Boost Your Calorie Burn with Army Rucking: A Comprehensive Guide

You’ve probably heard of army rucking, a high-intensity workout that’s all the rage right now. It’s not just for the military folks anymore; everyday fitness enthusiasts are embracing it too. But have you ever wondered just how many calories does army rucking burn?

Well, you’re in for a surprise! This intense form of exercise is a real calorie torcher. It’s not just about the weight on your back or the miles under your feet, it’s the total package that makes rucking a top-notch calorie burner.

What is army rucking?

Perhaps you’ve seen them: groups of individuals marching purposefully with heavily laden backpacks, trekking across all types of terrain. This high intensity workout, known as army rucking, has become prevalent not just among military personnel, but also with everyday fitness enthusiasts. But what exactly is army rucking? Let’s delve a bit deeper to understand this physically demanding exercise.

In its essence, army rucking – simply referred to as “rucking” – is walking with weight on your back. This weight can range anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds, depending on your fitness level and the intensity of the workout you’re looking for. The goal of rucking is to improve your endurance and strength under sustained physical load. It’s not exactly akin to a brisk walk in the park, but rather a purposeful march under significant weight.

Rucking serves as a fundamental part of military training across the globe. Soldiers carry hefty rucksacks on long marches as part of their conditioning and training regimen. But despite its military roots, rucking has emerged in the mainstream fitness realm due to its sheer effectiveness as an exercise.

The beauty of rucking lies in its simplicity. You don’t need expensive equipment or a gym membership. All you need is a well-fitted backpack and enough weight to provide an ample challenge. Despite its simplicity, rucking presents a potent combination for calorie burn, due to the intensity, weight carried, and distance covered. It’s a stellar choice for those looking to spice up their cardio routine or strength training regimen.

Now that you’re familiar with what rucking is, it’s important to understand how it can aid in your fitness journey, specifically regarding calorie burn. The next section will delve into the calorie burning potential of army rucking. But remember, everyone is different and calorie burn is subjective to each person’s weight, metabolism, and the intensity of their workout.

How does army rucking compare to other exercises?

When you’re checking which exercises rack up the most calorie burn, army rucking stands out. But how does it compare to other well-known exercises? Let’s break it down.

Most people think of running or cycling as the go-to exercise options for burning calories. While it’s true these activities can help you stay fit, army rucking takes the game to a different level. Carrying a pack of 20 to 50 pounds, you’re not just taking a stroll – you’re working your body hard at every step.

The average calorie burn for a person weighing around 160 pounds running at a pace of 6 miles per hour is about 606 calories an hour. On the other hand, cycling at a moderate pace for the same amount of time nets approximately 292 calories. These activities certainly do the trick but engaging in army rucking, our beloved high-intensity workout, you can torch a whopping 600-880 calories an hour.

ActivityHourly Calorie Burn (160 lbs person)
Running (6 mph)606
Cycling (moderate pace)292
Army Rucking (30 lbs)600-880

These figures highlight the efficacy of army rucking. With every step, your body is burning those calories, and your cardiovascular system enjoys a boost, your strength enhances, and you push your endurance to new heights.

However, it’s worth noting that all forms of exercise are beneficial and cater to different needs and preferences. Running is a superb cardio workout, cycling is excellent for low-impact exercise, and rucking provides a unique blend of strength and cardio training. Therefore, it’s all about finding what fits your routine and fitness goals.

Joining the army rucking trend will not only help you burn more calories, but it’ll also introduce you to a new stimulating workout style that could elevate your fitness journey. So, continue learning more about army rucking and how you can incorporate it into your exercise regime for maximum benefits.

Factors that affect the number of calories burned in army rucking

An often overlooked aspect of army rucking is how various factors influence the number of calories you’re burning. Understanding these factors can help you get the most out of your workout.

First off, your body weight plays a significant role. The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn. It’s a basic rule of energy expenditure: bigger bodies require more energy to move. Whether you’re running, cycling, or partaking in army rucking, a larger body weight will lead to a higher caloric burn.

Your rucksack’s weight is another key influence. Obviously, carrying a heavier rucksack will burn more calories. This enhanced calorie burning is because your body works harder to lift and carry more weight. So, if you want to ramp up your rucking workout, you might want to add a bit more weight to your rucksack – but be mindful not to overload and risk injury.

Another noteworthy factor is the terrain you’re rucking on. Rucking uphill or on uneven ground demands more from your muscles as you fight against gravity, burning more calories. On the flip side, moving downhill or on a flat surface tends to be less taxing because it works with gravity.

Lastly, the intensity of your rucking workout affects your calorie burn. Simply put, the faster you march, the more calories you’ll burn. But remember, your safety should always be your first priority.

Consider these factors next time you go for a ruck. You might find tweaking one or two can lead to higher calorie burns in your workout. Keep in mind, the ultimate goal should be a balanced, efficient workout that bolsters your overall health and fitness. Army rucking indeed offers a unique blend of strength and cardio training, so play around with these variables to find what works best for you.

Average calories burned during army rucking

Estimating an average number of calories burned during army rucking can be a bit tricky. Factors like your body weight, the weight of your rucksack, the intensity of your workout, and the type of terrain you’re on create a lot of variation.

Take for example body weight. A person weighing 150 pounds may burn around 315-440 calories in an hour of rucking. Whereas, someone weighing 200 pounds could burn approximately 420-585 calories in the same timeframe. That’s a considerable difference, right?

Let’s break these numbers down in a table to make it easier to visualize:

Body WeightCalories Burned Per Hour
150 lbs315-440 calories
200 lbs420-585 calories

Adding to this, the terrain plays a substantial role too. Rucking on a hilly area or rugged path is harder than on a smooth terrain. Subsequently, tougher terrains would mean you’re literally carrying your weight and your backpack uphill – that’s certain to boost the calorie burn!

Then there’s the intensity. If you’re walking at a steady, moderate pace, you’re going to burn less than if you’re maintaining a quick, consistent march over that hour.

Lastly, the weight of your rucksack is a key element to consider. More weight in the rucksack equals a heavier load to carry, which will spike your calorie burn. A comfortable rucksack weight for a beginner might be around 10% of your body weight. But remember, always increase your weight gradually to avoid injuries!

Combine all these factors and you can see why it’s tough to pin down an average calorie burn. Army rucking really is a customizable workout where you can adjust the variables to make it as challenging (and rewarding!) as you want. It isn’t just a workout, it’s an experience. An experience of pushing your boundaries, building your resistance, and striding your way to health. With every step, you’re getting stronger, and every drop of sweat parallels a calorie burned.

Tips to maximize calorie burn during army rucking

Expanding on the core concepts discussed earlier in this article, there are proactive steps you can take to increase your calorie burn during army rucking. These strategies will give you the most bang for your buck during your workout.

Increase Your Weight Load

The amount of weight you carry in your rucksack has a direct correlation to the number of calories you’ll burn. By gradually adding more weight to your pack, you’ll certainly up the calorie-burning ante. That said, it’s critical to do it safely. Make sure the added weight doesn’t strain your back or compromise your form.

Ruck on Difficult Terrain

Change your route to include varied terrain such as hills, sand, or dirt paths. Rucking on an incline or challenging terrain forces your body to work harder, thereby burning more calories.

Intensify Your Workout

A simple way to intensify your workout is by increasing the speed of your ruck. Remember, it’s not just about walking faster, but also maintaining that speed consistently.

Incorporate High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Rucks

Adding HIIT to your rucks will dramatically increase the calorie burn. This could involve sprinting for thirty seconds and then rucking normally for a minute. Incorporate these intervals throughout your workout.

Adjust Body Posture

Finally, maintaining a strong, upright posture is key. It not only helps in burning more calories but also ensures you’re engaging the right muscles during your ruck.

Remember, variety is the spice of life – and exercise, too. Continually trying different strategies and techniques while rucking will not only help to maximize your calorie burn but will also keep your workouts interesting.


So, you’ve learned the ropes of maximizing your calorie burn during army rucking. By gradually and safely upping your weight load, choosing challenging terrains, and increasing your speed, you’re on the right track to intensifying your workouts. Don’t forget to mix in some HIIT rucks and adjust your body posture for optimal results. Variety is key to keeping your rucking workouts interesting and effective. Now, it’s time to put these strategies into action and watch the calories melt away!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I maximize my calorie burn during rucking?

You can maximize your calorie burn during rucking by gradually and safely increasing the weight load in your rucksack, rucking on difficult terrains, and increasing your speed for a more intense workout.

Is incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) effective during rucking?

Yes, incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your rucking workouts can be an effective way to burn more calories, as it helps to increase the intensity of the workout.

How does adjusting body posture affect calorie burn during rucking?

Adjusting your body posture during rucking can help you engage different muscles, improving your workout’s effectiveness and ultimately aiding in a higher calorie burn.

Why is variety important in rucking to maximize calorie burn?

Variety in rucking keeps your workouts interesting and prevents your body from getting used to a certain level of physical stress, making the workout more effective in burning calories.

How should I increase the weight load in my rucksack?

Increase the weight load gradually and safely, giving your body the opportunity to adapt to the added weight. This way, you can avoid injuries and still intensify your workouts to burn more calories.


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