nother longevity expert has joined Peter Attia, M.D., in his rucking obsession. Neuroscientist and HubermanLab host Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., recently adopted the zone 2 workout—and gave it a productive spin.
Rucking—walking or hiking while carrying weight—is having a moment. Attia recently met up with former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong for a session in Austin, Texas. And #rucking has garnered over 17.7 million views on TikTok.
What’s more? The workout may be linked to improved bone strength, cardiovascular fitness, posture, and a greater lifespan. But in true neuroscientist fashion, Huberman incorporates productivity into his Navy SEAL-inspired rucks.
In a recent Instagram post, Huberman sports a 25 pound rucking pack—a workout he says he tries to hit at least once a week. “Lately, I’ve been taking Peter [Attia]‘s recommendation to do Zone 2 while “rucking” (carrying a weighted backpack),” he writes in the caption.
He explains that zone 2 workouts, like rucking, should “be at a level of output that is right at the threshold of still being able to carry on a conversation.” This allows him to get a full workout during the workday, without eroding his podcast planning.
But getting in a workout is just the icing on the cake for Huberman. “I tend to do real work while I [ruck]. I do that using earphones with a microphone and Voice Memo on the phone, then transcribing it to text later,” Huberman says. “I’ve done this to sculpt the overview of podcasts, to write chapters for an upcoming book, as journal entries, even letters to family and friends.”
How Does Zone 2 Cardio Boost Productivity?
Huberman says that he learned this productivity hack from Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Richard Axel, who writes most of his research papers while he walks around his office.
Research backs them up. Engaging in zone 2 cardio while studying or working may improve creativity, according to a 2014 study by Stanford University (1). Participants were able to produce 50 percent more ideas while walking compared to when they were stationary.
“The point is that you can be very efficient with Zone 2 cardio—it doesn’t have to erode your social life or productivity,” Huberman says. “In fact to the contrary. It can allow you to get quality social time with family and friends, get quality work done, or learn by listening to podcasts or books.”