Do you want to lose those pounds, get better posture, and build muscle with a workout that doesn’t involve a single push-up, burpee, or squat?
Yes, you read that right—no need to go to the gym, and no need for a workout, buddy. It’s possible.
Gentlemen, say hello to rucking.
Rucking is an actual military training wherein servicemen carry weighted backpacks or “ruck sacks” and walk through a course. Soldiers will walk 25 miles with a 200-pound ruck sack—then raise it to 30, 40, and even 50 miles with up to 400 pounds on their backs.
All you have to do is grab a backpack, load it up with as much weight as you want to carry around and head out the door. It’s simple, easy, cost effective, and most of all, brings results. And whether you walk five blocks or five miles, this one workout will have more benefits than you ever could’ve imagined.
Benefits of rucking
“Rucking is great for the average person. It’s simple, and delivers a lot of health and fitness benefits,” says Doug Kechijian, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Peak Performance in New York City and former U.S. Special Forces soldier, in an interview with menshealth.com.
Rucking for 30 minutes burns 325 calories, that’s what the Compendium of Physical Activities says about walking with a weighted backpack. The average guy burns 125 calories from just walking, for the same amount of time. Nobody wants to spend half the day working out that’s why Rucking is great for maximizing results in a short span of time.
Rucking has also been used in military training to help servicemen build their endurance safely. Carrying a heavy load builds the foundation for your other physical activities. Rucking will actually help you be better at the gym because you train your body to work with an added load and a time/distance goal.
Keeping the right form and position of the weights will also help you improve your posture. Working at a desk job from 9 to 5 requires you to sit for hours on end then when you hit the gym, you’ll probably feel some back pain at some time. Rucking helps your body get used to holding your torso up, thus lessening tension on your lower back. Healthy for you? Check. Makes you look good? Check!
How to ruck
1) Pick your backpack and weights
You’d want a backpack that can sit high on your back. This engages your upper back and shoulders and prevents injuries on your lower back. Load your backpack with weights; you can use rice, water bottles, books, or dumbbells. Just make sure to cinch your backpack and clip the sternum strap (if it has one) so it’s stable.
2) Stand Tall
Proper posture is key, so while rucking, make sure to keep your chest out, back straight, and head looking forward in a natural position.
3) Breathe Naturally and Walk
Walk and just remember to breathe normally. The goal is to get your body used to functioning under a load that’s why you should just walk while keeping proper form.
Rucking is more fun with people walking with you and cheering you on, so invite your friends along for a walk.
From 0 to 45 pounds shed
May 2016: Cush Evangelista weighed at 220 pounds and did not feel good about it. So he loaded up his ruck, strapped it on, and started Rucking. Since then he’s lost almost 45 pounds and created Ruck PH in the process.
Ruck PH is a community of ruckers that will help teach you the proper form and cheer you on through miles of Rucking. “Our members come from all walks of life—we have a yoga instructor, restaurant owner, craftsman, librarian, but we all enjoy rucking together and we think the Philippines is ready to ruck,” quips the Ruck PH leader.
Cush Evangelista (second from right) when he started Rucking, May 2016
Cush Evangelista (second from right) 5 months and 45 pounds later
Ruck PH Team
Last October 22, they held the Ruck for Books event at UP Diliman, where participants got to score free books that they used as load for their backpacks while walking around the UP Oval thrice. Participants got to take home free books, make new friends, and were introduced to a new active lifestyle.
“Walk with your buddy, make new friends, and keep your form,” says Cush.
If you want to learn more about Rucking, check out Ruck PH