Maximizing Calorie Burn: A Look at Rucking 20 Miles

Ever wondered how many calories you’re torching during your 20-mile ruck? Well, you’re about to find out. The number of calories burned rucking isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, but we’re here to give you a good estimate.

Rucking, the military-inspired workout that’s sweeping the fitness world, is known for its calorie-burning potential. It’s a simple concept: walk or hike with a loaded backpack. But don’t let that simplicity fool you. This workout packs a punch when it comes to burning calories.

So, lace up your boots, load up your ruck, and get ready to dive into the calorie-burning world of rucking. By the end of this, you’ll have a clearer idea of the calories you’re burning on your 20-mile rucks.

How Many Calories Are Burned in Rucking?

When it comes to rucking, calorie burn is high. But how many calories are burned exactly? Well, that depends on a few factors.

First on the list, is your body weight. Naturally, the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn. That’s because your body has to work harder to move additional weight, even if it’s just your body’s own.

Another factor is the weight of your ruck. Are you carrying 20 pounds or 50? The heavier your pack, the more calories you’ll torch. This is where rucking shines bright as a workout regimen because you can adjust the weight of your pack to fit your fitness goals and intensity requirements.

Not to forget, the speed at which you ruck plays a big role too. Much like any cardio activity, your speed can influence how many calories you burn. A brisk walk might be enough to get your heart rate up, but a fast pace or a jog might burn more calories. Keep in mind though, balance is key. You don’t want to push so hard that you injure yourself.

Although there are a few factors influencing the calorie expenditure in rucking, here’s a simple guide to get you started with an estimate of how many calories you’d burn during a 20-mile ruck:

Bodyweight (lbs)Ruck weight (lbs)Walking speed (mph)Estimated calories burned

Remember, this is just a guideline and it may not be accurate for everyone. The number of calories burned can vary widely based on other factors, such as terrain and weather conditions. But for those who are up to the challenge, it’s clear that rucking can be a highly effective way to burn calories.

Factors that Affect Calorie Burn in Rucking

Diving deeper into the elements that play into the number of calories you’ll burn while rucking, it’s crucial to understand three primary factors: your body weight, the weight you’re carrying, and how fast you’re moving.

Your body weight plays a significant role in determining how many calories you’ll burn during any exercise – and rucking is no exception. Simply put, it takes more energy (i.e., burned calories) to move a bigger object. So if you weigh more, you’re going to burn more calories than someone who weighs less – even if you’re covering the same distance at the same speed.

Next up is the weight of your ruck. Adding extra weight to your backpack makes your body work harder. Your muscles, bones, and tendons have to adjust to supporting this added load. In turn, this increases the number of calories you burn. It’s a pretty straightforward equation: more weight equals more work equals more calories burned.

Your speed is the final piece of the puzzle. Although rucking doesn’t require the same sprinting speed as running, moving at a brisk pace will increase your calorie burn. But, be wary of going too fast. Rucking at a pace that is uncomfortable for you may lead to injuries.

But these are not the only factors. Terrain and weather conditions can also have a significant impact. Going uphill or rucking on uneven terrain can increase your calorie burn as your body has to work harder. Cold weather may also boost calorie burn as your body uses energy to warm itself.

To get a rough estimate of your calorie burn during a 20-mile ruck, you can use the following formula:

Bodyweight (in pounds) x Ruck weight (in pounds) x 0.02 x Hours of rucking.

Estimating Calorie Burn in Rucking for 20 Miles

Now that we’ve reviewed the factors that influence calorie burn during rucking, let’s delve into how to estimate it effectively. Remember, this estimate might not be spot-on for everyone, but it serves as a ballpark figure to guide your fitness journey.

At the core of this estimation is an understanding of your Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) value. The MET value is a measure that approximates the energy cost of physical activities. When rucking, this falls in the moderate intensity category with a MET value in the range of 6 to 8.

Here’s how you can calculate estimated calories burned during a 20-mile ruck:

  1. Determine your MET value based on the intensity of your ruck.
  2. Get your weight in kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2046.
  3. Apply this formula: Calories burned = MET value * weight in kg * hours of activity.

Here’s the thing: the intensity of your ruck – slow or fast – affects the MET value, hence affecting the number of calories burned. Therefore, maintaining a steady pace is key for a more accurate estimation.

Consider this hypothetical scenario:

  • You weigh 180 pounds, which is roughly 82 kilograms.
  • You choose a moderate pace, so your MET value is about 7.
  • You’ll be rucking for approximately 7 hours to cover 20 miles at a moderate pace.

Using the formula, this equates to nearly 4000 calories burned for a 20-mile ruck!

It’s important to remember, however, that this is just an estimate. The actual number of calories burned could be higher or lower depending on multiple factors such as terrain and weather conditions. And always bear in mind that personal physical attributes like age, sex, and body composition also play a part. So while this formula provides a general guideline, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. Experiment with your routine, keep track of your progress, and adjust as you go along in your rucking journey. Keep pushing and maximize every step of your march.

Calculating Calorie Burn Based on Weight and Pace

Determining how many calories you burn during a 20-mile ruck is going to change based on factors like the weight you’re carrying and the pace you’re maintaining. As such, a heavier pack and a faster pace equals more calories burned.

Weight’s Impact on Calorie Burn

To start, the overall weight—meaning your body weight plus your pack weight—will affect your calorie burn. The higher your weight, the more calories you’ll burn.

For example, let’s say you weigh 180 lbs and you choose to carry a 20lb pack. You can add those two numbers together for a total of 200lbs. From here, calorie burn can be estimated using the MET value for the activity level of hiking (about 7.0), along with the number of hours spent rucking (let’s say 8 hours for the 20-mile ruck).

Formula: Calorie Burn = MET value x weight in kg x hours of activity

Using this formula, the estimated calorie burn for your 20-mile ruck would look like this:

Weight (Lbs)200
MET Value7.0
Estimated Calorie Burn5520

Please remember that this is just an estimate as various factors can influence calory burn.

Pace’s Impact on Calorie Burn

Your pace plays a significant role in calorie burn too. The faster you move, the higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn. However, for a more accurate estimate, maintaining a steady pace during your ruck is recommended—bursting with short, fast intervals can make it harder to track your calorie burn accurately.

The pace you choose can also influence the MET value used in the calculation. So keep in mind, if your pace picks up substantially, you’ll need to bump up the MET value, which ultimately means higher calorie expenditure.

Tips to Maximize Calorie Burn in Rucking

You’re now acquainted with the ins and outs of estimating calorie burn during a 20-mile ruck. You’ve learned that the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) value plays a pivotal role in this calculation. So, how can you make the most out of your rucking sessions and maximize your calorie burn? That’s the question we’ll answer in this section.

Start smart. It’s crucial to note that to get the most out of your rucking workout, getting your pack’s weight right is key. This is not a call for you to overload your ruck. While a heavy pack can potentially burn more calories, it also increases your risk of injury. The rule of thumb here is to go for a weight you can handle comfortably for long periods. Listening to your body is paramount in this regard.

Apart from the weight of your pack, focusing on your pace also impacts how many calories you burn. You’ve already gleaned from our hypothetical scenario that the speed at which you ruck affects your calorie burn rate. This is because a fast pace raises your heart rate, leading to a larger calorie burn. But, remember the role of maintaining a steady pace for a realistic estimation of your calorie burn.

Another tip to maximize your calorie burn is to incorporate variety into your rucking sessions. This doesn’t only mean varying your route but also includes adding elements of high-intensity training. Hill or stair climbing, for instance, can intensify your workout. This is because inclined surfaces challenge your muscles more than even surfaces resulting in a higher calorie burn.

Lastly, hydrate hydrate hydrate. Hydration ensures all your body systems including your metabolism operate smoothly, crucial for maximizing calorie burn during and after your ruck. Carry a bottle of water in your ruck which might add slightly to its weight.

So, there you have it – your quick guide to maximizing your calorie burn during rucking. Equipped with this knowledge, each rucking session can be an opportunity to push your limits, challenge your body, and torch more calories.


So, you’ve learned that rucking for 20 miles can be a real calorie torcher. Remember, the pack’s weight, your pace, and the variety in your sessions are all key factors. You’ve got to strike a balance between a challenging weight and a safe load. Keeping a steady pace not only keeps your heart rate up but also helps in predicting your calorie burn more accurately. Don’t forget – throwing in some hills or stairs can give your burn rate a significant boost. And of course, staying hydrated is non-negotiable. It’s not just about the calories burned during the ruck, but also about the afterburn. So, lace up those boots and hit the trail – your calorie-burning ruck awaits!

How can I increase calorie burn during a 20-mile ruck?

You can maximize calorie burn by ensuring your pack’s weight is optimal – heavy enough to challenge you but not so heavy that it causes injury. Also, maintaining a faster pace can spike heart rate and burn more calories. Incorporating variety in your ruck, like hill or stair climbing, can intensely augment the workout leading to more calorie burn.

How important is hydration during rucking?

Hydration is crucial, not only for your overall health and energy during rucking but also for maximizing calorie burn. Drinking a sufficient amount of water helps boost metabolism, thereby leading to increased calorie burning both during and after the ruck.

What role does pacing play in calorie burn during rucking?

Pacing substantially impacts calorie burn. When you maintain a faster pace, it elevates your heart rate, which in turn leads to a larger calorie burn. However, it’s important to keep a steady pace to avoid fatigue and for a more accurate estimation of calorie burn.

Should I incorporate variety in my rucking sessions?

Yes, bringing variety into your rucking sessions could help increase the calorie burning efficiency. For instance, adding hill or stair climbs force your body to work harder as it adjusts to different terrains and inclinations, leading to more calorie burn.

How do I know if my pack’s weight is right?

A pack’s weight should challenge your strength and endurance without leading to injuries. If you can complete your ruck without any strain or discomfort, it might be time to increase the weight. Conversely, if you’re struggling or experiencing pain, you should reduce the weight slightly, and gradually increase as your strength builds.


More Posts

Maximizing Calorie Burn: How Many Calories are Used Rucking 26.2 Miles?

Explore ways to maximize calorie burn during a 26.2 mile ruck with this informative guide. Understand the impact of backpack weight, proper posture, pace, and interval rucking on your metabolism and endurance. Learn valuable tips for injury prevention, hydration, and nutrition to improve your overall rucking experience and wellness.

Send Us A Message