You think rucking is reserved for people in the military or people who are really into fitness, right?

Think again!

Rucking can be an excellent choice for both novices and professionals with full schedules. I have found rucking to be a great alternative to a trip to the gym.

Rucking for Beginners

The following is a rundown of everything you require prior to getting started with rucking as your method of physical fitness.

Let’s have a look at how to start rucking, the necessary equipment, how much weight to carry, and how to maximize the number of calories burned and fat lost. 

Robert Earl - Rucking

How I got started Rucking

It all began when I was in the military. I used to walk around with a heavy pack on my back. Eventually, this turned into what we call “rucking.” Rucking is a long-distance march with a rucksack or backpack with weight in it. It keeps up the military tradition of marching long distances over rough terrain while carrying heavy loads but also carrying lighter weights.

I started by wearing my trusty backpack filled with weighted plates, moving from short walks to longer hikes. Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed it and started looking for ways to increase the challenge!

Rucking as a Full Time RVer

Since I started full-time RV living, rucking has become an important part of my daily routine. Rucking is simply walking with a weighted backpack. It has numerous benefits, like strengthening the body, engaging the muscles in a different way than traditional gym workouts, and allowing you to explore while staying active. The biggest benefit that I have found is that rucking builds muscle without having to go to the gym. The ruck weight is all I need to accomplish my fitness goals. When I am really focused on my exercise routine with rucking, I feel more comfortable to add weight to my rucksack. Carrying extra weight not only helps me burn calories, but it boost my confidence and improves my blood circulation and cardiovascular system.

At first, I thought it was going to be recreating the same level of fitness I had been doing before, but it turned out to be something much more. It has helped me stay engaged in the fitness area of my life, even if certain fitness equipment is unavailable in the RV or my workout periods are restricted for short periods of time because of travel days.

And aside from improving my physical endurance, it also helps clear my mind after a long day. That’s why I’m so grateful for picking up rucking again when I began living on the road!


Rucking is an effective way of getting in shape, and with these 5 easy steps, you can start rucking right away. Most important of all: start light. You don’t have to carry a large pack to see results, so it’s important to find what weight feels comfortable for you first.

When you feel like your body is acclimating to the pack, add more weight –1-2 pounds at a time– until you hit your goals, whether that means going on long hikes or completing a certain distance. If you follow these 5 simple steps, rucking will soon become part of your everyday routine.

1. what is rucking and why you should start doing it

Rucking is a simple concept – carrying a ruck (a backpack) with weight inside of it. It’s actually surprising how many benefits rucking can bring you.

Firstly, by putting on extra rucking weight, your body will be put under more pressure and stress, helping you to develop strength, aerobic capacity, and core stability faster.

Secondly, rucking can help improve mental well-being and mood by increasing serotonin levels and helping flush out cortisol produced in response to stress.

Lastly, rucking forces your body to move in certain ways that running can’t, like lateral movement or walking up hills and stairs – these unique movements further help to strengthen the muscles of your lower body while improving balance and stability.

So if you’re looking for a new way to work out and achieve better overall fitness, then rucking is definitely something you should try!

If you’re looking to get into rucking, purchasing the appropriate gear and ruck plates is an important starting point. Rucking gear usually consists of a rucksack, or backpack, with adjustable straps and padding for support while rucking.

Additionally, ruck plates are weights that fit inside the rucksack, allowing you to increase the intensity of your ruck workouts as your physical fitness level increases.

There are many types of ruck plates available on the market to suit different budgets – ranging from pre-manufactured setups all the way up to customized solutions made specific to individual preferences.

While buying rucking gear and ruck plates is not necessarily obligatory when first starting out, they can significantly improve your experience and progress.

2. how to get started with rucking

Getting started with rucking doesn’t have to be complicated or daunting. All you need is a healthy attitude and the right backpack. Check out our review of the best rucking backpacks. Start off light and gradually increase your weight as it becomes easier. Make sure that the weight is distributed in your pack evenly so everything rests on your hips instead of your shoulders. This will help ensure correct posture and protect your back during longer hikes. There is no single right way to go about rucking, so experiment to find out how you like it best!

3. the benefits of rucking

Rucking is an amazing alternative to traditional forms of exercise. Instead of lifting weights or going for a run, you simply shoulder a loaded backpack and start walking. This type of workout puts less strain on your body because of the shoulder straps yet still increases the strength that is needed to power through. Additionally, ruck workouts provide improvements in cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. All this means that regular rucking can give you a whole-body workout that not only gets you in great shape but also helps increase muscle building and reduce fat storage at the same time. Any time you can lose fat as part of a workout program is a win in my book.

4. how to make rucking a part of your daily routine

A good place to start is per week for anyone looking to incorporate rucking into their fitness routine. This allows the body to acclimate and adjust while slowly avoiding unnecessary muscle soreness. During each rucking outing, be sure always to bring a sufficient amount of water and wear appropriate clothing. Before beginning any strength training movements, take a few minutes to warm up with some light jogging or dynamic stretching. This helps increase oxygen flow throughout the body and reduces your risk of injury. Afterward, follow up with core exercises such as planks or bridges that can also strengthen the back muscles used while rucking. Once you have done this simple routine a few times per week over multiple weeks, you should start to see some significant progress!

5. troubleshooting tips for beginner ruckers

Rucking is an activity beloved by military veterans, and it makes sense why. With the combination of fitness, military training techniques and the chance to explore places with a heavy backpack, it’s no wonder that it’s quickly becoming a popular way to stay in shape. However, as with any sport, there are pitfalls to be aware of when getting started. Firstly, take it easy! Increasing your distance and your pace too quickly can put too much strain on your body; look at military training regiments, which build up slowly but steadily over time. You should also ensure you’re using durable materials for your ruck – don’t be tempted to skimp on cost, as this could leave you stranded if you’re caught in bad weather or worse – having to carry a broken bag miles away from civilization! Finally, ensure you keep your feet dry – happy hour after a ruck isn’t enjoyable if your feet are soaked through. It will also help you prevent injury and prevent blisters. A good pair of socks designed for rucking can help you keep your feet dry.

Will rucking build muscle?

The answer is yes — how much will depend on how much weight you strap on and how often you do it. Your body weight alone won’t make a major difference, but if you want to build muscle, adding heavier weight to your rucksack can help tone your body and strengthen your muscles. It’s important to note that lighter loads are just as beneficial for conditioning the body and can greatly improve your overall cardiovascular health. So whatever amount of weight feels comfortable carrying on your next ruck march should be sufficient for building some muscle.

Burns up to 3x more calories than walking

For those of you looking to torch calories, rucking is the way to go. This intense aerobic activity not only burns up to 3x more calories than walking per hour, but it also helps build muscle as well. So how many calories can you burn rucking? A 160-lb rucker walking at a fast pace for one hour can burn about 423 calories. Not bad for an hour’s work! Rucking three times per week can help you get that six-pack in no time. Well, maybe not a six-pack, but you will surely start feeling better.

Rucking to lose weight

Rucking is an excellent way to lose weight, especially if you spend your days sitting at a desk and pounding away at a keyboard. In addition to burning excess body fat, rucking is a workout that simultaneously increases your strength and mobility. To maximize its benefits, you should also try to reduce overall calorie intake via mindful eating habits or tailored diet plans in order to lose weight effectively. So when it comes to improving your overall fitness and lifestyle, rucking coupled with mental focus on healthy diets can be the perfect combination of activities.

How to setup Your Ruck the Right Way

If you want to get the best results from your ruck, it’s important that you set it up correctly. You’ll need shoulder straps that fit snugly and are properly adjusted to do this. You should also be sure to load your ruck with as much weight as it can accommodate; however, don’t overload to an uncomfortable level – remember, if it feels too heavy, then lighten the load! With these basics taken care of, you’ll be ready to embark on a successful journey with your ruck!

Having the right equipment is essential for success when it comes to rucking. Wearing a good pair of rucking shoes or rucking boots is essential to help keep you steady on your feet and minimize any potential discomfort. To make rucking part of your wellness routine, why not try out the Tribe ‘n Training program and app from This program combines rucking with other strength exercises to provide a comprehensive daily and weekly workout plan that can give you significant health benefits. With rucking gaining more popularity lately, now is the best time to incorporate it into your exercise regimen.

What weight should a beginner start rucking?

When it comes to rucking, the most important factor to consider is body weight. As a beginner, it’s important to start light at bodyweight and develop the necessary form with bodyweight resistance before adding heavier weight. This will ensure you avoid injuries and can improve your performance over time. Once bodyweight is comfortable, adding a weighted backpack can provide greater levels of difficulty for more advanced training. Ensure each time you add additional weight you build up gradually and keep in mind that proper technique and body engagement are essential for injury prevention.

How many times a week should I ruck?

For those wanting to supplement their rucking workout, becoming part of the Tribe ‘n Training rucking program is a great place to start! Their app grows with you as you ruck.

From light rucks up to heavily loaded trucks, they have many training options, including workouts with weights and ruck weight suggestions that can be tailored to reach your personal goals. With a free trial period, there is no better time than now to experiment with new rucking exercises and see if it is the right fit for you. If it is, then you can commit to rucking multiple times a week and watch your progress skyrocket.

Can you get ripped by rucking?

Rucking is an effective way to lose weight and get in shape, as it’s like walking with a bit of extra weight, which challenges your legs and strengthens muscles while burning calories.

How many times per week you need to ruck to get ripped depends on various factors, including how heavy the load is and how often you work out. Generally speaking, though, if you do regular rucking sessions three or four times each week, combined with healthy dieting, you can start seeing some impressive results.

Is rucking harder than running?

The rucking weight is different than what you would normally carry while running; rucking always requires a backpack or some type of weighted equipment that shifts your body’s weight distribution and adds a unique challenge.

This challenge is more taxing on the muscles and joints than running, making rucking somewhat harder to do for long distances. Being prepared for rucking with the proper footwear and form is all part of this fun yet exhausting experience.

A day in our life on the road with rucking

Picking the Right Trail iwth AllTrails App

After a day of traveling to a new city, my wife and I decided to have some adventure by rucking! We prepared our backpacks with all the essentials (including water and snacks) and began our journey. As we explored, we took turns leading and motivating each other on this unique way to experience new surroundings.

Incorporating a rucking workout

Partway through, we stopped for an outdoor bodyweight workout to shake things up and increase our blood flow. The scenic views kept us going until we finished our journey; soaking in that sense of accomplishment that had been earned from getting some exercise the day after a travel day. In the end, it was an amazing day because getting outside is always worth it no matter which city or country you’re in!

Making a commitment to our fitness on the road

Rucking is important for us to stay in shape and focus on our fitness goals while traveling. This year, we dedicated an area of our RV specifically for rv fitness equipment to prevent it from being forgotten or made inaccessible due to the limited space.

This commitment to rucking means that we now have rucksacks, ruck plate carriers, and weighted plates at the ready so that there are no excuses not to get outside and move. With this approach, rucking is just as easy as if we were at home with full access to a gym.

Selecting a rucking trail in a new city

With the AllTrails App, we were able to easily select a route that met our criteria, like moderate difficulty and distance. We also wanted a pet-friendly trail since we had brought our pups along. There was something for everyone on this hike; between enjoying nature and bird watching, it was an enjoyable day. All Trails App made it easier to pick a route that suited us.

We could have also used the Sandlot App to find a rucking group in the area or a scheduled ruck, but we went with AllTrails because we also had our dogs to consider.

We were all excited as we began our journey and had to ensure everything was right. We packed the jeep gladiator carefully with all of the items we thought we’d need, including the weighted plates that took a few extra minutes to secure in place.

full time rver rucking while walking dog

Rucking with Dogs

We also made sure to bring along supplies for our furry friends, such as water, a collapsible water bowl and plenty of poop bags, so that we could keep the trail clean. By double-checking every time, we felt confident that we had everything we needed before leaving our campsite.

Arriving at the trailhead, pre-ruck

When we got to the trailhead, my wife and I did some stretching before heading out. We relied on the AllTrails app for directions, which ended up being spot on – talk about invaluable! Going forward, I should make it part of my pre-ruck routine to give stretching extra attention; the last thing I want is to be cramped up halfway through the journey, and if we had been on a more challenging trail, that might have happened to me.

Ruck Plate Carriers vs. Rucksacks

After a long day of travel and wanting to soak in the environment around us, my wife and I chose to use ruck plate carriers rather than rucksacks during our hike. Our goal was to get some exercise while we experienced the new surroundings. 

Training with Sand Filled Products

We could have also added some sand filled products to our workout to add some variety vs. just marching.

Post Ruck trip to the beach

Dog Beach at Pensacola Beach

After a long, grueling ruck march, my wife and I rewarded ourselves with a trip down to Pensacola Beach. We all enjoyed feeling the sand between our toes and watching the waves crash against the shoreline. Something about taking in the ocean just helps refresh your soul. We even found a dog beach that allowed our pups to enjoy the beach and the gulf.

Meal Planning for weight loss on ruck days

As if that wasn’t enough of a reward after our ruck, we planned ahead and had a great dinner waiting for us back in the RV when we got home.

Mobility with the Pliability App

My wife does a better job of focusing on her mobility than I do. She has incorporated the Pliability app (formerly RomWod), into her stretching routine. Pliability is an incredible app that enables users to take their stretching sessions to the next level – literally! She swears by its effectiveness, and I can personally attest to how much it’s increased her movement and flexibility. After using Pliability for just a few weeks, she surpassed me in mobility; I have no shame in admitting that! If you’re looking for an effective way to improve flexibility, Pliability can be a great solution.

As we hit the road this year, we made sure that we rearranged a few items inside our RV to make room for the yoga mat on the floor so that we can utilize the space without having to make it difficult to accomplish. This helps both of us stay with our routines.

How to start rucking? Start where you are and make a commitment

With how simple and accessible rucking can be, it’s no wonder that my wife and I are able to take our workouts on the road when we travel in the RV. Whether you’re brand-new to rucking or just getting back into it, all you need is a comfortable backpack and a pair of shoes, and you can get started right away. You don’t even have to start off with heavy weights. Focus on perfecting your form first, then work your way up as your body adjusts and gets used to the workout. So if we can get our sweat on while exploring different cities, you can too!

Robert Earl

Robert Earl

Robert Earl

Robert has 20+ years of experience as a Real Estate Agent, Coach, Digital Marketer & Author, coupled with a unique expertise in professional RV Park Management. His time as an RV Park Manager has been marked by a strong ability to increase campground occupancy and revenue through strategic management and targeted marketing efforts. His dual career in online marketing and RV Park Management provides a rich perspective on success in diverse fields. Robert Earl is passionate about teaching and empowering others to pursue their dreams and create sustainable income. Whether through a career in real estate, affiliate marketing, niche blogging, or transforming campgrounds into thriving communities, his proven strategies and techniques have helped numerous individuals and businesses succeed. Based on his years of experience and knowledge in the online marketing industry, along with his hands-on management in the RV Park sector, he has crafted a unique and effective approach to personal and professional growth. In addition to his business pursuits, Robert is also a CrossFit Online Level 1 Trainer (CF-OL1) and enjoys fitness activities, including Rucking workouts while traveling the country. His multifaceted career showcases his dedication to growth, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence in various domains.

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