Very simply, rucking is wearing a backpack (aka:ruck) with some weight in it while you go for a walk.
So, Rucking is just walking or hiking?
You can call it what you want, but we call it rucking. Rucking finds its roots in the military where soldiers would pack their ruck with their gear and carry it (ruck it) to their next destination. But, you don’t have to be current or former military to start Rucking. Rucking is for everyone.
While rucking finds its roots in the military, it has become a more common way to improve your fitness through both cardiovascular and resistance training. Plus the ease of starting and minimal gear needed makes rucking a great exercise to engage in.
Is Rucking better than Running?
Yes. Running sucks.
When you run you have to find someone who is just as slow/fast as you, which rules out like 99% of the people you know. And, trying to have a conversation or enjoy the beauty of your city while slogging through those miles? Forget it.
When you go for a ruck, weight is the great equalizer. You can team up a hard-charging super-woman with a dude who just got off his couch for the first time in 2 years and they can ruck together. We’re just going to add more weight to super-woman to slow her down and allow her to get just as good a workout as couch-man AND they’ll get to talk and enjoy the ruck together.
But, Rucking sounds easy. I need a challenge.
Toss 45# in your ruck and hit a sub 15-minute mile for 5+ miles. Trust us, rucking is plenty challenging for those who work at it.
Will I get into shape by Rucking?
Well, “get in shape” is a bit ambiguous. But, here’s the deal. The Federal Government released guidelines stating, “For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity…” So, yes, Rucking a couple times a week with your friends is getting you well on your way to being “in shape.”
What are the benefits of Rucking?
1. Being awesome.
2. Hanging with cool people.
If you’re rucking a couple times per week you are engaged in an activity supported by “a growing body of evidence that documents immediate benefits of exercise such as reduced anxiety, improved sleep and improved blood sugar control, and long-term benefits (of regular physical activity), including cognitive benefits, and significantly lower risks of heart disease and certain cancers.” (link)
Studies also support that regular exercise, like rucking, “… help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancers (including bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung and stomach). In addition, physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.” (link)
So, yeah, rucking is rad!
Do I need any special equipment to start rucking?
Technically, no. A backpack and a heavy book are a good start.
How do start Rucking?
Got any questions? Drop them in the comment section below and we’ll try to help.
Ryan Burns is the founder of The Rucking Collective, LLC, which runs a number of ruck-related websites, including Rucking.com. Ryan discovered Rucking through GORUCK and has completed numerous GORUCK events, including their 50-mile Star Course. When not rucking, Ryan enjoys time with his family and helping others on their fitness journey as a Level 1 CrossFit trainer. You can reach him at email@example.com