Lifting, Rucking, and You: Transform your lifts

Often times, lifters have some difficulty finding ways to work in cardio.  This can be due to a number of reasons.  Sometimes, it’s a time constraint when you factor in your lifting.   In other cases, you may think you don’t need to focus on it.

But lifting is high intensity and if you focus on it too much, your aerobic stamina is going to suffer.  

You don’t want a lack of cardio conditioning to be a detriment to your overall strength plans.  It just doesn’t make sense, especially when there’s a way to improve your lifting as you work on your cardio.

What’s that?

Oh yeah

The best part of improving your cardio regimen is that in the process, you’ll be helping yourself lift more easily.

So what’s the solution?  Well, that’s pretty simple: Rucking.

Let’s talk about how rucking will help you solve two problems at the same time.

What is rucking?

Put in simple terms: Rucking is walking distances with a weighted backpack.

That’s really all it is.  You’re loading up a backpack with weights or other heavy objects and you’re going for a walk.  In a sense it’s similar in idea to a farmer’s carry or a farmer’s walk.  The difference is a reduction in the weight and an increase in the distance.

Just like a farmer’s carry, rucking works out your adductors, glutes, hamstrings, calves, traps, lats, core, all of that.  It’s a full body work out with a lot of benefits.

But how does it help you with your lifting?

How does rucking help with lifting?

There are multiple benefits to cardio when it comes to how it affects your lifting.  One of the main benefits is increasing your heart rate.  Rucking will do that.  

Additionally, rucking helps condition your lungs to breathe in more oxygen, which will help you push harder during your lifts.

As you increase your cardio capacity, you are also helping improve your anaerobic limits.  You’ll be able to build more muscle faster.  You also improve your ability to recover.

But why rucking as opposed to some other form of cardio?

Rucking versus other cardio

Rucking is more beneficial to a lifter than other forms of cardio because you are also weight training in the process.  When you’re running or walking, either on a treadmill or outside, you’re moving your body weight.  With rucking, you’re using weights.  

Pretty straightforward if you ask me.  You can calculate how many calories you’re burning with rucking and see the benefits versus running or walking.

So how should you get started?

Getting started with rucking

The best way to get started with rucking is to find a backpack.  Any comfortable bag will do when you’re starting out.  Once you get a feel for things you can upgrade the backpack if you desire. 

The next thing to do is to fill the backpack.  While there are plenty of rucking weights on the market, you don’t need the fanciest equipment when you’re getting started.  You can use makeshift weights to get the job done.

From there, the program is simple: start walking. 

Small distances at first, but as you get the hang of it, you can add more and more distance and your pace will increase.

For more information on getting started, see here.

Final thoughts

If you’re a lifter, rucking can be a powerful tool in your arsenal to make sure you’re getting effective cardio.  With the low barrier to entry, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try it.

So pick up a backpack, grab some weights, and get to it.

Best of luck.