Benefits of Rucking: Cardio for He Who Hates Cardio

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Benefits of Rucking: Cardio for He Who Hates Cardio


With our archives now 3,500+ articles deep, we’ve decided to republish a classic piece each Friday to help our newer readers discover some of the best, evergreen gems from the past. This article was originally published in October 2017.

I hate cardio.

Like some men who feel similarly, my hatred for cardio goes back to my sports playing days where running and sprinting were used by coaches as a form of tough love, i.e., punishment.

Mess up a play? Go run a lap. No, make that three.

Didn’t go hard enough during practice? 50 burpees for you.

Simply did something to irritate the coach? 40 gassers after practice.

While I respect men who can run long distances or who enjoy HIIT sessions, they’re like aliens from another planet to me. I just don’t understand the sadistic pleasure they take in cardio — “runner’s high” be damned.

Despite my aversion to cardio, I still made it a part of my workout routine because I knew it was good for me. But I usually bellyached about it. That is until I discovered a type of cardio work that I don’t despise and actually enjoy and look forward to doing. A type of cardio that has a bunch of other benefits besides heart health, to boot.

What is this wonder exercise?

Why rucking, of course.

Never heard of it or considered doing it? Take a seat, my brother in the hatred-of-running lodge. You’ll want to read this.

What Is Rucking?

Rucking is simple. So simple, it’s stupid.

Get a backpack.

Put some weight in said backpack.

Put on…

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