Rucking

Darren Best

Triple-Digit Post Count
Tump lines are old, old technology. The idea is that the weight rested on the hips makes them work harder, by putting to the weight on the top of the head/spine it is more efficient.

I have one here somewhere, I need to dig it out and get a feel for how it works.
 

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I started rucking to build my aerobic base and endurance. I am rucking two times a week for 45-60min with 15kg/33lbs now and my bodyweight is about 100kg/220lbs.

My knees doesnt really like running, so I chose rucking as an alternative to work on my endurance. Unfortunately its hard to keep my HR over 120bpm during the rucking - I have mainly flat terrain near me with only a few hills. I am thinking about adding weight to make it more difficult - what is the upper limit for weight to keep rucking healthy?
 
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offwidth

More than 5000 posts
I started rucking to build my aerobic base and endurance. I am rucking two times a week for 45-60min with 15kg/33lbs now and my bodyweight is about 100kg/220lbs.

My knees doesnt really like running, so I chose rucking as an alternative to work on my endurance. Unfortunately its hard to keep my HR over 120bpm during the rucking - I have mainly flat terrain near me with only a few hills. I am thinking about adding weight to make it more difficult - what is the upper limit for weight to keep rucking healthy?
If you have a decent enough pack and you load it right, I think you could go significantly heavier than 15kg, especially at your body size. At some point of weight however it becomes more of a strength exercise, and not one that drives the adaptations for endurance. For instance, I might go up to 30kg myself at times, but it's still not elevating my HR appreciably. (And I have a smaller frame than you)
Regarding HR... what pace are you going at? Maybe you just need to 'ruck faster'
 

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
If you have a decent enough pack and you load it right, I think you could go significantly heavier than 15kg, especially at your body size. At some point of weight however it becomes more of a strength exercise, and not one that drives the adaptations for endurance. For instance, I might go up to 30kg myself at times, but it's still not elevating my HR appreciably. (And I have a smaller frame than you)
Regarding HR... what pace are you going at? Maybe you just need to 'ruck faster'
I am thinking about going gradually up to 30% of my bodyweight but I don't know if my backpack would handle it :) I am worried about becoming this exercise more strength-endurance than endurance.

My avg speed is 6km/h because of some hills, but on flat terrain I am walking in range of 7-8km/h. I feel like its almost my max walking speed.
 
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Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@damogari @offwidth
Same problem for me (205lbs). Went from +7,5Kg up to +25Kg. HR only increased by a few beats (~5), but still way below MAF rate. Average speed ~3.5-4mph with peak speeds (still walking, not running) of almost 5mph. I don't want to use even more weight, because it just gets super uncomfortable (might be because of my inferior rucksack).
I just reverted back to running and walking.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Yeah, it can be a fine line sometimes between things.... like endurance and strength-endurance. If you increase load incrementally and speed incrementally, you might find a sweet spot where your HR is tracking where you want it to be for endurance. (I assume you are targeting some MAF like rate?)
 

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
@damogari @offwidth
Same problem for me (205lbs). Went from +7,5Kg up to +25Kg. HR only increased by a few beats (~5), but still way below MAF rate. Average speed ~3.5-4mph with peak speeds (still walking, not running) of almost 5mph. I don't want to use even more weight, because it just gets super uncomfortable (might be because of my inferior rucksack).
I just reverted back to running and walking.
Thank you @Kettlebelephant, that was the answer from experience I was looking for. I really like rucking but it looks like it can't completely replace running in case of building basic endurance .

Yeah, it can be a fine line sometimes between things.... like endurance and strength-endurance. If you increase load incrementally and speed incrementally, you might find a sweet spot where your HR is tracking where you want it to be for endurance. (I assume you are targeting some MAF like rate?)
Exactly, the target here should be 140-150bpm which should be ma MAF rate.

I'm starting to think that I cannot run away from running :)
 

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
There is an option of course, but my legs are giving up before lungs while cycling (stationary). It looks like the ergonomy of bicycle is not so good for working in MAF zone.

Ultimately I prefer going on foot, its just simpler :)

I will try to mix both rucking and running into my weekly schedule.
 
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Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
I would guess it would depend on one's bodyweight but I've heard 60 or so pounds is max . Of course that assumes one is rucking and not running with the pack :)
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
There is an option of course, but my legs are giving up before lungs while cycling (stationary). It looks like the ergonomy of bicycle is not so good for working in MAF zone.
Get an e-bike :p
Seriously though, your legs won't give out before your lungs and at the same time you can go faster than usual and cover more distance -> see more of the beautiful landscape.
My parents are avid cyclists who ride 3-4 tours per year. They recently added e-bikes to their collection and love them. Surmounting the Alps on a bike at 64 is no joke, even when you get a little support from your bike.
They are expensive though...

I would guess it would depend on one's bodyweight but I've heard 60 or so pounds is max . Of course that assumes one is rucking and not running with the pack :)
I read that military guys often have to carry 100+ lbs plus additional weight in form of their weapon. That's tough!
 

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Get an e-bike :p
Seriously though, your legs won't give out before your lungs and at the same time you can go faster than usual and cover more distance -> see more of the beautiful landscape.
My parents are avid cyclists who ride 3-4 tours per year. They recently added e-bikes to their collection and love them. Surmounting the Alps on a bike at 64 is no joke, even when you get a little support from your bike.
They are expensive though...
I tried stationary cycling and keeping myself in MAF zone was able only by going heavy - or maybe this is normal and I just not have enough muscle endurance in legs. When I got my bicycle back I will check how hard is to keep MAF in outdoor cycling.

I agree that cycling is so much funnier than walking/running :)
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I tried stationary cycling and keeping myself in MAF zone was able only by going heavy - or maybe this is normal and I just not have enough muscle endurance in legs. When I got my bicycle back I will check how hard is to keep MAF in outdoor cycling.
I did a quick google search and it turns out that people have the issue that they can stay close to MAF rate on a real bike, but have a hard time (quads burning, legs give out) when trying it on a stationary bike/ergometer.
Maybe overall it has something to do with your bodyposition.
For example you can't apply MAF to swimming, because the body is horizontal while swimming the heart does not need to pump that hard/often to distribute enough blood.
Sitting on the bike might have a similar effect.

Now back to rucking...:)
 

ClaudeR

Triple-Digit Post Count
cycling would certainly work, if you are vigilant about HR (it is very easy to let ego get in the way on a bike. usually MAF HR limit is slow on a real bike until you get efficient)

Obligatory question, why you want to gain some form of endurance, what is your goal? Specific event, health, GPP endurance?
MAF HR is actually a control for endurance people who are used to go too hard for too long, so it is a "hold back" rate rather than a "you need to get to this level to have benefit" rate. If you have no specific need for higher speed endurance, rucking together with some S&S style swings or snatches is all you need! No need to chase a number, especially one that is a speed limit

on rucking... increase the load slowly, but don't forget to increase duration! Lower HR but longer duration, almost the same adaptation (maybe better, duration in LSD work usually has much greater carryover to anything real-life than higher HR)

that being said, my preferred option to supercharge rucking is to ruck with a KB, every mile or whatever stop, unpack your KB, and do a few sets of 5 snatches or swings or C&J, anything power-based. Stick to low reps with plenty of rest (A+A, feel ready for the next set, you're not chasing HR or a burn here), do a few sets (enough to get you to feel good), pack your kb back in, ruck, rinse, repeat!

This works well for running as well, with the obvious limitation that you would do loops around a KB instead of lugging it around

I find this keeps your HR up (but not excessively so, usually quite well around MAF limit) quite nicely, gives you mental fortitude, breaks up boredom, and gives you a very good conditioning effect! sort of like the S&S of LSD :D

Kudos of course to @aciampa who got me onto this type of LSD work!
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I was too focused on the MAF number, too.
@aciampa told me to go for a pace (doesn't matter whether you use running, rucking etc.) that would allow me to talk and more importantly allow easy nose breathing and then look how I feel over time, instead of trying to hit/stay below a certain HR number.
I try to hit that spot where easy nose breathing almost turns to heavy nose breathing now.
 

Rif

More than 500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Get an e-bike :p
Seriously though, your legs won't give out before your lungs and at the same time you can go faster than usual and cover more distance -> see more of the beautiful landscape.
My parents are avid cyclists who ride 3-4 tours per year. They recently added e-bikes to their collection and love them. Surmounting the Alps on a bike at 64 is no joke, even when you get a little support from your bike.
They are expensive though...


I read that military guys often have to carry 100+ lbs plus additional weight in form of their weapon. That's tough!
I have also heard it's those super heavy loads are the ones that caused the knee back and hip problems
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
IMHO, anyone whose legs give out before their lungs when bicycling in any form is using too much resistance. The beauty of cycling lies in perfecting an easy spin.

-S-
 

Darren Best

Triple-Digit Post Count
I am thinking about adding weight to make it more difficult - what is the upper limit for weight to keep rucking healthy?
About 18kg (40lbs) is the upper limit if you want to keep your knees healthy. Heavier is doable over shorter distances. The biggest thing is to pay attention to your body and listen to what it's saying to you and make sure you are paying good attention to your recovery also.

The best way to get your heart rate in the correct zone is to add elevation gain of some sort, be it a hill, stairs, inclined treadmill or a box step.
 
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