Rucking for cardio

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Untill this forum id never really heard of rucking, ive seen it floating around a bit on here as a form of cardio.
I enjoy my running and cycling, only short distances but have been struggling with injuries recently (knee and foot) and started to look into rucking as a form of cardio on days off from the kettlebells.

Im thinking of making some 5kg sand blocks using a thick plastic bag and duck tape maybe starting with 10/15kg for 3 miles if i can manage that!

Anyway the reason for my post, is there any cheap backpacks that will hold up to the job that people can recommend maybe on amazon or similar?

Any general tips on rucking?
 

mar2safety

Level 5 Valued Member
I used to serve in the military, so plenty of rucking was on the menu.

I've been MAF running for cardio for a few years now, but this forum got me intrigued to get rucking again. I use a weighted vest (can add up to 45lbs). The past few weeks I've rucked right after whatever my session has been (40 mins after Q&D). Currently loading 25lbs but i'll add another 5lbs next week and progress with the weight.

If the weather is bad, I'll ruck on the treadmill. Typically start walking at a brisk pace and every min or so add more incline. I wear a HR monitor, so I'll keep the speed brisk, once my HR comes up I back off the speed. When I run I keep my max HR around 135, but rucking I keep it in the 120s if I'm inclining.

I know there are a ton of options out there. In the military we either loaded our ruck up with our typical equipment load, or we would strap an iron plate to the bare ruck frame. I've looked online at the newest backpacks that allow you to attach an olympic weight plate, but I really prefer my weighted vest, as it straps on nice and snug and distributes the load on the front and back of my torso.

The huge advantage I've found is the lower impact on my knees. I've started to swap one or two short runs a week for rucks. So far my knees have been thanking me.
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Yes ive also been running MAF but twice a week.
I did think about a weight vest but i think i would get some really weird looks around here walking around in one ha
Ive got a 10kg kettlebell that i might throw in a old back pack i have and give that a try, maybe i can find a fairly slim weight vest to wear under something i might feel more comfortable walking in public with it 😂
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
I wouldn't be concerned (personally) about any 'looks' people would give me wearing a weight vest in public. People in general will:
A. Not even notice you
B. Not care if they do
C. Wish they could do what you are doing...

Go with a cheap pack to see if you like it. But if you do like it, and if you want to be schlepping around 15kg or more, a cheap pack will cause you misery and will break.
 

rwleonard

Level 6 Valued Member
These days I use a frame with a bracket that holds olympic plates. You can find them for ALICE frames at Rogue fitness; The Load Trainer

And this one, which I have: Atlas Trainer

Back in my younger/military days, I used a five gallon water can for (most of the) weight in the issue ALICE pack. I figured if I got in over my head I could must dump the water. Plus, if you didn't quite fill it up, the sloshing would shove you around a bit.

Good luck, I think you'll like it!
 

Jak Nieuwenhuis

Level 6 Valued Member
There are multiple threads on here about backpacks for rucking. I don't know about cheap packs on Amazon, but the Outdoor Products backpacks from Walmart are pretty tough. Search "Quest Daypack". that one is pretty good for like $25

If you want cheap, try to look inside a thrift store if they are still open in your area. Jansport is good. You can get one for like $5 and it will take a beating.

You could also just buy a pair of ALICE straps and make a pack out of your sand blocks in a garbage sack.
 
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Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
I probably should have said im in the uk

Ive got a cheap backpack with chest and hip strap i might just use that to see if its for me

Im thinking ive got some bricks i could load it with or my kettlebells, wrap whichever up in blankets for cushion, should do the job for now!

Maybe ill invest in some hiking boots too if i like it
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
I probably should have said im in the uk

Ive got a cheap backpack with chest and hip strap i might just use that to see if its for me

Im thinking ive got some bricks i could load it with or my kettlebells, wrap whichever up in blankets for cushion, should do the job for now!

Maybe ill invest in some hiking boots too if i like it
Some folks like rucking in minimalist shoes. My background is in alpinism and mountaineering so I have always favoured sturdy boots for rucking purposes, even more so if the terrain is rocky or uneven.
(Which part of the U.K.?)
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Got a back pack loaded with 12kg padded out, ready for my first ruck tomorrow!
hopefully it doesn't break!
Just trying it on feels quite heavy, wonder how far im going to get haha
Aiming for 1hr but I'll see how i feel
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Got abit lost and done just under 5miles...ouch the hip flexors are not thanking me for it!

Hr was around 90/100 so lower than expected

Felt more like a strength workout than cardio, traps are killing! Haha
 
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Eyetic

Level 4 Valued Member
I do it every second day 30 lbs on the back and my son 19lbs in the front..aprox 30-40 min and I feel great.

For my last OCR i did trained the cardio part rucking while commuting with aprox 40 lbs to work daily and I was enough for the 7k race.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Got abit lost and done just under 5miles...ouch the hip flexors are not thanking me for it!

Hr was around 90/100 so lower than expected

Felt more like a strength workout than cardio, traps are killing! Haha
So.... did you 'like' it? What did you learn?
(Lighter weight and faster pace would give more 'cardio')
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
So.... did you 'like' it? What did you learn?
(Lighter weight and faster pace would give more 'cardio')
Towards the end, from about 4 miles it was hurting and i wanted to ditch the weight, but thats what i liked about it!
For some reason i like the feeling of just not being able to go further but getting it done.

So yeah i liked it!
I like that im not completely zapped for the day, tired but still enough in the tank for a walk etc with the kids.
I did think my HR would be alot higher, i was walking at a brisk pace avg hr 96 bpm so i guess its just about in the fat burning zone, where id like it.
I need to find some more hills as the ground got rough or slight incline the hr went up quick.
I think next time rather than walk the streets where i live i will drive 15min to ashdown Forrest and do it there where i could get completely lost and probably not see another human!
My hips have loosened up a little now but were super tight towards the end and when i got home, i stretched for 5 mins when i got home and I'll do some OS reset tonight.

Any heavier and I'll definitely need a proper rucksack.
All in all its definitely something ill add to my weekly routine for now at least
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Towards the end, from about 4 miles it was hurting and i wanted to ditch the weight, but thats what i liked about it!
For some reason i like the feeling of just not being able to go further but getting it done.

So yeah i liked it!
I like that im not completely zapped for the day, tired but still enough in the tank for a walk etc with the kids.
I did think my HR would be alot higher, i was walking at a brisk pace avg hr 96 bpm so i guess its just about in the fat burning zone, where id like it.
I need to find some more hills as the ground got rough or slight incline the hr went up quick.
I think next time rather than walk the streets where i live i will drive 15min to ashdown Forrest and do it there where i could get completely lost and probably not see another human!
My hips have loosened up a little now but were super tight towards the end and when i got home, i stretched for 5 mins when i got home and I'll do some OS reset tonight.

Any heavier and I'll definitely need a proper rucksack.
All in all its definitely something ill add to my weekly routine for now at least
Sounds good. And yes hills will also most definitely increase the cardio effect.
 

Gary Wilson

Level 4 Valued Member
Yes thats what i was thinking as i was walking as it goes, its the same thing i like about cycling, just being out with nothing but your thoughts for a couple of hours, good for the mind!

Im already looking at places i can go haha
Theres a place called box hill and it has a off road route from bottom to top of roughly 2 miles and 5/600ft elevation! Cracking views from the top then a easy walk bsck down!

Id probably go with half the weight i did today though, about 6kg
 
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