Rucking

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
About 18kg (40lbs) is the upper limit if you want to keep your knees healthy
Any source for that? (study, huge amount of anecdotal evidence, etc.)
GoRuck challenges don't go above +30lbs/13,6Kg.

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.
On my usual trail there's a steep hill which gets my HR up to MAF and even beyond when I keep up my pace, but it's only like ~10% of the total distance of the round, so you can't constantly use that.
Inclined treadmill is good for the constant elevation, but I don't see the point of walking on a maschine. Part of runnning, walking and rucking is to do it outside and enjoy nature.

Btw @damogari rollerblading might be a good alternative. Faster than running, but not as expensive as cycling.
 
Last edited:

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Obligatory question, why you want to gain some form of endurance, what is your goal? Specific event, health, GPP endurance?
My goal is just GPP, want to have more work capacity and generally not be tired after longer walks. Just feeling that endurace is my weak side and I don't want to have weak sides.

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
Thank you, that clears this issue. I was thinking that if your HR is not close to MAF level, your aerobic base isnt improving.

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)
Currently training more than hour is hard to for me (lack of time), but I would consider doing longer LSD sessions at least once a week :)

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
Thanks! Thats great idea - I think that I would do some 5km walks with a few sets of snatches every km / every 10 min.

Btw @damogari rollerblading might be a good alternative. Faster than running, but not as expensive as cycling.
Thank you @Kettlebelephant, but I have to admit that it isnt my cup of tea :)

I want to thank you all once more, I think that the best for me will be continuing my rucking with weight up to 25kg and do longer sessions from time to time (or kettlebell rucking :)). I will consider some light jogging sessions as well, but will have to watch how my knees would like it.
 

ClaudeR

Triple-Digit Post Count
I want to thank you all once more, I think that the best for me will be continuing my rucking with weight up to 25kg and do longer sessions from time to time (or kettlebell rucking :)). I will consider some light jogging sessions as well, but will have to watch how my knees would like it.
That sounds like a plan!
Let us know how it goes!
 

chingon

Double-Digit Post Count
If one were to ruck everyday using the S&S format of leaving something in the tank for the rest of the day what would be a good distance and weight? I usually go for a 30 minute walk in the morning daily and just recently started doing it with a 20lb pack. I'm also doing S&S so i wouldn't want the rucking to interfere with it.
 
Last edited:

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Everyone is different and I think that a good progression is to slowly adding more time or weight. I am doing kinda heavy kb programs and added rucking on variety days to build my aerobic base a little. I don't feel that it is interfering with strength progress.

Started with 30min at 25lbs, added 10lbs then worked out to 60min. Now I will add another 10lbs and will work with this for 60min for a couple of sessions. Ultimate goal is to ruck with 55lbs for 60-90min twice a week.

So far its good. You can add it to days when you are doing S&S and see how you feel. S&S can be done along with many activities.
 

Matts

More than 300 posts
@chingon I don't know your current condition or anything or your terrain, but I wouldn't recommend starting out everyday. You can work the rucking in adding it once or twice a week and keep your walking up the other days. Maybe work towards a heavier, shorter day, and a longer, lighter ruck, with a few days of walking in a week.
 

Darren Best

Triple-Digit Post Count
Any source for that? (study, huge amount of anecdotal evidence, etc.)
GoRuck challenges don't go above +30lbs/13,6Kg.
No source for that number, it was an observation that I made amongst a loosely knit community of mountain hunters. I noticed a trend that many of them would run the weight up on training hikes and invariably end up lowering it due to knee issues and they seemed to settle on 40 pounds more often than not.

To give you an idea of the demands of mountain hunting, one gentleman has been logging his forays on a forum.

Duration - 10 hours
Calories burned - 5316
Steps walked - 38,345
Miles - 14.6

This is just one day. As you can see it is possible to out train a bad diet, if you are stubborn enough. :)

He did this every weekend for a month, this is just in the spring for shed hunting. He will do this almost daily from September through November with a few days off here and there to return home to clean gear and resupply food. He trains all year round in a gym near his house with weekend jaunts into the mountains for shed hunting and scouting prior to hunting season. His base endurance training is done on a treadmill set on maximum incline with enough pack weight to get his heart rate into the correct zone.

It is difficult to put into words just how steep and rugged the mountains of North Idaho are, here weight is your enemy, body fat, excess gear and even muscle. Most hardcore mountain hunters run under 190 pounds, there is just too much of a penalty for extra weight.

It has been my observation that adding more weight doesn't really work at raising heart rate on flat ground, at least not for me. I can push my HR into MAF zone by walking past 4 mph, but I find this pace annoying to maintain, I would rather jog than walk that fast. In the mountains it is a different matter entirely. The real issue is carrying that weight back down the hill, too much is very hard on your knees. Alpinism suggests using water jugs, dumping the water out before you head back down.

For me and other mountain hunters the whole point of carrying a weighted pack is to condition our bodies to it's presence. Under normal circumstances by the time you have your camping gear, food, water, rifle or bow and other basics you are pushing 40 to 50 pounds, some go lighter, but very few go heavier and stay there.

So as you can see, after just one trip into the mountains, when you get back to camp or home, you look like a badger digging all the stuff out of your pack that you don't really need.

For a mountain hunter, the pain starts once we succeed, take the above load and add 100 pounds of meat and you suddenly have a 140 pound pack on your back and on steep rugged terrain, it's not a walk in the park. Just getting back to a trail feels like a paved highway.

I carried a 160 pound load up the side of a mountain once and swore I would never do it again.

Now if like us you have a reason to go heavier, don't do it very often, certainly not daily and not more than once a week. My ruck weight in around town is in the 25 pound range, no more. As summer wears on I will begin doing a once per week heavy short ruck, one or two miles with up to 100 pounds, but I keep that to a minimum as it's just too hard on the feet, knees and legs. Backpacking and scouting trips are only what I need for the trip, no sand babies.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
If one were to ruck everyday using the S&S format of leaving something in the tank for the rest of the day what would be a good distance and weight? I usually go for a 30 minute walk in the morning daily and just recently started doing it with a 20lb pack. I'm also doing S&S so i wouldn't want the rucking to interfere with it.
Matts and Darren both mentioned terrain. Just adding to their good comments when I say it makes a huge difference. Also you don't really mention what your ultimate training goals are. Are you training for something specific? Rucking may or may not be an appropriate tool.
That being said, and with all other things being equal, a 30 min walk over flat, smooth ground, with a 20lb pack should not be too onerous, and is unlikely to interfere with S&S. IMO
 

chingon

Double-Digit Post Count
Matts and Darren both mentioned terrain. Just adding to their good comments when I say it makes a huge difference. Also you don't really mention what your ultimate training goals are. Are you training for something specific? Rucking may or may not be an appropriate tool.
That being said, and with all other things being equal, a 30 min walk over flat, smooth ground, with a 20lb pack should not be too onerous, and is unlikely to interfere with S&S. IMO
Some days i'll walk in my neighborhood which is sort of flat and has some inclines here and there. Some days i'll go up the hills i live close to.

My ultimate training goals are to get strong, get lean, be mobile
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Some days i'll walk in my neighborhood which is sort of flat and has some inclines here and there. Some days i'll go up the hills i live close to.

My ultimate training goals are to get strong, get lean, be mobile
Hills are going to be a game changer thats for sure.
 

chingon

Double-Digit Post Count
Hills are going to be a game changer thats for sure.
Yes i found this out. I've been rucking with 25lbs for 2 miles and averaging 33minutes times around my hood. Then i went up a hill the other and it took 46minutes for 2 miles. It's been months since i've hiked up said hill, usually when i've been away from it for months and pay it a visit i'm gasping for air about 1/2 mile up. My first time out with the 25lb ruck and I was fine, just a little burn in the legs from keeping a steady pace. I guess i can attribute that from the conditioning effect of S&S. I believe you folks call this a WTH effect?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I am revisiting this old thread because I'm now rucking as part of my training to do another Inman Mile attempt in the Fall. This $40 pack

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CT8SLN2

is working out very well for me. Currently loaded to 65 lbs. and using for walks in the 1-2 mile range. Well-reviewed and seems to, so far, eliminate the need for a GoRuck pack, which is what I had first considered.

I am having a local machinist make me some weights, similar in size, shape and weight to what GoRuck sells, for much less than they charge. The above pack has a compartment similar to what the GoRuck bags have for this purpose.

-S-
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom