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Five Essentials for a GORUCK Home Gym

Home fitness popularity continues to gain momentum as more people trade their gym memberships for virtual classes and at-home workouts, much like GORUCK Sandbag and Ruck Training (aka SRT) which we launched in March 2020 in response to the need within our community for virtual training. Perfecting a home gym the old fashioned way can take years and cost thousands of dollars, but like most things the GORUCK way has and always will be more streamlined, efficient and effective. 

Advantages of a GORUCK Home Gym

Grabbing a ruck and heading to the park is a great way to stay fit while enjoying time outdoors. But, as the days get shorter (and colder), the window to get outside and train gets smaller each day. By building your own GORUCK home gym, you give yourself the opportunity to keep training when the weather doesn’t cooperate or it’s too dark outside (thanks daylight savings), as well as hold yourself accountable on days you’re short on time. Regardless of why you’re building your GORUCK home gym, here are five essential pieces of equipment to turn your underutilized space into the last gym you’ll ever need. 

1. Sandbag

The peak of functional fitness gear, a GORUCK Sandbag is the ultimate piece of workout equipment. Sandbags have more versatility than barbells and allow for more innovative movements you cannot replicate with a barbell. Sandbags are also more dynamic – the weight and shape moves as you move, which requires greater muscle activation. This leads to increased muscle strain, more efficient workouts, and faster strength gains. As the foundational piece of home-gym equipment, you can swap filler bags in and out to set the weight for different lifts, and as you get stronger, scale the sandbag to grow with you. Sandbags are the ideal piece of equipment even for those of us with minimal indoor  space – they are compact, fit in a closet, and as long as you’ve got a solid floor underneath you, you can develop a great full-body workout routine in a confined space. Sandbags are also easy to transport – if you’re heading out of town for the weekend, or taking a long trip, bring the cornerstone of your gym with you.

As far as a sandbag arsenal, it’s good to have a variety on hand. Everyone should have a 40lb and 60lb Sandbag in their garage/living room/bedroom whatever. The 120lbs Sandbag lately is perfect to have around as a higher rep deadlift sandbag. Your kids won’t break their faces on it like they will a barbell, either, so that’s good. At the other end of the spectrum, the 20lb Sandbag. We use it a couple different ways. It’s Em’s go-to (proportionately, it’s the same as me with a 40lbs) for her SRT workouts with her friends. I use it as an additional weight in my rucksack from time to time. That and the newly launched 10lb Ruck Sandbag.

Each of us has to scale correctly for us to keep good form and posture. To push harder on the next round, scale up the sandbag. Then if it’s too heavy (you’re breaking form etc), grab the 40# instead of the 60# next round. And I really like having different Sandbag options to throw in (or on) my ruck depending on what’s going on.

2. Rucksack

A rucksack  is a great asset for warmup laps or those rest days when you still want to get after it. Take a few laps with a load on your back before you load add a sandbag, or complement your sandbag with the ruck for those lifts you want to go a little heavier on. Most traditional barbell lifts can be done with a ruck or sandbag, like cleans, snatches, deadlifts, shoulder-to-overhead movements and even front or back squats. Throw the gym on your back and ruck around the block when you need to get moving but don’t have time to commit to a full training session. Bring your dog or kids along to wear them out and you’ve got your recipe a recipe for exhaustion.

3. Ruck Plate Carrier

The Ruck Plate Carrier aka RPC is the weight vest killer. It is the most streamlined and efficient way to add weight to your workouts. For the more traditional movements like push-ups or pull-ups, once you’ve mastered your own body weight throwing on a ruck plate carrier while you crank them out is a great way to take those traditional body-weight exercises to the next level. It’s also more efficient for faster rucks or ruck running in a WOD. 

4. Ruck Plate

Ruck Plates are compact and fit seamlessly in the Rucker and Ruck Plate Carrier™ for superior stability. We recommend starting with 20lbs if you weight under 150lbs, and going for 30lbs with you’re over 150lbs. We also have a 45lb ruck plate when you’re ready to take things to the next level. Or move up gradually with our 10lb ruck plate or sandbag.

5. Footwear

Power comes from balance and a strong foundation, so don’t settle for something that will compromise either. Weak shoes will tear or split while you’re throwing the rucks around. GORUCK recently released the all new Ballistic Trainers to solve that problem for you – they’ll look great in and out of the gym, and you know they are built tough like the rest of GORUCK’s gear. 

If you’re more of a hiker and trail rucker, the I/O’s are now on sale for Black Friday for only $99 and they boast a little bit more support for outside terrain.

Other Considerations

The garage or basement floor works great, but if you want something that will protect your gear and is a bit more forgiving, rubber mats are fairly inexpensive and generally hold up to whatever you put them through. Keep an eye out for thicker mats; generally three-quarter inch are best – don’t waste your money on thin foam mats that won’t last.

This relationship between Sandbags and Rucksacks and between miles and PT has been around almost since the beginning of GORUCK. Regardless of where or why you’re building your gym, or whether you’re just beginning or have been training for years, a GORUCK home gym is the ultimate solution to help you #keeptraining.

GORUCK has created holiday bundles to help you get started and they are now on sale for Black Friday, so now is the best time to upgrade your training equipment: 

Shop all holiday bundles: https://ruck.ly/3eOIcnD.

Let us hear from you – Sound off in the comments on your at-home gym essentials and share how you’re building your GORUCK home gym this winter!

About the Author

Kevin and his fiancé run a travel blog. They are taking a pause right now on travel content and diving into training.


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