The questions have been coming in again with the influx of new and upcoming Selection classes in the winter months as many of the candidates are trying to get prepared. As is the norm, most of the questions we get center around the physical part of Selection, especially rucking and land navigation.

We touched on some of the land navigation topics you’ll need to know in an earlier refresher and today we’ll look at some of the rucking questions that always seem to crop up in every group of Selection candidates.

First, and foremost… Ignore the noise! I can’t stress that part enough. Don’t worry about everyone else’s horror stories. Most of the worst stories coming about Selection are from guys who weren’t prepared and failed. I’ve said this countless times and so we’ll throw it out there again. Thousands of guys before you have made it through the course and being one of them, I don’t remember any of my classmates looking like Rambo or Chuck Norris.

It is tough, don’t doubt that, and trust me, you’ll be challenged, and beat down. That is what the course is designed to do.  You will have to work hard and push yourself, but if you do that and put the effort in to properly prepare for the courses, then there’s no reason to believe that you won’t be able to meet the standards.

I highly suggest that you read and follow the PT Program that we publish daily here at and if you follow that, you should be in good position to be selected. Most of the workouts are more distance running based rather than rucking. Why? Because running and building up your endurance on dirt and soft sand trails will ultimately help your ruck times. And everything works hand in hand.

A while back, I wrote that our PT preparation work focuses a lot on shoulder work, and for a good reason. That is one spot that you’ll find if you are a novice at rucking that will be really sore, perhaps even sorer than your feet. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to pass selection but if your shoulders are strong, it will take a lot of the stress and strain off when carrying a rucksack. And they’ll be sore.

So, you ask, what is the best way to get better at rucking? That’s easy, it is the same way to get into Carnegie Hall. Practice. Practice, practice, practice. Carrying a rucksack is just like shooting. You’re not going to be doing double taps on Day 1. Well, some of you may…however, I digress.  It takes learning the fundamentals and putting a lot of lead downrange. The Special Operations trooper has to learn to handle the rucksack like it is an extension of his own body. And you will.

Being over 6 feet tall, rucking came easier to me than some. I learned quickly to lengthen my stride and did it without using my calves too much. Otherwise, they’ll quickly tire and get tight.  I’d lengthen my stride using more hamstrings and hip motion, those are bigger muscle groups and with a bit of practice pushing off with your hamstrings and thighs. This will get your legs stretched out to a good length and really allows to push off and keep a good pace over a long distance. Again it is all practice.