Plan Focus: Rucking Improvement Training Plan

By Rob Shaul

MTI is committed to leading research and programming development for loaded movement over ground. We have conducted multiple studies We recently updated our Rucking Improvement Training Plan to employ our latest improvements in Rucking endurance programming. This 15-week training program is sport-specifically designed to improve short, moderate and long distance  (3–12 mile) rucking performance with a 45# rucking load.

This training program has 3 general objectives:

(1) Increase speed over ground
(2) Increase rucking-specific leg strength, core strength, and upper body strength
(3) Increase rucking aerobic base and efficiency for longer distance rucks

This training plan deploys ruck assessments (3, 6, and 12 miles) and uses assessment performance for the follow-on progressions. In this way the plan automatically “scales” to the incoming rucking fitness and speed of each individual athlete.

Different Athletes May Begin the Plan at Different Weeks

This training plan designed so athletes who have different ruck improvement needs can begin the plan in different places to address their specific deficiencies.

– Working on improving your 3-5 mile ruck time, and/or are new to rucking? Begin the plan on week 1.
– Working to improve a 6-mile ruck time and/or have some rucking experience but need lots of work? Start at week 6.
– Working to improve a 12 mile ruck time and/or are an experienced rucker wanting to be pushed? Start at week 11.

This is Version 2 of this plan, updated July 2017.

Speed Over Ground Work
This 15-week training program is divided into three, 5-week blocks for the speed over ground rucking work.

• Weeks 1-5 deploy multiple 3-mile ruck assessments and 1-mile repeats based upon your assessment times
• Weeks 6-10 deploy 6-mile ruck assessments and 2-mile repeats based upon your assessment times
• Weeks 11-15 deploy 12-mile ruck assessments and 3-mile repeats based upon your assessment times

Aerobic Base/Longer Ruck
While the Speed Over Ground work in the plan is anchored in 5-week blocks, the longer ruck in the plan progress steadily throughout. Easy distance ruck volume increases throughout the plan and the pace is based upon your most recent speed over ground assessment.

You’ll ruck easy, long distance two times/week on back to back days (Friday and Saturday). These easy rucks start at 4 miles on week one and progress to 16 miles on week 15.

Total rucking volume in the plan begins at 14 miles total in Week 1 and finishes at 47 miles total on week 15.

MTI Ruck Calculator
This plan deploys assessments and then bases your fast interval work and easy distance work on your assessment results using the MTI Ruck Calculator.

Strength Work
This training plan includes focused, rucking-specific leg, mid-section and upper body strength training deploying bodyweight and/or dumbbells.

This program is designed to be completed as a stand alone program, but it can also be completed concurrently a strength-focused MTI or other strength training program by starting this plan on Week 6 and dropping the Tuesday and Thursday strength days from this training program.

Too complete this training plan concurrently with a strength-focused plan, either do 2-a-days (gym-based strength in the AM, rucking program in the PM) or by alternating training days (gym-based strength Monday, rucking program Tuesday, gym-based strength Wednesday, etc.)


  • Mon: Assessment or Speed over Ground Intervals
  • Tue: Strength Training
  • Wed: Speed over Ground Intervals
  • Thu: Strength Training
  • Frii: Easy Distance Ruck
  • Sat: Easy Distance Ruck


What is the Required Equipment?

  • Ruck and 45# Filler
  • Stop Watch
  • Pull Up Bar
  • Pair of Dumbbells (15# for women, 25# for men)
  • Foam Roller

How Long do the Sessions Last?
1-4 hours depending upon your rucking pace. Longest days will be the Friday and Saturday long, easy efforts.


Can I see sample training?
Click the product link above, then the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.