Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Rucking perspective from a GoRuck Cadre

My name is Andy, I am a Cadre with GORUCK.  The GORUCK Challenge is just that, a challenge.  My intent is not to drive you away from an event, quite the opposite in fact!  Listen to Steve!  If you are an exclusive gym rat, cross fit nerd, or kettlebell athlete you are not prepared to perform at your best during a Challenge.  No doubt any meat head training will give you the foundation of strength required, but rucking is different.  It attacks your body in different ways.  Rucking a heavy pack is like water slowly eroding a mountain.  At first a trickle of water simply flows down the mountain, but over time the water penetrates and cuts the mountain.  A ruck does much the same.  You may possess brute strength and endurance, but over time the ruck will slowly cut into you.  It cuts into your shoulders straining your neck. and back  It cuts into your lower back destroying core strength.  It cuts through your hips and into your knees and ankles rendering quads, hams and calfs useless. Over time the ruck will test your entire body as a functional system.  But most of all it attacks your feet and willpower!  If your feet are not properly conditioned, you will lose the battle quickly.  If your will is weak, you will quit.  I will try to convince you to stay, but in the end you will walk away and the team will suffer.
And that’s all from simply walking with weight on your back!  Now add all the fun things we Cadre like to do during a Challenge and you’re truly testing your total body system!
So the question becomes, how do I prepare?  Well if you sling kettlebells you’re on the right path!  I’ve trained with kettlebells for years and I have found that they are the best form of total body system training.  But you must supplement your training for the specifics of rucking.  Just like there is no substitute for learning how to swing other than swinging, there is no substitute for rucking other than rucking!  There are plenty of training programs out there.  Military Athlete has a GORUCK training plan, GORUCK has a 6 week plan for free here
The best thing to do is just as you say above, sign up for a Light to get a feel for the GORUCK experience.  See where you stack up.  Identify strengths, weakness, and what you think your limitations are.  Then come up with a plan to be better.  When you ready take the Challenge.  I assure you, you will not be disappointed.  You WILL learn something about yourself and you will meet amazing people.
I hope to see you at one of our events.

1 comment:

Morgan L. said...

The back/leg connection required for ruck walking, mountain biking, manual labor, etc can not be built in a gym. I built my athletic base as a collegiate athlete climbing telephone poles for my dad's cable company. That first week back to work in the summer I felt like I was dying, literally. The only way to build this type of strength and endurance is to get out on the trail.