Experts Say Rucking Boosts Strength, Longevity


Carrying a load of additional benefits, rucking is the new walking.

What’s happening: With roots in military training, walking with a weighted pack over a set distance—aka rucking—is catching on, for good reason:

  • Rucking is linked to increased muscular endurance, strength, and bone density.
  • Rucking burns 30–45% more calories than walking, with less injuries than running.
  • Weighted step training improves lower-body power and functionality in older women, adding ~10 years to their independence from assisted care.

Compounding the effect, most rucking occurs outside, delivering added boosts in lifespan, cognitive performance, and mental health.

Gearing Up

Bolstered by strong endorsements from the likes of Dr. Peter Attia and Michael Easter, more people  are gearing up with the help of outfitters and organizers.

  • GORUCK sells weights, rucksacks, and apparel while supporting 500+ grassroots rucking clubs worldwide.
  • Performance-focused 5.11 Tactical supplies vests and packs, while Mountain Tactical Institute provides rucking-specific training plans.
  • Fitness racing series HYROX as well as the Charlotte and Marine Corps marathons promote dedicated rucking divisions.

Elsewhere… OMORPHO and Kilogear are reinventing weighted vest training for athletes, using microloaded activewear to up the output and caloric burn.

Punchline: Humans’ natural ability to ruck is our “killer app,” says Easter. Nearly as free as walking, such a simple—and effective—concept should never have left our routines.

Get the latest health and fitness industry news

Keep up with industry news, trends, investment activity, and job openings — in one weekly newsletter.

    No thanks.