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