All posts by SSD

Arete 2.21.19

Military / National Defense

The Air Force’s new ‘deploy or get out’ guidelines are officially here, Task & Purpose
Amid Trouble With the West, Saudi Arabia Looks East, NY Times
Terrain Matters: Training and Basing in Alaska, Modern War Institute
If America’s Unipolar Moment is Nearing Its End, What Comes Next?, Modern War Institute
Lithuania widens espionage probe, several now in custody for spying for Russia, intelnews.org
Would You Die for Europe? A Binational Battalion Offers an Answer, NY Times
New York Air National Guardsman accused of impersonating CIA agent to impress woman, Stars & Stripes
Netflix’s new military action flick looks like ‘Narcos’ meets ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, Task & Purpose
‘Amoeba warfare’ — Looking at drone swarms under a microscope, Task & Purpose
Congress May Make It Impossible to End a War, Defense One
Germany’s ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia is having a bigger impact than expected, Stars & Stripes
My Underground Warfare Wish List, Modern War Institute
H&K Begins M27 IAR Deliveries, Soldier Systems

 

First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

Congress restores funding for Coast Guard’s first new heavy icebreaker in 40 years, Stars & Stripes
Mass. unions: Poor conditions plague fire stations throughout the state, Firerescue1
FIREFIGHTER HISTORY 2/20, Firefighter Close Calls
Ex-Philadelphia homicide detective facing multiple counts of rape and sexual assault, LE Today
Puerto Rico Undercover Agent Shot, Killed in Drive-by, Police Mag
Nashville Police Pulling Harassed SROs from Schools, Police Mag
Massachusetts College Votes to Keep Campus Officers Disarmed, Police Mag
Missouri Officer’s Death by Suicide Highlights Need for Support, Police Mag
Mayor Orders LAPD to Scale Back Vehicle Stops, Says Black Drivers Disproportionately Stopped, Police Mag
A synthetic undergarment increases physiological strain, International Journal of Wildland Fire
Politicians Fighting Back With Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Reform, Tactical Life

 

Mountain

India’s first Piti-Dharr Ice Fest results in a flurry of first ascents, Alpinist Newswires
67-year-old Adventurer Has Rowed Halfway Across the Southern Ocean, Adventure Journal
Quick Pits Part II: How pits help with in-the-field decision-making, Backcountry Magazine
Master the Basics of Backcountry Ski Touring, Backpacker
Mind Your Manners: Ten Ways to Not Be a Bruh-Brah at the Crag, Bowhunting Blog
G3 University: What gives skis character? Freeskier
Paragliding in Patagonia, Aaron Durogati makes Fitz Roy flyby, Planetmountain.com
More Details on China’s New Climbing Rules for Everest, The Adventure Blog
Is Kings and Queens of Corbet’s the Best Competition in Skiing? Freeskier
Kilian Jornet Sets New 24-Hour Elevation Record, The Adventure Blog
WATCH: Man Who Killed Attacking Mountain Lion With Bare Hands Shares His Brutal Story. Unofficial Networks
Gallery: Rock Art—8 Rock Climber Artists, Climbing Magazine
Rob Bishop Blames Patagonia for Climate Change, Outside Magazine
How Global Warming Will Change Outside’s Best Towns, Outside Magazine
Jackson Hole Is Having The Snowiest February EVER!, Unofficial Networks
New Study Finds Rock Climbers Bring $12.1 Million Annually to New River Gorge Region, Climbing Mag
Skier Found Dead In Deep Snow At Heavenly Ski Resort, Unofficial Networks
Why Wilderness Matters to Hunters and Anglers, Outdoor Life
VIDEO: Kings & Queens of Corbet’s | GoPro Highlights, Unofficial Networks
Doctor Says Cure for CWD Has Been Found, Bowhunting.net

 

Fitness / Health / Nutrition

How to Eat a Plant-Based Diet: A Scientific Look at Going Vegan Safely, Nerd Fitness
Protein released from fat after exercise improves glucose, Science Daily
10 Moves To Help Ease Joint Pain, Mark’s Daily Apple
Diet could help runners beat stomach issues, Science Daily
How to Fix Your Bench Press, According to an Expert, Men’s Journal
The Best Food to Slowing Your Resting Heart Rate, NutritionFacts.org
The Science of Cold Weather Running, Outside Magazine
McDonald’s French Fries May Cure Baldness, Muscle & Fitness
Legalize Pot? Amid Opioid Crisis, Some New Hampshire Leaders Say No Way, NY Times
Phys Ed: How Many Push-Ups Can You Do? It May Be a Good Predictor of Heart Health, NY Times
Men Increase Your Testosterone Production Naturally with a Change in Diet, Thrive Global
Vaccines don’t work against some viruses. CRISPR might one day fix that, Science Daily
Interval training burns off more pounds than jogging or cycling, Reuters
8 biggest caffeine myths, Nutritional Outlook

 

Interesting

Brain discovery explains a great mystery of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Science Daily
10 Amazing Family-Friendly Trips around the World, The Outbound Collective
Hiker Stuck In Quicksand For 10 Hours In Zion National Park, Unofficial Networks
How Climbers Will Be Chosen for the 2020 Olympics, Climbing Magazine
Breakthrough in the search for graphene-based electronics, Science Daily
Competitive Powerlifter Saves Man by Lifting Jeep, Muscle & Fitness
Amazon is projected to steal advertising market share from Google in 2019, CNBC
Do Private School Teachers Have A Skills Gap? Forbes
ThirdLove is homing in on Victoria’s Secret’s biggest weakness, Business Insider
Amazon’s $0 corporate income tax bill last year, explained, Vox

Rob’s Favorite Training Plans … Part 2: Overall Military, Strength and Endurance

 

Overall Military – Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan

The Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan is the first plan I designed on the tactical side. At the time (2008) there was only Mountain Athlete, and I began getting emails from soldiers downrange in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I was posting our daily training sessions, and somehow guys had found our stuff.

What I soon heard was soldiers were being deployed to mountainous regions in Afghanistan and getting smoked by the terrain and altitude. They were reaching out to me for mountain-specific programming – which lead me to design the Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan.

The plan needed to prepare them for uphill hiking (mountain endurance), rucking, tactical work capacity (sprinting), midsection work, and eccentric leg strength for the downhills. Because it would be

We gave this plan away free to deploying US and Nato soldiers and Marines for several years, and literally thousands of deploying personnel used it to prepare, including multiple entire US Army and US Marine battalions.

The plan itself is no joke – thousands of loaded step ups, hundreds of sandbag get ups, Leg Blasters two times per week – it’s killer. It’s my favorite because perhaps of all the plans I designed, it had the most mission-direct impact.

 

 

Big 24 Back Squats

Strength – Big 24 Strength Training Plan

I’ve never thrown up in the gym, but the closest I ever came wasn’t during a hard work capacity, panic breathing event, but during the final progression of Big 24.

The Big 24 progression is the most simple, and the most intense, I’ve ever designed. In its current iteration, the plan is 7 weeks long, 5 days/week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are strength training, and every strength day is a battle with the barbell.

The plan is built around the following, classic, strength exercises:

  • Back Squat – One of the key lifts to build strength. High bar or low bar doesn’t matter, pick one and be consistent.
  • Kettlebell/Dumbbell Walking Lunge – Unilateral total leg smoker. Keep your midsection tight to prevent tipping toward one side.
  • Hang Squat Clean – Simple Olympic movement.
  • Push Press – Builds power transfer between the lower and upper body and overloads the shoulders to build strength.
  • Bench Press – Builds upper body pressing strength.
  • Weighted Pull Ups – Builds upper body pulling strength

What makes the plan so intense is it’s not percentage based. Rather, for every exercise the athlete begins by working up to a 3 Repetition Maximum, and every strength effort is 8 rounds long. The first 3 of those rounds are a warm up to the “working sets.” Below are the progressions:

  • Progression 1 – 5 Rounds of 3 Reps at your 3RM – 10 pounds
  • Progression 2 – 5 Rounds of 3 Reps at your 3RM – 5 pounds
  • Progression 3 – 5 Rounds of 3 Reps at your 3RM

So, if your 3RM Back Squat is 300 pounds, the first progression, after 3 rounds to warm up to the working load, is 5 Rounds of 3 Reps at 290#.

At the beginning of the cycle, the strength sessions to fast, and take only around 50 minutes to complete. But at the end of the cycle, athletes need more and more rest between barbell efforts, and sessions stretch to 70-75 minutes. The last time I did Big 24, the final progression for me really wasn’t 5 rounds of 3 reps at my 3RM load, but rather 15x singles at my 3RM – because I needed to rest between each rep.

As well, I’d get nervous before each training session – well actually, more than “nervous” – more like scared!

Big 24 is killer, intense, and from a strength perspective, – very effective. It also has a “hardening” effect. We were all a little tougher, a little harder, on the other side of the Big 24 cycle.

 

 

Loaded Alpine Running Plan intervals up Snow King Mountain

3) Endurance – Alpine Running Training Plan

I designed this plan primarily for FKT attempts – or “Fastest Known Time” non-technical, alpine/mountain missions and events, but it’s also a fantastic plan for building focused mountain endurance – uphill hiking under load, fast downhill running, and loaded and unloaded distance trail running.

In my 30’s, long before I became a strength and conditioning coach, I spent several years focusing on fast, long, mountain movement – 20+ mile day hike/run loops, 30+ mile car to car peak bagging efforts, and 20-30 mile/day backpacking trips.

I loved moving fast in the mountains, and to train for it I spent hours packing rocks up Half Moon Mountain east of Pinedale, Wyoming, my home town, and running ridges and trails in the foothills of the Wind River Mountain Range.

I had a simple bathroom scale in the bed of my truck, and on the way to the base of Half Moon Mountain, I’d look for good sized rocks on the side of the road. I’d stop when I found a good group of these rocks, and load my daypack up to 40-50 pounds, and hike it up the 1,000 feet or so to the ridge atop Half Moon Mountain.

I’d dump the rocks in the same spot on the top of the ridge – and after a few Springs and Summers, had a good-sized pile of rocks – my “pyramid of pain.”

Back then I really had no planned progression or overall method to my programming. That knowledge came with my pivot to strength coaching, but the Alpine Running Training Plan’s roots come from those days hauling rocks up Half Moon Mountain and running trails with a pack in southwest Wyoming.

Here in Jackson, we have a steep, town ski hill called “Snow King.” Snow King Mountain is about 1,600 feet high, and steep. There’s a steep trail heading pretty much straight up the mountain, and a couple of Junes ago, me and my lab rats spent 6 weeks hiking gallons of water up that mountain and developing the programming for the Alpine Running Plan. Like rocks, we could dump water on the top, and run down unloaded – saving our knees some, and not risking as bad of injury if we took a tumble on the downhill. We worked up to 3 laps in about 90 minutes, carrying 4 gallons of water at the top progression – about 32 pounds.

I have an old training buddy in Pinedale, Tom, who’s fond of saying, “nothing trains like vertical!” Tom, 15 years my senior, took many a training trip with me up Half Moon Mountain. I could beat him to the top, but Tom was a master at running downhill, and I’d struggle, trip, and crash and burn trying to keep up with him. Running downhill off trail is a skill in itself!

The Alpine Running Training Plan has all this – hiking thousands of feet uphill carrying increasing loads of water, dumping it at the top and running downhill, running trails with a loaded pack, and miles of unloaded trail running – working up to 17.

It’s a 6 day/week training plan, and two days are spent in the weightroom, doing heavy eccentric back squats, some upper body strength training, and focused chassis integrity work.

This is not a well-rounded endurance training plan, but for Alpine endurance, its focus is intense and effective.

 

Comments/Feedback?

Email rob@mtntactical.com

 

Q&A 2.21.19

QUESTION

I’m going on a 9 month “deployment” to Europe as a medic in an aviation brigade. I know we will be going to the field occasionally but I don’t see us going for more than 2 weeks at a time every other month. During those 9 months I would like to maximize my time training for SFAS with the intent to go to selection in December or January. Would you be able to recommend a training program for something in that time frame? Something that includes a solid training program and nutrition recommendations.

ANSWER

Once you’re scheduled firms up, work backward from your selection start date so you complete in its entirety, the final plan in the packet – the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, directly before selection.
Nutrition?
Here are our nutritional recommendations.
– Rob

QUESTION

Could you explain the difference between the Spirit Series and the Cop Movie Packet for LE?  It appears that each trains the same attributes, is one easier or harder, or designed for a different type of LE athlete? Thank You.

ANSWER

No significant difference. We designed the Cop Movie packet because several guys had worked through the spirits packet and wanted some more programming, but didn’t want to subscribe to get access to the daily LE sessions.
Start with the Spirits Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

It’s looking like I’m going to be hiking Kilimanjaro this June. I am excited but have some questions about training which I’m wondering if you can help with. I live in far Northern Maine so the elevation is a far cry from Kili’s 19k peak. I know those elevation masks are bunk and I’m just going to have to acclimate to the altitude while I’m there, but I’d like to be as aerobically well prepared as possible to make up for the altitude difference.
I am far more of an anaerobic fan (currently on month four of Wendlers 5-3-1 and loving it) than aerobic but I understand this needs to change for this trek. I have your backpacking preseason plan which I have done before but I’m wondering if it would be helpful to follow that up with either the Rainier or Denali plan. Obviously Rainier is 5k shorter than Kilimanjaro but given that there’s no way to train for altitude without being in it, what is your opinion on the best way to prepare? (Denali ascents are FAR more taxing than Kili as I understand it.  Our group will be picking out with porters carrying all but our packs.)
Also, should I put heavy weight training aside until after?

ANSWER

Rainier would work. Yes – on dropping the heavy loading for the step ups. I’d probably have you use a 20-25# pack.
If you’ve got vertical you can train on, you can hike uphill over step ups, which are drudgery, as you know. If not, books on tape help!
– Rob

QUESTION

I found your site while looking for a training program for Marine OCS. I was pretty impressed with your site, and hope to be able to fully implement. I am hoping to attending this September, if all goes well, and the only thing I am worried about is the physical fitness test. I am quite familiar with weight training and bodyweight, but was wondering where to start. I know you have your Marine OCS plan, as well as the PFT plan. But with overall fitness needed for OCS, I was wondering which plan to start with or if you had another plan on your site that I should focus on first.

ANSWER

You have 31 weeks until OCS. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks   Plan
7            Total Rest
14          Total Rest
15-21     Valor
22-24     1st 3 Weeks of Fortitude
25          Total Rest
26-31     Marine OCS Training Plan – the 6 weeks directly before OCS
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question about the FBI Special Agent PFT Training program. Looking through it, I’m not quite understanding the taper week. Is that supposed to be the 7th week? If so, can you provide some insight or recommendations as to how to train that week?

ANSWER

Originally I had done it by leaving the programming the same, but dropping the rounds of each effort, but after your note and looking at the plan, I moved the final PFT to Week 6, and then programmed total rest for Thur/Friday of that week.
Thanks for your note. Should be clear now.
– Rob

QUESTION

Due to temporary physical restraints beginning in January of last year and ending in this upcoming August, I am unable to give 100% to my training for the Portland Police Bureau Physical Agility Test.
Before this unfortunate setback, I was at the gym 5x/week and was well above physical standard for my age and weight.
I will be able to start retraining in the beginning of August and am looking for the best option to get back into shape that is realistic but could have me ready for both the test and the physical strain from the PPB Academy by the beginning of April 2020.
Is there any program that you would recommend?

ANSWER

I don’t have a specific plan for this specific assessment. From what I do have I’d recommend our LE OnRamp Training Plan. It will over-prepare you for this assessment, build your overall LE fitness and get you ready for the Academy in the place of our LE Academy plan.
If possible, you’ll definitely want to run the Portland agility test multiple times, if possible, before your actual assessment – so you’re familiar with it’s parts, what it feels like, and for the practice.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking to go for selection in the next year, and am wondering what the main differences are between your CSOR program and the one CANSOFCOM sends you once your NOI is in (it’s called CSOR Special Forces Operator Pre-Selection Physical Fitness Training Program 2nd Edition).

I have attached the program since it’s open source info, so you can take a look if you’re not already familiar with it.

Is your program better? And if so,

ANSWER

I won’t compare our programming to others. I will say our method for selection-specific plans begins with learning as much as possible about the specific fitness demands of the selection, including entry fitness gates, timed rucks and runs, and any details available on team or other work capacity events. We then work backward from these fitness demands and build our programming progressively.
Often our selection programming includes 3 assessment weeks – Beginning, middle and end. The programming between assessments often uses assessment results to “scale” progressions –  your programming is based on your fitness level at that time.
As well, the programming is overall cumulative – which conditions our body and mind to the high volume of work that you’ll face at selection.
Finally, we are strict in exercise selection. We don’t use selection programming to build your overall strength or general endurance. We identify the specific fitness demands, exercises and modes you’ll face at selection, and hammer those again, and again.
Good luck at selection!
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently in shape, but looking to reduced my body fat. I am 6’1″ 225# and about 20% body fat. I work out about 5 times a week. I am not sure if the fat loss program would be good for me because I have been training for so long. I was looking for input on which program, if not the fat loss program, would be best for me.

ANSWER

And make sure your diet is clean. 80-90% of body fat is diet related. Here are our nutritional guidelines – which I’d recommend for you, but I’d tell you not to take a “cheat day.”
– Rob

QUESTION

Good Morning Gentlemen, which workouts would yall recommend for someone with a lower back injury ( bulging disc in L2&3 L5&S1) that is trying to get back where I was before I got hurt.

ANSWER

What is your movement ability now? Are you working now? Are you training?
If training, what exactly are you doing?
– Rob
ANSWER
I’m doing physical therapy, I’m running again but not at the speed I need to pass my Pt for work, the part of my PT that has me worried Is having to pull a 180 pound dummy out of a vehicle drag it and place it in another vehicle. Just looking for ideas to help me strengthen my core so I dont re-injure myself.
ANSWER
I’d recommend you start with the Low Back Fitness Training Plan.
Be smart and cautious. This plan has helped many other tactical athletes gain confidence in their low backs post-injury.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off thanks for your programs, I use the PFT/CFT already and it has greatly improved my scores. Recently, I purchased your subscription package and would appreciate your recommendation for a plan to use. I want to focus on strength and endurance training as I have a few months of downtime before my training picks up. Background is I am a Marine waiting for flight school. Currently I have been looking at the Achilles program, but I am open to suggestions if you have any that fit better than that. Thank you for your time.

ANSWER

Continue with Achilles and follow it up with Ulysses from the packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I love your assessments and scientific approach in these. I’ve followed your stuff for a while and appreciate that you’ve literally dedicated you life to this and training people. With respect to work capacity (WC), Greg Glassman one said work capacity is to fitness what location is to realestate.
I wanted to share some of my own experience with WC training, or at least my understanding of it. I’m 48 years old, 5’4″, and 145;bs, and I’ve always been a good endurance guy in running swimming and rowing. I’m a small man, so I don’t favor strength training since my strength never equals  others ie., 2 X BW DL for me me is what a big guy does for reps, and I spent a year getting there. Anyway…
I train aerobic and anaerobic seperately; more anaerobic now, because my body can’t take the long run/ ruck pounding. Generally, I’m better anaerobiclly when I can kick ass on the aerobic side; when I can eat a 5 mile run for breakfast, my 400M and mile times go up. My observations and experience with tactical WC favor a combination of an anaerobic movement immediately followed by a weighted movement.
I viewed your shuttle sprints as more anaerobic training. I noticed on my heart monitor that my heart rate goes down quickly during sprint recovery. Obviously the longer the workout, the longer it takes. I also don’t find sprinting messes with the body the way a fight does, and I found high rep, weighted work, or high rep weighted work after springing works better.
I do 50M sprints followed by 10 KB C&J’s with 30 second rest, and after 3 rounds my heart rate won’t recover in 30 seconds. Somewhere between 6-10 rounds is where I have to call it a day.
In high rep, weighted sessions, it also takes much longer for my heart rate to recover. Ross Enimaite has a GPP session of 30sec burpees, 30sec jumping jacks, 30 sec lung jumps – repeat and rest 1 minute. He bases it on boxing, so he’s trying to get 3 minute rounds and 1 minute rest, and I find the rest in this doesn’t isn’t sufficient after three rounds, I’m smoked around round 4, and feel I’m in good shape when I can get 6-8 rounds.
KB sport has a high rep, competition weight (24kg) C&J one minute on one off that’s a physical and metal smoker during which my heart rate is jacked without recover around 80% of the workout.
I may be miss understanding WC, but my impression is that I want to extend my work by doing more work in a certain amount of time, or being able to work longer. So more shuttles in your 3 minutes or more sets in Enamait’s GPP. When I first did the KB Long Cycle one on one off, I only got through 6.
What I would add to your findings below, is that it takes a balanced amount of aerobic and anaerobic training combined with WC sessions to actually improve work capacity. I think that’s where Glassman was going in the early CF days whic has been diluted over time. WC demands a sound base in weight, aerobic, and anaerobic training. The programing issues, in my experience, are grinding through plateaus in those three while keeping the high WC as a target.

ANSWER

Thanks for the note back and your observations.
The one thing I would add, and I think you alluded to in your notes is the “Mode specificity” of work capacity fitness.
What we’ve observed is that being great at high rep KB snatches, does not directly transfer to being great at loaded shuttle sprint repeats.
Likewise, excelling at loaded shuttle sprint repeats doesn’t directly transfer to box jump intervals.
In our tactical programming, we work hard to never stray far from sprinting and shuttle sprints in our work capacity programming. We’re not limited to these activities, and have developed all kinds of sinister little events to smoke athletes, but we understand that our programming must transfer to the real world, and that means military and first responders must be able to sprint and do it repeatedly.
Like you, we’ve seen how aerobic fitness can transfer and “support” these work capacity efforts. Where we see this break down significantly is when we add loading. So and ultra runner will do well on 300m shuttle repeats unloaded, but suffer greatly when we add a 25# weight vest. He just doesn’t have the strength.
The problem is the give and take between strength and endurance programming. There are those mutants out there, and I’ve worked with a few, who’ve got both massive lungs and super high max effort and relative strength – but these are the outliers. Most of us have to make a trade – and know that the time it takes to increase strength decreases the time available to train endurance, thus endurance will diminish. Likewise, the time to increase endurance, will decrease the time available to increase strength … so strength can drop.
Again, thanks for your notes and observations.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m very active in the outdoors – expedition hiking trips, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, etc, and am looking for a base training programme (maybe 3-4 days per week) to redevelop my base strength that I’ve let slide over the past few years in favour of getting outdoors and doing the activities instead. I can’t commit to 5-6 days per week, and while I come from a high level athletic background and know I’m capable of that training, it doesn’t fit my more recreational lifestyle now.
I’m keen on the backcountry skiing preseason plan, but it’s currently full summer here in NZ and ski season is 4 months out. Is there a plan out there that would fit my needs? I could have access to a gym and barbells, so any level of equipment goes.

ANSWER

The plans in the Greek Heroine Packet are designed as day-to-day base fitness training for multi-sport mountain athletes. They concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (running, uphill movement under load), climbing fitness (rock), and chassis integrity (MTI’s core strength training methodology). Start with Mountain Base Helen.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just wanted to get your quick thoughts on a manual treadmill like this one. I was wondering what your experiences with them are since I imagine Jackson Hole to be too cold to run outside (as are a lot of places this time of year) and if you thought this was a good alternative.

ANSWER

No experience. We run outside.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a Blackhawk Crewchief in the army. My unit will be going on a 30 day rotation to the national training center (NTC) at fort Irwin in the coming months and I wanted to know if there was a workout plan that was suggested. Since I’m in aviation I have more leeway to bring stuff, I am bringing my brute force sandbag and maybe a couple other smaller workout equipment pieces. I looked at the sandbag workouts and thought they might be an option but I don’t think I will be able to complete long distance runs once the “game” there begins.

ANSWER

Add in your body armor, sandbag, and a pair of 25# Dumbbells – and do Humility. It’s killer.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in search for a fitness program and I would like to talk with someone before I decide to purchase a plan and/or subscribe.  I am currently an SRT member with Department Homeland Security-Immigration Customs Enforcement-Enforcement Removal Operations out of Denver, CO.  We are currently in the process of switching our annual PT test to the Cooper Test which includes: Pull-ups, Push-ups, Sit-ups, 300m Run, and a 1.5 mile run in that order.  I know you all know what the cooper test is, but I wanted to specifically mention ours with the events we will be evaluating cause I have found there are different variations of the test floating around.  We train as a team one day a week and training includes bodyweight PT and running, tactics, shooting, defensive tactics, etc.  When we are not doing PT and conducting most other training we typically are wearing our kits which weigh approximately 30-40 pounds.

I have been looking for a program that incorporates, strength, endurance, power, and flexibility, as my best guess to be in shape for SRT.  I have been struggling to fill that bill, and I honestly do not know how I should be training to keep myself ready.  I have been trying to find a balance of the aforementioned categories to best get prepared for SRT school and to stay in shape.  I know the cooper test is designed to evaluate overall fitness levels, but in all honesty the cooper test is just a box we have to check and pass each year to stay on the team.  I would like a program that keeps me at a fitness level so that maxing out the cooper test an easy task.  My last cooper test results are 100% on pull-ups, 100% on push-ups, 100% on sit-ups, 95% on 300m sprint, and 95% on the 1.5 mile run.  I always feel that I could do better on my cardio.  I have historically trained in more of the flexibility, strength, and power realm of the fitness world and dibble dabbled in the endurance.  I have always enjoyed heavy lifting more than cardio, but heavy lifting isn’t conducive to the SRT world a whole bunch.

Lately I have been following a program design where I do strength training on Bench, Squat, Deadlift, and Shoulder Press for 4-6 sets, 5 min rest, followed by a 10-30 min HIIT workout depending on what strength training I did and how I am feeling.  I have been training 4-6 days a week depending on my work and personal schedule.  I like this style so far and I think it has been good so far, but I am very much open to suggestions.

I take my training seriously which is why I provided so much information.  I just wanted to provide as much information up front as I could think of that would be helpful to whom ever ends up having to wade through it 😉  Please feel free to call me at 303.960.9517 if you need any clarification or have any questions about any information I provided.  I truly appreciate your time and look forward to talking with someone soon.

ANSWER

The fitness demands of being a full time SWAT/SRT member, and the fitness demands of the Cooper Test do not align.
I would suggest training for your job first, and then directly before your annual assessment, training specifically for the Cooper Test.
After the test is done, drop back to training for your job.
For your day-to-day training, I’d recommend the plans/order in the Gun Maker Packet. I built these plans specifically for full time SWAT/SRT members and they concurrently train strength, work capacity (sprint focus), tactical agility, chassis integrity and endurance. Start with Ruger.
These plans will address all your mission-direct fitness needs, and add some needed variety to your current programming.
For your annual PT test, I’d recommend dropping out of the Gun Maker programming 6 weeks directly before and completing the DEA PTT Training Plan. The DEA PTT includes the same events as your unit’s test.
After the fitness test, drop back into the Gun Maker programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just wondering what the difference is between the wild land fire pre-season plan and the hotshot plan? Thanks!

ANSWER

The Wildland Fire Pre-Season plan is designed for regular truck crews.
The Hotshot/Smokejumper Pre-Season Plan is designed for Hotshot and Smokejumper crews – who’s fitness demands are much greater. As a result, this plan is much more intense.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had an injury and im trying to preare myself for SFAS, so im doing good injury is gone, so I did for starters the BODY WEIGHT FOUNDATION plan….. its suggested to be able to do military on ramp

My question about the PACKET where each plan builts to another and the COMPLET REST WEEKS

I am active Duty and we do mandatory PT every day (it isn’t crazy cause most are lazy) but we still have additional Rucks for the range etc etc…… so what im asking I would technically never have rest……..IS THIS PLAN DESIGEND FOR UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE OR is regular duty considered in the workloadout???? Or would u say that would be too much then. Sorry about my grammar im a freaking immigrant hope I got my concerns across

ANSWER

Many current Army members have successfully used the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet and Plan to prepare for SFAS. Each has managed to work in the training in addition to their regular Army PT.
– Rob

QUESTION

This is my second attempt at Bourbon and I am struggling to complete one exercise
It’s the Round

20x Bench Press @ 60% 1RM.

Take 3 big, slow breaths between each rep (leave arms/elbows locked out). 20x reps should take 3-4 min to complete if done properly.

I do not have the static endurance to even come close to completing this after 7 reps I have to rack the bar and progress two or three reps at a time

Any suggestions on how to manage this and progress

Shall I keep moving on or develop this and do other things before progressing in the program ?

ANSWER

Many struggle to get the 20x bench press reps unbroken. The way you are doing it is fine – break as necessary – but get in all 20x reps and keep the breathing (3 deep breaths) between reps consistent.
What matters in the ultimate increase to your 1RM Bench Press.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just subscribed to MTI.
I’m looking to start the SFOD-D training plan in mid-June.
That gives me Feb-may (mid-June) for workouts to progress to the SFOD-D plan.
I saw the SFOD packet, but I dont have 12 months prior to when I plan on trying to SFOD-D plan.
With 4 1/2 months, what progression of plans do you recommend i take on?
In the meantime, I’ve started the Alpha Centauri plan last week. I’m open to starting and/or stopping based off of any feedback you can provide.

ANSWER

By my count you have 19 weeks until mid-June when you start the SFOD-D Selection Training Plan. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-7         Fortitude
8-14       Valor
15-18     Resilience – 1st 4 Weeks
19          Total Rest
20 ….     SFOD-D Selection Training Plan
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been doing the Greek Hero Training Packet for more than a year now, and I *love* it! Following two bouts of cancer, I feel like the series has, as advertised, helped me get back into SOF shape (I used to be a Navy SWCC).

However, the sessions always seem to run longer than specified. Perhaps that’s because I exercise in a home gym; setup time between supersets might take me longer than at your gym.
Longer workout times are only an issue for me because I also:
  • Practice Taekwondo 1-1.5 hours per day, Monday through Saturday
  • Practice BJJ 2 hours per day, Tuesday through Thursday
  • Have a full-time desk job
  • Have a wife and two small kids
Is there an MTI training plan or packet that could also keep me in SOF shape, but wouldn’t take so much time each day? I suppose my priorities would still be strength, power and stamina, which have helped me a lot with sparring — and jumping high for flying kicks.
So I’m guessing something with Olympic lifts and explosive movements, such as box jumps, would be helpful. I’m sure you have a better idea what would be useful.
This could be a pie-in-the-sky request, so please feel free to tell me that the Greek Hero Series is still my best bet for staying in fighting shape. I’d appreciate any insights, Rob, even if it’s just that I should stay the course.

ANSWER

Our Spirits Series for LE have sessions designed to last 45-50 minutes. You can also check out Busy Operator I, Busy Operator II and Busy Operator III.
The Busy Operator sessions are designed to last 45 min.
– Rob

 

Rob’s Favorite Training Plans & Why … Part 1: Mountain Base, Paddling and Climbing

MTI Kayak Lab Rats traverse the Snake River with a kayak roll mid-stream as part of the sport-specific work capacity programming in the Kayak/Paddling Pre-Season Training Plan.

By Rob Shaul, Founder

Mountain

(1) Base Fitness – Mountain Base Helen (6 Weeks, 6 /Days/week)

Helen combines multiple training attributes – gym-based strength, gym-based work capacity, assessment-based, and gym-based endurance, climbing fitness and chassis integrity all in the same plan. This much variety, combined with a 6 day/week schedule and overall intense training sessions results in a super challenging, but super-interesting and engaging base fitness training plans for multi-sport and all around mountain athletes.

Helen’s deploys our TLU Strength Progression, which often means directly after the warm up, the athlete must complete a 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM) effort on a single strength exercise. TLU was the first, original strength progression I ever designed and it pulled from multiple theories – with the daily 1RM effort coming from famous powerlifting gym, Westside Barbell in Ohio. Long ago I read the gym founder, Louie Simmons’ book, and I’ll be honest, had trouble following much of it.

However, I do remember his position of daily performing 1RM efforts, as a way to keep his competing powerlifters engaged, and working as hard as they could. One thing you’ll see if you go into any commercial gym where athletes coach themselves is few ever do 1RM efforts. We’ve found that not only do 1RM efforts help us get a snapshot of an athletes strength, but also help new and experienced athletes get comfortable with the exercises and heavy load.

The endurance efforts in Helen are split between a 6-mile run assessment with follow-on hard 2-mile intervals and gym-based endurance. This is a killer combination, which trains single-mode and multi-mode endurance. An example of gym-based endurance would be:

(1) 60 Minute Grind ….

  • 50x Step Ups
  • Run 400m

Finally, for climbing fitness, Helen deploys the Bouldering V-Sum – which I consider the most efficient training tool available to train both climbing strength and technical ability in a consistent, focused, measurable manner.

 

(2) Sport-Specific Fitness – Kayak/Paddling Pre-Season Training Plan

Of all the different types of mountain athletes I’ve worked with, kayakers have been by far the hardest working, most open-minded and overall, most fun to work with. Jackson is not a kayaking mecca – so it’s not every Spring I get to work with kayakers, but when I do – it’s so much fun.

First of all, kayaking paddling from a strength perspective includes simultaneous and opposite single arm push and pull strength and strength endurance, while at the same time requiring midsection anti-rotation strength and strength endurance to brace against the upper body forces.

Unlike any other mountain sport, even rock and ice climbing, the lower body (legs) are largely taken out of the fitness demands for kayakers – and the focus of the strength and strength endurance work is on the upper body and mid-section.

Developing the gym-based exercises to sport-specifically train these types of strength was an exercise in experimentation on my part, and significant suffering on the part of my kayaker lab rats. We tried Reverse Bench Presses, Horizontal Pull-Ups, Rope Climbs, Scotty Bobs, regular Bench Presses, Elevated Front Bridges for time wearing a weight vest and created a bizarre exercise called the Kayak Special which combines a GHD, alternating dumbbell bench presses, and mid-section isometric strength!

We didn’t even try to create some type of sport-specific gym-based work capacity effort. Instead, I made my kayakers load up their kayaks and meet me at the ice-filled, spring-runoff flowing, Snake River two days a week for hard paddling intervals against the current! I’d also make them traverse across the river, and have them complete a kayak roll mid-stream going and coming!

The best is when I’d have them kayak across the river and back, exit their kayak, pick it up, run up a hill and back with it, and repeat … for like 40 minutes! (See video below). Through it all, they kayakers worked hard, never questioned, and always brought effort and competitive spirit.

Like all MTI programming, every year we improved and eventually settled on Alternating Dumbbell Bench Presses, Renegade Rows, and Seated Russian Twists to train gym-based sport-specific strength. At the river I continued to improve our interval work, and settled down from some of the crazy longer efforts.

One of secondary benefits of the Kayak/Paddling Training Plan is that with all the high rep upper body and core work, my Kayakers all got jacked!! At the end of the 6-week cycle, they had bulging pecs, lats, biceps, and 6-packs! Overall a lot of fun and super effective programming … after I figured it out ….

 

(3) Climbing Fitness – Expedition Ice/Mixed Climbing Training Program

I designed this training program at the request and for elite, high-level climbers with dangerous Alaska, Canadian Rockies or Himalaya expeditions planned. From the initial program design I was able to limit distractions and focus on the primary fitness demands of this type of event:

(1) Sport specific grip strength for ice tools

(2) Mountain endurance – running, and uphill hiking under load

(3) Calf strength and strength endurance

(4) Total Body and midsection strength for durability.

At the top of this plan’s 8-Week progression, the athletes complete 2+ hours hanging on their tools, 50x Figure 4’s with minimal rest, 1,000 loaded Step Ups and 5 miles of running in the same session, and 5 total minutes of Calf Raise Intervals with minimal rest. This work is in addition to barbell-based total body strength work and gym-based mid-section work. It’s a very sport/event-specific, focused, training plan which has proven itself on some dangerous, alpine expeditions.

The video below shows ice tool tech board intervals:

 

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

Q&A 2.14.19

QUESTION

I want to thank you for your great program(s). A little background. I was injured on the job at an apartment fire 5 years ago. I had the ceiling come down and knock my helmet & mask off. Beside the neck and back injuries I ended up with inhalation injuries which permanently damaged my heart. I spent 9 months and multiple surgeries before I was cleared back to the line. I was very active and in great shape prior to the injuries. The cardiac injury left my a large portion of my left ventricle on the backside scarred over and it adhered to the pericardium. If that wasn’t enough I also got a small aneurism on the left ventricle. The doctors credit being in shape which allowed me to not only recover but return to the line when most thought I should medically retire. They were very guarded with what they thought I should be doing physically. I slowly began pushing my limits but if I pushed too hard and irritated my heart it would set me back sometimes weeks other times months. Last January I finally replaced my 20 y/o GShock. I heard the Garmin Fenix would give it a run and it had the HR monitoring with R-R measurements I was looking for plus the GPS mapping.

Using the suggested recovery time I have been able to push further and harder than I ever was able to before. This past summer I started your Military Athlete programs and my last cardiac checkup my cardiac output was near pre-injury levels. The doctors are amazed (I think I make them worry too). I wish I had not been pigheaded about paying for training sites years ago and done these when I was in my 30’s, but better late than never. Plus on a maturity factor I am only 21.

I am going to turn 50 in March and I am having two surgeries  I have to have my S-ICD (defibrillator) replaced in April or May so I told them I want to get the disks replaced in my neck we have been holding off on so I can minimize my down time. So the plan is to go into surgery in as good of shape as possible. So my plan after finishing Hector was to take it down a notch. I looked at the Meathead cycle and thought, huh doesn’t look bad. Damn, I was wrong, whole different type of suffering. You are a gifted trainer with a bit of sadist, love it.

The meat of my email,

1) What is your suggested recovery (rest) between programs?

2) If I understood correctly the Greek Hero series would be considered a Base training so I could just march through those general fitness?

3) On the Meathead Cycle Day 7 you have sled drag push, How far?

ANSWER

Thanks for the note and congrats on your recovery!
1) 1 week, if the plan you’re finishing doesn’t include an unload week.
2) Greek Hero plans are base fitness for soldiers and ground-based SOF. At 50, with your injury history, I wouldn’t want you doing these plans. I’d recommend you pivot to our SF45 Programming which is designed for tactical athletes ages 45-55.
3. 80 feet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Am looking into Big24 as a strength program. Have completed a few of your other programs.

I have an Oly weight barbell and plenty of plates but only 2x10k dumbbells and 1x 20k kettlebell.  Also have a sandbag with 30k of weights in 5k increments.

Could I use the barbell/plates to the same effect as a replacement for the DB/KB walking lunge? Could I use the barbell Curtis P style (static) as walking with a barbell would prove difficult in the confines of my home gym outdoor area.

Thanks in advance and for all you do!

ANSWER

You can do an inplace lunge with a barbell – be sure to step forward, not backward, and be smart with loading. If you get “stuck” it’s hard to escape from the barbell in the lunge position … this is why I generally prescribe db/kb’s for this exercise.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a mountain hunter who spends 45days each fall from Aug/Sept archery to supporting others on Oct/Nov rifle hunts.  I know I can do better fitness wise.  In a prior life, I was a endurance mtn bike racer (amateur) so know what high performance looks like and what I can achieve fitness wise.  I also know that my weak spot is upper body strength with my stronger aspects being long endurance and leg strength.  This last fall, I was involved in 4pack outs where by pack ranged from 75-110lbs covering 2-5miles of off/on trail.

Now for 2019, I will be joining my brother on a Dall sheep hunt in Alaska.  This will push the normal hunting bounds by a lot…. Most of my hunting is 1,500 – 3,000ft of vert on any given day with easier days sprinkled in, hunting backpack style.  This hunt is also a backpack hunt but with 3,000ft+ each day in rocky terrain (think boulders, shale slopes, etc).  It is a 14day hunt with 10days of the hard 3K/day scenarios (if weather and a whole host of variables work to our favor).

I do not want to be a burden and want to support Mark as best I can for this near once in a lifetime experience!  Looking to be more specific with the training I’ve been looking for a good plan.  The plans that most resemble and sound like they would be most specific to my goals are Denali.

Major goals;

  • Strong legs uphill and downhill for 3,000ft/day min.
  • Strong ‘backpack’ muscles for not more than 60lbs in and 60-90lbs out with an animal
  • Improved balance for the rocks and exposure in these mountains.
  • Improved arm strength
  • Improved calf strength (always blows out first before quads and glutes)

My family is fortunate to live in Hailey ID (just outside of Sun Valley) so we are always xc skiing, skinning, hiking, mtn biking, so have a great canvas out our backdoor to incorporate into a good plan.

I appreciate you digesting this, and welcome your suggestions for a good plan!  I am not a gym guy but the aspects of strength in the sample look like things I can do at home or outside.  A big plus!

Thanks in advance, and look forward to hearing from you!

ANSWER

You’ll want to complete this plan the 8 weeks directly before your trip.
If you want programming between now and then, look at the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Packet.
The plan deploys step ups to train uphill fitness – living in Hailey you can substitute vertical hiking under load. I live in Jackson, Wy and do this with a steep hill. If you use a hill, use water for load then on the top, dump the water to save your knees on the way back down.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently running a recruit class for my police department.  I have been informed if the weather is below 32°F, I am not allowed to put recruits through outdoor PT.  We have 4 rowing machines and that is the “cardio” equipment we have.  Our indoor workout area consists of our shooting range (Standard 25yd length). I am a strong believer in MTN programs and have, personally, been using them for 2 years.  Right now, recruits are finishing up Week 2 of Whiskey.  While I prepare them for the street, I still need them to pass their final Cooper at the 50 percentile.  What do you recommend to keep running endurance up without being able to put in some miles outside?  We have barbells, racks, dumbbells, kettlebells, weighted vests, battle ropes, sandbags etc.  I appreciate the guidance!

ANSWER

150m and 300m shuttles repeats.
8 Rounds
150m shuttle every 1:15
or
4 Rounds
300m Shuttle every 2:30
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been using on/off your training since 2009, so I’m familiar with it all – had a question – what would your recommended plan be for someone getting in shape for a volunteer SAR team with limited equipment and training time? One thought I had was scaling either the ruck improvement or ruck based selection plans to a 3/day a week plan I could do at work during lunch/one weekend day.  There is no selection process. It’s more inquiring about adapting a workout regime towards reaching and maintaining a baseline fitness for searches, thoughts? Thank you!

ANSWER

I recently designed 4 plans for Wilderness Professionals– Game Wardens, Forest Rangers, etc. These are what I recommend as your day to day fitness.
They concurrently train relative strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (run, uphill movement under load), and chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

I found your site from my Backpacker magazine. I am looking for a training program to get myself and two friends very fit and ready for trekking in Nepal for two months. We are all in our 50’s with varying levels of fitness. I looking at your 7week plan and it looking pretty intense to start. Do you have a plan or plans to bring us to a solid level of fitness prior to starting the 7 wk plan?

We specifically need plans that will fit our specific fitness levels and help us avoid injury during training. We don’t leave until September. Open to suggestions.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you begin our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, then complete the Backpack Pre-season Training Plan directly before your trip.
Please understand we design our programming based on the fitness demands of the event – not the incoming fitness of the athlete. A 2-month Nepal Trek has the same fitness demands regardless of your age. Working through this programming – it’s okay to take more rest days if needed – you’ll recover slower – but complete the programming as prescribed. The only change to the Backpacking plan would be to use the same weight backpack for the step ups and trekking that you’ll carry in Nepal.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a Mountain Tactical plan you recommend for mountain rescue personnel?  I’m relatively strong but my weakness would be aerobic function.  Seems like most missions involve rucking in asap, stand around for long periods in the cold/wet and then ruck back out, sometimes with an injured person in a litter.

Thanks for any suggestions!

ANSWER

I just built a packet of 4 plans for Wilderness Professionals. I’d recommend these for you. They include strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, and mountain endurance (running, uphill hiking under load).
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a recent subscriber and have a question regarding programming.

I’m a 48-year old active duty Marine working at MARSOC.  I’m in week 3 of the Hector Program and love it.  My goal is to increase/sustain my tactical fitness throughout the year and prepare for a week-long backcountry backpack mountain elk archery hunt in mid-September.  I plan to start your backcountry hunting program 8 weeks before my hunt, but I’m not sure which programs to progress through between now and the end of July when I’ll start the backcountry hunting program.

That’s 22 weeks of workouts between now and the end of July.  I have access to every kind of workout equipment I’d need.

What programs do you suggest that I work through between now and when I start the Backcountry Hunting program?

ANSWER

In general, I recommend tactical athletes train for their job first, up until starting the sport-specific plan for their off duty event/season, then drop back into their base fitness programming after the event.
In MARSOC, esp. with the possibility of an unforeseen deployment. I’d recommend the Pirate Series Plans as they include swimming. The Greek Hero Plans – including Hector, don’t.
So, if there’s a chance you may deploy, here’s what I’d recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-7          William Kid
8-14        Long Ben
15-22      Backcountry Big Game Training Plan
That being said, if you are sure you won’t face an unforeseen deployment between now and September, you could pivot to our new Wilderness Professional Plans as your lead into the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Plan. The Wilderness professional plans specifically include step up work – and will help prepare for the thousands of step ups you’ll do during the Big Game plan.
Weeks    Plan
1-7          Wrangell St. Elias
8-14        Frank Church
15-22      Backcountry Big Game Training Plan
You have access to all this programming with your subscription. Email any questions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for advice on potential plans to follow. I am in the coast guard and we are about to go out for 6 weeks then at the beginning of march ill have a full gym and start preparing for a power lifting meet on June 14 and will have a full gym. Right now my biggest focus is core stability for the next 6 weeks. The equipment I will have out on the boat is very limited running space, dumbbells up to 90 pounds, box or pelican case for step ups/jumps and a rowing machine. Thank you for any assistance/advice you give.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Dumbbell/Kettlebell Moe.
You can substitute step ups or rowing for the running in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

So I have been following along with your star series, I was wondering though if there was a way to do that and also do another workout.  I just don’t want to over train but at the same time I want to push.

ANSWER

You can do two-a-days. I’d probably have you start at 3 days/week, then move to 5.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a copy of the ACFT plan you put out last year. Unfortunately, the majority of the Army has stuck to fitness that only prepares for APFT and now everyone is worried how they’ll pass the ACFT. The Army is still toying with options such as alternate events, making it in addition to APFT or making it once a year for each test. Our brigade will be one of those who start testing in October 2019 before official 2020 implementation and start training in April/May time frame this year. The question I had is what your recommendation(s) would be for training that leads into and after the ACFT plan if you had to build a six month package like you have on some of your SOF selection plans? Thanks

ANSWER

You don’t need a6-month train up for the ACFT. The test simply isn’t that hard.
I’d recommend going through the full ACFT plan in April, and then repeating it the 6 weeks directly before the scheduled ACFT.
Between the ACFT plans, I’d recommend the plans/order in the Greek Hero Training Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I wanted to ask a quick question- I have recently completed the Body Weight Foundation, I am running about 12-15 miles a week, and I want to run a marathon in Oct.

I have limited access to equipment, I have a TRX, and that is about it

I have been working on getting used to a high altitude training environment here in Nairobi, and nutritional needs, I have noticed that I need more core exercises lately

Now the question is where do I go from here, I thought about mixing the meathead marathon and bodyweight, or is there another limited equipment program that I could do maybe even include the TRX?

ANSWER

Move to Bodyweight Build. It includes TRX training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 47 male and I what some recommendations on packets. I do some weight training and run 12 –15 miles a week. I also have been  back country hunting the last couple of years and want to continue doing so. Should I do the sf 45 packet or the hunting packet. If I do the sf 45 packet should I do the hunting plan 8 weeks before the hunt?

ANSWER

Do the Backcountry Big Game Training Packet now, then after your hunting season, drop into the SF45 programming.

– Rob


QUESTION

The Beep Test Training Plan has no training on the Saturday and Sunday. Do you recommend any type of recovery day actives i.e. walking. Will I be overtraining if i go for a jog on the recovery days?

ANSWER

You can go on a light jog or walk.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve got to get started on a weight loss and getting fit for hunting trips program that requires moderate to heavy backpacking and lots of walking on up and down terrain.
However I have to be careful ,I’m overweight by at least 75-100 lbs. and I have arthritis in both left and right knees and lower back . I currently am on anti inflammatory prescription medication to combat the pain and it works really well.
I just joined a gym that has exercise bikes, elliptical machines , treadmills, free weights and cable type weight training equipment . However I live where there is no mountains or hills to climb up and down only bleachers at a rodeo arena . Please help I have no knowledge of where to start or what to do and don’t want to get injured either .

ANSWER

At 75-100 pounds overweight, I’m afraid all of our programming would prove too intense for you until you lose some weight. Even our Fat Loss Training Plan would be too intense.
I’m sorry.
To keep it simple, what I’d recommend for you outside of upper body strength training is fixing your diet (see here) and hiking up and down the rodeo arena bleachers for an hour each day.
– Rob

QUESTION

ANSWER


QUESTION

I just purchased Ultimate Work Capacity I because I am happy with my relative strength numbers (they are at your standards) but would like to improve work capacity/endurance.  Should I be worried about losing strength on the plan?

ANSWER

Yes – Ultimate Work Capacity I focuses on work capacity – it includes no strength training.
You’ll likely lose a little strength – but it should come back fast.
A plan which also trains strength but has a work capacity emphasis is Valor.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just wrapped up a season of wildland firefighting about 2 months ago, have been completing the Bodyweight Foundation since then, and just finished Week 3 of that program.
Last week I accepted an offer at a structural fire department, and am preparing for the academy, which begins in 4 weeks exactly.  I saw someone had asked a similar question about preparing for an academy 4-5 weeks away, and you recommended completing the first 3-4 weeks of the Fire Academy Prep plan and then skipping to Week 7 for the week before the Academy start.
Would that still be your recommendation factoring in my current progress in the Bodyweight Foundation program?

ANSWER

Yes. Some of the bodyweight work will be redundant, but the Fire Academy Training Plan includes intense loaded work capacity work, loaded strength training, chassis integrity work, etc.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m not training for any sort of water based selection, I just want to improve my swimming with a structured plan that gives me a challenge. That being said, I just purchased the swim improvement plan and I’m taking a look at the overview and the first week of training and I had a few questions.
1) How long does it typically take someone to complete the workouts?
2) What stroke should I assess with? I am most familiar with freestyle and breast stroke.
3) I don’t own fins, and am very unfamiliar with them having only used them once. When the plan calls for using fins for assessing with them or as part of the workout what do you recommend I do?
4) Nutrition: Over the holidays I have not been keeping as good on nutrition as I should have. I’m currently doing a power lifting/body building program 6 days a week after work and wanted to do the swimming before work. Do you find you have more effective workouts when you eat prior to morning workouts or after? Also, I followed your nutrition guidelines for the first few months this year while I was at Fort Benning and I’m going back to it. Do you have any tips for it with training two times a day?

ANSWER

1. 60-75 minutes, depending upon your swimming ability.
2. Overhand crawl
3. Does the pool at VMI have fins you can borrow? If not, just replace the finning in the plan with freestyle swimming
4. Prior. Eat more, but stay clean 6 days/week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have some questions about your programs.
Firstly, are they available to users outside the US (Denmark)? Secondly, I have difficulty choosing a program. I am looking for a general purpose program that trains all aspects of fitness without favoring some at the expense of others. I have 7 years experience with crossfit, but have a couple of old injuries that have shaped my training for the last couple of years. I have access to a full crossfit box and open natural areas for training, and time to train 5-8 days a week.
Which program is best for me? Please don’t hesitate to write back if you need more information from me.

ANSWER

1. Yes – delivery is online or via our mobile phone app.
2. Programming? I’d recommend the plans order in the Country Singer Packet I. I designed these programs last year as base fitness for general athletes (not mountain or tactical). These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core) and endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 55 year old Male. I want to get in shape! I’m not exactly sedentary I work out sometimes. I run and I snowboard. Also every year I run/walk pikes peak ascent. I’ve made it my goal this year to get in the best shape of my life. I am over weight and know nutrition will be a big part of my transformation. What plan do you recommend? I was thinking of getting the athletes one where I have access to 200 plans. However I wouldn’t know where to start???? Also I would really like something that lasted 9 months. So I could build from one to the next.  Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.  I am 5’7″ 190…..need to be 150 to 160.
ANSWER
I recommend you start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, then move to the plans order in the SF45 Packet – which are designed for athletes ages 45-55.
Here are our nutritional guidelines.
– Rob

 

Arete 2.14.19

Military / National Defense

Former Green Beret charged with murder says he killed suspected Taliban bomb-maker in an ambush, Task & Purpose
Problems with military housing conditions under scrutiny on Capitol Hill this week, Military Times
New legal bombshells explode on two Navy SEAL war crimes cases, Marine Times
Ukrainian president vows to push for EU, NATO membership, Stars & Stripes
Green Berets: Rebuilding the Guerrilla Leader Identity, Small Wars Journal
Navy captain who moonlighted as Fat Leonard’s PR man is going to prison, Navy Times
Fired wing commander who reached plea deal to retire as major; defense plans appeal, AF Times
Some schools are barring recruiters from talking to students, Army Secretary says, Task & Purpose
U.S. Army Spends $39.6M on Pocket Drones, Bloomberg

 

First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

The Wall Is Not the Only Answer, Rand Corporation Opinion
21 issues frequently identified in firefighter entrapment reports, Wildfire Today
Cost Of Border Deployments Could Approach $1 Billion By End Of Fiscal Year, In Homeland Security
4 FIREFIGHTERS INJURED WHEN CAR SLAMS FL ENGINE, Firefighter Close Calls
Breathing wildfire smoke can be similar to smoking up to two packs of cigarettes a day, Wildfire Today
TSA Discovered Record Number of Guns in 2018, LE Today
NYPD demands Google stop revealing checkpoints on Waze, LE Today
California is trying to change police authorization of deadly force, Police One

 

Mountain

Prana Apologizes for Sharma Cave Climbing Catalogue Photo, Gearjunkie
Euro Outdoor Retailer Show Award Winners, Gearjunkie
What Sustainability Looks Like in 2019 According to 8 Brands, Gear Patrol
Our 15 Favorite Deals From REI’s Winter Clearance Sale, Backpacker
The Best Handmade Skis and Snowboards for Small-Batch Shredding, Gear Patrol
The Best Adventure Films of 2019 (So Far), Outside
How Not To Be *That* Person at the Crag, REI Co-Op Journal
How a Man Killed a Mountain Lion with His Bare Hands, Outside
Proposed Bike Trail Would Cover 4000 Miles Across the Entire U.S., Adventure Blog
Bowhunting Legend Dwight Schuh Dies at 73, Bowhunting.net

 

Fitness / Health / Nutrition

Heat Slows You Down. Even When It’s Not Real., Outside
5 ways to break yourself out of a February Funk, Ladders
The exercise “recovery” industry is largely bogus, Vox.com
Most fitness apps don’t do much to get you healthy, study finds, The New Daily
Disconnecting Calories From Exercise, NY Times
The Workout Plans to Get Stronger, Faster, and Fitter Than Ever, Men’s Journal
Here’s the Research on Sugar and Health, Chris Kresser
Burpees are hard to define, and that’s what makes them good, Popular Science
The Science Behind Maximizing Your Winter Run, Outside
Why the Modified Keto Diet Is a Better, More Sustainable Way to Lose Weight, Men’s Journal
Johnson & Johnson to be first drug maker to list prices in TV commercials, Associated Press
This is a neuron on nicotine, Science Daily
7 Best Body-Weight Moves for Smaller Guys, Muscle & Fitness

 

Interesting

More Republicans say stricter environmental regulations are ‘worth the cost’, Pew Research Center
Finland’s Basic Income Trial Boosts Happiness, but Not Employment, NY Times
The New Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro Is the Death of the Land Cruiser, Gear Patrol
5 Used Adventure Motorcycles For Under $8,000, Gear Patrol
They Fixed Pornography, NY Times
Fish Appear to Recognize Themselves in the Mirror, Science Daily
Mental illness not to blame for gun violence, study finds, Science Daily
Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea, Forbes
Arianna Huffington on the next big thing in tech: Disconnecting from it, CNBC

Arete 2.7.19

Military / National Security

Air Force drops WAPS testing for SNCOs, Air Force Times
Russia Is Attacking the US System From Within, Defense One
Trump: I forced Mattis to quit because ‘I wasn’t happy with the job he was doing’, Defense News
The Marine Corps’ new CH-53K is a mess. This is why its operational date could face delays., Air Force Times
How will the Army use electronic warfare? The Pentagon’s weapon tester wants to know, Defense News
Trump reaffirms leaving Syria, but wants troops in Iraq to ‘watch Iran’, Military Times
The Teams Who Test US Cyber Defenses Aren’t Being Tough Enough: Pentagon Report, Defense One
US airstrike kills 24 Shabaab fighters at an ‘encampment’, Long War Journal
After Bloody Insurgent Wars, Pentagon Launches Effort to Prevent Civilian Deaths, Small Wars Journal
Why the American Army Should Increase its Warrant Officers, Small Wars Journal
At War: As a Woman Serving Alongside Green Berets, I Had No Problem Keeping Up. It Wasn’t Enough., NY Times
RECOIL Best of SHOT Show 2019, Recoil
 

First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

Four steps to a successful drone program for your fire department, Firerescue1 Daily News
A web-based wildfire simulator for operational applications, Internatio
Washington Sheriff’s Pledge Not to Enforce Gun Control Law, Officer.com
Border Patrol Agent Struck, Killed by Vehicle in Texas, Officer.com
IAFC, IAFF, NFPA, NVFC oppose required degrees for medics, Fire Rescue 1
Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer Found Dead in Vehicle, Officer.com
AUSTRALIA: 2 MEN CHARGED FOR SETTING FIRE, ATTACKING FIREFIGHTERS, Firefighter Close Calls
Have We Forgotten How NFL Players Treated the Police?, LE Today
Patrol Vehicles 2019, Police Mag
Idaho police sued after seizing nearly 7,000 pounds of cannabis, Police One
The Day I Had to Chose Between Fighting Evil… or Being a Cop., LE Today
Why Does the Media Hate the Police?, LE Today
South Dakota’s New Law Allows Permitless Carry, Recoil

 

Mountain Sports

The Bracing Sublimity of Coldwater Swimming, Adventure Journal
At OR, Outdoor Industry Announces United Front Against Climate Change, Adventure Journal
The 10 Best Products We Saw at Outdoor Retailer, Gear Patrol
Our Favorite Gear Under $50 at Outdoor Retailer, Outside
Avalanche Claims 4 Lives Near Italian Ski Area Of Courmayeur, Unofficial Networks
The Ultimate Moab Travel Guide, Outside
FREESKIER’s Best of Show Awards from Outdoor Retailer 2019, Freeskier

 

Fitness /  Nutrition / Health

How Energy Bars Became America’s Favorite Snack Food, Outside
4 Signs You’re Amazing in Bed, Muscle & Fitness
Common Myths About Cancer Debunked, Medical Daily
For millennials, cancers fueled by obesity are on rise, study says, Kwwl.com
Our New Favorite Shoe for CrossFit: Under Armour TriBase Reign, Men’s Journal
5 Common Quad-Training Mistakes to Avoid, Muscle & Fitness
Here’s why walking 100 steps per minute is good for you. And 130 steps is even better, Boston Globe
Cost effectiveness of early cancer surveillance, Science Daily
What really works when it comes to sports recovery?, The Verge
Clean Carbs and Lots of Lifting: How James McAvoy Got into Fighting Shape for ‘Glass’, Men’s Journal
Skipping Out on Bacon and Booze Might Cut Cancer Risk, Muscle & Fitness
Many Children Are Overdoing It on the Toothpaste, C.D.C. Study Says, NY Times

 

Interesting

A tweaked DoD cloud strategy looks beyond Amazon, Defense News
Firm founded by ex-Blackwater boss to operate in China’s Xinjiang province, intelNews.org
Is Mexico a Failing State?, Small Wars Journal
State of the Union 2019: How Americans see major national issues, Pew Research Center
Increasing murder rate is erasing gains in life expectancy among Mexican men, Homeland Security Newswire
ScienceTake: The Hummingbird as Warrior: Evolution of a Fierce and Furious Beak, NY Times

Q&A 2.7.19

QUESTION

I am a subscriber and prior military. Im training to go back in the military with an 18X contract.  Currently using the SFAS packet. Having fantastic results. I’m finishing Big 24 and starting Fortitude next week. I won’t be going in until September so it looks like I have time to fit an extra plan in, what would you suggest? Also, why isn’t the Q Course  Training plan a part of the SFAS Packet?

ANSWER

Plan? Hector.
Q Course Plan? Many guys have 6-month to a year wait post selection until they start the Q Course.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have limited equipment (including a bench), mostly basic stuff. Free weights, simple pully for press downs or lat pulls. I really need a solid program to build strength. Trying to cut a little in the process

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a regular follower of MTI and your workout programs. We spoke via email about a year ago about your then proposed new Army PT test.

While I understand that you don’t have a formal medical background, I wanted to get your perspective on IT Band Syndrome (ITBS) since you work with a lot of military and endurance athletes. I have been struggling with it for a couple of months now with little improvement despite workout adjustments. Have you worked with athletes that have had this issue? Specifically, are there any programs that you recommend for addressing it that focus on hip and inner quad strength?

ANSWER

I’m sorry – I can’t help here. We’ve never seen this as a major issue.
From an exercise perspective, my go-to exercise for inner quad strength would be barbell and kettlebell front squats.
Hip Strength? Hinge Lift, Box Squat, Weighted Walking Lunges.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been doing the Busy Operator program and am in question as to how effectively I’m doing it.  When you talk about ‘increasing the load until it is heavy but doable’, is that supposed to be by the last set?  For example, if it’s 6 sets of 4 reps, when should I be at the ‘heavy but doable’ set?  By set 4 or 5 or for my last set?  Should I be working up to this within the first couple sets so that I’m under a heavy load for the last few sets?  And I ask this based on your last article about TLU.

Thanks for all you do, your articles are great and constantly challenging me.

ANSWER

No – you want to work up rapidly. Ideally, you’ll do your “hard but doable” load for the last 3 rounds of a 6 round circuit. For example, this would be my loading for bench press:
(1) 6 Rounds
5x Bench Press – increase load each round until 5x is hard but doable
5x Pull Ups
Lat + Pec Stretch
Bench Loading:
Round    Load
1            135
2            165
3            175
4-6         185
– Rob

QUESTION

I have had to switch from being a trainer to a full-time desk position and my fitness is non-existent right now.  I need a plan that will push me, inspire me with results, not too time consuming since I work 8+ hour days and am a mom of 4.  I was so fit when I was a trainer.  I need to get that back.  Please recommend.  I want the stacked core that I am used to having, strong legs, glutes, upper body.  I want to be heart healthy as well so I will need some cardio.  Thanks in advance!  Have a great day!

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

So I hope the subject got your attention.   I need focus in the gym( I hate the gym).  I have 13 yrs on of patrol time on and 41 years old at 160 lbs.   Body issues are back problems from 2x car accidents from about  5 years ago that have seemed to been TCO.  More recent broken right that I am just getting cleared from.   Most of my fitness over the last two years has been road cycling as its low impact for the body.

I work dayshift patrol (8×5’s) and  part of the search and recovery dive team.  I have checked over your site a bunch and cannot seem to find what’s the best if I choose to buy into it.  Like most I want my money to go the farthest.   We have an ample give at my pd so no issue with equipment.  My end goal is strength vs bulk as I have another 13 yrs or so to go.

Any input or direction is helpful thanks.

ANSWER

Work through the plans/order in the Spirits Packet of plans for LE Patrol/Detective. These plans are designed as day to day training, designed to take 45-50 minutes, and concurrently train total body strength, upper body hypertrophy (mass), work capacity (sprint repeat emphasis), and chassis integrity (functional core training.)
Start with Whiskey.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question regarding the equipment for  DEA PTT. If I do not have a track regularly available to me, what would be my best approach to this? Can I use a treadmill to substitute a track?

ANSWER

Measure out .25 mile and 1.5 mile on a flat road with your car odometer, or better, use a gps if you have one. Regardless, be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been having just a slight issue balancing the bjj program (which I love) with my back-to-back muay thai and bjj sessions M-F in the morning. I currently run the BJJ program M-Sat but like to know if there’s a more optimal scheduling.

If I had to cut back, it would be on the program, as my classes are only available

ANSWER

You don’t want your fitness training to interview with your technical practice (Muay Thai and BJJ sessions).
In other words, you don’t want fatigue or soreness from your fitness training to impact your actual MT and BJJ sessions.
How you schedule them together depends somewhat on your fitness, but if you’re having issues now, you defn. want to pull back on the fitness programming.
Initially, I’d recommend going to 3 days a week for the training plan – M, Th and Saturday. If it’s still to much, drop Mon and Thurs. If it’s okay – add another day.
Regardless, don’t jump ahead in the training plan sessions – follow them in order regardless of the day of the week you actually train.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 34 year old infantry Marine.  My brother is also a former Marine blinded in Afghanistan.  We are planning on running a 44 mile race (run) for blind veterans in June 2020.  I will start training in May or June of this year, after completing a PFT preparation plan.
Is the ruck based selection plan appropriate?  Is there enough running in the program or is there another set of programs I should look into?  I want a mixture of strength and endurance training.

ANSWER

Best would be to complete the Ultra Run Pre-Season Training Plan, and follow it up with the 50-mile Ultra Run Training Plan.
Next best would be just to complete Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan and suffer at the end of your effort.
44 miles is a long way to run!!
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a current subscriber and was hoping to get advice on the best plan for me. There are so many options and narrowing down the best plan has been a difficult task. Some context… I do a lot of mountain sports, rock climbing, mountaineering, biking(mtn and road), ski touring. In the past I have done an olympic lifting workout in the gym and focused on endurance and my other activities in the days between gym strength workouts.
I am looking for an all-around base strength plan that would be good for building general strength that will work with the various other activities I do but not specializing in any of them necessarily. Alternatively, a mountain base plan that i can easily replace running with another activity would work.
I had specifically been looking at the TLU Strength Plan, Big Mountain, Atalanta, and MB Bravo as plans that seemed to fit what i was looking for, with a slight bias towards workouts I can do in a regular gym(I have access to regular gym and rock gym)
Any help or suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Mountain Base Helen – this is a balanced training plan designed as day-to-day, between-season training for multi-sport mountain athletes. The plan concurrently trains strength, work capacity, mountain endurance, climbing (rock), and chassis integrity.
One day a week has you in the bouldering gym. If you don’t want the bouldering work, I’d recommend Jedediah Smith from our Wilderness Packet of training plans for forest rangers, game wardens, etc. This is also a multi-modal training plan for mountain activities, but does not include climbing work.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am having trouble finding a plan and direction, as I am overwhelmed and tempted by many of the 200+ plans.
I am interested in both the military and law enforcement, and I am also slightly out of shape.
I am a 23 year old college senior. I am looking for a general fitness program (to start) that will make me fit and also maintain that fitness level until I can discern which career path I will take. Obviously, once I know my career, I will be able to tailor my workout to that.
I have a gym membership that has EVERYTHING I would ever need. Preferably, I would like a plan that will allow me to use that membership for more than the sauna.
I do not care about looks or size at this point. I am looking to become a very versatile athlete, a “jack of all trades.”
Thank you for taking the time to read.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

My wife want to get back into fitness.  We found a full scale gym locally that does child care.  What plans would you recommend to get her back to a good base?  I know she would prefer to do body weight and DB exercises in the beginning.  Looking to train 2-3 days a week. With some weeks getting in a 4th day if time allows.

ANSWER

Start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Follow the sessions in order according to your schedule – don’t skip ahead.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was thinking about subscribing to your programming for the Law Enforcement programs. I have a decent garage gym set up that includes an Airdyne and a C2 rower. I was wondering if either of those are used in any of your programs or could be subbed in.

ANSWER

No – we don’t regularly prescribe airdynes or rowers – we favor shuttle sprints and multi-modal gym work capacity events as I find them more transferable to the real thing.
Sub? – I’d rather you follow the programming as prescribed. We use a rower/airdyne in some of our injured athlete plans – but only because they can’t walk/run.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m searching through various different military fitness preparation plans/companies, and I have one question that will require some guidance. The issue I’m running into is that I’m not sure what program of MTI’s would be best for someone going through the 18X program for SF, rather than someone who is currently active duty. As I’m sure you know, the 18X pipeline starts at OSUT (which, as I understand it, has been extended), and then takes you to Jump School and SOPC before selection. What program of yours would you recommend for this situation in which I can’t specifically prepare DIRECTLY before SFAS (aside from SOPC)? So far, I’ve just been rucking 3 times a week and running 3 times a week with one or two weight days placed somewhere in there. So, I’m not in “top shape”, but I can run a little above average and ruck relatively well because of this past hunting season. That being said, I definitely don’t need to start with the most intense program; however, I would like to know where I should be before OSUT, and what MTI program will get me there.

ANSWER

I recommend 18x guys complete the entire Ruck Based Selection Training Packet – including the final plan, prior to Basic. We recommend this knowing that you’ll likely lose fitness through Basic, Airborne, etc., but feel much of the fitness will remain, and the mental fitness you’ll build completing the programming will be an asset at SFAS.
– Rob

QUESTION

I found your website after trawling through the AOM website (of which I’m a fan).
I have recently signed up to do some pre-testing for the fire and rescue here in NZ, however I’m unsure as to which PFT training programs you guys offer would be best for me?
I have a base level of fitness mostly around MTBing, gym (x3 week), and hunting in the high country for deer but nothing specific to Fire and Rescue.
Would you recommend something like the program:
See the link below for a rundown of the NZ Fire test:
Any Help would be appreciated 🙂

ANSWER

From our stuff I’d recommend the CPAT Training Plan.
The CPAT doesn’t mirror exactly the NZ assessment, but it’s roughly similar, and the primary fire/rescue fitness assessment in the US.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am doing a 200 mile ruck march over 4 days on March 25 to raise awareness for human trafficking and the no profit I direct. I am in pretty solid shape as I was stationed with the Special Warfare Training detachment at the 5/19th SFG out of Colorado and went to SFAS finishing in the top 50 at least in each ruck last summer. Got injured and that was my second time trying after getting injured the first time too. Knee both times. Rucks were never an issue it was the draws that got me during land nav. So 2 surgeries later I’m out of the military and grinding.

This being said I have been a long time user of your plans, the SFAS, SFRE, the SFOD, Hyoertrophy for skinny guys, 3 week ruck plan and sang bag ethos… needless to say I love them. But having gone through each of them a few times, not sure any one of those really tailors to the chassis integrity, work capacity, and long term ruck requirements this will be.
I’m curious if you feel I should alter any of those in any way or should I try something new or just do a customized plan altogether. I could really use this quick advice and look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

Ideally you’d complete the 100-Mile Ultra Plan directly prior – substituting rucking at the load you’ll carry for the event, for the running in the plan. But you only have 9 weeks to prepare, and my guess is you couldn’t get through the 100 mile plan …. so I’d recommend you suffer through the 50-mile Ultra Plan. Again, ruck instead run, but follow the volume in the plan.
If you start next week you can complete the plan directly before your event.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a police officer. I purchased my first MTI plan a couple years ago, before I took my fitness really seriously. A few months back, I signed up for the subscription plan, and I’m all in with your programming. 
 
For my whole life, I’ve been overweight and not really committed to my own fitness. In the last few years, I joined a local crossfit box, and learned a ton in the way of movements, and overall about HIIT. Our small community lends itself to a laid back lifest6, and that box didn’t have a schedule that worked with mine. Ultimately, I put my own mini-box in my basement and now workout at home, which I love.
I’ve seen great progress in strength, work capacity and stamina! I’m losing weight (down to 265 from 295 since November 1, I’m 6’03”), eating better and feeling better! I’ve got clearly defined goals now, and that leads me to some questions….
I started with your LE on ramp program, as I thought it best to start with a clean plate in your programming. Now I’m looking for the next plan. The catch is, I haven’t done the runs as part of the LE on ramp, instead substituting rowing (I put a C2 rower in my home gym) for the runs- distances remain the same. I did this for one reason only… my police department retains a sports physiologist for us, and he recommended I drop some weight before taking on running for injury prevention. I do need to start running soon!
Well, I’ve got two weeks left in the on ramp program and am trying to decide what’s next. My goals are to test for our swat team (sometime in April for selection) and I’m planning my first backpack archery elk hunt this fall. Since I love the area around Jackson,  WY; I’m also considering heading your way at the end of May for the Teton 5k.
The PT component of our seat selection is as follows: 50 push-ups, 60 sit-ups and 35 squat thrusts (no time limit for these), followed by a 1.5 mile run in under 16 minutes. Since swat selection is my first significant goal, what plan makes sense to move into next?
I’m realistic and now that I’ve still got a ton of work to do, but I’m not sure what programming makes sense to move into. I’d be curious on your thoughts.
Finally, thanks for putting together programming that is fun, functional and challenging!

ANSWER

What is the exact date of SWAT selection? Also – I’m assuming it’s more than a gate PT test? Is it a 2 day selection. If so, do you know the events/activity you’ll face?
– Rob
FOLLOW UP
No exact date set yet. Selection is a single day, the events in order are:
50 push-ups, no time limit
50 sit-ups, no time limit
35 squat thrusts, no time limit
185lb dummy drag, 35 feet
1.5 mile run, 16 minutes
NRA handgun, full qual course
And an interview with the team leaders. The events are run in that order.
It’s a small county-wide joint team. Not a huge feat as each event, but since its run consecutively I could see how it develops its challenges. I looking for a program that could help me prepare for that and develop my running.
ANSWER
I’d recommend the DEA PTT Training Plan, which includes push ups, sit ups, and the 1.5 mile run. I’d have you add in some squat thrusts to the assessment – Likely do a max rep in 75 seconds and then follow the same progression in the plan as the push ups and sit ups.
– Rob

QUESTION

Which program do you recommend for? I’m going TACP, in the Air National Guard and currently waiting for ship dates. I coach at a Crossfit gym so I’m exposed to plenty of crossfit “WODs”. I’d like more of a program designed to improve My overall PAST, long distance run and ruck times. Thanks!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a MTN Tactical monthly subscriber and I will be attending SFRE in 13 weeks. I have more than enough time to run the SFRE 7 week (I am leaning towards running the 8-week Ruck Based Selection program instead) and I’m wondering if there any other programs I should run for the five weeks prior?

Also, how come a lot of the selection programs don’t include some kind of direct periodized strength training? Not questioning you, just genuinely curious since programs I’ve run in the past (such as tactical barbell) have always included it.

Thanks for putting together such quality products and I hope to hear from you soon.

ANSWER

1. First 4 Weeks of Gratitude then take a full week off.
2. The focus of our specific selection programs are the specific events at selection. We’ll use the prior plans in the packets to build overall strength – but not spend time in the selection programs training strength but will focus on the fitness demands of the events – Gate PFT, work capacity in team events, endurance (run, ruck, swim). Selections are stamina/endurance events.
The first version of our RBSTP (8 or so years ago) included barbell work, but as I’m learned more and my programming has evolved/improved, the focus has narrowed to selection events.
– Rob

QUESTION

I love your leg blasters as my alpine and skiing legs workout. Easy to see and follow a progression. I started with only 5 mini leg blasters building to 10 full leg blasters. A killer workout.
Do you have an upper body equivalent? Arm blasters? 😉
A set of exercises like push ups, pull ups, overhead presses etc that strengthen climbers’ arms and shoulders but also work antagonistic muscles to prevent climbers’ injury?
I appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks!

ANSWER

That’s awesome! 10x Full Leg Blasters is no joke. Most I’ve worked up to was 8! You’re a badass!!
Arms? Options:
1) Prisoner Circuit – start at 5 rounds and work up to 10 …
3/5x Pull Ups
7/10x Push Ups
10/15x Bench Dips
Work up to 4 Rounds holding 5# plates
Work up to 6 Rounds with a 45# barbell …. you may need to start with a 15# barbell or 10# Dumbbells.
– Rob