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    • #83540

        For those who’ve BTDT, what are your thoughts??

        Ruck Marching – Every Day is Hump Day

      • #83541

          Take it for what it’s worth, but for me, as a warrior-civilian, 2 ruck marches per week (like the article suggests) has worked well. In my opinion, you need the other days/time to focus on other fitness modalities and tactical skills. In the current training cycle I’m in, it will be one ruck per week. Instead of thinking slow/fast, I thought in terms of a short and heavy day vs a long and light day. Doing the math, my heavy was 30% BW and my light was 12%. Every once in a while, my heavy would be 47% BW. When I’m rucking I’m always moving as fast as my load/terrain/body/mind will allow. The plan sounds pretty good to me, for developing someone who doesn’t ruck. Keep in mind, there’s a whole lot more to fitness than just rucking, so I wouldn’t look at this as a fitness plan, just a component of a fitness plan. Remember, Max has a fitness plan!

          Initially I chose the hardest terrain I could find but found my knees were taking a beating on the down slopes. I switched to hard terrain one of the days and easy terrain the other day. Moral of the story is to listen to your body.

        • #83542

            I read the article a couple of days ago and was wondering about it, as some of the things they say are either new for me to hear, or are different from what I thought was proper training. Such as “no athletic shoes”. Really?

            And, “don’t run with a pack”. I wouldn’t call it running, rather that shuffle thing. Is the author saying even that shuffle is unhealthy?

            Clarification- maybe I’m not doing the same thing that they’re talking about. My light running with a pack sessions are with (per the RC plan) 20# pack, and increasing that to 35# (30# plus 5# in lieu of rifle). Even 35# is still less than 20% bodyweight.
            I did do an overnight hike with a pack last month that was probably around 30-percent of bodyweight (60, 70# it felt like) and I now understand that’s a just a hike with that much is a different game than shuffling jogging with less weight.

          • #83543


              I’ve done a few road marches in minimalist athletic shoes and what I found was that my feet/lower legs had a tough time handling the extra weight. Anecdotally, I was doing 400m 80# sandbag carries yesterday in the aforementioned beat-to-hell shoes and I could notice my feet fatiguing. I’m sure it’s something that could be eased into gradually, but since those experiments, I’ve stuck with my hiking boots for all rucking. In terms of cushioning and instability, I have mixed thoughts. On the one hand, from a practical standpoint, when you’re walking in the woods, the surface is always unstable; more unstable than any pair of athletic shoes. On the other hand, instability under load in a weightlifting context is really bad. There’s a reason why oly lifting shoes are solid-heeled (mine are basswood!). I guess at the end of the day, you have to try out different footwear to see what works for you. Chances are a medium support hiking boot will do what you need.

              Running with a pack, I totally agree with a resounding “No”- the wear-and-tear on the body doing so is significant. Maybe if you’re 19 you won’t notice. At 20yrs old, running cross country in college, I did a 5 mile ruck run as fast as possible with a 20ish pound pack and finished feeling beat up. I look at running with a ruck as a only-do-it-if-you-have-to thing. BUT, I routinely shuffle, for shorter duration stuff, without ill-effect, but YMMV.

            • #83544

                Hmmm. I just managed to read this. Seems like another attempt at reinventing a wheel that we have already done multiple times here at MVT, with some real experience in the mix. ‘Air Force Defenders’ – WTF?

                Where do I even start? What are these guys training for? It seems they are simply training for the classes they plan on attending.

                There are many aspects to this.

                We already talked about what your combat load should look like and what it should weigh (max). This has nothing to do with bodyweight percentages. Actually, you should avoid carrying a ruck if you can, and wear your combat load i.e. lite belt, plates/chest rig, lite daypack and rifle. A weighted ruck is really a training tool at this point, because it is lower profile.

                So you should be training to carry your combat load, not simply so you can ‘ruck,’ because I am telling you to avoid carrying a ruck in combat if at all possible.

                As to the training itself, you must run with your ruck. But not with a 30% bodyweight ruck. Either do it with a 30-35lb ruck like we use in the training plans, or perhaps go up to about 50lb to simulate a ‘heavy’ combat load if you cannot or don’t want to wear it all.

                Running with the ruck is a shuffle with the feet kept close to the ground, In fact, walking with a ruck is not really ‘walking’ but what we called ‘tabbing’ which is a little similar to a speed walk. Legs opened up, arms / rifle swinging. Then you shuffle on flat or downhill.

                Of course you must listen to your body and do not push it to injury. It is fine to do easier days where you just push at a walk. There is no real need to go to a real ‘heavy day’ above 55lb. UKSF selection only ever carried 50lb plus food water and rifle. In Para Battalion, we used to do ‘heavy carry’ tabs in the support by fire company on occasion where we would actually carry the heavy support weapons. Those were done at a steady walk carrying a lot of weight.

                It is fine when you start these ‘walks’ to work up the weight and only walk. Build up to 30/35lb and maybe up to 50lb occasionally if you wish. Either wear your combat load or a ruck to simulate. Just push the walk pace as best you can. As you develop fitness, you will find it impossible not to shuffle on the downhill, it is a natural progression. It is not a leaping run, but a feet close to the ground shuffle that absorbs a lot of the shock. There is also an ankle safety consideration there, which is why you shoudl wear ankle support, and shuffle rather than ‘bound.’

                An oldie:






              • #83545
                Mike H

                  I’ll plug the MVT fitness plans……I have that “shuffle” down and have dodged the injury bug lately too. The plans are are a worthy investment!

                • #83546
                  Bill G.

                    Absolutely agree with you Mike, the MVT fitness plans are great and would clear up any confusion about this. This my third year doing the beginner plan through the spring. It gets easier every time. Also, once you purchase a plan it is always in your library so you can go back and go through a beginners plan after a long winter!

                  • #83547

                      I’ll plug the MVT fitness plans

                      Continues to be a YDKWYDK…….having spent bookoo money in the past on fitness plans and being burned, I was reluctant. HOWEVER, Max has proven himself with his equipment and training. Sooooo, pulled the trigger and bought the intermediate plan. Good to hear that its always there for repeat use as my schedule is so screwy (NO set pattern and flipping days/nights).

                      Looking forward to starting (Friday).

                    • #83548

                        ‘Air Force Defenders’ – WTF?

                        It’s jargon for Air Force Security Forces, their equivalent of MP. It’s the closest thing the USAF has to infantry outside of the the special operations realm (TAC-P, PJ, CCT, etc.)

                        I had a lieutenant who worked for me that was in the CCT officer pipeline. He was eventually medically DQ’d because he had a water balloon-sized bursitis on his knee. He told me that their standard was a 40 lb ruck, and they did the shuffle everywhere they went.

                        As for me, I primarily stick to weight lifting with the big compound movements (Starting Strength program), and do a ruck session one day on the weekends. Since moving to a more hilly area, i’ve been working on tabbing as Max describes. Though the ‘shuffle’ in those videos looks a lot closer to my run. I’ve never been much of a runner.

                      • #83549

                          I’ve never been much of a runner.

                          Yeah, working in orthopedics, I see the end-results of those who injured. My preference (professionally) is an elliptical but the reality is people need to listen to their bodies. Any movement (non-injurious) beats no movement.

                        • #83550
                          Mike H

                            Conducted 5 mile TABs for the past three days…..first day wearing minimalist boots….bad choice as Johnnymac stated. Shuffling with speeds varying due to road grade. Completed three different routes with back tracks to get to 5 miles each day. Today was a route with the most elevation changes. I averaged over the three days 16:47 per mile. My load out was my PC at 16lbs and ruck at 20lbs.

                            Looking to hit the Superior Hiking Trail for a 4 day/3 night trip in the spring. No fancy backpack/camp gear…just tactical/patrol stuff I already own. So right now fleshing out pack weight/daily distance range.

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