Rucking is one of the best forms of exercise for those who hate running but want its benefits. It is essentially walking but with weights.
Rucking adds more intensity to your regular walk-a-thons. The weights that you carry can help build up your strength and endurance while also offering you the benefits of cardio. It can help burn off calories and maintain your weight.
However, you can get burned out from rucking. So how much is too much?
Is It Bad to Ruck Every Day?
Since the only difference between rucking from walking is the additional weights, many would assume that rucking every day is just as acceptable. It gives you the same benefits as running and strengthens your muscles.
However, it is important to know when it is too much when it comes to this activity.
Most of the time, beginners ruck without knowing about the appropriate weights to use and the safety measures involved. This can result in a person carrying more than what their body can handle.
And doing it every day will likely cause your body to struggle with the activity, and you may even end up injuring yourself.
Rucking every day forces your body to carry the weight without allowing it any recovery. Imagine how tired and sore your muscles will be because your body has not recuperated enough for another day of rucking.
Besides, everybody has different thresholds when it comes to fitness levels. This also means that different bodies respond differently to exercises. So while one person may thrive with rucking, another would struggle to keep up and may end up seriously harming themselves.
Moreover, rucking every day can make you lose your interest and excitement in this outdoor exercise and even lead to burnout.
Part of the fun of rucking is to enjoy the experience. So doing it every day may lead to you feeling like you’re pushing yourself too hard. It may end up becoming a routine for you, which can get quite tiresome. You can develop a mindset of just doing it for compliance and not feel any gratification after rucking. And where’s the fun in that?
What is Over Training Syndrome?
While consistency is key for fitness, there is such a thing as overdoing it. Getting obsessed with rucking and doing it every day for an extended distance can lead to Over Training Syndrome or OTS. This can also be referred to as burnout.
When one experiences OTS, they lose their sense of fulfillment in rucking, or any other exercise, even if they do it every day.
The symptoms of overtraining for rucking and other aerobic exercises will lead you to experience one or several of these symptoms when you miss a day of rucking:
- Chronic joint and muscle pain
- Difficulty in extending the distance
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Discouraged and unmotivated feeling
- Extended recovery time
- Increased heart rate even while at rest
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Lower rucking performance
- Personality changes
Burnout is considered to be the consequence of getting too emotionally and physically exhausted from your fitness activity, including rucking. Unfortunately, unlike other illnesses, there are no tests or laboratory procedures that can be done to identify the severity of your OTS.
The good news, however, is that treatment is manageable and accessible. All you need is to rest and stop rucking for a while.
It is imperative that you give your body the time it needs to heal and recover.
You can also get creative and incorporate something new and fun into your next rucking routine so that it stops being too much of a mundane activity for you.
Recommended Reading: We’ve written a whole article on what rucking does to your body that you might be interested in.
Benefits of Rucking Regularly
Rucking is one of the most time-efficient and affordable ways to squeeze in some physical activity in your busy or sedentary lifestyle. It’s also quite impressive how this simple workout can give you almost the same benefits, and even more, as other popular exercises.
Plenty of people ruck alone while some bring their dogs with them to have their outdoor physical activity.
If you are still in doubt whether rucking is for you, here are benefits that you may find appealing:
- It lets you have a cardio workout without having to perform the hard work of cardio exercises.
- It can burn your calories up to three times when compared to walking.
- It leads to strength gain without the muscle bulk.
- It doubles as resistance training, thanks to the weights you’re carrying.
- It is less pressurizing and less stressful to your body.
- It elevates the heart rate and can help you maintain a healthy heart.
- It helps improve your posture.
- It gives room for socialization.
- It gives you control over how much weight you can carry.
- It doesn’t need fancy equipment — only you, a backpack, and rucking weights are enough.
These are just some of the many advantages of rucking regularly. If you haven’t tried rucking, give it a chance, and you might see it from a different and better perspective.
Recommended Reading: We’ve written a whole article on how many calories you burn hiking that you might be interested in.
Recommended Frequency for Rucking
Rucking can be progressed into jogging if you want to add some variety to your workouts, but the recommended maximum times to ruck per week is just twice.
It’s important to understand that you have to give your muscles time to rest, recover, get stronger, and regrow.
Additionally, rucking is considered an active resistance exercise. When you add weight to a backpack and add a few miles to your total distance, you are asking your body to fight the weight, and the gravity, for longer while making it more challenging. This can take a toll on your body.
Limit your rucking to twice a week to allow your body to rest while still helping your body adjust to the weight you previously carried.
Recommended Reading: We’ve written a whole article on how to make DIY rucking weights that you might be interested in.
Rucking is a fun and enjoyable activity, but it should not become an everyday routine. Give yourself and your overworked body a break every after rucking.
Your body’s overall wellness should always be your top priority, so spacing out your rucking adventure throughout the week is the best way to do it.
Remember, don’t overdo it. Or you’ll just end up taking the fun out of trucking.
Featured Image Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/ruck-march-army-marine-navy-1146055/