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You’ve likely noticed the event announcement on the board in the Box and the Facebook invite for the TORCH Ruck Club coming soon to CrossFit Frederick.  So what’s this all about?  

What’s a ruck?  A rucksack or ruck, is a military term for a backpack.  It comes from the German Rücken, meaning "back" and Sack, meaning "bag".  To ruck is to carry the rucksack on your back over some distance.

Why ruck? The fitness benefit comes from the extra weight on your back.  It may not seem like much, but 10 or 20 pounds starts to get heavy as the distance increases.  You burn more calories than walking alone by carrying the weight.  In my opinion, rucking is better than running because you can carry on a conversation while rucking, and it is low impact.

Rucking as a form of fitness is not new, but it has been popularized by the company GORUCK.  GORUCK makes no-nonsense rucks and other gear and organizes rucking events in three categories of difficulty, light, tough, and heavy.  You can learn more on their website or at our info meeting (see below). You don’t need to be enrolled in a GORUCK event or even plan to do one to participate in our ruck club.  If you are training for an event, there will be opportunities to train with like-minded group members.  And as a GORUCK club, we will have access to discounts on their products for our members.

Special ruck weight plates are available that give you weight in the ruck but cut down on the space taken up as compared to bricks or other bulky weights.

Special ruck weight plates are available that give you weight in the ruck but cut down on the space taken up as compared to bricks or other bulky weights.

How the Club works.

We provide a date, time, and place.  All you need to do is show up with a ruck, some weight, and water.  We then go for a walk with our rucks.  Sometimes the route will take us somewhere where there will be food and beer.  We might stop there for a bit and then ruck back.  We also have plans to ruck through parks, battlefields, historical areas, and fun places like the Inner Harbor, just to name a few.  We will also be rucking local 5Ks, and holding events corresponding with holidays, memorial anniversaries, and possibly for charitable causes.

The goal of the club is to get people outside, have a good time, socialize, and get a workout in at the same time. 

Our ruck club is not aimed at preparing you for military service, nor will we be carrying loads anywhere near military weights.  A good place to start is 10% of your bodyweight.  You can scale up or down as you see fit.  We can provide recommendations, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide how much to carry.

Who is this for?  In short, it’s for everyone. Just like CrossFit, scaling is always an option, so a smaller stature person can be rucking next to someone with a larger physique, each with different weights, and both will still feel challenged in the end.  We will even have events that are suitable for kids and dogs to join in on the fun.

 Want to know more?  

On February 17th at 10:30AM, we will have an informational session at CFF followed by a short ruck.  In the session, we’ll discuss options for rucks and weight and other gear.  We’ll also hear from members who have completed GORUCK events and talk about what you can expect from the club and upcoming ruck events in our area. 

If you’re planning to come out on February 17th, you don’t need to buy anything; you likely have a backpack at home that will work just fine, so bring that.  We will have some weights on hand to loan out.  If you have your own weights please bring them.  You can improvise by loading your ruck with books, rocks, or bricks.  Check out this video for instructions on proper taping of bricks to keep from ruining your ruck or rubbing on you if you plan to carry bricks as weight. 

Anything that fits in your ruck and has weight will work.  

We hope to have a great turnout and by the number of people following the TORCH Ruck Club page so far, we expect nothing less.  Check the TORCH Ruck Club Facebook page for more info and check your email if you’re not into the social media thing.  And come join us on February 17th at 10:30AM for the start of a new adventure.