Unit Partner Needed for Ruck Deep Dive Study

Rucks - Ruck Study - June 15_Fotor

We’re still looking for a Unit partner for our Ruck Deep Dive Study.

Several units have expressed interest, but none have followed through and confirmed as of yet.

Once we find a unit which can meet our criteria for the study and has command support, we’re ready to pull the trigger.

The major goal of this step in our Ruck Deep Dive effort is identifying the fitness attribute which correlates best to rucking performance.

The final goal is to identify the most effective and efficient methodology to train rucking. That will be the next step.

Study Criteria

– 45-50 athletes. We need 40 minimum for the regression analysis, and want some wiggle room. As well, athletes have to volunteer to be part of the study.

– Athletes need to ruck frequently as part of their regular training.

– 8 Power Racks with plates/barbells/benches minimum for Day 1 Strength testing. This would be 5-6 athletes per rack. Likely this means reserving a base gym for 2 hours one morning just for the study.

– Pre-loaded rucks for 10k assessment. 29kg = 63.9 pounds. We will weigh to verify

– Relatively flat, 10k course.

– This is a ruck for time – we assume athletes will run most of the way

– Command support. We can’t show up and have some attorney or distant O-6 show up and shut it down.


The study will take place over two days. Both days would be in the AM to take advantage of cool weather and be as least disruptive as possible:

Day 1 (1-2 hours)

– Meet at gym for Height/Weight measurement and 1RM Front Squat, 1RM Bench Press and Max Rep Pull ups

– Transfer to running track or known course for 1.5 mile run for time

– Day 1 Uniform – PT Gear, or Boots and Utes if you prefer.

Day 2 (1-2 Hours)

– Meet at 10k Ruck Course. Weight rucks to verify loads and begin 10k Ruck for Time assessment

– Day 2 Uniform – boots, Utility pants, T-Shirt

What We’ll Do with the Results

– Analyze to see if there is a strong correlation between any of the measured attributes (lower body relative strength, upper body relative strength, aerobic fitness) on Day 1, and Day 2’s rucking performance.

  • Use the results to design an initial training protocols to test. For example, if the study results show front squat relative strength has the greatest correlation to rucking performance, we’d design two training protocols, one which includes front squats (study group) and one which doesn’t (control group) – have study subjects complete the protocols, then assess rucking performance to verify front squat relative strength helps.
  • Get the study results published in a scholarly journal.

What’s in it for you and your unit?

  • Opportunity for you to be part of something bigger than your unit which could improve battlefield performance for soldiers everywhere.
  • Valuable fitness data on 40-50 of your athletes
  • No cost.

Where we go from here

– Verify you’ve got the 45+ study subjects, can reserve the gym, will give us the time over 2 days, and send the proposal up your chain of command.

  • Schedule it (July/August, hopefully) and pull the trigger. We’ll buy plane tickets and start cranking on the details.

More Information?

Click Here to see the results of a Pilot Study we conducted with our local lab rats: http://mtntactical.com/all-articles/ruck-deep-dive-pilot-study-results/


Email: rob@strongswiftdurable.com

-Rob Shaul

Subscribe to MTI's Newsletter - BETA