Every Ruck Club has a niche, something they excel in. For the Palm Beach Rucking Crew, their niche is being tough as nails.
Name: Palm Beach Rucking Crew (aka, PBRC)
Ruck Club Size: 230 on Facebook with 10-15 showing up for events.
When, how, and why did PBRC start?
The PBRC started in the summer of 2015, and at that time it wasn’t even a “ruck club” – it was 3 guys who signed up for their first GORUCK event and wanted to start training (Charming the Snake Tough Beta event at GRHQ, December 2015).
All they knew was they had to get through 12 hours and 20+ miles rucking, so they focused on push-ups, sit-ups, squats and rucking miles on the beach.
Safe to say our training has become much more sophisticated since then!
As time went on, building up the PBRC into a formal ruck club was a way to bring together like-minded individuals to participate in strenuous team activities to honor the American flag and those in military, law enforcement, and first responder service throughout the world.
We carry the American flag for all of our rucks. Many of our WODs service actions are inspired by the idea of “Building Better Americans”.
How many people are a part of PRBC?
We are currently at 230 members on our Facebook page, but that is predominantly “friends of the PBRC” meaning other GRTs (a term for people who have completed a GORUCK event) from other Ruck Clubs or cities, a few folks from GRHQ, friends, and some family who like to keep tabs on what we’re doing.
Our “core” group – the people who show up for our recurring WODs and typically do events together – is in the 10-15 person range.
We are very strict in terms of who gets to wear the PBRC patch, which must be earned and is never for sale. Most people who have a PBRC patch have earned it only after attending several 0400/0600 WODs with us, and we have a special location on the beach here in Jupiter called the “Tree of Life” where we have a patch ceremony.
There is no set criteria or timeline – you get your patch when a majority of the core group thinks that you have earned it. We have awarded a PBRC patch to a few folks in special situations, for example out-of-town GRTs who come for our early morning WODs and go out of their way to meet and put in work with a bunch of strangers.
We will also sometimes give a patch to the cadre after a GORUCK event (if we think he has earned it).
What sort of activities do you do?
The majority of our activity is focused on individual and team fitness improvement through regular WODs (Workout of the Day).
We have 3 standing WODs per week, Tuesday/Thursday at 0400 (4 AM) and Saturday at 0600 (6 AM) so we can “sleep in”.
We all have careers, families, other interests, etc., but we have a running joke in the group that nobody has any legitimate excuse to not be available at 4 AM. People have tried them all – sleep, sickness (self, spouse, kid, pet, etc.), work commitments, funerals, golf – nothing flies with this group. Our standing rule is that the only universally accepted excuse is death, specifically, your own.
The weekday sessions are 60-75 minutes and usually heavy on ruck and/or sandbag PT, and the Saturday session is 2-3 hours and normally where we’ll throw down some rucking miles on Juno Beach.
We finish every WOD with coffee and a few laughs before we all start our “normal” day.
We have a weekly “cadre” rotation where each core group member takes turns creating and running the WODs for that week. This helps to keep things fresh, promotes accountability, and gives everyone a leadership opportunity.
When we have members doing PATHFINDER Ruck Training, or there is a Ruck Club Callout happening, we typically just work those criteria into our weekly WODs where possible, or set up separate events, for example a 20-mile overnight ruck, Trail Ruck, etc. We manage all of this through Facebook which seems to have worked well so far.
We conduct a service activity once a quarter, sometimes as part of the larger campaigns being run by GORUCK or some of the other Ruck Clubs, sometimes just on our own.
In the past we’ve done the GORUCK Rucking for GBF and Ruck Your Dog campaigns, the Memorial Day Murph, and rucking various 5Ks associated with various local charities (Travis Manion Foundation, Ryan Owens Memorial Run, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation).
In 2017 as part of the service action for a local T/L event in West Palm Beach, we collected backpacks and supplies for a local organization that supports kids waiting to be placed in foster homes.
We have a small but very generous group and everyone jumps at the chance to give back. Turning charity and service into an opportunity to get everyone together for a ruck or a WOD has worked out very well for us.
You guys seem to have an emphasis on rucking and PT training. Where does that emphasis come from and what are you guys training so hard for?
We place a lot of emphasis on mental strength and discipline, which can be honed into physical strength and endurance.
Many of us are GORUCK event junkies and are in a constant state of training for our next event, so we want to be the best teammates we can be, not only to each other, but to the other GRTs that we are doing events with.
To borrow a phrase from PATHFINDER Ruck Training (which many of us have done and continue to do), it is our default state to “Choose The Harder Thing” in training so that we have the confidence and ability to do that same thing, or more, during events.
In practical terms, this means we do a lot of ruck PT with heavier-than-required weight to develop strength and stamina, and a lot of long distance and heavy rucks to toughen up our feet and shoulders.
What have been some of the highlights in the history of your Ruck Club?
We were very proud to knock out a 50-mile ruck before the whole Star Course craze started up.
We wanted to support the 2017 Green Beret Foundation campaign and make it really challenging, and we saw that another ruck club had already done a 30+ mile ruck. We wanted to take it a step further, and the next level patch was for 50 miles, so we had the terrible idea to give that a shot.
We completed the 50 miles in about 18.5 hours with everyone carrying at least a 30lb plate and a few carrying a 45lb plate (to meet PATHFINDER requirements), plus all of our water, food, and other comfort items.
It was painful, but also a great bonding experience and a real lesson in perseverance and teamwork.
We also fielded two really strong teams at the first ever GORUCK Ruck Club Battle at GRHQ, and won the overall event despite some really tough competition from RVA, Tallahassee, the GORUCK HQ team, and many others.
That was a really fun (and cold) event and we definitely hope to see more of those in the future.
One last really unique highlight for us was a PBRC-only WOD with legendary SEAL and world-class ultra-athlete David Goggins, who was in town for a corporate speaking event. He took us out on the beach for an early morning “welcome party” style beat down which, if you know anything about Goggins, is really best left to the imagination. It was an amazing experience and we were really lucky to spend some time with him.
What do you think is the key to having a great Ruck Club?
Acknowledging that it can be different for different ruck clubs, for us, it starts with consistency and having a really strong core group that is dedicated to having fun and putting in some hard work together.
Although not everyone can make every single WOD, our members know that if it is Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, there is a WOD happening where you’ll sweat, you’ll curse, you’ll laugh, and you’ll get a great jump on your day.
We have a good balance of age, experience, fitness, and mental discipline, and we all bring our own qualities to the table that help to fill in our collective and individual gaps.
Recently, we have moved away from the mentality of constantly trying to recruit people and shape our activities to what we think people want, which takes some of the pressure off and just allows us to have fun and be ourselves.
While it is great to get new people into the group, we have a formula that works really well for us, and we don’t want to change it. The people who want to be part of that stay and contribute, and those who don’t come once or twice and move on.
All are welcome equally, but the strength of our group is derived from that core that is willing to keep getting up at 3:30 AM for an ass-kicking, and those are the people we want beside us at a GORUCK event .
Last question. Do you guys by chance have a video floating around on the internet that you didn’t tell me about? Oh, you do? Sweet! I’ll just post that right here 🙂