T Nation

Weight is a hiker's & TnT's enemy

10/14/21, Thursday

Trail walk

  • 35:16, 2.01 mi, 507 ft ascent/ descent 21.2 lb day pack

A little jaunt to get the blood flowing. With the cooler weather we’re having, I’m transitioning from my hydration pack to a day pack. Unfortunately, my biceps tendon hurt a lot for two days after OHP. I think the racking and unracking position caused it, because that position is like the top end of a reverse curl. Bugger, but my ortho appointment is getting closer.


10/17/21, Sunday

Road ruck

  • 1:39:30, 6.01 mi, 1,202 ft ascent/ descent, 28.5 lb pack, mid hikers

Farthest I’ve rucked in six years :slight_smile:


Periodic weigh-in, 10/17/21

  • 196.6
    Least I’ve weighed in five years! I presume I’ve lost a bit of upper body muscle, but I’m feeling really good! My rucking endurance and speed are increasing, which says I’m on the right nutritional and exercise track.

That’s a great pace especially with added weight and elevation! Congrats on your progress!

1 Like

Thank you! The distance tracker app I use doesn’t write the third place quantity for elapsed time, so I had to guess. My pace was 16:38/mile, which I was pleasantly surprised by. My goal is to increase to a 35-pound pack for 10 miles, then assess whether I want to introduce a time element.

1 Like

10/18/21, Monday

Mellow trail walk

  • Around 34:00, 1.9 mi, 450 ft ascent/ descent, 14.5 lb day pack
    I was pretty sore and stiff from Sunday’s ruck, so this was a brief jaunt to get the blood flowing.
1 Like

10/20/21, Wednesday

Deficit deadlifts

  • 135 x 10
  • 175 x 5
  • 215 x 4
  • 245 x 3
  • 275 x 2
  • 300 x 2
  • 300 x 2
  • 300 x 2
  • 300 x 2
  • 250 x 8
    Alternating conventional and sumo

Push-ups, handles + feet elevated

  • bw x 100 total, supersetted with

DB rows

  • 65 x 4 x 8

DB reverse wrist curls

  • 20 x 2 x 15, supersetted with

DB wrist curls

  • 25 x 2 x 15

DB curls - 20 x 15, 10
1-arm DB triceps extensions - 20 x 15, 15
Lateral raises - 20 x 8, 8

Nice little return to lifting session. Until the ortho appointment, I plan to lift either full body twice a week or alternating upper and lower three times a week. Having no set plan is still a plan, yes?


10/21/21, Thursday

Road/trail light ruck

  • 1:10:42, 4.36 mi, 1,028 ft ascent/ descent, 16.5 lb day pack, low hikers
1 Like

10/25/21, Monday, upper body

Incline DB bench press

  • 20 x 20
  • 45 x 12
  • 55 x 3
  • 65 x 4 x 8
    Testing my elbow; so far, so good.

DB rows (no arm support)

  • 45 x 5
  • 55 x 5
  • 65 x 4 x 9, supersetted with

C/S rear delt flyes

  • 20 x 3 x 12 and

Push-ups, backpack + handles + feet elevated

  • 20lbs x 23, 18, 15 (54 total)
    I’m doing 360 sets for weighted push-ups; sets of 25, 20, 15 will be 60 reps, which seems a useful number for this exercise.

DB reverse wrist curls - 20 x 2 x 16
DB wrist curls - 25 x 2 x 16
1-arm DB triceps extensions - 20 x 2 x 16
DB curls - 20 x 2 x 16
Lateral raises - 20 x 2 x 10
Squeeze gripper - Bollinger x 2 x 20/hand

  • Light, high-volume arm exercises felt good last week, so I’m sticking with them.

If my arm feels ok, my current plan is to return to a form of Washed-Up Meathead, with two upper body and one lower body lifting days each week, along with three ruck/walk days.

One weekly leg session should suffice as I continue increasing weekly rucking mileage and pack weight. Until my elbow’s sorted, I may have to stay with all horizontal pressing and pulling. After it’s healed, one upper body day will revolve around overhead presses and pull-ups. It feels really nice to do some upper body lifting again.


Good progress on weight loss. Slow and steady.
I really need to reintroduce upper body pulling. Scared of making the elbow worse!

1 Like

Thanks, I appreciate it!

I hear you; I’ve foregone upper body lifting for nearly four months. Can you go to an orthopedic or sports med doctor?

Not worth it at this point. I’ve been many times. Rest and rehab exercise is the best I can do; but should prioritize rehab exercise more than I have.

1 Like

I hear that. Which rehab exercis s work best for you?

Dont know yet!
I plan to do some DB rows and super light curls, and maybe overhand curls, tomorrow. If the elbow inflames, I’ll take another long break before trying similar movements.

Have you noticed if certain angles of wrist or elbow movement feel better or worse? I’ve been rowing with a semi-supinated grip, slightly twisting from neutral as I lift, and it feels MUCH better than a purely neutral or pronated grip. Maybe there’s a certain ROM that’ll work better for you, too.


10/26/21, Tuesday

Road ruck

  • 48:45, 3.32 mi, 242 ft ascent/ descent, 15.2 lb day pack, mid hikers

A quick, light ruck. We’re getting a touch of fall weather - around 45* without the wind chill - but I was still drenched in sweat by the end. Even though I had a light pack and walked few hills, I’m still pleased to finally break a sub-15-minutes-per-mile pace (14:41.)


That’s a fast pace!

I’m hoping some grip neutrality helps. Which is why I’ll be trying DB rows as you described or cable rows with independent grips today. Heretofore I only barbell row or straight bar cable row.


I hope a dumbbell/ independent cable handles and changeable grip work for you! I’ll read your log and watch for updates.

It’s interesting you mentioned how heretofore (great word!) you’d only rowed with bars, aka done bilateral pulling. Back in May and June, when I was consistently barbell rowing, I noticed increasing elbow pain in my tendons during and after rows. Unilateral rows don’t have the same deleterious effects on me. The same holds true for pull-ups - using a fixed bar with any grip causes tendonitis, but straps and Olympic rings feel much better, because I can twist my shoulders, elbow, and wrists, thus changing the angle, throughout the movement, whenever and however I feel like. Perhaps unilateral-style rowing will work for you!

Yeah, I was hoofing it to go three-plus miles in the time I had for exercise!

My actual, hitherto unstated goal, is to ruck 12 miles in three hours or less with a 35 lb. or 52 lb. pack. Why those numbers? Because that’s the entry-level rucking qualification time for Army Ranger school. Candidates have to ruck a 35-pound pack - plus two gallons of water, which weighs around 17 pounds - for 12 miles in less than three hours. I’m still debating if I want work up to the full weight or stay with a joint-friendlier 35 pounds.

I had a couple very serious injuries when I was 20 and 24 years old, so serving in the military wasn’t an option for me after graduating college. My nephew’s in the Army now and fixing to go to jump school then considering Ranger School afterwards. He and I trained together before he went to Basic, and training for the rucking event is one tiny way I can stay connected to what he’s doing. Plus, although I can’t run well any more, I CAN ruck, so I see this standard as a difficult but achievable goal given intelligent and incremental progress. Since I love to hike and want to climb 14ers or do a through-hike, this standard also provides a frame of reference for good rucking goals.


I love this goal, and am glad you have now stated it publicly.
Pullups from straps/rings sounds perfect for me. I’ll buy something I can hang from my office bar. Thanks for the suggestion!
Will update log in a bit, but I did the DB rows you described.


10/28/21, Thursday

Trail walk

  • 35:09, 2.1 mi, 546 ft ascent/ descent, 15.5 lb day pack
1 Like