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Fuel Your Strength Episode 415: Rucking for Women

Rucking for Women Over 40

Rucking is having a moment right now, but it is nothing new, per se. Humans have been carrying loads for distance since the beginning of time. While rucking is not a replacement for your strength training, it has a multitude of benefits for women over 40 for your cardiovascular strength, blood sugar, bone health, and so much more.

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Key Takeaways

If You Are Interested in Including Rucking in Your Fitness Plan, You Should:

  1. Start slow and build up your endurance over time while taking time for recovery
  2. Use rucking as a way to improve your cardiovascular and strength training
  3. Look into rucking group challenges if you are interested

The Many Benefits of Rucking For Women Over 40

Ever since I discovered rucking, I have included it as part of my fitness routine. The unique benefits of rucking, particularly for women over 40, have had a huge supportive impact on my training regime. Rucking is an incredibly effective form of exercise that has a wide range of benefits that can impact not only your fitness capacity but also your social and competitive capacity as well.

Carrying heavy things is a fundamental movement pattern that is especially important for women over 40. The benefits to your bones, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, stress, and more are some reasons why I love rucking.

Answering All of Your Rucking Questions

While rucking can be simply defined as carrying loads for a distance, there are a lot of questions that come up when starting any new fitness or movement practice. How much weight, what shoes you should wear, what equipment you need, what counts as rucking, and how to get started rucking are only a few of the questions I answer for you on today’s podcast. 

If you are curious about rucking, already have a walking practice, or just want to try something new, rucking may be the answer you have been looking for.

What do you love about rucking? What are you the most curious about? Share your rucking thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Learn the simplest way to define rucking in one sentence (5:01)
  • The difference between rucking and heavy carries during a workout (6:47)
  • Why rucking is an effective form of exercise, especially for women (8:26)
  • All the answers you need to get started with rucking (18:56)
  • How much weight you should be rucking in each stage (25:12)

Quotes

“Once I started rucking myself, I could definitely see where this was a beneficial addition to my fitness routine, and I have been doing it ever since.” (4:34)

“We need to keep our cardiovascular strong, but we also need to strength train. We need the unique benefits of both.” (13:19)

“Proper recovery matters just like any other kind of training. Don’t overdo it, pay attention to your body… don’t ignore that shit.” (29:27)

“If you are looking for rucking gear that is really going to go the distance, check out GO RUCK.” (33:54)

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Related Episodes

FYS 389: The Benefits of Rucking for Women with Michael Easter

Rucking for Women Transcript

Steph Gaudreau

You probably never imagined when you were in high school and you had a backpack loaded down with books that you were carrying to and from home, that you were doing something called rucking. What actually is rucking? What are some of the unique benefits of rucking, particularly for women over 40? And how do you actually get started, including this in your fitness routine, we’re going to be answering all of that and more on this episode of the podcast.

If you’re an athletic 40, something woman who loves lifting weights, challenging yourself, and doing hard shit, the Fuel Your Strength podcast is for you. You’ll learn how to eat, train and recover smarter, so you build strength and muscle, have more energy, and perform better in and out of the gym. I’m strength nutrition strategist and weightlifting coach, Steph Gaudreau.

The Fuel Your Strength podcast dives into evidence-based strategies for nutrition training and recovery. And why once you’re approaching your 40s and beyond, you need to do things a little differently than you did in your 20s. We’re here to challenge the limiting industry narratives about what women can and should do in training and beyond. If that sounds good, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app, and let’s go.

Before we dive in, if you listen to this episode, and you’re like, Okay, I am ready to get to work. I want to take my strength, muscle energy, and performance and take it up a notch. I want to take it to that next level. I want to feel like a badass but at the same time, do it in a way that works with my physiology as an athletic woman over 40 with coaching and community support. And go ahead and check out Strength Nutrition Unlocked.

This is my group program. We’re going to lay out the framework for you and guide you as you implement and really customize it to all the things that you’re doing your preferences, your likes, and the places you want to go with it, then go ahead and get onboard. You can start your process by submitting an application at StephGaudreau.com/apply. We would love to hear from you and see you inside the program.

Welcome back to the show. I’m so glad that you’re with me because I get asked this question all of the time, so many questions about rucking. What is it? How do you get started? How do you do it safely? What are some reasons it might be a better option than running or walking? So we’re going to clear up all of that on today’s episode. Before we go any further though, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app if you haven’t yet.

And if you’re watching me on YouTube, hello, make sure you also hit subscribe and hit the bell for more notifications. rucking is having a bit of a moment recently. It is nothing new per se. But kind of like zone two cardio is having this reappearance, and more people are talking about it, even though it really never went away. Rucking is very similar.

Recently, there have been some articles that came out on the New York Times there was one in Slate, and there was one on CNN, you probably have heard other podcasters talking about it. And of course, naturally, that creates a lot of questions. So I’m going to be answering those today on the show for us that you know, what is it? What counts as rocking? I get that question a lot. Why is it an effective form of exercise? And what are some of the unique benefits for women over 40? How do you begin, what kind of gear do you need? I’m going to be covering all of that on this episode.

So I’m also going to be sharing some of the things I’ve learned from personal experience along the way as I’ve been rucking now for about a year and a half as of the publication of this episode. I first learned about rucking actually from my husband, he was training for a week-long survival school in Utah. This was in 2022. So early 2022, he started rucking to prepare for the event, which was going to be carrying a backpack, a very rudimentary backpack, by the way, but carrying a backpack for a week through the wilderness in Utah. And so he first got involved with rucking and it took a few months for me to come around to the idea.

He’s sort of the early adopter in our family. I’m always the person who kind of stands on the sidelines and just observes for a while before I jump in right away. But once I started rucking myself, I could definitely see where this was a beneficial addition to my fitness routine. And I’ve been doing it ever since that. So that’s how I got started. And then at the beginning of 2023, I decided I wanted to do a rucking event, which I’ll probably tell you about toward the end of the podcast. So I knew that I had to get even more serious about adding this into my routine and it is something that I do three to four times a week on average and has been just such a great addition to what I’m already doing. Alright, let’s start with the simplest question first.

What is rucking? Rucking in the simplest way I can answer this question in one sentence is carrying load for distance. Now I’m sure we can imagine that human beings have been carrying things for forever since the beginning of time. And in a more modern sense, why is it called rucking the word rucksack is where the term rucking comes from. So rucksacks are these large backpacks that are generally going to be carried by different branches of the military.

And so this idea of the military and rucking has inspired the fitness and more recreational form of carrying loads for longer distances that we now call rucking. As you can imagine, carrying load for distances in a military or a work capacity is going to probably be a bit different from carrying it, and a recreational or fitness capacity. So just want to mention that they’re not always going to be the same.

And quite frequently, I’ll see comments on these articles. And people say, you know, I had to ruck in the military. And it was really hard on all my joints or things of that nature. And I just want to say if you’re seeing those articles don’t get put off by that we also need to talk about how to get started and do it in a way that benefits you in a fitness capacity. So don’t necessarily be scared off by some of those comments that you might see and past experiences that people have had in the context of having to look for some kind of career or job like being in the military.

Alright, so let’s also delineate here what is different between rucking and say, doing heavy carries in a workout. Alright, generally speaking, when we’re rucking we are using a specially designed backpack. And we’ll talk about that later. But especially designed backpacks, that’s going to carry the weight on our back.

When we’re carrying loads in a workout for strength and building our grip and all those other things, we might see many different kinds of carries. And I do consider carrying as one of those fundamental compound movement patterns. Damn, John writes a lot about that. And he’s really inspired how I think about carrying in workouts. But when we are including carries in workouts like you might see in my strongest stuff program.

Generally speaking, we’re not carrying for miles at a time we’re carrying for maybe 30 seconds, or we’re carrying the load in different ways we might bear hug carry we might carry with one arm above the head, and more of a waiter walk, we might carry the load in the front rack, we might do a double farmer carry. So generally speaking, when we’re rucking, we’re carrying the weight on our back.

You may also carry weight on the front if you’re going to use a weight vest, and we’ll talk about how to get started at the end of the podcast. So just know that if you are carrying as part of your strength workouts, it’s going to be a different kind of stimulus than if you are carrying weight over a long distance. We’re talking miles here, typically speaking, which we would do in rucking. So next question, why is rucking an effective form of exercise?

How can it help you build your fitness in different ways? What are some of the physiological benefits especially for women, I want to be really clear, quite often you’ll hear things like rucking can help build lower body strength, or rucking is good for core stability, core strength postural muscles, etc. And while that may be true, it is not the same as a true strength type of training. What do I mean by that?

All right, let’s imagine you’re going to go rucking with 20 pounds, and you’re gonna go walk three miles, you’re getting many, many, many repetitions of that as your feet hit the ground every single time you, you stride, you’re taking a step, right, so you’re putting in many steps over the course of three miles. That is not the same kind of strength as doing a back squat for a set of five. So sometimes we’ll talk about strength in a general sense or strength in a more overall sense.

But the reason I bring this up is because you may Yes, notice that your feet get stronger your ankles, your lower legs, your quads, your glutes, and that you have more endurance over time. It’s easier to maybe hike, for example, go uphill, right? You might notice those things get easier, and that’s absolutely possible, but it’s still not the same as lifting heavy challenging weights.

And as women over 40, we have got to apply enough mechanical tension to get as much of our muscle fiber to contract as possible, because we do see that decline in estrogen after the menopause transition. Estrogen likely has a role in satellite cell activation muscle growth, where you need to use our muscle fibers.

Or we start to lose their contractile potential, especially when we’re talking about those type two fibers. So it’s really important here that you not hear me say, because I’m not saying this that you can just ruck instead of lifting weights. No, we need to notice where we have distinct benefits for each. And also remember that we still have to lift challenging weights. So doing a set of five back squats, or a set of five deadlifts a set of three heavy overhead presses, where we’re really challenging ourselves.

And we’re really working toward those higher RPE or higher percentages, that that has a distinct benefit for our bodies, especially over 40. And rucking is not going to give us that benefit, because the loads are not heavy enough, is essentially what I’m trying to say.

So you might have 1000s of steps that you’re taking with a lighter weight, that’s a different kind of sort of strength, almost this endurance effect, if you will, a more muscular endurance. So with all that said, Yes, you might notice that your lower body is stronger, and your core feels stronger and more stable. For example, your postural muscles have built strength as well, or you’re just able to maintain posture a little bit more easily, especially since we do get quite rounded in our current world that you know, really walking with that pack has helped you to build strength in those postural muscles. So building strength, is certainly an important benefit, just not the same as strength training. Benefit number two, is benefit to your bone.

Okay, so we know that as we go through the perimenopause transition, we’re having hormonal shifting, things are going up and down, and it’s a little bit more unpredictable. But then we hit that one day technically of menopause, and then after that, we are postmenopausal. And that postmenopausal period is when we’re particularly at risk for bone density loss, bone strength loss, and an increased risk of fracture. If we fall and the bone is too brittle and not strong enough, then the bone may break. And this is, of course, a risk to health and longevity.

So building low density, and building bone strength is really, really important. And there are different ways to do that with different types of fitness and training, for example, Plyometrics, weight-bearing exercise in general, but then also things like strength training, right, so you’re carrying it on your shoulders, and you’re carrying that weight more over the center of your body could potentially have some of those benefits.

And I always say this, just to be sure, before you engage in anything new training-wise, you must get cleared by your medical team. In particular, if you have a diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis, yes, there may be distinct benefits to carrying load or resistance training or plyometric training, for example, but you do need to make sure that you get cleared by your medical team for that. Number three, we see improved endurance and cardiovascular capacity.

So yes, we need both types of training. I have said this so many times on this podcast, we need to keep our cardiovascular system strong, but we also need to strength train, we need the unique benefits of both. And when we look at the research, we know that more women are meeting cardiovascular minimums than are meeting both cardiovascular and strength training minimums, we cannot forget about strength training, we cannot only lift light all the time.

We have gotten over that multiple times on this show. But we still do need to keep our cardiovascular system healthy. And when we proceed through the menopause transition, as we age, we see that risk for cardiovascular disease in women particularly tends to go up quite dramatically. So this should be on our minds. Now there are so many ways you can get cardio in, I mean, the sky’s the limit. But a lot of people find that maybe they don’t want to run.

They don’t really like cycling, they can’t find a place to do it. They don’t have a peloton they don’t have a place to ride a bike, whatever it is, and they want just a bit more challenge to the walking that they’re already doing.

This is a really cool way to get a bit more cardiovascular benefit is just simply by adding weight and carrying that weight on your walk. Really cool. And I’ve noticed even for myself, if I go on an unloaded walk versus a loaded walk, I put my ruck on I so much more easily get into zone two and a lot of people have been talking about zone two cardio again, this is not a new thing.

It’s been around for decades, but for some reason, it’s having some Renaissance, but you can more easily get into zone two. Normally without load that would be a really really brisk walk for me, but I can put on my ruck and fairly casually walk along and get into zone two.

And again be getting those better If it’s of Zone Two, if I’m able to stay more consistently in that heart rate zone. So it could be one way that you start adding more challenge to your walk, especially if you live in a place that’s flat, it doesn’t have a lot of hills or something of that nature.

So if you’re looking for a way to get more zone two that doesn’t involve jogging or other types of cardio, and you already have a walking habit, kind of a no-brainer, start carrying a little bit of extra load, and you’ll see that your heart rate will go up. Number four, this is going to be a lower impact than running. It’s not a zero-impact activity. And I just want to bring this up.

Because a lot of people are really terrified of any kind of impact. We kind of came from a generation that was all about low impact all the time. And so a lot of people our age 40s 50s and beyond have it in their minds that impact is a horrible idea for anyone at any time. And we know now that this is detrimental for overall bone health if we’re avoiding impact all the time, all the time, which is, you know, if you’re a cyclist, if you’re a swimmer, you still need impact training.

If you are getting older, you still need impact training, right? Of course, we have to do it in a way that’s progressive and takes your unique situation into consideration, what you need, and the pace at which you need to progress. But I will say that if you think oh, I don’t like running, I want something lower impact on my body, or I just would rather take a break from something like running, you can still get out there, you can still enjoy the miles.

But just take the intensity down because you’re not going super fast. And you put your ruck on and you’re still getting a great similar stimulus to running but you are carrying your buck instead. Number five, we see a positive benefit for blood sugar. We’ve established many times on this podcast, that resistance training is a really great way to improve our insulin sensitivity.

And again, as we’re aging, we’re going into our 40s and beyond, and we start to see an increased risk, especially for women of potentially developing more insulin resistance. Exercise is an important part of the process of maintaining better insulin sensitivity. So sensitivity is good resistance is not so good.

So insulin sensitivity can be heightened by exercise, including Yes, resistance training, but also things like walking. So get out there walk put your ruck on, and that is going to be beneficial for your insulin sensitivity and overall blood sugar levels. And lastly, I just want to highlight a couple of other important benefits. It’s great for stress relief.

So exercise in general is really great for mood, great for our overall state of mind being outdoors being in nature, you can turn this into a more social type of activity as well. So let’s say you and your partner used to both enjoy running together, but now you run at different paces. Or if you’re like me, and you used to be a cyclist, I would always go out on these cycling training rides with the guys. And I would get shot off the back of the paceline every single time. So sometimes when you’re doing cardiovascular types of exercise in a group or with a partner, your paces just don’t match.

And it’s really hard to find a way to do it together. Rucking on the other hand, you each put on your own weight. So for example, Z might carry 45 pounds, I might be carrying 30 pounds. But for us, those loads are appropriate for our bodies, and we’re able to walk at relatively the same pace. So rucking is a great way it’s kind of an equalizer where again, you can go out and walk but make it a little bit more challenging by adding weight.

Alright, let’s move on to the most common question that I get, which is how do I get started? What gear do I need? How much should I carry? How long should I go for and all that stuff? Alright, so first and foremost, if you want a quick answer from me on my best recommendation, for most people who are interested in rucking for fitness’s sake, it will be to get a dedicated rucksack that is built specifically for the purpose of rucking.

It’s going to hold up better over time, it’s going to be more comfortable to carry even though wrecking is sometimes uncomfortable, it’s going to be the most comfortable option for most people. And if you get it from a great company, like Go Ruck, they’re going to have a great guarantee. So I’ve been working with Go Ruck and partnering with them for well over a year at this point.

I adore them as a company. They are fantastic people they make amazing gear. It is so tough. It’s a lifetime guarantee on their gear, if it breaks, they’re going to fix it or they’re going to give you a new one, which gives you hopefully great peace of mind that you’re your purchase and investment are going to be covered.

So getting a rucksack that’s purpose-built for that reason means it’s going to have extra padding in the right places, the actual material of the bag is going to be quite tough, the stitching is going to be properly reinforced, the straps are going to be padded enough, so they’re not going to dig in. And of course be again, sewn correctly.

At those junctions where things tend to wear like at the top of the bag, you’re going to be able to customize it with things that make the bag a bit more comfortable to carry, for example, a hip belt and a chest strap that goes across the chest in the hip belt, which helps you carry the weight and distribute it across the hips as well as the shoulders, you’re going to see that rucksack that is built for that purpose also tend to have a sleeve where you will fit a ruck plate, that ruck plate tends to be flat and rectangular.

It’s not going to jostle around in the bag, it’s going to be held tight to your back, it’s almost like wearing a turtle shell on your back, it’s compact, it sits close to the spine, it’s not going to sag down. Like if you’ve seen like middle schoolers carrying a Jansport backpack and the straps are all the way led out and it’s hanging down to there, you know, hamstrings pretty much, you know, we want the weight to be up higher. So that’s just what you’re going to find when you get a ruck that’s purposely built for that particular task. However, if you’re like I’m not sure yet, I just want to try it am I going to like this before I go in and make a purchase, I totally get that.

So what you can do is take a regular backpack, not one of those string backpacks you know that have the string straps get something that’s got some oomph to it, right, some kind of regular backpack, then you can put different objects in it to give it some weight. And I’ll talk about later about how much weight you might want to start with. But these objects should either be soft, or pliable in nature, or you want to wrap them in something to prevent the weight or whatever you put in the bag from digging into your back.

So some people want to put a dumbbell in a bag, but a dumbbell if it’s like a hex dumbbell is going to have those angles and is hard. So wrap it in a towel if that’s all you have, or wrap it in bubble wrap. For example. I’ve also heard of people putting in bags of rice because they are flatter and softer. In general, books again, wrap those up so that they’re not going to jab you in the back when you’re walking. But you can start out just to see if you like the concept by using a regular backpack and loading it up with what you have around the house.

Recently, I went and visited my family I went to my mom’s they didn’t have anything heavy in the whole house that I could find. But it did find four or five bottles of wine. It was all I had. So I wrapped those in towels and put those in the back of my go-ruck bag with my regular backpack. And it worked. It worked okay, right it was just for a week. So you know, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. You can also use a weight vest. So there if you want to talk about hot internet debate weighted vest versus rucksacks.

You know, they’re different, they have different pros and cons. One isn’t necessarily right or wrong. But I think for the majority of cases if you’re not somebody who’s going to use that weight vest like in a workout to add weight to say, for example, pull-ups or weighted squats or something like that. You know, you might envision carrying a little bit more than say 16 to 20 pounds which is where most weight vests hop out then getting a bag for the purpose may be your best bet if you want to go further distances and carry water, a windbreaker I carry all my sort of go ruck challenge stuff in my bag.

Anyway, I’ve got a little bit of a first aid kit in there, I’ve got a headlamp you know all sorts of stuff in my bag. But if you want to carry some snacks, or whatever it is, carrying a backpack-style rucksack is gonna let you do that. So weight vests can be good for different people. If you are a large-chested person, I will also say a weight vest may not be your best option, because it just won’t sit flat enough to the front of your body and can be quite uncomfortable. But again, your mileage may vary.

So consider your options, do a little bit of research, and see which one suits you the best. But for most people, I tend to find the ruck is a better option. Also, to finally put this question to bed, you can carry a child and it counts as rucking. So let’s say you have a kid carrier, I don’t know what we call these things. I don’t have kids, right?

So you have a child carrier, I guess that you carry on your back or maybe even on the front if they’re small enough. But yes, of course, that counts as quote-unquote counts as rucking because you’re carrying a load on your body and you’re caring for distance. So there you go a little bit of extra you know. You guys love free rug for a while, while the child is small enough, although as they grow and get bigger, you may have to change to something else. The next question is, how much weight should you carry?

When you’re starting out a general range is 10 to 20 pounds. Some of this is going to depend on how conditioned are you, how your strength training, how big of a person are you, if you’re a large-bodied human, if you’ve been training consistently and have decent upper body strength, and if you pretty fit in terms of cardiovascular fitness, you might be able to go up toward that higher side, and vice and vice versa, right and the reverse, if you’re a smaller person, you’re less conditioned, you haven’t been strength training very much, I would probably opt toward the lower end of that scale, you can always build up slowly but surely, and add and progress over time.

But it’s just important, just like any other kind of training, strength training, cardio, we don’t want to overdo things. We overdo things compared to the level that we’re at, and we’re not properly progressing. That’s when we get hurt. So I see this a lot in the articles that I read online, people say, Oh, I I started rucking and I loved it so much, and then I injured me or, you know, I got stress fractures from rucking.

And I really seriously question what is that person doing. If we’re loading it in a reasonable fashion, we are not overdoing our training, we are recovering properly. That includes nutritionally sleep-wise, we’re not going too hard, too long, too heavy too soon. And we are properly progressing, we are going to minimize or mitigate our risk of injury, if we decide to throw caution to the wind, and we’re going to ruck every single day.

And we just started and we get really intuitive we start carrying too heavy too soon, then, of course, just like any other kind of training, perhaps the risk of injury could increase. So we need to be sensible here just like any other kind of training. And so how often then, should you ruck, it completely depends. But when you’re starting out, what is the sensible frequency, I would say, two to three times a week, start out shorter, and build up.

So maybe you go for 15 to 30 minutes, again, depending on your current state of conditioning. And you can build up from there, maybe you start for half an hour, if you’re a little bit more conditioned, you’re more used to walking. And that’s also what I would say here, you are also still walking, when you’re rucking, you’re just walking with weight. And a lot of people don’t have consistent walking practice yet. And your feet are just not used to walking for 30 minutes at a time or more.

So we also want to make sure that we’re remembering that if we don’t have a good base of walking underneath us we want to start more conservatively with that as well. But for a lot of people, they’re going to be able to do two to three times a week, maybe half an hour at a go maybe a little bit less depending on your current state of fitness.

The bottom line is not to go too hard, too fast, too soon, or too heavy. And then how do you progress? Well, when you start noticing that you’re more consistently able to do those 30-minute walks or whatever it happens to be and the weight is feeling pretty easy, then maybe consider adding a little bit of weight. I would say for most people, we’re talking about two to five-pound jumps. Again, a five-pound jump doesn’t sound like a lot. But if you extrapolate that out over several miles, you’re going to start to feel it.

So you might decide to get your fractional plates from your weight set. If you have one, those are the little plates. And maybe you have a two-and-a-half pound plate and you put that in. Or maybe you slide in a light bag of rice or something like that. Sometimes I’ve heard people will do different incremental bags and like that’s there in between. Wait, it just depends. So start adding a little bit as you get comfortable with those distances and those times and things are starting to feel easier.

Remember that proper recovery matters just like any other kind of training, so don’t overdo it. Pay attention to your body. If things are too sore, or you need to stretch more, do more mobility work. Don’t ignore that shit. That’s one injuries and injury risk pile up is when just like any other kind of training, we kind of ignore those things and put them to the wayside. The last question I get a lot is What kind of footwear do I need to wear for trucking?

And I’ll say again, if you’re casual, you’re first starting to get into this. Just wear whatever athletic shoes you’re comfortable with you’re used to and that gives you enough support through your feet. But if you are looking to increase your distance, increasing the weight that you’re carrying, you might find that something with a bit more support is going to benefit you just to give your foot that stable platform as you add weight.

So it’s really going to depend I’ve seen all sorts of footwear a different Go-Ruck events, for example, trail running sneakers all the way through boots, depending on how much traction is high atop low top, I mean, the the answer here is it’s like what’s going to be the best for your feet and what works for you. I will say that, I tend to find having a bit more of a stable platform is helpful, especially as I’m carrying upwards of 30 pounds, 35 pounds, and even closer to 40 pounds.

That for me, translates into my feet feeling better supported over the distance. You can check out for example, Go Ruck has a lot of purpose-designed footwear, for this reason. But again, if you’re a casual and you’re starting out, you probably don’t need to go worry about that right off the bat because you’re not going to be carrying as long or as heavy. Last I just wanted to talk about some of the other cool fitness components of rucking. So there are different rucking events, whether it’s casual group get-togethers, there are ruck clubs all around the country and around the world.

Quite frankly, we have an amazing ruck club here in San Diego. So shout out to Triton ruck club and everybody over there they’re really welcoming, amazing group of people. So if you’re looking to kind of get that community feel and you’d like to ruck with other people, then check out if your area has a local ruck club, you might be surprised and they are popping up everywhere.

On the fitness and event side of things. If you are a more competitive person, and you’d like to explore that, you have some really cool options. First, you have things like go ruck challenges, and there are other organizations that put together challenges of this nature that involve rucking to some degree, whether it’s purely rucking for distance, or time or rucking in the context of a group challenge, like what we did with the go ruck challenges this year, which was a huge goal of mine was to complete a 12 hour go ruck challenge, which we did in early October, here in San Diego, we walked 17 miles with our rucks.

And we also did some other physical challenges. And it was mentally and physically very challenging, but also very gratifying and rewarding. And they have longer events in that and shorter events, if you’re looking for something that’s a bit of an easier progression to get into. But there are also existing events like hierarchs, there’s DECA fit. And I’m sure others who have a rucking division now, which is really, really cool.

So if you’re somebody who just wants to embrace that competitive aspect you really liked that group fitness doing something hard together kind of element to it, then definitely check out what’s out there, it can be a great way for you to connect with that competitive part of yourself. Or just get out and experience rucking in that way, and put your fitness to the test. You can find those events, by just giving them a Google or you can find the GORUCK challenges and similar events like the star course for example, on GoRuck.com.

Let’s go ahead and wrap up this episode about rucking. First, we covered what is rucking. Secondly, we went into some of the benefits of rucking and why as a woman over 40, who’s interested in improving your fitness in a variety of ways. rucking is something to possibly consider. We also went over some of the very most common questions that people ask about rucking, including what kind of gear do I need. How much should I start with in terms of weight? How far should I go? And how should I progress my training?

I hope this episode was useful for you. If you’re looking for rucking gear that really is going to go the distance check out Go Ruck, my code for 10% off is FuelYourStrength. And if you love rucking, then go ahead and send me a message. In the comments below. Let me know what you really like about it. What’s been your favorite part? And if you haven’t started yet, what are you most curious about? Thanks so much for joining me on this episode today. And until next time, stay strong.

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Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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