Hill Repeat Challenge -
Everything You Need to Know

In the Hill Repeat Challenge, Rosters will ascend and descend hills for time.

Stirling Rosters must perform the Challenge for speed.
Compete Rosters must perform the Challenge with a variety of recommended implements.
This Challenge must be executed in the total time allotted for a total of 4 times on separate days ONLY.

Challenge Purpose

  • The PATHFINDER Hill Repeat Challenge is intended to train rosters for a variety of hill experiences and to build strength, endurance and speed over steep terrain.
  • Uphill repeats strengthen and develop the main group of muscles required for hill and mountain rucking.
  • Increase your confidence as you mix up your training for the unique needs of Compete and Stirling programming.

Challenge Parameters

The Hill Repeat Challenge must be completed on hills that take between 6 - 8 minutes to climb.

This Challenge should be completed 4 times over 4 weeks.

This Challenge should be completed over 45 minutes in length.

  • Ideally, your hill will be a straight up and back down path.
  • Look for a hill with a steeper grade, but make safe decisions. The steeper the hill, the less rhythm you will have. (This may have an impact on your ability to successfully carry implements up and down the hill in the case of Compete programming.)
  • Warm up for at least 1 mile prior to your hill repeat efforts.
  • Power up the hill, with your breathing going up into potentially Zone 5 in the last few seconds of the effort.
  • Be safe as you descend the hill. Momentum and your carried objects (in the case of Compete) may propel you faster than your muscles can carry you. Walking sideways down the hill can be the safest way and give you a chance to catch your breath. Use side-steps if the hill feels really steep after some work - your cardio may catch up to you here.

The Challenge should be done all at once.

  • Breaks for water, food, foot care and gear check are allowed and encouraged.
  • Breaks are recommended to be no longer than 15 minutes. Stop your working clock when you break.

A weighted ruck will be worn for the entire Challenge. (See Weight Requirements.)

Challenge Distance Requirements

  • Life: this is not currently a Challenge for Life programming.
  • Forward: this is not currently a Challenge for Forward programming.
  • Endure: this is not currently a Challenge for Endure programming.
  • Advanced: this is not currently a Challenge for Advanced programming.
  • Compete: required distance is to complete the Challenge is at least 45 minutes at the prescribed weight (see below)
  • Stirling: required distance is to complete the Challenge is at least 45 minutes at the prescribed weight (see below)

Challenge Weight Requirements

  • Compete: 45# ruck dry weight for Open Division, or 30# ruck dry weight for Female Division
  • Stirling: 30# ruck dry weight for all rosters

Challenge Time Requirements

  • This Challenge should be completed in no less than 45 minutes, 4 times over the course of 4 consecutive weeks at the training program mid-point.

STIRLING Challenge Requirements

The Hill Repeat Challenge is a Required Challenge for Stirling.

For the Hill Repeat Challenge in the Stirling programming, no implements are required. 

Your focus should be on quick effort - which is why you have a lighter ruck. Push-off from each foot, shuffling up the hill. Stop when you get to the top, take a breath and then slowly come back down.

The 30 lbs of dry weight in your ruck will have an impact on how your body moves through space on the downhill, so move more gently at first until you get the hang of it. Sidestepping down will save your muscles and ligaments.

Rest at the bottom of the hill (1-3 minutes is fine) and then charge back up.

:45 minutes of effort, 4 times over 4 consecutive weeks, mid-program.

** Treadmills are acceptable for this Challenge. You should set your incline at no less than 30% on an incline trainer or the maximum incline of a traditional treadmill. This substitution is only permitted in flat regions.

COMPETE Challenge Requirements

The Hill Repeat Challenge is an optional Challenge for Compete.

For the Hill Repeat Challenge in the Compete program, have the following implements ready at the bottom of the hill:

  • 5 gal bucket of water - more than half to 3/4 full
  • 5 gal bucket of rocks or dirt - more than half to 3/4 full 
  • 2 cinderblocks
  • 1 implement of your choice to wear - chains, tire, etc. OR the sandbag you are using most in training (ideally this will be something cumbersome and challenging to carry).

Your focus will be on hard, heavy effort. You may wear gloves.

Your recommended rhythm of effort is:

  • 1 climb with 5 gal bucket of water
  • 1 climb with 5 gal bucket of dirt
  • 1 ruck-only climb
  • 1 climb with 2 cinderblocks in hands
  • 1 climb with both buckets in hands
  • 1 climb with your chosen item (sandbag, chain, tire, etc.)
  • x REPEAT

Stop when you get to the top, take a breath and then slowly come back down.

You must carry the items with you both UP and DOWN the hill.

The extra weight WILL have an impact on how your body moves through space on the downhill, so move gently on all downhills.

Rest at the bottom of the hill (1-3 minutes is fine) and then charge back up.

:45 minutes of effort, 4 times over 4 consecutive weeks, mid-program.

Challenge Tips

Posture is always important. You should ruck uphill as straight as you can without leaning too far forward. Good posture will also positively impact your stride. Keeping your body up and in alignment, pushing off the ground mid-foot, will help. Cue your glues and hamstrings to fire to assist your quads in the effort.

Keep your rhythm steady as you climb, arms swinging at your sides if you are able.

Keep your feet under your knees - short strides will help you conserve energy.

Challenge Restrictions

  • Ruck safely. Communicate your route and estimated times to another individual/party who can alert
  • YOU MUST COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND RESTRICTIONS. DO NOT TRESPASS. If you are in doubt contact facility management for a clear understanding of access to and usage of any facility’s property. PATHFINDER assumes no liability whatsoever for any actions taken by a PATHFINDER roster.

PATHFINDER assumes no responsibility or liability for any injuries, damages or death. A roster assumes all risk associated with their participation in any and all PATHFINDER programming.

        ALL PATHFINDER CHALLENGES ARE COPYRIGHT © PATHFINDER RUCK TRAINING. 


        Leave a comment