Calories Burned During Rucking: A Comprehensive Fitness Guide

So you’ve discovered rucking, the simple yet effective fitness regimen sweeping the nation. You’re not alone in wondering, “how many calories do I burn rucking?” It’s a question on the minds of many fitness enthusiasts, just like you.

Understanding the calorie burn of rucking can help you tailor your workouts to your specific fitness goals. Whether you’re aiming to lose weight, build endurance, or just stay active, knowing the ins and outs of rucking’s calorie burn is key.

This article will shed some light on the calorie-burning potential of rucking. We’ll delve into the factors that affect how many calories you burn while rucking, and give you a clearer picture of what this workout can do for you. Stay tuned as we unravel the mystery of rucking’s calorie burn.

Factors that impact calorie burn while rucking

As you dig deeper into the calorie-burning potential of rucking, you’ll find that several factors play decisive roles. Let’s explore them!

Your Weight

Yes, your body weight is a significant factor determining the calories you burn during a rucking session. Essentially, the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn. Rucking requires you to carry extra weight in a backpack, and more body mass means more energy expended to move that weight along.

Ruck Weight

Wondering how the weight you carry during rucking influences your calorie burn? Well, just like your body weight, the weight you carry in your ruck bag is equally influential. The heavier your ruck bag, the more energy your body must use to transport it. However, remember to be mindful of not overloading your bag to an uncomfortable level. Start small and gradually increase the weight for a progressive rise in intensity.

Ruck Distance

Be it rucking or any other form of exercise, duration and distance do affect the number of calories burnt. Longer durations and greater distances lead to more calories being expended. In fact, with consistent training, you’ll find your calorie burn continues well after the session ends—a phenomenon known as post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)!

Speed of Rucking

Rucking speed? Yes, it does matter! There’s a simple principle at work here: the faster you move, the more calories you burn. But focusing solely on speed might detract you from the benefit of rucking as a stress-relieving, low-impact endurance exercise.

The Terrain

The type of terrain where you ruck affects calorie burn too. Challenging terrains like hilly or uneven paths can intensify your rucking workout, upping the calorie burn.

Remember, rucking is not just about burning calories. It’s also an effective, cardiovascular, and strength-building mode of fitness that enhances your overall health and well-being.

Calories burned per mile of rucking

How many calories can you torch rucking a single mile? Well, remember: caloric burn varies greatly. Your body weight, the weight of your ruck, and even the nature of the terrain all play crucial roles.

Let’s consider a couple of scenarios to demonstrate how these factors combine.

Scenario one: If you weigh 155 pounds and you’re rucking with a 35-pound backpack for one mile on a flat surface, it’s estimated you’ll burn about 106 calories.

Scenario two: Now, let’s say you’re the same weight, but you’ve upped your ruck to 50 pounds and walked the same mile but on a challenging uphill climb. Here, you can expect to burn around 125 calories.

The difference might seem small, but it adds up quickly!

Check out the table below and see how minor changes in ruck weight, terrain, and your own body weight can affect the calories burned.

ScenarioBody WeightRuck WeightTerrainCalories Burned
1155 lbs35 lbsFlat106
2155 lbs50 lbsUphill125

Notable Point: Rucking isn’t just about burning calories; it’s about increasing strength and improving cardiovascular health. So next time you gear up, remember that you’re not just firing up your body to burn calories, but also sculpting your physique and improving your overall health!

Remember, every step counts. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rucker, every ounce in your ruck and every incline in your path matters. Load up that ruck, pick your path, and start rucking towards a healthier you.

How to calculate your individual calorie burn while rucking

Picture it: you’re suited up in your rucking gear, weighted backpack secured firmly on your back, getting ready to embark on a vigorous rucking session. But how can you determine how many calories you’ll burn on your journey? Let’s delve into this.

To calculate your individual calorie burn while rucking, there are several factors you’ll need to take into account. These include:

  • Your body weight
  • The weight of your ruck
  • The distance you’re planning to cover
  • Your rucking speed
  • The type of terrain you’ll be on

Your body weight and the weight of your ruck are critical because the more you weigh, the harder your body has to work to move, so naturally, the more calories you’ll burn. The same rule applies to the weight of your ruck.

The distance and speed of your ruck are also crucial. In general, the longer and faster you ruck, the more calories you’ll burn.

The type of terrain, whether it’s flat, hilly, or mountainous, influences how hard your body has to work. Rucking uphill or on uneven terrain will burn more calories than rucking on a flat surface.

Calculating the exact number of calories burnt isn’t an exact science as it can vary from person to person based on individual metabolic rates and fitness levels. However, several online calorie calculators can give you a ballpark figure. Input your weight, the weight of your ruck, your speed, and distance, and the calculator does the math for you.

Speaking about brands like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit, they have integrated features that can help monitor the calories burned during your workout. However, for a comprehensive look at your calorie burn, consider consulting a fitness professional or a registered dietitian. This professional can provide insights into your body’s unique response to exercise and how various factors combine to affect your overall calorie burn.

Remember, it’s not just about burning calories. You’re also on a quest to increase strength, improve cardiovascular fitness, and stride towards a healthier lifestyle. Each step you take gets you closer to achieving these goals. So, tie up those laces, put on that ruck, and get going.

Adjusting your rucking workouts for different calorie-burning goals

Depending on your fitness targets, you might need to alter your rucking routine. If you’re primarily interested in burning calories, we’ve got some strategies that’ll help you maximize your burn rate.

Upping your speed is a straightforward method to increase the calorie burn. Rucking at a faster pace puts extra effort on your cardiovascular system and muscles, leading to increased energy expenditure. However, it’s crucial to balance this increase with your capability to maintain correct form. You don’t want to risk injury for the sake of a few calories.

Consider working on your rucking distance. The longer you ruck, the more calories you’ll burn. But in this case, you need to plan properly to avoid overtraining and exhaustion. Hydration and nutritional fuel become even more essential when you’re on long ruck marches. Equally important is a good pair of shoes. Invest in a pair that’s meant for distance – and don’t forget those thick socks.

Another method is to increase the ruck weight. You may burn more calories than usual if your muscles work against an additional load. You should always add weight gradually and ensure it’s distributed evenly in your rucksack. Building up slowly gives your body the chance to adjust and strengthens your core over time.

Lastly, variety is the spice of fitness routines. Simply changing your terrain can lead to an increased calorie burn. Hilly or uneven landscapes can force your body to work harder to maintain stability and balance. In other words, an unexpected incline could be just what you need to push your calorie burn into overdrive.

Bear in mind that what counts is consistency. Regular rucking, no matter the speed, distance, weight or terrain, is always beneficial for your health and fitness.

Remember, while striving for higher calorie burn is a worthy goal, rucking is more than just burning calories. It’s also an opportunity to improve strength, cardiovascular fitness, and foster a healthier lifestyle. Shifting your perspective from purely burning calories to enhancing your overall fitness can be a game changer.

Other benefits of rucking for fitness

Sure, you’re excited about burning those extra calories while rucking. Who wouldn’t be? However, don’t overlook the impressive roster of additional fitness benefits that come hand in hand with rucking. These advantages make it clear why rucking should become part of your regular fitness routine.

Strength Building:

Who says you need a gym to build muscles? Not us! Rucking is like a mobile gym, working your core, glutes, thighs, and calves all at once. Lugging around that weighted rucksack means every step you take is essentially a weighted squat or lunge. But remember, the right form is everything here.

Endurance Boosting:

Let’s be real, rucking isn’t the easiest thing you’ve ever done, but that’s precisely what we’re aiming for. Tough? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely. Even the toughest terrains won’t feel as challenging once you’ve got a few rucking sessions under your belt. That’s endurance growth at work!

Posture Improvement:

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of good posture. However, poor posture can lead to muscle imbalance and even injury over time. Rucking requires you to maintain good form, which means you’ll be working on improving your posture subconsciously. Consistency, here, is key.

Cardiovascular Health:

Regular rucking is so much more than just a great way to burn calories. It’s a heart-pumping, blood-circulating, lung-inflating type of cardio. As a moderate-intensity workout, it provides an effective way to lower your risks of heart disease and high blood pressure.

Mental Health Benefactor:

Rucking might be tough on the body, but it’s a massive treat to the mind. Exercising outdoors exposes you to fresh air and sunlight, two elements known to boost mood and alleviate stress. You’ll feel more focused and energetic.

Rucking combines strength, endurance, posture improvement, cardiovascular health, and mental wellness benefits. This unique blend of benefits makes it an ideal fitness regimen for many. Remember, it’s not just about calorie burning.


So, you’ve learned that rucking isn’t just a calorie torcher. It’s a full-body workout that can enhance your strength, endurance, and posture while promoting heart health and mental well-being. It’s clear that rucking is more than a simple exercise; it’s a holistic fitness approach. Remember, the exact number of calories you’ll burn rucking depends on various factors like your weight, pace, and the weight of your rucksack. But beyond the numbers, it’s the comprehensive health benefits that truly make rucking an excellent addition to your fitness regimen. So, why not give it a try? Strap on that rucksack and start reaping the benefits of this versatile workout.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is rucking?

Rucking is a form of exercise where you carry a loaded backpack, or ‘rucksack’, over long distances or during other activities. It’s a favorite of military personnel for fitness and strength training, but it’s also growing in popularity among civilians due to its minimal equipment needs and health benefits.

2. How does rucking build up strength?

Rucking strengthens your entire body – particularly your back, shoulders, and legs – due to the added resistance from the weight you’re carrying. It trains your body to work harder, thereby improving overall muscle strength and endurance.

3. What are the cardiovascular benefits of rucking?

Rucking has significant cardiovascular benefits. Studies show that it can help increase your heart rate, improve blood circulation, and reduce the risk of heart disease. The added weight carried while rucking makes your heart work harder, thus strengthening it.

4. Can rucking benefit mental wellness?

Yes. Like other forms of exercise, rucking can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. It’s also a social activity that can be done with a group, providing social interaction that can further boost mental well-being.

5. How does rucking help in improving posture?

By carrying a loaded backpack, rucking naturally forces you to keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. This encourages good posture, helping to prevent common issues like back pains and hunched shoulders.


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