Have you ever heard of rucking?
It’s the act of carrying a weighted pack on your back while walking. Rucking is something our human species evolved to be pros at in ancient times (when carrying items, food and children over long distances was essential to everyday life and survival) and it’s the foundation of Special Forces training in the military.
We learned about rucking in the book we both recently read, The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter (a great read!).
That’s also how we learned about the brand GORUCK, which sells rucksacks designed for carrying weight while also remaining stylish enough to wear to work or otherwise. Besides selling rucksacks and other apparel and equipment, they also have an awesome community fitness component, which includes formal ruck clubs. The company is veteran-owned and maintains a strong connection to and support of our U.S. military.
After learning what rucking was, we realized we have already been rucking for years and simply didn’t know there was a name for it! Every time we go hiking in the mountains, we’re rucking then, too! We love the concept of a ruck club and that’s why we’re excited to partner with GORUCK and form an official GORUCK Ruck Club in the Omaha area!
Another cool thing about rucking is that it’s a form of Zone 2 exercise, also known as steady state cardio. Studies show that doing 30-60 minutes of this type of activity 3-4 times a week helps stabilize blood sugar regulation and increase insulin sensitivity. This is very important to our overall well-being as insulin resistance is the precursor to Type 2 Diabetes and studies are now pointing to its role in cognitive decline-based diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Here’s how it will work:
- We plan to hold a formal group ruck at least once per month.
- We’ll walk for 1-3 miles and will specify the planned distance ahead of each ruck.
- Each participant will carry an amount of weight in their backpack of their own choosing. The point of rucking is to challenge yourself mentally and physically. We encourage starting with a small amount of weight and working up from there over time.
- Locations will vary and will be specified ahead of each ruck
- Sometimes, we’ll plan group rucks in conjunction with something else fun going on in the community
- Irene, Certified Personal Trainer and co-leader of our ruck club, will sometimes incorporate bodyweight exercises during our group rucks (which are purely optional for each participants, but a fun opportunity to challenge yourself a little more!)
The GLA Ruck Club is an opportunity for residents of Omaha and surrounding areas to socialize while also working and challenging our bodies, to push ourselves physically by increasing the weight over time as you desire, to get out in nature and see beautiful areas in our city, and to feel better physically and mentally overall!
The benefits of participating in group rucks aligns perfectly with our Five Pillars of Wellness that we promote at GLA:
What do I need for a group ruck?
There is no cost to participate and everything you need, you likely already have at home.
Here are the essentials for participating in our group rucks:
- A backpack (you can use one you already have)
- Comfortable walking shoes for a 1-3 mile walk
- Weather-appropriate clothing (remember, you can always take off layers and store them in your backpack)
- Some added weight for your backpack – you can use dumbbells, a sandbell, household items like books, bottled water, canned foods, etc.
- Bottled water
- An open-minded, positive and fun-focused mindset!
Patriotic apparel is always welcomed and encouraged!
How much weight should I carry in my backpack?
Start small! When you’re first starting out, we suggest either carrying just your empty backpack (and whatever you put in it like bottled water, keys, phone, etc.) or adding 5-15 pounds of extra weight at most. If you’re very physically fit, feel free to add more weight than that, but we think most people will need to start with less and add more over time. Your backpack and added weight should sit higher on your back and not low where it pulls on you.
If you’d like to purchase a sandbell for added weight, we recommend stopping at Body Basics in Rockbrook Village. You can also purchase one online from Amazon. Besides serving as your added weight for rucking, sandbells are an awesome tool to add to your home workout routine! Irene is happy to help you decide what weight to start with – just ask her at our next group ruck, or send us an email.
Who can participate?
Our club is for residents of Omaha, NE and surrounding areas, although we always welcome travelers who are in town and are part of a ruck club back home.
One wonderful thing about rucking is that anybody can do it, regardless of physical fitness! As with any type of exercise, be sure to get clearance from your medical provider before beginning a new exercise regimen.
A beginner can simply walk with an empty backpack alongside someone else walking with a 50lb weight. As we said above, YOU determine your starting place and increase weight at YOUR own pace and preference.
This also means that children can participate! Infants and small children can either be carried as your added weight in a child carrier on the chest or back, or they can be pushed in a stroller while you also carry a weighted backpack. Older kids can walk with the adults and an empty backpack or one with just a little added weight. At times, our group rucks may be on a dirt trail that is incompatible with a stroller. We will always note that ahead of the ruck so people can plan accordingly.
Interested in joining the fun?!
Click here to sign up to receive emails about upcoming rucks.
And, if you’re on Facebook, be sure to join our private GLA Ruck Club Group where members can engage with one another.
Visit our events page to learn about upcoming group rucks.
Want to learn more cool facts about rucking? Check out this awesome Q&A blog that addresses many common questions and provides great background information!
Not in the Omaha area, but interested in joining a GORUCK ruck club? Click here to search for a ruck club in your location.
We can’t wait to have you join us!
Active-ists for your health,
Irene & Brianna
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