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MTI’s Most Influential Articles

 

By Rob Shaul

We have been working with mountain and tactical athletes for over a decade now, and early on established MTI as a thought leader both within and without of mountain and tactical athlete fitness.

Below are our most influential articles over the years.

 

1) What Does It Mean To Be a Quiet Professional?

I first penned these ideas in 2015, and early on surprised at how they were received and their impact outside our small world. The impact has extended beyond the mountain and tactical fields, as I’ve had multiple business executives and other business leaders ask permission to share these thoughts with their companies either as a post on the bulletin board or in a leadership course. Our work here continues, and I’ve been invited to speak/present to the Denver Fire Department on Quiet Professionalism. We have more work to do here, but it’s been very encouraging to see the principles of Quiet Professionalism be of interest to a large audience. You can read some of the responses here, or listen to a podcast on Quiet Professionalism here.

 

2) First Responders, Why Do You Tolerate Unfit Police and Firemen?

I knew our approach to First Responder fitness would be controversial, but I was not prepared for the response (here and here) to this article first published in 2016.  Most of the response has been positive, but also, a significant part has been negative. First Responders face many more obstacles to establishing a culture of fitness than military units including no high jeopardy fitness assessments, older athletes, no time on duty to train, often no place to train, and very stressful and demanding work schedules. Regardless, we strongly feel mission-direct fitness is a high priority safety concern and issue for fireman and police.

 

3) 5 Types of Tactical Athletes and Their Fitness Demands

Programming is everything when it comes to strength and conditioning for tactical athletes – far more important than fancy equipment, fancy exercises, celebrity strength coaches, or highly refined science food. MTI’s programming evolution over the years had led us to identify 5 types of tactical athletes, and design mission-direct, day to day programming for each type. Other tactical strength coaches have followed our lead – to the benefit of all tactical athletes.

 

4) 7 Obstacles to Implementing Functional Fitness in the “Big Army”

I receive an email from a new or incoming battalion commander at least once a week who has seen this article and been influenced by its ideas and suggestions. Turning the big Army is like turning a fleet of massive oil tankers, but we’re working to do it one battalion commander at a time!

 

5) Garbage Reps

Our turn away from moderately loaded, high rep deep squatting movements, mostly used in work capacity events, has had influence deep into the functional fitness strength and conditioning world …. hopefully cutting back on this type of activity and saving knees from arthritis in the process! I’ll often receive emails with questions from long-time CrossFit coaches asking for our reasoning and also for ways we’ve replaced garbage reps in our programming.

 

6) Tyranny of the FMS

Our contrarian thinking toward the Functional Movement Screen and the entire fitness sub-industry of mobility, pre-hab, re-hab, and other questionable movements and activities has caught the attention of the major fitness media and other coaches who’ve seen similar non-results from this stuff with their athletes.

 

7) My Biggest Programming Mistakes

I’ve made lots over the years, and in this article, I’m identifying and admitting to my biggest mistakes that has influenced both athletes and fellow coaches – and hopefully helped others not make the same mistakes I have.

 

Questions, Comments, Feedback? Any I miss? Email rob@mtntactical.com

 


You Might Also Be Interested In Why MTI? Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up


 

Arete 6.7.18

Military

Why Military Service Should Not be An Obligation of Citizenship, War on the Rocks
Revolutionizing the Institutional Army, Real Clear Defense
M4: The Gun The Army Loves to go to War With, The National Interest
The Reason Why There Is No Gun On the Planet Like the Glock, The National Interest
Gangs and the Military Note 2: Military-trained Gang Members as Criminal Insurgents, Small Wars Journal
It’s official: The U.S. Navy has a new ship killer missile, Defense News
US strikes Shabaab again outside Mogadishu, Long War Journal
How 2011 Iraq Relates to Syria Today, The Cipher Brief
Why We Need at Atlantic Rebalance, Breaking Defense
Thucydides in the Data Warfare Era, The Bridge
Are We Preparing to Fight the Wrong War, The National Interest
New MREs Designed for Infantry?, Real Clear Defense
Smart Rifles for Foot Soldiers, Army NSGW Prototype Contracts Out in June, Breaking Defense
Diamond Edge – the Future of Body Armor, Soldier Systems
The Pros and Cons of a Miniature Red Dot Sight and Slide Cuts on a Defensive Pistol, ITS Tactical
SOCOM, Industry Prepare for Game of Drones Contest, Real Clear Defense
Army Shows How Soldiers Have Changed the Last 50 years, Soldier Systems
Securing the Bridge from the Other End: Tactical Rule of Law in Non-Western Countries, Small Wars Journal
Navy SEAL Awarded Medal of Honor for Afghan Assault, In Homeland Security
Why Americans are Poor Advisors and What To Do About It, Small Wars Journal
US SOF in Africa May Face Major Cuts and Pivot to China/Russia, NY Times
US Army Vet Tried to Spy for China, NY Times
Wargaming with Athena: How to Make Militaries Smarter, Faster, and More Efficient with Artificial Intelligence, War on the Rocks

 

First Responder / Homeland Security

Freezing the Free Speech Out of Cops, LE Today
Kansas Fire Chief Gets in Fight During Fire, Firefighter Close Calls
CA Firefighters Rescued from Fire By Police Officer, Firefighter Close Calls
Chicago Firefighter killed in LOD Diving Accident, Firefighter Close Calls
Cops and Suicide, a Father’s Perspective, LE Today
Cali Man Sent to Prison for Impersonating ICE Officer, Officer.com
Six Hotshot Crews in one Photo, Wildfire Today
3 Wisconsin Officers Treated for Fentanyl Exposure, Police.com
7 German Firefighters Injured at Massive German Amusement Fire, Firefighter Close Calls
5 Ways to Crush Subordinates, LE Today
How Do You Define Terrorism?, Rand Corp
Iraq War Veteran Choke-Holds Suspect Going for Wyoming Trooper’s Gun, Officer.com
Illegal Border Crossings Remained High In May Despite Trump’s Crackdown, In Homeland Security
Warrior Or Guardian?, Police.com
The key triggers of the costly 2017 wildfire season, Science Daily
The DEA Is Buying Glock 26 Gen5 Pistols for Special Agents, Tactical-Life.com

 

Mountain

Tele Skiing Could Be an Olympic Sport in 2022, Unofficial Networks
Climate Change Increasing Risk of Lightening Ignited Forest Fires, Science Daily
Two Expert Climbers Killed in Fall From El Cap’s Freeblast, Climbing Magazine
Portraits of Pacific Crest Trail Hikers, Outside Magazine
Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold smash The Nose Speed record, Planetmountain.com
Your Sunscreen Might be Doing More Harm Than Good – Skiers have a higher risk of developing skin cancer—here’s how to prevent it, Powder Magazine
Skier Discovers Deceased Mountaineer During Descent On Washington’s Mount Adam, Unofficial Networks
The Science of Why We Fall on Mountain Trails, Outside
Tanner Hall to Compete in 2019 World Freeride Tour, Freeskier
Ultra-Light Hacks Every Thru-Hiker Should Know, Outside
Video: Death Defying Run on Knife Edge, Unofficial Networks
Honold, Caldwell Set Speed Record up Nose of El Cap, Gearjunkie
4 Lessons from 2 Harrowing Alaska Mountain Rescues, Outside
Why Runners Are Obsessed with the Grand Canyon R2R2R, Outside
Current State of Drought Across the US, Unofficial Networks
What the Worse Winter in 60 Years did to Ski Resorts, Outside
FKTs Have Changed the Mountain Mindset, Outside
It’s Summertime And Psychopaths Are Stringing Barbed Wire Across MTB Trails Again…, Unofficial Networks
Recon Fills Small Camper Void With Custom Nissan, Gearjunkie

 

Fitness/Nutrition

Traditional Chinese Medicine Holds the Secret to Heath, Outside Magazine
How to Fix Your Front Rack Form for Better Lifts, Muscle & Fitness
Best sources of Vitamin B3, The World’s Healthiest Foods
DYI Protein Bar Kits, Breaking Muscle
Avoiding the Rounded Shoulder Chain of Pain, Breaking Muscle
Kettlebell VS Barbell – The Experts Weigh In On These Workout Tools, Men’s Health
20 Weight-loss Tricks That Actually Work, Men’s Journal
Fasted Cardio: Does It Actually Burn More Fat?, Muscle & Fitness
The Best Fuel for Your Longest Sufferfests, Outside
5 Sleep Apps that Actually Work, Outside
French Forge New Routes in Alaska’s Revalation Mountains, Planet Mountain
Woulda, coulda, shoulda: The haunting regret of failing our ideal selves, Science Daily
Your Pre-workout Coffee Might Not Be as Effective as You Think, Men’s Journal
Study: Weekend Sleep-Ins May Help You Live Longer, WebMB
Study: Most Popular Vitamin and Supplements Provide No Health Benefit, Science Daily
3 Exercises to Increase your Deadlift Max, Muscle & Fitness
Everything you Know about Running Shoes is Wrong, Gear Patrol
Coffees that Deliver Twice the Caffeine, Outside
Protein Supplements Are Not for Snacking, Breaking Muscle
7 Podcasts You NEED To Listen To If You’re Having Trouble Reaching Your Fitness Goals, Men’s Health
Take This 3 Minute Push-Up Test To Find Out How Fit You Really Are, Men’s Health
The 4 Best Ways To Stretch In Order To Avoid Injuries, Men’s Health

 

Interesting

Every Tool Song, Ranked, LA Times

Q&A 6.7.18

QUESTION

So I’m interested in trying some of your programming. My background 44 year old police officer with patrol/SWAT supervisory assignments. I also teach and train BJJ and kickboxing 3-5 times a week. I’ve been using McNamara’s Combat Strength Training model with good results but I’m looking for something more programmed out. I want something that is complimentary to both my work requirements and my growth as a combat sports athlete.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you complete the plans and progressions in the Gun Maker Packet of plans for full-time SWAT/SRT, beginning with Ruger.
These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), endurance and tactical agility and I recommend them for your day to day training.
If you have an important upcoming BJJ event, I’d recommend dropping out of the Gun Maker plans and spending 6 weeks focused specifically on your grappling fitness by completing our BJJ Training Plan. You’ll want to complete this plan the 6 weeks directly before your event. After the event, drop back into to Gun Maker plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve suffered an SI joint sprain and was wondering if you have any programs aimed towards recovery to get me back on track. I’m signed up for a half marathon trail running race with 1000m vertical gain/descent in late August but I’m unable to do any running right now let alone walking normally. Weight bearing on my right leg is painful and has caused me to quit all training. I was working on the backcountry ski training program up until the injury. Have you worked with athletes with this injury? Any advice would be helpful.

ANSWER

You may want to take a look at our Low Back Fitness Training Plan after you’ve healed up some. It’s too early now. My only recommendation would be to try an inversion table, some massage/dry needling, and walking with a 20-pound pack … low back injuries are a mystery and individualized, but we’ve had athletes who’ve had success with this stuff.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off let me say thank you for such a great holistic training resource. I am blown away by the number of plans and support the site website has. It really is a great site. I just finished a Spartan 12HR Hurricane heat which is like a goruck challenge. I used your goruck challenge plan and really felt well prepared.

So my question is about Spartan ultra beast training (sept 2018 race). I initially intended to use the MTI alpine running training plan b/c I know from

Past UB experience most of this race lives in your legs and mountain running with significant uphill/downhill. I’ve heard of others using the MTI ultrbeast plan which seems to be more based on whole body exercises, not so much emphasis on uphill climbing/training. Which do you think would be better? Last question. What exercises do you think are most effective for building strength needed for steep uphill running and climbing? I feel like weighted lunges help allot.

Thanks for any input you can provide.

ANSWER

The Alpine Running Plan will prepare you for the running part, which is the majority of these Spartan events – but not as well as our Ultra Beast plan for the obstacles. So you may want to mix the two – and do the running/strength work in the Alpine Running plan, and upper body/other work in the Ultra Beast plan.
We like loaded step ups and leg blasters or quadzilla complexes for vertical-specific leg strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking to get into my next phase of training.  Quick background, I am already a very well trained, former professional soccer player with a background in Exercise Physiology.
I am a AF/CCT Candidate, finishing the hiring process for the Border Patrol, and am also a Marine OCS poolee.  I retired to pursue the opportunity to serve.
I’ve have many injuries from my soccer career, although fixed and healed/no restrictions, having a problem getting medical waivers for my knees… which is why I’m applying to multiple branches/organizations.
Anyway, my numbers for all fitness tests are all well beyond the standards.  That being said, I’m looking for a program that will keep me progressing/prepared for all opportunities while not neglecting any aspects.  I need to swim, run, caliths, and lift.  What program would best prepare me for all aspects.  I’m assuming that something for the CCT pipeline would adequately prepare me for all three.
I’m comparing your programs with Jeff Nichol’s BUDs Prep 13 week Program and looking to make a final decision within the next couple days.
Sorry for the lengthy email, looking forward to hearing back!

ANSWER

It seems you’re still undecided about which service/agency you’ll end up pursuing. If I’m right, I’d recommend the plans and order in our Pirate Series of Training Plans – which are designed as day-to-day programming for Military SOF and LE SWAT/SRT with water-based mission sets. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck, swim), chassis integrity and tactical agility. I’d recommend this programming until you’ve locked in on the service/military.
If I’m wrong and you’re set on CCT, I’d recommend our USAF PJ/CCT/CRO Selection Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering with the Greek hero program I’ve been doing can I incorporate 2 a days in which I would add power lifting style lifting.  Not every day, but have blocked training like a hypertrophy block then a strength block.  I want to keep my condition up for the army, but improve my 3 lifts.

ANSWER

No … simply because all the Greek Hero plans include strength training already and you’ll overtrain. What I’d recommend is moving to Achilles – which already has work programmed for the Back Squat and Bench Press and you could sub in the Dead Lift for the prescribed power cleans in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am wanting to focus on all around fitness. I am an average runner running 20 to 25 mpw now. Nothing crazy fast, just overall running shape. I am wanting to incorporate a more fit regime into my running. I know this will require me to have 2 a days and thats ok. Just not sure if the basic foundation or humility will best suit me. I do have access to a gym for either plan, so thats not an issue. My fitness level now is about a 4ish on a scale from 1-10.  Im 44 years old and like most former military dudes, i have become soft on physic.

Can you make a recommendation on the two plans?  Once i start, i will stay comitted

ANSWER

I’d recommend SF45 Alpha – which combines heavy, barbell-based gym-based strength, running, work capacity, and chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

I love you’re packages, and have used the Big Mountain V2 in the past.  (Worked out great for a 14 day sheep hunting trip last summer).  Unfortunately, no hunting trips scheduled for me this year, but is there a plan that you recommend for off season hockey players?  I’m 55, so keep that in mind.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans from the SF45 Packet – beginning with SF45 Alpha.
– Rob

QUESTION

I used this workout with great success for downhill skiing…….do you guys recommend this for road cyclists or is the lactic acid buildup too much?

ANSWER

Leg blasters are simply great leg-strength programming. We’ve used them with mountain bikers before – Rob

QUESTION

I’m a huge fan of your plans. I am a 31 year old who will be enlisting in the Army for the first time this fall (a little non-traditional). I’m about to begin the APFT plan for the second time, but I have a question for you.
I’ve been focusing lately on hypertrophy and putting on some muscle (primarily bench press, shoulder press, weighted dips, weighted lunges, weighted pull ups)* in an old school periodization / progression fashion.
I’d like to work on my APFT score with your plan, but also stick with at least some of my hypertrophy training. Do you have any tips/recommendations on folding in some hypertrophy that won’t interfere with your APFT plan? My score is the priority, if I had to choose one over the other.
*I’ve been avoiding olympic style lifts for hypertrophy due to an L4-L5 bulging disk injury I sustained a few years ago. Gun shy.
Any insight or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

ANSWER

Bad idea – as the volume needed for upper body hypertophy work will act against the high volume push ups you’re doing for the APFT plan. Also – the volume needed for lower body hypertrophy work will act against the running in the APFT plan.
I’d recommend you look at the Military OnRamp Training Plan. You may need to modify exercises around your low back- but it sounds like you know your way around a weight room enough to do so – and you can also ask me.
– Rob

QUESTION

I emailed you a few months ago about strength training recommendations while training for a half marathon.  I just completed the half marathon and during training I used the sessions from the In-season Strength Training for Endurance Athletes.  Prior to that I did the Military On Ramp.  Those are great by the way.  I am looking for guidance on where to go from here as far as training plans.  I am a 34 year old military pilot and want to build a solid all round fitness base and work toward your military athlete strength standards.  I have done long endurance events in the past but about 1.5 years ago I started focusing solely on strength training using the starting strength routine.  Training for the half marathon made me realize how much of my running ability I had lost.  What series of plans do you recommend to get me going?  I was originally thinking Humility to start but do you think it would be better to roll straight into the Greek Hero series?

ANSWER

Your plan is Solid – Humility, then Greek Hero.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been using your programs on and off for about 8 months now. I started with your On Ramp and then transitioned to the Virtue series. Now that I am finishing up the series I am curious if in your opinion if it is advantageous to transition to one of the general strength programs before going back into a series like the Greek God series? I am an Armor officer who is about to be assigned to an Armored Brigade Combat Team in Fort Riley Kansas. I feel that my functional strength is where I would like it to be but my raw strength is not quite where I would like it to be before I head to my next unit. Thanks.

ANSWER

Absolutely you can work in a strength-focused plan. I’d recommend Big 24.
– Rob

QUESTION

I attended a course from your company back in 2016 and was interested in using your company to help me an upcoming selection. I was looking for a training plan for the US Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s selection (Green Platoon) but I didn’t notice anything that resembles it, although I imagine it’s not too different from SFAS or any other selection so I understand I could probably sub out some exercises or routine in the programming. I was interested in knowing if any of your coaches or programmers were familiar with 160th or would recommend a program to prepare?

ANSWER

Other have used our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan successfully for SOAR.
– Rob
*Note: After we received this question, we released the 160th SOAR (A) Assessment & Training Course Plan

QUESTION

I’ve recently made the decision to enlist in the Army National Guard, I already have my ship date to infantry OSUT: august 27th. Because I am also working on an economics and math double major, I haven’t had much time to train up and prepare until now. My APFT scores are 52 pushups in two minutes, 60 sit-ups in two minutes and 16:30 on the run (nothing too impressive with a particularly weak run time). Since I began at university I haven’t been able to train and work out much, so I’ve also lost some muscle mass (weighing in at 139lbs, 6’0″). I have no particular engagements from today until my ship date (barring a week long academic seminar in June), and I was wondering what you would suggest to be best prepared for OSUT.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

First, I wanted to thank you for all your programs that I have used throughout the years.  I used the Ruck Based program and completed SFAS then utilized the Q Course Plan to get ready for SFQC, which I completed last year.  I continue to use your program on a daily basis.

I have a question about a program for my daughter, who is 16,  will be completing for an ROTC scholarship this year.  She is also plays lacrosse and would like to work on her speed while increasing her overall strength.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

Start with strength – MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan is a great place to begin.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off, I’ve been using MTI’s programs at random for about 4 years after being introduced by a friend of mine who is a MARSOC Marine, and I love what you all do. I’m 26 and have been a LEO for about 3 years now. I had been training for the past 8 months and cutting weight for a 2 day SWAT selection process, which I unfortunately came up short during the PT test on day two; I hit muscle failure and didn’t pass the pull-up iteration by 1 pull-up (failing any iteration was an automatic disqualification, which was unfortunate because I was 1 of 4 left out of the 8 original candidates). Obviously this was highly frustrating because going in I was actually comfortable with pull-ups even as a bigger guy 6’2/230lbs. The PT test is a 2 mile run in less than 18 minutes, minimum of 10 strict pull-ups in 90 seconds, 50 push-ups in less than 90 seconds, 50 sit-ups in less than 90 seconds, a 100 ft dummy drag timed, a 100 ft sprint in full gear in less than 20 seconds, and after this is the obstacle course in under 20 minutes; all of this is at the beginning of day two. Day one consisted of mind games, random PT, range time to qualify, then multiple scenarios using simunitions with random PT, being gassed, and then day one ended with a 4 mile trail run mostly uphill. I was informed by one of the final guys who made it through day two that the last thing they did was a 3.7 mile hike in the local national park with a 50lb sand bag, but he said he was able to pass it off to the other candidate during the hike. Anyways, I am seeking a plan that I can stick to and not “wing” or jump around on that would help me meet these qualifications and make me more than prepared when going in to the next selection process. Also any dietary insights would greatly be appreciated; I am currently doing intermittent fasting daily with a consumption time of 1400-2100 hours. I look forward to hearing back from you all.

ANSWER

Diet? Here are our recommendations.
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope all is well. First of all, thanks for all that you and folks do for our Service Members, LEOs and Firefighters. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed your recent interviews on the AoM podcast.  I have a quick training question. I’m planning to run my first marathon in December of this year and wanted to see what training plans you recommend. I’ve looked at the Meathead Marathon plan, but I’m still several months away from when you suggest starting. I’m in decent running shape right now, but I’m nowhere close to marathon ready. I would like to focus on keeping my strength(as much as possible), but improving my work capacity prior to starting the Meathead Marathon Plan. I would appreciate any advice.

ANSWER

Couple Options:

Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan – Running and bodyweight-focused strength. It’s a great marathon prep plan.
SF45 Alpha – Gym Based Strength, Work Cap, Core, and running 3 days/week including a 6-mile assessment and 2-mile intervals, and long runs Friday and Saturday.
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope everything is going well for you. I have recently run into some medical issues which have been prohibiting me from doing weightlifting circuits using a barbell or heavy free weights. Basically the nervous system that controls my heart rate, blood pressure, and senses like touch is malfunctioning and I am in danger of passing out and hurting myself when I use any of those things during a work capacity or heavy strength workout. However, body weight workouts are ok.

I am almost done with your leg blaster body weight workout from a couple of years ago and was looking to buy another body weight workout set from your website and was wondering on what your recommendation would be? You guys have put together what looks like a ton of great training plans, its just a bit overwhelming for me to know where to start.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

Sorry about the medical stuff. I’d recommend Bodyweight Foundation.
– Rob

QUESTION

So I’m interested in trying some of your programming. My background 44 year old police officer with patrol/SWAT supervisory assignments. I also teach and train BJJ and kickboxing 3-5 times a week. I’ve been using McNamara’s Combat Strength Training model with good results but I’m looking for something more programmed out. I want something that is complimentary to both my work requirements and my growth as a combat sports athlete.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you complete the plans and progressions in the Gun Maker Packet of plans for full-time SWAT/SRT, beginning with Ruger.
These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), endurance and tactical agility and I recommend them for your day to day training.
If you have an important upcoming BJJ event, I’d recommend dropping out of the Gun Maker plans and spending 6 weeks focused specifically on your grappling fitness by completing our BJJ Training Plan. You’ll want to complete this plan the 6 weeks directly before your event. After the event, drop back into to Gun Maker plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

So I’ve been out of the fitness life for a few years now (mid-2015) when I left the Reserves.  I’m trying to get back in shape now because I wish to reenlist.  My goal is to either complete the “Rookie” series or the “Ruck-Based” series, which both start with On-Ramp.
Now, On-Ramp recommends starting with Bodyweight Foundation if there a question of being able to complete the exercises.  Sounds good to me.  Problem is, I just completed the Foundation Day 1 assessment, or rather attempted it.  I breezed through the warm-up comfortably, and then 30 seconds into the Max Air Squats my quads charlie-horsed on me and by the time I finished a Max Set of Horizontal Pull Ups, I was fully burnt out and cramping worse.  I rested a few minutes and then forced myself through the full 1.5 miles in 19:43.  (That’s more than double what I used to run it in 45lbs ago!)
I went into this rested and well hydrated.  Though not over-hydrated.  I also had not eaten in ~5 hours, just in case.  I’m so angry at how far I have let myself go, but also motivated by it, too.  My question is:  Should I re-attempt the assessment a different day, or push on to the next day subbing “1” for my failed reps?  I don’t know if my fitness is really that sorry, or if it was a horrible day for some reason.
Thanks in advance; and sorry if I’m too wordy.

ANSWER

Continue with the plan and use your yesterday assessment numbers for the progressions. Be patient with yourself. You’ll get to re-assess in a couple weeks.
– Rob

QUESTION

I discovered your gym while on vacation in Jackson last spring and switched over to your programming from CrossFit. I am 41 years old and a 20 year veteran state trooper in Missouri. I am finishing up patrol/detective spirits series and want your recommendation on what I should do next. I prefer to try to keep my workouts to an hour or less most days because of family obligations.  If you would give me some suggestions I would appreciate it.

I also wanted to let you know I have really enjoyed the workouts and wanted to tell you thanks for developing programs for the military and first responders.

ANSWER

Best would be to subscribe and complete the plans and order in the “Cop Movie” packet – or, completing the Officer Sessions daily programming. All this programming follows the same fluid periodization priorities as the Spirits Packet, and sessions are designed to last 45-60 minutes. This programming can’t be purchased separately.
Another option would be the Busy Operator plans which you can purchase. Here is the link to Busy Operator I.  We also have Busy Operator II and III.
– Rob

QUESTION

Excited to have subscribed and looking forward to work. I’m about to deploy but my goals are to pass SFRE in Feb 19 and then Selection after . I’m in good shape and have done a few GoRuck events. But I haven’t tucked in a couple months….
Question: should I jump right in to the 60# prescribed weight for the 10mile assessment? Or would it be smarter to start lighter? Injury prevention is my top priority.

ANSWER

I can’t advise you here. I don’t know how fit you are or your rucking experience.
I would say you’re a tactical athlete with aims at selection, and looking at deployment. Rucking with load like this is part of the job description.
– Rob

Mini-Study: Endurance Training Doing Step Ups Does Transfer To Running, but Only Half As Well

MTI Lab Rats hammering through 266x Step Up Intervals…

By Rob Shaul

 

BLUF

We conducted a short, 4-Week Mini-Study to test the transferability of one mode of endurance training (step ups) to another (running). Results found assessment improvement in both modes, but the improvement in step ups was twice as great.

 

Background

Does swimming make you a better runner? Does running make you a better cyclist? Does cycling make you better at hiking uphill? These are common questions which come up often by athletes who have equipment and/or space limitations and can’t follow our programming as prescribed.

More generally, does work in one endurance mode transfer to improvement in another endurance mode. If so, how much?

Our goal with this Mini-Study was to get an answer to this question, starting with two modes:  step ups and running.

 

Study Design/Deployment

This was a 4 week study. Week 1, MTI Lab Rats completed a 3-mile run time trial, and an 800x Step Up effort for time. Why these two assessments? Anecdotally based on completion times, we find most athletes finish these two efforts in approximately the same completion time.

For the next three weeks, on Tuesdays, Lab Rats completed three, 266x step up intervals at a pace 20% faster than their assessment pace.

On Thursdays, the athletes completed 1,000 step ups at a “moderate” pace – comfortable but not easy.

On Week 4, the 3-mile run and 800x step ups for time were re-assessed. Week 1 and Week 4 assessment times were compared.

Weekly Schedule

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesay

Thursday

Friday

Week 1

Strength Training

3-Mile Run Assessment

Strength Training

800x Step Up Assessment

Rest

Week 2

Strength Training

3x, Hard, Fast 266x Step Up Intervals

Strength Training

1,000x Step Ups at a moderate pace

Rest

Week 3

Strength Training

3x, Hard, Fast 266x Step Up Intervals

Strength Training

1,000x Step Ups at a moderate pace

Rest

Week 4

Strength Training

3-Mile Run Re-Assessment

Strength Training

800x Step Up Re-Assessment

Rest

 

The study hoped to answer three questions:

(1) Does training in one mode (step ups) improve performance in another mode (running)?

(2) If so, how much?

(3) If so, how much does the improvement in running compare to the improvement in step ups?

 

Results/Discussion

Multiple MTI Lab Rats began the study, but only four athletes completed all 4 weeks of the programming without missing a session or assessment. Their results are below:

 

All but one Lab Rat improved in assessment performance for both the step ups and the run, and 3 of the 4, had a significantly greater improvement in the step ups – which is what would be expected given the step up focused work between assessments.

That they also improved in the run to some extent is also not a surprise. Part of this improvement can be attributed to knowing what to expect and doing a better job of pacing for the second assessment. As well, part of the improvement can be attributed to general cardio improvement gains doing the step up intervals and long 1,000x step up efforts on Thursdays.

What is interesting and significant is the greater improvement in step ups.

 

Here are the answers to the initial study questions:

(1) Does training in one mode (step ups) improve performance in another mode (running)?
Yes – three of the four lab rats improved their running assessment times, despite doing only step up endurance training between assessments.

(2) If so, how much?
On average, 5.25%.

(3) If so, how much does the improvement in running compare to the improvement in step ups?
In general, running improved one half as much (5.25%) as step up improvement (11.6 %).

From a training and programming perspective, perhaps the more pertinent question is will training in one endurance mode help me in another mode? The answer, based on this limited mini study, is yes, but not nearly as much as if you had training in the first mode.

More directly, sport-specificity matters. If you need to get better running, it’s best to run. Need to improve step up performance? Do step ups. Need to improve swimming? Swim.

 

Next Steps

Clearly, the results here were limited by the small sample size. We had 8 Lab Rats begin the study, but just 4 complete all the assessments and training sessions.

We did split out four Lab Rats, separate from those above, and also have these four complete both assessments, but instead of following a step up progression, follow a similar running progression. We hoped to be able to compare their results to the step up group. We hoped to see if perhaps running transferred to step ups better than step ups transferred to running. However, none of these Lab Rats completed all the assessments and progressions so we weren’t able to make this comparison.

This is worth knowing and will hopefully result in a future Mini-Study.

As well, we’d like to know the transfer from biking to running, and ruck running. Often athletes recovering from injuries can’t run or ruck, but can bike, and I’ll often prescribe biking/spinning as a substitution mode while they recover. Knowing the extent of the transfer from biking to running and/or rucking would be valuable. Again, this hopefully will result in a future Mini-Study.

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

Plan Focus: 160th SOAR (A) Assessment & Training Course Plan

 

By Rob Shaul

This is a sport-specific 7-week program designed to prepare athletes for the U.S. Army 160th SOAR Green Platoon Assessment & Training Course. The plan includes a 1-week taper and is designed to be completed the 7 weeks directly prior to your Green Platoon start week.

It is a very intense, 6-day a week training 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.

 

 

BUY NOW

 

This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness demands you’ll face at the Green Platoon Assessment and Training Course – specifically rucking, running, work capacity “smokers,” grip strength, etc. You’ll ruck 2 days/week and run 3 days/week. It also includes:

  • Testing and progressive training for the APFT events (run, sit ups, push ups) plus pull ups.
  • Extended, multi-modal work capacity events
  • Grip strength training.
  • Loaded runs and carries
  • Intense core training for durability

The plan includes 42 Total Training Sessions. It is intended that you’ll train Monday-Thursday with a long ruck on Saturday. Friday and Sunday are rest days.

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Monday 2-a-day: AM: APFT Work; PM: Ruck Run Intervals

Tuesday: Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity

Wednesday: 2-Mile Run Intervals for a 6-Mile Run Improvement

Thursday 2-a-day: AM: APFT Work; PM: Easy Distance Run

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Long Ruck

 

ASSESSMENTS

The plan includes 4 specific assessments and follow-on progressions. You’ll take these assessments three times over the7 weeks – beginning, middle and end. The progressions are percentage based on your assessment results, automatically scaling to your current level of fitness.

  • APFT+ – Max Sit ups (2 minutes), Max Push ups (2 minutes), Max Pull Ups and 2 Mile Run
  • 8 Mile Ruck for Time – 45# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle or Sledge Hammer, Full Cammies/Boots
  • 6 Mile Run for Time, shorts and t-shirt
  • Multi-Modal Work Capacity for Time

 

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

What equipment is needed to complete this program?

  • Stop Watch with Repeating Countdown Timer – Timex Ironman is best.
  • 40# Sandbag (women); 60# Sandbag (men)
  • 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
  • Foam Roller
  • Highly Recommended – GPS-enabled Stop Watch with repeating countdown timer (Garmin Forerunner 10 is recommended ) A GPS enabled watch will make measuring run and ruck distances much easier.

What if I have less then 7 weeks before I start the Selection Course?
Still start at the beginning of this training plan anyway. Skip ahead to Week 7 in this plan the week directly before Selection begins in order to deload.

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 Does 5x Sandbag Getups @ 40/60# Mean?
Women use a 40# sandbag for their getups, and men use a 60# sandbag.

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/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

What do you mean by 15 Minute “Grind”?
You should work your way through these circuits briskly not frantically.

Can I see sample training?
Yes. On the Plan Product Page, click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

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

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

More Questions? Email: coach@mtntactical.com

 

How “Good for Them” Change My Life

By Rob Shaul, Founder

 

Years ago when I first left the service, I moved to a small town in my home state of Wyoming and started a newspaper.

It’s not like I hired 10 reporters, bought a printing press and opened a big office. No … this was a true “bootstrap” story – I began in a spare bedroom, with one computer and one laser printer. I had no journalism experience, absolutely no desktop publishing experience, no one to sell ads, no business experience, etc.

I was a green 27 years old and had a wife and two kids to support.

Every week I had to drive 90 miles to another town to get the newspaper printed, then I had to personally stuff inserts, stick on mailing labels, fill newspaper machines – the classic 1-man small business operation. We went to press on Wednesdays, and every Tuesday for ten years was an all-nighter.

I wasn’t the only game in town. The old newspaper in the community had been around nearly 100 years and was a well-oiled machine. Its staff laughed and yawned at my first few weekly efforts, and I was determined to crush them.

I was a hard worker and quick learner, and within 3 years had taken the government ads from my older competition, and at 5 years, bought them outright. It was a true “minnow who swallowed the whale” story.

But things weren’t gravy. The old newspaper had been losing money hand over fist, and I had to borrow nearly $400,000 at 11% interested from the local bank, to make the purchase. When I combined the newspapers, had to let several staff members go.

I lived in the office, literally, for two years, barely making payroll each week, and in general, was terrified all the time.

About 6 months after I’d purchased the old newspaper and combine efforts, some of the laid-off staff decided to start their own newspaper! 

Unlike before, when I was the minnow, now I was the whale – with the burden of a hefty loan payment due monthly, a bigger staff, office rent, etc.

The night I heard the news about the new newspaper, I didn’t sleep.

I laid down and tossed and turned, worried, scared; full of self-pity.

At 4 am or so I finally gave in, got out of bed, took a shower, brewed up some nasty Folgers, and sat down at my desk, exhausted.

Then something remarkable happened. Somewhere from inside me – a wiser voice crawled up and whispered, “Good for them” about my new competitors.

That voice and those words changed everything.

Gone immediately was my scowl, replaced by a soft, but, ironic smile. Yes …. “Good for them,” I repeated, sincerely wishing my new competitors the best of luck, knowing first hand what it took to start from scratch.

All that bitter effort and angry emotion was gone. “Good for them” gave me the mental space to realize the best thing always for me to do, no matter the outside distraction, was focus on what I could control, and have faith that things would work out.

Me and my new competitors competed back and forth for 5 years before I left the business. I can honestly report that at least for me, it was a healthy competition.

That soft “Good for them” changed my life for the better back then, and has continued to work its wonders in the years since when I’ve found myself in some manufactured pissing contest with another company or individual over this or that issue.

Competition, no matter the area of life, can be healthy. But being over competitive can easily devolve to vindictive small minded thinking, pettiness, and self-pity. It can become a huge distraction from what you can control and improve.

Whenever I feel this darkness descending over me I reach for “Good for them” and it magically lights the way out. Soon I’m back to working on my own responsibilities, and not worrying about what others are doing. 

There’s a scene in the movie “Seven Years in Tibet” where Brad Pitt’s character, Heinrich, is upset because his best friend got the girl, and he didn’t. The girl sees Heinrich is upset, and confronts him, “A friend’s good fortune is a blessing” she says.

I’d offer too, that a competitor’s good fortune is also a blessing, and sincerely saying to yourself, “Good for them” can change your life, as it did mine.

 

 


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


Q&A 5.31.18

QUESTION

I am interested in trying mointain tactical but do not know which program is right for me. I am a park ranger at mount Rainier. My fitness level took a huge dive over the winter and Im trying to get back into the swing of things.
Equipment available is dumbbells, barbell and bench with a few plates, a few sandbags and resistance bands. Willing to pick up a few things if necessary. Weighted Rucks are important to me because we often haul gear unto the back country during search and rescue or while on wildland fire operations. Also, internet on the mountain is limited, so a program would have to be downloaded or printed out.
Any help would be appreciated. Ill be passing through Jackson in a week or so and could possibly stop in briefly to chat or over email is great too.

ANSWER

Couple Options:

I’d recommend the Mountain Warfare School Training Plan from our tactical side.
This will hit all your bases … limited equipment, focused leg work for uphill and down hill, upper body strength endurance and a little running. Leg strength work for the downhill, and rucking.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have stepped away from military athlete for about 6 months to do more conventional training. I am wanting to get back into it. I used to do the operator sessions, however didn’t like all the rucking.

I am in law Enforcement on a specialty response team. I love working out and enjoy running and trail running. I can usually dedicate an hour -90min a day if needed. Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks and look forward to starting back with MA.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Gun Maker Packet. These are purposely designed for full-time SWAT/SRT. For endurance, the plans deploy gym-based endurance and running.
Start with Glock.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently looking for a plan to help prep for attending the Marine Combatant Diver’s Course this coming September. I’m currently working through the Pirate Series plans, and have started looking at the CDQC plan. Do you have any recommendations based on previous athlete’s experiences?

ANSWER

No. You’re plan is solid.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been on a crossfit-esque plan for the past few months and, after a pretty bad back injury, concluded that there’s too much risk in crossfit for a guy that’s not training for anything in particular/isn’t a professional athlete. I decided to do a cardio-centric plan (2 days cardio: 1 day strength) that incorporates mostly compound strength training because cardio is my priority but I don’t want to neglect strength either. I chose compound lifts and a strength, as opposed to size, in order to balance out the reduction in strength that comes with more cardio. I’ve been working on my own plan, but I was wondering if y’all have any plans that might better accomplish my goal. I’ve attached my workout plan (which is still somewhat of a work in progress) to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

ANSWER

From what we have I’d recommend SF45 Alpha – which combines heavy barbell-based strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I got about 14-15 months to get up to standard to being a royal marine. I’ve seen your PRMC training plan and it looks quality and am going to use it going into basic training but I would like some help with choosing which of your plans to use leading up to that.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Virtue Packet – starting with the Military OnRamp Training plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

A coworker of mine recently completed your mountaineering training program and highly recommended it. I am going to have ACL reconstruction surgery this coming Friday and am interested in your leg injury training program. Having gone through this surgery before, I can attest to how important it is to try to keep the rest of you fit and strong during the long rehab process, and I know how much I benefit from following a program rather than trying to come up with one myself.
My questions are: how soon after my surgery should I start this program, and could I use the equipment in my PT facility (it’s very good; I live in a mtn town where there are lots of sports injuries so PTs are kept  busy), or do I need to use a gym? I ask because it’s easier for me to work out around other injured people rather than be the only injured one. Also, is there a way I could see a sample of one day of the program, so that I can run it by my PT and get a better sense of how well it might meet my needs?

ANSWER

The Training Program for Athletes Suffering Leg Injury is not a rehab plan for your injured leg. Rather, the plan works the rest of your body around your injured limb. I’ve had people on crutches do the plan before – but you will be moving around … so I’m thinking a week or two after your surgery. You just want to be steady enough not to fall somehow and knock your recovering leg.
Sample training? Click the “Sample Training” tab at the link above.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a retired Special Forces officer teaching High School JROTC.  I have limited equipment and limited time to work out and also to get the most workout for my raider team.  Raider competitions for the cadets consist of usually some version of the APFT, pull ups and other strength/short endurance events (vehicle pull, litter carry etc.)  I am looking for a solid workout plan for a team of HS kids at differing levels of fitness.  I have almost no equipment other than a pull up bar.
For me I am somewhat broken but would like to get in shape to lead the cadets workouts by example but during the school year I am really pressed for time.  I have at the house a squat rack, universal bar bell set, kettle bell and just put together a duffle bag size sand bag.  I also have a TRX.  I can’t run the distance that I use to but I do still use a 30-40lbs ruck when I walk the dogs.  I am looking for a 20-30 minute daily workout to get back in shape and maintain.
I really like your articles on rucking and it answered a lot of things from my past.  I was always on the light side but could ruck well.  I did however always max my APFT and I new I had to stay above a certain weight to keep the 60-100# ruck sack from beating me up.  A lot of great information on your site and I will continue to look around and read.

ANSWER

Cadets … I’d recommend our Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
You? We don’t have any 20-minute/day training plans. Closest would be Busy Operator I – these sessions are designed to last around 45 minutes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I did the Virtue series plan and then the ruck based selection for SFAS this past April. I felt great physically and no injuries throughout the selection and put up personal bests while I was out there. However I was a 21 day non select. I received a return date in August and intend on going back. My goal is to increase my ruck and run times if possible, and strength wise I felt pretty great and want to maintain, I hope that my endurance will increase as well. I’ll do the Ruck based selection 8 weeks prior but what should I do in the mean time? Start the virtue series again at whatever point it would be at for the prep? I have about 16 weeks to prepare again. Thanks again, your programs always deliver.

ANSWER

Good for you to return. Stay in the fight!
Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks   Plan
1-7         Fortitude
8            Total Rest
9-16       Ruck Based Selection Training Plan
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

My agency’s special ops team should be hosting their week-long pre-academy in 13 weeks. If you score well, interview well, and survive the smoke session(s), etc. you’ll be allowed to go to selections in October.

I’ll be using the appropriate selection prep plan you have for us eight weeks out from selections. Where I’m having a little trouble is figuring out which plan to do between now and that pre-academy.

A little birdie told me to concentrate on maximizing my test scores for the pre-academy, i.e. push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, 1.5mi run, and 300m sprint… maybe some “water confidence”, but nothing available seems to encompass all of that. Should I just do something like the Army or FBI PFT prep and perhaps add in swimming from the selection prep plan?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the selection plan prior to both pre academy and the Selection. Between now and starting that program, I’d recommend Barbarossa plans from the Pirate Series – which include swimming.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off, thanks for all you do, I used your programs off and on from 2009 to present, successfully completing OCS, TBS, and eventually getting selected at MARSOC A&S.
I’m curious what weight you would recommend for a guy who’s just over 5’11”. I currently fluctuate from 195-200, I can usually run about a 19 minute 3-mile but my calisthenics numbers aren’t great (15-ish pullups, 65-70 pushups, etc.). Do you think bodyweight might be affecting this?
Thanks again for all you do, I’m currently doing your pushup/pullup improvement plan and hoping it will really help.

ANSWER

Your weight is about right, and your run is smoking, so my guess is you don’t have a lot of background in upper body strength work. You might want to pull off of the pull-up/push up plan and take some time training pure strength. I’d recommend the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan for its efficiency – even if you did just 3-4 weeks. It does include pull-ups but also bench press, front squat and power clean.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am very interested in your programs and am interested in any advice/recommendations you might have for my situation.

Currently, I am a Senior Army ROTC cadet and will be commissioning as an Active Duty Officer in December. I hope to achieve my top branch choice of Infantry and thus, I am looking ahead to IBOLC & Ranger School. Upon Commissioning, I have requested to attend my BOLC as soon as possible, and if IBOLC then Ranger School following that. Overall, this gives me this summer and next fall/winter to maximize training preparation.

I am already pretty fit. I consistently score 300’s on the APFT and have partaken in different CrossFit programs as well as competitions throughout college/ROTC to include Ranger Challenges, Bataan Death March, Norwegian Foot March, GAFPB, which have given me a good base of preparation. However, I want nothing more than to go into these schools in the absolute best shape of my life physically prepared. Of the many program(s) that you offer, which would you recommend for me to make the most out of the available time that I have left given my current state of fitness. Any advice/recommendation is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

ANSWER

Complete the IBOLC Training Plan 6 weeks directly before IBOLC.
Between now and then complete the plans and order in the Virtue Packet – beginning with Military OnRamp.
– Rob

QUESTION

With all your programs I’m struggling to find a good fit for my current goals.

Fat loss, while maintaining or gaining strength…summer is upon us. I’m relatively fit already with a decent CrossFit background and I eat well. 170#, 5’8. Not sure if that helps.

If there’s a program you can suggest I would appreciate it.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Hector from our Greek Hero Series for Military SOF and Infantry.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m very interested in starting a plan, I just have no idea where to start. I know what I want to achieve and I know where I’m at currently.
Here’s where I’m at currently: 26y/o F 147# 17-20% bf. First off, I’m healing from a stress fracture in my femur and serious tendinitis in the surrounding area(I believe the ladder the worse of the injuries) I’m on the better side of the healing process though (yay, just started running again at 70% bw. No pain during or after. Running at 100% causes discomfort and some compensation. Tightness in muscles.) I have a varied, solid knowledge base of different styles of weightlifting. Been lifting/CrossFit for years. But I do feel like I’m starting all over again because of my injury, slowly adding weight to the basic moves.
What I’m looking for: I want to be an all around better military athlete. That includes what your programs offer verbatim; relative strength, work capacity, tac sepa, chassis, endurance. And swimming, I really want to improve my swim, which is mediocre at best. I’m hoping to get orders to fmtb/FMF soon. And I would also like to drop a packet for special operations, within the year, at most. I’ve heard great things, have done one of your lab rat programs(improving women’s performance for SF selection, ruck/rope climbs/pull ups-which was great) and one of the guys at my last gym (CrossFit 719 in Co springs) has worked with MTI as well. Hopefully we can get something that works!
Thanks for your time, looking forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, and follow it up with the plans/order the Pirate Packet – which is designed for SOF/LE with water-based mission sets and includes swimming work.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have ran across multiple suggestions for pathways to follow, but maybe they are unique to the individual asking….
Heres mine:
Im mid 30’s in the NG Infantry wanting to go to SFAS.
My PT score isn’t great, I struggle with my run mainly. And my Rucking is not on par either. Given either a 6 to12 months timeline, what would be my best bet for programs to follow/stack to have the greatest chance of success at  SFAS? (I would assume the APFT program and SFRE would likely be recommended)

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi, coach. Currently I am an ROTC cadet at my university. I was wondering what kind of program should I do next after I max my APFT. My goal is to build up my fitness up to Operator level fitness but don’t know which program I should do next.

ANSWER

Work through the plans and order in the Virtue Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I started your APFT plan last week. Just wanted to see what all I can do in addition to that workout.

I would like to see maximum results when I take my APFT but fell like I need to do more for the next 5 weeks than just push-ups, sit-ups, and some running.

Is it OK to do other bodyweight workouts in the evenings or work out other muscle groups (cleans, curls, squats, mil press etc.)?

Thank you for your time!

ANSWER

No more bodyweight stuff for sure – but you could lift heavy. However, stop if you start not making the progressions in the APFT Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope that all is well. So in the near future, I’ll be heading to the TACP schoolhouse. Currently enlisted and in moderately decent shape but I want to go in knowing I’m going to destroy it. Any recommendations for a gearing up to complete the TACP program prior to going? Thanks a lot.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Virtue Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in a Mtn tactical training plans. My outdoor interests mainly lie in peak bagging/mountaineering/rock climbing, but I also love CrossFit/strength training… and having the physique to prove it.

Do you have any suggestions on training plans?

Also do you implement stretching/mobility training with these plans?

ANSWER

Couple Options –
1) Mountain Base Helen – an all around Mountain “Base” plan that concurrently trains strength, work capacity, climbing fitness (rock), mountain endurance and chassis integrity (core).
2) Alpine Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Plan – season-specific training plan laser focused on preparing you for the summer climbing season. Includes climbing training, uphill hiking under load endurance, eccentric leg strength, etc.
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like to conduct several programs at one time over the next few months.  Would you advise against this?

The programs would be

  1. Hypertrophy for skinny guys
  2. Sandbag Ethos
  3. Ranger School Preparation

I have the equipment and proper facilities/locations to complete the plans.

Any advice would be very appreciated.

ANSWER

Bad Idea. You’ll overtrain. Do the Ranger School Plan alone.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had a question about rest time on the Big 24 pan. I didn’t see anything about rest in the overview. How much time should I take between each of the sets of 3?

ANSWER

Each set includes a stretch or mobility drill. This is your “working rest” between sets. usually 60-90 seconds. As you proceed through Big 24, the loading increases and you’ll need more rest. At the beginning of the progression we’ll be able to complete a session in 50-60 minutes. By the end of the progression it will take 70-75 minutes to complete a session. We simply need more rest between sets.
– Rob

Arete 5.31.18

Military

Proving Ground: Iran’s Operational Strategy in Syria, Small Wars Journal
House overwhelmingly backs plan to ‘rebuild our military, Defense News
How aviation injuries led to 8,670 lost work days across the military, Defense News
US strike hits Taliban ‘command and control node’ in Helmand, Long War Journal
What the Army’s Return to Large-Scale Operations Means for the Intelligence Warfighting Function, Modern War Institute
Come Aboard the USS Enterprise: The Navy’s Finest Ship Ever, The National Interest
Slovakia’s Unusual Artillery Is Among the Most Advanced in the World, War Is Boring

 

Homeland Security/First Responder/Law Enforcement

Dangerous Times For The Constitution And Freedom, Hoover Institution
US alerts its diplomatic staff in China over ‘abnormal sounds and symptoms’, intelNews.org
Trump’s Summit Cancellation: What It Means, Real Clear Defense
EHT Episode 37–Truck Work Part 3-Forcible Entry, Firefighter’s Enemy
Amongst the Shadows and the Stones, Law Enforcement Today
New Stamp to Honor First Responders, Officer.com
Retired NYPD chief of detectives dies of 9/11-related cancer, PoliceOne Daily News

 

Mountain

The Hard-Partying, Big Water-Running Walt Blackadar, Adventure Journal
Three Black Canyon routes in 24 hours: raising money for the Climbing Grief Fund, Alpinist Newswires
Returning to Shasta: How a mountain created a loyal following of world-class guides, Backcountry Magazine
Interview: Adrian Ballinger on His Lightning-Fast Ascents of Cho Oyu and Everest, Climbing Magazine
Classic Routes: The Phoenix, Climbing Magazine
Shred the land down under: Nine reasons to ski Australia, Freeskier.com
7 of the Best Skiers on the Mountain – None of these skiers are sponsored, by the way, Powder Magazine

 

Fitness/Nutrition

Squat Because Your Brain Needs Strong Legs, Breaking Muscle
Rehabilitating lactate: From poison to cure, Science Daily
Time spent sitting at a screen matters less if you are fit and strong, Science Daily
Do Coffee Brewing Methods Matter For Health? Mark’s Daily Apple
You Should Probably Start Eating More Beets, Men’s Journal
Follow the 5-to-1 Rule for Packaged Foods, NutritionFacts.org
Running with Bad Knees Might Be OK After All, Outside Magazine
What Athletes Can Learn from the Latest Sleep Research, Outside Magazine

Arete 5.24.18

Military

How the Army Is Equipping Cyber Warriors in (Near) Real Time, Fifth Domain
How the Submarine Force Can Reach Its Warfighting Potential, CIMSEC
Project Mentor: A Case for Broadening Within U.S. Army Cadet Command, Small Wars Journal
The US is running out of bombs — and it may soon struggle to make more, Defense News
America’s industrial base is at risk, and the military may feel the consequences, Defense News
Spy collection program using fake mobile phone apps linked to Pakistani military, Intel News
Soldiers Beat Marines at USMC Scout Sniper Course, Tactical-Life.com
Germany’s Leopard II Tank Was Considered A Killer Until It Went to Syria, The National Journal
Prepare the Army for Future Urban Battlefield, Modern War Institute
Why the Corps Wants to Fight With Fewer Marines, Real Clear Defense

 

Homeland Security/First Responder/Law Enforcement

Forget the Deep State–This Is the Trump State, American Prospect
America is changing demographically. Here’s how your county compares, Pew Research Center
Homeland Security Secretary Was Close to Resigning After Trump Berated Her, Homeland Security Department
Do You Trust Cops? Do Cops Trust You? Law Enforcement Today
Teen Who Started Eagle Creek Fire to Pay $36.6 Million, Wildfire Today
New Border Policy Could Have Unintended Consequences, Rand Corp.
Terror attacks: how psychological research can help improve the emergency response, Homeland Security News
Education, Entertainment & MMOs, Officer
New Tool Predicts Eye, Hair, and Skin Color From DNA Sample, Police Magazine
The War on Police Nationwide, Law Enforcement Today
NC Trooper Killed in Crash During Pursuit, Police One

 

Mountain

The Science of Why We Fall on Mountain Trails, Outside Magazine
How Much Will West Coast Snowfall Decrease In The Next 80 Years? Powder Magazine
You’ve Never Seen a Mountaineering Movie Like This, Outside
10 Books Every Skier Should Read this Summer, Powder
25 Things Your Male Guide Won’t Tell You, Outdoor Research
Trad is Rad, Arcteryx
The World’s 10 Most Dangerous Mountains, Gearjunkie
Don’t Put Your Ski Boots Away Yet. Come Shred in the Beartooths, Powder Magazine
Watch Liv Sansov’s Bid to Climb 82 of Europe’s Highest Peaks in One Year, Adventure Journal
The American Alpine Club announces 2018 Excellence in Climbing award recipients, Alpinist News Wire
How to Pack for a Hike, Outside
Gearbox: Three avalanche airbags shrink systems to increase space, Backcountry Magazine
Teenagers steal the show at X Games Oslo, Freeskier.com
Himalaya Spring 2018: Yet More Summits on Everest and Lhotse, Hillary Step Update, Death Toll Rises to 5, The Adventure Blog

 

Fitness/Nutrition

The Psychological Side of Heat Exhaustion, Outside Magazine
Dementia: Exercise Doesn’tSlow Cognitive Decline, Science Daily
Climbing Finger Injury? Don’t Sweat, Outdoor Research
Yes, you can run a half-marathon after knee and back injuries, Cnn.com
HAVING NO LEGS WASN’T GOING TO STOP THIS PARALYMPIC POWERLIFTER, Men’s Health
We have stepped, pedaled and rolled for fitness, but are we ready to hang?, Ny Times
11 (Non-Dietary) Actions That Enhance Insulin Sensitivity, Mark’s Daily Apple
Feel the burn: Biochemical pathway that spurs beige fat cells to burn energy is discovered, Science Daily
Return to Play Testing After ACL Reconstruction, Mike Reinold
Should You Take a Pain Killer for Gym-Related Pain?, Men’s Journal
Are Any Foods Off-limits, Even for a Cheat Meal? Muscle & Fitness

 

Interesting

Key findings about American life in urban, suburban and rural areas, Pew Research Center
Cougar That Killed Cyclist was Underweight, Desperate, National Geographic
What Moral Heros Are Made Of, NY Times
Here’s Why It Matters That Americans Are Having Fewer Children Than Ever Before, Fox News
Sweden Releases “To Do” List for Possible War with Russia, Defense News
America is changing demographically. Here’s how your county compares, Pew Research Center
Mice Re-Grow Brain Tissue After Stroke with Bioengineered Gel, Science Daily
Turkey’s Triangular Quagmire, A Chronological Analysis, Small Wars Journal