14 comments on “Updated: The Case for Rucksack Roadwork

  1. Pingback: DTG: The Case For Rucksack Roadwork | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. I have mentioned it before, and it bears repeating: Rucking is a completely different PT animal. I happen to be one of those “2 miles in 10 minutes” people. Tall, thin, with minimal upper body strength. Throwing 50lbs on your upper body, and then moving under that load puts stress on your core (abs, lower back, upper legs), legs, knees, ankles, and feet. These stresses simply do not exist without a load.

    No amount of swimming, running, push-ups, sit-ups, weights, or anything else seems to fully prepare a body for rucking: the endlessly fatigued thighs, burning glutes, feet that feel like you have just done thousands of jumping jacks, and a core that screams for relief. It is when all of these kick in that you have to push through it, because pushing through burning runner’s lungs simply does not compare.

    This past weekend, I rucked a 49lb ILBE over a 11.25 mile rolling hill, muddy, uneven terrain course in 3h 15 min, for about 3.4 mhp, all while raining most of the way. I am mid-40’s and currently on a calorie and heavily carbohydrate restricted diet to rid myself of internal gut fat that has built up due to “sympathy gain” surrounding my wife’s last pregnancy. So, what is being suggested by DTG is more than possible, but you must get out there and actually do it.

  3. On of the first training requirements for the 1st. Ranger Batt. in ww2 was learning to live without “snivel gear” . On speed marches Darby had his men leave everything but water ,wool uniforms , organic weapons & weapons support gear , ammo, and E-tools (they could take one spoon & a canteen cup) in a big pile. They “traded out” on who carried the heavy weapons every 15 min. This became the norm for the whole US Army in ww2 with the Army becoming notorious for leaving miles long trails of discarded equipment behind them for the duration of the war in Europe. It was only at the end of ww2 when most movement was by truck that men were seen in photo’s with “full field packs” Same Same in Korea , where pack were seldom used. It wasn’t until the Vietnam war that the “stupid heavy” packs were first seen, and they were considered by David Hackworth to be one of the primary reasons that the VC and NVA could ambush the slow and exhausted GIs at will . During WW2 the us army used a thing called the “M3 Ammunition hand cart” to move bulk loads with man power while keeping the troops “fighting fit”. Something similar would be a great asset to a CIDG and a better Idea than risking injury every time you try and move a 100lb pack.

  4. A speed march is a great conditioning tool! And that’s a neat concept using a cart or something to haul heavy things; we do something similar in deep winter training – sleds.

    Injury risk can be mitigated significantly with a consistent program of strength/cardio training that will help in getting ready to carry a ruck for a long way. Incremental training is key, along with what another commenter stated on wearing appropriate clothing and starting light.

    As the NPT concept is decidedly not ‘Ranger’ oriented, nor do we believe NPT members should think of themselves as such. The NPT on a security/recon patrol may be on their own outside the NPA for quite awhile. In that condition, it must train to sustain itself, so that’s why we advocate ruck conditioning now, while it can be done. And, of course, this includes establishing patrol bases to leave the ruck while you’re out snooping and pooping to ensure the team doesn’t become exhausted.

    Moving 100 pound packs? Maybe for a strong younger man performing conditioning training, but not for what we currently anticipate for our real-world needs is about half that. Personally, I’ve trained with up to 83 pounds for 8 miles so far with no injury. Would like to get to 100, but I’m a bit longer in the tooth than a lot of folks….might just have to settle for what I can do now…and if I ever have to carry a 55-60 pound ruck in the real world, I think I’ll be able to do it without a huge risk of injury. Other’s mileage may vary, but we all do what we can do. And the one way to be able to perform is eternal diligence with PT, getting adequate rest, and knowing when to slow down or take a break as not to strain the body over its limits.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Last night I went to Home Depot. Bought $7 worth of play sand….two bags, 100 lbs ….. Took 5 sandbags and filled them- 10 lbs, 15 lbs, 20 lbs, 25 lbs, 30 lbs….that’s 100 total pounds and nearly infinite combinations……Wrapped the bags in duct tape.

    Ready to march!

  6. Rucking sucks. It sucks more when you haven’t done it in a while. As with any PT, you just gotta do it. Speed first. Load later.

    This topic reminds me of an incident when I was pushing basic trainees at Ft Sill. One soldier couldn’t keep up on a road march and was causing the accordion effect. I sarcastically asked him if his ruck was too heavy. He replied that it was. I had him drop ruck, threw his on top of mine and said “Stay with me!” He couldn’t do it. He broke down in tears and sniveled like a little girl until we got to the range. He had never done anything hard in is life, and blaming the weight was an easy out… or so he thought. He learned a lesson that day.

  7. Yes, it does, and you’re right. You ain’t gotta like it, you just gotta do it. And as for your trainee’s lesson, yeah, he learned one that day, for sure! Thanks for dropping by!

  8. Love this post. I have been rucking weekly for more than a year now. I’m not the runner type build. 6-1′ 220lb and 35 years old. Last week I tested myself on a speed march. With a 45lb ruck I covered 4 miles in 47:50 on an old gravel road. I kind of surprised myself!

  9. Pingback: Re-Post of “The Ruck, And “Rucking” | Mason Dixon Tactical

  10. Pingback: The Ruck, And “Rucking” – Mason Dixon Tactical

  11. Pingback: Mason Dixon Survivalist Association

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