Level 6 Valued Member
Since there was so much banter about rucking in the antiglycolytic thread, thought I would start a dedicated thread. Post you experience, what you are doing, gear, tips etc..


Level 6 Valued Member
I am 49 years old. A bit of an endurance training background. I am very interested in Al's challenge of 12 miles with 50lbs in 3 hours or less. Did a bit of a "test" ruck this morning to see if it was feasible for me to hold 4 mph for 12 miles. I used a 45lb sandbag in my GR-1 Goruck ruck. Here is what I did according to my Suunto GPS:

5.65 miles
4.5 mph
13:14 pace,
fastest mile 12:24
avg heart rate 132 BPM.

There was also a 200-300 foot climb in there. This was not a max effort. I could have gone faster. However 4.5 mph is near the fastest pace I can maintain with a walking gait. Any faster and I would have to shuffle and jog. The pace was not hard but the effort overall was hard enough that I would not want to do this every week. Not yet anyway. Plan is to slow down to 4 mph, and increase the load to 50 lbs and see how it goes. Slowing to 4 mph will get me in a real walking gait and significantly reduce the muscle loading. Perhaps every other week I'll stretch the distance a bit. I am including 2 other "cardio" workouts. Probably a run and a walk but maybe two runs. Need to see how I recover.


Level 6 Valued Member
I can't wait to know more about this, incorporate this into my training, after reading the absolutely awesome article (Rucking: What It Is and How to Do It) by Al on it last night.

Do one need training on rucking?
How much will this impact my strength training? (3 days/week)? Will I be fatigued after rucking?

I am thinking get a simple rucksack, walk for 30 mins a session, three times a week, to get started. I will re-read the article.


Level 6 Valued Member
I ruck once a week with varying weights. I quickly saw my HR addapt after a month or so, and now I sit with a HR of 120bpm at just over 4mph. I found my ideal load (at present) is about 15kg to keep a good posture, if I go heavier I end up flexing slightly at the hips. I was going about 5 miles before my girlfriend joined in, now we've backed to about 3miles as the works up her conditioning.
It has almost zero inpact on my strength training, which is a big reason why I like it. I do martial arts and get to go glycolytic a couple of times a week, so treat my rucking as the aerobic component of my conditioning.
I am aiming for the 12miles with 50lb goal eventually too, but am going to add distance before I add load for now.

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Abdul Rasheed , if you're not just plain walking, unloaded, for that 30 minutes, 3 times a week already, then please do that first for a few weeks before adding a load. Take the time to learn to find your natural gait, to work out any issues with shoes and clothing for this time of year, etc.



Level 6 Valued Member
Not sure if this full text link will work for you but this is a study by Bill Kraemer. It was a 12 week training study with Army soldiers. They tested the effects of resistance training, resistance and endurance training, endurance training only, or upper body resistance only plus endurance. What they found was interesting.

Endurance training alone had almost no effect on rucking performance
Resistance training alone improved ruck performance a little bit
The biggest improvement in ruck performance was resistance training plus endurance training
The upper body only strength training group improved almost as much as the total body group.

The ruck was a 2 mile ruck on the track with a 44.7 Kg pack. Pretty heavy!

Here is the abstract:

Here is the full publication:


Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks @Steve Freides Will do. Will try to ease into it. I have been walking/jogging though not regularly. It is something I always want to improve upon. You can comment upon my gait when you see me next time.
Last edited:


Level 1 Valued Member
I spent a good 12 years as a "professional rucker" and I agree with almost everything Al Ciampa has said in his article; I would emphasise and add a couple of things though:

1. Don't carry useless weight unless you already have everything you might need. There have been several high profile cases in the UK of soldiers, including Special Forces, dying of exposure/ heat exhaustion whilst out training alone with a rucksack full of sand when they were injured and succumbed before help arrived. I saw plenty of less dramatic examples of the same phenomenon with my young soldiers. Even if you do not go to remote areas, think about how long it might take a passerby to find you if you were to break an ankle and land on your cellphone. As a minimum I always required my guys to carry extra water, warm clothing, waterproof suit, hat, gloves, and a bivvy bag/survival bag/trash bag. Some extra food is always useful, as is the means to make a hot drink if you are in a cold climate. (or some shade in a hot climate-mylar blankets work great)

I am not generally a fan of carrying extras when running etc, but if you are carrying 15 kg you might as well make 5 of them useful kg.

2. What we called "admin" (personal administration) is 50% of the battle. Even if you are super fit, if your feet are blistered, your crotch is bleeding from chafing, and your pack fits poorly and causes pain, you won't perform, so pay attention to these things. That said, be aware that you will chafe/blister/rub/ache to begin with as your body toughens up, just minimise the needless suffering through careful prep.

On packs, it pays to invest a little. Be wary as many civilian orientated packs, especially cheaper ones, are not designed to carry these kinda of weights and will hurt/fail. Packs aimed at the military and serious outdoor folk (especially climbers/alpinists) tend to do better. Hip/waist belts, when used correctly are a massive aid and will save you back pain; you might rarely see soldiers using them but this is only because they are impossible to fit over webbing and body armour.

3. Be humble and start small. Whilst I have found Kettlebell training (in particular swings and TGU) to be the best non-specific training for rucking, you will still need to develop it as a skill and toughen your body as per point 2. Given the additional load on your body for a long time, it is relatively easy to give yourself injuries overdoing it. Take it easy.


Level 8 Valued Member

Do one need training on rucking?
How much will this impact my strength training? (3 days/week)? Will I be fatigued after rucking?
For your first question, "yes" and "no" can be the right answer.

If you only look for pure strength (meaning lifting heavy only) and if you have no reason to ruck (carry for your work, etc...) then, no.

If you are looking for strength and conditioning, then yes. It will give you a huge conditioning, easy transferable in your daily life (carring in shops and so on)

Rucking can fatigue if you do it too much, with too heavy weight. Otherwise, I do not think. An easy ruck at the beginning with 30 minutes 3 times a week with 10 or 15 kg can be a right spot

Kind regards,



Level 5 Valued Member
This is very interesting. Totally clicked on it thinking it was a discussion about rugby, now I am down the rabbit hole of reading about something new.


Level 7 Valued Member
Interesting: "rucking" is not used as a word in Canada to my knowledge. I guess it means hiking with a backpack, since a "rucksack" is a kind of backpack. I also wasn't sure what they meant.


Level 6 Valued Member
Any recommendation on a rucksack and footwear? Links? Do I need GoRuck's GR1 or any other $100 backpack, I can't decide :(
As for weight I would do the duct taped, cement pack mentioned in Al's article. I am thinking of doing 20lbs (approximately 10% of my body weight) weight start with, does that sound right?
Last edited:

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I am very interested in Al's challenge of 12 miles with 50lbs in 3 hours or less.
Mike, I didn't issue this challenge.

Unless it has changed, the Army standard is 12mi in 3 hrs with 35lbs and kit. I've never heard of a 50lb standard, but many units have their own perspectives based on mission. For example, our summer load was 90lbs, but we weren't trying to make a time standard other than our NLT directive. It is common for many to have to trot for some distance in order to make the 12mi/3hr standard. A loaded 15min/mi pace is pretty quick to cover for the average individual in walking gait only.

These days, I hike only to maintain my S&C for recreation. I can really care less about time standards; and I can still feel the stress associated with stopwatches, 1SGs, and the COs directives... haha.

Lastly, for those with little rucking experience reading this thread and feeling inspired... START SLOW AND LIGHT; AND RAMP UP EVEN SLOWER TO YOUR TARGET LOAD AND DISTANCE. You've been forewarned.


Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Great thread. Al, I can't remember where I read it but I thought I read the Ranger school standard was 50 lbs for the 12 miles in 3 hours. At 5'5" I can't use an actual walking gait at any faster the 4 MPH and I definitely don't want to trot or jog with 50 lbs on my back and an artificial knee :)
I time my laps around my park just to get an idea of where my conditioning is that week and to help prepare for the 5 min sinister test coming up.
after not being able to actual even walk for so many years it's nice to have a walking challenge that doesn't wreck me
Top Bottom