Free 12-Week GORUCK Heavy Training Plan and Guide

This is a free 12-week training plan/guide for those training to complete a GORUCK Heavy.

Overview

This GORUCK Heavy Training Plan is designed to do two things.

  1. It is designed to get you ready for the 24 hours, 40+ miles, of rucking you have in store.
  2. It is designed to help prepare your body for the physical abuse that the cadre will throw at you during your event.

To prepare for your rucking, this plan will typically involve 3-4 rucking days per week. It will typically rotate between short/heavy rucks, medium/fast rucks, and long/boring rucks.

To prepare for the beatdowns you’re going to encounter, we’ll involve a number of “workouts” that incorporate the various PT exercises you’ll encounter.

Format

The entire GORUCK Heavy training plan is available below for free.

If you’d like a fancy PDF version, or you want a copy of the plan in Word or Pages (so you can edit it and tweak it to better suit your needs) then sign up for our email list below and in your first email I’ll send you a copy of the files.

Assumption

If you’re wanting to train for a GORUCK Heavy, I’m going to assume that you’re in good physical condition. Like, going on a 12-mile ruck and then doing 30-45 minute PT session won’t kill you. If you don’t think you could make it through that, then you might want to consider our GORUCK Tough training guide before tackling this one.

Plan or Guide?

This GORUCK Heavy training plan is designed to be a guide for your training. You know your unique training needs better than I do. This means that you can change, add, or subtract, anything you want. While it is “a” plan, feel free to use it as a guide and adjust as your unique needs dictate.

You can also go to our home page to view daily workout geared for those training for Heavy, Tough, and Light GORUCK events for more ideas, inspiration, and workout ideas.

Should I also do strength training?

Like I said above, this is a guide. If you need to get stronger, then weekly body weight and ruck PT will help. But, doing a strength training program will also help. While training for my first Heavy, I did a lot of what is in this plan but also added regular trips to my CrossFit gym to lift heavy things.

Again, know your weakness and tweak the guide to meet your needs.

What you need.

I highly recommend you get:

Rucking Notes.

  1. You should always ruck at or above your “event weight.” Your event weight is how much your ruck weighs when it is fill of all your event gear + weight + water. For me, my “event weight” is 39#.
  2. Each month will have a standard Heavy ruck and PT test. Your goal is to complete the 12-mile ruck in 3.5 hours and then complete a minimum of 55 pushups in 2 minutes and 55 situps in 2 minutes. You will have to do this at the GORUCK Heavy, so get ready.
  3. Use this training time to lock in your gear from head to toe. Figure out what works from food to underwear. By the 9th week, commit to what works and don’t change it before your event.

Before you begin.

Read our disclaimer. Be smart in your training. Be safe in your rucking. Send feedback, ideas, and pictures of you getting your Heavy patch to ryan AT ruck.training.

Tapering

This guide does not have a taper period. So, if you’re planning to use this guide to run right up to your event date, weeks 11 and 12 should taper your miles and work in order to rest your body for the Heavy. Ideally, you would plan to use this guide 13-14 weeks before your event. At the completion of the guide, begin a week or two of tapering to prepare.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 1

Week One Recommended Reading:

Monday – 1 Mile Ruck with 60# Sandbag

It should go without saying that this is with your ruck and the sandbag. Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – PT

20 8-count Man Makers
20 Sit-ups
20 Thrusters
20 4-count Flutter Kicks
Complete the above FOUR times through.

Wednesday – 5 Mile Ruck

Wednesdays are a mid-range ruck. We’ll add more miles in the weeks to come. Use Wednesdays to try and push your pace a little bit.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – Bear With Me

Complete the Heavy version of “Bear With Me.”

Saturday – GORUCK Heavy 12-Mile Timed Ruck + PT Test

This will help set your baseline for the training program.

Perform the standard GORUCK Heavy 12-mile timed ruck. Upon completion, rest 10 minutes and then perform a 2-minute max-rep push-up test. Rest 10 minutes. Perform a 2-minute max-rep situp test.

Record your results and remember that you need to be under 3.5 hours on the ruck and 55 reps on the push-ups and sit-ups. If you missed the mark on any of these, use that as fuel for your training and work on your weakness.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 2

Week Two Recommended Reading:

Monday – 1 Mile Ruck with a Log

Take your log for a walk (and, yes, you’re supposed to wear your ruck too). Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – PT

20 Squats with ruck over head
20 4-count Flutter Kicks
20 Ruck Curls
20 4-count Mountain Climbers
Complete the above SIX times through.

Wednesday – 5 Mile Ruck

Use Wednesdays to try and push your pace a little bit. An easy way to shave off some seconds is to shuffle over any roads you cross. Cross a lot of roads, shave a lot of time.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – PT

50 Push-ups
50 Sit-ups
Complete the above FOUR times through.

Saturday – Ruck 8 Miles

Nothing fancy. Just strap on your ruck and go.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 3

Week Three Recommended Reading:

  • While a GORUCK Heavy is difficult, it is wayyyy easier than GORUCK Selection. Check out this interview with Mark Klemm, who finished GORUCK Selection in 2016. This particular interview discusses how he trained for the event (hint: It is crazy).

Monday – 1 Mile Ruck with a Jerry Can

Jerry can’s suck, but they are standard fare at GORUCK events. Take time to get used to it and try to find a way to carry it that works for you. Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – PT plus 1 Mile Ruck

Do 50 “Get up. Get down.”
Accumulate 5 minutes of a 6″ hold (while holder your ruck overhead)
After you finish the above, go for a 1-mile ruck.

For the “Get up. Get down.” imagine you are at an event and the cadre has you on your belly. He then yells, “get up.” About the time you get all the way up he yells, “get back down.” So, you go back to your belly. He then yells, “get up.” You get the picture. It is kind of like a crappy burpee.

The 6″ hold is on your back with your legs straight and feet together. Raise your legs till your heels are 6″ off the ground. Hold it. As stated above, you should be holding your ruck over head while doing this.

Wednesday – WET 6 Mile Ruck

Jump in a pool. Jump in a lake. Use your hose and soak yourself to the bone. Now, go for a 6-mile ruck. I’m serious. In your event, you WILL get wet. YOu gotta know how your body will react to rucking while wet. So, do it.

Note: Do not do this if the weather is super cold. Use your common sense and be safe.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – Sandbag Mile

Do the Sandbag mile (with a 60# sandbag, of course).

Saturday – Ruck 8 Miles

Nothing fancy. Just strap on your ruck and go.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 4

Week Four Recommended Reading:

Monday – 2 Mile Ruck with a Sandbag

Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – PT 

20 4-count Flutter Kicks
20 8-count Man Makers
20 Monkey F’ers
20 seconds holding ruck overhead
Complete the above FOUR times through.

Wednesday – 6 Mile Ruck with a “Buy in”

Before you go on your 6-mile ruck you must complete 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – 300 4-count Flutter Kicks

Do 300 4-count Flutter Kicks

Saturday – Ruck 9 Miles

More miles. Be sure to bring the smiles.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 5

Week Five Recommended Reading:

Monday – 2 Mile Ruck with a Log

Take your log for a 2-mile ruck. Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – Ruck, PT, Ruck

  1. Ruck 1 mile
  2. 100 push-ups
    100 4-count flutter kicks
  3. Ruck 1 mile

Wednesday – 7 Mile Ruck with a “Cash out”

Ruck 7 miles. At the end, perform 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – 100 4-count Mountain Climbers

Do 100 4-count Mountain Climbers.

Saturday – GORUCK Heavy 12-Mile Timed Ruck + PT Test

Perform the standard GORUCK Heavy 12-mile timed ruck. Upon completion, rest 10 minutes and then perform a 2-minute max-rep push-up test. Rest 10 minutes. Perform a 2-minute max-rep situp test.

Compare your results with last month’s. Remember that you need to be under 3.5 hours on the ruck and 55 reps on the push-ups and sit-ups. If you missed the mark on any of these, use that as fuel for your training and work on your weakness.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 6

Week SIX Recommended Reading:

  • If you’re rucking with a GORUCK GR1, you may want to consider this ruck upgrade. This is one of the best and cheapest upgrades around.

Monday – 2 Mile Ruck with a Jerry Can

Jerry sucks. Smile anyway. Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – Bear Crawl around a Soccer Field

And don’t go looking for one of those tiny soccer fields. Bear crawl around a legit, full size, soccer field.

Wednesday – 7 Mile Ruck with a “Buy in”

Before you begin your 7-mile ruck you must complete 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – Super Sucky Sandbag Ruck

In an urban area with “blocks” go for a 1-hour ruck with a 60# sandbag.

  • On block 1, carry sandbag in your left hand.
  • On block 2, carry sandbag in your right hand.
  • On block 3, carry sandbag in your arms like a baby.
  • On block 4, carry sandbag on your back.
  • Repete rotation until your hour is complete.

Note: If you don’t have an area with “blocks” then do 1 minute for each carry.

Saturday – Ruck 10 Miles and make the last one hard

Ruck 10 miles. The last mile must be completed with the addition of a sandbag.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 7

Week SEVEN Recommended Reading:

  • Do your homework and read up on other people’s Heavy experiences. Check out the GORUCK AAR Directory.

Monday – 3 Mile Ruck with a Sandbag

Take a sandbag for a 3-mile ruck. Take as few breaks as possible. This will suck a bit.

Tuesday – PT + 2-mile Ruck

  1. 5 Ruck-on Push-ups
    10 4-count Flutter Kicks
    25 Squats
    FIVE rounds.
  2. Ruck 2 Miles

Wednesday – 8 Mile Ruck with a “Cash out”

Ruck 8 miles. At the end, perform 75 push-ups and 75 sit-ups

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – Get Wet, Do PT, Ruck 1 Mile

Use a hose, pool, or whatever to get completely soaked. Then:

  1. 20 Sit-ups
    20 Thrusters
    20 4-count Mountain Climbers
    20 “Get up. Get down.”
    Complete THREE rounds.
  2. Ruck 1 mile.

Remember, don’t get wet if it is super cold. Be smart. Check “Week 3 – Tuesday” if you aren’t sure what “Get up. Get down.” is.

Saturday – Ruck 10 Miles and make the first one hard

Ruck 10 miles. The first mile must be completed with the addition of a sandbag.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 8

Week EIGHT Recommended Reading:

Monday – 3 Mile Ruck with a Log.

Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – Duck With Me

Do “Bear With Me” BUT replace bear crawls with duck walks.

Wednesday – 8 Mile Ruck with a “Buy in”

Before you begin your 8-mile ruck you must complete 75 push-ups and 75 sit-ups.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – 20 Mile Night Ruck

Ruck 20 miles at night.

Notes: You can start in the evening, but the majority of your ruck should be at night. Wear a headlamp and reflectors. Would be ideal if you can have a buddy ruck with you. As always, be smart and be safe.

Saturday – Take a nap.

Good job last night.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 9

Week NINE Recommended Reading:

Monday – 3 Mile Ruck with a Jerry Can

Take a Jerry Can for a 3-mile ruck. Take as few breaks as possible. Your Jerry can is full, isn’t it?

Tuesday – 1-mile Ruck, PT, 1-mile Ruck

  1. Ruck 1 mile.
  2. Do 100 “Get up. Get down.”
  3. Ruck 1 Miles

Wednesday – 9 Mile Ruck with a “Cash out”

Ruck 9 miles. At the end, perform 75 push-ups and 75 sit-ups

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – Go for a Jog

No ruck. Just go for a jog. Make it as long or as short as you want. Just look at tomorrow’s ruck before you go.

Saturday – GORUCK Heavy 12-Mile Timed Ruck + PT Test (PLUS 1 mile ruck)

Perform the standard GORUCK Heavy 12-mile timed ruck. Upon completion, rest 10 minutes and then perform a 2-minute max-rep push-up test. Rest 10 minutes. Perform a 2-minute max-rep situp test.

After you’re done, go ruck one more mile. Remember, after your Heavy timed ruck and PT test are over, the Heavy actually begins.

This is your last test day for the timed ruck and PT Test. Are you dialed in? Do you know your pace? Got all the reps you’ll need? It is time to have it locked and loaded.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 10

Week TEN Recommended Reading:

Monday – 4 Mile Ruck with a Sandbag.

Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – Deck of Death

Using a full deck of playing cards you will pull a card. The value will be the number of reps you’ll do. The suit will determine the movement (see below). Perform the movement for the number of the reps. Pull another card and repeat. Do this until you’ve gone through the entire deck. Face cards are 10.

  • Heart = Push-up
  • Spade = Ruck-Over-Head Squat
  • Club = 4-count Flutter Kick
  • Diamond = 4-count Mountain Climber

Wednesday – 9 Mile Ruck with a “Buy in”

Before you begin your 9-mile ruck you must complete 75 push-ups and 75 sit-ups.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – PT + 1 mile Ruck + 1 mile Heavy

  1. 20 Thrusters
    20 4-count Flutter Kicks
    20 8-count Man Makers
    20 Sit-ups
  2. Ruck 1 Mile
  3. Ruck 1 more mile with a 60# sandbag

Saturday – Ruck 14 miles

Just some more miles.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 11

Week ELEVEN Recommended Reading:

Monday – 4 Mile Ruck with a Log

Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – 2-mile Ruck, PT, 2-mile Ruck

  1. Ruck 2 miles.
  2. 50 Push-ups
    50 Sit-ups
    THREE Rounds
  3. Ruck 2 Miles

Wednesday – 10 Mile Ruck with a “Cash out”

Ruck 10 miles. At the end, perform 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – PT

100 4-count Flutter Kicks
100 Push-ups
100 4-count Mountain Climbers
Accumulate 5 minutes of Overhead Ruck Holds in as few sets as possible.

Saturday – 12 Mile Ruck

Your pace should be nice and locked in. Knock this out of the park!

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

GORUCK Heavy Training Guide – Week 12

Week TWELVE Recommended Reading:

Monday – 4 Mile Ruck with a Jerry Can.

Take as few breaks as possible.

Tuesday – 10 Minutes of 6″ + Push-up Penalties

Laying on your back with legs straight, lift your feet 6″ off the ground. While doing this, your ruck should be held over head. Every time your feet touch the ground, stop your clock and do 3 push-ups.

Wednesday – 10 Mile Ruck with a “Buy in”

Before you begin your 10-mile ruck you must complete 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups.

Thursday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Friday – Chose Your Own Adventure PT Session

Create your own horribly awesome PT. Don’t take it easy on yourself. The Cadre sure won’t.

Saturday – Ruck 13 miles

This is it… one more ruck.

Sunday – Rest Day

Stretch. Foam Roll. Eat. Rest. Recover.

Now… go earn that patch!