Looking to shed those extra pounds? Don’t sweat it, rucking’s got your back! This military-inspired fitness regimen is not only effective but also simple and fun. You’ll be amazed at how carrying a weighted backpack while walking, or ‘rucking’, can help you lose weight and build strength.
Rucking is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on your joints, making it ideal for anyone, regardless of fitness level. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors. So, lace up those boots, grab your backpack, and let’s dive into the world of rucking for weight loss.
Benefits of Rucking for Weight Loss
Have you been struggling to find an enjoyable, low-impact exercise that suits all fitness levels? May we suggest rucking? Trailblazing among the fitness community, this regimen could be your ticket to achieving your weight loss goals. Here’s why rucking tops our list as an exceptional weight loss activity.
Low Impact and Accessible
First off, let’s touch on one key strength of rucking: accessibility. All you need is a backpack, some weight, and your two feet. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an exercise newbie, you can adjust the weight in your backpack to align with your fitness level. This adaptability sets rucking apart and makes it a truly inclusive workout. Unlike high-impact activities that can wreak havoc on your joints, rucking has much less potential for injury.
Increased Calorie Burn
Looking to burn calories? Rucking can help with that. When you carry a weighted backpack, your body must work harder than it would during a regular walk or run, thereby burning more calories. To give you an idea of the potential here, a 200 lbs person could burn approx. 125 calories from a 20-minute run. But, with a 30lbs pack, the same person rucking for the same duration could burn 200 calories. Quite a remarkable difference, isn’t it?
Enhanced Muscle Development
Let’s not forget muscle development. Carrying a backpack full of weights engages different muscle groups throughout your body, from your calves to your shoulders. More muscle means more calorie burning, even when resting.
Rucking is a nature-based exercise
Perhaps the most enticing thing about rucking is it enables you to enjoy the great outdoors as part of your workout routine. Why limit yourself to the confines of a gym when you can breathe fresh air, catch some rays, and explore new terrain?
Now’s the time to lace up those hiking boots, sling a backpack over your shoulder, and step into the world of rucking. Life is waiting for you; go outside and earn your miles. Join the rucking revolution and watch your weight loss goals come into focus. Remember, the path might be strenuous, but the view is worth it.
How Rucking Helps Burn Calories
Rucking, a brilliant yet straightforward fitness concept, accelerates your calorie-burning rate more than traditional walking or running. Well, how does it work? It’s pretty straightforward. When you add weight to your backpack and start walking, your body works a lot harder. As a result, more energy gets expended — translating directly into a higher calorie burn.
The whole idea of rucking revolves around the principle of overload. Your body must overcome additional resistance to move, leading to enhanced calorie burn and, crucially, muscle strengthening. Better than burning just calories, you’re getting stronger each moment you spend rucking.
Conventional wisdom makes us believe that high-intensity, joint-pounding workouts are the only real calory burners. However, rucking demolishes this myth. Even though it’s considered a low-intensity, low-impact workout, studies reveal that it can burn as many calories, if not more, than running.
|Calories Burned per Hour
The facts don’t lie, as you can see. Even if you’re a beginner, you could end up burning between 600 and 800 calories an hour by rucking — that’s almost double compared to fast walking and equivalent to running. So why not try rucking and reap the benefits? You’re not only torching calories but also building muscle and improving your overall fitness. It’s a win-win situation.
Getting Started with Rucking
Starting with rucking doesn’t need a big investment. That’s one of the factors that makes it such an attractive workout option. All you will need is a good quality backpack that fits well on your shoulders and body. In fact, you can start with the trusty backpack you already use for work or hiking.
To begin with, you don’t have to fill your backpack to the brim with weights. On the contrary, start slow and keep it simple. A beginner should never exceed more than 10% of their body weight. So, if you weigh 160 pounds your backpack should not weigh more than 16 pounds.
Now once you are comfortable with the weight, it’s time to hit the road. You can start by rucking for just 20 minutes and gradually increase your time as your endurance improves. As you get accustomed to the weight, increase it slowly. Consistency is key, rucking once a week won’t bring significant change – aim for at least three days a week.
After you have got the hang of basic rucking, try to introduce more challenges. Take your rucking to hilly terrains or nature trails with inclines and declines. This will not only make your workout more intense but also introduce you to beautiful scenery.
Remember that rucking is not just a physical challenge, but also a mental one. It teaches you endurance, patience, and helps develop mental toughness. Keep your goals realistic. If you’re consistent, you’ll see results in no time.
Let’s give you an idea of how you can begin rucking with a simple weekly routine:
- Monday: Ruck for 20 minutes with 10% bodyweight.
- Wednesday: Ruck for 30 minutes with 10% bodyweight.
- Friday: Ruck for 40 minutes with 10% bodyweight.
Choosing the Right Backpack
When diving into the world of rucking, it’s crucial to select the correct backpack. A well-fitted, sturdy backpack can make your workout a breeze. Conversely, poor choices can lead to discomfort, or worse, injuries.
First things first, look for a backpack designed for rucking. These are typically hearty, built to withstand heavy loads, and designed to fit properly. Often, they come with reinforced padding and adjustable straps to ensure comfort and correct weight distribution.
Avoid backpacks that are too large for your body. A rule of thumb is that the backpack should not extend past your waist. Remember, it is not about the size of the backpack but how well it can distribute weight. A smaller, well-structured backpack will far outperform a larger, poorly built one.
Backpacks with various compartments allow you to distribute the weight evenly. Distributing weight uniformly reduces unnecessary stress on your back and shoulders. So, opt for a backpack with multiple pockets to divvy up your weights.
When you start rucking, it’s recommended to start with a weight equivalent to 10% of your body weight. As your strength and endurance grow, you can gradually increase the weight. But remember, never exceed a backpack weight of 35 pounds to avoid any unwanted outcomes.
And don’t forget, durability is vital. Your rucking backpack should be able to withstand the test of time and elements. It needs to both be resilient and robust. High-quality materials, in addition to strong stitching and heavy-duty zippers, will all contribute to the life span of your trusty ruck.
Several brands swear by their rucking backpacks. Top of the list would be GORUCK, backpacks that have been military tested. A more budget-friendly option is the 5.11 Tactical RUSH12, a sturdy and well-reviewed choice for beginners.
Proper Form and Technique for Rucking
Having the right posture and movement while rucking can make a big difference in effectiveness as well as safety. In order to ensure efficiency for weight loss and minimum damage to your health, you’ll want to follow these rules:
- Keep your back straight; not arched or slumped.
- Look ahead, not downwards.
- Walk with your tall posture and swing your arms freely.
When selecting a rucking path, choose a route with varying terrains. In this way, you’ll encounter challenging ups and downs that can help increase your heart rate and calories burned.
Another crucial point concerning rucking dynamics is pace. Start with a comfortable pace. As a beginner, do not force yourself to match the pace of a proficient racer.
|Average Pace (mph)
Gradually, as you get accustomed to the weight of your backpack and build endurance, pick up your pace. A brisk walking pace can significantly boost your metabolism, leading to higher calorie burn and consequently, weight loss.
In any fitness program, consistency is key. To see real change, stick to your rucking schedule. Begin with shorter sessions of around 20-30 minutes, three times a week. Progressively increase duration and frequency, aiming to achieve a 60-minute session at least four to five times a week.
Footwear is another significant aspect of rucking. Swapping your regular shoes for appropriate rucking boots can prevent foot injuries and provide much-needed support, especially during longer rucks.
Now that you’ve mastered the basic techniques, it’s time to delve into the real meat of rucking – working out with variations. This involves incorporating different exercises into your rucking routine to challenge your body in unique ways, promoting overall fitness and targeted weight loss. From planking with your backpack on to doing squats mid-walk, there’s a world of possibilities to explore.
Creating a Rucking Routine
Developing a dedicated rucking routine is critical to your weight loss journey. It’s not just about randomly adding weights to a backpack and hitting the trail – it’s about creating a systematic and consistent schedule to ruck.
Start by designating specific days for rucking each week. Initially, aim for 2-3 times per week, eventually increasing this to 4-5 times as your endurance improves. Remember, the key is to be consistent with these sessions, while still allowing time for your body to rest and recover in between.
Let’s talk about duration. Aim to ruck for a minimum of 30 minutes to start. Then, you can gradually increase by increments of 5 minutes as your fitness level heightens. But don’t feel pressured to speed up this progress, adjust the time as per your comfort level. Remember, the goal here is consistency.
Have a mix of terrains for your rucking paths. One day it can be a concrete path, another day choose a hill, or sandy paths. This diversification helps in challenging your body in different ways, amplifying the overall weight loss effect.
Incorporating other exercises into your rucking routine can be a good idea. You might add in a few short runs, some push-ups, lunges or squats. They not only target specific muscle groups, improving overall fitness, but also breaking the monotonous nature of routine rucking.
An important aspect of the routine is maintaining the right form while rucking. Stand tall, look straight, swing your arms freely, and avoid leaning too far forward or backward. Not only does this make your workouts more effective, it also significantly reduces the risk of injuries.
Incorporating Strength Training with Rucking
Don’t be fooled into thinking that rucking is only a cardio workout. It’s more than that. With a bit of creativity, you can incorporate strength training exercises into your rucking routine, turning it into a full-body workout.
Starting off your rucking session with some bodyweight exercises can be a great way to warm up your muscles. Push-ups, squats, lunges, or burpees are fantastic options. You’re not just limited to bodyweight exercises. With the rucksack on your back, many exercises become more challenging, boosting your strength and endurance simultaneously.
Remember, rucking should predominantly focus on cardio fitness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in some strength training. The weight on your back already activates and builds your lower body, core, and upper back. But why stop there?
During your rucking sessions, add in occasional stops for additional workouts. Maybe you find a park bench, that’s a great place to do some tricep dips. You can even use your rucksack for added resistance during your workouts. Think of it as a substitute for a weight vest. Some people even do bear crawls or hill repeats with their rucksack.
Aim for variations and challenge your body in different ways every time. By laying out a fitness mat in your favorite park, you can supplement your rucking with bodyweight exercises such as sit-ups, planks, or push-ups.
Dedicating time for regular strength training will enhance your rucking results immensely. Not only will it fast-track your journey to weight loss, but it will also improve your overall fitness level, muscular strength, flexibility, and mental toughness.
Remember, while incorporating strength training exercises into your rucking routine, proper form is key. Incorrect technique can lead to injuries. Always prioritize quality over quantity. If you’re not sure how to properly execute an exercise, educate yourself or seek professional help. Don’t risk your safety in pursuit of a challenging workout.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Nutrition Tips for Rucking and Weight Loss
Just as important as the gear and routine, the role of nutrition in rucking success should not be overlooked. It’s critical that you fuel your body correctly when embarking on a weight loss journey with rucking.
To start, stay hydrated. Rucking puts your body, especially your muscles, to the test. Fluids help transport nutrients to your muscles and cart away waste products, supporting muscle health and recovery. Begin your ruck adequately hydrated and carry plenty of water during your trek.
Next, focus on a diet that’s high in lean proteins. Protein repairs and builds muscle, making it an important nutrient for ruckers. Protein will also help curb your appetite, supporting weight loss goals. Foods like chicken breast, fish, eggs, greek yogurt, beans, and lentils are all good sources. Try to include protein in every meal.
| Quality Protein Sources |
| 1. Chicken Breast |
| 2. Fish |
| 3. Eggs |
| 4. Greek Yogurt |
| 5. Beans |
| 6. Lentils |
Don’t shy away from healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and seeds. These will provide you with slow-releasing energy — crucial when you’re out for a long ruck.
Carbohydrates can’t be overlooked either. Choose complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, whole grain bread, or oats. These are digested slowly, providing a steady release of energy that will sustain you throughout your ruck.
Lastly, don’t forget about fruits and vegetables. They’re low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals — all essential for maintaining energy levels and overall health while rucking.
Ultimately, what you eat before and after rucking can greatly influence your performance and recovery. Listen to your body and remember to consult a nutritionist or dietitian if you’re unsure about the best way to support your efforts. You’re already on the right path with rucking — pairing it with the right nutrition plan can only boost your success.
Staying Motivated and Overcoming Challenges
Staying disciplined and motivated to keep rucking can be a demanding task. When it comes to weight loss, there are no shortcuts. You’re in it for the long haul. Remember, rucking is a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
You’re probably thinking, “How do I stay motivated during this journey?” Let’s delve into that, shall we?
Firstly, keeping a regular routine is key. Involving rucking in your everyday life will not only help you maintain your physical momentum, but it will also imbue you with a mental persistence to keep going. Make it fun for yourself. Listen to your favorite music, podcast, or even an audiobook while you’re at it.
Next, it’s time to set some clear goals. Remind yourself why you started rucking in the first place. Was it to shed a few extra pounds, or perhaps to boost your overall strength? Remember, goals need to be obtainable and realistic. Determining a personal, achievable target is half the battle won. Tracking your progress week on week also serves as a strong motivational factor.
Lastly, it’s all about overcoming your challenges. Everyone faces hiccups here and there. You might experience sore muscles, time constraints, or maybe just lack the energy some days. And that’s okay! It’s about how you adjust your sail to suit the winds, and not how you discard your boat at the first sign of a storm. Schedule rest days, take care of your body, listen to it and allow it to recover.
Remember – it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey. Embrace the process, don’t set too much pressure on yourself and most importantly, enjoy the experience of rucking. There is always a way to overcome the challenges and keep yourself motivated. Keep those tips in mind as you continue on this rucking voyage.
So, you’ve got the tools and know-how to start your rucking journey. Remember, it’s not just about the exercise, but the nutrition and mindset that go with it. Staying hydrated, eating right, and keeping your head in the game are all crucial. Embrace the process, enjoy the experience, and you’ll see the pounds drop off. Keep your routine regular, your goals clear, and don’t let obstacles stand in your way. You’re ready to take on the world, one ruck at a time. It’s time to strap on your backpack and start rucking your way to a healthier you. Get out there and show the world what you’re made of!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is rucking?
Rucking is a walking exercise while wearing a backpack filled with weight. It offers a full-body workout that can increase strength, endurance and heart health.
How do I choose the right backpack for rucking?
Choose a backpack that is sturdy, comfortable, and fitted to your frame. Ensure it can adjust to fit tightly to your body and distribute weight evenly across your back.
What is the proper form and technique in rucking?
Keep your back straight and use your core to maintain balance. Your feet should hit the ground heel first, then roll through the foot to push off from the toes.
How important is a dedicated rucking routine?
Having a regular rucking schedule is crucial for consistency and progress. Start with lighter weights and shorter distances; gradually increase both as your strength and endurance improve.
How does nutrition factor into rucking?
Nutrition plays a significant role in rucking success. Stay hydrated and consume a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.
How can I stay motivated in rucking?
Set clear, achievable goals and stick to a regular rucking routine. Embrace challenges, enjoy the process, and celebrate progress to maintain motivation.
How can I overcome challenges in rucking?
If hurdles arise like injury or boredom, adjust your routine, set new goals, or change your rucking route. The key is to remain flexible and motivated. Remember, progression is a part of the process.