By Charlie Bausman, August 2017
This week we designed and completed the US Army PsyOps Assessment & Selection Training Plan.
In designing this training plan we brought to bear the decade of experience we’ve had in designing military and law enforcement special forces selection training plans. This 8-Week, sport-specific program is ruck-intensive, reflecting the ruck-heavy characteristic of PsyOps selection, but also includes focused APFT and 5-Mile run training for initial selection gates.
The APFT, 5-Mile Run, 8-Mile Ruck and MTI-inspired multi-modal work capacity event are assessed three times during this training plan and follow-on progressions are based on the athlete’s most recent assessment results. In this way, the plan automatically “scales” to the incoming fitness of the athlete and continues to push them as their fitness improves.
This program gets progressively harder each week, until week 8, when the training tapers down into the start of the selection. The plan is designed to be completed the 8 weeks directly before selection. Again, week 8 is a taper into the event.
This is an intense training plan which will demand physical and time commitment. To successfully complete this program you’ll need to make training for selection a priority during your work day.
This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness demands you’ll face at the Civil Affairs Selection and Assessment – 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
- Extended, multi-modal work capacity events
- Grip strength training.
- Shoulder strength endurance work
- Loaded runs and carries
- Intense core, mobility, and stabilizer strength training for durability
- 4-Square Drills for ankle and knee durability
The plan includes 48 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 Training Schedule
- Monday: APFT Work & PM – Ruck Run Intervals
- Tuesday: Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
- Wednesday: 2-Mile Run Intervals for 5 Mile Run Improvement
- Thursday: APFT Work
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Long Ruck
What if I miss a day?
Don’t skip ahead. Start where you left off. The plan is progressive, and its training sessions designed to be completed in order.
What if I have less then 8 weeks before I start the Selection Course?
Still start at the beginning of this training plan anyway. The last week before your selection, complete Week 8 from this training plan. It is an unload and taper week.
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, its better to cut training sessions short, rather than take unscheduled rest days.
I have more than 8 weeks before selection. What should I do before I start this training plan?
It depends on how much time you have, exactly. But in general, we encourage military athletes to start MTI programming with the Military On-Ramp Training Plan.
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.
Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Running and Ruck Calculators are listed as an exercise.
What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.
Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.