All posts by SSD

Q&A 6.28.18

QUESTION

I wanted to let you guys know I completed my SWAT selection (about 36 hours of PT and shooting events, limited sleep, approximately 4 hours total). To do this I used your SWAT Selection course. I can’t say I would have been able to do it without that training. With my surgery at the end of January (detailed below) I followed the leg injury training program until I could convert to the selection programming. I ran as the program directed, glad I did, my timing was a week off so I had to taper on my own not as the program directed. The only things I wasn’t prepared for was a decent road march carrying about 60 pounds and rifle and a 2 hour block of pool work but my cardio developed during the programming helped to allow me to complete the events as best I could.
I am curious what programming I should go to now (assuming of course I get selected for the team).  The team trains 40 hours a month, is not full time, conducts all the standard missions you would expect from a large SWAT team. Aside from the team stuff I’m still assigned to my primary detail working in a drug task force environment.

ANSWER

Congrats – and good luck on selection.

Next  …. Gun Maker series of plans for full-time SWAT/SRT.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently active duty in the USMC and have been looking to improve my running endurance/times. I am starting on week 6 of your running improvement program for the military. I also like the daily operator series that you offer. Is it possible to do both workouts concurrently?

ANSWER

No …. the Operator Sessions also include running and rucking and you won’t be able to make the progressions in the Running Improvement Plan.

– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if I could get some feedback on the various plans you offer because I’m having a hard time picking one that fits best with me.

After I separated from the Marine Corps almost a year ago I put on a lot of weight, but between calorie restriction and conventional weight lifting I managed to go from 235 to 215 in 3 months (5’10” male) which is where I’m at now. I’ve hit a hard plateau and even though I’m stronger than I ever was, I want to get my cardiovascular endurance back but maintain the strength gains I made. Not sure if it’s helpful but I’m able to perform 225 4×8 bench and 300 4×8 squat just to throw some numbers out there. I was barely doing 135 for both in the military.

I’m totally lost as to which plan would suit me best. I would love to be in better shape than I was in the military but at the same time I was pretty skinny with not a lot of muscular strength. With the budget I’m at right now the only gym I really can afford is a planet fitness, which is where I’ve been going. I have a ruck that I’ve used a handful of times recently as well.

Needless to say, I could really use some guidance. Sorry for the long winded email, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this and help me out.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Fortitude, which has a strength and endurance focus and comes from our military side.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently on my departments swat team, and just completed ruger. Im currently preparing for the fbi sapft. I was wondering if i should go ahead and start the sapft program, or start with something similar to the swat selection program to help maintain strength for my current assignment?

ANSWER

You’ll want to do the FBI SA PFT Training Plan the 6 weeks directly before your actual PFT. Until the start of that plan, you’ll want to continue with the plans in the Gun Maker Packet for SWAT/SRT. Do Glock now.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a new member and have been scrolling through your plans for some time today. I am slated for Soldier of the year, Air Assualt, Airborne, and then SFAS all within the next 18 months, believe it or not. Ill be going through pre selection with the group next fall. From my understanding SFAS will be immediately following or ASAP. The other schools and even getting MOSQ’d are speckled throughout from now until then with the longest break being only about 40 days after this September. So my question is which program to start. I have enough time to complete any 1 plan, but not more than 1 consecutively. Should I just hop right into the SFAS plan? Thanks for any info.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you begin working through the plans/order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet. This programming will be broken up by schools and other mandatory training but establishes a solid fitness foundation. SFAS is key – and ideally, you’ll be able to complete the last plan in the packet the 8 weeks directly prior to selection.
– Rob

QUESTION

I see a lot posters for the Marine HITT program at our base gym. I am interested to know the difference between the Marine HITT program and your military athlete training plan.

ANSWER

I’m not super familiar with the daily programming for the Marine HITT stuff, but I’d bet our programming has a greater strength, core, and rucking emphasis.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had used your plans leading up to TBS and got in great shape. Since I got here, the ability to structure workouts for each day has fallen by the wayside, and so has my fitness. Some days we are in the field, and do not have the ability to workout, other days I have plenty of free time in the evening but no longer have a plan.
What would you recommend on your schedules that I should begin (I have 5 months left of TBS) that will allow me just to pick up the next workout no matter how many days between workouts?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I want to get your thoughts on choosing where to start my training with MTI. I am 29 year old male and I would rate my level of current fitness as average to below average, especially in terms of aerobic capacity. I’ve mainly lifted weights for my whole life and done relatively little amounts of endurance work. In my mid-20s I did a fair amount of Crossfit and have been lifting weights since my high school football days. I’m still lifting regularly but like I mentioned I don’t have really any aerobic capacity.
That said, I subscribed to MTI because I’m hoping it can help me reach a couple goals I have developed recently. I’ve recently started to really enjoy cycling and I’m hoping to build up the strength/endurance necessary to mountain bike competitively in the near(ish) future. Also, my brother has been trying to get me to climb Mt. Rainier with him and I’m definitely not close to being in shape enough to do that, but I’m hoping in a year or so I might be.
Do you have thoughts about a training plan (or series of plans) I could start on that would set me off in the right direction toward these goals? Just info about me btw: I’m about 5’11, 195 lbs. No real injuries or restrictions and I’m otherwise generally healthy.

ANSWER

Start with mountain biking and our Mountain Bike Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am trying to seek out some specific advice related to size/mass. My goal is to join my local law enforcement agency, and I was directed to your programming. As a side note/kudos, I couldn’t be more satisfied with my experiences so far. Truly phenomenal. I worked through the LE Onramp program, and a few of the patrol day to day programming series. The gains I have seen are far superior to any other programming I have used. That being said- my issue seems to be size/mass building.
After having a few experiences with ride-alongs and being around the other men in the department, I definitely feel that my size is lacking. I’m about 6’ 1” and typically fluctuate between 195 and 200. My goal is to be anywhere from 215-225. I was working through Dragnet for the second time and saw my Bench Press reps at 175 go from 9 to 14- But it still seems far off from the examples that you give of people getting 28 reps and doing percentages off those numbers. So my suspicion is that either I am a “hard gainer”, or that I just need to stop making excuses and put in the work to get bigger one rep maxes, etc.
I’m just wondering what you would recommend to me? I thought maybe for the year before my application I could work through a LE Patrol packet, but in between individual plans I would do the ultimate meat head cycle or hypertrophic for skinny guys plan. Unless you have a specific packet for mass hypertrophy/size building? I would love to hear your thoughts.

ANSWER

Complete the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys Plan, and eat a small jar of peanut butter, every day.
Report back on the other side.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am planning on doing a Spartan race at the end of August and was going to use the spartan sprint plan to prepare.  However, this plan is only 6 weeks and I am basically a beginner.  Is there another good plan to start with prior to beginning the sprint plan to help build strength and endurance?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I finished up the bodyweight foundation program and want to move on. Problem is the next limited equipment programs have kettle bells or sand bags or a weighted vest’s. I am currently overseas and don’t have a way to get these items here or have them sent in. Do you have any suggestions of alternatives? I am thinking of doing gratitude or humility what do you think?

ANSWER

For Humility you’ll need a pair of dumbbells and either a weight vest or a 25# backpack. You can use your IBA or a backpack for the vest. Use some big, grip-able rocks for the dumbbells!
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if you guys had a good plan gor the french foreign legion selection

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 30 year old enlisted Marine making the jump to OCS in about 6-7 months.  Currently at a 270-275 PFT.  Looking to improve my run time(currently 22:30 3 mile) in addition to other goals such as strength and muscular endurance. Should I select a different plan other than the OCS plan given that I have much more time than the six weeks, if so which plan would be appropriate?

ANSWER

You’ll want to complete the OCS training plan directly before OCS. 7 months = 28 weeks. Here is what I recommend:
 
Weeks   Plan
1-7         Military OnRamp
8-14       Humility
15-21     Fortitude
22          Total Rest
– Rob

QUESTION

My girlfriend purchased your BUD/s training packet for me in January and to my surprise she jumped in and started doing the workouts with me. We have completed OnRamp, Humility, and have two weeks left of Valor + Swim Improvement.
After we finish US Navy PST program, she will be leaving for a study abroad trip to Peru for a couple months and I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of a few programs to check out that require little or no equipment that would help her out on her trip.

ANSWER

Here are our limited equipment training plans.  The sandbag series is awesome!
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been using your MTN Tactical law enforcement training plans (spirits package) for some time now. I like the style of training and I enjoy the plans, but I am interested in doing some more strength training. I find that the spirits plans only seem to maintain strength at best, but I like the work capacity and TAC SEPA training. I was looking at using your Big 24 Strength plan and I also found your Ultimate Work Capacity I plan. Would you recommend combining the 2 for both strength and work capacity development?

ANSWER

No .. you’ll overtrain. Do Big 24 alone.
– Rob

QUESTION

Turning 60 this year. 6 feet 180 lbs in okay shape and on a tele set-up for 30 years. Cheated and used some of your sample skiing programs to get ready for this past ski season and had the best, most enjoyable ski season of my life. I have to attribute that to the sample exercises I used from your site. Ready now to try to up the ante and be in even better shape for next ski season. What program do i start with and what programs do I use from now to December when i would like to be at or close to peak physical ability to maximize skiing enjoyment. Live in New Jersey but get out west twice a year. All lift service now but open to getting in the b/c again in the future but reality is mostly lift served. Maybe option to skin in the sidecountry. Please advise and thanks so much. Continually advise folks to check out your site.

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, then dropping into the plans/order in the Greek Heroine Series for Mountain Base training. Directly before the ski season, complete the Backcountry Ski Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am trying to decide which plan to start with…. I have 15 weeks until I have a 3.5 Day Race that includes paddling, hiking on and off trail and mountain biking. I have a very good endurance base but could use some more work for these distances especially with overall core strength. Which plan or plans would you recommend???

ANSWER

I don’t have an adventure race plan, but from the gist of your question it seems you’ve already designed your endurance programming and are looking to supplement it with core strength.
If I’ve read it right, I’d recommend our Chassis Integrity Training Plan to supplement your endurance work. These 10-20 minute core-focused circuits are designed to supplement other training.
Let me know if I’ve misread your question.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently in the Alabama national guard. I have just gotten done with SERE school so my strength and endurance is recovering. I am going to SFRE in January. I was wondering what programs I should start off with to develop my core, muscular strength/endurance, and cardiovascular strength.

I was looking into the hypertrophy program then the rat 6 program along with some running and swimming. Do you have any thoughts or recommendations on where I should start?

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start back with Fortitude – which concurrently trains strength, endurance (running/rucking), work capacity and chassis integrity (core).
Seven weeks before SFRE complete the SFRE Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for a plan like Valor, but one that I can use worldwide. I will not always have access to a ruck, which is my biggest issue. I want to build strength in my legs (squat), back and core while being able to keep up on pull ups, push ups, and sit ups. What do you recommend?

ANSWER

I’d recommend SF45 Delta.  This plan combines bodyweight strength training, with chassis integrity and running-based endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a few of your plans and want to start training my son who is 14. He currently plays hockey at the AAA level and I’m looking to get him stronger and quicker on the ice. He currently weights about 125lbs. I want to get his strength up. I was browsing the plans however I want to get your suggestion. Thank you!

ANSWER

I’d recommend Big 24 Strength. This is an awesome program which we’ve deployed successfully with many high-school aged athletes.
– Rob

 

Arete 6.28.18

Military

Afghanistan: Conflict Metrics 2000-2018, Small Wars Journal
Voices from the Disruptors: Profiles in Leading Military Innovation, Small Wars Journal
Russia warns of a ‘tough response’ to creation of US space force, Defense News
Space Force: Go Slow, Learn From Army Air Corps, Breaking Defense
Prove It: Nuclear Posture and the Fear of Surprise Attack, War on the Rocks
All the Times North Korea Promised to Denuclearize, Real Clear Defense
What Would Happen if China Started Selling Off Its Treasury Portfolio?, Council on Foreign Relations
Navy’s Senior Enlisted Leader Steps Down – Accused of Bullying Subordinates, Navy Times
Air Force Reserve Command Surgeon Fired for Job Performance, Military.com
5 Reasons the Marine Corps Is the Future of Ground Combat, Forbes

 

First Responder/Homeland Security/Wildland Fire

Just how many guns do Americans own? (And why do estimates vary so widely?), Homeland Security News
Amazon Employees Join ACLU, Investors in Protest of Amazon’s Sale of Tech to Police, Police Magazine
Wikileaks Doxes 9,243 ICE Agents, Police Magazine
Best of POLICE: Our 12 Most Popular Articles, Police Magazine
Rethinking riot gear: Overcoming officers’ biggest challenges, Police One
Texas Rangers, Texas Highway Patrol Adopt the Sig Sauer P320, Tactical Life
The Dynamic Field of Terrorist Weapons Options, Small Wars Journal
California Lawmakers Consider Limiting Police Use of Fatal Force, Police.com
Tenn. LEO critically injured after being struck by DUI suspect, Police One

 

Mountain

Jim Walmsley Will Shatter the Western States 100 Record, Outside
New Device Turns Your Smartphone into a Satellite Phone – BivyStick will work with your existing smartphone to offer the benefits of a GPS unit and satellite two-way communicator, Powder Magazine
The Best Mosquito Repellents, According to You, Outside Magazine
2018 Top New Bows, Bowhunting Mag
For Sale: Cat-Skiing Operation in Silverton, CO for Just $159,000, Unofficial Networks
Greatest Moments in Sports History, According to Outside Magazine, Outside Magazine
Bikepacking.com Is Revolutionizing the Sport,Outside Magazine
Altitude Will F&*K You Up—Unless You Follow These Steps, Outside Magazine
Nonresident Bowhunter Hate, Bowhunter.com
Lifestyle Gear Is Changing the Outdoors, but Is It a Good Thing?, Gear Patrol
Climber Colin O’Brady to Attempt Speed Record of 50 High Points in the U.S., Adventure Journal

 

Fitness/Nutrition

The Golden Triangle: The Secret to Human Performance, Breaking Muscle
The 6 Best Protein Powders Available — and How to Use Them, Gear Junkie
How To Build Your Hamstrings With Just 3 Moves, Men’s Health
Our intestinal microbiome influences metabolism — through the immune system, Science Daily
Athletes, Stock Up on This Powerhouse Summer Produce, Outside Magazine
Screw the Egg Whites, Yolk Me, Bro, Breaking Muscle

 

Interesting

Orcas Slap, Kill, But Don’t Eat Their Prey, Nat Geo
People Keep Finding Bodies in Joshua Tree, Outside Magazine
Invest In Preschool Instead Of Prisons, Hoover Institute
The psychobiology of online gaming, Science Daily
30 Years Now Well On, How Do Global Warming Predictions Stand Up?, Wall Street Journal
A Common Virus May Play Role in Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Finds, NYT

The Relentless Pull of Douchebag Gravity

By Rob Shaul

 

When reading this headline what came to mind for you was how the Douchebags of the world pull you down, wasn’t it?

Actually, the “Relentless Pull of Douchebag Gravity” comes not from others, but from our own selfishness and sense of self-importance that pulls us away from the principles of Quiet Professionalism, into the opposite world of Douchebagness.

Indeed, the pull of Douchebag Gravity is so strong, insidious and relentless, it is very difficult to make it through a single day without dipping at least our toes if not a full on dunking into the self-important world of being a Douchebag. 

I know first hand it takes constant vigilance to not put oneself first and act accordingly in matters of business, mission, team, friendship, and family.

  • See something that needed fixing and didn’t fix it? That’s Douchebag Gravity.
  • Pulled rank to get a perk or take credit? Douchebag Gravity.
  • Break a promise and not follow through? Again, Douchebag Gravity.
  • Talk behind someone’s back? Douchebag Gravity.
  • Rude to the coffee barista or customer service rep? Douchebag Gravity.

A couple years ago I drafted up a “Guide to Douchebags” but didn’t publish the essay. As I continued to identify and type out the different Douchebag types, I was forced to acknowledge that I had too often acted in the exact same way being described.

I didn’t need to think about others to get the descriptions right. A brief, direct, unflinching self-examination of my own past intentions and actions gave me all the material I needed to write accurate descriptions.

I didn’t have to go far to find Douchebag examples. I only needed to look hard at myself.

Our “Quiet Professional” and “Douchebag” selves share equal space in our actions and intensions when we make the dozens of daily decisions on whether to put the mission first or ourselves.

The Douchebag self is always first in line. Instinctively we are pre-disposed to act in our own selfish self-interest.

Our Quiet Professional self has the greater task – first to pause the decision to allow reflection, then to successfully argue for putting the mission first. The Quiet Professional self doesn’t win every battle, but with practice and reflection, mission is put first more and more.

I dug around in my hard drive archives and found that old Douchebag guide – which I present below. As you read this – think not of others who meet the descriptions, but rather the times you have. Aim to do better, moving forward.

 

Douchebag Guide:

Huge Douchebag
An individual has to have leadership power to be a “Huge Douchebag.” These are common amongst high ranking military officers and successful business leaders. Often they are screamers, regularly humiliate and belittle subordinates, and have an extremely outsized idea of how important they are. When removed from their rank or office, they shrink dramatically in stature and appear pitifully naked.

Entitled Douchebag
This person works to get stuff for nothing, in fact, feels they are entitled to stuff for nothing. There’s no desire to pay their own way, or sense of responsibility. Rather, when they get something for nothing, they think they’ve won and got over on someone. Guilt? No way! They are proud of themselves! Further, when asked to pay their own way, they get offended.

Sneaky Douchebag
These seem like great people at first – often they are gregarious, friendly and outgoing …. then we start to notice things. They “forgot” their wallet for dinner. Don’t volunteer to do dishes or help with the less glamorous office jobs. Often are tardy or late, and can’t understand why this disrespects others.  We forgive them these issues at first because they are fun to be around, but soon we realize they can’t be relied upon and they lose our trust.

Passive Aggressive Douchebag
This breed says stuff like this, “Oh, that dress looks so good on you, it makes your waist look thinner than normal,” or, “You’ve done so well for yourself for someone with your upbringing.”

User Douchebag
This person acts like a friend, but in reality, is using you to get ahead. In middle school, this was the person who nicely asked to copy your math homework, then wouldn’t acknowledge you in the cafeteria. In work life, this was the person who claims colleagues’ or others’ work as their own, doesn’t share credit, and steps on others to get ahead.

Doesn’t Follow Through Douchebag
These identify themselves quickly. We partner for a joint project, identify individual tasks and deliverables. We keep our word and do our work. They don’t follow through on their agreed to tasks.

Two-Faced Douchebag
This breed tells us one story but tells everyone else another. This is also the individual who tells us he or she will support us in controversy, but stands idle at the moment of truth and leaves us flapping in the wind.

Old Retired Douchebag
This breed is angry, bitter, unappreciative, impatient and entitled. Fully capable and alert, they still live in the past and work hard to make everyone else miserable. This is why engaged, bright, content, humble and good-natured older people are such a delight to be around.

Doesn’t Do Their Share Douchebag
This is the person who disappears when there’s a dirty or unpleasant job to be done – dishes at home, taking his or her share of the make work jobs in the office, etc.

 

Comments, Feedback? Email rob@mtntactical.com

 

 


You Might Also Like What Does it Mean to be a Quiet Professional?


Seated Keg Lift

Exercise can be completed with kettlebells as show, as well as dumbbells, sandbags, or bumper plates.

1x Rep = 1x keg lift beginning on each side. For 5x Seated Keg Lifts, do 5x with the box on your right side, then turn around and do 5x with the box on your left side. 5x = 5x each side, 10x total.

Box height is 20-24″

Incline Bench Press

The angle of the bench isn’t super important – anything close to 45-degrees will do. This exercise can be completed with a barbell as shown, as well as dumbbells/kettlebells.

Arete 6.21.18

Military

Where Did the U.S. Go Wrong in the Philippines? A Hard Look at a ‘Success’ Story, War on the Rocks
Did Russia and America Almost Go to War in Syria? The National Interest
The U.S. Army Culture is French, Small Wars Journal
SOCOM’s New Challenge in North Korea and Beyond, The Cipher Brief
9 Rules of Engagement: A Military Brat’s Guide to Life and Success, The Heritage Foundation
Integration of the Sexes in the Military: Biological Considerations, Small Wars Journal
Machine Strategists & the Future of Military Operations, Real Clear Defense
What Trump Gets Right About Europe, NY Times
War in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, War on the Rocks
Large-Scale Combat Operations: How the Army Can Get Its Groove Back, Modern War Institute
Ex-CIA Engineer Charged With Massive Leak to Wikileaks, Real Clear Defense
Avoiding World War III in Asia, The National Interest
NATO Chief: Future of NATO in Jeopardy, Real Clear Defense
Trump: ‘We Are Going to Have the Space Force’, Real Clear Defense
A Permanent U.S. Presence in Poland?, Stars and Stripes

 

Homeland Security/LE/First Responder

Take Another Look at This Incredibly Detailed Soviet Map of Washington, D.C., War is Boring
North Korea Is Not Like Libya, The RAND Blog
How to fund a police drone, PoliceOne Daily News
Apple Closes Security Loophole, Frustrating Police Investigations, POLICE Magazine
Safe Seniors Camera Program seeks to protect the elderly, PoliceOne Daily News
20 FDNY FIREFIGHTERS INJURED AT STATEN ISLAND FIRE, Firefighter Close Calls
Germany arrests Tunisian man for producing biological weapon in his apartment, Intelnews.org
Western Europeans vary in their nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-religious minority attitudes, Pew Research Center
Toy Drones and Twitter: The Ability of Individuals to Wreak Large-Scale Havoc, Rand Corp
Product review: Top replacement AR triggers, Police One
An Inside Look at Border Patrol Processing Center in Texas – Officer.com
Video release shows angry mob surrounding officer after shooting of fleeing suspect armed with a handgun, LE Today
How Officers Helped Save Survivors From Las Vegas Shooting, Officer.com

 

Mountain

Cafe Kraft: Upper Body Mobility Drills, Training Beta
Video: A Dramatic Rescue in the Khumbu Icefall, The Adventure Blog
13-Year-Old Benji Fridbjornsson’s Season Edit, Snowboard Magazine
Colin Haley dashes up Denali Cassin Ridge in record-breaking 8 hours 7 minutes, Planetmountain.com
The Great Greek Adventure: Surfing and snowboarding in Greece, Snowboard Magazine
Bill Briggs Celebrates 47th Anniversary of Grand Teton First Descent – The Jackson Hole legend, now 87, hasn’t lost his adventurous spirit, Powder Magazine
Hansjörg Auer to attempt Lupghar Sar West solo, Planetmountain.com
How to Properly Fit Your Pack, Outside
How to Stay Hydrated on Hunting, Fishing, and Scouting Trips into the Backcountry, Outdoor Life
Whitewater Kayaking in Alaska, Outside
The Best Sun Shirts for Men and Women, Outside
The Best Hiking Boots of 2018, Gear Patrol
Should You Shoot a Siderod Stabilizer?, Bowhunting.com
OTC Elk Tag Success!, Eastman’s Bowhunting
Future Gear: ‘OutDoor Show’ 2018/19 Awards, Gear Patrol
Turn Your iPhone Into a DSLR with This $200 Lens Kit, Outside
OutdoorGearLab Tests Camping Sleeping Bags and Awards the Best, Outdoor Gear Lab
Best Backpacking Stoves of 2018, Outdoor Gear Lab

 Fitness/Nutrition

Best sources of Vitamin K, The World’s Healthiest Foods
What Happens to Your Body When You Climb Everest, Outside Magazine
The Art of Pacing Is More Complicated Than You Think, Outside Magazine
Fasting versus Carb Restriction: Which Works Better for What Scenarios, Mark’s Daily Apple
Daily fasting works for weight loss, finds report on 16:8 diet, Science Daily
5 Rules to Deadlift By, Breaking Muscle
Young Marijuana Users Face Psychosis Risk, WebMD
The Beginner’s Guide to the Keto Diet, Nerd Fitness
Greater levels of vitamin D associated with decreasing risk of breast cancer, Science Daily
Gene therapy restores hand function after spinal cord injury in rats, Science Daily
Human Brain Hard-Wired to Love Fat-Carb Combo, WebMD
5 Incredible Health Benefits To Masturbating, Men’s Health
Why We Are Drowning In the Western Diet, Breaking Muscle
What The New York Times Got Wrong About Female Runners, Outside
How To Fix The Four Biggest Sleep Disorders, Men’s Health
Child in Idaho Has Plague, WebMD
The Surprising Benefits of Hot Sauce, Cold Showers and Intermittent Fasting, ITS Tactical

 

Interesting

Can’t Sleep? Let Bob Ross Help You Find Some Happy Little Zzzs, nytimes.com
Luci Meets a Powerlifter (Children’s Book), The Paleo Diet
Strenuous exercise in adolescence may ward off height loss later in life, Science Daily
What the Ice Age West Predicts About Our Future, Adventure Journal
Python Swallows Woman Whole—What Experts Say About the Rare Attack, Nat Geo

The Country Singer Packet

By Rob Shaul

 

This week we published five new plans – Johnny,  Waylon, Hank, Willie, and Dolly – of our new series of plans: Country Singer Packet.

These most recent programmes in development will include a total of 8-general fitness plans and are specifically designed for recreational athletes.

We have more and more civilians and recreational athletes interested in our programming and often it’s just not appropriate to recommend plans from our mountain and tactical libraries.

Johnny, Waylon, Willie, Hank, Dolly, Loretta, Tammy, and Patsy will deploy our fluid periodization methodology, without several of the base fitness training attributes which are part of our day-to-day programming for mountain and tactical athletes.

Climbing training, rucking, and tactical agility, for example, won’t be included in these plans. The plans will focus on strength, work capacity, endurance (including running, gym-based endurance) and chassis integrity.

We completed the general outline for each plan already, and are now diving in on individual design.

We’re designing these plans, because of the demand for general fitness plans from our community. And sometimes even our mountain and tactical athletes need or want to work on specific areas and these plans will help fill those roles.

We hope to publish all the plans, and the entire packet by the end of June 2018.

These plans can be purchased individually or as a packet. Our members of the Athlete’sSubscription will automatically have access to them through our plan library.

 


Learn More About the First Five Plans: 

  • Johnny – All Around
  • Waylon – Strength Emphasis
  • Hank – Work Capacity Emphasis
  • Willie – Endurance Emphasis
  • Dolly –  All Around

Q&A 6.21.18

QUESTION

Hey Rob I’ll make this quick. I’ve followed your programming since you put it out for free. I’m 48yrs old former Force RECON Marine. I’m thinking of entering a 3 day race that covers 60mile ruck, 140m mtb, 30m canoe. I have a monthly membership with you, just trying to choose a plan that best suits the race. There is about 60k of vert, I believe. Also I can’t run due to achilles injury years ago, but I can ruck quickly with no/limited discomfort. I read your article about the Teton traverse. Thinking I may use that as a template, adding in mtb and road cycling and canoeing.

ANSWER

I don’t have an adventure race plan, Jeff. In terms of programming, my guess with your background is the rucking will be the most natural, and the cycling the least.

I’d recommend the Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan with the following changes:
Monday: Rest
Tuesdays: Ruck 1/2 distance of Saturday’s Long Ruck
Wednesday: MTB – 2x the distance prescribed
Thurs: Paddle/Canoe – 60-120 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Ruck the Prescribed Distance
Sunday: Road Bike 2x the Saturday Ruck Distance
– Rob

QUESTION

Hey coach Im getting prepared to ship for OSUT in 6 weeks, I want to use your APFT program to prepare me however I understand that just doing the program may get me a great PT score but due to the lack of other work in it, wont prepare me completely for OSUT. Is there any strength weight training or extra work I could add to the program without going overboard and increasing my chances of injury? I was thinking of something like heavy deadlifts, pullups, and maybe squat work. Anyway I love your programs and cant wait to hear your opinion.

ANSWER

I’d recommend our Military OnRamp Training Plan instead.  It’s a more rounded plan which will better prepare you overall.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking into purchasing the alpine running training plan. My PT recommended it, and I was curious if all the plans had running worked into them. I am looking to hit a certain weekly mileage. I saw that the example had a few runs worked in them, but if I wanted to supplement the plan by doing “extra” runs, would this be recommended?

ANSWER

I’m not sure I’m following your question exactly.
The Alpine Running Plan definitely has running included but is designed around FKT and other type alpine events with lots of mileage and vertical gain and loss. It includes loaded uphill hiking, loaded running, etc.
For a running-focused plan, I’d have you look at our Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan.
If you want to share with me more specifically what you’re looking for, I may be able to make a more specific recommendation.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently Ruck’ed the Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, NM.  I had a great time at the race, but since I’ve been back home, my old back has been giving me a lot of aches and pains.  I plan on doing the “Low Back Training Plan V2” in the very near future in the hopes of rehabbing my lower back.
* My question is, of the Several Core/Abs plans that you offer, which one would you recommend that I do at the same time as the Lower Back training plan?  I have the time to do both workouts and since the lower back and core work together, I was hoping for your recommendation on the best plan to complement the lower back workout.

ANSWER

Don’t double up. Complete the low back plan in isolation.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve followed your programming since 2008, moving between Operator sessions and special interest programs as the years have progressed.  I’m 42, a Special Agent with the USSS, former tactical team member and father of 2 boys with full baseball schedules.  I like routine and team atmospheres.  I thrive on competition and the energy of high performers around me.

All this to say that I’m now not surrounded by high performers, super busy with admin (as that’s the stage of my career) and listless as far as workout routines are concerned.  I’m developing more repetitive injuries (knee pain with squats and the obligatory L4/L5 back pain) and need some direction.

I’m in need of efficient strength programming and metcons with some long runs for enjoyment.  I’m thinking SF45, but pride says maybe there’s something more to be had.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and thank you for your thoughtful work over the years.

ANSWER

Yes on the SF45 Packet Plans. Don’t be fooled – these are no joke. You’ll see.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am considering signing up for your monthly plan in which I’d have access to all of the training programs and what not. I am looking to basically to build as much muscle and strength as I can while staying relatively lean. I want to build a very strong foundation in which I can slowly transition to competitive Crossfit training. I want to maintain good endurance for Bodyweight exercises but also do things to increase that capacity as well (muscle ups etc) what programs would you recommend me to follow that will best help me with this endeavor?

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start by focusing on strength. Specifically, the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
Follow it up with Ultimate Work Capacity I.
– Rob

QUESTION

Big fan of your work at MTI, and currently studying to be a physical therapist. Just came across your Garbage Reps article and had a question for you.  I’m curious about why you think high volume, low to moderate weighted squatting and lunging are the culprit for your knee issues?

Why those movements in particular, compared with any number of other movements you’ve done over the years?

ANSWER

The issue from a training perspective is transfer to activity outside the gym. Pure strength (heavy, low volume) has proven transfer in terms of performance and durability. Endurance (running, step ups) directly transfers for loaded and unloaded movement in the field.
High rep wall balls ……. my sense is that early on all these make you better at is high rep wall balls, while at the same time hammering your knees.
– Rob

QUESTION

Currently I am on the last week of the Military On Ramp program, which has been awesome, and I am looking for the next step. It looks like most of the packets have Humility next but I am concerned about jumping from 3 miles to 7 miles for the run. I have a history of IT band issued that I don’t want to flare up. What would you suggest?

ANSWER

Move to the Greek Hero plans, beginning with Hector.

– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a recommendation for a basketball conditioning program?

ANSWER

Not specific to basketball from my stuff. In general, strength and shuttle-based work capacity is where I’d start here in the offseason. This would be Rat 6 Strength from our stuff.

– Rob


QUESTION

I have been having trouble deciding which plans to do. I was curious if you think the virtue series packet would be my best bet. I am a pretty good runner, but my real issues come in the realm of being a pretty classic hard gainer. I am an Army Officer so I have just been functioning under the assumption that I would be better off focusing on the Virtue series packet rather than moving toward the non-military plans.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a program recommendation for post-pregnancy?

ANSWER

From our stuff, I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thanks for your time and intel here. Searched your past Q&As to answer this, but conclusion was to ask directly.

And you may find reading a bit between the lines below is helpful.

I work internationally as a civilian (i.e. GCC, LatAm, Europe). And 5 years from now, I’d like to be competitive for a return to USG-status, but as forward-operating, field-based civilian work as I can qualify for. The intellectual, experiential, and other assets are covered; rather, I lack a mentor for the physical part. I’ll be 40 years old by then, so my physicality has to be an equitable asset.
I’m not aware of a set of sport specific standards for this side of OCONUS USG work (are you all?). Unlike FBI/LE or Military, it feels way more defense-based, oscillating between fly-under-the-radar and ah-fuck-body-don’t-fail-me-now. I’ve read through a lot of FBI/LE or Military programs ready to dive in, but can’t shake the feeling they’re training for another world entirely. I haven’t found anyone really writes programming for civilians operating overseas, nor ID’d the sport-specific goals essential to optimal performance in that field. Fitting in overseas is also a factor, so at 5’10”, I cannot worsen things by being, as you say: “built like a fire hydrant.”  For context, I’m a female so not really feasible to be a hydrant, but the tatas underscore a more unique reality that physicality for me in this work is both performance and aesthetics.
I’m fit but not an athlete. I train 6x a week, mainly solo, garage or hotel gyms + 1-2x a week combatives training, mostly jiu jitsu and krav. Jits put me in knee surgery a year ago, so strength and endurance losses have humbled me to the point of wanting my training to be from a ground zero perspective. I’m running your Fat Loss program right now to get to a lightest fighting weight – onto which the performance work can be layered. So, if I may, ideally you could consider this question assuming I’m a poor performer across the board? (e.g. sprint endurance, relative strength, etc). I’d like to build my house from the foundation up.
Any mentorship or guidance hugely welcome!  Or even just a few successive training programs as a foundation-building progression? I realize 5 years is a ways out, but the long game matters.
Appreciate your time. Willing to crash your gym should you ever have the inclination to experiment 1:1 (unabashed self-invite). Have a great week.
Thanks for all you do for our communities,

ANSWER

After the Fat Loss plan I’d recommend you drop into the plans/order in the Spirit’s Packet for LE – beginning with Whiskey. These plans concurrently train strength, upper body hypertrophy, chassis integrity, and work capacity with a sprint repeat emphasis. My sense is these are the fitness attributes you’ll use now.
– Rob

QUESTION

In week 4 of smokejumper training in Missoula, I definitely feel the selection program helped me prepare for the physical portion of the course.
But now the intensity has definitely dropped and looking for a more in season fire maintenance, what would you recommend ??

ANSWER

Wildland firefighters have same fitness demands as military SOF and infantry under our programming approach. I’d recommend the plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet, beginning with Hector.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently working through the USAF Past workout and had a question. Don’t know if it has changed recently but the new requirements are pull ups, push ups, sit ups, 3 mile run, 2x 25m underwater, 1500m swim. The Past workout plan bases the workouts from a 1.5 mile run and 500m swim. What is the best way to tailor/change the workouts?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

A question regarding the Chassis Integrity program. How often (i.e.g, how many times a year) would you recommend running the full 6-week Chassis Integrity block? Interested in just maintaining the benefits from doing the program throughout the year. Would once every 6 months or so be sufficient?

ANSWER

I’d spread it out and do 2 sessions, 2x/week, all the time. This is the minimum we do.
– Rob

QUESTION

Im looking to improve my overall military fitness and be more functional and well rounded. Is there any plans for that? Im not looking for specific cft or pft based plan.  Im currently with the marines and im not as fit as I would like to be. Im still running first class pft and cfts but would like to get better in both but trying to be more functional instead of just lifting heavy.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Greek Hero Packet – these are designed as day-to-day programming for full time Military Infantry and SOF. Start with Hector.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve looked through most of your plans and can’t seem to find one that fits quite what I’m looking for. I primarily run trail races ranging in distance from 5k to 50k. I’ve done both the big mountain training plan and the ultra preseason training plan. I’m looking for something in the middle of the two plans. I was thinking Helen and extending the run segments or a plan from the virtue series and also extending the runs. Or maybe there’s a strength plan I could do concurrently with the ultra preaseason plan. Thanks for your input.

ANSWER

Nothing perfect for you – you’re essentially asking for an In-Season trail run racing plan – but from what I do have I’d recommend the Alpine Running Training Plan. This plan covers the distance and strength work.
You’ll want to complete the prescribed vertical gain and running work unloaded – not loaded as completed in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently working through the Low Back Training Program. I hurt my back in Afghanistan in 2010 and since then it has been a roller coaster of exercise and injury, exercise and injury. I am on week 5 of this program and that is the longest streak I have been able to accomplish in years without injuring myself. Once I finish this program I’d like to continue the success. Every other time I have attempted to get in shape I’ve injured my back. What plan would you recommend I do next? I am an ICU Registered Nurse on the civilian side.Not a tactical athlete right now but I want to get back to that level.

ANSWER

Next I’d recommend the plans/order in the Spirit’s Packet for LE, starting with Whiskey. Be smart and cautious.
– Rob

QUESTION

I use your USMC PFT and CFT programs to great effect before each event. However, I am really struggling most of the year to have a focus for my training program. Seeing as I am expected to perform on both those events once a year, I would like to use a routine that keeps me at a solid baseline year round before beginning those specific programs. I love your programs, but I am no where close to being able to do full operator sessions. Do you have any suggestions on which programs to use in between training for the CFT/PFT? I welcome any suggestions/advice.

ANSWER

The plans in our Greek Hero series are designed as day-to-day programming for Military Infantry and SOF. These are what I recommend.
– Rob
Next I’d recommend the plans/order in the Spirit’s Packet for LE, starting with Whiskey. Be smart and cautious.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just to give you a bit of a history. I’ve spent the last 13 years as an armoured reconnaissance soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces. I’ve been in decent shape for most of those 13 years especially when instructing on leadership courses which put the candidates through a lot of PT, and therefore the instructors as well.

I’m used to long slow distance work in terms of running and cycling.I recently transferred to the air force to be a pilot and have spent the last year in a classroom at university working towards getting my bachelor’s degree

I had once contemplated going the JTF2 route but was not mature enough at the time. Now in my early 30’s, I have the maturity and the time to work towards possibly putting my name in for selection in a couple of years.

What would you recommend as a good base building plan towards a future possible selection in 2 to 3 years? Being paid to go to school I have a LOT of time and access to a decent gym and pool.

I don’t currently have a coherent training plan. I vest (30#) run 2-3 times a week (6.5km in 45 minutes), swim twice a week (800m), and do a basic 5×5 barbell workout 3 times a week (bench 150#, push press 75#, squat 185#, row 125#, deadlift 200#). I weigh around 165# but haven’t measured my % body fat.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Virtue Packet of training plans.
– Rob

Mini Study: 8 Second Dead Hang Work Intervals “May” Outperform 4 Second Dead Hang Work Intervals for Increasing Finger Strength

The 8:24 group fights for 8 seconds on the small campus board ledge.

By Rob Shaul

 

BLUF


We conducted a 4-Week Mini study comparing the effectiveness of two hang board dead hang duration intervals (4 seconds vs. 8 seconds) to increase finger strength assessed by a dead hang for time. Results “seem” to indicate the 8-second intervals were more effective, but they are suspect because the 4-second results varied widely.

 

Background


During the Spring 2018 Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Cycle we deployed 20:40 hang board intervals (20 seconds work, 40 seconds rest) but did not see the level of strength improvement post-cycle I’d hoped for.

Post-cycle I did some research and was unable to find material which searched for the best hang board training work. Other coaches deploy work intervals ranging from 3 to 15 seconds, with varying rest intervals.

I did find a study analyzing movement patterns and work at elite bouldering competitions. The researchers found that the average time per handhold over the course of the competition was 8 seconds and it appears this durations is what many hang board interval protocols are based on.

The goal of this study was to begin the work to identify the optimal dead hang work interval and work to rest interval for increasing rock-climb specific finger strength.

 

Study Design/Deployment

This study compared to dead hang work intervals, each with a 1:3 work to rest ratio:

(1) 4:12 (4 second dead hang, 12 second rest)
(2) 8:24 (8 second dead hang, 24 second rest)

Prior to the cycle, each athlete completed a dead hang for time assessment on MTI’s hardest campus board – an edge with of approximately 1 inch. Post cycle, each athlete reassessed his/her dead hang time.

The athletes were randomly split into two groups 4/12 and 8/24, and after a 5-7 minute warm up, completed the below protocol two times each week:

3 Sets ….

8 Rounds
4 seconds hang, 12 seconds rest …. or ….  8 seconds hang, 24 seconds rest

Rest 2 minutes between 8 Round efforts.

The dead hangs are being completed, as much as possible, on the same ledge as the assessment. When athletes failed an interval, they are moved to a wider ledge.

Likewise, if athletes are able to make it through all their prescribed dead hang sets on the assessment ledge unloaded, weight was added in for the form of a backpack an initial 20-pound jump, and then 10 pound jumps for follow-on progressions.

The study hoped to answer one specific question:

Which dead hang work interval performs better – 4 second or 8 second – to improve rock-climb specific finger strength measured by a dead hang for time on a 1-inch ledge.

 

Results/Discussion

Results are below:


What we did learn is that the 8-second work to rest interval improves dead hang performance an average of 28%. This is significant.

Next Steps


Clearly, the results here were limited by the small sample size for both groups. As well, the inconsistent 4/12 group results are difficult to explain.

Moving forward, however, we did find that the 8-second work intervals improved dead hang for time performance. Next would be to test the work to rest interval. For this study, we deployed a 1:3 work to rest interval for each effort – 8 seconds work, 24 seconds rest.

An obvious next step test would be to test 1:2 and 1:4 work to rest intervals against these 1:3 results using an 8-second work interval, – so test the effectiveness of 8:16, and 8:32 versus these results for 8:24.

 

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