Flabby at 50? Go Ruck - Yourself!

Dr. Dad Bod
3 min readJan 29, 2022
The author and the abs he found at 51

I am lucky in that , for me, going to the gym was never really a chore. I enjoy going and have since I was about 16. Of course, over the years I have tried every kind of faddy diet or supplement that came down the pike, but once I had kids and real responsibilities I had to stop tossing money into such vehicles of empty promise.

That did a number on my psyche though. I began feeling like I was falling behind and my wife, well in tune with how I love seeing the rewards of my hard work, reminded me that as people age ,they change. What I actually heard her say was “You’re getting fat”. Noooooooooo!

And then, one day, it happened. My abdominals ran away. They ran away, and they were playing a remarkable game of hide and seek behind subcutaneous fat that I had layered on as a result of a crappy diet and a truly heroic propensity to imbibe beer.

I realized that I had to make changes, changes that didn’t involve running because I HATE that, and changes that enhanced my diet while still allowing me to drink my beloved beer.

That’s when I discovered rucking

A ruck vest!

Rucking is simply walking while wearing weight. For many people, everything you need to ruck you probably already have. Just grab a back pack, toss some books or jugs of water in it, and take a stroll.

FOr the more advanced, there are a wide array of commercial weight vests available. Stay away from any that need sandbags, but all of the iron weighted ones I have tried work very well. Mine is a 50 pounder with flat pockets for flat plates, and I typically go on arduous three mile hikes through a lot of elevation and tricky footing. It is not uncommon for me to burn 1000 calories on these excursions, and on hot days my heart rate gets into the max range and stays there quite well .

On lighter days , when I am looking to keep my heart rate in the fat burning range, I just put the vest on and walk the dog. If I know the terrain, it is quite easy to peg about 130 bpm and sustain it for an hour or so.

While I ruck, I often listen to audio books and, except when I am concentrating on my breathing and heart rate, I can easily lose myself in the workout. It is very enjoyable!

I don’t eat bread. I eat a very high protein diet without foregoing healthy fats, I drink a lot of water, and I am at about 10 percent body fat at 51.

For those of you searching for long lost abs as I was, or for those of you who just really hate running, I gotta tell ya- go ruck yourself.

You will love it !

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Dr. Dad Bod

I am a husband, father, teacher, and soccer coach, and aspiring writer residing in Northern Virginia. More than anything, I love having fun and pushing myself!