A client turned me on to the GoRuck Challenge at the beginning of 2018 and the moment I heard him describe it, I knew that I wanted to train and experience it for myself. The GoRuck Tough Challenge is a 10-12 hour test of endurance, teamwork, mental/emotional/physical stamina, and pure old fashion toughness. After hearing about the physical aspects of the event like carrying a log overhead, heavy objects up steep hills, your teammate on your back, jumping in the river at night, and endless push-ups I was intrigued. With my long-distance hikes planned for the summer hiking season, I knew that this event would inspire me to train hard early without forgetting about my upper body. Last hiking season, I did some full-body strength and conditioning but had lost quite a bit of strength through the fall. The GoRuck has already sparked a need for me to train at higher intensities with my entire body in focus.

I’ll share my training regimen here to keep those of you interested in trying a GoRuck Challenge at some point informed and inspired with some training ideas. My goal is to leave the last 6-7 weeks leading up the event on April 27th open for the suggested training program provided by GoRuck Here. I knew after a fairly mellow fall I would need to build up a base level of fitness and conditioning before feeling ready to jump into the program they provided without suffering too much! I also wanted to progressively overload my system without flaring up my old knee injury which isn’t happy with running as well as keep my immune system healthy through the Winter in the new Central Oregon climate (with a 4-year-old at home).

My overall flow of training would be 8 weeks of strength building, muscular endurance, and rucking before going through the GoRuck training program. I set benchmarks to shoot for knowing my push-ups, overhead presses, dips, and weighted squats were weak compared to my lunging, deadlifts, pull-ups, and flexibility.


1/11/2018 (Bold exercises were completed as a circuit)

Pushups 5×10

Pullups 5×5

DB Overhead Press 35# 8, 10

KB 50# Deadlift 2×10, Front Squat 2×10, Wide Leg Deadlift x10

DB Shrugs 50# 2×12

Delt Raises 8# 16, 16

DB Bicep Curls 20# 10, 30# 8

Tricep Extension Rope Plate 6 x 10

 

1/16/2018

Push Ups 6×10

Pull Ups 6×10

Lunges 4×30

KB Deadlifts 50# 2×15

KB Front Squat 2×10

Wall Sit 1:00

Overhead Press Shoulder to Shoulder 35# Plate x 30 reps

Step Ups on high step x 10 each leg

 

1/17/2018

Ruck 2.5 miles with 20# pack

 

1/18/2018

Dips 4×10

DB Row 50# 2×10

Barbell Shrugs 135# 3×12

Barbell Row 135# 2×5

Overhead Press 25# plate x 40 reps

Lateral Delt Raises 5#10

 

1/19/2018

6-mile hike along the Deschutes River Trail at 4.0 mph pace

 

1/21/2018

6.5 mile run/walk intervals (7 1:00 min fast run intervals)

 

1/22/2018

Push Ups 10×10

Pull Ups 10×5

Core Work: Plank, Side Plank, Bridges, Flutter Kicks

 

1/23/2018

active rest day

1.5-mile walk

10 min stair climb

 

1/25/2018

3.5-mile ruck 25# at Pilot Butte State Park

All exercises done with pack on

Lunges 2×30, 2×20

Squats 2×10

Dips 2×5

Pull Ups 3×5

3×20 Eccentric single leg calf lowers

 

1/26/2018

Barbell Deadlifts 135# 5×5

Shrugs 135# 3×15

DB Overhead Press 40# 10, 15x

Overhead Press 45# plate x20

Lateral Delt Raise 10# 20

Full Upper Trap DB Raise 5# 8

 

1/30/2018

Push Ups 5×20

KB Deadlifts/Front Squats 5×20

Pull Ups 5×5

Lunge, Step Up, Squats 5×30

Wall Sit 1:00

 

1/31/2018

Run/Walk Intervals 3.8 miles

8 min alternating 1:00/1:00 fast run/walk

 

2/1/2018

10 min treadmill walk

5 min stair climber

Barbell Deadlift 135# 4×5 with Shrugs 2×10

 

2/2/2018

4.5 mile ruck 25#

 

2/4/2018

Barbell Squats 135# 2×5

Front Squats 90# 2×5

Walking Lunges x30

 

2/7/2018

1.5 mile ruck to gym 25#

Push Ups 3×20

Pull Ups 3×5

Squats 2×20

Lunges x30, 20, 10 varying style

Wall Sit 1:00 x 2

Dips 2×10

Overhead Press 25# plate 2×40 shldr to shldr, each lift counts

 

2/8/2018

4.8-mile run/walk

with 12 minutes of fast run total using, 8 1:00/1:00 and 4 min full

tested my knee with continuous running and it flared up for 1 week

 

2/9/2018

Elliptical 5 min warm up

Core training: plank, side plank, bridges, bicycles, lef lifts

Turkish Get-ups 30# KB 1×2 each side

 

2/10/2018

Barbell Deadlifts 135# 2×10, 155# x5, 185# 3×5

DB Rows 50# 12, 60# 2×8

Delt Lateral Raise 10# 15

Scaption Raise 10# 10

 

2/11/2018

DB Press 35# 12, 40# 8, 45#8, 50#10

Sit Ups 2×15

Incline Press 30# 12, 40# 12

Dips 2×15

Straight Arm Pulldown 3# plate 10, 4# 6

Roman Chair 2×10

 

2/12/2018

6-mile hike to Tumalo Falls with a 15 lb pack

 

2/14/2018

Back Squat 95#8, 135#6, 8, 8 with 10 calf raises each set

Overhead Press 95# 3×8

Hang Clean 95# 2×8

Lunges 20#30, 25#24

Overhead Plate Press 35# 40, bear crawl, x10 plate presses, bear crawl, x10

 

2/18/2018

Lunges 5×30

Pull Ups 5×8

Sit Ups 5×20

Push-Ups 5×30

Calf Raises 3×25, 2×20 single leg

 

2/19/2018

6-mile ruck 27# pack averaging 3.8 mph

 

2/20/2018

Barbell Back Squats 95# 5, 135# 5, 155# 5, 175# 3/5, 135# 8

Front Squats 135# 5

Hang Cleans 95# 3×10

Jump Rope in between each lifting set

 

2/21/2018

2-mile sled pull in the snow with 45# daughter in about 45 minutes

 

2/22/2018

Barbell Overhead Press 45# 12, 95# 3×10

Dips bodyweight 3×12

Barbell Curls 95# 2×5, 45# 20

DB Row 50# 12

Reverse Fly 30# (machine) 12

 

2/23/2018

2-mile fast walk

2.5-mile ruck with 45#

 

2/25/2018

Active rest/cardio day

1.5-mile walk, 10 min treadmill incline walk, 10 min elliptical, 1000 m row, 5 min stair climb

 

2/26/2018

Pullup: 5×10, 1×5 with varying grips

Lunges: 3×10, Step Ups 2×10 each leg

Pushups: 5×25, Dips 1×15

Squats: 3×20, Wall Sit 2×1:00, 1x 1:30

Situps: 4×15, plank 1:00, Hi Plank :30 sec

 

2/27/2018

1.5-mile ruck with 30#

1-mile treadmill walk at varying degrees

Core work and calf strengthening

 

2/28/2018

Barbell Squats 135# x5, 155# x5, 185# 2×5, 135# 1×15

Barbell Deadlifts 135# 2×10, 155# x3, 185# x3

Walk 1.5-miles


Strength building phase is done, now I’ll focus more on conditioning with the ruck on for miles and endurance.

3/1/2018

Active Rest Day

 

3/2/2018

Ruck 3.35 miles around and up Pilot Butte with 35# pack

3×20 overhead ruck presses shoulder to shoulder (each rep counts as over then back).

2×5 pullups with pack on.

 

3/4/2018

Easy 45 min walk.

 

3/5/2018

Ruck around Bessie Butte with 30# pack 2.2 miles.

 

3/6/2018

Row Machine: 1000m

Clean & Jerk: 95# 2×5, 115# 2×3

Jump Rope 1×100, 4×50 reps

 

3/7/2018

Max Test: 2 min each

Pushups 50 reps

Situps 70 reps

Pullups 20 reps

Wall Sit 3 minutes

Plank on elbows 1:00, on hands :30 sec

Side Plank 45 sec each side

 

3/9/2018

1.5-mile walk

10 min stair climb

10 min of run/walk intervals on the treadmill

 

3/10/2018

10 min elliptical work

dynamic stretching

KB swings 40# 2×10

KB deadlifts 40/50# 2×10

TRX Rows 2×15

Walking Lunges BW x40, Overhead KB Lockout 20#’s x10/20

Divebombers 1×10

KB Overhead Squats 20# 1×3 each side

 

3/13/2018

1-mile treadmill walk on varying inclines

stretching

 

3/18/2018

4-mile walk 10# Ruck (recovery from sickness)

 

3/19/2018

1.5-mile #40 Ruck

Day 2 workout of GoRuck Training (1st part 25 min/2nd part 18 min)

 

3/20/2018

1-mile walk

35# KB Swings 3×15

 

3/21/2018

1.5-mile #40 Ruck

Day 3 of GoRuck Training (30 minutes)

 

3/22/2018

1.5-mile walk

Moderate cardio: 10 minutes elliptical, 5-minute row, 10-minute stair climb

 

3/23/2018

Weighted Pull-Ups 25# 3×5

Weighted Dips 25# 3×10

Jump Rope 3×1:00 rounds

Pull-Ups BWx8

Dips BW 2×20

 

3/26/2018

6-mile ruck 45# Pack in 1:40

 

3/27/2018

Day 1 of Week 2 GoRuck Training Program

 

3/28/2018

Active Rest Day: 1-mile walk, 10 minutes elliptical, 5 minute stair climber, 5 minute row

 

3/29/2018

Day 3 of Week 2 GoRuck Training Program + 30 minutes of Swimming

 

3/30/2018

6-mile Ruck 45# Pack

 

3/31/2018

Day 6 of Week 2 GoRuck Training Program

Overhead log PT simulation first 3 sets using 45# plate 20, 10, 10 reps

Last 2 sets using 35# plate 20, 20 reps

Forward Rest Lean position 5×1:00 between each overhead set

Calf Raises 4×25 each leg on a step

3-minute wall sit

2×1:00 Jump Rope

Heavy Bicep Curls 40# 1×3, 50#1×2

 

4/2/2018

Day 1 of Week 3 GoRuck Training without the ruck

(This was the most intense workout of the program so far in my opinion. Very cardiovascular and stomach churning with the burpees.)

 

4/3/2018

3.5-mile ruck with 40# up and around Pilot Butte

 

4/4/2018

Rest day with a 60-minute massage

 

4/5/2018

Day 2 and Day 3 workouts combined minus the running and cycling (1.5 mile with 30# ruck and 30# sandbag instead).

 

4/7/2018

1/2 mile walk and dynamic warm-up

Run Pilot Butte to the top: 1-mile 10:20 minutes

1 set of 30m bear crawl, low crawl, crab walk sprinting back bodyweight only and 10 burpees

2 sets of above with 30# ruck and 10 burpees in between

 

4/9/2018

Hiked around and up Pilot Butte 2x with 40# ruck = 7 miles in 1:50 hrs

Day 1 of GoRuck Tough Challenge Training Program Bodyweight PT: 6 sets total without the running intervals

 

4/10/2018

Day 2 of Training Program: EMOM-every minute on the minute

6 rounds of 10KB swings and 5 burpees- first 3 bodyweight, last 3 with 40# ruck

3×30 sec FLR with 40# ruck

3×1:00 jump rope

Log PT simulation with ruck on:

60# 2×5 shoulder to shoulder

30# 1×10, 1×20

Single-arm overhead press 45# KB 1×5

 

4/11/2018

Active rest day: 2.5 mile walk

 

4/12/2018

Barbell Deadlift: 135# 3×10

Front Squat: 135# 2×5

Push-Press: 45#10, 95#5, 105#5, 115#5

Day 3 of GoRuck Program: 3 sets of bodyweight circuit, squats, lunges, and sit-ups with 40# Ruck

2 sets of metabolic work: 1st with ruck on and 2nd without

 

4/14/2018

Buddy Workout with KB Lifts, buddy carry, sled push/pull, and bodyweight metabolic conditioning

 

4/18/2018

Day 1 week 5 of GoRuck Training Program plus:

Barbell Deadlifts: 135#6, 155#6, 185#5 with jump rope 3×50

Barbell Shrugs 135#10, 155#10

KB SL DL 35#/50# 5 each leg

Posterior Delt Fly Machine 2×15

Lateral Delt Raise 15#10

Reverse DB Fly 20#12

DB Curls 50#4, 40#8, 30#10

Core work: Roman chair, ab wheel

 

4/19/2018

1.5-mile ruck with 40# pack 30# sandbag over shoulders

6-mile ruck with 40# pack avg 3.8 mph pace

 

4/22/2018

Day 3 of GoRuck Program (metabolic circuit only) with added 2:00 min wall sit and 100 split lunge jumps in a row.

I used a 25# ruck for the lunges and step-ups.

 

4/23/2018

Day 6 of GoRuck Program (PT Re-test):

Push-ups: 70

Sit-Ups: 70

Push-Press with DB’s 40#5, 50#5, 60#3, 65#3

Push-Ups: 35, 15

Log PT Sim: 45# 10/10, 25#20

FLR 2×1:00

Walk 1.5 miles

 

4/24-4/27

Rest. Light walking. Foam Rolling. Stretching. Acupuncture.

 

4/27/2018

9pm Tough Challenge begins!