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Mini Study: 3 Weeks of MTI’s “Super Squat” Progression Leads to 4.9% Strength Gains

MTI Lat Rats work through a set of 20x “Super Squats” during this Mini Study.

By Rob Shaul

 

BLUF

Experienced MTI Lab Rats showed an average 4.9% strength gain over two strength exercises following MTI’s “Super Squat” strength progression for 3 weeks within a multi-modal fluid periodization training cycle.

 

Background

MTI’s “Super Squat” progression is our implementation of the famous book, “Super Squats: How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks” by Dr. Randall Strossen.

Dr. Strossen’s original Super Squat progression is classic, old-school strength training.

MTI’s version of the Super Squat strength progression uses percentages based off your 1-Rep Max and the completion of 1 Round of 20x reps of the Back Squat and Bench Press. The round will be completed without racking the bar, and with 2-3 big breaths between each rep.

While taking the 3 deep breaths, the barbell is left behind the neck, across the shoulder for the back squats, and in the “up” position, elbows locked out, for the bench press. Twenty reps take athletes 3-4 minutes to complete. The combination of the reps, plus holding the weight between reps for the 3 deep breaths, is brutal.

Below is a video of one of our athletes completing a set of 20 “super squats”.

Some refer to this technique/progression as “breath squats.”

Dr. Strossen limited his “breath squats” to just the back squat exercise. At MTI, we’ve deployed this lifting and breathing progression to both back squats and the bench press.

We’ll run this progression for three weeks before re-assessing 1 Rep Maxes (1RM). Each percentage progression is completed twice, and then the percentage increased to the next progression.

These progression percentages did not come from Dr. Strossen, but rather experience completing Super Squats with MTI Lab Rats and athletes over the years.

Note the difference between the back squat and bench press percentages. These are based on our experience deploying the progression with hundreds of athletes over the years – we’ve found the bench press “breathing” reps much more difficult for athletes to complete.

Our Super Squat Strength Cycle, and other full cycles where we’ve deployed the Super Squat progression, are typically 6 or 7 weeks long, and the progression completed twice, after a mid-cycle re-assessment.

However, for this mini-study, we completed just 3 weeks of the progression.

Veteran MTI Lab Rats completed the Super Squat progression for Back Squats and Bench Presses on Monday and Wednesdays. After completing the strength work, they completed a 20-minute, sled push-based work capacity effort.

Tuesdays and Thursdays were spent completing endurance work – either running or rowing – for an upcoming study. Below is the weekly schedule.

  • Monday: Super Squat Progression (Back Squat and Bench Press)
  • Tuesday: Run or Row Assessment or interval repeats
  • Wednesday: Super Squat Progression (Back Squat and Bench Press)
  • Thursday: Run or Row interval repeats

 

 

 

 

Results/Discussion

See the chart below for results from this cycle:

Over the years, we’ve seen between 10-15% overall strength gains using Big 24 progression over the course of a 6-7 week cycle, and I was somewhat surprised by these results. Why the smaller gains?

It’s not necessarily because we just ran this mini-study over 3 weeks, and not 6-7 weeks like a full cycle. In general, we’ve found the second 3-week progression in a 6-7 week cycle still produces gains, but they are not nearly as sharp as those attained in the first 3-4 weeks. In this case, we would expect our athletes to continue to gain strength, but ambitiously only half of much if we ran the study for another 3 weeks

The sled push-based work capacity efforts and endurance work the athletes concurrently completed this cycle could have retarded strength gains from the Super Squat progressions. However, when deployed in our fluid periodization cycles, the Super Squat progression is just the strength part of a multi-modal cycle which typically includes work capacity, chassis integrity, and endurance.

Most likely, the reason for the lower results comes from the high “training age” of the athletes in this study.

All the athletes in this mini-study were veteran MTI Lab Rats, with high “training ages.” In general, athletes with high training ages have strength levels at or near their genetic potential, and therefore have less room to improve than athletes with lower training ages – or training experience.

Bodi, from the chart above, separated his shoulder the weekend before re-assessment and had to pull from the bench press 1RM.

 

Next Steps

This is the second Mini-Study of one of MTI’s free-weight based strength progressions. In a previous Mini-Study, our Big 24 Strength Progression achieved an average 8% strength gain across three classic barbell strength exercises with veteran MTI lab rats.

We’ll conduct similar mini-studies on MTI’s five other strength progressions and compare the results across the board. This could perhaps identify which of MTI’s seven strength progressions is the most effective for experienced athletes.

 

 

Questions, Comments, Feedback? Email rob@mtntactical.com

 

 


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Quiet Professionalism Presentation to the Denver Fire Department

In June 2018 Rob was invited by the Denver Fire Department to talk about his philosophy on what it means to be a Quiet Professional.

First penned in October 2015, Rob since then has defined eight pillars of Quiet Professionalism which include:

 

1) Mission First.

2) Hard Work with a full heart.

3) Understanding the difference between “Experience” and “Wisdom.”

4) Knowing what to do = Easy.
                               Doing it = Hard.

5) Continual Professional Learning.

6) Do your Job with Dignity.

7) Embrace the suck.

8) Gratitude.

 

Below you can find a total of 5 videos that documented the entire presentation to the firefighters.

This was filmed by a friend of one of the firefighters … so please excuse the quality.

 

This talk is based on the essay, What Does It Mean to Be a Quiet Professional?

 

Question, Comments, Feedback? Email rob@mtntactical.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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MTI’S Mountain Running and Ultra Running Plans

 

Our Flash Sale this week includes all of MTI’s Mountain and Ultra Running Plans such as:

  • Ultra Pre-Season
  • Alpine Running
  • 50-Mile Running

and much more…

You can now save 30%* on these plans by entering:
MountainRun30 at checkout.

*This offer ends within 24 hours.

 

Click through the following plan tree to find your plan:

Q&A 8.16.18

 

QUESTION

My unit has a couple of competitions coming up in a few months, we are improving on most aspects, all though a component that needs work is the 100 metre dash with falling plates, the team are struggling with accuracy after the run along with the condition taking it’s towl on those slightly weaker in the group, do you have a program or tips to aid with the units effiency and overall performance?

ANSWER

It sounds like your unit needs to improve work capacity. I’d recommend Valor or Ultimate Work Capacity I for overall training.
Specifically for sprint-based conditioning, I’d recommend 300m Shuttles.
Start at 4 rounds of a 300m Shuttle every 2:30 – 10 minutes totol.
After doing this two times, move to 4 rounds of a 300m Shuttle every 2:20.
After doing this two times, move to 4 rounds of a 300m Shuttle every 2:10.
After doing this two times, move to 4 rounds of a 300m Shuttle every 2:30, wearing individual body armor … then follow the same progression in body armor.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a Navy SOF communicator currently deployed to Iraq. I’m planning on doing some peak bagging, potentially to include a Rainier summit next spring. I had been doing some gpp work, with intent on shifting to a mountaineering focused program in August. Unfortunately I broke my right scaphoid and I’m down for the next 12 weeks while it’s healing. No limitations, aside from a broad be careful from my medical folks.
Do you have any recommendations for a programming sequence I should follow going until my season starts next year circa April?
Thanks in advance for your time.

ANSWER

I recommend the plans/order in the Mountain Base Greek Heroine Series – beginning with Helen, until you begin the Rainier Training Plan, 8 weeks out from your trip.
– Rob

QUESTION

I work for a police department and want to join my department SRT. What programs should I focus on and in what order.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Gun Maker Packet of Plans for SWAT/SRT. These plans are designed as day-to-day programming for full-time SWAT/SRT, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, tactical agility, and endurance.
Seven weeks directly before selection, complete the SWAT Selection Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Would it be possible to follow the running and rucking improvement plans concurrently?

ANSWER

I’d recommend Perseus from our Greek Hero series of plans for military athletes. Perseus is a multi-modal plan which concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, tactical agility, and endurance. For endurance, you’ll complete a 3-mile ruck run for time and a 5-mile run for time, then complete follow-on intervals based on your assessment results.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 30yr old female currently looking into TACP, SERE, or EOD. I was going to purchase the TACP Training program and was wondering if there was any other program recommended in addition to be able to exceed the standards in place for the selection tests. I was training for Navy EOD and work out daily so I’m used to really pushing myself. Any advice or recommendations are greatly appreciated, Thank you.

ANSWER

You’re all over the place. Until you decide, I’d recommend you start our stuff Humility. Follow it up with Fortitude.
– Rob

QUESTION

I currently don’t work out but I would like to get into better physical condition and work my way up to the bud/s packet or some of those types of workouts I am 29 and was trying to see what I should start with?

ANSWER


QUESTION

I need assistance selecting a work-out plan.   I am a 54 year old male, six feet, one inch tall,  150 pounds.  I have an ectomorphic (skinny) build and have difficulty building a bit of mass.  I have an office job so I sit most of the day (this has also created a lower back problem).  My goal is to get “back into shape and put on a little bit of muscle”  Thank you in advance.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you begin our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, then follow it up with the plans and order in the Country Singer packet of plans, beginning with Johnny.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi there!  I have an athlete monthly subscription.  I am an ultrarunner and crossfitter.  I have been training for a 100k using your strength workout from the 50 mile ultra plan.  My race in next weekend and after recovery I am trying to figure out which plan would be best for my short-term goals:  increase strength, maintain cardio endurance and build lean muscle mass.  Running a few races and competing in crossfit scaled competitions will be my goals for the next year.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Waylon from our new Country Singer Packet. This plan has a slight strength emphasis but also trains work capacity, chassis integrity, and endurance – built around a 1.5-mile assessment and 800m repeats.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 23 year old Army Officer. I plan to attend SFAS, but I will not be eligible to go for about 20 months. I know the Ruck Based Selection packet is about 13 months of training.  what do you recommend I do for training since I have more time than that? If you can recommend plans for me to do for the next ~20 months leading to SFAS then that’s great. If not, then a 7-month plan of action to lead me to the 13 month Ruck Based Selection packet would be great. I am currently in the middle of your Military on ramp plan to get a good base of fitness. Thanks for your help and all you do.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Greek Hero Packet of plans, beginning with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, prior to beginning the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet. These plans are designed as our day-to-day programming for Military Athletes, including SOF.  These plans will lay a solid “base” level of fitness on top of which to train the plans in the ruck packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just bought the subscription but I am having a hard time picking a suitable program. I am a infantry 2LT with the 101st. I completed ranger school in April and I am having a hard time getting back into to acceptable shape. Any suggestions would be great. I am looking for an endurance foundation along side strength and a solid core.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am getting ready to wrap up week 3 of your body weight program from 2013. I am wondering which program you recommend next. Would I go to the new Bodyweight program? Thanks for the advice.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Johnny, next, from our new Country Singer plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am headed to Colorado in mid September and I am behind in my fitness.

Your FAQs were very informative.  I understand that the 8-week program is not for the reconditioned, but your FAQ also recommended it for people with 8 weeks or less to go before the hunt.  Is that correct?

Could you also tell me the main differences between your program, mainly backcountry hunting, and the MTN Tough program?  MTI obviously has more programs/various kinds of training.

I am former Army and appreciate your various military programs, especially your programs for the injured and broken.

ANSWER

1. I think you want to know what to do if you are de-conditioned but still, have 8 weeks or less before starting your hunt. My answer is the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan. And you’re right – this plan is not for the out-of-shape. So why do I recommend it? We design programming for the fitness demands of the event, not the individual athlete. Quite simple, the mountain does not care who you are, what shape you’re in, what injuries you have, etc. The fitness demands of a backcountry big game hunt are significant, and this plan trains for it. Start the plan and do you’re best – better to suffer now, then on the mountain.
2. I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about that programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been following your recommended set of plans for Rainier and its great so far! Im about to start my first week of the Rainier Training plan and I have 1 question:
  • I’ll be traveling for work the next 2 weeks and will be stuck living in a hotel. What can I do in a typical hotel gym to replace the Sandbag exercises in the Rainier Training Plan? Im bringing a pack with me but a 60# sandbag won’t make it! What sort of exercises are roughly comparable or fulfill the same goals of the Sandbag routines, and that I can do while on the road? Worst case I imagine Ill have dumbbells only available to me.
Thanks!

ANSWER

There really is not good sub for the sandbag.
Just do this circuit for the sandbag work:
20 Minutes
10x Weighted Situp @ 25#
15/15 Standing Founder
10x EO’s
15/15 Kneeling Founder
10x Slasher @ 35# dumbbell
15/15 Low Back Lunge
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a prior Infantryman, used your Daily Operator training for a long time before I went Green to Gold and into Cadet land. While in school the priority was the APFT and only the APFT and my strength has suffered a lot. I’m back on Active Duty now, in Medical Service BOLC so I have 8-9 weeks to really get back into it before getting to my first unit. I’ve taken the APFT here, so that’s not an issue anymore, I was wondering what you recommend for plans to get some strength back while keeping my endurance in check? Thanks for everything you guys do!

ANSWER

I’d recommend Fortitude.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve used some of your training tips for downhill skiing over the years, and am currently looking for a program to train for skiing in Argentina, I have 6 weeks starting today. It is lift assisted backcountry, with some possible hiking involved. I need something to follow or I find when I piece together workouts it’s not as effective, as I’m easily distracted. I see some are 7 weeks, not sure what to purchase. Any recommendations?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m on fourth week of the APFT Improvement plan and I’m having some pretty impressive successes. I’m now starting to plan the next program after this one.
While I am learning to enjoy running, I also want to improve my rucking distance and pace. Obviously, the four runs a week on the APFT plan work great but I won’t be able to maintain that volume and start adding long rucks in as well.
Do you have any advice on what the minimal amount of running training would be required to maintain the progress I have made so far?

ANSWER

In general, the theory is once you’ve achieved a fitness attribute, you can drop your programming by half to maintain. Everyone is different – but this is a place for you to start. Drop to running 2x/week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I used and followed MA in the past with excellent success.  However, after
dealing with shoulder issues for 2+ years (and watching my overall fitness
decline) and pushing medical to actually address my issues, I finally went
through arthroscopic surgery for a Slap tear, bank art tear, and partial
rotator cuff tear.  At 42 y/o, and 5 months out from surgery, I am beginning
to conduct actual workouts again.  My Physical Therapist has cleared me to
wear a weight vest, run, do push-ups, and perform weight assisted pull-ups.
With that in mind, what program do you recommend starting at?  I have the
original On Ramp but it is at least 6-7 years old.  I know you have updated
some of your programs and want to make sure I use the most up to date
material.  Appreciate all you do and thanks!

ANSWER

I recommend you start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a guy who travels often for work, what program would you most recommend? It’s hard to find fully stocked gyms, especially here in south east Asia.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

If I were to subscribe I would have full access to the Greek Legacy workouts correct? Also, do you guys offer any type of nutrition programming? Lastly, is military discount available?

ANSWER

With a subscription, you get access to all our training plans.
Sorry, no military discount.
HERE are our nutritional guidelines.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a mountain athlete and cyclist who is coming off of 2 years of bad injuries and struggle due to 6 knee surgeries with heavy running and rucking. Can I replace this with cycling or elliptical? If so how much of an increase in work capacity should I train to? I am right now re-building my base fitness and hoping to lose the fat that I gained while having to be more stationary. Thanks!

ANSWER

In general, assume you’ll run a 10 minute mile, and ruck a 15 minute mile and spin/elliptical the same time.
So, if the plan calls for a 3 mile run, bike/elliptical for 30 minutes.
If the plan calls for a 3 mile ruck, bike/elliptical for 45 minutes.
– Rob

Arete 8.16.18

Military

War Without End: The Pentagon’s Failed Campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, Small Wars Journal
Beating Them at Their Own Game: The Economic Dimension of Competing With China, War on the Rocks
Radical Islamist English-Language Online Magazines: Research Guide, Strategic Insights, and Policy Response, Small Wars Journal
Is Russia’s Military Better Than America’s?, The Interpreter
Pivoting to the Pacific, The Strategist
A ‘weakness of the West’? UK defense minister warns of lack of grand strategy, Defense News
When Would Russia’s Cyber Warfare Morph Into Real Warfare? Refer To The Tallinn Manual, In Homeland Security
At War: How South Koreans Are Reckoning With a Changing American Military Presence, NY Times
The U.S. Air Force Is Working Harder to Retain Female Officers, and Here’s How, Rand Corp.
WATCH: China’s Military Just Released a New Video Showing Off Its Most Powerful Weapons, Test Feed
The Insider Attack In Syria That DoD Denies Ever Happened, Real Clear Defense
How Russia Plans to Get Turkey on Its Side, The National Interest
At War: War Without End, NY Times
Looking Beyond Professional Military Education to Evaluating Officers, War on the Rocks
Think Space Force Is a Joke?: Four Major Space Threats to Take Seriously, Real Clear Defense
Why Germany’s Army Is in a Bad State, The Economist
Pentagon Triples Support to Philippines Through MARSOC, MC Times
Navy to Force Out Poor Performers, USNI News
How the Rangers Got into SOF – Barely, Small Wars Journal
Why Germany Should Get the Bomb, The National Interest

 

First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

Border Arrest Data Suggests Trump’s Push To Split Migrant Families Had Little Deterrent Effect, In Homeland Security
Oregon Deputy Uses Naloxone to Save K-9 from Accidental Overdose, Police Magazine
Denver Police to Roll Out New Use-of-Force Policy, Police One
Trump’s Border Wall Could Waste Billions of Dollars, Report Says, NY Times
As School Year Approaches, Police Begin “Saturation Patrols” Around Schools, Police Magazine
Sacramento police create new policy for chasing suspects, Police One
Preventing Struck-by-Vehicle Duty Deaths, Police Magazine
The Strengths, Dangers Of Technology On Patrol, Officer.com
Terrorism Defined and Why It Matters, Small Wars Journal
Deputy’s widow sues after he drowns during training, Police One

 

Mountain

According to Design Experts, These Are the Best Outdoor Products of the Year, Gear Patrol
Jimmy Chin’s Alex Honnold ‘Free Solo’ Film Trailer Drops, Adventure Journal
Outside Names Five of the Most Dangerous Peaks in the U.S., Adventure Journal
2018 Piolets d’Or Winners Announced, The Adventure Blog
Jeremy Jones Explains Why K2 First Descent Was Epic On Many Levels, Unofficial Networks
Our 7 Favorite Packrafting Trips, Outside Magazine
An Unofficial Guide To Ski Sidewall Construction, Unofficial Networks
Whitney Has Turned Into an Overcrowded Catastrophe, Outside
Making Homemade Dehydrated Meals for Backpacking Trips, Bowhunting.com
It Just Dumped a Foot in Italy – While a random snowstorm dropped on Sardinia amid record heat, wild weather elsewhere scorches planet, POWDER Magazine
Nepali Municipality Bans Use of Helicopters at Annapurna Base Camp, The Adventure Blog
Yellowstone Visitor Arrested After Taunting Bison, The Adventure Blog
NEW ZEALAND: Massive Avalanche Rips Chairlift Tower In Half (Nearly Kills Two Workers), Unofficial Networks
Opinion: Down With Cairns, Backpacker Magazine
North Ridge of Latok I finally climbed after 40 years of attempts, Alpinist
Alex Honnold Talks to Tim Ferriss About Fear and Risk, Outside

 

Fitness / Nutrition

The Economic Cost of America’s Obesity, NY Times
The Best Diet for the Inflammation of Aging, Nutritionfacts.org
Rebranding Motherhood, NY Times
Low Testosterone? You Could Be Overtraining, Breaking Muscle
What You Should and Shouldn’t Eat Before a Run, Outside Magazine
4 Simple Moves That Will Help Fix Your Bad Posture, Men’s Journal
Do “sin taxes” work? The Economist
7 Moves You Should Avoid in Your Back Workouts, Muscle & Fitness
Omega-3 for Health: What the Latest Research Shows, Mark’s Daily Apple
The Best Food for Acne, Nutritionfacts.org
Clues to Your Health Are Hidden at 6.6 Million Spots in Your DNA, NY Times
Which Is Healthier: Coleslaw vs. Potato Salad, Men’s Health
The Hydration Packs Pros Prefer, Outside Magazine
How cannabis and cannabis-based drugs harm the brain, Science Daily

 

Interesting

Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson, The Atlantic
The Ingredients For Civil War, Hoover Institution
For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades, Pew Research Center
The New Star Trek Show Is a Chance to Last Jedi the Hell Out of Captain Picard, Gizmodo
How 20 Seconds of Courage can Change Your Life. Nerd Fitness
Wearable ‘microbrewery’ saves human body from radiation damage, Science Daily
Male Birth Control Could Be Hitting the Shelves Soon, Men’s Health
The list is here: The largest defense companies on the globe, revealed, Defense News
How Jeff Bezos Hires Great People, Hoover Institute
Elaborate hack turned Amazon Echo speakers into spies, Endgadet

Rules

 

By Derek DeBruin

 

I sat quietly in the back of the Subaru, speeding home through the darkness, exhausted from a day of difficult sport climbing. My compatriots in the front seats were debating the merits of different makes and models of carabiners for their ease of clipping. This seemed like an insignificant detail to me. As long as the gate was bent or made of wire, I thought they all clipped just fine.

It was then that I realized I must not have been climbing hard enough for it to matter—the clipping action on the carabiner clearly was not the thing keeping me from sending hard routes. As the conversation turned to weight and durability, my friends agreed this didn’t matter as much in sport climbing, but was certainly consequential in alpine climbing. It seemed reasonable to take a lightweight kit on big routes, but I thought counting grams was overkill. Clearly, a couple extra pounds in the pack wasn’t what was holding me back.

But as I’ve grown in my climbing, I consistently find that the closer to the limit the more these small things matter. And when there’s real consequence involved, managing the details is everything.

In The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond introduces the idea of “constructive paranoia,” a seemingly obsessive and unnecessary preoccupation with mundane details as a way to manage the risk of low-probability events. As one piece of evidence, he cites native peoples of Papua New Guinea. During one of many stints doing field work there, he was struck by how consistently his hosts refused to sleep under or near any “widow makers”—standing dead trees or limbs. This seemed absurd as the likelihood of a particular individual being struck by dead fall while sleeping was quite low. However, Diamond soon noted that on any given day he would witness or hear dead fall at least once, often multiple times. He realized the aversion to sleeping under dead limbs was completely rational if living in these forests every day. Sleeping under widow makers was simply a numbers game that was far more likely to catch up with a local than a Westerner visiting for a few weeks or months. This bit of information created a cultural norm that New Guineans only dared violate at their own peril.

When I worked for the Outward Bound school, we typically slept under tarps (away from widow makers). On one of my first courses, my co-instructor and I built our shelter hastily and, frankly, poorly. I was concerned this would prove problematic, but my desire to get to sleep allowed me to write it off. Because the mountains are a great teacher, I awoke the following morning soaked by rain with a sleeping bag that wouldn’t be fully dry again for another five days. From that point forward I emphasized to my students that if they were going to make a shelter, they should really make a shelter. Anything less than a bomb-proof set up was simply wasted effort. I was beginning to collect my own set of rules and habits for success in the mountains. This particular rule about making shelter paid off one day after climbing in 70mph gusts in Red Rock, Nevada when we returned to the campground to find that ours was the only tent still where it had been left. Anyone else not sleeping in a vehicle was picking up scraps out in the cactus.

When I learned to paddle whitewater, I was fortunate to fall in with a crew of serious Class V boaters almost immediately. Despite the fact that they had boats someone else paid for and I had a dry top that didn’t actually keep me dry, they were happy to run rivers with me simply because they loved paddling that much. On my third day of paddling, after a series of hypothermia-inducing swims, my friend noticed the non-locking carabiner on my PFD. He admonished me. His system was simple. Carabiners go in zippered pockets. If a carabiner must be exposed on your PFD (such as on a quick-release harness), it is a locker that always stays locked.

It would only take one time with an unlocked carabiner accidentally clipped to a rope or tree branch while underwater to learn this lesson, if that experience didn’t kill you first.

I nodded, shivered violently a bit more, and stuffed the carabiner in a pocket. New rule: locking carabiners only on the river.

Years spent working in the Southeast meant days on end with wet feet, and that meant immersion foot was a real concern for me and those in my care. On an expedition, one’s feet might be the only realistic way out of the backcountry, emphasizing the importance of treating them properly. I quickly learned the system to manage this from a more experienced guide. Every morning started with donning the driest pair of socks available. The midday lunch break doubled as a blister check. Socks were dried against the chest all day. The evening routine included at least 15 minutes of bare feet followed by judicious application of lotion on hot spots. Clients and students were instructed in the same. Diligence was a requirement and these daily chores were not optional. As a result, when working one season with 26 straight days of rain, no one had a foot injury more severe than a blister.

When learning to ski, a patroller taught me a basic tenet of ski patrol: never stop above someone. When pulling into the safe zone at the end of a run, stop below your partner. It would be a pretty shitty day to accidentally let loose a sluff or take an uncontrolled slide that sent a co-worker downslope just because you stopped above them. A long-time avalanche forecaster and field observer taught me another: at the bottom of the run, get out of the way and put your skins back on immediately. At the base of the slope, it’s much harder to search for someone if there’s an avalanche, and having skins on skis could be a life-or-death difference. “10cm and 10mph” is the succinct rule for closing uphill traffic at my local ski resort. When I’ve asked about this, the assistant director of mountain safety gives a straightforward answer based on decades of experience on that hill. Wind greater than 10mph is fast enough to transport snow and four inches of fluffy white stuff is plenty to form all manner of slabs. If both those conditions are met overnight, the ski patrol will be throwing charges in the morning, meaning no inbounds uphill travel. While it may seem unnecessarily conservative to always follow these rules, all three of these professionals follow these maxims religiously. They each also have at least one story where not heeding these rules cost them dearly.

Many strong alpinists have similar rules and habits. Conrad Anker is incredibly diligent with foot care. Steve House always carries mittens when climbing so his hands are guaranteed to work if he needs to bail. Colin Haley habitually wears a nose protector on his sunglasses because looking cool is less important than not getting sunburn (or skin cancer). Rolando Garibotti weighs every piece of gear to the gram and writes the weight directly on the item. Will Gadd has pretty strong opinions about racking with a gear sling. Reinhold Messner maintained a daily diet that was the same as he would eat on expeditions, so there was never a need to transition diets and he was always assured a regular morning bowel movement.


The common thread among all of these anecdotes is in the consequence for breaking the rules. These are not idle whims, nor are they meaningless compulsions. Each habit is based on an axiom that serves to decrease risk in an unforgiving environment. It might seem obsessive to count grams. However, attempting cutting-edge alpine style routes on big mountains with little margin for error by definition does not leave any margin for unnecessary weight. The clipping action of a carabiner is no longer an inconsequential detail when you factor in icy ropes, gloves, fatigue, and difficult, runout climbing. It could be the difference between sending or not, or even making it home. Inadequate shelter might only mean an unpleasant night out, until the one time it means death by exposure.

Consequently, nearly all of the guides, climbers, and other outdoor professionals I respect the most have strong opinions on the manner in which they conduct themselves in the mountains. They follow their own rules diligently and use habits they can’t always explain. They are of course open to learning new systems and engaging with new ideas, but each moment of an expedition from initial research to logistical preparations to execution of a climb is the result of a certain carefulness born of years of near misses, close calls, and shiver bivies. Everything is done with purpose, nothing is left to chance. The mountain is already unpredictable—that shouldn’t be exacerbated by doing this haphazardly. I’m wary of those who haven’t figured out the rules yet. I just hope I’m following the correct ones.

 

 

About the Author

Derek DeBruin is an American Mountain Guides Association Rock Guide and Assistant Alpine Guide with experience throughout the United States climbing rock, ice, and snow. He is an owner of Bear House Mountain Guiding near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Packet Focus: SF45 Packet II

 

By Rob Shaul

This is the second of two training packets with SF45 Training Plans.
The SF45 Training Packet II contains four (of eight) plans from MTI’s SF45 programming library including:
  • Echo
  • Foxtrot
  • Golf
  • Hotel

“SF45” is an acronym for “Strength and Fitness 45” and this programming is designed for older tactical and other high impact athletes in the 45-55 age range. SF45 Programming has the following general characteristics:

Heavy, Low Volume Strength – think heavy barbel and 1-4 reps per set. The goal is to increase or maintain relative strength (strength per bodyweight) in the most efficient manner possible. Some SF45 cycles will feature bodyweight strength training, but none will include moderately loaded free weight strength training in the 5-12 reps per set range. This is to avoid unnecessary joint impact. Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie deploy this type of strength training. SF45 Delta steps away from the barbell and deploys bodyweight strength training. 

Endurance – Recreationally, most activities for athletes in this age range are outside and have a strong endurance component – biking, hunting, trail running, hiking, alpine climbing, etc. As well, for experienced athletes who’ve spent decades throwing iron around in gyms, the appeal of training inside wanes. Endurance programming includes assessment based intervals at a threshold pace, long distance intervals at an easy pace, and gym-based endurance training. This programming may include rucking and ruck running, as well as loaded step ups. Specific to this plan, SF45 Bravo, the athlete will be able to choose between running and biking.

Chassis Integrity – MTI’s mid-section training methodology aims at building transferable mid-section strength and strength endurance. Four movements are emphasized: Rotation, Anti-Rotation, Total Body, and Extension. Chassis Integrity can be trained in focused circuits, as well as in complementary gym-based endurance events.

Non-high Impact Work Capacity – In this age group, gone are the days of hard, intense, high impact multi-modal gym-based work capacity programming. For day to day training, the interest and need for this type of fitness is not worth the joint impact. Work capacity training is limited to lower impact gym exercises and shuttle sprints.

Minimal Deep Loaded Squats – For the most part these training plans avoid heavy, loaded deep squatting movements to acknowledge knee and other joint issues. There are a couple of exceptions.

 

BUY NOW

 

SF45 Packet II Training Plans

Four SF45 plans are included in this packet: Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, and Hotel. Each SF45 plan is a 6x/week, 7 week training plan. Week 7 of each plan is an unload week, so the plans may be run back-to-back.  See the chart below for specifics on each plan.

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

What Equipment is Required?

  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including barbells/dumbells, plates, bumpers, rack, bench, plyo boxes, sandbag (40/60/80 pounds)
  • Stopwatch with countdown interval timer.
  • Optional – GPS running watch to make finding running/biking distance easy

Can the plans be purchased individually?
No – the plans can only be purchased with this packet.

Can I see sample training before purchase?
Yes, click HERE and then hit “Sample Training” to see the entire first week of programming for each training plan

How do I access the plan?
You can access the plan via username and password either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time

More Questions?
Email: coach@mtntactical.com

The Minimum

Photo Credit: Grand Teton National Park Commercial Guiding

 

By Derek DeBruin

 

Within a year of beginning to climb, I was enrolled in the Single Pitch Instructor course, a program for aspiring climbing instructors. In three short days the curriculum made quite clear how little I actually knew about climbing. Something as simple as belaying from above directly off the anchor blew my mind. I had a lot to learn.

A few months later, with my first season of rock guiding under my belt, I took the Single Pitch Instructor exam. By that point, I had a firm grasp on how to belay from above directly off the anchor. But when the examiner asked me why I’d used a “rabbit runner” system with a static rope to build an anchor, the best I could do was stammer about needing to connect three pieces that weren’t very close together. To be honest, I’m not sure I even knew at the time what other options I might have used.

That didn’t matter, though—I passed the exam. Somehow, I’d managed to go from having my mind blown to knowing everything in a few months. I failed to grasp that regurgitating a few basic technical systems on command was not the same thing as good guiding. Soon, I found myself at a hanging stance atop a single pitch of climbing attempting to coach a client to rappel through a tangled mess of ropes. It appeared that at least some of the time, I didn’t even really have “regurgitating a few basic technical systems” dialed. 

Luckily, the lesson of tangled ropes was not lost on me and I worked rapidly to tighten my systems up. I poured hours into anchor building, rescue drills, rope management, reading, and research until I could employ almost any obscure technical system as desired. What was a weakness had become a point of pride. Unfortunately, there was another lesson that hadn’t quite hit home.

My client had struggled mightily to the top of that pitch, struggled again at the hanging stance I’d used, and struggled further to rappel through my mess.

He probably didn’t get too much out of that rappel lesson. Nor did he ask to learn that skill. What might have been value-added was a major distraction not only due to inadequate technical skills, but also poor application of those skills even if I’d mastered them.

On a later rock guiding course, this point finally coalesced. I led our party of three up a pitch of vertical crack climbing. The instructor climbed first, as is often the case, and I told him he could remove any gear that would be convenient for him. He was pleased by this as it made his life much easier. During our debrief of the day, he mentioned that the technical skills I’d demonstrated seemed solid, but real craftsmanship grew from using technical skills as a client care tool. I’d recognized that directional protection on the pitch of crack climbing was irrelevant and had used this knowledge to make the climb easier for my follower. He encouraged me to apply this paradigm—technical skills as a client care tool—as often as possible. My clients wouldn’t always be able to figure out why, but they’d have less fatiguing, more enjoyable days (and maybe even tip accordingly).

Armed with this new knowledge and a positive appraisal of my technical skills, my next problem was consistent temptation to employ rope tricks unnecessarily. One of my students in an anchor building clinic was clearly well-read and had some experience placing gear, so I expected him to do quite well. However, he kept missing the mark just a bit. His anchors were unnecessarily complex, which caused him to make errors. I finally made the connection with my own work. While a mountain professional should have a number of tools in the box, the simplest, most common solution is simple and common for a reason. The Pareto principle or “80/20 rule” would guide me forward. A small set of techniques (perhaps 20% of the tools in the box) would solve most problems most of the time (80% or more). This fundamental point was underemphasized in my training as a guide. We learned a host of technical skills, but rarely was it made clear that while we should probably be familiar with 20 or 30 different transitions, we’d normally use the same 5 or 6 day in and day out in our work. In reality, there was a minimal set of skills worth the most effort to master.

This idea of minimal skill set was made clearer still when I began to teach the Single Pitch Instructor course that had once expanded my horizons so considerably as a young climber. I gave a lesson on protection and anchors to the students on the course. During debrief at the end of the day my co-instructor and mentor methodically disassembled my lesson. What did these students really need to learn if they were going to be solid instructors? Teaching them how to place a cam was irrelevant since it was a prerequisite skill. If the students hadn’t already mastered this, that was their fault, not ours. What they needed to understand was the full suite of anchor building options, when to use them, which ones would be used most often, and which ones to teach students of their own. With limited time and attention to devote to any given lesson, I needed to learn to teach the minimum. Reducing a lesson to its most essential components meant more time spent on the most important topics, more hands-on practice, and students who would actually retain knowledge.

John Long has asserted in a few of his climbing “how to” books that an entire climbing career can be made from the knowledge of a very minimal set of knots. He’s not wrong. I’ve certainly been happy to have the right knot for the job many times, but there’s some hyperbole in the idea that an autoblock and a prusik are really so different. If I had to boil it down, a climber can get by with just five knots and hitches: the figure-8, the overhand, the clove hitch, the munter hitch, and the prusik. The figure-8 secures the rope end to objects (such as a harness). The overhand family is used to join rope ends for rappelling and clipping the middle of the rope to a carabiner. The clove hitch creates adjustable attachments. The munter can be used for belaying and rappelling when other tools aren’t available. The prusik is an incredibly reliable rope grab. There may be more elegant solutions in some cases, but this small set of knots will get the job done, even in complex multi-rope transitions or challenging rescue systems.

This is the challenge I consistently struggle to master to this day: the minimum. Additional material in a lesson results in wasted time and attention from students. Inefficient route finding results in wasted breath from clients. Nonessential equipment in the pack results in undesirable extra effort. Unnecessary transitions on a climb result in wasted time. The path to mastery is defined by ruthlessly shedding anything extraneous. Once it’s clear how little is needed, what remains can be honed to perfection of the craft.

 

About the Author

Derek DeBruin is an American Mountain Guides Association Rock Guide and Assistant Alpine Guide with experience throughout the United States climbing rock, ice, and snow. He is an owner of Bear House Mountain Guiding near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Arete 8.9.18

Military

Inside SecDef Jim Mattis’ $2.5 Billion Plan to Make the Infantry Deadlier, Small Wars Journal
Congress finalizes $717 billion defense budget authorization months ahead of schedule, Defense News
Drone Attacks are Essentially Terrorism by Joystick, Small Wars Journal
Leadership: Expanding the Discussion, Small Wars Journal
US has launched over 500 strikes against the Islamic State since May, Long War Journal
War Stories As They Should Be Told, Modern War Institute
A jet sale to Egypt is being blocked by a US regulation, and France is over it, Defense News
Making America’s Navy Great Again, Small Wars Journal
Russian Navy Preparing to Take on U.S., Real Clear Defense

 

Homeland Security / Law Enforcement / Fire/Rescue

Facebook says efforts to subvert upcoming US elections resemble ‘new arms race’, intelNews.org
Iran’s Human Geography: The Wicked Problem of People, Places, and Things that Complicates US Strategy, Modern War Institute
America Should Oppose China’s Economic Imperialism, The National Interest
Selling Risk Management Poorly, Backstep Firefighter
Is it Really That Bad? Firefighter’s Enemy
Behind the Badge – What You Don’t See, Law Enforcement Today
Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #38: Armed Drone Targets the Baja California Public Safety Secretary’s Residence in Tecate, Mexico, Small Wars Journal
Senate Passes 1.9% Federal Pay Raise, Police Magazine
How mobile intelligence improves police officer safety, PoliceOne Daily News
United States asking Australian firefighters for help, Wildfire Today
L.A. County Deputy’s Deposition Describes Tattooing of Exclusive Society of Officers, Officer.com
New Rules Shrink Ranks of Alaska Wildland Firefighters, Fire Engineering

 

Mountain

Four climbs and one person to be recognized at 2018 Piolets d’Or in Ladek, Poland, Alpinist Newswires
Cody Roth: The Undercover 5.15 Crusher Following His Own Path, Climbing Magazine
Peak Resorts makes massive upgrades to Northeastern ski areas, Freeskier.com
6 Pros on How to Have the Perfect Summer, Outside Magazine
No Man’s Land: The Hunt for a Giant Kansas Buck, Outdoor Life
The Ultimate Backpacking Calorie Estimator, Outside Magazine
Elsewhere: Winter In Japan, Powder Magazine
National Geographic Presents 25 of the World’s Most Iconic Mountains, The Adventure Blog
American Cyclists Killed by ISIS In Tajikistan, Outside Magazine

 

Fitness / Nutrition

The Future Of Food Needs Transparency And Integrity: A Response, Hoover Institution
Muscle ‘switch’ may control the benefits of exercise, Science Daily
The Benefits of Eating with Your Non-Dominant Hand, Breaking Muscle
Eating crickets can be good for your gut, according to new clinical trial, Science Daily
What Are Exogenous Ketones and Who Should Take Them? Mark’s Daily Apple
Shave Seconds Off Your Sprint With Advice From These World-Class Coaches, Men’s Health
Do You Really Need A Lifting Belt In The Gym? We Find Out, Men’s Health
Why Drugs and Diet Can Sometimes Fail in Diabetes, NutritionFacts.org
Why Take Diet Advice From a Cave Man? NYT
10 No Equipment Needed Exercises for Strong Legs, Breaking Muscle

 

Interesting

The Humanitarian Crisis You Haven’t Heard About, Council on Foreign Relations
Steven Seagal Appointed by Russia as Special Envoy to the U.S., NYT
Opinion: Military Planes Are Ruining Olympic National Park and Violating the Wilderness Act, Adventure Journal
How Emotional Intelligence Boosts Your Endurance, Outside Magazine
French Skier Identified via Social Media 65 Years After Death – Henri La Masne disappeared while in Italy’s Aosta region while storm skiing on his birthday in 1954, Powder Magazine
The Benefits of Eating with Your Non-Dominant Hand, Breaking Muscle
Lessons From Life in a One-Bathroom House, NYT

Q&A 8.9.18

QUESTION

I graduate from USMC OCS tomorrow and I want to thank you for the work you do because following your programming allowed me to recover from my broken ankle last summer and perform very well physically at OCS this summer.
Now I’m looking forward to TBS. My TBS date is December 3, 2018 so I have almost 5 months to prepare. I plan on taking a week or 2 off from training and then getting started again. Immediately before TBS I’m going to complete your TBS plan.
Up until then do you recommend any of your plans? Right now I’m 5’10 and about 165lb. My final USMC PFT at OCS was 20 pull-ups, 115 crunches, and 18:52 3 mile. I’m definitely looking to gain some weight and strength.
Any advice you have for me is much appreciated!

ANSWER

Congrats!

I’d recommend you start back with the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m in my early 30s with a fairly solid history in mountain sports, but am very new to structured training. My primary goal this year is to have a high volume injury-free ski season, but do many other sports throughout the year.
I’m currently working through the Bodyweight Foundation training plan, and was thinking I would next drop into the Greek Heroine series until it was time for one of your Ski plans.
However, I have a very limited strength training background, and I’m sure low relative strength.
Would you recommend doing a strength cycle (TLU or Rat 6) in between Bodyweight Foundation and Greek Heroine series? Or just start in Greek Heroine series, and scale down weight as needed?

ANSWER

Complete the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan next, then roll into Mountain Base Helen from the Greek Heroine Series prior to beginning the Dryland Ski Plan the 6 weeks directly before your season.
– Rob

QUESTION

I live in the mountains of Northern Mexico, I’m a little bit out of shape and looking to get fit again. I’m used to workout at the mountain, mainly doing mountain bike, calisthenics because I practice white-tail hunting and that has worked great for me, it’s not a hard hunt such as the mountain hunts in Western US so I’m a little confused on the training I should choose.
I was thinking of buying the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan and do it all except for the Backcountry Big Game Plan, but which training should I do after completing the first three plans (Bodyweight Foundation, Resilience, Humility)? I’m looking to maintain performance after the three plans.
Thanks for your help, and greetings from Mexico.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Training plan followed by the plans and order in our new Country Singer packet of plans, beginning with Johnny.
These plans apply our programming methodology for general fitness athletes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have limited equipment and a history of shoulder injuries that are so severe, I’ve been instructed to never do overhead presses again. I’m in reasonably good shape, what program would you recommend I start with. Thank you.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with Bodyweight Foundation.
– Rob

QUESTION

Started in the subscription plan and on earlier recommendations from you I started into Ruger. Love the programming so far. One issue I’m running into is the pull-ups. I have severe tendinitis in my elbows. Vertical pulling blows them up. I’ve tried different grips with no relief. I can horizontal row. Should I sub bent rows or

aussie

pull-ups? Is there an adequate substitute?

ANSWER

Do Horizontal Pull Ups. If these hurt, revert to horizontal rows.
– Rob

QUESTION

Back with another question on building mass. A few months ago you recommended to me that I complete the ultimate meathead cycle, and then head back to my LEO/Patrol programming. I am right around the 200lb mark, but I am looking to add more mass. Should I trust the process of building muscle mass through the patrol plans for the time being, or would you recommend using a hypertrophy plan/mass building plan? My goal is to be 210-220. Thank you!

ANSWER

Move back into the LEO/Patrol programming for at least a cycle (7 weeks), then you could repeat Ultimate Meathead.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question for you regarding the expedition/preseason ice climbing programs.
A little background: I used your training program for my Denali expedition last year and felt thoroughly prepared. I’m heading back to Alaska next year for some more technical ascents(hopefully), but also want to train to become stronger for ice climbing in general. I am interested in trying your ice climbing programs, my only concern is my limited access to any rock or climbing gyms. There is one small bouldering area in my gym, but I’m not sure I would be able to use my tools there.
So, do you have any suggestions or examples on how to build a training wall/tool for ice climbing?

ANSWER

I don’t have plans  – though there are plenty available. It also depends upon your space – how much room you have to build. Best would be a 12×12 wall at a 10-15 degree overhang angle. Check out Moon Climbing. The lower level moon board would work. We use door hinges for ice tool holds. These are metal, and tiny – and won’t let climbers torque far from the direct pull without falling. There are companies which sell ice-specific holds, but these are expensive, and not needed for our programming.
Escape Climbing sells an ice tool rubber pick which allows ice climbers to use their tools for plastic holds. This way you may be able to use an existing bouldering gym for your tool work.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m 33 and have become injury prone. It’s always a minor injury but it seems to take months to recover from. I currently have tendinitis in my right foot and have been slowly trying to rehab it for the past two months. I think my biggest issue is general inflexibility (especially in my right leg) and I feel like I need to basically start from scratch with flexibility and stability training before I get back into serious conditioning. I backpack and backcountry hunt so that is my overall focus. Unfortunately every time I try to get going with a workout plan to improve I end up with another minor injury of some sort.  While I do have some trips in the next six months, I’m trying to plan and prepare for the long haul. Any advice is welcome, thank you for your time and help.

ANSWER

We believe the key to durability is event-specific fitness. We’re not advocates of stretching, soft tissue work, or any similar activities as a way to build durability. In our experience, these may help with recovery, but their effect on durability pales compared to sport/event-specific fitness.
So I’m not sure what to tell you, other than to say I expect our athletes to train hurt, but not injured. The difference? Training hurt doesn’t make it worse. Training injured can make it worse.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a subscribed athlete currently following the Peak Bagger plan for the summer. I’ve been very happy with the results so far. I’m modifying a bit for volume and frequency to allow for continued activities in the mountains while following the plan but it has worked out well.

Ski alpinism

is really my passion. Moderately technical ascents with skis on my back, followed by intricate highly technical and demanding descents is what I really live for in the mountains. In the winter and early spring of

18/19

I have several plans that are going to require

fitness

for ice climbing/alpine climbing followed immediately by very steep, precise skiing. As with most mountain athletes these days, my desire is to move as light and fast as possible to minimize risk and equipment necessary. My stamina is good, but building speed over land is an area of need.

I wanted to get your thoughts on which plan or plans to follow as I transition from the Peak Bagger plan at the end of summer into fall training to be prepared for the ski season? Ideally, I would finish the plan in time for the real start of ski season around Christmas and be in excellent climbing shape around March hoping to retain as much of that peak fitness/readiness through May into June.

Thank you for your time and the excellent resources you have put out there.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Ice/Mixed Climbing Training Plan followed by the Backcountry Ski Training Plan directly before the season starts in late November, early December.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking for a recommendation.  I want to start a new plan tomorrow.  Little about me.  Currently a member of the Army SOF community.  30 years old with a strength background; played D1 football (short NFL contract) as a 300lb lineman.  In last  years I’ve dropped weight to 225 and have run numerous marathons / IM’s.

I’m currently looking to do an overall balanced program that will continue to work on strength and overall movement, while providing enough capacity / endurance training to complete 12 mile ruck runs

I have completed the Big Mountain, Big 24, CAG Prep plans, RASP Plan and a few others in the past.   

Currently I’m trying to decide between Fortitude V2, Hector or Achilles. I would rather do CURTIS P’s than sandbag getups but I’ll leave that to ya’ll. 

Let me know what you think and thanks for the great programming. 

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I have extremely bad shoulders and could lose some weight, but I’m in decent shape and active. What program would you recommend I start with. I have limited equipment and I’m interested in general fitness.

ANSWER


QUESTION

What is ya’lls training philosophy in inclement weather? Does it effect you guys at all? For instance, on a rainy day aligned with a long ruck or weighted run day do you all go to an alternative or just drive on and let the shoes and equipment dry later on? or do you all turn to doing a ton of step-ups in lieu? 

ANSWER

You’re waterproof. Run/ruck in the rain.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am almost done with the hypertrophy for skinny guys a really great plan I am looking for something to follow next but something that’s a full body strength workout, legs, arms, chest, back shoulders, and core. I am trying to build my strength up as well as staying keeping my endurance and as well as build on it if that makes since. my end state I want to be stronger a little bigger while maintaining my endurance I am not sure what plan to follow next would you happen to have any ideas or point me in the right direction thank you for your time.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Waylon from our new Country Singer packet of plans. Waylon is a multi-modal plan which has a slight strength emphasis. Also trained are work capacity, chassis integrity and endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

Really tempted by the new country singer packet you have released.  Want to see what your thoughts are on if it’s right for me.
Background: currently deployed to Afghanistan as an army aviation officer with plenty of gym access.  I’m currently finishing week 4 of military on ramp.  My original plan was to complete the valor training program.
As an aviation officer I have limited need for loaded endurance (rucking, iba, etc).  My main goals are to build and maintain a high level of overall fitness, no particular schools or events down the road.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
PS: I have the athletes subscription so I have access to all the plans.

ANSWER

The Country Singer plans will work for you. Roll into Johnny after Military OnRamp.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am recovering from an injury. I will be testing for law enforcement in Jan 2020. The test is push ups, sit ups, 1.5-mile run. I have not worked out in awhile, and haven’t run in awhile either. I think I would be considered a beginner runner, which would be my worst area. Is there a plan to help me in the areas I need?

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. This is a great plan to jumpstart your fitness, start tunning, etc.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope this message finds you well.  I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.
I spent 6 years in the Canadian Army and now I am returning after be away for 11 years.  Fun thing is i have to go to basic again and redo my infantry course.
I am pretty good shape.  I play competitive rugby and have been lifting for well over 11 years.  I have recently been doing the 5/3/1 program and my 2x week rugby training.
I am about two months out before I attend basic.  I am looking for program that will keep up my strength between now and when I attend basic and that I would be able to get into right away after 3 months of basic that will best prepare for my Infantry course.    At Basic, we mainly will be doing short runs, bodyweight, and prep for a 13k ruck.  A little different from when I first attended.  Guys have told me that they have lost strength and then struggle while on their infantry course afterward.  I will have just about three months between basic and attending the battle school.
I am 36 years of age. 191 lbs.
Any help and direction into which program would work best for my goals ( being the best prepared for battle school)  would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Fortitude. Fortitude combines gym-based strength, with work capacity, military endurance (running, ruck running) and chassis integrity (core).
– Rob

QUESTION

Just checking.  I really appreciate MTI’s training and am getting back into it…question though, I understand Rob was working on a Strength program for the “older” generation?  Are they finished and/or getting close to releasing it?

ANSWER

I’d recommend SF45 Alpha.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m going to be trying out for the SWAT team 6-8 weeks at my department. I am physically fit when it comes to lifting, but my cardio lacks. I’m running a nine minute mile at the moment and would like to be sub 7:30min. Is this doable in that amount of time? Please advise. Thanks.

ANSWER

Possible? Sure – train and lose some weight.
Understand SWAT Selection is not only running – most units have many other fitness demands. Our SWAT Selection Training Plan does include focused training for a 1.5 mile run.

QUESTION

I’m trying to decide between Johnny and Humility. I’m a moderately trained athlete currently doing Wendler 5/3/1 and my cardio/work capacity sucks at the moment. I’m not in the military nor LEO, but I do the occasional GORUCK event and like to have a good “base” fitness or general physical preparedness (GPP), with an emphasis on strength. So, is one better than the other, or am I missing the mark entirely and should I go with a different plan?

ANSWER

I’d recommend Johnny. This is a balanced multi-modal training plan which concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity. It’s a great plan to drop into after your 5/3/1 strength focus.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking to get into law enforcement at the end of next year. I am currently recovering from an injury and haven’t done pt in 6+months. The police test is max push ups/sit ups in a min, 300 meter run,and 1.5 mile run. The 300 meter in less than 71 seconds, 1.5 in 14:31 or less. I guess I would be considered a fitness beginner. I need a program that will build me back up,and focus on the events I need. My main issue will be running, I’ll need a good plan with a good run focus. Please help me choose.

ANSWER

– Rob