In recent years, rucking has gained popularity as a unique and effective form of outdoor exercise. Derived from military training, rucking involves walking or hiking with a loaded backpack or weighted vest, providing numerous health benefits. In this blog post, we will delve into the definition of rucking, its historical significance in military training, and the cardiovascular benefits it offers. Additionally, we will explore Dr. Peter Attia's perspective on rucking and discuss the advantages of exercising outdoors in nature. We will also provide recommendations on how to start rucking, including weight recommendations, distances, and paces. Lastly, we will touch upon the potential weight loss benefits of rucking.
Rucking is a form of exercise that involves walking or hiking with a weighted backpack or weighted vest. The weight of the backpack or vest can vary depending on individual fitness levels and goals, ranging from 10 to 50 pounds or more. Unlike traditional hiking or walking, rucking focuses on maintaining a steady pace while carrying the load, making it a challenging full-body workout.
Historical Significance in Military Training:
Rucking has its roots in military training, where soldiers are required to carry heavy loads during long marches. It has been an integral part of military conditioning for centuries, helping soldiers build endurance, strength, and mental resilience. Rucking not only prepares soldiers for combat situations but also enhances their overall physical fitness.
Examples of Rucking:
Rucking can be performed in various settings, such as parks, trails, or even urban environments. It can be as simple as strapping on a backpack filled with weight or wearing a weighted vest and walking for a designated distance or time. Some enthusiasts incorporate additional challenges, such as inclines, uneven terrain, or time constraints, to intensify their rucking workouts.
Getting Started with Rucking:
If you're new to rucking, it's important to start gradually and listen to your body. Begin with a lighter weight, such as 10 pounds, and gradually increase the load over time. Aim to ruck for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, and gradually increase the duration as your fitness improves.
The weight you choose for rucking should be challenging but manageable. As a general guideline, beginners can start with 10-20 pounds, intermediate ruckers can aim for 20-30 pounds, and advanced individuals can go beyond 30 pounds. It's crucial to find the right balance between pushing yourself and avoiding injury.
Distances and Paces:
When it comes to distances and paces, it's important to find what works best for you. Start with a comfortable distance, such as 1-2 miles, and gradually increase it as your fitness improves. Aim for a steady pace, typically around 3-4 miles per hour, but adjust it based on your fitness level and terrain. Remember, the goal is to maintain a consistent pace throughout the ruck.
Personal Experience with Rucking:
As an avid rucker myself, I have been incorporating rucking into my exercise regimen for the past two years. Currently, I regularly ruck with a 40-pound backpack for distances of 2-3 miles, at least three times a week. Over time, I have gradually increased the weight, pushing myself up to 60 pounds on occasion. However, I have noticed that at higher weights, I experienced some shoulder discomfort and found it challenging to sustain prolonged walks.
Rucking has become a vital part of my exercise routine, offering a unique and fulfilling workout experience. Not only does it provide cardiovascular benefits, but it also strengthens my entire body, particularly my legs, core, and back. The mental resilience and sense of accomplishment I gain from completing challenging rucks are unparalleled.
I have found that rucking in nature, surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors, enhances the overall experience. The fresh air, peaceful surroundings, and connection with nature add an extra layer of tranquility and rejuvenation to my workouts. It serves as a form of active meditation, allowing me to clear my mind and find solace amidst the demands of daily life.
Join Me on a Ruck with Your Four-Legged Friend:
I invite you to give rucking a try and experience the transformative power of this outdoor cardiovascular training. Grab your backpack or weighted vest, head outdoors, and embark on a ruck adventure. And why not bring along your four-legged friend? Rucking with your dog can be a fantastic way to exercise together and strengthen your bond. It's a great way to start your day, enjoying the benefits of nature while getting a fulfilling workout.
Rucking, derived from military training, has emerged as a popular outdoor exercise that offers numerous health benefits. Its cardiovascular advantages, including improved heart health and endurance, make it an effective form of aerobic exercise. Additionally, rucking can contribute to weight loss when combined with a balanced diet. Dr. Peter Attia supports the idea of rucking and highlights the benefits of exercising outdoors in nature. By starting gradually, choosing appropriate weights, and finding the right distances and paces, you can embark on a rewarding rucking journey. So, grab your backpack or weighted vest, head outdoors, and experience the transformative power of rucking for yourself. Join me on a ruck and invite your four-legged friend to exercise alongside you. It's a great way to start your day and bond with your furry companion while reaping the benefits of this fantastic workout.
Damian Solorzano is Health and Wellness Influencer, Respiratory Specialist and Health Coach who is passionate about optimizing personal health.