All posts by SSD

Arete 11.2.17

Military

Navy: More Analytical, Honest about Personnel Needs, Real Clear Defense

China Takes an Expansionist View of Geopolitics, Statafor

US Pledges $60 Billion for New African Counterterrorism Force, Small Wars Journal

The Battle of the Beret; A Never-Ending Campaign, Small Wars Journal

The Army Wants a Pint-Sized Tank with a Big Gun, Real Clear Defense

 

Homeland Security/First Responder

SWAT Team Kills Parent Holding Teacher Hostage at Cali School, Officer.com

Bleeding Out – Blue Lives Matter, LE Today

Video Shows Nashville Fire Recruit Fall from Training Tower, firefighterclosecalls.com

Experience Builds Bias, Wildfire Leadership

The Rescue Mindset, Backstep Firefighter

 

Gear

Best Wallet-Friendly Short-Travel Mountain Bikes of 2017,  Outdoor Gear Lab

Shinola Manhattan Knife, Outside Magazine

The Best Backcountry Skis of the Year, Powder

Marines Finish Testing New Tropical Uniform and Boots, Tactical-Life.com

Meet ‘RoMan,’ the Army Robot That Can Lift a Box or Pour Your Coffee, Defensetech

Here Are This Season’s 6 Best Skis, Men’s Journal

Army Soldiers Field Test New Body Armor, Tactical-Life.com

 

Mountain

Rock and Ice: A Woman’s Guide to Building Power, Training Beta

Riders POV at the Red Bull Rampage (Mountain Bike), The Adventure Blog

First Ski Descent of the Caroline Face, Planet Mountain

Tying In: Bowline vs Figure 8, Climbing Mag

 

 

Fitness/Nutrition

Do you need to refrain from coffee to get the maximal effect of caffeine? My Sport Science

Endurance Athletes: Welcome To Strong Season, Breaking Muscle

Are ‘Healthier’ Groceries Really Healthier? Science Daily

Skip These Supplements and Eat Real Foods Instead, Outside

The Next Big Performance Enhancing Drug: Bacteria From Elite Athletes’ Guts? Men’s Journal

Does Gluten Intolerance Exist? Robb Wolf

Heartburn Drugs Tied to Stomach Cancer Risk, NY Times

Jacuzzi over Ice Bath for Exhausted Muscles, NY Times

Are You Addicted to Coffee? WSJ

Spin Classes Causing Rhabdo, NY Times

Q&A 11.2.17

KUDOS ON THE RUNNING IMPROVEMENT PLAN

“I just wanted to give you guys so more kudos. I am a female Army Officer and I consistently score in the 280s on my PT test. I have never NOT maxed my push ups and setups, its always the run that gets me. Anyway I am REALLY busy and I needed a run program that wasn’t going to keep me tied down too long during the day. So I took a PT test 6 months ago and ran a 18:25 on the 2 miles. I signed up for your Running Improvement Program and was able to do about 50% of the workouts each week. The first two weeks I did all of the workouts but then my schedule got crazy and I only ended up doing the intervals and the 3-4 mile runs each week. I worked through the first 6 weeks and just took my PT test after doing the program and dropped my 2 mile time to 17:04. So even only doing 50% of the program each week I was still able to greatly improve my time. I have to admit though during my intervals I worked to be as far under the range time that I could. So if my recommended 800m time was 4:08 to 4:25 I was pushing harder in that a majority of my interval times ranged from 3:33 (fastest) to 3:50. Thanks for a great program! Maybe if I get time to follow it as prescribed I will see even bigger improvements!”

 


QUESTION

I am preparing to move into Apollo here in about a week when I finish Hector. I have a couple questions. First I see it says 40 foot sandbag toss and chase for time and also on a separate day for reps. What does this mean? I don’t see that separately outlined in your exercises page. It seem like a single go through of that exercise for time would maybe take 15-20 seconds. Is that the point? And same for the reps, it seems like it would maybe be 3-4 reps unless I’m misunderstanding the instruction. Secondly, on the first day I think it was,  it says to do an assessment for max reps of pull ups unloaded/25#. Does that mean to do two separate assessments? One unloaded and one loaded?  Also with regard to the eccentric pull ups later. Do you recommend a plate on a chain and belt or a weighted backpack or a vest.  It seems like it would change the dynamics of the movement so what is your recommendation? Thanks for your time.

ANSWER

Don’t overcomplicate it and don’t get frustrated. We can have two different methods for prescribing effort for Sandbag Toss & Chase – for distance and also by reps. The distance assessment in Apollo is an interesting test of explosive power for tactical athletes.
It’s been a while since we lab ratted this effort … and I can’t remember the average finish time. I do remember I sucked compared to some of the bigger guys in our crew.
unloaded/25# ….. unloaded for women, 25# for men.
A backpack is much faster and easier than plate on chains, but it’s your choice.
– Rob

QUESTION

A few weeks ago, I had ACL reconstruction and Meniscus tear surgery from a mountain bike injury.  Although I have exercise plans through physio, being a mountain athlete, I’m wondering if you have a training plan for this type of injury – upper and lower body  – to improve strength.

ANSWER

We have the Training Plan for Athletes Who Suffer Leg Injury for you now. This isn’t a rehab plan for your injured leg, but instead, trains the rest of your body around your injured leg while you go through and finish PT.
Once you finish PT and are cleared to train, we have a Post Re-Hab Knee Injury Training Plan to act as “bridge” from being cleared by PT to being strong enough to fully complete one of our other training plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

Originally used your GORUCK Selection training schedule from 2014 and am wondering if your team did a lot of modifications to it over the past 3-4 years. I’m contemplating picking up that monthly training with you guys, but also looking for help laying out the year progression for this event as it is almost 1 year away. Is this something I’d find in a monthly membership?

ANSWER

We have not updated our GoRuck Selection Training Plan.
1-Year Train Up:
What I’d Recommend is beginning with the Military On-Ramp Training Plan, then following the plans and progression in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet, except finish with the GoRuck Selection Training Plan instead of the final plan in the packet.
By my count, this comes to 53 weeks of programming.
The plans/packets can be purchased individually. As well, each is included with an Athlete’s Subscription along with the 200+ other training plans in the MTI programming library.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off, love you guys. Been a subscriber even when I’m not “on the wagon.”  I can’t wait to use some of your plans for future goals but I have a very specific need now and after browsing all of them, I want your thoughts on a current plan. Since I’ve moved to a busier fire station and I work a 24 hour shift every third day, mine time is very limited as well as equipment (just filled up my new MTI sandbag to have bag at the station, too). I would love to find something or alteration, that meets these specs best possible:

*   Short but intense, < 45 mins (like Busy Operator)
*   Minimal equipment (like Sandbag Ethos, Fire Rescue, Fat Loss, Bodyweight)
*   No long distance running/rucking, i.e. over 800m at a time (like Beep test)
*   I thought about moving any running/rucking days to my off days if thats an option; not skip but swap a session #4 with #5.
*   Doesn’t need to be Fire Rescue centric sense I find a lot of it transfers just fine plus I’ll be going into the Guard next year.

Thanks Rob for your time and thoughts. You and your team keep up the good work.

ANSWER

Not sure I have a perfect plan for you …. I’d point to our LE day to day programming as they are designed to last 45-50 minutes, but all of our current plans require a fully equipped gym.

From what I do have, I’d recommend the Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan – you have access to it as a “Legacy Plan” with your subscription. You may need to cut rounds from the circuits to make your time constraint.

Let me know if you have any questions and/or can’t find the plan.

– Rob


QUESTION

I have gone through the APFT program once and am going to start it again. My end game would be Special Forces (and beyond, potentially). I’ve spent the last few years squatting and deadlifting and didn’t realize my upper body was basically not developing, so my numbers on the test are not impressive at all. My sit ups are around 60-65, push ups around 32-36, and pull ups around 8-9. My runs were improving very quickly, but then I got shin splints and had to lay off. I’m not worried about the runs as of yet.

My plan for training after I master the APFT is Running Improvement Plan, SFAS packet, SFOD-D Training Plan, and then go through the Greek Hero series.

Do you see a flaw in that? I may jump on your Push Up plan as well before the SFAS or SFRE plans.

Also, if I’m focusing so much on APFT stuff, I don’t want to start losing power and strength, but I don’t know if I should supplement other workouts while I’m trying to get my upper body strength to grow.

I guess my overall question is: Do I focus on one training packet at a time or include maintenance workouts throughout so I don’t end up being good at only 3 movements after months of trying to get my numbers up? From my limited “coaching” perspective, I think I’ve put together a good progression with your plans… but I’m not a coach, so I may be missing something.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you move to the Military On-Ramp Training Plan now, instead of repeating the APFT Program.
Then move into the plans in the Virtue Packet.
This progression will help develop your overall tactical/military fitness in a programmed way, as well as build upper body strength. Several include push up progressions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have an APFT towards the end of November and I’m going to start the APFT Plan next week. What would be a good concurrent plan do to with the APFT Plan to maintain and work on my overall fitness?

Should I do the APFT Plan in the mornings and the concurrent plan in the evening? Or vice versa?

ANSWER

Before I give you some options, understand that the APFT Training Plan is laser-focused on improving your performance in the 3 APFT events, and on it’s own, is no joke. The plan deploys an initial assessment and then bases the follow-on progressions on your initial assessment results. In this way it automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness – deconditioned or super-fit.
The plan deploys a mid-cycle re-assessment, and again bases the remaining progressions on your most recent assessment results – so it keeps pushing you.
Because of this, I don’t recommend doubling up on the plan, but if you insist, here are some options:
1) Complete a Multi-Modal Plan which includes the APFT – these plans include focused APFT work, but also train other attributes including rucking, work capacity, etc:
Ruck Based Selection Training Plan – our plan for SFAS and many other ruck-based selections. Full on
Airborne School Training Plan – Along with APFT work, includes 1 day of strength/chassis integrity, and plyo work.
2) Complete a high intensity (weight), Low Volume (reps) Strength Plan in conjunction with the APFT Plan – as 2-a-Days (APFT in the AM, Lift in the PM)
If you chose the 2-a-Day option, pull back from the weight room strength work if you are not making the APFT progressions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I know I am cutting it close to the wire, however I have 45 days before I have to run a PFT & CFT and a Bomb Suit Mobility Test, all back to back for approval to be eligible for a EOD lat move. I have locked at both your PFT & CFT plans and I have no issue buying both. That being said I am unsure how to blend them together to get the best results. Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

This will be a “Frankenstein” program as I combine these two plans.

Mon/Wed/Thursday – Complete the sessions in the USMC PFT Training Plan.
Tues/Friday – Complete the sessions in the USMC CFT Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m writing to ask what program you’d recommend for someone who’s completed the Horsemen Training Program (me)? I’m an aspiring USMC officer, but have a couple years until I sign the contract. I’m just looking for a new challenge, as the compiled workouts from the Horseman Program are beginning to become easier. Do you have any ideas?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans in the Virtue Series, beginning with Humility.
– Rob

QUESTION

In the past 5 months, my son has applied and tested at 2 separate fire departments. He has been volunteering for about 6 months. His times have been roughly 50% under the time limit.
He is working towards an early November date for physical testing at another department. They are actively hiring non-certified FF’s of which he is.
My son is in overall good shape; 6’3″ about 170. Works full time. Not currently working out. Needs a plan at least for the next 4 weeks so he can get himself ever more ready. He can workout about 1 hour early AM before work.
Can you recommend training to get him a crash course within these constraints?
Thank you for your expertise and help.

ANSWER

I assume your son is taking the CPAT for the departments. If so, recommend our CPAT Training Plan.
If he’s taking some other type of assessment, without knowing the specifics, I’d recommend our Fire Academy Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a career firefighter in TN and am very interested in beginning the Jaguar program or the Meathead Marathon program. I’ve been wanting to increase my running for a while, but also like the idea of going through the Jaguar due to it being specialized for my type of work. Does the Jaguar program involve any running?

ANSWER

Jaguar running? – just shuttle sprints. Tiger from our Big Cat series for urban firefighters includes a 1.5-mile run and 800m repeats. In general, our endurance work for Fire/Rescue is focused on long gym-based efforts given your mission-set.
A good plan to consider if you want to put in some running miles is Achilles, from our military side. This plan will allow you to train the strength, work capacity, agility and chassis integrity you need for your job, and it also includes long runs out to 10 miles.
I’d recommend Achilles over the Meathead Marathon plan given your job. We feel tactical athletes, like yourself, should train for your work-based fitness demands as a priority over any recreational fitness.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hello, I’m trying to help get a moderately conditioned, mostly bodybuilding but has transitioned to more “Crossfit” style workouts in last couple months, ready for Alabama Smoke Diver class. It is very intense. Probably hardest week in firefighter training you can undergo. Which template would be best for him to buy? Class is 5 days/ 9 hr days non stop
In high heat, airpack training with searches, victim rescues, dragging, crawling, climbing ladders and towers. It’s in February 2018. Fire lion, tiger, panther, or tactical fire athlete template? It’s a chassis, work capacity, grip killer.
Thank you

ANSWER

We’re building a Smoke Diver plan, but haven’t completed it yet.
From what we have, I’d recommend Gratitude. It’s killer and has a strong multi-modal gym-based endurance component which will transfer to your athletes long days on the fire grounds.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a police officer and member of our county’s SWAT team(we’re not full time, but always on call).  I recently signed up for your programming and need help starting out.  Which program would you suggest starting with?  I am in fair shape, but need to trim up and work on cardio.  I also hope to drop some pounds in the process.  One last thing, my workout times vary day to day.  I work 2-11pm 5 day’s a week.  I usually workout afterwards, and time can really be constrained.  Any advice I appreciate!

ANSWER

I’d recommend you begin our stuff with the LE On Ramp Training Plan, and then begin the training plans in the Spirit’s Series for LE Patrol/Detective, beginning with Whiskey.
All are included with your subscription.
Weight? Fix your diet. Here are our guidelines.
Email back any questions you have moving forward.
– Rob

QUESTION

Per your prior recommendation, I’m going through Fortitude and really enjoying my first real exposure to rucking. Couple quick questions:

1. What is a very fast mile or 3m? I’m sub 30 on 3mile and always like to keep an eye on what elite guys are doing. Perhaps it plateaus on pace and then it’s about extending mileage?
2. Thoughts on sustainability/durability? I’ve had a couple knee surgeries but feel pretty good right now six weeks into rucking 1x/wk. I like the idea of training durability but conventional wisdom (not that I trust it) is that weighted run/ruck would be a lot of mileage. Any good studies on this?

All the standard kudos are in order and still hold true.

ANSWER

Fast ruck time depends upon the load. We had young lab rats run 3 miles sub 27 minutes this summer …. but in general at 45#, sub 11 minute/miles is good.
Durability with ruck running? Our programming is designed for tactical athletes who have to move under load. We feel it’s “dangerous” to not train these athletes for this demand in garrison, then expect them to do it during training exercises or deployment. When things are dangerous or assessed (selections), they run.
No study I’ve seen on the long-term impact. If you’re concerned, don’t ruck.
– Rob

QUESTION

any insight into behind the head press? Ive had my share of reading the online forum pros and cons. Look forward to your opinion. I am personally not a huge fan but want to make sure Im programming with as much variety as possible.

ANSWER

Sorry – no opinion on this exercise. I honestly haven’t done it myself since my 20’s … no reason.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a simple question with a lot of background information behind it. I’ll start with the question and then write out the supporting novella.

Question: Do you have a multi-user license for presenting your product to a finite group?

Explanation: We are a small/mid-size full-time urban fire/rescue department (approx. 325 members) slowly trying to introduce a wellness program to our members. We sent a handful of volunteers through the IAFF ACE Peer Fitness Training program. These volunteers are then able to go out and consult and train with department members and develop programming for them. Many of our members do not want individual one on one sessions. Those who reach out typically just want a program with little input on their end – not smart. Most of the volunteer PFTs are not comfortable writing out long range programming and are quite intimidated by it as this is not something they regularly do. They are more comfortable with coaching on movement patterns and mechanics. They would like a product they could present, demonstrate and provide to a member who asks for one – altering it if necessary.

I have used your products for many different events and goals. I very much enjoy their value and their results. You have a vetted product that has been tested on your lab rats, fire, LE, and military entities around the country. I would like my PFTs to evaluate the needs of a department member who approaches them and then assigns them one of your products based on the assessment; be it the Fitness Assessment plan, recruit class plan, a big cat, BW, limited eqt, etc. Then the PFT can help with exercise questions and track their progress. I do not know how many people would use a product or multiple products.

Currently we only have 6 active PFTs and they aren’t being used very often. We do not have a full-time trainer, the PFTs are assigned to apparatus and this is an extra, non-paid duty. We don’t have a centralized workout facility though each station does have some equipment (dumbbells, a couple kettlebells, multi-station piece and maybe a cardio machine). It’s a slow process in terms of culture change. I followed your articles regarding that very same subject. Our program is currently voluntary and we do not have a physical fitness requirement or work performance evaluation (for example, can you still lift a ladder and drag a dummy).

 

Thank you for your help and consideration of the matter,

ANSWER

Quick answer to your question is yes, we do have a multi-user license option for our Athlete’s Subscription. Click HERE.
Next … you’re experience with the PFT’s mirrors ours across Military, LE and Fire/Rescue … Unit Fitness Leaders don’t have the time to program are better used as coaches and/or leading training sessions. They don’t have the time or inclination to hand hold unfit members in weird personal training sessions.
You used the “wellness” term in your note to me. I’d recommend you avoid this term and only use  “fitness.” Wellness brings in all kinds of other stuff – stress management, diet/nutrition, personal habits, family life, etc. – I understand all this other stuff is important, but it’s unfair on your fitness leaders to ask them to be diet nannies, counselors, social workers and everything else in addition to fitness leaders.
Just focus on fitness. You’ve probably read this before – but here are my thoughts on the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of a Unit Fitness Leader.
If you can successfully fight for and make fitness a safety issue – and focus on the safety of the other team members and public put at risk by the unfit firefighters – you’ll go a long way to making the cultural change. I understand this is a huge paradigm shift and super difficult.
In the meantime, there is a lot of good work you can do toward improving your fitness culture there.
Let me know if you need anything else.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope your hunting season is continuing to go well!
As you might recall, I mentioned I got my garage setup with barbell, bumpers, and a rack.  This is my first time barbell training since HS (and even then I didn’t do much).  I am doing linear progression on squats, dead/hinge, bench, and press for the rest of 2017, while still working in some work capacity and chasis integrity weekly.
I am 6′ 2″ and have been steady at 187-189 for the past year.  I am not afraid of gaining some weight, and I know that doing so might help my LP.  I’ll do it smart, take it slow (thinking about .5lb/week), and do it “clean”.
Just wondering what your thoughts were on an ideal weight range for a guy like me. I know you have seen countless athletes and varying levels of performance from different builds.  I want to be a hybrid athlete — not a powerlifter, not a marathoner.

ANSWER

The direct answer to your question … I’d like to see you at 200-210 pounds, but before you start eating ice cream and slamming protein shakes, here are a couple things to think about:

1) Performance – from a performance perspective what is most important is relative strength or strength per body weight. Both mountain and tactical athletes have to carry their body weight around … and excess mass which doesn’t add to mission-direct performance in some way, is just extra weight to carry.
In our programming, we do have a couple “exceptions” to this general rule. First, for patrol & detective LE, big chest and biceps can have a deterrence effect in douche bag confrontations – and so our programming for these athletes includes upper body hypertrophy.
On the mountain side, in the past, I’ve programmed in hypertrophy volume for my freeskiers – most of who use the lift or a helicopter to get to the top of the run. Why? You’d be surprised at the number of shoulder injuries these athletes have from nasty wrecks. Extra upper body mass can simply act as armor and help protect them some.
As a backcountry hunter, your upper body mass is not that important. Where it could help is with the pack out … depending upon how you carry the load. Most carry 2/3 or more of the load on their hips with the hip belt. I, however, carry 100% of the load on my shoulders – the hip belt, no matter the pack, puts my butt and hips to sleep, and I can’t walk. So for me, the strength and mass to carry the load up high is important. However, I am the exception to the rule.
So from a performance perspective, you should quit thinking about body weight and start thinking about strength. Training wise, I’d recommend the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
2) The Burden of Constant Fitness – This is mostly an issue for mountain professionals like year-round guides and all tactical athletes (esp. first responders and SOF), who can never responsibly allow themselves to not have mission-direct fitness. This means they not only must always be training but also be training those fitness attributes they need for the job. But the “Burden of Constant Fitness” can also affect others who simply need to train and be doing something physical. I’m one of those people and perhaps so are you. The advantage we have is the further from our most important sport season, the more non-sport-specific our training can be. This means we can take a few months to train something different, just because we’re curious, want to try something new, or in your case, have always been skinny and would like to add some mass. We have a couple mass-building plans in the MTI Library you might want to consider if you want to have some fun and do something different – which for you may be getting jacked!
First is the Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys. This plan is designed to add mass everywhere – upper and lower body and is high volume and intense. I’ve seen crossfitters and others make fun of body builders, but I can tell you first hand, some of the most painful and puke-inducing weight room training sessions I’ve ever experienced were in my 20’s when the only resource we had for programming was bodybuilding mags and books by Arnold. If you do this plan, drink 1/2 gallon of whole milk a day.
Second is Ultimate Meathead, which trains hypertrophy for the upper body, and strength for the lower body. Drink the 1/2 gallon of milk each day if you do this plan, also.
When it comes to mass, your genes may limit you. So you may not gain as much as someone else focusing on hypertrophy. Also, as a backcountry hunter, the endurance you’ll need to train going into next season will likely “melt” away some mass you gain if you chose a hypertrophy route now. At the end of the hunting season this year, I was down 5 pounds in muscle. Just know you’ll have plenty of time to get in shape for hunting and don’t have to worry about it year round.
– Rob

QUESTION

Coach,

I just completed Military On-Ramp and will be moving on to Humility. I saw a lot of improvement compared to when I started, but I have a few questions about proceeding. First, let me give you a breakdown:
Started at 177 lbs, ended at 180lbs. My nice slacks no longer fit my thighs. Those were expensive, but I can’t say I’m upset.

Event: Test 1 / Test 2 / Test 3 // Total Change
Hand-Release Push Up: 36 / 39 / 39 // +3
Pull Up: 21 / 21 / 21 // +0
Box Jump: 25 / 28 / 30 // +5
3mi Run: 22:11 / 21:24 / 21:10 // -1:01
The shuttle runs were rough, but I was able to maintain speed as the time got shorter each week.
I like the progression of the chassis integrity circuits as I moved through the program, although I can’t say I enjoy dumbbell crawls. I feel like this part of the training really helped my rucking and combatives practice.
For the Burpee/Box Jump/Weighted Sit Up circuits I saw measurable improvement. The 8-round one took me about 18:29, the 9-round one took me around 18:11, and the 10-round one took me 17:40. That kind of circuit training has never been my best area in the past, I was very pleased to see improvement like that.
Questions moving into Humility:
I saw no improvement in hand-release push ups from Test 2 to Test 3. I notice that progression scheme for this exercise is the same in Humility. Should I stay the course, or do you have a recommendation for improvement?

I saw no improvement in pull ups throughout the entire program. I’ve read about your relative strength assessment and see that pull ups are not scored past 20 reps, so maybe 21 is satisfactory. Regardless, I would still rather try to improve. I see that the progression scheme is the same in Humility. Should I stick with the original programming, or do you recommend any sort of modification?

Some feedback on the running: Mile repeats did end up making me faster, but I think I needed more base building. My first mile split was reasonably quick by the end of the program (6:05 vs 6:44), but the third mile split actually ended up being slower than my first assessment (7:49 vs 7:32). It was hot, sure, but I think I just suck. Looks like Humility will sort that right out, though.
Since I started I’ve recommended MTI to a couple of other NCOs in my unit and they are now using the athlete’s subscription. My brother, too, who’s looking at getting commissioned soon. Your programming seems to work for a ton of people, so thanks for doing what you’re doing.

ANSWER

Yes – move on to Humility.
Pull ups & Push Ups… do the assessments and the progressions in your IBA or a 25# pack/weight vest.
Humility is a different animal than the Military On-Ramp Plan. Military On-Ramp chunks fitness attributes together. Humility is more wholistic and comes with a mental hardening effect the On-Ramp plan laid the base for.
Email questions as they come up.
– Rob
FOLLOW UP QUESTION
Humility is aptly named. It has definitely hurt my feelings.
I’m running into a small problem. I went for it on that burpee ladder test and managed 84 reps, which I imagine is about average. Unfortunately, I’m sucking at the actual burpee density stuff on the second and fourth session each week. I was able to make the 8 rounds at 20%. I’ve failed to keep pace on both sessions calling for 25%, though. Around the end of round 6 and beginning of Round 7, I lose pace. I promise I’m not sandbagging it, I still come away from this breathing heavily with a headache each time. I have the wind for it but I seem to be weak; my chest, shoulders, and arms can’t keep up. It’s going to be worse next week with 30% each round.
When this happens, I’ve been just grinding through as best I can until the end, basically doing 2-3 rounds worth of burpees unbroken at the fasted speed I can manage without crapping out. Is that the right way to do it when I can’t make pace?
ANSWER
Yes …. everyone suffers in the later rounds of the progression.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just wanted to say I love you programming. Currently forward deployed and running a strength program 4 days a week (531 bbb) and running 2x a week in the morning. Im trying to supplement work capacity efforts 3x a week to prepare for military schools in 7-8 months. Any recommendations? I have access to majority of equipment besides rings. Thanks!

ANSWER

It’s best not to mix and match plans. Better is to complete a cycle which combines multiple attributes. From our stuff, I’d recommend Valor – but you’d need to find someplace (laps or treadmill) to run and ruck run 3 miles. Many downrange have run/rucked in circles around the compound or used a treadmill to complete our programs.
If you’re just looking for work capacity efforts to supplement your strength work, look at the Ultimate Work Capacity I cycle.
You could alternate your strength session days and the UWC I days in terms of sessions.
– Rob

QUESTION

Been a subscriber for the last couple years or so and have recently made some career/life changes that have drastically altered my training. Looking for some advice on how to direct my training i.e which plans to gravitate to, especially after reading Rob’s recent articles on us “aging” athletes.

Some of my particulars:

  • 48 y/o lifelong athlete with back pain (two blown out discs) and knee pain. Everything below is quickly catching up.
  • Crossfitter since 05, but tired of chronic soreness, injuries and lack of periodization (why I switched to your programming; much better)
  • Ultramarathoner/24 hour Mtn Biker back in the day
  • Retired from US Navy Dec 16, mostly Specwar/Marine Corps as Hospital Corpsman Master Chief
  • New civilian job; Can’t PT at work anymore, as they expect results
  • 3 year old and 1 year old kids – “PT time limiters”
  • Tried 0430 PT, but can’t warm up enough to not get hurt
  • Started afternoon PTs, but only get approx. 45 min before my wife is giving me “the eye”
  • Home gym

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting SF45 Delta – which is designed for high impact athletes age 45-55, and has a bodyweight strength focus and a strong endurance component.
– Gym-based sessions are 60 minutes long. Endurance efforts are longer.
– Train early in AM before work.
– You wrote: “can’t get warmed up enough to not get hurt.” My answer: Then get up earlier and get warmed up, but train early if you want to be consistent.
You don’t get too old to train. You start getting old when you quit training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m going to be doing a 50 mile race in June 2018 that involves summiting a 10,000 foot volcano and trying to find the best way to train – I’ve been wanting to follow your programming for a while and hoping you can help me get started.

I’m usually on the trail 2-3x/week and cross train in the gym with weights.  I currently do a bit of dedicated running, but most of my mountain days consist of fast hiking and climbing a peak, then trail running back to the car.  I did recently do a 32 mile day, but I don’t know if I’m at a place to jump in and run 40+ miles/week right now, so I’m wondering if it makes sense to do the “Peak Bagger” training plan to build up a stronger base while continuing to run on my own and then later doing the 50 Mile Ultra” training plan?  Or maybe there is another plan that I haven’t seen yet that you would recommend?  appreciate any sort of input 🙂
Thanks so much!

ANSWER

You’ll definitely want to do the 50 Mile Ultra training plan directly before your event. Here’s a progression I’d suggest:
4) 50-Mile Ultra Training Plan – directly before your event.
– Good luck!
– Rob

 

Arete 10.26.17

Military

DOD Struggles to Defeat Drones, Real Clear Defense

Xi Jinping’s Plan for China’s Military Dominance, South China Morning Post

Terrorism & Just War, The Bridge

How Americans Learned to fight the Modern War, The Bridge

It Seems Inconceivable That We’re Still Fighting In Afghanistan…And Yet Here We Are, Task and Purpose

Army Testing APFT Replacement, Army Times

 

Homeland Security/First Responder

Technology Distraction in the Patrol Car?, Police One

Physical Fitness Plays Role in Use of Force, LE Today

Assaults on Border Patrol Agents On Rise, Officer.com

Over 7K Structures Destroyed in Cali Wildfires, Wildfire Today

Police Documentary Film, “Officer Involved,” Should be Mandatory Viewing, LE Today

 

Gear

The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags of 2017, Outdoor Gear Lab

Gear to Help New Dads Get Their Babies Outside, Outside Magazine

Helly Hansen Introduces “The Life Pocket™” Keeps Phone Warm Using Aerogel Developed by NASA, Unofficial Networks

This $199 Cable Cam Kickstarter Could Revolutionize Your Ski Filming, Unofficial Networks

Future Soldiers May Wear Super Spidey Skivvies, Defensetech

 

Mountain

“Abandoned” – A Ski Documentary, Outside

Woman Climbs First 5.15b, Gear Junkie

Nuptse South Face, extraordinary new French route climbed by Degoulet, Guigonne, Millerioux, Planet Mountain

Dragging Heavy Things in Cold Environments: 1,000 Mile Antarctic Crossing Planned, Outside

Climbing Video: Managing the Fear of Falling, Training Beta

Climbers set New Record on El Cap’s Nose, Outside

 

Fitness/Nutrition

The Truth About BCAAs, My Sport Science

Food Addiction: Stop Dieting, Start Re-Wiring, Psychology Today

Do Weight Vest Workout Actually Make You Faster? Men’s Health

Advanced Programming Principles For Shoulder And Knee Health, Breaking Muscle

Paleo Brownies, Mark’s Daily Apple

On-And-Off Fasting Helps Fight Obesity, Science Daily

Are Ketone Nutritional Supplements Good or Bad?  Science Daily

Fix Your Knee Pain With These Simple Exercises, Men’s Journal

Testosterone Supplementation: My Primal Take Mark’s Daily Apple

Proper Breathing Mechanics for Bracing, Robb Wolf

Why Cutting Carbs is So Tough, NY Times

Q&A 10.26.17

QUESTION

I had a quick question about your training plans.  I used to work as an outdoor recreation instructor teaching rock climbing, mountaineering, and various adventure education classes.  However two years ago I moved to Japan to teach English.  When I return to America next year I will be teaching outdoor recreation again.  However during my time here I sit at a desk a lot and have lost at least a majority of my fitness level and am considerably heavier and just generally out of shape.  What plan would you suggest for someone in my situation?

ANSWER

I’d recommend you begin our programming with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, followed by Mountain Base Helen from our Greek Heroine Packet of training plans.
Bodyweight Foundation will kickstart your fitness. Helen and the other plans in the Greek Heroine Packet are our day-to-day programming for mountain athletes and concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (running, uphill hiking under load), core strength and climbing fitness (rock).
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been out of the gym for the past six months after suffering a shoulder dislocation followed by repair of a significant SLAP(superior labrum anterior to posterior) tear and am finally getting ROM back and working on strength building with PT at this time.
I’m 32, a paramedic for a busy inner city service. I’m 5’10 and 210lbs. My previous shoulder press PR was 185.
Any guidance for getting this should back to work?

ANSWER

I don’t have a post-rehab shoulder training plan – I have one for knees, but not for shoulders.
If you’ve been cleared to train my first instinct says to kickstart all of your fitness with a bodyweight-only plan, then move on to more intense loaded strength after.
From our stuff, I’d recommend Bodyweight Foundation.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m almost 50 years old and have all the normal aches & pains of someone who spent 30 years as a Marine & Cop (I’m also coming off a very successful shoulder surgery).
Are your training programs right for me?
Do you have any Triathlon specific programs?
Do you have any programs that would benefit a competition Pistol & Rifle shooter?
Thank you in advance…

ANSWER

1. The four plans in the SF45 Packet are designed for high impact tactical and mountain athletes age 45-55.
2. No, but we do have an Operator Pentathlon Training Plan which is pretty awesome.
– Rob

QUESTION

How much/ would you design a plan to do Murph for 24 hrs straight?

ANSWER

Sorry, no.

Here’s our exiting CrossFit Murph Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like to ask what your take is on adding weighted vest to RASP.  I am wondering whether wearing a 25-lbs weighted vest while performing push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and run would add more gain.  My hypothesis is that it should add more to overall strength and endurance.

ANSWER

You could do this, but you must also complete your assessments with the vest.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just signed up for the monthly subscription on MTI and looking forward to getting back training.
I am currently a military Security Forces Officer coming back from deployment and looking to transition into normal law enforcement or FBI/DEA in the next couple years.  While I was on deployment all I did was lift weights with little cardio (sprints once a week).  I currently am 5’10 and 180lbs, however I am more of a skinny fat build.  I do want to gain strength, speed, increase my work capacity, and gain some upper body size (bigger arms, shoulders, lats) in the coming year to prep myself for gainful employment.  I also would like to increase/keep my conditioning for 1.5 mile test as well as trim up some body fat I have.  I have looked around at several plans at am not sure where to start.  Would you recommend me starting on the Spirits Series then moving to a pure strength cycle?  I know there are endless programs from you guys but just want to be sure my goals are getting reached.
Any help and insight would be greatly appreciated as I aim to tackle new goals.

ANSWER

Yes, start the plans in the Spirit Series for LE, beginning with Whiskey.
These plans concurrently train overall gym-based relative strength, upper body hypertrophy, work capacity with a sprinting focus, and chassis integrity (mid-section).
Completing these plans will help build your “base” LE fitness across the board, after which you can focus on individual fitness attributes (strength) if needed.
– Rob

QUESTION

Rob – I got to your website from a reference in Backpacker magazine.  I’m a 56 year old guy, 5’8” 210# (big time overweight – I should be like 175-180!) and have a VERY stressful 14 hour a day sedentary job (medical). I walk a mile a day to and from work, I pretty much stand all day at work.  I’m in horrible physical shape from many years of slacking off and not taking care of myself.

My 16 year old son has all of a sudden become passionate about backpacking.  Within 6-9 months I would like to be able to hike 5-7 miles a day for a few days with him on moderate/difficult trails.

Your programs look like they are for people who are already in pretty good shape and need to push more.

Where do you recommend I should start?

ANSWER

I currently don’t have a training plan for de-conditioned athletes.
From what I do have I’d recommend you start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. This plan deploys an initial assessment and then base the follow-on progressions on your assessment results – so it automatically “scale” to your incoming fitness. I’m not sure if it will be too much for you out of the gate.
Prior to your backpacking trip, you’ll want to complete the Backpacking Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was planning on completing the SFOD-D training plan before next February. I was looking through the entire SFOD-D packet with multiple plans. Since I don’t have 10.5 months to execute the entire packet, what plans do you recommend I do in preparation for the SFOD-D plan? I was planning on finishing an old work capacity program I’m on right now and then beginning Humility.

Also, later next year I am helping a buddy prepare for the Marine Corps’ Combatant Diver Course. Do you have any feedback on athletes using your Army CDQC plan to prepare for the USMC course? I would guess that the goals are similar but I am not familiar with the Army’s course. I know the USMC course has a 10k fin involved. Do you recommend tweaking the CQDC plan in any way for the USMC course?
Thank you for any feedback you can provide. Your products and approach are awesome.

ANSWER

SFOD Packet – work backward in the packet and complete the plans accordingly. I’m not sure your exact number of weeks, but you want to complete the SFOD-D Selection Training Plan directly before selection. Prior you’ll want to do Resilience. Prior to Resilience, Valor, etc. You may need to complete only part of one plan … say 4 weeks of Fortitude. Start the plan at the beginning, and end it early, rather than starting in the middle.
USMC CDQC? We don’t have a plan specifically for this course. Below is the Army CDQC PFT in our plan. In addition to this, we do a 5-mile assessment and a 3K Fin. Common sense tells me the USMC course won’t have a 10K Fin assessment out of the gate – but rather work up to it by the end of the course – but I could be wrong. Overall, I think our Army CDQC Plan would be a good way to prepare.
– Rob

QUESTION

Very much enjoying your programming. Our group of 40+ year olds has completed in succession: fat loss, bodyweight and most recently SF45 Alpha. Liking the steady gains in lifting coupled with the endurance piece of mileage. We’re not hitting all benchmarks like starting bench warmup at 95, more like 75, 40# sandbag instead of 60. Still, seems like it’s been effective. Likely doing a 15 miler in December just to have a goal oriented event.

What’s next? SF Bravo or something that dials into something else?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m trying to decide on either getting Greek, Virtue training packet.
Now the info.  I’m 40 years old 5’8 and weigh 206pds.  I have taken your nutrition advice to heart and practical use.  Only difference is the meal before I train I will have a carb: potato,rice or the sort.
I’m looking at this packet being my day to day training guide.
Goals: I want to stay in a relative fit and healthy lifestyle.  I’m not tip of the spear operator but I do work on Aircraft for the Air Force and I got about another 15 years before I retire. I want to be a good Strength level but not lose endurance or conditioning. I suppose I’m looking for that well rounded health and fitness but also be able to continue hiking, rucking and outdoor activities.  If you got any questions or need to know something just shoot me a message.

ANSWER

At 5’8″, I’d like to see you around 170-175# – so you look 30# overweight to me right now … this is unless you’re built like a fire hydrant and strong as a bull.
If you are 30# overweight, the plans in both these packets may be too intense.
What is your current 1RM Bench Press and Back Squat?
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently on 20th SF groups train team and will be until February when I’ll attend SFAS. I’ll start the ruck based program the designated time before SFAS.  Our drills consist of a apft, 12 mile ruck with roughly 60lbs, day and night land nav, various team events then a 5 mile run on Sunday.  What program would your coaching staff recommend as far as a program goes until I start the ruck based program, or if you’d approach SFAS training differently given the drills I’m required to attend and maintain a high level of fitness.  Any guidance would be much appreciated.  Thanks.

ANSWER

If the training team is hammering you with this work and you’re training almost daily, I’d recommend you complete the strength work in one of our strength plans – specifically the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Plan, 2-3 days/week as a 2-a-Day or on an off day from your team training.
The team programming is hammering bodyweight strength, rucking and running  – what’s missing is strength for overall performance and durability. Just be smart and watch for overtraining.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve just purchased the athlete subscription package and am looking forward to getting started!
I’m looking through different plans and wanted to get your take on which option might be best for my current needs.
I’m primarily looking to prepare for ski season. Three years ago I was working towards skiing big mountain competitively, but broke my leg in training. The next season I discovered a herniated disk in my neck and have not been able to train the way I’ve wanted to since. After lots of physical therapy time I feel that I’ve resolved most of my injuries and want to build back into training full-time.
Since my strength is pretty basic right now, I’m wondering if beginning with the 30 minute dryland training would be the best option. However, I want to make sure I’m maximizing strength training potential before the season begins so I wonder if the full dryland training program or the backcountry skiing program might be better options.
I’ve also considered beginning with a “base” training plan to build back some strength and then go into sport specific plans, but don’t know if it’s too late in the season for that route to be as effective as it could be.
I’d love your thoughts – thank you for all you do!

ANSWER

If your skiing this winter will be primarily lift assisted, jump right into the Dryland Ski Training Plan – the full version – as a pro you’ll need it. If you’re smoked initially, take Wednesday as a rest day to split the sessions up some – but only for the first 2 weeks. Week 3 go 4 days in a row.
If your skiing will be primarily backcountry – do the Backcountry Ski plan – full version. Again – take and extra rest day if needed the first 2 weeks.
– Rob

QUESTION

So I’m tracking a ranger slot in a couple of months after I PCS from my current duty station. Currently I am decently fit with an Army APFT of 280 by following my own weight training plan combined with the MTN APFT plan.

My question is regarding whether or not if there is a plan that includes heavy weight training but leads directly into the ranger plan. I’ve looked through the virtue series as well as some of the other packet plans but I’m not sure which path to follow.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Fortitude directly before the Ranger School Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Regarding the Big 24 plan,

I understand that the plan is designed to be 7 weeks long, however is
the 7-weeks supposed to be a single mesocycle, and therefore supposed
to be tested every 7 weeks?

–Like how Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 plan contains a testing week every
fourth week, as each 4 week block is considered a mesocycle.

Just looking for a good plan before jumping into a larger packet
plan-based school.

ANSWER

Big 24 V4 has assessments in week 1, 4 and 7.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am interested in getting the Bataan training plan for the 2018 race.
My one question for you is that I am an older athlete, 56, and I have taken a leave of absence from training for the last six months due to personal reasons. Getting back into training now is there anything in this plan that you would change for an older participant who is getting back into race shape?

ANSWER

This plan is designed around the fitness demands of the event (march), not the individual athlete. How you’ll recover/do on the plan depends upon you physical and mental fitness, but also your age. Jump in and see how you do. If necessary take extra rest days and stretch the plan out.
Another option is to start with another plan. I’d recommend Bodyweight Foundation.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m just finishing your Alpine Runner plan, and I’m planning to start your Spirits Series. I’m not currently a LEO (waiting to start the academy), and don’t have a weighted vest. I’m a 5’4″ fairly petite female. Any recommendations for brands, etc?
Thanks,

ANSWER

–  Rob

QUESTION

I have completed a few of your hiking plans and half of shipboard. I am not an avid hiker nor military, I just like the balance of your plans and the interesting workouts. I quit shipboard because it just got a bit too intense and I was extremely busy at the time. I do the programs with a friend, but not together as we have different schedules. Anyways, she chose to do humility next to build a base before we try the more advanced plans. I am wondering about the loaded runs. I am a fairly good runner (can run up to 13 miles and my pace is usually around 8:00/mi), but I have never comfortably ran with a pack. One of the plans we did called for intervals of step ups and runs, and I dropped the pack for the runs as I just couldn’t make it work. Will I be missing a lot if I opt to do the runs unloaded in humility? What is the main purpose of doing them loaded? If it is totally crucial I will invest in a good running pack, but just curious as to why I’m doing it first. Thank you!

ANSWER

Humility is one of our tactical training plans, designed for military SOF and others – where loaded running/movement is a job requirement. This is why it’s in the plan. If you’re not in the military – you can skip the vest/pack. But if you want the full dose of MTI programming don’t. One compromise would be to drop the load to 15#.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hello, I just read Rob Shaul’s article that was published in the journal of mountain hunting magazine (printed-not online version). I was just curious if he would recommend following this program or something similar year round or would it be more beneficial to employ it only in the weeks/ months prior to hunting season?

Thanks

ANSWER

In general, the closer to the season or event, the more “sport-specific” the programming can be.
The further away, the more “general” the programming should be.
Under our programming terminology – we call general programming, “base” programming, and it’s not random. Here our “base” fitness attributes for mountain athletes:
– High relative strength – or strength per bodyweight. Mountain athletes are not power lifters.
– High work capacity, with a sprinting/running emphasis
– Mountain Endurance (trail running, running, uphill movement under load)
– Chassis Integrity (our core strength)
– Climbing Fitness (only for rock/alpine/ice climbers)
The problem with doing focused, intense, backcountry hunting programming year round is it will lead to overtraining. Ideally, athletes will come to 8 weeks before the season with a solid foundation of mountain “base” fitness, and then be able to hammer bc hunting focused programming directly before the season.
From our stuff, our Greek Heroine series of plans are Mountain Base programming, and our Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan is the focused, 8-week cycle to complete directly before the plan.
We’ve also built a Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Packet of Plans to give guys 7 months of programming leading into the season.
– Rob

QUESTION

I start sfre in the guard in march 2018. I recently purchased your 9.5 month program. If i start the program now i will have 3 months in between before starting sfas. Not sure what to do in between.  I was going to do your sfre program first and then start sfas program which will take me to sep which is one month prior to sfas. Will this process work? What do you suggest?

ANSWER

I’d suggest Bodyweight Foundation, then Military On-Ramp, then into the packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

So right now I am a couple of weeks into the USAF PAST plan and I am sitting at a 7:32.32 min 500m there is room for improvement, yes but I also need to focus on getting my run time down. Would it be justified to add in an extra run day and cut a swim or should I stick with the schedule?

ANSWER

Stick with the programming until the mid-cycle re-assessment.
– Rob

Plan Focus: MARSOC ITC

By Rob Shaul

MARSOC ITC TRAINING PLAN

The following is a sport-specific 8-week program is specifically designed to prepare athletes for the MARSOC Individual Training Course (ITC) The plan includes a 1-week taper, and is designed to be completed the 8 weeks directly prior to your course start week.

This is a very intense, 6-day a week program with high levels of volume and stress. Be safe and smart about your training as you work through the program and don’t be afraid to cut down sessions, or if necessary take an extra rest day if needed.

This program gets progressively harder each week, until week 8, when the training tapers down into the start of selection. Don’t skip ahead!! The plan is designed to build upon itself. If you have to miss a training day, start up back where you left off.

This is a 6 day/week training program… To successfully complete this program you’ll need to make training for selection a priority during your workday.

 

RUCK, RUN, SWIM, & FIN INTENSIVE

This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness gates assessed at the onset of ITC as well full body preparation for the physical demands of the course. The gates listed below are assessed at ITC, and we have developed the sport specific programming for improved results on these tests. With the exception of the CFT, you will take all of these assessments three times during the course of this training plan, with percentage based progressions to automatically scale to your level of fitness.

Assessments:

  • USMC Physical Fitness Test (PFT) & Combat Fitness Test (CFT)
  • Double O-Course in less than 5:00 minutes
  • 10 Mile Ruck for Time
  • 5 Mile Run for Time
  • 500m Swim
  • 1,500m Fin

Training Schedule:

  • Monday: PFT Work, CFT Work
  • Tuesday: Swim, Fin, and Water Confidence
  • Wednesday: Calisthenic Work, 5-Mile Run Interval, Chassis Integrity
  • Thursday: Swim, Fin, and Water Confidence
  • Friday: O-Course, Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
  • Saturday: Ruck Run Intervals

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

What equipment is needed to complete this program?

  • Stop Watch with Repeating Countdown Timer – Timex Ironman is best.
  • 60# Sandbag
  • ALICE Ruck or same ruck you will use at selection, 45# of filler, 10# Rubber Rifle (No rifle? Use a 10 lb sledgehammer or a 10# dumbbell)
  • Pull up Bar
  • Access to O-Course (Substitute training included if you don’t have access to an O-Course)
  • 25m or 50m Swimming Pool
  • Swim Goggles
  • Fins (Rocket or Frog fins recommended)

What if I have less then 8 weeks before I start the Selection Course?
Still start at the beginning of this training plan anyway. Don’t skip ahead.

What if I can’t handle the training volume at first?
Building stamina and resilience is a key training goal of this plan, and physical and mental stamina is also key to completing the Selection course. If you can’t handle the training volume at first, it’s better to cut training sessions short, rather than take unscheduled rest days.

What if I can’t make the prescribed reps for the bodyweight exercises, or the prescribed interval times for the rucks or runs?
Do your best, and be sure to do the total number of rounds, even if you can’t make the reps or the time. Don’t quit.

What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Yes. Go HERE, and click on the Sample Training tab to see the entire first week of programming.

More Questions?
Email coach@mtntactical.com

Packet Focus: LE Athlete “Cop Movie” Training Packet

 

LE Athlete “COP MOVIE” Training Packet Overview

The five training plans contained within this packet detail 32 weeks of MTI’s latest day-to-day training for Law Enforcement Athletes.

Each plan deploys our most recent iteration of “Fluid Periodization” and training the following six fitness attributes essential to LE mission performance.

“Fluid Periodization” is our methodology of training these six fitness attributes concurrently with either balanced cycles, or cycles with subtle emphasis on one or two of the attributes.

 

  • High Relative Strength – Strength per bodyweight, especially total and lower body relative strength. In most tactical situations, LE athletes need to move quickly and powerfully. By building high relative strength, we aim to get them strong as possible, without adding unneeded mass, while still keeping them fast, quick and powerful. As well, strength is the key to durability. Stronger athletes are harder to injure in the first place, don’t get injured as bad if something does happen, and recover faster if they do get injured.
  • Upper Body Hypertrophy – LE athletes, especially patrol, can benefit from upper body mass. A stout upper body can help intimidate would-be bad guys from assault or attack.
  • Work Capacity – Horsepower and aerobic power to go super hard for relatively short periods – especially pertinent in any tactical situation. Law enforcement Work Capacity programming should have a strong emphasis on sprinting ability and recovery – as this is the mostly mode of effort when things are dangerous.
  • Chassis Integrity – Functional, transferable core/midsection strength and strength endurance for mission performance and overall durability.
  • TAC SEPA – Tactical Speed, Explosive Power, and Agility.
  • Stamina – Different from endurance, “stamina” is the ability to stay mentally and physically fit and ready for long events, or multiple short events over a long duty day.

The packet includes these five plans, in the order we recommend you complete them:

 

Common Questions

What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Yes. Go HERE, and click on the Sample Training tab to see the entire first week of programming.

More Questions?
Email coach@mtntactical.com

Q&A 10.19.17

QUESTION

Just wondering about how involved “coaches” are when it comes to training. Is this a shoot you an email with goals or what is the extent and type of work you do?

ANSWER

MTI’s programming on our tactical side is based on the fitness demands of mission sets, or individual fitness assessments, military/LE selections, or schools.
On the mountain side, our programming is based on the fitness demands of the sport (ski, sled, paddle, climb), season, or event (Denali, Rainier, Fitz Roy, etc).
We rarely design around the individual fitness goals of the athlete and don’t do individualized programming.
We do answer dozens of questions weekly from athletes like you and others working on through programming.
Do you have a specific question?
– Rob

QUESTION

I love MTI plans and have been using the FBI PFT training program to prep for a similar assessment. I’m about to start at FLETC and follow that up with some follow-on training and I was wondering you had any recommended plans for training while you’re in a “training environment”?

ANSWER

My guess is you’ll be doing regular PT during FLETC, and your performance there takes priority. I further guess that your PT will be bodyweight/running based. If I’m right, you could perhaps double up with a solid strength plan 2-3x/week in the evenings. From our stuff, I’d recommend Rat 6 Strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hello, I came across your website from an article in lessons learned and am wondering if you have any satellite coaches or a program where I can learn your methods and then teach to groups. I am a wildland firefighter on the Lassen national forest in California. Quite frankly I am fed up with the lack of dedication and direction to physical training exhibited on my district. I understand the need and requirement for a strong functional workforce in this line of work and am personally dedicated to my own fitness for duty. However the lackluster approach and monotonous running/ hiking routines done by most crews here leaves a sour taste in my mouth. The belief that wildland firefighters are professional tactical athletes is not understood by all. I have taken it upon myself to change this on my district. hopefully you guys have a program where I can help my district to be better physically and safer overall I look forward to hearing back from you and hopefully working with you in the future

ANSWER

We held a tactical Advanced Programming Course early this summer, but don’t have another scheduled. We are developing a comprehensive Wildland Firefighter Fitness Assessment – hopefully by the end of October if not sooner – and have already developed the Wildland Firefighter 3/3/3 Endurance Assessment.
As well, we currently offer 3 sport-specific training plans for Wildland Firefighters: Wildland Fire-Fighter Pre-Season Training Plan, Hotshot/Smokejumper Pre-Season Training Plan, and a Smoke Jumper Selection Training Plan.
In terms of Tactical Fitness, I feel Wildland Firefighters are perhaps the ultimate example of “Mountain-Tactical” athletes, and your mission-direct fitness demands mirror those of military infantry/SOF. See our 5-Types of Tactical Athletes and their Fitness Demands article.
I have been somewhat surprised by the sit up, push up, run entrenched approach to Wildland Firefighter fitness deployed by most units given the realities of your loading and mission sets. Our own work with actual Wildland Firefighters has been hit and miss. We’ve had two individuals train with us in our Wyoming facility successfully for Smokejumper Selection and usually have 2-3 guys train with our tactical lab rats in the winter.
I’ve also had 2-3 similar individuals like you who wanted to bring our programming to their units, but in the end, were unable to make it happen because of buy-in. Also, we received some puzzling blowback from Wildland guys when we announced our 3/3/3 endurance assessment not over the assessment details, but complaints about running in their Whites firefighting boots.
Moving forward, pls look for our Wildland Firefighter Fitness Assessment and training plan this fall, and perhaps deploy that plan as an option in your district, or the above mentioned Wildland Firefighter Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am boxing coach- But i beleive athletic coach are very good to give us advise when it comes to training programmer.

ANSWER

We don’t have a boxing-specific program. From what we do have, I’d recommend you start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an infantry leader in the German army and have a question concerning MTIs programs with long workouts.
I’d like to do one of MTIs selection prep programs, for example for Delta or Marsoc, but I have no idea how to fit them into a day.
Being in the infantry, basically every day is a field day. Though I get off around 1700, I can’t fit two-a-days or workouts that go much longer than 1 hour into my workdays.
Any tips on how I can make those harded programs work?

ANSWER

I don’t have a time compress machine or any trick to share with you. Those programs are built around the fitness demands of the selections, not the limitations of the individual athlete. Several of the days in each plan are scheduled 2-a-days.
All I can say is several others in similar positions have found the time to complete the programs.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hello, I was wondering what the best plan would be to get ready for sapper school?

ANSWER

We built a specific Sapper’s Leaders Course Training Plan earlier this year.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve signed a Rep 63 contract so I will be heading to SFAS soon after OSUT.  I’m projected to ship to out Jan 2018 for basic, which doesn’t give me much time to train.  I’m trying to push it to April, but may not be able to.  What do you suggest given the two possibilities:

  1.   Ship out Jan 2018  (~18 weeks out)
    • Resilience then Ruck-based Selection Training Plan?
  2.   Ship out Apr 2018  (~30 weeks out)
    • Ruck-based Selection Training Packet starting at Fortitude?

ANSWER

Both plans are solid. You definitely want to finish the RBSTP prior to Basic.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

Stumbled across your website and I’m so glad I did.  I’m 56 years old and my joints are pretty banged up (shoulders, knees, hips, back) as I have been weight training for 44 years.

Looked at the SF45Alpha and that seems to be the right direction.  I certainly would have to modify as I don’t have access to sandbags at the moment and there is no way I could run 6miles.

I’m wondering if you have several programs I could purchase and I could kind of morph them together for my particular circumstance.

I really need to do shore up my conditioning as I let it slip away due to joint pain and also keep up what strength I have left.

My heart says yes, but my body keeps fighting me!!

ANSWER

The SF45 Packet contains all 4 of our SF45 Training plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a second lieutenant in Canadian Army preparing for my infantry officer course next summer.  I have 32 weeks to prepare.
About the course: it’s ruck intensive (10 miles with 55# ruck, plates, and platoon weapons weighing up to 40# is fairly standard) with field exercises lasting up to two weeks. We conduct patrolling on a 72 hour on 6 hour off tempo. The terrain includes very thick forest and lots of uneven, swampy ground with tank ruts. In the past I’ve found the ligaments in my knees feel quite hard done by when constantly stepping over fallen trees etc. Most guys fail due to injury, so I want to be durable.
About me: background in football, powerlifting and Crossfit. Decent engine but I feel a drained and overly reliant on caffeine and stimulants. I was removed from the aforementioned course this summer due to an infection in my knee. I would say my weakest areas are mobility and single modal endurance like running and rucking. I have a detailed spreadsheet with all my workouts in the last couple years which I can attach if needed.
I am going to be in the field for the next couple months, so I figured your Humility program would be a good place to start as it gives me a bit of a break and I don’t need much equipment.
Can you give me your opinion on which training packages I should follow up with and which order I should complete them in. I love tough training and my goal is to be stupidly overprepared physically for this summer.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and progression in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet. You’ll want to modify/cut the plans so you complete the final plan in the packet – the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, directly before your infantry officer course. My recommendation would be to skip Resilience.
Good luck at your course!
– Rob

QUESTION

i’m an Italian Mountain Rescue Istructor.

In January I have to support the Alpine Guide selection exam, and the mountain rescue Level Passing .

exam program : – rock climbing (trad and sport)- ice climbing- ski mountanering ( race at time ad descent piste and freeride).

should I buy the different training plans separately or can I combine it together?

ANSWER

I don’t have one plan that combines rock climbing, ice climbing and backcountry ski fitness all together.
I recommend you complete the Backcountry Ski Training Plan now, prior to you getting on the snow in November and December. Then, November 1, let your actual skiing maintain your ski fitness and transition your non-ski fitness to your climbing work. It’s not clear from your note, but my guess is you should complete the Ice/Mixed Pre-Season Training Plan prior to your exam.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a wildland firefighter on an AD crew (administratively determined) which means that I am on call depending on the needs of the forest and the fires going on at the time. I also work for a search and rescue team here in my area and I am also on call with them 24/7. I am a multisport athlete where my sports vary from surfing, rock climbing, long distance trail running/ultras, hiking, skiing/snowboarding and triathlons.  At any one time I want to be in good physical condition to respond to a fire or a rescue in the mountains but at the same time perform well in my sports. I have been doing the ultra-pre season packet since I want to keep my endurance and cardio performance high and since it also involves leg blasters for leg strength. I was wondering if I should be looking at this in a different way, if there was a plan that you have already created that covers all of these bases and what you would recommend.

ANSWER

Our approach: The closer you get to a specific “season” (fire season, ski season, climbing season, ultra season) or event (specific climb, rando race, spring desert climbing trip, etc.), the more sport-specific you fitness programming should be.
The further away from your season or event, the more general your fitness programming can be.
To get your best performance in any season or event, you should train sport specifically for that event directly before it.
On our mountain side, we call the “general” fitness Mountain Base. This programming isn’t random – but is designed to lay a solid “base” of mountain fitness on top of which to build sport-specific fitness using a sport-specific plan. Mountain Base programming concurrently trains relative strength (strength per bodyweight), work capacity, mountain endurance (running, uphill hiking under load), chassis integrity (our approach to core strength) and climbing fitness (rock specific). Our “Mountain Base” programming would be as close as I can come to preparing you for all your activities at any one time. See the plans in Greek Heroine packet for our Mountain Base focus.
Even though you say you want to be prepared for each activity you list at any one time, unless you live someplace which has both winter and summer at the same time, you have seasons or events you can train around.
The best way to use our programming is to plan for these seasons and complete the sport-specific programming the weeks directly before. Of the activities you listed, most important are wildland fire season and SAR.
Prior to the wildland fire season, complete the Wildland Fire Pre-Season Training Plan.
Prior to summer SAR, complete the Mountain Guide Pre-SeasonTraining Plan.
Are these during the same season? Chose the plan for the activity which is most likely.
In an ideal world, you’d complete sport-specific programming like above before your seasons, and complete programming from the Mountain Base plans between sport-specific plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

Got any specific plan for Motocross and/or Hard Enduro Training Plan?  Im a weekend warrior looking to train hard at work for a while in this specific discipline.

ANSWER

We have built one of these in the past but don’t have it up on the site right now. Also – if I remember right, it was aimed at motocross pro-riders who could ride during the weekday.
From what we do have I’d recommend the Mountain Sledding Training Plan. I’ve done a little of both, and feel there would be significant transfer from the grip strength, upper body strength and strength endurance, lower strength endurance and power, and chassis integrity work (mid-section) in the Mountain Sled plan to your sport. We’ve worked with world champion sledders and have had great success with out programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m new to your site and looking at joining the Australian defence force, I was just wondering what programs you would recommend me trying.

ANSWER

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

QUESTION

I’m a 50 year-old avid skier getting ready for a busy ski year. I’ve been running and doing “ski exercises” I’ve found on-line…then I found your site. I’m interested in an exercise plan, program or subscription but I’m not sure which one is best. I have a few limitations, mainly in selection of gyms. I live in Europe and the gym I have access to is limited in space and equipment. I have a small room I use for working out in my apartment. I’ve looked at other gyms in my area and most are tailored for more typical training. I have to fight for space to do what I’m working on now and can accomplish some of your exercises that I’ve looked at. However, there are no boxes, sandbags, and limited space so no running.

I also broke my ankle last year skiing and am still working on flexibility and strength.

Are there alternatives I can use when I don’t have equipment or space? I read through your products and couldn’t determine if you subscription service would provide this type of assistance or not.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

Our 30-Minutes Per Day Dryland Ski Training Plan requires just a pair of dumbbells.
Our other option, the Dryland Ski Training Plan is more comprehensive, but requires a fully equipped gym.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been using your plans for several years for backcountry skiing training and have seen great results. I live at sea level (New York) and work at a desk 50-60 hours/week. I make it out to the mountains (mostly Jackson area) 2-3 weeks/winter. Before training with your plans, completing a slow, 3,000 ft skin at altitude was a struggle. After working through your plans, the last couple of years I’ve been able to manage 5-6,000 ft days, far more efficiently and comfortably. Thank you.
The AMGA Ski Guide Training Course is the plan I’ve used most heavily. It’s been very effective but I’m looking to go bit beyond it in terms of training to be able to comfortably handle days of up to ~7,000 ft (one of my goals is to ski the Grand) and also increase my speed. 2 main constraints I have: 1) I probably do not much much incremental time I can dedicate to training and 2) I can’t run- knee issues (but have no trouble with the uphill treadmill work/step ups). Do you have an existing plan that would make sense for this? If not, would my paying you for a custom plan (or extension of an existing plan) be something you’d consider? Any suggestions appreciated.
Best,

ANSWER

Look at the Backcountry Ski Training Plan and email questions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just started working as a college recruiter, and I’m on the road for work. I start my travel next week, but I’m not in a hotel every week. I know that the program itself is six weeks long, but I’m only in a hotel five weeks. I’m also not on the road six weeks straight, so should I do the program when I’m back in town? Just thought I’d ask to see what y’all thought I should do.

ANSWER

Best for you might be to complete one of our Dumbbell/Kettlebell Training plans – which you can do at either location as long as you stay in a motel with a set of dumbbells.
We have 3 db/kb plans in our Three Stooges Packet – I’d recommend you begin with Moe.
– Rob

QUESTION

Big fan of Military Athlete, followed your programs on and off over the past 8 years.  I’ve recently been doing the Fortitude series, version one, followed by a short break, and then onto series 2. Currently on week 4 and I’ve noticed what might be hip bursitis.  It’s been nagging me now for about 4 months, slightly bothersome especially during squats.  I usually just work through it, but do you have any recommendations or programs i could do which might help alleviate or prevent this from getting worse?

I’m an 18 series officer with about 13 years in, currently working overseas.  Just wanted to provide some context for any recommendations you may have.  Thanks again, keep up the great work!

ANSWER

I’m not a doctor and can’t offer medical advice or help diagnose your hip(s) with any authority.
Somethings I have picked up over the years …. ff it is both hips, it’s generally either an overuse or a fitness issue.
If it’s one hip, it’s likely an injury. I’d be more concerned if it was one hip.
Programming? If it’s deep squatting that’s causing the issue, switch to SF45 Bravo from our series for high impact athletes ages 45-55 – deep squats are mostly avoided in this program but you still get to train strength. Take a look and email back questions.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hello,  I’m looking to purchase a training and meal plan (not sure if you offer that). I’m a police detective and in desperate need of some guidance I’m 42 years old and 6′, 370 lbs. I am a former wrestler and kickboxer and enjoy those types of workouts but my work hours do not allow me to make those classes. I’m looking to lose 150 lbs and complete an adventure race

Not sure what other info you may need about me to get started. Let me know if you can offer any help. Thank you in advance.

ANSWER

I don’t have any good plan for someone in your condition. At 150# overweight, I’m afraid all our stuff would be too intense.
You could try the LE OnRamp Training Plan …. and train every other day, rather than day’s in a row as prescribed. Be smart.
Diet/Nutrition? Do you seriously need a focused plan to tell you not to eat crap? Sorry for the directness, but at 42 years old certainly you know drinking sugar and eating high carbs and more sugar isn’t helping you lose weight.
We feel eating well doesn’t take rocket science, but rather discipline. HERE are our nutritional recommendations. Note  …. there is no caloric restriction on this diet. You should never be hungry – you just can’t eat crap on other than your cheat day.
I’m 49, and even fit guys our age with high stress jobs die all the time. Time to get it under control and get healthy.
Sorry for the tough love.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thanks for offering the free push/pull 3 week plan. I just started the plan today and have a couple questions.
I’m unable to do full push ups for the 2 minutes so finished the two minutes wth knee push ups. Do I include the number that I did on my knees in that two minutes when calculating the %max used for the subsequent workouts or just calculate based on number of full push ups? Same for pull ups: do I include the number of eccentrics from the two minutes in calculating my % of max for the rest of the training?
Thanks again for offering this plan. I’m looking forward to seeing improvement and to hopefully doing your backcountry ski pre-season plan this fall.

ANSWER

1. Yes – count the knee push ups.
2. Yes – count the eccentrics.
– Rob

QUESTION

I very much enjoy your newsletter and have been able to keep up with one of you programs that prepare for trail races.  But I’m 67 years old now and don’t see much advice for the older athlete.  Seems like we can get hurt a bit easier and recovery in general takes longer.  I’m worried that trying to keep up with your recommendations for a younger crowd is eventually going to set me back.  But I love a plan, and you are putting some good ones out there. How do I decide how to dial back a plan so it won’t be too much?

ANSWER

In general, we don’t program for the athlete. We program for the event … and the demands of the event are the equalizers. Our program objectives reflect this. There is no “special” summit of Rainier for 67 year olds …. there is just one summit – the same for everyone.
The difference perhaps then isn’t the fitness program objectives, but the pacing to get you there. Finish our Rainier plan in 12 weeks, for example, vice 8 – to allow for slower recovery and adaptation.
– Rob

 

Arete 10.19.17

Military

Militants Who Attacked US SOF in Niger New to the Area, OODA Loop

Crimea Isn’t the End of Russia’s Black Sea Ambitions, Bloomberg

Al Qaeda Rising from the Ashes in Syria, The Cipher Brief

Toxic Leadership Aboard USS Shiloh, Navy Times

Green Beret’s Assist, Advise & Train Mission to Expand, The Hill

Armed Ground Robots Could Join Ukraine Fight, Defense One

 

Gear

The Army’s Next Generation Body Armor, Task & Purpose

.50 Cal Round Effective Underwater to 60 Meters, Defense Tech

The 7 Most Mythical Skis of All Time, Unofficial Networks

2018 Best Snowboards, Outside

Avalanche Airbag Comparison Review, Outdoor Gear Lab

Army Developing Fire Control Device for Rifles, Defense News

Ultra Run Winner’s Full Kit, Gearjunie

 

Mountain

Patagonia, Backcountry Hunters Denounce ‘Antiquities Act’ Threat, Gearjunkie

Is Actual Skiing Dying?, Unofficial Networks

The Surprising Science of Backpacking, Outside

Freeski Women – “More Than You Think,” Trailer, Freeskier

Rock Climbing – Healing Nagging Finger Injuries, Training Beta

Climbing & Outdoor News, American Alpine Institute

Skiers’ Guide to Japan, Freeskier

Drone Footage of Iceland’s Landscapes, Outside

The Best Ski and Snowboard Films Out Now, Red Bull TV

Avalanche Accident Case Studies, Avalanche.com

Steps to Get Ready to Climb Big Objectives in Alaska, American Alpine Institute

First Free Ascent on the Diamond, Outside

Full Report On Avalanche That Claimed Hayden Kennedy And Inge Perkins, Unofficial Networks

 

Homeland Security/Terrorism

DHS Pics Sig Sauer for Sidearm, Soldier Systems

45 Foreign Fighters Arrested in Malaysia This Year, OODA Loop

The Rise and Fall of Los Zetas, War Is Boring

 

First Responder, Wildland Fire

Homicide the largest contributor to years of lost life among African Americans, Homeland Security Newswire

Sergeant Suckup, LE Today

Review of “Only the Brave,” Wildfire Today

FBI: Felonious Deaths of Officers Spiked 61% in 2016 – 116 Killed, Police

Respect Vs. Fear, LE Today

Interview with Amanda Marsh, Wildfire Today

Why Firearms Standardization Puts Officers At Risk, Police One

Stunned Suspect Kills Officer, Police One

LE – Analyze your Defensive Tactics Curriculum, Police

Wildfires: How they Form and Why They Are So Dangerous, Nat Geo

Eagle Creek Burn Flyover, Outside

 

Nutrition, Fitness

How Much Food Does it Take to Feed and NFL Team in a Week?, Men’s Journal

8 Best Muscle-Building Foods for Vegans and Vegetarians, Men’s Fitness

What a Single Fatty Meal Can Do to our Arteries, Nutritionfacts.org

The Healthiest Packaged Breads, Crackers & Chips, Muscle & Fitness

Healthiest Packaged Meat & Meat Alternatives, Muscle & Fitness

How Do People Die of Diabetes?, NY Times

Nearly 4 in 10 US Adults are Obese, WebMD

5 Things That Help When you’re Depressed, Psychology Today

Here’s Why Cross Training Is So Miserable, Outside