RUCK+: Slick Sprints and Ruck Work

Today we’re working on sprints and ruck work. I know. Why are we running in PATHFINDER when we're into ruck training? There's just so many benefits to this type of exercise that make you a better athlete, it's a juicy part of training we would be remiss if we overlooked. By including sprinting in your workout, we’re tapping into your anaerobic energy systems to improve your overall conditioning, cardiovascular endurance and train your nervous system to perform better.

Sprints should always be done with no ruck. (No Ruck = Slick) Today’s sprint distance will be between 100-200 meters. It’s a short distance, so it should be for 8+ max effort. Your sprint should be bursts of speed between 10-20 seconds each, at most. Rest briefly after your sprint is over, before your next group of exercises. 

There is honestly so much written about the endless physiological benefits of sprints, I encourage you to learn more for yourself. But just in case you’d like a bullet-point list to drive home the importance of sprinting and why you should do it even though you’re into ruck training, here we go:

  1. They’re efficient. There’s not a better, faster way to get fitter than by incorporating sprints into your weekly workouts. It offers the most improvement in the quickest period of time.
  2. They help you build muscle. Because you’re engaging so many muscles to sprint, it’s a complete workout that will make you stronger and leaner when done consistently.
  3. The cardiovascular improvements are unparalleled. When incorporating sprints into your regular workout plan, your blood pressure can lower over time. Your heart becomes a stronger muscle and improves your overall circulation.

(A good guide to sprinting can be found at Mark's Daily Apple. This is a great primer on the topic, and considering it's written by basically the grandpa of primal movement methods, its worth a read even if you have no active interest in sprinting.)

Our exercises are designed to give you a full-body workout, and are written in a descending rep order. You've got more energy on the front end, so you'll do 25 reps of each exercise in the first round, and then each round thereafter, we've decreased the rep round by 5. Be sure to rest in-between each round. I'm not going to specifically prescribe the rest time, since it can be different for everyone depending on your fitness level and cardiovascular "bounce-back." (But I wouldn't rest for more than 1:30 between each round.)

Sprinting and this kind of exercise grouping is best when you're actively engaged and listening to your body. Be honest about how hard you're pushing (or not pushing). Adjust accordingly. Listening to your body is an important skill to master and can alert you to potential injury, better physical decision making and help you to relax your body and still get the work done. One of the things I've personally learned to master is the overwhelming feeling that floods through as a workout gets tougher and tougher. I have found that learning to listen to myself through intense volumes of work, instead of numbing out to the work itself and learning how to avoid panic when your heart-rate feels crazy translates so well during events, and really, life in general. This means so much more than just 'another workout.' 

THE WORK

Round 1 x 25 reps

  • Ruck Overhead Press
  • Ruck Squats
  • Push-Ups (slick)
  • Ruck Sit-ups
  • Walking Lunges (hard count)

SPRINT - NO RUCK


Round 2 x 20 reps

  • Ruck Overhead Press
  • Ruck Squats
  • Push-Ups (slick)
  • Ruck Sit-ups
  • Walking Lunges (hard count)

SPRINT - NO RUCK


Round 3 x 15 reps

  • Ruck Overhead Press
  • Ruck Squats
  • Push-Ups (slick)
  • Ruck Sit-ups
  • Walking Lunges (hard count)

SPRINT - NO RUCK


Round 4 x 10 reps

  • Ruck Overhead Press
  • Ruck Squats
  • Push-Ups (slick)
  • Ruck Sit-ups
  • Walking Lunges (hard count)

SPRINT - NO RUCK


Round 5 x 5 reps

  • Ruck Overhead Press
  • Ruck Squats
  • Push-Ups (slick)
  • Ruck Sit-ups

SPRINT - NO RUCK


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