All posts by SSD

Kudos on Ruck Based Selection Training Plan

I just wanted to send my thanks for your Ruck Based Selection Program. Just got back from SFAS and was selected! I was in the top 10% for all events and
rucks. Was able to beast through Team Week even after the long days and
nights of the STAR Course. I couldn’t have made it through without your
program. Amazing job in what you and your team do. As a guy who isn’t
infantry, it was difficult in figuring out where to start with my training.
You took the guess work out of it, and it paid off in the end. Thank you so
much. – A


I recently attended the special forces selection and passed it. I give a lot of credit to your ruck-based selection training program. It was a very helpful tool and not to mention it kicked my ass, but it prepared me like no other.

– N


I am a little late to sending this, however, I wanted to take a moment and let you know that I appreciate what you do for our community. I recently successfully completed SFAS at the end of January and was selected to start the SFQC.

A little background on me and your training program. I first found your Mountain Athlete in 2009, when I was a Sophomore at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. I stumbled upon your programming by doing some of my own research. I was initially extremely disheartened when the only programming I could ever find for Military (or sport specific) training was all body weight and running that included thousands of reps. I quickly became pretty burnt out conducting “Army” PT in the morning and my own lifting regiment that I picked up from high school sports in the afternoon. Anyway, I quickly began to follow some crossfit workouts, but I did not believe in the “random” training aspect. I wanted to get more sport specific. So I compared all different athletes and tried to figure out what sport is most closely related to “Military Fitness” needs. So I researched professional climbing workouts and coaches. I finally stumbled upon your website as well as Gym Jones. Since then, I have been following your Military Athlete programs to help me complete and exceed at IBOLC, Ranger, and most recently SFAS. I can tell you up front that I could not have been so successful without the training you and your team develops at Mountain Tactical Institute.

I utilized your Ruck Based V5 Selection program to prepare for SFAS. I will say, the programming was definitely pretty difficult and required some dedication at times (but anything worth doing does). At selection, I was able to finish in the top 1% for the rucks, including the trek. However, the runs I was finishing more in the top 20%-30%. I would like to believe that is because the younger 18Xs are just ridiculously fast runners. I would like to offer some feedback to you from my thoughts on your training plan and its effectiveness in preparing for SFAS. ]

– APFT – I maxed the APFT and ran a 12:25 2-Mile. Only thing I would recommend here is addition of some extra push up training during the week, maybe included in the 6 mile run workouts.

– 6 mile running workouts – the 2 mile repeats were probably the thing I dreaded the most each week. I definitely got use to the mileage and suck factor, however, I was just curious on the effectiveness v. the recovery factor every week doing those repeats at a 13:30 pace after an AM workout.

– Strength – I believe your sandbag focused strength training effectively helped with the “awkward” lifting of heavy shit that occurs quite often at SFAS. Only suggestion I would make is possible addition of some extra low carry training.

– Rucking – obviously your ruck training was on point. It helped me finish consistently in the top  of the class. I don’t really have a recommendation here just kind of curious to the need of 16 Mile and 18 Mile rucks. Of course, I completed them because they were on my training calendar and for some reason I just can’t skip something that’s written down, possibly my stubbornness. However, I just thought maybe it was a little excessive to go over 12 Miles when we are focusing on a training effectiveness v. durability for Selection aspect. These are just me thoughts here, and like I said, I still completed the 16 and 18 miles.

I just wanted to provide you and your coaches with some feedback. I logged every single one of my workouts on paper and I would like to send my data to you if you believe it could be useful for improvement in the future. It astonishes me that the Military and its personnel are not treated more like athletes when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and recovery. All the Army programs that are out there seem to me to be half assed and behind the power curve. Your programming is the closest I can get to having an individual trainer who knows what I need ( and I would not be against paying you for personal training). Again Rob, Thank you for everything you and your team does at MTI, keep up the good work because there are a lot of us out here that rely on programing like yours.  


Sir,

I recently was selected through SFAS to continue in the SF Q-Course as a hand amputee. The difference between success and failure in many aspects was your Ruck Based Selection Training Plan. Thank you for your passion and ability in programming effective workout regimens. 


Just wanted to say thanks for all the work you’ve been doing in the functional fitness field. I’ve used your plans a few times in my military career. Most recently your Ruck Based Selection Plan. I attended SFAS in November of this past year and was Selected. I was definitely prepared for the physical aspect thanks to your programming.

Keep it up! – A


I’m a huge fan of your work. I appreciate the scientific rigor you use to create truly inspired workout programs for military guys like me. I just (mostly) finished the Ruck-based Selection train-up and it helped me finish in the top 10 of a support company of over 100 Soldiers during a week of physical events that included the APFT, pull-ups, rope climb, CWST, 5-mile run, and 12-mile ruck. – N


Just got home from SFAS, successfully selected. I know you’ve got tons of athletes, but I’m going to run down a quick laundry list on how your program has had a direct and significant impact in my life:

In 2009, I was first introduced to your program as my USMA Sandhurst team used it to get ready for the 2010 competition. The training helped us place first in the nation that year. At the end of 2010, after working through operator sessions over the summer, I used your ruck based selection program to get ready for Ranger School. Day 4 of Ranger School, I blew my knee out on the Darby Queen.

Not knowing the extent of the injury, I got up, dusted myself off, and completed the next 59 days of Ranger School. I would later learn I had torn three ligaments and my meniscus. In November 2011, I had surgery on that injury and used your single leg program to get back in shape while my knee healed. With the help of the single-leg program, I recovered a month ahead of schedule and was able to assist in the rehabilitation of over twenty other soldiers in my unit dealing with leg injuries.

My unit used your programming to prepare for our 2013 Afghan deployment, to much success. In February 2014, I coached a Best Ranger Competition team from Fort Campbell- we used your BRC prep. The team, first time competitors, finished 21st out of 50 teams with zero training or competition injuries. Finally, I used your Ruck Based Selection Program to get ready for SFAS this past May- I placed in the top 10% for the course with zero recovery issues and zero injuries.

Thanks for what you do, from the programs to operator sessions to the forums and gear. Your work has helped me reach so many goals in this profession. Look forward to more.

J


To say I thoroughly enjoyed the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet doesn’t even begin to do justice. I only thought I’ve been in shape in the past. After finishing the entire thing I feel incredible. I even had my girlfriend do the program with me. She’s a sponsored bikini competitor and other than dieting changes, she followed this program and still was able to compete and do well. So Thank You, for doing such an excellent job. I have my official selection date now and I’ll be attending SFAS in January 2016. I have no injuries or any problems what-so-ever after the 7 months it took to complete the packet.


I wanted to thank you for all the great programming and advice.  I recently attended my unit’s SFRE (a mini-SFAS based event that screens and selects candidates to go onto SFAS) and was one of several selected.  I owe a large portion of the success to your insights and training programs, specifically the ruck based selection packet and daily operator sessions.  We did multiple events virtually back to back over the four day period such as timed 2 mile and 4 mile runs, timed 6 mile and 12 mile rucks and also many team events.  Everything we did involved rucking over long distances as well.  Being able to perform to the standard was difficult given the short breaks between timed events and overall sheer volume placed on our bodies from the rucking. Thanks Rob, couldn’t have done it without the great programming!

–E


 

New Strength Programming … TLU Strength, Eccentric Strength and the MTI Strength Packet

Trish, a rock climber, warms up for a TLU strength session at MTI …. back in the day when we were just “Mountain Athlete.”

By Rob Shaul

This week we built out two more strength training plans and now have a plan each for the 7 types of MTI strength progression methodologies, as well as created a “packet” of all 7 plans.

Specifically this week we built a TLU Strength Plan and an Eccentric Strength Plan, both based on the respective progression methodologies, and created a MTI Strength Packet which includes plans for all 7 progressions.

Here are the 7 different strength progression methodologies we’ve developed over the past decade of programming for mountain and tactical athletes:

  • 357 Strength
  • TLU Strength
  • Big 24 Strength
  • Rat 6 Strength
  • Density Strength
  • Eccentric Strength
  • Super Squat Strength

Click HERE for more on these strength progression methodologies.

Below are the 7 Training Plans included in the MTI Strength Packet:

These plans can be purchased individually, or as a packet. As well, all are included with an Athlete’s Subscription to the website.

Questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com

Arete 2.23.17

MILITARY
The Grunt’s War, NY Times
H.R. McMaster: What We’ve Learned, Military Times
Russia military acknowledges new branch: info warfare troops, AP
The US Continues to “Trump” The UK on Special Forces Transparency, Small Wars Journal
The Pipe Dream of Easy War, NY Times
Tour a City Torn in Half by ISIS, NY Times

FIRE/RESCUE
Hoarder Conditions Encountered at NYC Fire, Fire House
What Firefighters need to know about Electric Cars, Firerescue1
Wildland Fires in Colorado’s Front Range, Wildfire Today
Buying your wildland line pack: Weigh the options, Firerescue1

LAW ENFORCEMENT
Peelian principles of policing: How to get the public on your side, PoliceOne
How FBI brought down cyber-underworld site Silk Road, USAToday
How DEA Agents Took Down Mexico’s Most Vicious Drug Cartel, The Atlantic
Sportsmen take aim at law enforcement bill, High Country News

MOUNTAIN
Shaun White Stages a 2018 Olympic Comeback, Mens Journal
“Maximizing Moments” Ski video, Skiing Mag
Learn to Train: Improve Your Climbing Technique, Climbing
An Interview with Alpinist David Roberts, Alpinist

HOMELAND SECURITY/TERRORISM
Homeland Security unveils sweeping plan to deport undocumented immigrants, USA Today
Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Jamal Al-Harith Became Suicide Bomber: Reports NBC News
Autonomous Hacking Bots: Menace or Savior?, The Cipher Brief
Osama bin Laden’s files: AQIM commander recommended training Boko Haram’s members, Long War Journal

GEAR
Governor’s Office Responds to Outdoor Industry’s Utah Snub: “The Decision Is Offensive”, Mens Journal
Torture Tested: The World’s Most Durable Gear, Outside Online
Best Trail Mountain Bikes, Outdoor Gear Lab

NUTRITION/FITNESS
Miami Iron Addicts Gym Owner Arrested by DEA on Steroid-Selling Allegations, Miami New Times
A Popular Diet-Science Lab Has Been Publishing Really Shoddy Research, NYMag
Modern hunter-gatherers show value of exercise, Science Daily

Grunt PT: Fitness Insurgency

Line unit guys we worked with at Fort Bliss, in 2013.

By Rob Shaul

Years ago I traveled to an line unit at Fort Carson, Colorado to instruct a programming course for a platoon.

I was brought in not by the Battalion Commander, Company Commander or even Platoon Commander, but by the Platoon Sergeant.

This was an Armor unit, with deployment orders to Iraq…. without their Armor. They would be conducting an infantry role, and the Platoon Sergeant was concerned about his guys’ fitness.

He was an older soldier – mid 30’s, family man (2 kids) with an easy, quiet demeanor. The course was busy, but I got to speak with him some and ask about his background, job and career.

He nonchalantly mentioned that he’d had multiple Iraq deployments already, and had survived 6 IEDs. “The last one took part of a lung,” he smiled, wryly.

I realized then a couple things:

First, this guy had spent some serious personal capital to convince his command to bring me in. The Platoon Commander did attend, but was green and wide-eyed, and didn’t have his feet under him yet. This quiet Platoon Sergeant was the driver of my visit.

Second, war doesn’t discriminate casualties. Line unit guys, like this unit, faced the same bullets and danger as the most elite Tier 1 or 2 SOF Unit.

But the Army, and military in general, certainly discriminates in terms of resources. On the fitness side, many US SOF units now have their own strength and conditioning coaches, dietitians (DEVGRUs dietician didn’t like my nutritional recommendations), physical therapists, gyms, MMA coaches, firearms instructors, ranges, shoot houses, unlimited ammo, etc.

These days, with the withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the mission changes, SOF units are indeed at the tip of the spear, and line units, mostly held back.

But back then at Carson, we were in the midst of the Iraqi surge, when IEDs and insurgent bullets were killing and maiming line unit guys daily.

In my experience, SOF guys simply have more freedom in garrison for fitness programming, more equipment, etc. Many follow our programming now, despite having on-staff strength coaches at the ready. They have their own gyms, and don’t have the lack of equipment issues when it comes to deploying a functional fitness, don’t have to do Army PRT, and can train pretty much whenever they want during the day.

It’s a totally different game for line unit guys. I’ve recently written about my lessons learned implementing a functional fitness program at a non-SOF tactical unit HERE.

Last Fall I began talking to an entire line unit Brigade about implementing a functional fitness program, was honest and up front about my suggested approach, and initially it seemed the Command was open and wanted also to have long-term impact. I was super excited.

But, in the end it didn’t work out, and from my perspective, reasons included several unit mistakes I highlighted in my “Lessons Learned,” piece – investing in equipment before people, not being willing to think outside the box in terms of unit-wide coaching, multiple PT times, setting aside Army PRT, centralized programming, etc.

Which brings me back to that Platoon Sergeant I’d met years ago at Fort Carson. That quiet professional was an “insurgent” in his own way, by bringing me in to coach functional fitness to his guys despite tepid command support.

I’m weary now of command-driven “functional fitness” efforts as I’ve seen the same loop play out again and again. I want to do more to support soldiers and Marines at any level who want to conduct top-end tactical athlete fitness programming at line units.

So we’ve begun work on what I call “Grunt PT” – which will be equipment-required, mission-direct MTI programming designed for line unit infantrymen in the Army, Marines, and any other similar military unit here or with our allies.

Years ago we provided subscribers with “Squad PT” programming which was similar in idea, but not in scope. Squad PT deployed simple equipment – sand bags, dumbbells, step up benches, plyo boxes, and old programming.

Grunt PT will deploy this austere equipment, plus free-weights (racks, barbells, dumbbells), classic strength programming, and and a super efficient version of our current top-line military programming.

We’re going to build the programming around the size of a company – 100-140 guys, and a set equipment package accordingly.

And it will be cheap – I’m hoping just $1/soldier/month. Cheap enough where an individual Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, or Company Commander could actually pay for it out of his own pocket – if he cared that much about his guys’ fitness and durability. And/or, so cheap he could do it without a command brief/permission.

It will only be available for active duty personnel.

Hence, Grunt PT could be a “fitness insurgency,” – bottom-up, instead of top-down. Do now, and ask permission later. Let the results speak for themselves.

It sounds simple, but on the programming and coaching side, Grunt PT will be sophisticated – simply because equipment will always be an issue, the relative youth and inexperience of many line unit soldiers, and just the numbers of athletes training at one time.

I’m grinding through the initial cycle now and hope to get a “beta” version out soon and recruit “insurgents” in the military to test it for me.

I’m not naive to the realities of military life, – especially in garrison – where there is not enough to do and little things become big things. I understand and appreciate the bureaucratic inertia of the big Army and Marine Corps.

I have no idea if Grunt PT will work. It could be a total disaster.

But, I’m determined to find a way, and have enough experience now to know the top-down approach hasn’t led to the long-standing impact I hope someday is MTI’s legacy for tactical fitness. Time to try another approach.

Questions/Feedback?
Email rob@mtntactical.com

Effectiveness of the Single Leg Box Jump as a Power Exercise

 

bodyweight questions

By Charles Bausman

 

Our tactical Lab Rats recently completed a cycle which emphasized single limb (unilateral) strength and power development. As we developed the cycle, we needed a exercise which would train power and fit within the single limb construct. We chose the Single Leg Box Jump for our power exercise. This article examines our experience implementing the movement.

 

Exercise Description

The Single Leg Box Jump

The Single Leg Box Jump begins with the athlete standing on one foot. The athlete can not step into the jump, but they are encouraged to swing their arms and non-jumping leg to create momentum.

Ideally, the athlete lands softly and quietly, which demonstrates control on the landing. The athlete should be able to land with the same kind of extension of the hips as when they initiated the jump. Simply put, an athlete’s jump and landing should look similar. After each jump, the athlete will step down and reset to do it again.

 

Assessment and Progression Methodology

Week 1 – Initial Assessment: we had the athlete work up to their 3 Repetition Max (3RM), using max height in inches as the measurement. The athlete conducted 3 jumps on each leg (6x total jumps) with no load and recorded the results. We used 10# bumper plates, which are 1” in width, to steadily increase the height. This incremental approach increased the athlete’s confidence as they prepared to progress the exercise.

If the athlete had uneven results on one leg compared to the other, such as a athlete recording 20” on the left leg and 24” on the right leg, we recorded the lesser number to be used in the follow on progression.

In the weeks between assessments, the athlete would train the Single Leg Box Jump once a week with a 25# weight vest. The weight vest was used to train and develop additional velocity (Force x Velocity = Power) by forcing the athlete to overcompensate in relation to the added load in a explosive, hip driven movement.

Using an adapted Big 24 methodology, the athlete worked up to a assigned height by Round 4 which progressed week by week.

Week 2 – First Progression: The athlete wearing the weight vest, worked up to a height which was 6” below their final assessment height by Round 4. All remaining rounds were completed at that height, with a mobility exercise completed between efforts for the rest period.

Week 3 – Second Progression: The lab rats progressed to 3” below their final assessment height for rounds 4-8 wearing the 25# weight vest.

Week 4 – Re-Assessment: The athletes re-assessed to find their new 3RM.

Week 5-7: The progression was completed again over the next three weeks based on the re-assessment numbers. Week 7 was the final assessment to record their 3RM and compare to previous assessment scores.

For example, the following chart details what a athletes progression would look like based on assessment results:

Scaling

We did not have any female athlete’s available to test this progression, so scaling wasn’t required. Female athletes should use a weight vest at 10# using the same progression.

 

Results, Athlete Considerations, and Safety

We were surprised by the increase of results over the 7 week cycle. As displayed by the chart above, all athletes experienced a assessment increase, ranging from 12-38%.

The athletes were able to make all of their progressions throughout the cycle with both legs, a positive indicator that the increases in height with added weight were not too aggressive. When the progression works, as it did with this cycle, it has the added benefit of increasing the athlete’s confidence week by week.

The athletes were excited by the results, but we need to temper the excitement with the realities of the cycle. Much of our training uses traditional bilateral barbell movements, not the unilateral (single leg) emphasis trained in this cycle.

With any new program that utilizes unfamiliar exercises, the athlete will experience a steep increase in performance before they begin to plateau. This was demonstrated by the percentage increase following each assessment. The greatest percentage increase occurred during the Re-Assessment, and leveled out by the Final Assessment.

With that said, the Single Leg Box Jump certainly seems to have benefit in developing power regardless of natural athleticism.

 

Athleticism

Athleticism is a major factor in assessing and progressing this exercise. We found that the more athletic the individual is, the more aggressive and confident they are during initial assessments.

The athletic individual must be tempered initially, as the he had a greater likelihood of pushing themselves too far and injuring themselves. Conversely, the less athletic individual usually can be encouraged to attempt a slightly higher jump while still mitigating risk.

It’s interesting to compare the results of our lab rats based on athleticism. Eric and Gabe are both phenomenal athletes. Eric is in his mid-20’s and was a dual-sport collegiate athlete. Gabe is 19, and was a all-state football player at the local high school. The increases over the cycle were smaller, as their initial assessment was significantly higher.

Ross and Will are both good athletes, but not great. Both are in their mid-20’s and have outdoors focused jobs. Their initial results were lower, but increased dramatically as they gained confidence in the movement.

By the end of the cycle, all four athletes assessment results were much more similar. The progression seems to have mitigated the athletic advantage of Eric and Gabe, as Ross and Will gained confidence in the movement.

 

Safety Considerations

The exercise does have safety concerns, especially when done with a weight vest. One athlete took a fall trying to land a jump. He shook it off, but it shows the associated risk.

The athlete and coach should be conservative when increasing height and athlete capabilities in conducting the exercise with additional load.

 

Improving Body Mechanics

Most of our Lab Rats have experienced a leg injury of some sort in the past, and it was obvious when they approached the box. Even the difference between the dominant and nondominant leg was apparent. The athlete had a mental hesitancy with one leg over the other, and some initial variation in max height results as they could jump higher on one leg in comparison to the other.

As the cycle continued, that variation disappeared. The Lab Rats were able to complete all rounds and reps with equal results in terms of height. This would indicate a positive training adaptation as their body mechanics became more equalized between limbs.

We will likely continue to program in unilateral, single limb movements to develop strength and power in conjunction with bi-lateral movements. As a classification, the Single Leg Box Jump would fall under a Total Body exercise under our Total, Lower, Upper (TLU) format.

As we move forward, we have several other questions which we’d like to research:

  • Can we duplicate results with another single limb power exercise, specifically the Push Press?
  • How does the Single Leg Box Jump as a Total Body exercise compare to classic bilateral power exercises such as the Hang Power Clean? Could we determine a equal weight, rep scheme, and progression to compare assessment results between two groups of athletes, similar to our Power Clean vs. Power Snatch study?

Questions or comments?
Email charles@mtntactical.com

Q&A 2.23.17

QUESTION

I’ve been training to qualify for a spot at USMC OCS this June and have mainly been doing PFT training to get there over the past 4 months following your PFT plan and the OCS plan.

I feel I need to pivot to base fitness and was looking at Operator Hector, but I also think I need to keep working on my run (3 mi is currently 21:47). Do you have any suggestions how I can incorporate some more intense run training with Hector, or is there another plan you recommend following?

It’s about 15 weeks until shipping, so was going to do a plan for base fitness now and then repeat the OCS plan next.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Valor: http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/

Valor comes from our Operator Sessions and trains Strength, Work Capacity, Core and Endurance concurrently.

Why it is perfect for you now is it includes bodyweight strength work, and 3-mile assessments and follow on progressions for running and ruck running.

It also includes hard, gym-based work capacity and one day of heavy gym-based strength work. It’s an awesome plan.

– Rob


QUESTION

Just finished Luke Operator Sessions and am trying to plan where to go from here. My ODA is doing a UBRR the last week of April. I have a susbscription so I have the UBRR plan but I’m wondering when I should start and and what I should do in the meantime. I normally do the daily Operator  Sessions. Should I do the first couple weeks of Paul then switch over to UBRR or do something else prior to starting UBRR?

ANSWER

Yes on Paul, then switch to the UBRR Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/upper-body-round-robin-training-plan/

– Rob


QUESTION

I was just wondering if you had any programming for pregnant women? My wife is out of shape and is due in July.

ANSWER

Nothing specific, but you’re the 4th person to ask me in the past 2 weeks!

From what we do have right now I’d recommend Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

– Rob


QUESTION

Not sure how familiar you are with the Best Sapper Competition but two teams from my battalion will be competing this April and I was wondering if you had any advice for our train up.

Overall the competition is 50+ hours and covers over 50 miles (with a 70-85 lb ruck for the majority of the time. There are various physical and technical events throughout the 3 days and the final day includes a 10-32 (usually about 25) mile ruck and an unknown distance run (which has a bunch of smoker stations) following the ruck.

ANSWER

We don’t have a Best Sapper Plan but we do have a Best Ranger Plan – which is what I’d recommend: http://mtntactical.com/shop/best-ranger-competition-training-plan/

Several have used our Best Ranger Plan over the years to successfully finish that comp. Plan is full on.

Good Luck!

– Rob


QUESTION

My quick background: I’m 5’8” 175 lbs prior service 10yr Air Force now Army Guard w/ an 18X/Rep 63 contract shipping in late summer.

 

I used your SFRE Training Plan and it got my AFPT and 5 mile run numbers in the top 5 competitive range during my weekend tryout with the local NG SF Group but I was, unfortunately, IVW’d during the ruck since I was unable to keep up w/ the desired pace (after looking at the map I was about 85% done with the route when they told me to get in the truck).

 

I purchased the SFAS Training Packet and recently completed the Fortitude portion. During the rest week (between Fortitude and Valor) I did a 2 mile ruck w/ 45# + 10# pipe to see where I am in rucking and I still struggle trying to get a 15min/mile pace. Is there something I’m doing wrong? Should I add more weight or something in my training? I’m supposed to go another SFRE again this April and I feel like I’m not getting the rucking gains I need.

ANSWER

I have no idea why you couldn’t make 15 min/miles, esp. following the programming and running 5 miles the way you can. I can almost make 15 min/miles walking (but my legs are too short and I have to jog/walk – I’m 5’7″). Most of my taller lab rats can easily make it walking at 45#.

So … either you had an off day (which is possible) or you’re not running.

You may also check your equipment … pack and boots/shoes. If you dont’ have one, pick up an old Medium ALICE pack.

Stick with the programming. Valor deploys a rucking assessment and hard, fast follow-on intervals based on your assessment results. Fortitude lays an “aerobic base.” Valor builds “Speed over Ground.”

– Rob


QUESTION

I am a little unsure of where to begin; I stumbled upon your website, and am very on board with the mission statement and setup of programs, but am unsure which would be the best for me. I am a junior in college, and by far am not in the best shape of my life. After some time, I have committed to my plan of attending OCS to serve in the US Armed Forces following my graduation next July. That being said, although it seems relatively long, it is a very short time to reach the highest level of competitiveness before I leave. As such, I was wondering which program(s) you think would best benefit my goals. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing back.

ANSWER

Plans and order:

1. Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

2. Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

3. Army OCS Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/army-ocs-training-plan/

Good luck!

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m sure you’re a busy guy so I’ll keep this brief, do you have any opinions on swimming as an alternative to unloaded running? I’m struggling with an Achilles issue and training around it. I work on a Hotshot crew that prides itself on having a reputation for hiking ultra fast and putting out tremendous amounts of work. Endurance is at a premium for me right now.

ANSWER

Better would be to substitute biking or spinning on a stationary bike – it’s much more transferable to swimming. Better yet would be to substute unloaded step ups.

If you chose, biking or swimming – think time, not distance for the substutution. 1 mile running = 10 minutes, so bike for 10 minutes.

If you chose step ups (better), 400m = 50x step ups.

– Rob


QUESTION

My current situation is that I have a basic globogym set up and I am a beginning to ruck. I am wanting to build endurance and muscle. What plan would you suggest?

ANSWER

Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

More on the plan, here: http://mtntactical.com/military-athlete-articles/fortitude-strength-and-endurance/

– Rob


QUESTION

Hi Rob. In the Mountain Base sessions what can I substitute for the endurance running day that I can do in the gym setting with a group of people?

ANSWER

Step ups, or some of test some of our new gym-based endurance theory: http://mtntactical.com/all-articles/new-theory-gym-based-multi-modal-endurance-mountain-tactical-athletes/

– Rob


QUESTION

I am trying to figure out which program I should tackle next.

I have been training under your programs for the past 5 and half months and picked up the athlete’s subscription about a month ago. I successfully completed the Ranger School workout and loved it. My wife and I started considering the 18X mos for enlisting and I picked up the Ruck Based Selection workouts. I was pretty humbled by that program and sought out some advice by some various enlisted and officer mentors showing them my progress. They said I was doing well, but should also consider PJ’s as an option so I picked up the PJ/CCT Selection program and it has really been difficult. After talking with a current PJ, we decided that this route was not in line with my strengths and experience as I have not grown up in the water, however during this time I have had access to an ALICE ruck sack and proper gear which I had not previously had so my ruck time drastically improved.

We officially enlisted and signed on an 18X contract with a ship out date of April 9th so I have 7 weeks before I ship out. I’m 26 years old, 155-160 lbs, and 5’8.25.” My latest APFT scored 286 with a p.u. score of 92, a s.u. score of 97, and a run score of 97. I believe I can max the test out as this was taken after 6 days of rest to try and beat a severe cold, had blood drawn the night before (MEPs) and the morning of (Life Insurance Exam), and I took the APFT in Colorado Springs but will complete basic at Fort Benning Georgia.

Here is a screen shot of my personal records over the past 5 and half months.

Would you recommend that I continue on the PJ/CCT Selection program to help increase my swimming ability (I will be on the 5th week next week-starting with session 25), switch back to the Ruck Based Selection Program, or pick up a different workout program altogether?

ANSWER

Roll back into the Ruck-Based Selection Program … and start from the beginning, and do the plan as prescribed for 5 weeks.

The two weeks directly before you report, skip ahead to weeks 7 and 8 in the plan …. they are the taper.

Goog luck!

– Rob


QUESTION

I have roughly 23 weeks to prepare for BORTAC Pre-Academy but family, work, and such only allow for training 4-5 days per week. Our selection is rumored to be modeled after Special Forces Assessment and Selection, so I am in the second week of Ruck Based Selection Plan V5 with plans to do the BORTAC plan 8 weeks out from the pre-academy.

Since I’m missing 1-2 days of training per week with these plans, I’m obviously falling behind schedule so having 23 weeks to prep for pre-academy equals out to more like only 17. I scored 269 out of 300 (89%) on the APFT so in your opinion, should I stay with the Ruck Based and BORTAC plans that combined total 16 weeks, or should I substitute Ruck Based with something else like Busy Operator I or II?  Would Busy Operator or something similar be sufficient to prepare me leading into the BORTAC plan and eventually pre-academy?

Thanks for all your help,

ANSWER

Definitely stick with the BORTAC plan. Follow the sessions in order … so if you miss a day, start back where you left off when you come back to training. This is a 6 day/week plan, so try to schedule accordingly.

Good luck!

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m currently stationed in 29 Palms, but I’m looking into some training in Bridgeport within the next year. The class there is roughly two weeks and I anticipate long movements under load at altitude. I’ve done a few of your plans (busy operator, military on-ramp, ruck improvement and some operator sessions) but I’m curious if you think one of your mountain plans might be more effective, and if so, which one? From your military category, the afghan pre-deployment plan jumped out.

My concerns for any plan are as follows:

1) Time during the week (I can usually plan on 60-75 minutes M-F mornings, more on the weekends)

2)  Maintaining a high max set of strict pull-ups and 3-mile run time

3)  Altitude – the stumps is generally around 3000 ft, but there are some places in JTree that go up to around 6000ft, and mountains within a few hours that go even higher (big bear, san jacinto). Other than weekend trips to these places for training, what do you recommend for preparing for working at altitude?

Thank you for your time!

ANSWER

Yes on the Afghan Plan. Most sessions are 60 min long. http://mtntactical.com/shop/afghanistan-pre-deployment-training-plan/

Pull ups and 3-mile Run Time? The plan is designed to prepare you for the mountains, not your PFT. You could add in work on these, but understand that isn’t the focus of this plan.

Altitude? The only way to train for altitude at a lower elevation is to be as “sport specifically” fit as possible for the fitness demands of the event. You’ll still feel the altitude until you adjust to the thinner air. I wish I knew of another way but short of training in an atmosphere chamber, I’ve found none.

– Rob


QUESTION

I just purchased your training plan for Go Ruck Selection, people speak very highly of it.

My question is do you have additional info or plans for lower back strength. I had injured my lower back and again slipped a disk and since I have started my ruck training my lower back has been hurting. I just want to make sure I am not only trained up, but more importantly healed up for this event.

ANSWER

Low Back Fitness Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/lower-back-fitness-training-program/

– Rob


QUESTION

I read your article in Outside Online and liked the overall philosophy.

So had a quick question for you after going to your website.

I am a trail runner doing 10K’s up to 50 milers but my time

is really stretched between work & the running miles.

Do you have a simple 30 minute plan that I can purchase

to help supplement my training?  Specifically something that

doesn’t require a gym or equipment (or minimal equipment).

Trying to maximize my training given what little time I have.

Thank you very much!

ANSWER

Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

Just do the bodyweight strength work from this plan …. you can ignore the running. The sessions may run a little past 30 minutes … it depends up on how fast you work. You can also split the sessions in half if needed, and complete each half on a separate day.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am on a Federal Counter Assault Team and I’m looking for direction in what program would be best to follow.  I’ve been involved with Crossfit, Gym Jones, etc, etc and recently picked up an Athlete Subscription to jump into the MTI team’s solid programs.  The problem is I don’t know which one to go with!  If possible, I would like to speak with someone at MTI and provide him/her with job requirements and specifics to help with the selection.  Please let me know what will work best for y’all. Thank y’all so much for your time and support for the “tactical athletes!”

ANSWER

Out of the gate I’d recommend the plans and plan order from our SWAT/SRT “Gunmaker” series: http://mtntactical.com/shop/swatsrt-gun-maker-training-packet/ for your current job on the Assault Team.

I just built these training plans and they represent my most recent programming for full time SWAT/SRT team members. They represent 28 weeks of day-to-day programming.

You have access to all of them with your subscription. Follow this order:

Ruger

Glock

Beretta

H&K

– Rob


QUESTION

I had great results with your Operator Achilles program while I was deployed. I’m back home now and just had a bunionectomy. I landed hard on a jump over a year ago, had some ligament tearing as a result, and the pain started flaring up again while deployed so I decided to take the leap and get the surgery when I came home. I am currently three weeks post-surgery, and the podiatrist expects me to be fully capable again in another 2.5-3 months (full weight bearing and able to lift weights, run, ruck, etc.). I should be able to put weight on it and start walking a little in about a week, and I’m getting restless and I’m ready to get back to training.

Would your single leg-injury plan be the appropriate place to start? And would the follow-on (post-rehab) program be appropriate once I get the all clear from my podiatrist or should I be considering modifications/changes because of the nature of the injury/surgery?

As always, thanks for the great programming and the great resources you make available on your website,

ANSWER

Leg Injury Training Plan now … You’ll train the rest of your body around your injured leg. http://mtntactical.com/shop/training-program-for-athlete-suffering-from-leg/

Then after cleared by the PT, yes on the Post-Rehab plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/post-rehab-leg-injury-training-plan-ssd/

– Rob


QUESTION

Quick question. I have purchased some of your programs, though not a subscription as of yet. I would like to know how you came to contruct the SASR selection plan? I haven’t bought it yet but am curious as to know how you would know what plan is best for the SASR in particular, being that they are in Australia and, I assume, your team are all American-based. Forgive the assumptions if they are wrong. Love the programs and the effort you guys put in.

ANSWER

We built this plan after receiving multiple requests from Aussie soldiers. To begin we researched the specific fitness demands of SASR including the entry fitness assessment “gate” (SFET, Ruck), water tread/swim, 15km ruck, and the specifics of the rucking-intensive overall selection. The plan deploys an initial assessment week and follow-on re-assessments, and based the following progression on the athlete’s incoming and improving fitness. This way it automatically “scales” to the individual athlete.

SASR is rucking intensive and this plan address the demand in two ways – short, hard, fast intervals to increase “speed over ground” and long, moderately paced rucks to build joint strength and durability and overall aerobic fitness. The rucking volume in the training plan is extensive.

The plan also includes extensive durability work including focused chassis integrity core training, foam rolling, stretches, etc. Also includes are short, hard, multi-modal work capacity events to prepare you for possible team events and cadre “smoke sessions.”

The plan is 10 weeks long, including a taper into selection. It’s not designed for civilians, but rather for serious soldiers dedicated to professional physical preparation for SASR.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am in the Idaho Air Guard and am also a elite masters obstacle course racing athlete. I am a retired professional triathlete and am looking for some additional challenges now…will be rucking 235 miles over 8 days in Greece in May along the Spartan trail to raise $ for charity and also doing my first GORuck in Aug. I do want to expand my horizon in that area.  I love climbing mountains, Nordic skiing, SUP,and being outside in general. I am wondering  how you select your athletes (they all seem to be skiers, are they all local too?)?Do you sponsor these athletes? I would love to try your training methods , but not even sure which program would be best for me. And,  if there was a possibility to be sponsored, that would be awesome too-I can send you a resume.  My background is in exercise science and training, but I am now a social worker-love the mind-body connection and could definitely help spread the word ! Thank you,

ANSWER

Training? I’d recommend you start our stuff with Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

More on Humility Here: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/plan-focus-humility/

Sponsorship? We’re not accepting any new athletes at this time. I’m sorry.

– Rob


QUESTION

I heard about your institute on a podcast and was impressed with your approach.  I went to the website and looked at pretty much everything I thought related to me.  I did not think it would be difficult to find the right place to start but I was wrong.  Here is where I am starting:

 

1)      56 years old, open heart surgery in 2010, two gastric bypass surgeries, I am one of the unlucky 5% that grew a “extra” stomach the last surgery was in 2012, gall bladder removal in 2015 it was pretty rotten, then I got IBS or irritable bowel syndrome which took me completely off the grid, they still do not know what caused the IBS but I have learned to manage it, I have to watch it in resistance training though

2)      High school football player (defensive lineman) but not a gifted athlete, I had to work really hard to keep my weight down and be competitive

3)      Resistance training and cardio until 2010

4)      The heart surgery really put me down, I could walk but the surgery did nerve damage to my right shoulder, arm and hand that took a long time to heal and learn to manage, lots of muscle deterioration on the right side, my hand still tingles and is weak

5)      So between the nerve damage and the IBS, I was pretty limited on how far or how hard I could go, basically a basket case

 

That was hard to write, I feel pretty low looking at these items.  I was going to start with the lower back workout and see how it goes.  Get my back stronger and start some more aggressive cardio.  If I can manage the health issues, I can move on to more aggressive workouts.  My goal is to get back to enjoying hiking and outdoor activity then maybe do a Spartan race or something more challenging.

 

I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

 

ANSWER

I’m not sure our stuff – even the low back plan – is appropriate for you out of the gate.

Perhaps a better place to start would be a simple fitness assessment plan – the APFT Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/apft-plan/

Simple pushups, sit ups and a 2 mile run/walk.

I’d recommend you start there and clean up your diet – if you’re not eating clean already. Here are our nutritional guidelines: http://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition

– Rob


QUESTION

Good morning sir,

I was just wondering what the difference is between the Valor and Fortitude improvement plans? They both seem to be very similar.

ANSWER

Fortitude trains heavy strength in the weight room, and easy to moderate endurance (running and rucking) aimed at building mode-specific aerobic base.

Fortitude Gym: Heavy Strength

Fortitude Endurance: Long, moderate pace aimed at increasing aerobic base.

http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

Valor has less emphasis on strength, trains hard, intense multi-modal work capacity in the gym. The plan deploys running and running assessments and follow-on hard, fast, intervals based on your assessment results. We’re focused on increasing your “speed over ground” for both modes.

Valor Gym: Work Capacity Focus (some strength, but less than Fortitude)

Valor Endurance: Short, fast intervals aimed at increasing speed over ground.

http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/

– Rob


QUESTION

I just heard a podcast of yours on Art of Manliness. I thought it was very interesting and agreed with a lot that you had to say. I am a police officer in Calgary Alberta Canada and whole heartedly agree with your assessment of the lack of fitness culture at work. It’s true that those who are unfit will cry foul when asked to improve it. We are given time on shift to train and it always amazes me how few people take advantage of it.

Anyway after hearing you speak I trolled around on your website and I am considering signing up for your six month subscription. I would however like some advice on what programming I should consider. I am 45 years old and although my profession is policing my real life is outside work. At work I do patrol related activities on a mountain bike unit. Outside work my activities include mountain biking, backcountry skiing, trail running, etc.  I don’t do much pure climbing anymore but still like to get out for a long day in the mountains.

I am of a more slight build (168lbs) and find that strength/flexibility are what I struggle with while I seem to be able to run 20kms off the couch without too much difficulty. I have done everything from 5/3/1 to crossfit type circuits.

How would you suggest I get started with your programming?

Thanks man

ANSWER

I believe tactical athletes should put their mission-direct fitness ahead of recreational pursuits. While our “base” programming for LE Patrol and Moutain athletes share significant attributes (relative strength, work capacity, chassis integrity), our LE Patrol programming adds in upper body hypertrophy and Tactical Agility. It doesn’t include the endurance or climbing programming we have on the mountain base side.

So, my recommendation for you is to train for your job first, and I’d specifically you start with the plans in our LE “Spirits” series of training plans: http://mtntactical.com/shop/law-enforcement-spirits-plan-training-packet/. You can add mountain endurance training on top of this base for your mountain life.

But it’s up to you. If you want to focus on your Mountain Base, I’d recommend you start with the plans in our “Greek Heroine” series: http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-heroine-training-packet/. Mountain base programming is the day-to-day programming I recommend for all around mountain athletes not training up for a specific season.

More on our “base” programming theory here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S6lzMy4wYQ&t=2s

– Rob


QUESTION

I am a road biker, 57 years old, female, in pretty good shape. I currently lift 4 times per week and do cardio.

Can you recommend which plan of yours would be good for me?

 

I bike with my boyfriend, 65 years old, he is in good shape too. We work out together.

 

Thank you.

 

ANSWER

I’m concerned our stuff would be too intense/hi impact for you and your boyfriend given your ages. I’m 48 and it’s darn near to much for me anymore!! From what we do have, I’d suggest the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/).

Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight”  – this plan is no joke. It deploys and initial assessment and then “scales” the follow-on progressions based upon your initial assessment results. This way it automatically “scales” to the incoming fitness of the athlete.

– Rob


QUESTION

I will try to be short with my question as based on the Q&A pages you get tons of questions. I have subscribed to a few specific plans in the past and now getting onboard with the subscription.

 

Background: 42 years old with an awesome wife and 3 kids. Busy professional type but can routinely handle carving out an hour or so 5 days a week for workouts. Bulk of fitness over the past 4 years has been preparing for 5K-10K runs and Sprint Duathlon. Access to home based gym but not full commercial gym (live in very small town). I have basic Olympic weight set and dumbells. Willing to invest in additions to my current setup.

 

Current goals going into spring: Need to get some speed back in my legs. Been running long and slow for several months now. Want to build eccentric leg strength to handle downhill running and skiing better. Recreational skier during the winter with the family but still like to charge off-piste when able. Also not uncommon to throw on a pack and find snow in the summer. Would like to build more upper body strength/hypertrophy as I find I’m relatively weak there and it hasn’t been a focus.

 

Program thoughts for your comments: Considering running improvement plan concurrent with another recommended plan that would include upper body strength and something that includes Quadzillas or leg blasters as a component of the leg training.

 

Looking for that to carry me the next 6-8 weeks then reassess goals going into summer.

 

ANSWER

I’d recommend Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

This plan should cover all you’re after, and really kickstart your fitness. More on the plan here: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/plan-focus-humility/

– Rob


QUESTION

I am preparing to go into the navy in 1 year and I am planning to get a special warfare contract to go directly from basic into BUDS. I was curious if you have any good plans that would help prepare me for the SEALs?

ANSWER

We have a BUD/s Training Packet of 7 Plans here:  http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-packet/

42 weeks of training.

Start there.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’ve been a fan of your methodology for a while now, used it to prep for a few PT tests and out of the normal events work has taken me on in the past and have always had good results. I’m looking to crosstrain into CCT at the end of this assignment (early 2019) and was looking for some feedback. Coming from a active, but unremarkable physical background, my plan was to finish the bodyweight foundation plan that I’m currently working though then follow it  up with Big 24 to develop a good base of strength. Post Big 24, where would my best next step be?

ANSWER

After Big 24, roll into the Greek Hero series of plans, beginning with Hector: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-hector/

These plans come from our “Operator Sessions” – which are designed as day-to-day programming for SOF and those who aspire to that level of fitness. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, military endurance (running, rucking), work capacity, chassis integrity and TAC SEPA (Speed, Explosive Power, Agility).

You can purchase Hector individually at the link above, purchase the entire Greek Hero “Packet” of plans (http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-hero-training-packet/).

As well, all these plans and the rest of our stuff comes with an Athlete Subscription to the website.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am very interested in your program(s). I am a 63 year old guy, relatively good shape, retired (so have time to focus), I climb (mainly boulder and sport climb), trail run and cycle. I have had problems with lower back issues for several years with painful episodes that can occur once every year or so. Recently I have gotten back to the gym and the strength training has been good but I need some guidance with a plan to follow. Feel like I am a bit lost…

I want to become a stronger climber and healthier stronger trail runner. I live in Flagstaff AZ so the 7,000 ft elevation is a great training ground. I have been considering the lower back program but was wondering if one can combine that with another type of strength program and do both at the same time – maybe a sport specific program or basic strength. Wasn’t sure if I should subscribe to just the low back program or join the monthly program with the idea of knocking down a couple of areas.

Thoughts? Do you need more information from me? Thanks for any ideas.

 

ANSWER

Couple Options:

1) Start our stuff with Bodyweight Foundation (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/), and add in a weekly V-Sum (http://mtntactical.com/exercises/mnt3228-bouldering-v-sum/) at your local Bouldering Gym.

Bodyweight foundation is an intense, assessment-based bodyweight strength training program which also includes work capacity efforts and running. On the strength side, it deploys an initial assessment, then bases the follow-on progressions on your assessment results. In this way it “automatically” scales to your incoming fitness.

2) Mountain Base Helen: http://mtntactical.com/shop/mountain-base-helen/

Helen is the first plan in our Greek Heroine series of mountain base plans and concurrently trains gym-based strength, mountain endurance (running and uphill hiking), climbing fitness (weekly V-Sum), chassis integrity (our functional core training methodology), and work capacity.

Helen is an intense, full-on training program and the gym-based work is loaded.

My concern for you is your age …. our Mountain “lab rats” are in their 20’s and 30’s, and Helen out of the gate may be too intense. If you do go with Helen be smart, and use the female loading initially to see how you recover.

Both these plans can be purchased individually. As well, each comes with an athlete subscription to the website.

At the product page for each, click the “Sample Training” tab to see what the training sessions look like … and test a few.

– Rob

Q&A 2.16.17

KUDOS AND FEEDBACK

I am a little late to sending this, however, I wanted to take a moment and let you know that I appreciate what you do for our community. I recently successfully completed SFAS at the end of January and was selected to start the SFQC.

A little background on me and your training program. I first found your Mountain Athlete in 2009, when I was a Sophomore at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. I stumbled upon your programming by doing some of my own research. I was initially extremely disheartened when the only programming I could ever find for Military (or sport specific) training was all body weight and running that included thousands of reps. I quickly became pretty burnt out conducting “Army” PT in the morning and my own lifting regiment that I picked up from high school sports in the afternoon. Anyway, I quickly began to follow some crossfit workouts, but I did not believe in the “random” training aspect. I wanted to get more sport specific. So I compared all different athletes and tried to figure out what sport is most closely related to “Military Fitness” needs. So I researched professional climbing workouts and coaches. I finally stumbled upon your website as well as Gym Jones. Since then, I have been following your Military Athlete programs to help me complete and exceed at IBOLC, Ranger, and most recently SFAS. I can tell you up front that I could not have been so successful without the training you and your team develops at Mountain Tactical Institute.

I utilized your Ruck Based V5 Selection program to prepare for SFAS. I will say, the programming was definitely pretty difficult and required some dedication at times (but anything worth doing does). At selection, I was able to finish in the top 1% for the rucks, including the trek. However, the runs I was finishing more in the top 20%-30%. I would like to believe that is because the younger 18Xs are just ridiculously fast runners. I would like to offer some feedback to you from my thoughts on your training plan and its effectiveness in preparing for SFAS. ]

– APFT – I maxed the APFT and ran a 12:25 2-Mile. Only thing I would recommend here is addition of some extra push up training during the week, maybe included in the 6 mile run workouts.

– 6 mile running workouts – the 2 mile repeats were probably the thing I dreaded the most each week. I definitely got use to the mileage and suck factor, however, I was just curious on the effectiveness v. the recovery factor every week doing those repeats at a 13:30 pace after an AM workout.

– Strength – I believe your sandbag focused strength training effectively helped with the “awkward” lifting of heavy shit that occurs quite often at SFAS. Only suggestion I would make is possible addition of some extra low carry training.

– Rucking – obviously your ruck training was on point. It helped me finish consistently in the top  of the class. I don’t really have a recommendation here just kind of curious to the need of 16 Mile and 18 Mile rucks. Of course, I completed them because they were on my training calendar and for some reason I just can’t skip something that’s written down, possibly my stubbornness. However, I just thought maybe it was a little excessive to go over 12 Miles when we are focusing on a training effectiveness v. durability for Selection aspect. These are just me thoughts here, and like I said, I still completed the 16 and 18 miles.

I just wanted to provide you and your coaches with some feedback. I logged every single one of my workouts on paper and I would like to send my data to you if you believe it could be useful for improvement in the future. It astonishes me that the Military and its personnel are not treated more like athletes when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and recovery. All the Army programs that are out there seem to me to be half assed and behind the power curve. Your programming is the closest I can get to having an individual trainer who knows what I need ( and I would not be against paying you for personal training). Again Rob, Thank you for everything you and your team does at MTI, keep up the good work because there are a lot of us out here that rely on programing like yours.


QUESTION

Hello, my name is Kyle and I recently purchased an athlete subscription in order to have more focused training rather than just going to the gym and doing exercises that seem effective. I have recently graduated Ranger School so naturally my body feels weak and out of shape. I want to pick a good plan to get regain strength and endurance since I will be a platoon leader in the near future. Do you have any particular recommendations? Thanks and the content is incredible from what I have seen so far!

ANSWER

Congrats on Ranger school and command!

I’d recommend one of the plans from our Greek Hero series to start … Achilles. Achilles concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, tactical agility and endurance, but has a slight strength and work capacity emphasis. It’s a great place to start back.


QUESTION

I recently heard about your gym on “The Art of Manliness” podcast. Currently I’m in recovery from my having my left ankle fused. I’ve been going to the gym on crutches and doing various non-weight bearing workouts and I did see you have a workout program for folks in recovery. But once I’m fully recovered I will not have full ROM other than my mid foot. Leading up to my surgery my biggest fitness struggle came from not being able to run or hike anymore without arthritic ankle pain. Looking at sample workouts on your website I noticed some have running involved (I’m unaware yet if sandbags or step ups will be an issue or cause discomfort in other areas of my body). Will your general workout programs tailor to my needs of not being able to run or jump? Or do you have recommended substitutions available to achieve the same goal?

ANSWER

For you now while you’re recovering from surgery … The Training Program for an Athlete Suffering a Leg Injury (http://mtntactical.com/shop/training-program-for-athlete-suffering-from-leg/) is designed specifically to train the rest of your body around the injury.

Moving forward with plans without running/jumping …. not specifically, unless you want to do our swimming improvement plan. A simple sub for running is spinning/cycling so it’s possible. Soldiers with space limitations often do this.

It will be interesting to see how your fused ankle affects your lifting … squats and power exercises may be a challenge as both can require ankle mobility. You may be limited to hinge lifts, and box squats for leg strength training. After you’re cleared I’d likely recommend one of our strength plans for you to start.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am a 15 year swat veteran and sniper for the a local police department and currently assigned to a federal task force.  I broke my right foot approximately 2 weeks ago at work and I am supposed to stay of that foot (no weight bearing)for the next 4-6 weeks.  Do you have any training plans dealing with leg injuries.  I am trying to stay in operation shape for when I come back but it seems like it will be a couple months before I can do any type of distance runs.  I have my own home crossfit gym and access to a full gym near me as well.  Any suggestions?

ANSWER

The Training Program for an Athlete Suffering a Leg Injury (http://mtntactical.com/shop/training-program-for-athlete-suffering-from-leg/) is designed exactly for this purpose. It trains the rest of your body around the injury.

– Rob


QUESTION

Good Morning Rob,

I am currently 10 weeks out from attending an intense shooting cqb type course. The course is 6 days long (16-20 hours per day) and although no pt smoke sessions involved, the average weight loss is 5-10lbs.  The course has you fully kitted along with rifle and gas mask.

I am currently starting week 2 of dirty harry and loving the new thoughts on gym based multi model endurance.  Can I add in loaded running to the plan maybe 2 times a week with a 3rd unloaded run?  My goal would be to do dirty harry before my patrol shift and run after or do you recommend I do a different plan to facilitate the required stamina/endurance along with the recovery? Is there a follow on plan I should do with the 4 weeks prior to the course? Also where could I employ wearing of the gas mask with the workouts?

Lastly, there really are no chow breaks so most of the food eaten during the day would come out of the cooler with maybe an occasional use of a microwave. What type of food would you recommend to help sustain the diet (I’m thinking trying to hit at least 3500 calories perday)? Also any thing I can’t prep in a hotel room is out as no kitchen is available.

I apologize for the numerous questions as you are busy answering many similar q&a.  Looking forward to your feedback!

ANSWER

My experience with these course finds a couple areas of fitness breakdowns … (1) Traps/low back from wearing kit all day, and (2) leg strength/soreness from lunging in kit all day; (3) Overall stamina.

I don’t have a perfect plan for your school. From what I do have I’d recommend you pivot to the Operator Sessions and the “Luke” cycle – you’ll find it in the daily military sessions.

Do Luke with a couple modifications ….

1) Complete Session 2’s 3-Mile Run for Time in your IBA or 25# weight vest.

2) Wear your IBA/Weight Vest for the Monday/Wednesday and Friday Dumbbell/Kettlebell Clean and Press or Snatch intervals and decrease the load to a 35# Dumbbell or 16kg Kettlebell. These will be hard … but pace yourself and stick with it. Watch for rubbing/chaffing on your arms/armpits its from the IBA. If this is an issue, email me and I’ll give you another exercise.

3) Change Thursday’s unloaded run to an IBA run … but go 4 miles each week.

4) Saturday’s unloaded run is optional.

– Do the rest of the plan as prescribed.

Luke has a strong endurance element and the long dumbbell/kettlebell intervals is one of our gym-based endurance progressions. We’ve done these in a vest too and they are killer. Luke also includes a leg blaster progression … which will help you strengthen your quads/legs for the lunging you’ll do at your course.

We’ll add a specific CQB shooting school plan to our list!

– Rob


QUESTION

Hi Rob. I am looking into starting one of the fitness plans this spring but I am unsure of which one. I have been doing a bodyweight program since last summer. This is a 5 day a week plan that I do two a days about 3 times a week. Focus is on push ups, pull-ups, leg lifts, bridges, and handstand pushups. I want to start taking my workout to the next step so adding in weights. I really like your functional approach to working out. What would you recommend that combines aspects of the Peak bagger plan with continuing to work my upper body and core? I like on the Wasatch Front and I wanted to start bagging a lot of peaks this summer but I also want to keep training the rest of my body.

ANSWER

I’d recommend one tactical plans, Actaeon: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-actaeon/

Actaeon includes Quadzillas for lower body strength, as well as barbell exercises box squats, military press and hang squat clean. On the work capacity size hit hammers 300m shuttles and sandbag get ups, and on the endurance side, pushes unloaded running to 8 miles. I loved it.

– Rob


QUESTION

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my email. Yesterday I finished the On Ramp Military plan and just bought the Athletes Subscription to figure out which plan to choose next to reach my goals. Currently I’m in Army EOD school and my goal is to get my first dead hang pull-up and also meet your strength standards for the Olympic lifts — those are my deficiencies at the moment.

I’m a 25 year old female with an endurance background. I’m originally a cross country athlete and in college I focused on distance ruck marching “ranger” competitions, Bataan Death March (heavy), and a few marathons. I currently max my Army APFT and have a lot of experience with body weight strength training. On Ramp was the first time I worked with a barbell and I really want to head in that direction. Within the next few years I’d like to support infantry/SOF more as EOD or head in the federal law enforcement direction.

What I struggle with is planning endurance and strength workouts that don’t conflict. I want to keep my running aerobic capacity while gaining as much functional upper body strength as possible. I was originally going to follow the introductory program you listed –On Ramp, body weight II, rat 6, military endurance, and operator ugly. Given my goals and background do you think that’s a good plan or should I skip to the rat 6, hypertrophy, big 24, operator, or strength-based plans?

Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you,

ANSWER

I’d recommend you pivot to the plans in the Greek Hero Packet, you have access to all these plans with your subscription, and these concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (running and ruck running), chassis integrity and TAC SEPA. Follow the plan progression recommended in the packet – beginning with Hector. These are exactly what you’re looking for.


QUESTION

I’m looking to run this year’s Mount Washington Road Race and I’d like to hear your opinion on training for it. It’s a 7.6 mile route with 4,650 feet of elevation. Here’s the link for more info http://www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com/mount-washington-road-race/for-racers/race-course-details

I’m not looking to win the race, just to train smart to avoid injury and obviously be able to finish strong. I just finished the fortitude packet and have been doing the operator sessions (although recent TDY assignments have cut into training unfortunately). I’m 5’8″ 180 lbs, 2 mile run time of 13:30, 3 mile 23:00 (average), 5 mile around 38:00. I’d like to drop 5-10 pounds and I’d like to be able to keep some work capacity and strength training in my plan as well.

I know you’re probably busy and get lots of emails so any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWER

I’d recommend our Peak Bagger Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/) with a couple changes.

1) Do the step ups in the plan unloaded.

2) Make Wednesday a 2-a-day, and add 5 mile, moderate paced run in the evening.

3) Add a 6th day to the plan  – Saturday, and add an easy pace 8 mile run.

– Rob


QUESTION

Hi Rob. I am looking into starting one of the fitness plans this spring but I am unsure of which one. I have been doing a bodyweight program since last summer. This is a 5 day a week plan that I do two a days about 3 times a week. Focus is on push ups, pull-ups, leg lifts, bridges, and handstand pushups. I want to start taking my workout to the next step so adding in weights. I really like your functional approach to working out. What would you recommend that combines aspects of the Peak bagger plan with continuing to work my upper body and core? I like on the Wasatch Front and I wanted to start bagging a lot of peaks this summer but I also want to keep training the rest of my body.

ANSWER

I’d recommend one tactical plans, Actaeon: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-actaeon/

Actaeon includes Quadzillas for lower body strength, as well as barbell exercises box squats, military press and hang squat clean. On the work capacity size hit hammers 300m shuttles and sandbag get ups, and on the endurance side, pushes unloaded running to 8 miles. I loved it.

– Rob


QUESTION

 Haas, I’m training for a potential climb into the Grand Canyon,,, in the past I’ve climbed numerous 14ers,,, but basically have had to retire due to the fact that the trek down is exceedingly painful on my left knee and hip,,, the last one I did I wasn’t sure I would make it down without blowing my knee,,, I’m looking for a training plan that will strengthen the leg ,,,, it’s only my left leg that’s a concern,, the right leg is fine,, so I figure that there has to be a muscle imbalance ,,, thx

Sent from my iPad

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Peak Bagger Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/

This plan includes specific training for the down hills.

– Rob


QUESTION

Good evening Rob,

FIrst off, thank you for what you do. I’ve used the Skinny Guy workout program in the past and regularly go back to it when I’m not working on my beach muscles or cardio.

I’m now an instructor at an entry level Marine Corps MOS school. We PT 3 days a week for about 2 hours a session. The student’s overall grade is partly based on their initial and final scores from the PFT/CFT. Can you recommend a program that we can use to help train our guys to improve their PFT and CFT scores while keeping their morale up? I was looking at either the CFT plan or one of the bodyweight plans, but knowing you are always quick to reply, I figured I would ask the expert.

ANSWER

Options:

1) USMC PFT Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/usmc-pft-plan/

2) USMC CFT Plan:http://mtntactical.com/shop/usmc-combat-fitness-test-cft-training-plan/

What’s unique about these plans is they deploy an initial assessment and then base the following progressions on the athlete’s incoming fitness. This way they “scale” to the individual athlete, but are designed so you can have athletes of different fitness levels train side by side and still be pushed individually.

Another to consider is Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

Same principle, but different exercises and more variety.

– Rob


QUESTION

I had a discussion with a buddy of mine a few weeks ago about fitness and he brought up your program as something that I might be interested in.  I checked it out that night and I really like what you’ve got going on.  Although I’m in the Air Force myself, I’m not sure if I will pursue a career in special operations.  However, I want to do that type of training to see how far I can push my body.  I had a few questions for you:

1) What program would you recommend for someone like me who’s looking for something challenging but not going into a specific selection program?  I was looking at both the Bud/s and USAF CRO programs since they’re a bit longer and from what I know of them have that level of physical demand I look for in a program.   

2) Is there any sort of foundational workout or ramp up program I need to do to prep my body for these programs?  My aim is just injury prevention and helping my body keep up with the demand.

ANSWER

A great place for you to start would be our Military OnRamp Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/on-ramp-training-plan/

If you don’t have a gym to train in, and/or just want to start with bodyweight, I’d recommend our Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan:  http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/.  Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” … this plan is no joke!

– Rob


QUESTION

Would you recommend doing the Big 24 strength program in conjunction with the ruck improvement program?

ANSWER

No … Instead of combining the plans on your own like this, I’d rather you completed on of our military plans which does it for you – specifically, Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

– Rob


QUESTION

Hope you’re doing well. I am very pleased and impressed to see how MTI has expanded from Military Athlete. I bought your On-Ramping program a few years back.

Long-story short, I transitioned out of the Marine Corps and spent two years doing sales with a horrible diet and a lot of drinking. My workout routine was routinely absent. I’ve managed to get through about the first 4 weeks of the on-ramp program and I am hungry for more. I recently transitioned into a role where I will be dealing with operators both Search and Rescue (military, government, and commercial) as well as OEMs and several non-conventional military forces. I wanted to get into a program that is not only going to kick my ass back into shape but also help me gain a competitive edge in the market place for being stronger, faster, and able to lead in these scenarios–especially if I am working with a foreign military force. I will need to be the expert in tactical employment of the search and rescue equipment we outfit their aircraft with. That will entail prac app. Any suggestions of your programs would be helpful.

A good example of my customers would be the US Coast Guard rescue swimmers that are hoisted out of the water (with my equipment).  Another example would be the Italian ski patrols (Apline Rescue guys). Thank you for your time and consideration. I always promote your gym and your programs. Thanks for what you do.

ANSWER

After On-Ramp, transition to Hector, the first plan in our Greek Hero series of plans. :http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-hector/

After Hector, complete the Swim Improvement Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/swim-improvement-plan/)

Finish with the DEVGRU Selection Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/devgru-selection-training-plan/

– Rob


QUESTION

I just finished reading a number of your articles and studies on a culture of fitness among Fire/Rescue and LE.  I’m wondering what your thoughts might be for creating a culture of fitness (and other high-level professional competencies) at a volunteer Search and Rescue unit?  In my experience, this is a problem that plagues many SAR teams in the US.  Owing to their volunteer basis, the team I’m on tends to be relatively unfit and unskilled and doesn’t spend large amounts of time together.

The team I’m on has a meeting/lecture for an hour or two once a month and then a field training about once per month, which usually lasts 4 hours or so.  We recently increased the standards for the mandatory fitness test, but in general fitness is pretty poor, as is specific skills and knowledge. For example, the fitness test is a 30lb pack carry for 3 miles on flat ground in less than 50 minutes.

I agree with you that unfit responders are a serious liability.  I was on a call-out recently where I ended up leading the litter team (organizational structure is a bit too flexible in my opinion as well).  During that process we did a single-line moderate-angle litter lower through steep treed terrain on packed and loose dirt with 6 rescuers carrying the litter (but without rescuers belayed in anyway themselves).  As I was at the foot of the litter, I ended spotting the team member in front of/above me with one hand so he could maintain his footing.  Meanwhile, I also had to support the litter with my other hand, including his share of the load, as he was clearly unable to negotiate this terrain even while unencumbered, let alone while carrying a litter.

I come from a mountain guiding background and volunteer for SAR on the side.  I’m used to professional training that is intense and rigorous with real standards that must be achieved to attain certification.  I recognize that’s a tall order for a local volunteer SAR team.  Any thoughts on how we might start moving that direction at least?

ANSWER

Part-time volunteer is a tough one.

From a macro view there are 3 ways to create a good fitness culture:

(1) Do stuff that attracts fit people

(2) Do stuff that causes unfit people to leave or not even apply

(3) Do stuff that causes unfit people currently at the unit, but who are ready to step up, be given the opportunity to get fit and do so.

What I’d recommend is adding a training session to the meeting/lecture time and after the field/technical training time. … add an hour to each.. Start out by announcing the training session and making it voluntary but let people know it will eventually (6 mos) become mandatory.

– Start with it voluntary and relatively easy (this will give unfit people currently there a chance to step up) for 2 months. (1-2)

– Then make it voluntary but highly encouraged, and harder for 2 months. (3-4)

– Then keep it voluntary but looked down upon if you don’t attend and make the sessions series for 2 months (5-6).

– Then make it mandatory and crush those who blew it off.

Next, make the annual fitness assessment no joke.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’ve followed you guys for years – did my first Mountain Athlete workouts 7 or so years ago. I’ve been an on and off subscriber for a long time. Thanks for all that.

My wife and I had two kids in the last three years and we’re finally getting back into some consistency and making time for playing outdoors.

I recently did your pre-season ultra plan as prep for a half-marathon. I modified the running aspect, but the gym work was perfect. From almost zero base, I ran a pretty fast half in three months.

I’m trying to decide what to do next. Realistically, I can do 3 gym days a week. I’ll do some running and rock climbing on top of that, but not as part of a training plan. I’d like to use those three days to build my strength and general work capacity back up. What would you recommend?

ANSWER

Best would be to do the plans in the Mountain Base Greek Heroine packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-heroine-training-packet/) … these concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (running, uphill hiking), chassis integrity and climbing fitness. These will add some programming direction to your endurance and climbing work.

Next best would be to do the 357 Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/357-strength/) sessions during your gym days.

– Rob


QUESTION

I just joined and I’m excited to start training. I am a mountain athlete and mostly do trail running and backcountry skiing. On the site, it said there are recommended exercises for non-climbers. I looked at the most recent exercise block (Armada) and don’t see any recommended modifications for non-climbers. I also searched the site for this information but couldn’t find it. Can you help?

ANSWER

With your subscription click the “Mountain” tab for plans. Scroll down and you’ll see “Mountain Base Climbing Alternative.” – These are circuits you can complete in place of the climbing-specific work in the mountain base cycles.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am a medical student looking to balance working out and school. Some days I am in the hospital for 16+hours. Then I come home and need to study. I have always worked out in one way or another and have found Beachbody workouts (T25, Beachbody) to be the most time efficient but as my schedule becomes more demanding I would like to continue some amount of workout. I am currently on the 30 min dryland ski workout and it has been great. Are there any other workouts that you offer that max out at 30 minutes that are great for muscle building, explosiveness and agility?

ANSWER

Matt –

Our Busy Operator Training Plan deploys 45 minute sessions: http://mtntactical.com/shop/busy-operator-training-plan/

Our “Stuck in a Motel Training Plan” also has 30-45 minute limited equipment gym sessions: http://mtntactical.com/shop/stuck-in-a-motel-training-plan/

These are the closest I can offer you.

– Rob


QUESTION

  I heard your podcast on Art of Manliness. I am very interested in your programs. I am a Navy Deep Sea Diver, I’ve been in for almost 17 yrs. In my 20’s I was in phenomenal shape but after a motorcycle wreck and repeated knee injuries I’m having a hard time staying motivated, I am currently 35. I am interested to know how I should go about using your training programs, which ones would be best for me and how to take into account my knee injuries. I look forward to your reply and thank you for your time and consideration.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan:

I’m not a doctor, and I’m not sure how your knee will respond … this plan does include sprints, running, bodyweight squats and lunges.

If you’re knee is okay – don’t be fooled by “bodyweight”  – this  plan is intense and is a great place to kickstart your fitness.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m working on the climbing pre-season plan on the website.  Trying to be good in following the eating.  How do you feel about ghee, butter, and other dairy?

ANSWER

It’s okay … just look on the packaging for added sugar (most milk/yogurt has it) and avoid added sugar.

– Rob


QUESTION

Ended up getting a psoas/labrum injury in my hip post EOD screener..  Have been out of heavy training since mid November (did a light version of ultimate meathead and have been primarily just doing upper body strength moves).  I have an EOD cruise, and SEAL officer Assessment and Selection coming up this summer, giving me between 16-20 weeks to get back into peak condition.  I also haven’t done much running at all since the screeners, and both summer cruises are a “running man’s game” as I’ve been told.  I’d like to get some strength back and then start to transition to a more endurance based training program.  I was thinking of doing Paul, Fortitude, and then BUD/s V2…thoughts?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plan progression in the BUD/s Packet: http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-packet/

– Rob


QUESTION

I am trying to prepare my squad for a deployment to Afghanistan. I need some help coming up with a PT Plan.  We are going to the south so no mountains, mostly flat.  If you can help that would be amazing.  Thanks

ANSWER

I’d recommend Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

This is a limited equipment, total body training plan … it’s killer.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m completely bored with crossfit and have shoulder issues because of my 2+ years of working out in a box. I’m at my heaviest (188 @5’7″) and I think your weight loss training might be interesting. I listened to you on art of manliness and I like where you’re coning from. Is there any way to get a sample day of the plan or any sort of preview before purchasing?

Thanks

ANSWER

Click the “Sample Training” tab on the product page and you’ll see Week 1 of the plan. (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fat-loss-training-program/)

You may also want to consider Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m overweight, but booked a trip to CO for elk. Is this program too much for someone out of shape? Or will it do a good job of getting me prepared? Going in October.

ANSWER

It depends upon how much you want to work. You have time and the packet begins with a bodyweight focused plan, but even it is no joke.

Understand the mountains don’t care. They don’t accommodate us with our differing issues. It’s on us to prepare for them.

– Rob


QUESTION

Looking for a best fit from your plans:

Trail Half Marathon for my wife

Training for the Grand Traverse for me.

ANSWER

Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan for your wife: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ultra-running-preseason-training-program/

Grand Traverse? I don’t have a sport-specific plan for that yet, but it will likely combine the eccentric training in our Peak Bagger Training Plan and the volume in our Alpine Running Plan. It’s on my list, and I should get it build in the next month or so. In the meantime, you could complete the Ultra Pre-Season Plan with your wife.

– Rob


QUESTION

I have been looking at your website and have a few questions about your training plans and your facility. 

First, I’m interested in starting one of your training plans but wondering if I could get a bit of advice.  I’m a recreational athlete who is getting more serious about training for my mountain pursuits.  In the winter I ice climb and ski and in in the summer I rock climb and mountain bike, and all year I love to run and hike.  So I’m looking for a plan that could be of all around benefit, and have specific have pre-season training,  I also work as an Emergency Medical Technician and as a small female needing to lift heavy patients into the ambulance have needed to incorporate heavier lifting into my workout routine.  So I’m wondering if there’s a plan that could help me organize my many different workouts/types of training into an efficient routine.  My challenge is that I usually only have access to “normal” gym facility (ie. weights, squat rack, tread mill) because of my work locations.  Occasionally have access to climbing facilities and carry around my ice tools to use where ever I can to train ice specific fitness.  Can you give me a plan recommendation?

Second, from a professional standpoint I am wondering about your facility and the type of services you offer.  I have a degree in Kinesiology and am researching different possible career options, and at this point I have applied to physiotherapy. I am wondering if you can comment on what type of opportunities you foresee there might be for someone with a physio background to work in training or rehabilitation of mountain athletes.   I live in Alberta but I imagine that Canmore presents a similar market for the type of training that Jackson does.  Basically I’m passionate about training functional fitness, working with mountain athletes, probably with a focus on rehabilitation or overcoming injury or other physical limitations, and wonder what advice you could offer someone hoping to make a career in that area. 

Lastly, I am planing to be in Jackson later this month and would love to stop by your facility and talk with you or another of your staff and see first hand how things work there.

ANSWER

In general, the closer you get to your specific season or event, the more “sport-specific” your training should be. The further away you are, the more “general” your training should be. This is the macro view of the programming we deploy.

For mountain athletes, this “general” training shouldn’t be random. We call this “Mountain Base” and there are several training attributes consistent across most self-supported mountain sports:

– Relative Strength (strength per bodyweight – as much for durability as for performance) Relative Strength is strength per bodyweight

– Work Capacity

– Mountain Endurance (unloaded running, uphill hiking under load, multi-modal)

– Chassis Integrity (our approach to functional, transferable mid-section strength and strength endurance)

– Climbing Fitness (climbing grip strength is very specific and degradable)

Going back to that macro view, I’d recommend you complete our Mountain Base programming until 6-8 weeks out from your season start, then drop out of mountain base and into one of our sport-specific preseason plans – for example the Ice Climbing Pre-Season Training plan or the Backcountry Ski Pre-Season Training Plan.

These pre-season plans are not general “base” training. They are laser-focused on the fitness demands of the sport/season, and designed to prepare the athlete specifically for this.

As the year progresses, mountain athlete will flip back and forth between “Base” programming, and sport-specific preparation. In our experience, most mountain athletes have a favorite sport for each season, and the Mountain Base programming is completed between seasons or as supplementary training “in-season.”

For you specifically, I’d recommend your day-to-day training come from the “Greek Heroine” packet of Mountain Base plans. Then you drop out of these into the appropriate season/sport-specific training plan prior to your sport-seasons. This is the way we built our programming to be used. You can purchase the plans or packets individually, or get access to all we have to offer with an athlete’s subscription to the website.

Professionally …. Our goal at MTI is to improve all aspects of mission performance for mountain and tactical athletes. Our history/heritage is in fitness, but we’ve expanded into exciting other areas. But…. therapy and physical therapy isn’t one of them.

My sense is as a PT working in a mountain town your work with mountain athletes will going to be dominated by skiing-enduced knee- injury rehab. Certainly that’s the case here. The reality of getting bills paid is you’ll also be doing lots of work with occupational therapy stuff – esp. low back. Understand few go to PT without a doctor’s orders which means insurance coverage. My sense is that for the little dings and strains that come up (no doctor’s orders) athletes here end up going to many of the other folks who work in this “maintenance” world … chiropractors, massage therapists, “wellness” folks …. there’s a bazillion options. It would be best to talk to local PT’s there in Canada to get a good sense of their day-to-day work lives.

Email when you’re in town – and I’d be happy to talk to you. Do understand our facility now is pretty much a lab … and the bulk of our work is academic in some way.

– Rob


QUESTION

Did crossfit for 4 years… never felt like it was functional enough for my job, Police ERT member. Found your site and it fits perfectly. Have done a bunch of your programs, most recently Ulysses and now I’m working through Fortitude. Love the sessions so much. I’ve stuck on the military side of the house as I love rucking and endurance running. I do have 2 questions though (and some sub questions).

1. I want to improve my running times, will following the running improvement plan help me with this… specifically with my 10k time. Can I do this concurrently with Fortitude? Would Valor be a good follow-up?

2. With your Fortitude plan, I was wondering how quickly I should be working through the strength sessions. For example, are the hip stretches the only rest during the strength sessions, and how long should they be?

Hope you can help.

ANSWERS.

1) The Run Improvement Training Plan deploys a 5 mile assessment and follow-on progressions. This isn’t exact, but it should help with your ). 6 mile time (10K). Concurrently with Fortitude?  Yes, but you’d want to replace the running and rucking in fortitude with the sessions from the Run Improvement plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/run-improvement-plan/).

2) 60 minutes. Work briskly, not frantically.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’ve been climbing in the Tetons for several years through Exum.  In August of this year my son and I are planning to do the Grand Traverse with two Exum guides.  I am 59 years old and he is 31.  What type of plan would you suggest to make sure we are in the best shape for the climb?

ANSWER

I don’t have a Traverse-specific plan built yet … it’s on my list and should be completed this Spring. This plan will be no joke, and will combine the eccentric leg strength training of our Peak Bagger Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/) and the volume of our Alpine Running Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/alpine-running-training-plan/).

I’m not sure of your current fitness, but if you’re currently fit and training, a good place to get started is our Ultra Running Pre-Season Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/?s=ultra+pre-season+running

If you’re fitness is suspect or you’re not sure, start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/. Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this plan is no joke.

Pls check back in a month or so on the update for the Traverse plan.

– Rob


QUESTION

My brother and I have been looking for a series of programs we can do through 2017 to drastically improve our fitness levels/body composition. We both have a goal of being in the best possible shape for a hunt/hike trip this fall in the Sandhills (Canyon country).

I’m 5’11 215 and he is 5’7 250 so we have a lot of work to do with needing to lose 30 and 50 lbs respectively. Can you suggest what progression of programs would be best for us?

I was thinking the General Fitness followed by Fat Loss and then ending on the Big Game Hunt program listed on the site.

Thanks and I appreciate any advice you could give…also, great podcast on the AOM site.

ANSWER

It depends upon how much time you have before your hunt starts.

I’d recommend you complete the plans/progression in the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Packet: http://mtntactical.com/shop/backcountry-big-game-hunting-training-packet/

Work back from your hunt start … the packet is 7 months of training.

If you have more time, add the Fat Loss Plan to the beginning, but my sense is the plans in the packet is all you’ll need.

– Rob


QUESTION

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?  For me, not about to turn 50 in April!

I’ve been meaning to send you my question and then I read your article My Biggest Programming Mistakes.  Specifically the section ‘Garbage Reps’.  Which is spot on related to where I’m going.

Personal, Athletic & Medical background:

Grew up playing soccer, transitioned into MTB riding and racing in the early 90’s.  Raced in the Pro class 1995-1998 (4 years).  Raced on the Road (Cat I) from 1998 – 2003.

2003 married and had a son.  Stopped racing and focused on work.  Put on weight.   Race weight 174# @ 6’-1” now 194# at 6’-0”.

Around 2009 started back riding MTB and raced a few years on the road.

Currently ride MTB and take the local rising teenage hitters on rides and to races.  My now 13 year old son included.

We love to ski.  I get in 20-25 days a year in CO & UT.

May 2014 Knee surgery – bone on bone under left patella.  Dr. Hawkins (Steedman Hawkins) did a Micro Fracture procedure.  After 1 ½ years of tedious rehab they released me 100% to ‘go do the crazy stuff’ I like to do.  I will most likely have issues with the right knee at some point.

In 2015 I completed your Dryland Skiing Training Program.  With the exception of the Depth Jumps which my P.T. nixed.

During the 15-16 ski season I did most of the 12-Week In-Season Ski Maintenance Training Program (up to my last ski trip).

In 2016 I did all of the In-Season Training Program for Endurance Athletes, and Monster Factory Strength.  I started the MTB Preseason Training Program (dated Dec 2012).  But did not finish it.  It was tough but I was running into scheduling conflicts (work, travel, coaching soccer, etc.) that scuttled getting through it.

Leading into the 16-17 ski preseason I decided against another round of the Dryland Skiing Training Program.  I just was not confident in my knees.  I didn’t want to dedicate that amount of time (off the bike) and have by knees blow-up on me on the mountain.  Good news is I’ve just returned from my second trip (Telluride) and knees seem to be holding up.

I started the MTB Preseason Training Program (dated Dec 2012) today.  I know today may seem late to start but today is the date that worked with my winter.

I’m self-employed and can set my schedule to allow a heavy training load.

My Goals:

Get fit enough for MTB & gravel races.

          Which would include losing 10-15#’s

How fit is that you say?  Of course my need is distorted based on my answer to the opening question….

I want to be competitive in 3-4 hour gravel races with 4-10K feet of climbing.

Be able to enter MTB XC Nationals this year in Snowshoe, WV in July.  As painful as it is to say… as a Master.

We also take a father-son group trip to Whistler every summer to ride the Whistler Bike Park.  Grip & core strength in addition to being as fit as possible always increase the enjoyment factor of this trip.

My core strength is Muscular Endurance.  I’m a power distance type of rider.  With ailing knees.

My question:

Based on my age and knee history/challenges would you make any changes to the MTB Preseason Training Program (dated Dec 2012)?

Have you revisited the MTB Preseason Training Program (dated Dec 2012) with regards to ‘Garbage Reps’.

I’m also doing the Core Strength Bodyweight Only program with my son in the mornings before he goes to school.  Told him it will help him jump further in Whistler!

Thank you for your time Rob.  I really enjoy your programs.

ANSWER

No. The reason is sport-specificity. There are lots of moderatly loaded squats in the Mountain Bike Pre-Season Training Plan, but they have a sport-specific purpose …. build transferable muscle strength, strength endurance and leg lactate tolerance needed for the hard climbs in mountain biking. The front squat intervals and leg blasters in the plan aren’t part of random work capacity events … they are designed to make you more powerful and more explosive on the bike. Understand we build our programming for the sport or event, not the individual athlete – including this one. The one modification you could make would be to not go to parallel or below on the front squat intervals … stay just above parallel.

Given your issues this plan may not be for you. It includes volume reminiscent of the Dryland Plan.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m 29, 6’0″, 250# who has been a lazy ass since putting on the first freshman 15# twelve years ago.  I dropped 25# last year mostly from diet. 

I started your Bodyweight Foundation this week because I have poor upper body strength.  I have a good chance of being hired for a Road Deputy this year; if I can pass the PFT that is. 

When I complete Bodyweight Foundation, what should be the next plan to look into?  I was curious if I should do a couple of the Foundation in a row.

The PFT is situps, pushups, and running the 1.5mi.  I’m nowhere near the numbers I need.

ANSWER

It depends upon when you take the assessment for the department. I’d recommend the APFT Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/apft-plan/) the 6 weeks prior-to your assessment. It’s not perfect, (2 mile run vs. 1.5) but it’s close enough and more sport-specific to your department test.

Bodyweight Foundation is good now until you know.

Also continue to lose weight. I’d like you around 200#. Losing weight will help everything. Understand you can’t outwork a shitty diet. Here are our dietary recommendations: http://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition

– Rob


QUESTION

A friend of mine told me about your training programs and I’m really interested and intrigued to try something new.  I run, bike, and hike mostly for conditioning for things like camp Muir overnights, week long hikes, and light mountaineering in the cascades.  What’s interesting about your plans is the variety, strength training, and having a schedule to add some discipline and regiment to training.

I’m planning on attempting Denali next year and I’m wondering how you would recommend I start training now with so much time.  I thought about starting the Denali training you offer but after reading about it it’s meant for the 9 weeks before the trip.  Is there a program you’d recommend for me now given I have a year to go?

Thanks,

ANSWER

Your question is similar to many I receive on the tactical side from athletes looking at a special forces selection a year away. I always recommend they jump in and do the selection plan now – for a couple reasons … to get their mind and bodies around the task ahead.

After the plan, I recommend they drop into our “base” programming on the tactical side, then repeat the selection plan directly before selection in a year’s time.

So for you I’d recommend you go ahead and jump into the Denali plan now (http://mtntactical.com/shop/denali-training-plan/).

After this plan, drop into our mountain “base” program, either by subscribing to the website or by following the plans in the Greek Heroine Packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-heroine-training-packet/).

Our mountain base programming concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, mountain endurance (uphill hiking under load, running) and climbing fitness.

Then, 9 weeks out from your climb next year, repeat the Denali Plan.

– Rob


QUESTION

I was hoping you could help me select a program to start using. I am a LEO working patrol and member of an urban part-time SWAT team.  I have a fairly strange schedule and I am having a hard time coming up with or selecting a program.  In the first week, I am off only Wednesday and Thursday and in the second week I work only Wednesday and Thursday.  So, I average two days on and two days off.  I tried to work-out in my working days too but those 12 hour days drain me mentally.  I am in fairly decent shape but I lack the flexibility and explosiveness to do Olympic lifts.  Right now, I do a combination of short circuit workouts, bodybuilding, and isometric training.  Do you have a program to fit my needs or one that I can change for my schedule?  I have access to a fully equipped weight room.  Thank you

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the LE Spirits Packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/law-enforcement-spirits-plan-training-packet/).

This programming is designed to address the mission-direct fitness demands of LE Patrol and Detective – and concurrently trains:

– Strength

– Work Capacity (sprinting focus)

– TAC SEPA (Tactical Speed, Explosive Power and Agility)

– Chassis Integrity (functional, transferable mid section strength and strength endurance)

– Upper Body Hypertrophy

These training sessions are designed to last 50-60 minutes, and be completed in a fully outfitted functional fitness gym. Most are 4 day/week programs.

Scheduling …. You’ll never be able to consistently train after your duty shift. This is why I recommend first responders train directly before their duty shift. This is the only way to make sure you get your training in.

You can purchase the plans in the packet individually, as a packet and as well, all come with an Athlete’s subscription to the website.

Sample Training? Go to the individual plan product pages and click the “sample training” tab. I’d encourage you to do a couple sample sessions to ensure our stuff is for you.

– Rob


QUESTION

41yo male — I have a gymnastics strength background with some barbell work, and have practiced very consistently for the last several years.

I could (potentially) attend a rigorous 6-month fire academy as soon as July, or December.

Essentially I want to make sure I am durable enough, and have enough work capacity, to handle morning PT and the work on the drill ground.

I was considering the Jaguar plan, but wanted your thoughts.

ANSWER

I don’t have a fire-academy specific plan … it’s on the list … and from what I do have and given your background, I’d recommend the training plans and order from the Fire/Rescue Big Cat series of plans: http://mtntactical.com/shop/firerescue-big-cat-training-packet/

Jaguar is the first plan in the series and is the place to start.

– Rob


QUESTION

my name is Alessandro and I am from Australia. I am preparing a 50km trail running for May 18.

I bought your program after watching some videos of the north face mountain athletics.

I attend strength and conditioning classes in a gym similar to yours in terms of equipment,

although my gym training is not running focused. I noticed that the 50 miles program spans over 8 weeks.

Could you please let me know what type of training should I go through before starting using the program?

ANSWER

Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ultra-running-preseason-training-program/


QUESTION

I am a new Kansas State Trooper that has been on the road for about 1.5 months. I came across your website from the Art of Manliness podcast.  Would you be able to give any tips on a good plan for me?

I am 5’7 150 lbs and would like to continue building on my fitness levels that were achieved in the academy. I have a gym membership with access to any equipment that I desire.  I look forward to beginning a program that can give me strength and endurance to survive on the road and help my fellow Troopers and Officers.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the LE Spirits Packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/law-enforcement-spirits-plan-training-packet/).

This programming is designed to address the mission-direct fitness demands of LE Patrol and Detective – and concurrently trains:

– Strength

– Work Capacity (sprinting focus)

– TAC SEPA (Tactical Speed, Explosive Power and Agility)

– Chassis Integrity (functional, transferable mid section strength and strength endurance)

– Upper Body Hypertrophy

These training sessions are designed to last 50-60 minutes, and be completed in a fully outfitted functional fitness gym. Most are 4 day/week programs.

You can purchase the plans in the packet individually, as a packet and as well, all come with an Athlete’s subscription to the website.

Sample Training? Go to the individual plan product pages and click the “sample training” tab. I’d encourage you to do a couple sample sessions to ensure our stuff is for you.

– Rob

Mini Study: Predicting Overtraining with the CNS Tapping Test

CNS Tapping Test

By Charles Bausman

Overtraining in the gym or in a athlete’s specific sport will lead to reduced performance across all facets the body’s athletic function. Mitigating the risk of overtraining while continuing to program for physical development is a challenging task to balance for athletes and coaches alike.

Sports scientists have had good effect on detecting over training by monitoring a athlete’s Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which is the time gap between heart beats that varies as you breathe in and out. When the HRV drops, it is likely symptomatic of over training.

Unfortunately, the real world implementation of daily HRV monitoring isn’t realistic for our athletes. Dr. Kevin Serre, who works with Canadian SOF units, recommended the Central Nervous System (CNS) Tapping Test as an easier, more functional method of detecting CNS fatigue and in turn, over training.

With this easy to use test (explained later), we decided to implement the Tapping Test with our Lab Rats. What we hoped to determine was twofold:

  1. Is the CNS Tapping Test a accurate measurement to determine fatigue and overtraining?
  2. If so, can we develop a matrix based on Tapping Test results to scale our athlete’s training or prescribe additional rest from the gym?

The results of our mini study seem to indicate that the Tapping Test is a viable method, but further observation is required to ensure it’s accuracy. Once a wider range of test results are collected, we can cross-analyze Tapping Test results and gym based performance to develop a way to properly scale training sessions as required.

What is the CNS?
The Central Nervous System (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord utilizing neurons to send various signals to the rest of the body. It processes sensory input and motor output, essentially controlling all of the body’s basic functions.

A simple example of the CNS function is the reflex test. A doctor will tap your knee with small rubber hammer on your knee while dangling it over a table, and your knee involuntarily reacts to the stimuli by jerking slightly.

It serves as a method to test the reaction time between the sensory input (tapping the knee) traveling to spinal cord and brain, and then back to the leg in the form of a motor output (knee jerk). This motor division carries the signal from the CNS to cells in the body to carry out the body’s response to the sensory information.

The function of the CNS is critical to movement and strength, and just like a muscle, it can fatigue if not properly recovered. Poor sleep, poor nutrition, and over-training are believed to be significant contributors in temporarily reducing CNS function levels.

How It Relates to Training
Academic study of CNS fatigue due to strength and conditioning training is fairly new and underdeveloped. A critical literature review by Dr. Batson on the topic simply states “knowledge is lacking as to the precise factors that underlie fatigue and limit performance in a variety of types of exercise”

Possible explanations are the release of ammonia (a neuromodulator released by neurons) during exercise, accumulated into the blood and brain during exercise, negatively affecting CNS function. The increase of cytokine secreted by cells may also be indicative of CNS fatigue, but the research has not been able to fully establish either of these theories.

From a training perspective, decreases in CNS function have been attributed to maximal strength training, aerobic endurance training, and anaerobic energy system training. When put in context of most functional fitness training methodologies, everything we do for training may lead to CNS fatigue, and therefore reduced performance.

While the true causation for CNS fatigue may be undefined at this time, methods of measurement do exist which have been developed which claim to directly correlate to performance.

The tapping test, a hand grip dynometer, and vertical jump are all relatively simple methods for measuring the function of the CNS as it relates to athletic performance. Each involves a fairly simple process of determining the athlete’s average for the respective test, and testing the athlete prior to each training session. If the athlete’s results are significantly inferior to his or her average, it is likely a sign of CNS fatigue and overtraining.

Other non-training factors can alter the results. Low-motivation, personal psychological issues, and drug or alcohol abuse may cause lowered results. Inversely, stimulants such as caffeine in coffee or pre-workout powder can artificially increase results.

CNS Tapping Test Mini Study
Over a period of four weeks, we conducted a preliminary study to see if the relationship of the Tapping Test, a proposed method of measuring CNS function, equated to gym-based performance.

Each athlete downloaded the The Finger-Tapping app, and conducted the test prior to each training session. The athlete completes three rounds of 10 second max finger taps with their dominant hand onto their smartphone. The app provides the average of the three rounds, which serves as the score for that day. The first week of training was used to determine their average, so that we could compare those results to following training days.

As outlined previously, a significant drop should hypothetically be indicative of CNS fatigue. As coaches, this could provide a solid metric to base a decision on whether to scale the athlete’s workout, send them home, or allow them to train as prescribed.

Several factors were involved which did not allow for ideal testing. Massive snowstorms hit the Jackson area, which temporarily closed down roads and precluded athletes from getting to the gym. Two athletes went on vacation and results were incomplete. Additionally, all of our athletes are active in the mountains skiing in conjunction with physical labor jobs on a day to day basis.

Regardless, we did observe an interesting trend. As you can see in the chart below, one athlete experienced a 15% decrease in his tap test results. During this time, he had experienced a minor hip flexor injury that was affecting his gym performance. We scaled his training in order to allow the injury to heal.

It’s interesting to note that not only did his Tap Test results appear to correlate to the injury, it also improved after a few days of scaled down training.

These initial observations would seem to encourage the positive correlation between the Tapping Test and CNS fatigue. It is impossible to know whether the athlete’s injury was due to CNS fatigue, or the injury decreased CNS performance.

The other 23 hours of the day outside of the gym were not controlled, and certainly could have played a part in the decrease, and following increase.

Regardless, we think that the Tapping Test may be a valid method to predict performance and enable better coaching for any given training session.

With the baseline test established, we hope to continue this study over a longer duration with the following goals in mind.

  • Establish a protocol to scale training sessions based on Tapping Test results
  • Engage a better recording system to track sleep habits, nutrition, and outdoor related activities which may influence results
  • Test Tappng Results on seriously injured athletes in the post-op recovery stage
  • Determine Tapping Test change after hard gym training sessions which involve 90% 1RM load or more, endurance, and work capacity

Comments or questions?
Email charles@mtntactical.com

Sources

J Mark Davis, Nathan L Alderson, and Ralph S Welsh, Serotonin and central nervous system fatigue: nutritional considerations

Davis JM, Bailey SP. Possible mechanisms of central nervous system fatigue during exercise. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. 1997 Jan;29(1):45-57.

Le Meur, Pinchon, Schaal, Lous, Gueneron, Vidal, Hausswirth Evidence of Parasympathetic Hyperactivity in Functionally Overreached Athletes – Medicine Science Sports Exercsise 2013 May 14Ryan Donahue, A Review of Central Nervous System FatigueBrendon Johnson, Correlation between Heart Rate Variability and Tap Test for Determining Exercise Preparedness, California University of Pennsylvania

Davis JM. Alderson NL, Welsh RS. Serotonin and central nervous system fatigue: nutritional considerations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 August; 72(2 Suppl): 573S-8S

Glenna Batson, Exercise-Induced Central Fatigue: A Review of the Literature with Implications for Dance Science Research

 

Arete, 2.16.17

MILITARY
What We’re Fighting For, NY Times
“Enlisted Military” Listed Among Worse Jobs of 2016, The Sitrep
The Future of the US Military in 1 Graphic, The Bridge
Why NCO’s Should Write and Publish, From the Green Notebook
US Air Force Rotates Supersonic Strategic Bombers in the Asia-Pacific, The Diplomat
The Soldier Who Took on Saddam’s Attacking Guard & Saved 100 Men, The Sitrep
Enough Talk – How Do We Professionally Develop Our People?, Grounded Curiosity
For Guidance on Women in Combat Positions, Look to the U.S. Coast Guard, Small Wars Journal
The D-Brief, Defense One

FIRE/RESCUE
An Ode to the Pulaski, Adventure Journal
Laddering with a Purpose, Firefighterbasics.com
Connecting through Reading, Wildland Fire Readership
Pilot Cam: Water Drop on NZ Wildfire, Wildlandfirefighter.com
Wildfire Evolution Forces USFS into New Thinking, wildfireinthewest blog
What does it take to Rescue a Firefighter?, FIRExTalk PDX ’16

LAW ENFORCEMENT
6 New Produces for LEOs, Tactical-Life.com
Police Officer Recruitment – A Decade Later, Police Chief Magazine
Assessing Bias and Intolerance in Police and Public Safety Personnel, Police Chief Magazine
Sometimes there are Good Guys and Bad Guys, Cop In The Hood
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, on  Training America’s Cops, Men’s Journal
Reality Training: Spontaneous assault in a parking lot, Police One
Reality Training: 5 key foot pursuit tactics, Police One

MOUNTAIN
February Climbing Photos, Gripped
Watch Climber Send 5.15b, Gripped
Tribute to Shane McConkey, Adventure Journal
Why Everyone Should Take an Avy 1 Course, Powder
This Deep Winter is a Sign of Climate Change, Powder
Should Big-Game Hunters Boycott Utah?, Outdoor Life
Colorado, Utah Ban Winter Shed Hunting, Bowhunting Magazine
7 Ways to Break into the Outdoors Industry, gearjunkie.com
Hunt, Fish, Surf in BC, gearjunkie.com
Rope Lab Quiz … Knot or Not?, Rope Lab
7 Ways to Get More Out of Your Time in the Mountains, Chris Ensoll
Should Outdoor and Mountaineering Writers Talk about Politics?, Pythom.com

HOMELAND SECURITY/TERRORISM
“Remote Controlled” Terrorism and its Implications for Counter-Terrorism Efforts, Small Wars Journal
FBI Starts Campaign to Report Border Corruption, FBI.gov

GEAR
The Science Behind our 5 Favorite Mid Layers, Outside
“Curtain of Fire” to heat Camp, gearjunkie.com
Award Winners at Munich’s IPSO 2017, gearjunkie.com
Wearables. Useful or not?, My Sports Science
Gearjunkie Week in Review, Gearjunkie
Best Trail Mountain Bikes, outdoorgearlab.com

NUTRITION/FITNESS
How Sugar is Slowly Killing You, Outside
Gene to Prevent PTSD?, Science Daily
How Eating Less Can Slow the Aging Process, Science Daily
Hiring Properties of Various Drinks, My Sports Science
Eat Whole Grains, Lose Weight, Men’s Journal
Should You Workout when You’re Sick?, Men’s Journal