What is the ideal weight for rucking?

Get the most out of your rucks by choosing the best weight for your ruckpack or rucking plate carrier.


Why do you carry weight for rucking

Rucking is an activity that’s defined by the weight you carry. Rucking isn’t the same as hiking, hill walking or long distance walking. What makes rucking different is the fact that you carry extra weight – usually via a weighted backpack, ruckpack, or rucking plate carriers. So if you want to get into rucking, you definitely need to sort out a way to carry some extra weight on your back!


Is there an official weight for rucking

There is no official weight that you have to carry for your ruck to qualify, unless you’re entering a specific rucking event (or trying to get into the armed forces). Rucking for leisure simply means carrying some extra weight on your back. But obviously you want to choose a weight that will make it worthwhile, and increase your strength, fitness, and endurance.

We’ve blogged about rucking the Fan Dance challenge, and it’s worth noting that if you want to do this famous ruck up and over Pen-y-Fan (twice!) you’ll need to carry at least 35lbs, with 4l water and your food on top of that.


How to ruck like the armed forces 

Armed forces around the world use rucking (weighted marches) as part of the training and selection process. In the British armed forces, the weight varies depending on the type of unit. British Army infantry will usually ruck with 25kg, and other units might carry 15kg+ for an 8 mile/2 hour test.


How to pick a weight for rucking 

But let’s say you’re not training for the Fan Dance and you don’t intend on applying to the armed forces. How much weight should you carry for your fitness rucking adventures?

Make a decision based on your bodyweight, fitness level, and the duration of rucks you’ll be doing. A good start point would be 10%-15% of your bodyweight. This might seem light, but it will give you the chance to get used to walking with load (and using a rucking backpack or plate carrier) before you add more weight. For most people, this will look like carrying 10kgs weight in a ruckpack or rucking plate carrier. Progress in 5kg increments (or 10kgs if you’re feeling strong).

Wondering when you might max out your rucking capacity? Again, it depends on your bodyweight and strength, but we reckon 25%-35% bodyweight would be a great top end goal for rucking weights. Remember, rucking isn’t gentle walking, it tends to involve inclines, declines and challenging terrain.


Should you increase your weight for rucking 

Yes, it’s a good idea to increase the amount of weight you carry when you ruck. Rucking, like any training, works on the principle of progressive overload. So make sure you have extra weight plates or a different ruckpack so you can switch things yup to keep making progress.


What is the best way to carry weight for rucking

Although you can use a weighted vest for rucking, it’s better to choose a ruckpack, rucking backpack, or rucking plate carrier that’s been designed for rucking. These bits of kit sit closer to the body with straps in all the right places so they won’t rub, chafe, or move around as you ruck.


Best ruckpacks and rucking plate carriers online 

Check out the Force Fitness online store for a wide selection of rucking backpacks and rucking plate carriers, plus extra rucking weights so you can choose your own rucking load and adapt throughout the year.

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