Maniac Monday Workout: Ruck Runner

Ruckin’ and Rollin’

I’m really getting used to working-out with a weighted pack (ruck). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always use a 25-lb gripper plate, sometimes I’ll just toss in a 10 or a few 5’s or just workout with all the sh*t I have in my bag that day. But ever since I started training with a ruck last December, I almost feel naked working out or running without one. There’s a few advantages to this. For one, it’s incredible how much easier things like pull-ups, push-ups, muscle-ups, burpees and basically everything becomes when I do drop the pack. Another unexpected benefit is that working out, specifically in NYSC, with a ruck on my back is quite the conversation-starter. I’ve been asked by both trainers and gym rats, “What the ruck are you carrying in that thing?” and each time it’s given me an opportunity to spread the word about mud running, GORUCK, and my website.

So are there disadvantages to working out with a ruck all the time? Sure, for instance, I’m starting to get some nasty wear and tear on the back of my shoulders. Note to self – drop the ruck when your shoulders start to chafe. Another aspect of using a ruck that isn’t ideal…I tend to sweat–a lot! This means the backside of my ruck is feeling the effects as well. To combat this, I’ll wear a compression top to keep the moisture away and scrub down my ruck at least one-two times per week.

Ruck Runner

Okay, so on to today’s workout. Needless to say, this workout involves wearing a weighted pack. If you have yet to purchase a GORUCK, an old Jansport with a 15-25 pound sandbag, gripper plate, some bricks, whatever…will work fine. This workout is a modified version of the Obstacle Event Training Schedule for Monday as recommended by our friends at CrossFit Hustle. Complete while wearing a weighted ruck. (Caution to Minimalist Shoe Runners: When working out with extra weight on your back, front, shoulders…etc., you might want to switch to a typical running shoe with heel padding due to the added pressure of the weight. This is especially true when running inclines with added weight, as a minimalist running movement may lead to strain on your Achilles tendon.)

Complete the following:

  • 5-Minute Run: alternate an increase in your speed followed by an increase in your incline every minute*
  • 100 Squats: while holding ruck to your chest
  • 5-Minute Run: same as above, but begin .5 mph faster and 1% greater incline
  • 100 Lunges: 50 each leg while wearing ruck or holding to chest


1. To complete 5-minute run, use this as a guide (begin with more speed and greater incline as your body permits):

  • Begin at 6 mph with a 3% incline:
  • 1 minute mark: 6.5 mph / 3% incline
  • 2 minute mark: 6.5 mph /4% incline
  • 3 minute mark: 7 mph /4% incline
  • 4 minute mark: 7 mph / 5% incline

2.  For the Lunges, I used a combination of forward and back lunges. You may also incorporate walking lunges.

More maniacal?

Since you’re wearing a weighted ruck, this one’s already pretty maniacal IMHO, but you could always do it twice! – OUCH!

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Meet the Author

Mud Run Maniac
Mud Run Maniac

I'm the proud owner of, specializing in mud run training and tips! The mud run community is growing fast and I’ve made it my responsibility to keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest mud running topics.

1 comment… add one
  • Joseph Sutich Feb 13, 2012, 1:15 pm

    In training for May 12th GoRuck..your comment about working out without ruck sack made me chuckle because I’ve been working out with my 40lb weight vest and the workouts that I do without it feel like I am I don’t go to the gym or running without it that often. Have been enjoying the series on getting ready for GoRuck..I am “embracing the suck” as they say. Look forward to your emails weekly.

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