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The New GORUCK Heavy PT Test Standards

Since 2015, the GORUCK Heavy has had a standard PT test as part of every event. It has consisted of a 12-mile timed ruck (sub 3:30), 2-minute max rep push-ups (55 minimum), and 2-minute max rep sit-ups (65 minimum).

While the test was not a “fail and go home” type test, it was used as a tool for the cadre to assess the members of the Heavy team.

That said, you did NOT want to fail any portion of the PT test.

Personally, the PT test was the highest point of anxiety for me when I did my Heavies. During the DC 9/11 Heavy, I failed the push-ups and it really got in my head (and body).

Well, times-they-are-a-changing.

Brian over at the All Day Ruckoff podcast (iTunes/Android) recently interviewed Cadre Dan and it was revealed that the PT test for the GORUCK Heavy is changing. The new PT test will be the Robbie Miller Memorial WOD (click here to learn more about Robbie Miller).

The WOD has two versions and it is up to the Cadre which one he decides to use at your GORUCK Heavy.

Robbie Miller WOD (Full)

3 Mile Ruck
12 Rounds
6 x Ring Pull-Ups
6 x Burpee Squats
6 x 4 Ct Mountain Climbers
6 x Rucksack Getups
3 Mile Ruck

The Robbie Miller WOD (Half)

12 Rounds
6 x 33 Foot Shuttle Run (One Way, 3 Round Trips Total)
6 x Burpee Squats
6 x 4 Ct Mountain Climbers
6 x Rucksack Getups

My Thoughts

First, I’m like a million times more comfortable doing a WOD than I am doing a “test” like the max push-up and sit-up. While this workout is no joke (Dan says it takes 2-3 hours to do the Full), the personal stress level is way down for me.

Second, “Ruck on or Ruck off?” is the question on everyone’s mind. From the little I’ve seen, it looks like it will be cadre’s choice. Watching video of the recent Joe Warner Brag Heavy, they were doing the whole thing with ruck on.

Third, pull-ups with “ruck on” are not going to be attainable for most people. I went to my shed to test them out this afternoon and get 3 unbroken, legit, strict pull-ups. I might make it a few rounds doing singles, but it will go downhill fast with a ruck on.

Fourth, pull-ups with “ruck off” are not going to be attainable for A LOT of people. I was encouraged by Cadre Dan’s comments on Brian’s podcast. He basically said this is not a “fail and go home test.” It is a workout and it is part of the ultimate team event. If a teammate is struggling, you can (and should) help them. So, it seems that partner-assisted pull-ups are acceptable (though, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cadre gives you some crap about it, trying to get in your head).

Fifth, more thoughts on pull-ups. Dan was clear that just because you suck at (or can’t do) a pull-up should not exclude you from doing a GORUCK Heavy.

Sixth, this WOD must really suck! I say that because my first thought was, “oh, it won’t be that bad.” And, then I heard Cadre Dan say it takes 2-3 hours. Holy crap!

Your Thoughts?

So, what do you think of the new PT Test? Sound off in the comments below.

Oh… and go sign up for a GORUCK Heavy and let us know how the WOD goes 😉

16 Replies to The New GORUCK Heavy PT Test Standards

  1. I hope this is in place for the Bataan HTL in Cleveland. I’m fine with doing my best on just about any exercise, but the one thing my doctor doesn’t want me to do is run. I’ve been training for my first HTL, but I can’t train to run and I’ve literally had mini anxiety attacks about it because you don’t know how a Cadre is going to take your best effort. I got into GORUCK to Ruck and push myself with Physical Activity. I love the team aspect of it, as a Navy Flightdeck Veteran, I’ve missed that in my life. So I’m definitely looking forward to the new standard.

    1. Welcome to my world. My knee dislocates when I run. I can do some weird trotty, shuffled looking thing in a pinch, but actual running, especially with a ruck on, is a no-go. I did an HTL last year and at the beginning when they asked about orthopedic problems I pointed out my knee. That way they were aware. I have yet to come to an event that has a large amount of running in it, but like you, I’m nervous because I know it’s happened at other events. I just hope they understand and let me do the best I can. My goal is always to excel at other things so the lack of running isn’t as big of a deal.

  2. Ruck on or ruck off is Cadre choice. I was in the JWBH group this weekend that was required to wear a ruck during the whole thing. The other group was not.

  3. I was at bragg and had a blast doing the wod. I was in the group that did it rucks off. I think it’s a fun way to warm up into the heavy. And the only reason it takes 2-3hrs is your pace on the ruck marches. The rounds themselves didnt take very long.

  4. Having pretty much thrashed my knees while in the service, and the firefighting world, it is a relief to me that the run is out. As for pull ups… yeah I frigging hate them also. I was good at them in my 20’s and 30’s, not so much now. I’m 47 and weigh 240 lbs. Pull ups have always been the exercise I avoid the most when in the gym. At least now I’ve got time to focus on them until my first heavy in May. I’m shooting for 3 HTL’s this year, and w this information i know what to key on!

    1. Since GORUCK isn’t a competition, my guess is that the philosophy is “nobody cares how you do while you’re fresh” – so the WOD is a way to get everybody smoked before the core of the event starts.

  5. Since GORUCK isn’t a competition, my guess is that the philosophy is “nobody cares how you do while you’re fresh” – so the WOD is a way to get everybody smoked before the core of the event starts.

  6. I have been practicing the exercise portion of this Robbie Miller WOD minus the Pull-Ups. Once I learned that I could potentially have assistance with the pull-ups I wasn’t as concerned. Get UPS (with pack) and the mountain climbers (with pack) aren’t that bad. The burpees are little trickier. I will feel a lot more confident about this WOD if its in the beginning of the event but certainly not as confident if it’s towards the end.

  7. I would have been done with GORUCK had they not introduced the Star Course. As they have discovered, the Star Course is their future.
    I’m doing my third this year in a few weeks and have no interest in doing another GR Challenge. But it fun to know others are willing to suffer through them.

  8. Interesting. I have shoulder issues and can’t do a pull-up at all. Never will be able to because of that. As for the rest, just sounds like a lot of PT.
    I have had injuries on and off last 2 years so couldn’t do a Heavy. Barely did afew T/L. I’d give the Heavy a try But if pull-ups are mandatory then I’m done.
    I’ll just do a few firearm events and move on to something else like biking or regular hiking.

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