Rucking has become a popular workout over the past few years. In the past, rucking workouts were reserved for soldiers or police officers that had to be comfortable moving with a heavy bag (sometimes called a “ruck” or “rucksack”) on their backs. Over time, however, civilians have found the benefits of the military ruck as well.
Nick Bare, the founder of Bare Performance Nutrition, has served his country as an Army ranger and infantry officer. Needless to say, he knows how to ruck! In addition to leading his highly successful company, he has created a popular channel on YouTube that draws on his Army experience to help people learn how to incorporate military training into their workouts. One of his most popular videos is called “Ruck From A Ranger,” and it teaches folks interested in a rucking workout how to get started and achieve their goals.
After you watch Nick’s video, consider some of these additional quick tips he gives to aid you in learning how to ruck:
1. Start Small
When you start, don’t expect to strap on a 50-pound bag and march for miles on end. One of the keys to a successful rucking workout is to start with a shorter, more manageable distance. Start by going for a mile with fifteen pounds on your back. Over time, increase both the distance marched and the weight carried. Increasing by small increments over the timespan of several months should help you safely reach your goal without burning out.
2. Fuel Up
As you begin your training regimen, consider using a whey protein supplement post-workout. By utilizing a protein powder after your rucking workout, you’ll be able to build additional muscle, making each march easier than the one before.
The 2:1:1 BPAA ratio in BPN’s whey protein powders is designed to help you capitalize on your gains post-workout. If you’d prefer a shake that’s dairy free, BPN also offers a delicious vegan protein powder as well. This supplement is popular for those with dairy or gluten allergies, as it’s entirely plant-based (and non-GMO too!).
3. Get the Right Ruck
You’ll never complete your rucking workout without having the right pack. If you’re thinking about grabbing a standard book bag from the local big box store, forget it. Not only will the bag not withstand the rigors of the weight and marching, but the straps will be inadequate when it comes to safety and comfort.
The best rucks will have wide shoulder straps to ensure that weight is more evenly distributed and that the straps do not cut into your shoulders. There should also be straps around your chest and waist for both balance and proper weight distribution.
Also, when choosing a ruck, make sure you select one made of durable, waterproof canvas. Inspect all pockets and zippers to make sure they are crafted well and are properly positioned for ease of use. You’ll have many options to choose from, and packs from GORUCK and Black Diamond are popular choices for a successful rucking workout.
4. Have the Right Footwear
Make sure that you have the right support when embarking on your military ruck. If not, you’re going to be absolutely miserable by the time you’re finished. If you’re carrying a lighter pack (under 30 pounds), you can wear a standard cross country shoe and still have the support that you need for your feet and ankles. Have a ruck heavier than 30 pounds? It’s time to strap on a pair of boots to ensure that you’ll have the full support you’ll need for the load.
But before you put on your shoes, you’ll need to make sure you have the right pair of socks too. A good pair of wool socks will make sure your feet stay dry and blister-free. If you’re wearing boots, don’t hesitate to put on an extra pair of socks. It may sound odd, but your feet will thank you later!
5. Walk, Don’t Run!
What’s the hurry? You may be tempted to strap on your pack and run, but you’ll regret it. A proper rucking workout does not allow for running or even jogging. When you think of how to ruck, keep a military march in mind. The pace is supposed to be brisk without ever coming to a full trot.
What’s the harm in running with a 50-pound sack on your back? Your body will take a pounding, particularly in your feet, knees, and back. It’s definitely not worth it. Do what the experts do and stay at a brisk walk.
6. Hydrate Properly
When you’re rucking, you need to make sure you’ve got plenty of water to keep you hydrated. You can do this a couple of different ways. You can store a bottle of water in an easily accessible pocket of your bag. Or, if you’re more serious with your rucking workouts, you can install a hydration bladder in your bag.
There are two advantages to this. One, you’ll be able to carry a much greater amount of water than you would be able to in a water bottle. Second, it allows you to easily drink from the tube that runs from the bladder, meaning that you won’t even have to break stride to grab a drink of water. Check with your bag’s manufacturer to see if they sell bladders that are custom made for your specific ruck.
Take Advantage of Our Military Discount
Bare Performance Nutrition wants to be your one-stop-shop for the best performance supplements, as well as general fitness information and tips. Because of Nick’s commitment to our nation’s veterans, BPN offers generous discounts to those who have served their country. Contact us if we can help you as you continue your fitness journey.