T Nation

Jogging with a Weighted Pack


Recently I've been running with a simple backpack with about 25 lbs in it. I've heard there's lots of health disadvantages to it, but I'm doing it to prepare myself for BMT. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions? I'm thinking of switching up my routine and running MF with it, and TTh without it.

Usually bags shift around, but there's so much weight it doesn't tend to sway around much, but when it does I'd usually ties the shoulder strap rope acrossed my stomach, although it seems to restrain me from a natural breathing pattern.

I've been considering a bag with real straps on it if it's safer, but I seem to find mostly hydration bags which can't hold much weight. So I'd appreciate if anyone could recommend an affordable bag for the situation. Thanks.


Maybe go to your local Army/Navy store and see what they have? I've gotten several hiking packs from there for dirt cheap


That's an idea, not sure there's any around, I'll look though. Those places can have some good stuff.


get a weighted vest.


x 2 on the weight vest... Or a hiking style pack with a chest strap and a waist strap so the pack is synched down and more secure. I would be careful with the weighted running at first. It can be hard on your knees if your running on concrete so I would gradually work yourself up in weight/frequency/duration of your runs.


Never run/job/sprint with weight, unless you want to grind your ankles, knees, hips and back to dust.

Going for a march is perfectly fine.


thats a bold statement and frankly not true. Depends on how you do it/if you build up to it. A lot of people do weighted running just fine.


But why take the risk?

Just get a sled, throw a few plates on it and attach it to your belt with a rope and drag it. It works great, you will get the same training effect and it's much safer.


I believe you are in the military... am I correct?

I dont know about you or what unit you were in but I was in a SF unit for 5 years and we did weighted runs quite a bit. Sometimes just full kit, boots and cammies runs on the beach and other times a ruck with a 40lb sand bag in it.

That was required PT for us so thats why I used to do it... i don't do any weighted distance running anymore just the occasional "sprints" with a 20lb weight vest.


well the problem with running weighted is mainly the tarmac or concrete you are on, with that extra weight it smashes your joints every single step. On the beach it's a lot less of an impact and stress on your joint.

I personally wouldn't run weighted, but doing it from time to time I can't imagine it would do too much damage, but I wouldn't make it a daily thing.

edit: To the OP, I wouldn't worry about it, maybe do it a few times to get used to it, but you most likely will not be running wearing anything over 20lb packs in the military, regardless of the branch.


there wouldnt be much of a difference in running with a 20 pack or gaining 20lbs of BW and then running. I dont see how its going to destroy your knees and ankles... you just have to build up to it


Learn how to run with weight; you need to change your stride so to prevent the pack from bouncing. Sorry I can't explain it any better than that.

I injured my knees running with a pack, but I believe it was the downhill which did it.


Thanks for the advice guys. I run on a trail in the woods though, so it's not concrete, but it's pretty hard dirt.

And I quoted this post, because I just wanted to say it would be a miracle if I ever put on 20 lbs haha. I'm 130, I can eat pretty heavy, I hardly even watch my diet, and I'm still damn skinny, which is one reason I want to jog with a pack. I don't want to go all out cardio and start cutting muscle when I'm already pretty damn skinny.


edit: To the OP, I wouldn't worry about it, maybe do it a few times to get used to it, but you most likely will not be running wearing anything over 20lb packs in the military, regardless of the branch.[/quote]

Hmmm... I agree with you that MOST conditioning runs (squad/platoon) are without kit. But we do sprint work (300m shuttles, or 400m sprints) in body armor just about twice a week, and that's 35lbs. If you're wearing all your kit attached- add on a few extra lbs for magazine pouches with empty mags/camel back, and other misc junk and you might be pushing close to 40lbs.

OP: Dude, if you're 130lbs-- I agree; running with a weight vest/ruck will only keep the body weight off you. Not ideal for you to train this way right now.


yeah OP if you're 130 I would cut out all running completely (unless you have to for a sport, job or something) Just concentrate on lifting big and eating big (if those are your goals)


Like I said, I'm jogging to keep in shape for BMT when I join the military. I'm trying to keep fit, like have a healthy CVS, but also put on a few pounds of muscle. I can't afford a gym membership, or weights, although I did have some, I recently moved and don't have them. So I've been working cardio, while also trying to put on some decent muscle.


Chain, harness and tire. Attach yourself to the tire and run till you drop.


It's hard to imagine a scrawny 130 lb'er running around with a tire strapped to him haha


Run a sprint up a hill then 20 body weight squats jog down do 20 push ups and repeat. The only equipment you need is a hill and yourself.


This sounds right around my limitations. My jogging consists of a couple small slopes which I sprint up, and I jog when it levels off, and after each mile I do 25-30 push ups, with or without my pack. I also do 50 squats with my pack on before jogging.