Plan Focus: Ranger School Training Plan

By Rob Shaul

 

I just updated our Ranger School Training Plan this week. This is Version 3 of this training plan, updated July 2017.

The Ranger School Training Plan has proven itself over the years for multiple athletes. (Read Reviews Here).

Ranger School in total is a multi-month stamina effort. But the “crux” of the event, and where most fail, is the first week – RAP (Ranger Assessment Phase) week – when candidates face several fitness assessments including the Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA) and 12-Mile Ruck March. According to the Army, 45% of Ranger School Candidates fail to graduate and half of them failed a RAP week event. The RPA accounts for 25% of all RAP week failures.

The MTI Ranger School Training Plan has two main goals: (1) Prepare the athlete for the rigors and assessments at RAP week; (2) Prepare the athlete in terms of physical stamina, mission-direct fitness, and overall mental and physical durability for the long endurance effort that makes up the bulk of Ranger School following RAP week.

 

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Changes from V2

  • We increased the plan duration from 7 to 8 Weeks and increased the training from 5 to 6 days/week. You’ll take the RPA 4 times in this plan, vice 3 times in V2
  • We updated the core strength work in the plan to our Chassis Integrity programming theory
  • We made important changes to the RPA progressions to reflect our latest programming evolution
  • We included moderate swimming on Saturdays partly to prepare athletes for the Combat Water Survival Assessment, and partly to help with recovery from the plan’s intensity.

 

RAP-Week Focus

This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness demands you’ll face at Ranger School, including the intense assessments at RAP week – preparation for the Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA), 12-Mile Ruck, swimming, calisthenic-based “smokers,” loaded work capacity efforts, mid-section strength and strength endurance, grip strength, etc.

The training plan includes:
– Testing and progressive training for the RPA (Push Ups, Sit Ups, 5-Mile Run, Chin Ups)
– 12-Mile Ruck
– Grip strength training.
– Barbell-based strength training for performance and durability
– Shoulder and hip strength and durability work
– Chassis Integrity (mid-section) and low back strength and strength endurance
– Loaded runs and carries

 

Weekly Schedule

For Weeks 1, 3, 5, 6, & 8

  • Monday: 2-A-Day: AM – RPA or RPA Work;  PM – 12-Mile Ruck or Ruck Intervals
  • Tuesday: Gym-Based Strength, Chassis Integrity
  • Wednesday: 2-A-Day: AM – RPA Work;  PM – Ruck Intervals
  • Thursday: Multi-Modal Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
  • Friday: 2-A-Day: AM – RPA Work;  PM – Ruck Intervals
  • Saturday: 30-60 Minute Moderate Pace Swim

For Weeks 2, 4, 7:

  • Monday: Gym-Based Strength, Chassis Integrity
  • Tuesday: 2-A-Day: AM – RPA Work;  PM – Ruck Intervals
  • Wednesday: Multi-Modal Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
  • Thursday: 2-A-Day: AM – RPA Work;  PM – Ruck Intervals
  • Friday: Multi-Modal Work Capacity
  • Saturday: 30-60 Minute Moderate Pace Swim

 

Assessments

The plan includes 2 specific assessments and follow-on progressions. You’ll take these assessments four times over the 8 weeks:

1. Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA) – Max Push Ups (2 minutes), Max Push ups (2 minutes), 5-Mile Run, Max Chin Ups

2. 12 Mile Ruck for Time @ 60# Plus 10# dumbbell, plate, sledgehammer or rubber rifle

 

RAP Week Preparation & RPA & 12 Mile Ruck Progressions

Fitness “gate” failures during RAP week are the major source of Ranger School attrition. This plan specifically focuses on preparing you for these assessments.

During this train up you’ll take the RPA and complete the 12-Mile Ruck @ 60# four times: Weeks 1, 3, 6 and 8. The weeks following the first 3 assessments you’ll complete calisthenic density training (push ups, sit ups, chin ups), running interval repeats and ruck interval repeats based on your most recent assessment scores. In this way, the plan automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness and continues to push you as your fitness improves while completing the plan.

The “cumulative impact” during RAP week is also trained during this plan via multiple 2-a-days, gym-based strength, and Chassis Integrity work, and hard, multi-modal calisthenic-based work capacity “smokers.”

A primary goal of the plan is to prepare you specifically for the RAP week fitness “gates” including preparing you for the cumulating volume of work you’ll experience.

 

Endurance/Stamina Preparation

Included in the plan is 1 day/week in the gym completed heavy free weight strength training. The goal of the strength training durability. We’ve found over the years that stronger athletes are simply harder to injury, do not get injured as bad if something does happen, and recover faster.  

Also included is our proven Chassis Integrity mid-section strength and strength endurance programming in the form of 2x/week extended circuits. A strong mid-section protects vulnerable joints and limbs. Chassis Integrity is the best theory we’ve developed to this point which develops transferable, functional, mission-direct core strength and strength endurance for mountain and tactical athletes.

Finally, by looking at the schedule above, you’ll see this is an intense, high volume training plan. The volume in the plan is by design and will develop your mental and physical stamina for Ranger School.

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

What equipment is needed to complete this program?

  • Fully-Equipped Functional Fitness Gym including barbells, dumbbells/kettlebells, climbing rope, pull up bar, foam roller, etc.
  • Stop Watch with Repeating Countdown Timer – Timex Ironman is best.
  • 60# Sandbag
  • Ruck you will use at selection, 60# of filler, 10# Rubber Rifle, 10 lb sledgehammer or a 10# dumbbell/plate

Highly Recommended – GPS-enabled Watch. A GPS enabled watch will make measuring run and ruck distances much easier.

What if I have less then 8 weeks before I start Ranger School?
Still start at the beginning of this training plan anyway. Skip to Week 8, the taper week, the week directly before Ranger School.

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 Ranger School. If you can’t handle the training volume at first, it is 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.

Can I see Sample Training?
Click the product page above and then click “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

More Questions?
Email coach@mtntactical.com