Rucking as a Workout

Turns out, the best work out for me involves a backpack, shocking, I know.

A eight months ago, I made a decision to start working out five times per week. Being the nerd I am, I started by trying many different work out apps on my phone, and they all sucked. Working out in your house is boring and lame was my conclusion. I started looking at local gyms, but since I don’t ever have any reason to drive somewhere during the day (I work from home) that seemed laughable at best.

There is a very large and nice wooded state park a short five minute walk from my front door. So I started to do short hikes in there on the rugged and hilly terrain. At first this was a casual walk, then I added a backpack since it was a good way to test them for my reviews. Then I added a bit of weight to get a better work out and quickly realized: well this is rucking.

Rucking is a military thing, but the civilian form is detailed well by GORUCK here. And while I’ve never done a challenge, nor do I have much interest in them, this seemed like a great way to work out. I can be outside, in nature getting fresh air, the walk to the area is short, and I get to wear awesome backpacks. Basically, this was tailored to me.

I bought a 20lb Ruck Plate from GORUCK, slapped it in my GR1 and started going. I try to do this work out five times a week, and average 30-45 minutes each time. That’s about 2.4-2.85 miles each time over a lot of elevation changes (the park is basically on a hillside). Overall, on average, my backpack weighs about 28-34lbs. GORUCK says that you should try to cover 1 mile in about 15 minutes, last time I tracked that I was around 17:30 minutes per mile.

Still Rucking

I’ve been doing the rucking workout now for three months, and I love it. It’s a great way to get out of the house every day, and get in some exercise. At first the heavy bag was hard to carry, but I am now getting to the point where it’s not killing me by the time I get home. Might be time to bump the weight up more.

This has been the only workout which has actually stuck for me, as most fall to the weigh side after only a month. Even in the rain, I’m enjoying the hell out of this (I’ve always been odd about rain, as it has never bothered me to be out in it).

Rucking Overall

It seems like a silly thing. But I gave it a try very seriously and fell to loving it. The name is silly, and yet I use it because that’s what I am doing. I don’t have aspirations for anything more than a nice workout. I will say it’s not a gimmick and I seriously think it turned out to be a great way for me to get in a good solid bout of daily exercise.

GORUCK’s primer on it is a great place to start, and a reminder of how much they love what they do. I’ve heard of many people just keeping the weight in their bags all the time unless they travel — and I can see why, the bags seem comically light after you are used to them having a ruck plate.

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