All posts by SSD

Arete 4.13.17

MILITARY
Seven Disturbing Implications of Trump’s Syria Strike, Defense One
How will we train for a hybrid war?, From the Green Notebook
Forget the Subs: What Taipei can learn from Tehran about Asymmetric Defense, War on the Rocks
What is Modern Military Leadership? A Primer, Grounded Curiosity
Israeli, U.S. officials unveil David’s Sling air defense system, Homeland Security Newswire
A Vietnam War Reading List, War on the Rocks
SWJ/Military Writers Guild Writing Contest Results, Small Wars Journal

HOMELAND SECURITY/TERRORISM
Predicting terrorist behaviors with more than 90 percent accuracy, Homeland Security Newswire
In Search of the Islamic State in Georgia, Stratfor
Somali Pirates Are Back in Business, Foreign Policy
Low-Tech Terrorism: The Threat of Vehicles and Vehicle-Assisted Attacks, Police Chief
The Danger of Overreacting to Terrorism—and How to Resist It, World Politics Review

FIRST RESPONDER
Military-Grade Spy Gear Is Flooding into Local Police Departments, Defense One
First Responders Rescue Hiker Pinned Under 1,500lb Boulder, Gear Junkie
Bill would ban ICE agents from labeling themselves as police, Police One
The Undefined Problem in the Fire Service: Dispatched to a Suicide, Fire Rescue Magazine
Hot Zone, Warm Zone: How to Combine the Protective Services, Fire Rescue Magazine
13 things that make fire department leaders great, Fire Chief

FITNESS/NUTRITION
To eat or not to eat (before exercising): That is the question, Science Daily
Study: Inactive Kids Make for Injury-Prone Adults, Mens Journal
What We Think Is “Healthy” Sure Has Changed A Lot, Mens Journal
OBESITY IN THE PALEOLITHIC: THE ODD CASE OF THE VENUS FIGURINES,  The Paleo Diet.com
Does 1-Minute Interval Training Work? We Ask The Guy Who Tested It, NPR

MOUNTAIN
The Right Way to Store Winter Gear for Summer, Adventure Journal
Montana Lawmaker to Out-of-Town Bikers: You’re an Invasive Species, Outside Online
TNF To Give Half-Million in Outdoor Grants, Gear Junkie
How to Build a Green-Wood Grill for Camp Cooking, Outdoor Life
Q&A with Charles Post – Ecologist, Storyteller, and Photographer, Mountain Hardwear
VIDEO: The Grueling Beauty of the ‘Toughest Mountain Race’, Gear Junkie

GEAR
The 40 Most Significant Tools and Toys Ever Designed, Outside Online
Top 10 Self-Defense Handgun Loads, Outdoor Life
Fabulous Feet: Master Bootfitter Talks How to Approach Boot Fitting, Backcountry Magazine
3rd Group’s USASOC Sniper Comp Winners Rely On Wilcox RAPTAR-S, Soldier Systems
South African Rooftop Brand Introduces Hard Top ‘Stealth’, Gear Junkie

My Evolution from CrossFit to Military Athlete to MTI

By Charles Bausman

I will never forget my first CrossFit  workout.

It was 2008 and I was getting ready to attend USMC Officer Candidate School (OCS). I was a ex-linebacker who was still training like one in the weight room. At 5”11 and 235 lbs, I was a complete meathead who could Bench Press over 400lbs and Back Squat in the mid 500’s. A mile was the longest distance run I had ever attempted.

At the behest of my Marine recruiter – a steely jawed Gunny, I went to the nearest CrossFit  box to give it a shot. The introduction workout was “Cindy,” a 20 minute AMRAP of 5 Pull-ups, 10 Push-ups, and 15 Air Squats.

Easy Day.

The first five minutes went by without issue. By minute seven, I knew I was in trouble. By minute fifteen, my respiratory rate was out of control and my peripheral vision had narrowed to slits. It took thirty minutes after finishing the workout before I could move again. I’m fairly certain I threw up.

Post “Fran” Death

I was hooked and started to train there every day. My weight went down to 220lbs, although I still had a heavy emphasis on strength and power training. I thought I was making good progress on military-related conditioning. My Fran time was in the 2:20’s, I got my CrossFit  coaching certification, and competed in the 2009 CrossFit  Regionals as an individual… OCS would be no problem.

OCS came that summer. I quickly found that my CrossFit  shape was not fitting the bill of the demands of the course. I was dying on long runs and rucks. The farthest I had run previously was three miles as required by the USMC PFT. I graduated, but got my ass kicked. I knew that my current state of fitness would not meet requirements at follow-on training upon college graduation, especially at the notoriously challenging Infantry Officer Course.

After returning from OCS graduation, I told my coach about the experience. He recommended something called “Military Athlete.” It was still new and mostly unknown, but the focus on military field performance fitness seemed to be exactly what I needed.

I started with Operator Ugly. The lifts, bodyweight movements, and work capacity shuttles were no problem. The loaded run proved to be more challenging… I crossed the finish line with only seconds to spare according to the Pass/Fail criteria.

Just like after finishing “Cindy”, I was sold. Except this time, I had a specific direction for developing my fitness according to the requirements of the military.

Military Athlete was the first programming I did which emphasized things like periodization and progression. Most CrossFit  gyms I’ve visited don’t do that (outside of athletes training for the CrossFit  Games)… athletes with irregular attendance make it hard to implement a training program in a microcycle, let alone a mesocycle. The sport-specific structure of the Military Athlete programming just made more sense for me.

The individual training sessions demanded that I get out on the track, road, or trail and get some miles under my feet in running and rucking. It met my desire to lift heavy things (still emphasized in the programming) along with work capacity sessions which had greater variety in duration and form.

My weight has steadily gone down to a leaner and faster 200-205 lbs. I felt like a more well-rounded athlete when it came to follow on military training and during my time in a Infantry Battalion. I could ruck with the best of them, consistently ran a three mile run below twenty minutes, while still maintaining a strong base in strength and work capacity. As an individual with no military experience thrust into an immediate position of leadership, this fitness gave me some credibility in front of Marines recently returned from Afghanistan.

Fast forward to my own return from a Afghan deployment. The platoon had used Military Athlete to good effect and I wanted to learn more. I managed to get permission to attend the Military Athlete Advanced Programming Course and flew up to Jackson.

Attending Military Athlete Advanced Programming Course

It was the first fitness certification course that focused on developing programming cycles, instead of teaching technique on the Squat, Clean, and Press (this was expected knowledge prior to attending). Rob and his staff emphasized the importance of event analysis like a Mt. Denali climb or attending a military school, in order to best develop a program to prepare the athlete. They emphasized that you can do this anywhere… a large segment of the course was dedicated to finding training solutions in austere environments.

Fast forward again to returning from another deployment, and my time on active duty was coming to an end. I threw a Hail Mary in the form of a resume to Rob at the now titled Mountain Tactical Institute (or was it SSD?… too many to keep track of). Rob brought me on as a intern shortly after my EAS, and I started to grind.

The position started as a general business and operations job, then morphed into a coach and researcher role. Rob brought me on as full-time part of the staff, and the job has continued to evolve and be refined. I have been exceptionally fortunate to work here alongside the highest levels of mountain athletes and military personnel, and see the positive effects of our strength and conditioning programming. It’s been a hell of a learning curve from that first CrossFit  workout, but I’ve found that the MTI principles of training have been the best fit.

The Bottom Line

CrossFit  is great as a way for individuals to push their fitness, be healthy, and be apart of a warm and welcoming community. Many of my best friends are those I met at that first CrossFit  gym. It introduced me to a different way of training and I will always appreciate that. In terms of programming, the CrossFit  website states “our speciality is not specializing.”

At Mountain Tactical Institute, we are in the business of specializing. Our training must meet the demands of our military, mountain, law enforcement, and fire/rescue athletes. That’s the difference that has allowed MTI to have an impact for those in professions where fitness equals survivability.

 

Q&A 4.13.17

QUESTION

I’ve recently completed the Mtn Bike Pre-season training program (for the
second time, first time was a year ago) and saw improvement in the gym with
my 1RMs, and again excellent improvement on the trails. I also did the
Monster Strength last fall, with great results.  I’m at a peak now but I’d
like to consider that peak as base fitness and strength, and I have four
months until I want to peak again for the Unicycle Nationals in Seattle in
mid-July.

I’d be open to your suggestions for another program, or two, between now and
then. My favorite gym activities are front squats, power cleans, box jumps,
and leg blasters.  I think these translate most directly to the leg and core
strength I need to handle technical downhill and cross country riding.

Your thoughts?

Thanks.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Resilience: http://mtntactical.com/shop/resilience/

This is an awesome plan with a solid total body strength and chassis
integrity emphasis. I just updated the plan this month.

It also includes hard 200m, 400m and 800m running repeats. Killer.

– R


QUESTION

I promise I’ll try not to let this be the standard “which program should I use” question.  You offer a ton that intrigues me, which I love, but also makes choosing difficult.  It’s the same reason I have trouble ordering food at good restaurants.
I came (almost nine years ago) from being extremely overweight and sedentary to loving to train and being extremely active.  I REALLY enjoy strength work, and that has been my main focus, but after doing some OCRs and a lot of GORUCK, I do more endurance and conditioning than I ever have before.
My difficulty comes because of this: I’m currently in what I would consider to be my best shape and fitness level ever, and I’m still seeing benefits from what I’m doing, but I’m getting bored.  I want to avoid losing interest, but I don’t want to stop seeing the improvement I am right now.
I’m currently using Wendler’s 5/3/1 with the “boring but big” assistance template and adding mobility work, rucking, and running.  In the past, I’ve also seen a lot of progress with DeFranco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards.  I’d really like to do something that just moves outside my box without sacrificing too much power in my big lifts, if that’s even possible.  I’m working with equipment and facility limitations, since I train at the YMCA before working an office job, but I’ve looked a lot at both the Greek Hero programs and the Virtue programs, both of which have been recommended by friends of mine.
Any guidance you might offer is appreciated, and I’m sorry to be yet another person to ask for free advice.
Thanks

ANSWER

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

QUESTION

I injured my should while doing the Resilience program. I have been instructed to lay off it for up to month in order to rehab it. What plan do you suggest I do? I’m trying to train up for selection so it is killing me to take time off from training up. Thanks for the advice.

ANSWER

Training Program for Athletes Suffering Arm Injury: http://mtntactical.com/shop/training-program-for-athlete-suffering-arm-injury/
Not a rehab plan for your shoulder, but trains the rest of your body around the injury.
– R

QUESTION

First off, thanks for all of the great programs you put out there.  I read in one of your articles that the Front Squat and Bench Press is a good way to see how the athlete is balanced.  I just maxed my FS at 335.  My bench is around only around 255.  I’m 5’8, 185lbs.  Any tips or programs to bring my bench up to my Front Squat standards?  Thanks

ANSWER

I don’t have a bench press only training plan, but from what I do have, I’d recommend you start with Super Squat Strength: http://mtntactical.com/shop/super-squat-strength/
Bench press is included in this progression and we’ve had great luck with it to increase 1RM’s.
If you have a subscription, you could also just bench 2x/week, and follow the progression in this plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Sir,
I am scheduled to hit IUW in the Q course around November this year. I am backward planning program cycles starting May 1st.  I have been researching your Greek Hero packet and I am  wondering where I should start in the series as I see I only have time to complete 4 programs based off the 7 week cycles. I would like to get my 36 min 5 mile down to 34 and my 12 mile ruck at 2:30 down from 2:58. I failed my first 12 miler in the heat this summer so not happy about that. What would you suggest? Start from the beginning with Hector or bump up to Achilles?
Greatly looking forward to your input!

ANSWER

You’ll want to do the Q-Course Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/special-forces-qualification-course-training-plan/)  starting the 6 weeks directly before reporting. It includes focused work for the 5 mile run and 12 mile ruck.
Working back from the start of the Q-Course plan I like Perseus, Ulysses and Achilles.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m in the military and I am currently in a classroom instructing role. I have to attend compulsory staff PT Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday is a always a full body circuit of some sort and Thursday is either a run or a battle pt session.

My question is which of your plans could be best adapted to this schedule. I can do whatever i please Mon, Wed, Fri. I really just want to increase my all round military fitness levels.

Any suggestion appreciated.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Apollo from our Greek Hero Series. You can sub in your Tues/Thurs Staff PT sessions for the Tues/Thurs Apollo sessions and complete Apollo as prescribed Mon, Wed, Fri.

– Rob

QUESTION

Thank you for everything you do for the military and public safety professionals.

I work in law enforcement and really like the LE athlete plans. I am also preparing for two elk hunts this year. On top of that I injured my knee several years ago (tibia plateau fracture). Due to that injury I try to stay away from distance runs.
I love the quadzilla complex for getting ready for my yearly elk hunts, but my knee does not like the jumping lunges. Jumping squats are no problem.
I love the stair mill. It seems to help with strengthening things around my knee. Additionally I still do some of the stability exercises I did in PT when recovering from my knee injury.

I am looking for a plan that has some upper body hypertrophy but will have me in decent shape for elk season. (I will be hunting from a base camp, not backpacking in 10 miles).
Also any recommendations on subbing the runs for the stair mill, airdyne bike, or other lower impact exercises would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for long email. I feel like I am floundering around the gym right now.

Thank you

ANSWER

I’d recommend Whiskey from our LE Spirit’s package, with a couple of modifications: http://mtntactical.com/shop/whiskey/
– Replace the Tuesday and Thursday sprinting with 10 rounds of 1 minute airdyne sprint, 1 minute rest.
– Replace the Friday Run with Stepups (preferred over a stair master) – for the conversion, 200x step ups = 1 mile. Wear a 25 pound pack.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hey coach:
1. Grunt PT looks awesome. Will those of us with the regular subscription have access too?
2. Love Gratitude. I always loved the stamina sessions (I’m sick I know) and I’m happy to see your updated version. I’m curious to see an example of pacing though: what does a “grind” pace in Gratitude look like, especially compared to a work capacity pace? Can you post some video examples of folks moving through Gratitude at a “grind” pace so we get a feel for it?
Thanks Coach. Keep up the great work.

ANSWER

1. No.
2. We’ll work on it.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am planning a backcountry elk hunt in Montana this September.  Was looking at your mountain training programs.  Probably something I could do, but I am not sure I have enough time to complete it (aren’t they seven months?).

Wondering if you guys develop customized individual programs.  I would be interested in learning about that if you do.

Regards,

ANSWER

You’ll want to complete the 8-week Backcountry Big Game Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-game-hunting-training-program/) the 8 weeks directly before your hunt.
By my count you have 5 months – or approximately 20 weeks until September.
Here’s what I recommend.
Weeks       Plan
1-7             Bodyweight Foundation:
http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
8-12           Resilience: http://mtntactical.com/shop/resilience/
13-20         Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan:
You can purchase these plans individually, or purchase the Backcountry Big Game Training Packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/backcountry-big-game-hunting-training-packet/) which includes these plans plus one other.
You’ll have access to the plans and updates as long as we’re in business. I just updated the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Plan yesterday, and both Humility and Resilience earlier this month.
– Rob

QUESTION

Coach,

I am active duty army and am looking to go to Ranger school. I’m not a combat MOS but I try to stay relatively fit. I saw your on ramp plan and was wondering if you would recommend that before the Ranger train up. My main concern is rucking. I’ve never been the strongest Rucker and need some work there. Thank you for your time and I’m looking forward to using your programs.

ANSWER

I recommend beginning with Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/
This plan combines barbell-based strength training with military endurance (running, rucking) – it’s a great place to begin to build your base fitness for Ranger School.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi,

I was just wondering if I purchase the monthly subscription for $29 what exactly would I have access to. It seems like I would get some sort of daily WOD but would I also have access to the specific programs such as the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan? Just curious what the benefit is to buy each plan individually if I would have access with the monthly subscription. Thank you for your help.
Best,

ANSWER

A monthly subscription gives you access to our three types of daily programming, Military, LE and Mountain Base, as well as all of our 195+ sport specific training plans including the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Sir/Ma’am,

I am looking to cross train in USAF EOD within the next year. Aiming to submit my package within the next 6 months. I know my way around barbells, but as for the cardio/cals involved in EOD, it’s pretty foreign to me. I was wondering if you had a suggestion as to which program(s) would be a good place to start? I would like to keep doing barbell work, if possible.

Thank you,

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our programming with the plans in the Virtue Series – Humility, Fortitude, Valor, Resilience and Gratitude. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (running/rucking), and Chassis Integrity and deploy my Fluid Periodization methodology. We are continually evolving/improving our programming and when we do we update our plans – I just updated the Virtue Plans this month, and built the 5th last plan in the series, Gratitude.
You can purchase the plans individually (start with Humility) or as a Packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/virtue-series-packet/)
As well, each comes with a Athlete’s Subscription to the website: http://mtntactical.com/shop/master-subscription-plan/
– Rob

QUESTION

Coach Rob-

I’ve been on your spirits packet now for about 12 weeks (Bourbon and Vodka), and I just tested into the police academy. The entrance test was the cooper’s test and my numbers were:

9:53 1.5 mile run, 52 push ups, 39 sit ups, 00:48 300m run, and 20” vertical leap.

I want to work on improving all of those to try and max the test when I re-test for the academy. From what I have heard, the PT at the academy is not large in volume, and I will lose fitness if I just do that PT. What progression do you suggest leading up to the academy, and/or during the academy?

ANSWER

We’re currently developing a Police Academy Training Plan, but don’t quite have it completed yet.
For those numbers specifically, I’d recommend our Coopers Test Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/cooper-physical-fitness-test-training-plan/
– Rob

QUESTION

First of all, i just wanted to say thanks.  I did your 8 Week Ruck Based SFAS prep program and just got selected.  Physically i was well prepared for the events, and afterwards am recovering much faster than some others.  A few days after the last event i actually felt completely fine.
Looking forward Ive got some time before Phase I, with a 12 week course beforehand.  I was planning on doing your 6 week SFQC program the second half of that course, but between now and then i was looking at the UBRR improvement program.  Do you have any other recommemdations?
Thanks again!

ANSWER

Congrats on selection!
I’d recommend either a subscription to the site and following the Operator Sessions, or the plans in the Greek Hero Series: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/packet-focus-military-athlete-greek-hero-packet/
This programming is much more balanced than the UBRR plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a current Officer Cadet in the Australian Army.

My question is about balancing class PT with the Operator sessions. Class PT at the college takes various forms but is generally 5-6 times a week, consisting mostly of battle PT with gear and rifle, interspersed with some unloaded strength/running training and a ruck every week or so, with the gaps filled by sports training. I found prior to field (which I’ve just finished), that I wasn’t recovering from doing both the Operator sessions and class PT, and I wasn’t managing to do either very well.

Do you have any advice as to how to scale the sessions, or build my personal work capacity so that I can handle doing both sets of training without overtraining? For context, I was a powerlifter before the army and have a decent strength base, and on our PFT, I score 78 push ups, 100 sit-ups (feet held albeit), 9.03 mins on the 1.5 mile, and 17 pull ups, so I wouldn’t call myself unfit, at least by our standards.

Cheers,

ANSWER

I’d recommend letting your Unit PT address your running/rucking and work capacity fitness and using one of MTI’s low volume, but heavy loading strength plans to build your relative strength. Specifically, I’d recommend you complete the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/mti-relative-strength-assessment-training-plan/
Just do the strength sessions in the plan, and do them 3x/week as 2-a-days, in the evenings. Follow the sessions in order – don’t skip ahead, but spread them out.
This will allow you to continue to hammer your unit pt, but also build strength for durability for your overall career.
You have access to this training plan with your subscription.
– Rob

QUESTION

I need your help to get back into the guy I used to be. Where to start I am a guide/outfitter and mountain lion hunting addict. Over the past 3 years I have slowed tremendously and I am only 33 years old. I went from 175 pounds to 208 i understand a lot of it has to do with diet. Which I have changed 180 degrees but I still feel sluggish. And have a hard time with it and going to the gym just isn’t doing anything for me for what I do. Can you recommend a program to get me into what a guide should be. my biggest fear is that I have a client out walk/hike me. This year I really noticed it during the lion season that I wasn’t grinding it out like I used to. Simply because I get so wore out. I work in the oil field as well driving around. We work 8 on 6 off which is a great schedule but I find my self being a dead ass most of my days off and my job is not even that hard. But I was hoping with a good work out program that I could do from home(preferably) and if you could recommend some sort of supliments from mountain ops or where ever to help bring up my energy level/ get in mountain shape/ lose weight. Cause I don’t want to have to buy all new hunting cloths cause i can’t squeeze into them lol. Please let me know if you can help.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
8 Weeks prior to your season, start the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-game-hunting-training-program/
The most important plan is the last one – the Back Country Big Game Training Plan. Work back from your season start, and time it so you start this plan the 8 weeks directly before. You may need to cut weeks from Humility to do so.
Each of these is a limited equipment plan. With a ruck, sandbag and pair of dumbbells, you can train anywhere. No excuses.
Please understand we consider hunting guides professional athletes. Your responsibility extends beyond being able to hike with your clients. Like mountain guides, you are also their first responder if something happens if the back country. Your fitness responsibility and demand extends beyond the guiding. You must be as professional about your fitness preparation as you are about the technical sides of your job (firearms, archery, mountain movement, terrain/animal knowledge, etc.”
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m 55 and went through a spinal fusion in 1999.  I have done 2 Sprint triathlons and a Spartan run in the last 3 years but I’m old and tired.  With that said, I’d love to get strong again, along with a higher level of conditioning without all the long distance cardio.  I’m not sure that I can handle your programs but thought I’d look over them and would be willing to listen to any suggestions you might have.  Just to add, I haven’t done any running or conditioning for awhile because of some foot problems; however, they seem to be getting better.  Thanks again,

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this plan is no joke and a great way to kickstart your fitness.
– Rob

QUESTION

I got notification that I’ll be deploying to Afghanistan in Mid May.
What program of yours would you recommend to prep for it?
I’ll be mostly riding a desk; looking to lose fat and add strength. I’m 5’11” about 215; been following your stuff for a couple of years now.
Thanks!

ANSWER

Stay safe.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering what volume your running improvement program builds up to?
Same question for your swimming improvement program?
Also do you have any prehab integrated into your programs or maybe have recommendations for integration with them into some of your programs (in the case of preventing overuse)?
Thank you very much for your time and assistance.

ANSWER

Answers:
1. I’m literally updating the Run Improvement Training plan this week – pls check back at the end of the week and I’ll have the new volume for you.
2. 6800m not counting warm ups and treading
3. Most of my programming includes warm ups, but we don’t subscribe to the the “pre-hab/re-hab” script/methodology promoted by AP. Sport-specific fitness takes priority in MTI programming. Here is our Durability equation: Durability = 95% Sport-Specific Fitness (including relative strength) + 5% Mobility and stabilizer strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just finished the ultimate work capacity II program. all went well. i was looking for the next step. what would you suggest. i was looking at some of the virtue series programs or the on ramp military programs. any input would be great. thanks

ANSWER

I’d recommend a plan with a solid strength component,  Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/
– Rob

Arete 4.6.17

MILITARY
Captain and Coach, Grounded Curiosity
Everybody Loves Beards, So Let’s Approve Them Already, Army Times
Campaign Highlights “Badass” Female Vets, Army Times
Exosuits and Gender Integration in the Military, Center for A New American Security
Balancing Force Modernization With the Most Likely Wars We’ll Fight, Modern War Institute
The Longest (Small) War, Small Wars Journal
27 Questions to Identify Culture and Define Vision, the Military Leader
Stratcom Chief Presses for Nuke Force Upgrade, DOD Buzz
Yes, It’s Your Fault, JO Rules
Russian Subs Match Cold War Patrol Intensity, Military Times
Japan, Germany Strengthen Defensive Capabilities, The Cipher Brief
How Will We Train to Fight and Win in a Complex World?, From the Green Notebook
What Is Upward Leadership and Why You Need to Be Effective Doing It, General Leadership

HOMELAND SECURITY/TERRORISM
Why You Can’t Shoot Terrorists with Lasers, Yet, Defense One
Border Patrol Agent Makes Case to Hire 5,000 New Agents, Vice news
Attacks on Russia Will Only Increase, The Strategist

FIRST RESPONDER
Connecticut Dept. May Be First Police to Weaponize Drones, Vice News
Killing of FDNY EMT Highlights Issues for Unsung Profession, Gotham Gazzette
You Swore an Oath. Now Do the Job, Fit for Fire
LE De-escalation Strategies, policechief.com
Not How I Was Trained, Cop in the Hood
What Needs to be Done, Improving Police
Court Rules on Duty to Protect Property in Naturally-Caused Wildfires, Wildlandfirefighter.com
30 Years of Women in the San Francisco Fire Service, Firechief.com

MOUNTAIN
Dirtbag Don’t Have to Mean Dirty, Adventure Journal
Video: Groundfall, Gripped.com
How to Win the Final Stop of the Freeride World Tour, Freeskier Mag
Video: Outliers, Salomon TV
Why Outdoorsy People Love Burritos, Outdoor Research
Beast Life, Redbull TV

FITNESS/NUTRITION
Hacking Your Diet with Herbs & Spices, Men’s Journal
10,000 Steps/Day May Not Be Enough, Men’s Journal
Sprint More, Get Faster on Long Runs, Men’s Journal
Writs-Worn Heart Rate Monitors Less Accurate Than Standard Chest-Wrap, Science Daily
Why Gratitude is an Essential Training Mindset, Breaking Muscle
How I learned to Rest, Outside Magazine
What Ultra Runners Think About When They Run, Outside Magazine
How to Exercise with An Autoimmune Condition, Mark’s Daily Apple
5 Obscure Nutrition: Why We Need Them and How Grok Got Them, Mark’s Daily Apple
Milk vs. Milk-Like Products, Mysportscience.com
Training the Gut for Athletes, Mysportscience.com
How to Eat like a Nutritionist, outside.com
The Myth of Interval Training and EPOC, Breaking Muscle
The Hardest 400 Meters of your life, gearjunkie.com

GEAR
Army’s New Helmet is 24% Lighter, Army Times
What Happened When an EOD Tech Let his Fiance Try on his Bomb Suit, The Sitrep
Editor’s Choice Summit Pack, Climbing Magazine
Bearcat X3 – Firecat, Lencorp
9 Pieces of Gear Any Backpacker Needs, outside.com
12 Best Tents of 2017, Backpacker Mag
Outdoor Products this Week, gearjunkie.com
New Carabiner Design, gearjunkie
Best Sun Hats, Outdoorgearlab.com
Glock Launches Professional Operator Course, Tactical Life
Best Tactical Pants with Knee Pads, Tactical Way
THenar Tactical Tool, Soldier Systems

Firefighter, MEDEVAC Pilot, Begin MTI Fellowships

By Rob Shaul

Kelsea Schultz

Kelsea Schultz
Kelsea Schultz is an Army MEDEVAC pilot currently serving on active duty. Kelsea graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors degree in Athletic Training with an emphasis on Physical Therapy. She also holds Associates degrees in Athletic Training and Physical Education from Northern Oklahoma College.

She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has attended the Military Athlete Advanced Programming Course.

Kelsea’s Fellowship Project is to develop an assessment, and preventative training plan to address the high rate of neck and back injury among helicopter pilots.

Brice Long

Brice Long
Brice Long is a career firefighter in northern Virginia and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

He is currently assigned to the training division where he works at the academy and is responsible for managing strength and conditioning programs for the recruits and firefighters in the field. Brice graduated from Roanoke College in 2009.

Brice’s Fellowship Project is to conduct a study evaluating the effectiveness of 3 different Firefighter SCBA emergency breathing techniques – a topic we first investigated last year.

Click HERE for more about MTI’s Fellowship Program.

A Day on Rob’s Diet

Blackberries! I eat a lot more berries on this diet.

By Rob Shaul

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about how I had tried the Whole 30 diet, liked it, and am still doing it (mostly).

I recently received a question asking for my menu on a typical day – and below is what I ate last Thursday:

0330 Wake Up and Coffee
I do use a little milk in my coffee – in violation of Whole 30.

0430 Mini-Breakfast
Cup of Coffee #2, and 1/2 Apple and Almond Butter

I generally don’t eat anything before training, but last Thursday we were doing a gym-based endurance session and I found for these, I do better with something in my stomach.

0515 – Leave for Work

0545-0645 – Train

0830 Breakfast

  • Left over Chicken Breast and Spaghetti Squash from Dinner
  • Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sparkling Water.

1030 Snack

  • Cup of Coffe #3
  • Avocado with salt and pepper – I peel the top half, add salt and pepper, each around 1/2 of the seed, then grab the seed with my teeth, twist and pull it free. Add salt and pepper and eat the 2nd half with a spoon!
  • Handful of Cherry Tomatoes

1230 Lunch

  • Sardines with Mustard Sauce (gross, I know, but I like ’em)
  • 5-6 Mini Sweet Peppers (I buy the small bags)
  • Small container of black berries with almond butter. Entire container (I love black berries!) I’ve found on Whole 30 my berry intake has increased significantly.

1500 Snack

  • Cup of Coffee #4
  • Avocado with Salt and Pepper

1800 Dinner

  • Crock Pot Pork Shoulder with Paleo bbq sauce (found some at the store)
  • Sweet Potato Fries (from a package) Baked Asparagus and olive oil
  • Water
  • Dessert – Bowl of frozen blue berries and frozen cherries with handful of raw sunflower seeds. I can eat this nightly. I find the raw sunflower seeds in the bulk foods section of the local grocery store, and microwave the berries for 60 seconds first. I use the spoon to mix up the berries and seeds and chow down – for me this combo has just the right amount of sweet and crunch. Even better is roasted, but unsalted sunflower seeds. My store used to sell these but doesn’t anymore …

Common Questions:

Are you going to change MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines?
No – for most, switching immediately from the typical American diet to Whole 30 right away would not be sustainable. Our nutritional guidelines, I’ve found over the years, are sustainable, and for me, at least, were a great “bridge” to the more stringent Whole 30 diet.

What naturally happens following our guidelines is the “cheat” day becomes less and less of a cheat. Simply put, after eating “clean” all week, pigging out on carbs and sugar one day/week makes you sick to your stomach. And so your cheat days become less and less.

Our nutritional guidelines are a great, sustainable diet and if you want to get more strict – a good “bridge” to do so.

What are the main differences between how you ate before and now?

  • No cheat day, no artificial sweeteners, reading labels for sugar, and no cheese. The artificial sweeteners for me took the form of an energy drink or two in the afternoon when I “crashed.”
  • Under Whole 30, artificial sweeteners are not allowed, so my afternoon caffeine hit became coffee.
  • Hard cheese hand also been a big part of my breakfast and lunch meal.
  • In general, I eat a lot more vegetables and berries under Whole 30.

What about supplements – i.e. protein shakes?
Artificial sweeteners and diary are not allowed, which eliminates whey. And neither are legumes, which eliminates soy. A year ago, occasionally, I’d drink a whey protein shake after training, but naturally stopped doing so and now, my general thoughts on all types of supplements, including whey protein shakes, is negative. Just eat real food.

What is different in the way you feel?

  • I give food less attention, which is liberating for me. This diet is like having one color shirt to wear everyday – makes life simple. This will drive others crazy … because you end up eating the same thing most the time (esp. for breakfast and lunch) but doesn’t bother me – as I’ve never been a foodie. This does drive my girlfriend crazy.
  • The good thing about my current diet and our nutritional guidelines is there is no caloric restriction – you can eat until you’re full – this take a lot of the stress out of it as you don’t need to count calories.
  • I was pretty lean before Whole 30, but it seems I’ve leaned up a little, however, I have not lost any weight.
  • Mentally, I do feel more sharp. I’m not sure why – but I did eliminate a lot of dairy from my diet (cheese) and that could account for it.

Doesn’t this diet cost more?
No – esp. when I was paying $2 – $2.50 for 2x energy drinks every day. I can get a small container of blackberries, container of cherry tomatoes or small bag of sweet peppers for $2.50.

Questions/comments?
Email coach@mtntactical.com

Q&A 4.6.17

QUESTION

Today I started the Ranger School Prep package and it is the first time I have ever ran 5 miles.. I haven’t done much up to this point to get myself ready, but I know I will not be going for awhile as of right now. During the 5 mile run, I had to do about 1/2 mile and take a short break and continue until I completed the run. I didn’t do a whole lot of this the first half, but mostly the second half. Is this something that could be “normal” from someone who has never ran like this before? Any insight or direction would be badass. Thank you

ANSWER

Complete the Ranger School Plan now, as prescribed. The volume/distances are going to push you in many ways. Don’t let your mind make it harder than it is. 

Just. Keep. Grinding.

Use the plan know to test your commitment to Ranger School and ensure your ladder is up against the right wall.  This is an opportunity for you. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Sir,

I had a question about the ruck-running in the Fortitude V2 plan. I am currently following the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet and have already completed Humility and the Big 24. I wanted to know what you personally suggest for footwear when it comes to the ruck-runs. I’m training for IBOLC and Ranger School (will start in August and January, respectively). Thank you very much!

Very Respectfully,

ANSWER

I currently use Hoka One One running shoes – Super Cushy. I’ve also ruck run in trail running shoes and light hiking boots. 

However, for all Selection and school train ups – you should wear the boots you plan to wear at selection/school. The train up also serves as a test of your gear, and you’ll know if you need to change before the real thing. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Hi,

I am interested in purchasing a training program.  I learned about your website through friend that coaches CrossFit.  I did CrossFit for about a year and really really enjoyed it (wish I could continue it, but it just got to be a little too expensive otherwise I would have continued!).  So, I know how to properly perform a good amount of exercises.  But I’ve fallen off the fitness train a little recently, so I am looking to get back in shape.  I’m a skier in the winter and a mountain biker in the summer.

The biggest problem I have is equipment.  I have a couple kettlebells, some dumbbells, and a spin bike…in my living room.  I can figure out/make a plyo box and purchase a couple more cheap items if needed (like one of those doorway pull up bar thingys).  But, right now a gym membership is little expensive (the cheap ones in Aspen are over $100/month!! 🙂  I know there’s a lot you can do with just kettle/dumbbells and bodyweight. It looks like you have a few programs that would fit the bill.

Which if your programs would you recommend to get started?

Thanks!  I look forward to giving a few of your programs a go!

ANSWER

Start our stuff with Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

– Rob


QUESTION

Hello, 

I had been planning on spending some time in the mountains this summer before my work requirements dictated that I spend peak outdoors season in New York City where I currently live. Until I have a chance to properly plan my new trip dates for 2018 I’m simply looking to challenge myself and achieve a high level of fitness while I keep your Greek Heroine packet in the back of my mind for the period preceding my eventual backpacking trips. 

Here is my current plan that I was hoping to get some input on:

I’m a 5’11” and 185# former distance runner. I recently completed your hypertrophy for skinny guys plan and was immediately laid low by the flu for the past week. Now that I’m feeling a bit better I was thinking about using your bodyweight training plan as an on-ramp to the greek hero packet. 

Does the bodyweight foundation plan make sense as an on ramp to that packet? Again, I’m only really looking for a challenge to keep me occupied until I can reach a more sport specific training cycle once I know my 2018 trip dates.

Thank you, 

ANSWER

Use the Military On-Ramp Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/on-ramp-training-plan/)  to ramp up for the Greek Hero Packet. 

– Rob


QUESTION

I am a high school student in California, and have been pursuing mountain activities for years.  However thinking about my future and I was wondering about the military prep courses.  Which one is most suited to SFAS course prep?

Thanks,

ANSWER

Several have use the Ruck-Based Selection Training Program (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-plan-v5/) successfully for SFAS.

However, for you now, I’d recommend you start our stuff with Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

– Rob


QUESTION

Hi,

I purchased Mountain Athlete bodyweight training plan in May 2013 and recently saw on Mountain Tactical Institute website bodyweight foundation plan.

What is the difference in these plans and should I purchase the new plan or is using the old version good enough? 

Main difference is the duration of each plan 4 weeks vs 6 weeks.

Thanks in advance

ANSWER

The plans are significantly different. Our programming is always evolving and Bodyweight Foundation is deploys initial assessments and progressions based on your assessment results – so it scales to the incoming fitness of the athlete. 

Should you buy it? Only unless your completing the older plan multiple times/year. But if you’re only completing it once or twice a year, save your money for plane tickets – as Yvon Chouinard would advise.

– Rob


QUESTION

I just wanted to reach out to you and ask for advice on programming for a bulging disc back injury. I attended your programming course in Southern Pines and have had great success programming for our Police academy. Since the course I injured my back doing a hinge lift and was diagnosed with a bulged disc. I was told by a chiropractor that I do not ever need to do deadlifts or back squats again. I wanted to ask your advice in this matter and see if you had any motivating advice that could assist me in getting back to training.

thanks,

ANSWER

Low Back injuries are a mystery, with every PT, back MD, and Chiropractor with his/her own opinion. 

I don’t have a quick fix for you. 

We do have a Low Back Fitness Training Plan Here: http://mtntactical.com/?s=low+back+fitness+training+plan

– This plan is designed to bring back athletes like you from low back “episodes” … and several have used it successfully. It doesn’t prevent future injury, but does show the athlete that he/she can come back, and helps build confidence. 

I’m not sure where you are in your injury – this plan isn’t designed for folks who are still severely limited after their injury, but those past that who, who are active, but “vulnerable” – both physically and mentally to low back issues. 

The plan is progressive – it starts easier and increases difficulty as you work through it. But it could still be too much. Another Option is our Core Strength Bodyweight Only Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/core-strength-bodyweight-only/) – which is just core exercises, or our Bodyweight Foundation Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/) – which trains the full body with bodyweight strength, plus work capacity and distance running. 


QUESTION

Sir/ma’am, 

I was just wondering how the subscription works. 

After purchasing, say I wanted to try the sfod-d assessment program and then decided it started too easy, am I only given one workout/day and I just have to wait it out until I get to a difficult point or is it given all at once? 

Also, should I decide to test out different programs, is there a limit to how many I can experiment with? 

Thank you for your time! 

ANSWER

You get access to all our training plans as long as you have a subscription – we have like 200 of them – and you can navigate wherever you want. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Rob,

I’m a big fan of your work and how you try to update your philosophy over time.  Very few people do that.  I have also found out that very few people take time to respond to customer questions.  Thank you very much for both!  I have two questions:

#1.  In your “My Biggest Programming Mistakes” article, you said that you are a recent convert to foam rolling.  I have never done it before, and my local sports stores don’t have any equipment to look at before purchasing.  Could you tell me a few brands, products, types of items, etc. that have worked for you?

#2.  I am in the National Guard, and I scored 287/300 on my last APFT in November.  I recently decided to do my first triathlon this August.  I am not overly concerned about my biking ability, I don’t really swim at the present, and I only run about 30 miles a week.  With about seventeen weeks left, would it be more advantageous for me to do a combined plan (e.g. “MARSOC A&S”) or two separate plans at the same time (e.g. “Ultra Running” and “Swim Improvement”)?  I know I’m not going to win the race; my goal is to finish.

Thank you for your time,

ANSWER

1. Don’t overthink this. I buy 3-foot long hard foam rollers from Rogue Fitness, and cut them into 1-foot sections for my athletes. Why these are so expensive, I have no idea. Here’s a place to start – our Foam Roll Complex: http://mtntactical.com/exercises/foam-roll-complex-2/

2. You’re like the 6th guy the past month to ask me about a tri plan…. I don’t have one, and cobbling together stuff from our training for mountain and tactical athletes isn’t the best approach. There are a bazillion free tri plans on the net, for every distance, as well as many books and coaches. Best would be for you to take 6-8 weeks and train sport-specifically for your tri – this is what I’d recommend if we did have a tri plan…. perhaps we’re gonna have to build one.

– Rob


QUESTION

Question about cutting length of plans …

I wanted to train up for GoRuck Selection this year – 9-21-17 – I’ll start your programming the first full week of April (April 3).

By my count that’s 24 weeks of prep available …

Was going to do Humility, Fortitude, then your 10-week GoRuck Selection plan.

Humility is 7 weeks, Fortitude is 7, and GoRuck Selection is 10 weeks. That’s actually 24 total … but … I see you usually include a rest/deload week in between plans.

From reading all your past Q&A’s you seem to always recommend never cutting the final selection/sport-specific plan because it has the deload weeks built in …

So …

1. Should I cut one week from the end of both Humility and Fortitude and replace with a deload?

Or try to run them all back to back with no deload/planned off weeks?

2. When you have someone putting together strategic, month-after-month periodized training leading up to a specific event like this — how do you have them account for something that pops up out of nowhere? Like sickness or business travel, etc? 

Thanks!

ANSWER

I just updated Humility and Fortitude and Week 7 for both plans is an assessment/unload week – so you can run the plans into each other. 

Unexpected stuff?? Don’t skip ahead … start again where you left off. The most important plan is your final one – the Selection Plan. The last week is a taper … and you don’t want to skip the taper, if you need to cut, you’ll want to cut days from the middle of the plan to get the full taper. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Hey Rob, 

I purchased both the tacp and USAF past programs. My concern right now is passing my first past test to qualify for tacp. I was wondering how I could incorporate longer runs in the program to build a base for long runs. What days would you do them and how many times per week. Thanks for the help and great products! 

Regards,

ANSWER

I’m not sure you need to add anything to the PAST plan, Phil, but if you did I’d add your longer runs in as 2-a-days on Tuesday and Thursday, and another on Friday. 

Enter your 1.5 mile assessment time into our Running Calculator to get your “Easy per mile pace for Longer Runs.” http://mtntactical.com/exercises/running-calculator/

I’d recommend 4-7 mile runs on Tues and Thurs, at this pace, and another 7-10 mile easy run on Saturdays. 

Good luck!


QUESTION

Hi Rob

1. Just checking out your V2 of Fortitude. I wondered why you removed the hinge lift component and also decided to go with back squats. I read your research a lot and those two changes seem to be counter intuitive to your previous methodologies. I know you have excellent reasons for the changes (each iteration of the plans you update are always better), just wondering if you would share them for V2 of Fortitude. You’ve mentioned V1 is one of your favourite plans you have developed.

2. I have been using your gym-based, multi-modal endurance programming you posted. I have done each one a number of times now, and love them. Just wondering if you were gonna put them into a plan and create more. Not sure if they are still a work in progress. They are perfectly brutal! hah!

Hope you can help

ANSWER

1. Monday’s Craig Special does a pretty good job of covering front squats, and doing them again later in the week would be redundant – so I went with back squats. Monday’s Craig Specials also have a very similar motion to the hinge lift, so I replaced the hinge with walking lunges – which I also consider a posterior chain strength exercise. 

2. I just finished “Gratitude” – which is the 5th plan of the Virtue Series and incorporates the gym-based endurance stuff we’ve been working on for several months now. We should have it up on the site this week. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Rob,

        I have a Marine getting ready to attend A&S MARSOC on 2 April.  He

is in the waiting period & is curious what type of training he should do in

the downtime.  He finished the Marine Corps A&S Training plan & has been

working with our Marine Recon guys lately.  Do you have any suggestions on

what he can do to stay active/fresh?  Thanks.

ANSWER

Have him do Sessions #49 and #50 tomorrow and Friday. Take Saturday off, then starting Sunday, have him repeat Week 8’s sessions so he ends on Wednesday. That should give him 3 days rest before he reports. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Hello,

I’m just hoping that you can help me out with an answer to a quick inquiry.

I am up here in the great white north and I am moving into the final 10 weeks before my next training course. I have been quite consistent with my physical training up until this point but I am looking to really push myself into high gear before the summer hits. 

I will be going on Dp1.1 also known as my dismounted infantry platoon commanders course, I am not exactly sure if there is a direct equivalency in the states but I would assume that there must be something incredibly similar.  The course is 12 weeks long and is considered the most physically demanding of all the courses leading to full qualification as an infantry officer.

I was wondering, which if any of the programs that you offer that you think might best suit my needs. Seeing that you have everything from special forces selection to mountain warfare and ranger school I feel that you must have something suitable for my needs. 

Thank you for your time,

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Ranger School Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ranger-school-training-plan/

Complete this plan the 8 weeks directly before your course. 

If you want to extend it to 10 weeks, do weeks 2 and 3, twice.

Good luck!

– Rob

 


QUESTION

Hey Rob,

Been a follower of your training and plans for several years now – I think I’ve worked through 11 of your programs?

Though that time my body has gained size, lost size, become more durable, increase in endurance and strength. So thank you for that!

I was curious if you had a recommendation on a plan that could give me some size (think thicker mid-section and body all around) but still, keep me in overall well-rounded shape. That way if given the planned or random spur of the moment opportunity to hit the mountains for a 1-2 overnighter trip, go spear fishing, snowboarding, etc. I still can without having to second guess my physical capabilities/stamina/durability/fitness levels.

Thanks in advanced for any recommendation you can offer!

ANSWER

You’ve done our stuff so you know I’m not an appearance coach. Given that, I’d recommend Achilles: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-achilles/

This is an awesome plan from our tactical side which trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, agility and endurance, concurrently. The strength work deploys our version of “Super Squat” progression for both the back squat and bench press, and we also throw in heavy power cleans. Work capacity stuff combines short, intense bodyweight efforts (think box jumps + burpees), sprint repeats and sandbag get ups. Endurance wise, long, easy runs which push to 10 miles. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Rob, 

I am a 46 year old that is in the process of changing careers.  Last June, I became a full time EMT for a 911 service in Central West Virginia and am now a FT Paramedic student as well.  

I weigh 280#… my weight has yo-yo’d the past 4 years.  I dropped from 325 down to 230 with just focusing on fitness and my diet.  I felt really good but wasn’t happy with my strength numbers.  We started doing CrossFit.  I gained back about 20# of muscle… then we moved from Ohio to here in West Virginia.  We tried a couple of the CF boxes here and they were not satisfactory but my weight stayed around 260.  

Now we are working out at the local YMCA that have a good weightlifting & functional fitness/ Olympic lifting area.  I do like rucking and using sandbags & kettlebells as well. 

We are looking at doing weekly day hiking trips in the mountains here in West Virginia.  Also, starting Memorial Day weekend… we are going to take long weekends and visit different parks and set up basecamps and then go hike all day long each day.  

With all that said… we would like to be able to do the above plus lose weight.  We know we need to get our diets back under control… but what other programs do you recommend for me for hiking/ backpacking, as an EMT/ Paramedic and better overall GPP?  

ANSWER

To start out I’d recommend our Fat Loss Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fat-loss-training-program/

Dropping 30-50# is the best thing you can do … everything will get better – including hiking/backpacking. 

Follow it up with Humility – a limited equipment training plan from our tactical side: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

Humility is a limited equipment plan with a slight emphasis on work capacity and endurance. It will help improve your overall fitness, and continue to help you shed weight. The endurance work will help greatly in the mountains.

Fix your diet. Here are our nutritional guidelines: http://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition

– Rob


QUESTION

Hi Rob: I am coming off Bodyweight Training Foundation (BTF) in a few weeks,

and am looking at your LE Spirits Training packet. Question: can I move into

the Training Packet (or any of the individual plans) upon completion of BTF,

or would you recommend something else first, ex. LE On-ramp?

I am civilian but think I would enjoy the challenge of your tactical athlete

plans. The increased focus on upper-body hypertrophy has me leaning toward

the Grey training over Green.

Please advise. By the way, I found MTI by way of your Art of Manliness

podcast; you did a great job representing yourself and your brand. Thanks,

ANSWER

You should be good. Those plans are awesome, hard, and actually fun.
Enjoy the TAC SEPA work.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am a Swedish marine that follow your Busy operater 1 plan. Now i have an ongoing inflamation in my right foot and cant run or ruck. What can i do for cardio endurence? Rowing?

Have a good day

ANSWER

Spinning on a stationairy bike would be better than rowing … but rowing
will work. So will swimming.

The Swimming Improvement Training Plan is swimming only:

http://mtntactical.com/shop/swim-improvement-plan/

It includes treading work, under water repeats, and long swims and

short, hard intervals based on an assessment.

The BUD/s V2 Training Plan

(http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-program/) includes swimming

in a 6 day/week plan which also trains PFT work, work capacity,

running and rucking. You swim 2-3x/week.

– Rob


QUESTION

Hello Coach,

I came up with a weird idea (in my scales; for you ppl it might be a nice

warm-up for bigger events taking place):

In mid October there´ll be a 62mile hike challenge in my area which you have

to finish within 24 hrs.

And I have this idea in participating; maybe because of the issues I had

with my knees for the last six months, which stopped me from doing any

sports at all,

besides the usual rehab cycling and light strength training programme. In

Other words: No sports……

I am frustrated with this situation, of course- counterproductive!!!- I put

on additional weight, which I am trying to lose now.

But I want to be back in the ring and this hike should be my cartharsis.

Now my question: Which kind of programme would you recommend for me, a

former fit, now overweight (1st grade) female of 42 yrs with Cartilage

issues in both knees,

who loved to trailrun and has now a pretty sedentary job in my FD (light

duties, the knees…..), who hungers to be back and wants to take on the

challenge in October.

Any Tips will be much appreciated!!

Thank you for your kind support and with best regards,

ANSWER

1) Start our stuff with Bodyweight Foundation

(http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/).

Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this plan is no joke.

It includes bodyweight squats, and lunges, sprinting and distance

running and is a great way to kickstart your fitness and start to

toughen up your mind and knees.

2) Fix your diet. Loosing weight will help everything – especially

your knees. Here are our recommendations:

http://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition

Email back on the other side of Bodyweight Foundation.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am 53 and I am having some issues with my Right knee. I need to put

together a program to strengthen and lengthen the soft tissue supporting and

surrounding the knee. An active life has led to a few meniscus tears, cysts,

spurs, the works, but none of it adds up to mandatory surgery. Even if I was

to have elective surgery to clean it up, I’d still love to have a program

for recovery.

What do you prescribe? Let me know.

Thanks,

ANSWER

I’m not sure if I can help, Geoff. My legs are strong, but both my

knees hurt – I’m 48. Given that, one plan you could try is the

Post-Rehab Leg Injury Training Plan:

http://mtntactical.com/shop/post-rehab-leg-injury-training-plan-ssd/

I built this for athletes coming back from ACL and other injuries who

are done with physical therapy, but still too weak to start full on

training.

– Rob

Squat Thrust Ladder Assessment

Squat Thrust Ladder Assessment: All athletes begin at Level 1 and progress as far as possible up the ladder.  Level 1 commences with 10 squat thrusts which must be completed in one minute.  The athlete works through the repetitions as quickly as they wish – with the remainder of the minute as a rest period.  If the athlete is able to complete the prescribed number of squat thrusts within the minute they will move immediately to the next level.

In this case the athlete would move to Level 2, which is 12 squat thrusts in one minute.  If this is completed, then the athlete moves to Level 3 and 14 squat thrusts, then  Level 4 and 16 squat thrusts, then Level 5 and 18 squat thrusts…and so on until they are unable to complete the prescribed repetitions in a minute.  The athlete is then scored on the cumulative number of squat thrusts preformed.

Arete 3.30.17

MILITARY
82nd Airborne Reinforces Mosul, Military Times
Getting Intelligence to Move at the Speed of Decisive Action, From the Green Notebook
Captain and Coach, Grounded Curiosity
Marine Corps asks Other Services for Training Ideas, DOD Buzz
Inside Mosul US Advisors Wear Black to Blend In with Elite Iraqi Units, Military Times
Picking Which Ball to Drop, The Military Leader
The Dark Side of Gender Segregation in the US Military, War on the Rocks
Trump Should Stand His Ground with NATO, The National Interest
War for the Soul of the Marine Corps: It’s Time to Chose, War on the Rocks
China is Building a Marine Corps, The Diplomat
US Military Getting Smaller and Older, Center for a New American Security
Russia Stirs the Hornets Nest, Statfor

HOMELAND SECURITY/TERRORISM
US & Russia Should Never Have Stopped Cooperating on Nuclear Terrorism, Defense One
Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #31, Small Wars Journal
Vehicle Attacks – Easy for ISIS, Challenge for Police, Police One
Addressing the Threat of the Zika Virus to the US Blood Supply, Homeland Security Newswire
Predicting the Zika Virus in the US, Homeland Security Newswire
The Lone Wolf Fallacy, Center for Security Policy
The Reach of ISIS Virtual Efforts Into the US, Lawfare

MOUNTAIN
How to Get Into Skimo Racing, Men’s Journal
Video: Climber Sends the Salathe Wall, Gripped
Explaining Climbing to Non-Climbers, Gripped
The Joys of Naked Coldwater Swimming, Adventure Journal
Here’s Why You Ride Your Bike for Oregon to Patagonia, Adventure Journal
Feb Temps Spike In Spite of Huge Snowfall, Powder Mag
Hunting New Zealand, Outdoor Life
15 Crazy Camping and Survival Hacks, Outdoor Life
Freeride World Tour Stop in Haines, AK, Freeskier
Nepal to Track Everest Climbers, Pythom
Questioning the Mountains, Arcteryx
The Unadulterated Joy of Running – Without Running Shoes, Outdoor Research
Running Yellowstone, Patagonia
Surviving a 100-foot fall, Alone, Backpacker
Map – America’s Best Long Trails, Backpacker
Climber Dave Lama: The Way, Redbull TV

FIRST RESPONDER
The FBI in Israel, fbi.gov
The Secret Life of a Game Warden, Outside
Keep the Saws Running, Firefighting Basics
FBI’s Most Wanted, fbi.gov
Ringling Entrapment and Burn Injury, Wildland Fire Lessons
Officer Safety in Responding to Domestic Violence Calls, Police Chief
Wildfire Season: Longer and Longer, Wildland Firefighter
A Police Officer’s View from the Street Level, Cop in the Hood
Idaho Smokejumpers, Wildland Firefigher
Should Cops be Physically Fit?, Improving Police
How Fire Chiefs Can Head Off “Stickergate” Problems, Fire Chief
Making Fireground Decisions in an “Instant Replay” World, Fire Chief

NUTRITION & FITNESS
Here’s  How to Make Sugar Work for You, Outside Magazine
Hips Don’t Lie: 4 Drills to Unlock Your Hips, Breaking Muscle
Exercise 2.5 hours per week, associated with slower declines in Parkinson’s desease patients, Science Daily
Why Balance Training Matters, and How to Get Started, Mens Journal
The Gifts of Mortality and Self Discovery, Breaking Muscle
Meditation for the Athlete – 8 Steps to get you started, Breaking Muscle
How to Buy (and Appreciate) Eggs, Mark’s Daily Apple

GEAR
My Favorite Backpack, Adventure Journal
Do you Really Need a $425 Rain Jacket?, Outside
The 6 Best Backcountry Watches, Outside
Best Optics, 2017, Bowhunter
Geajunkie Week in Review, Gearjunkie
Best Ice Coolers, Outdoor Gear Lab

 

Gi Grip Strength Assessment

Use your Gi Top hung through a ring or over a racked barbell so that the sleeves are hanging. Set a timer clock to beep every 10 seconds.

Hang from the top of the sleeves near the armpit. Every 10 seconds, do a row, and come back to hanging position. Hang on as long as you are able.

Most of the Lab Rats finished in 10-11 Rounds, or 1:40-1:50min total time.

If you are conducting the intervals, use your assessment time and the prescribed percentage to determine how long to hang for each round.

5 Rounds
30% Gi Grip Strength Assessment
Rest 45 Seconds between Rounds

If my assessment was 1:40, break it down in to seconds. 1:40 = 100 seconds.

100 seconds x .30 = 30 seconds

One round will be a 30 second hang from the gi, with a row every 10 seconds. Rest for 45 seconds, and repeat.