KUDOS ON THE RUNNING IMPROVEMENT PLAN
“I just wanted to give you guys so more kudos. I am a female Army Officer and I consistently score in the 280s on my PT test. I have never NOT maxed my push ups and setups, its always the run that gets me. Anyway I am REALLY busy and I needed a run program that wasn’t going to keep me tied down too long during the day. So I took a PT test 6 months ago and ran a 18:25 on the 2 miles. I signed up for your Running Improvement Program and was able to do about 50% of the workouts each week. The first two weeks I did all of the workouts but then my schedule got crazy and I only ended up doing the intervals and the 3-4 mile runs each week. I worked through the first 6 weeks and just took my PT test after doing the program and dropped my 2 mile time to 17:04. So even only doing 50% of the program each week I was still able to greatly improve my time. I have to admit though during my intervals I worked to be as far under the range time that I could. So if my recommended 800m time was 4:08 to 4:25 I was pushing harder in that a majority of my interval times ranged from 3:33 (fastest) to 3:50. Thanks for a great program! Maybe if I get time to follow it as prescribed I will see even bigger improvements!”
I am preparing to move into Apollo here in about a week when I finish Hector. I have a couple questions. First I see it says 40 foot sandbag toss and chase for time and also on a separate day for reps. What does this mean? I don’t see that separately outlined in your exercises page. It seem like a single go through of that exercise for time would maybe take 15-20 seconds. Is that the point? And same for the reps, it seems like it would maybe be 3-4 reps unless I’m misunderstanding the instruction. Secondly, on the first day I think it was, it says to do an assessment for max reps of pull ups unloaded/25#. Does that mean to do two separate assessments? One unloaded and one loaded? Also with regard to the eccentric pull ups later. Do you recommend a plate on a chain and belt or a weighted backpack or a vest. It seems like it would change the dynamics of the movement so what is your recommendation? Thanks for your time.
Don’t overcomplicate it and don’t get frustrated. We can have two different methods for prescribing effort for Sandbag Toss & Chase – for distance and also by reps. The distance assessment in Apollo is an interesting test of explosive power for tactical athletes.
It’s been a while since we lab ratted this effort … and I can’t remember the average finish time. I do remember I sucked compared to some of the bigger guys in our crew.
unloaded/25# ….. unloaded for women, 25# for men.
A backpack is much faster and easier than plate on chains, but it’s your choice.
Once you finish PT and are cleared to train, we have a Post Re-Hab Knee Injury Training Plan
to act as “bridge” from being cleared by PT to being strong enough to fully complete one of our other training plans.
Originally used your GORUCK Selection training schedule from 2014 and am wondering if your team did a lot of modifications to it over the past 3-4 years. I’m contemplating picking up that monthly training with you guys, but also looking for help laying out the year progression for this event as it is almost 1 year away. Is this something I’d find in a monthly membership?
We have not updated our GoRuck Selection Training Plan.
1-Year Train Up:
By my count, this comes to 53 weeks of programming.
The plans/packets can be purchased individually. As well, each is included with an Athlete’s Subscription
along with the 200+ other training plans in the MTI programming library.
First off, love you guys. Been a subscriber even when I’m not “on the wagon.” I can’t wait to use some of your plans for future goals but I have a very specific need now and after browsing all of them, I want your thoughts on a current plan. Since I’ve moved to a busier fire station and I work a 24 hour shift every third day, mine time is very limited as well as equipment (just filled up my new MTI sandbag to have bag at the station, too). I would love to find something or alteration, that meets these specs best possible:
* Short but intense, < 45 mins (like Busy Operator)
* Minimal equipment (like Sandbag Ethos, Fire Rescue, Fat Loss, Bodyweight)
* No long distance running/rucking, i.e. over 800m at a time (like Beep test)
* I thought about moving any running/rucking days to my off days if thats an option; not skip but swap a session #4 with #5.
* Doesn’t need to be Fire Rescue centric sense I find a lot of it transfers just fine plus I’ll be going into the Guard next year.
Thanks Rob for your time and thoughts. You and your team keep up the good work.
Not sure I have a perfect plan for you …. I’d point to our LE day to day programming as they are designed to last 45-50 minutes, but all of our current plans require a fully equipped gym.
From what I do have, I’d recommend the Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan – you have access to it as a “Legacy Plan” with your subscription. You may need to cut rounds from the circuits to make your time constraint.
Let me know if you have any questions and/or can’t find the plan.
I have gone through the APFT program once and am going to start it again. My end game would be Special Forces (and beyond, potentially). I’ve spent the last few years squatting and deadlifting and didn’t realize my upper body was basically not developing, so my numbers on the test are not impressive at all. My sit ups are around 60-65, push ups around 32-36, and pull ups around 8-9. My runs were improving very quickly, but then I got shin splints and had to lay off. I’m not worried about the runs as of yet.
My plan for training after I master the APFT is Running Improvement Plan, SFAS packet, SFOD-D Training Plan, and then go through the Greek Hero series.
Do you see a flaw in that? I may jump on your Push Up plan as well before the SFAS or SFRE plans.
Also, if I’m focusing so much on APFT stuff, I don’t want to start losing power and strength, but I don’t know if I should supplement other workouts while I’m trying to get my upper body strength to grow.
I guess my overall question is: Do I focus on one training packet at a time or include maintenance workouts throughout so I don’t end up being good at only 3 movements after months of trying to get my numbers up? From my limited “coaching” perspective, I think I’ve put together a good progression with your plans… but I’m not a coach, so I may be missing something.
This progression will help develop your overall tactical/military fitness in a programmed way, as well as build upper body strength. Several include push up progressions.
I have an APFT towards the end of November and I’m going to start the APFT Plan next week. What would be a good concurrent plan do to with the APFT Plan to maintain and work on my overall fitness?
Should I do the APFT Plan in the mornings and the concurrent plan in the evening? Or vice versa?
Before I give you some options, understand that the APFT Training Plan
is laser-focused on improving your performance in the 3 APFT events, and on it’s own, is no joke. The plan deploys an initial assessment and then bases the follow-on progressions on your initial assessment results. In this way it automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness – deconditioned or super-fit.
The plan deploys a mid-cycle re-assessment, and again bases the remaining progressions on your most recent assessment results – so it keeps pushing you.
Because of this, I don’t recommend doubling up on the plan, but if you insist, here are some options:
1) Complete a Multi-Modal Plan which includes the APFT – these plans include focused APFT work, but also train other attributes including rucking, work capacity, etc:
2) Complete a high intensity (weight), Low Volume (reps) Strength Plan in conjunction with the APFT Plan – as 2-a-Days (APFT in the AM, Lift in the PM)
If you chose the 2-a-Day option, pull back from the weight room strength work if you are not making the APFT progressions.
I know I am cutting it close to the wire, however I have 45 days before I have to run a PFT & CFT and a Bomb Suit Mobility Test, all back to back for approval to be eligible for a EOD lat move. I have locked at both your PFT & CFT plans and I have no issue buying both. That being said I am unsure how to blend them together to get the best results. Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
This will be a “Frankenstein” program as I combine these two plans.
I’m writing to ask what program you’d recommend for someone who’s completed the Horsemen Training Program (me)? I’m an aspiring USMC officer, but have a couple years until I sign the contract. I’m just looking for a new challenge, as the compiled workouts from the Horseman Program are beginning to become easier. Do you have any ideas?
In the past 5 months, my son has applied and tested at 2 separate fire departments. He has been volunteering for about 6 months. His times have been roughly 50% under the time limit.
He is working towards an early November date for physical testing at another department. They are actively hiring non-certified FF’s of which he is.
My son is in overall good shape; 6’3″ about 170. Works full time. Not currently working out. Needs a plan at least for the next 4 weeks so he can get himself ever more ready. He can workout about 1 hour early AM before work.
Can you recommend training to get him a crash course within these constraints?
Thank you for your expertise and help.
I assume your son is taking the CPAT for the departments. If so, recommend our CPAT Training Plan
I’m a career firefighter in TN and am very interested in beginning the Jaguar program or the Meathead Marathon program. I’ve been wanting to increase my running for a while, but also like the idea of going through the Jaguar due to it being specialized for my type of work. Does the Jaguar program involve any running?
running? – just shuttle sprints. Tiger
from our Big Cat series for urban firefighters includes a 1.5-mile run and 800m repeats. In general, our endurance work for Fire/Rescue is focused on long gym-based efforts given your mission-set.
A good plan to consider if you want to put in some running miles is Achilles
, from our military side. This plan will allow you to train the strength, work capacity, agility and chassis integrity you need for your job, and it also includes long runs out to 10 miles.
I’d recommend Achilles over the Meathead Marathon
plan given your job. We feel tactical athletes, like yourself, should train for your work-based fitness demands as a priority over any recreational fitness.
Hello, I’m trying to help get a moderately conditioned, mostly bodybuilding but has transitioned to more “Crossfit” style workouts in last couple months, ready for Alabama Smoke Diver class. It is very intense. Probably hardest week in firefighter training you can undergo. Which template would be best for him to buy? Class is 5 days/ 9 hr days non stop
In high heat, airpack training with searches, victim rescues, dragging, crawling, climbing ladders and towers. It’s in February 2018. Fire lion, tiger, panther, or tactical fire athlete template? It’s a chassis, work capacity, grip killer.
We’re building a Smoke Diver plan, but haven’t completed it yet.
From what we have, I’d recommend Gratitude
. It’s killer and has a strong multi-modal gym-based endurance component which will transfer to your athletes long days on the fire grounds.
I am a police officer and member of our county’s SWAT team(we’re not full time, but always on call). I recently signed up for your programming and need help starting out. Which program would you suggest starting with? I am in fair shape, but need to trim up and work on cardio. I also hope to drop some pounds in the process. One last thing, my workout times vary day to day. I work 2-11pm 5 day’s a week. I usually workout afterwards, and time can really be constrained. Any advice I appreciate!
All are included with your subscription.
Weight? Fix your diet. Here
are our guidelines.
Email back any questions you have moving forward.
Per your prior recommendation, I’m going through Fortitude and really enjoying my first real exposure to rucking. Couple quick questions:
1. What is a very fast mile or 3m? I’m sub 30 on 3mile and always like to keep an eye on what elite guys are doing. Perhaps it plateaus on pace and then it’s about extending mileage?
2. Thoughts on sustainability/durability? I’ve had a couple knee surgeries but feel pretty good right now six weeks into rucking 1x/wk. I like the idea of training durability but conventional wisdom (not that I trust it) is that weighted run/ruck would be a lot of mileage. Any good studies on this?
All the standard kudos are in order and still hold true.
Fast ruck time depends upon the load. We had young lab rats run 3 miles sub 27 minutes this summer …. but in general at 45#, sub 11 minute/miles is good.
Durability with ruck running? Our programming is designed for tactical athletes who have to move under load. We feel it’s “dangerous” to not train these athletes for this demand in garrison, then expect them to do it during training exercises or deployment. When things are dangerous or assessed (selections), they run.
No study I’ve seen on the long-term impact. If you’re concerned, don’t ruck.
any insight into behind the head press? Ive had my share of reading the online forum pros and cons. Look forward to your opinion. I am personally not a huge fan but want to make sure Im programming with as much variety as possible.
Sorry – no opinion on this exercise. I honestly haven’t done it myself since my 20’s … no reason.
I have a simple question with a lot of background information behind it. I’ll start with the question and then write out the supporting novella.
Question: Do you have a multi-user license for presenting your product to a finite group?
Explanation: We are a small/mid-size full-time urban fire/rescue department (approx. 325 members) slowly trying to introduce a wellness program to our members. We sent a handful of volunteers through the IAFF ACE Peer Fitness Training program. These volunteers are then able to go out and consult and train with department members and develop programming for them. Many of our members do not want individual one on one sessions. Those who reach out typically just want a program with little input on their end – not smart. Most of the volunteer PFTs are not comfortable writing out long range programming and are quite intimidated by it as this is not something they regularly do. They are more comfortable with coaching on movement patterns and mechanics. They would like a product they could present, demonstrate and provide to a member who asks for one – altering it if necessary.
I have used your products for many different events and goals. I very much enjoy their value and their results. You have a vetted product that has been tested on your lab rats, fire, LE, and military entities around the country. I would like my PFTs to evaluate the needs of a department member who approaches them and then assigns them one of your products based on the assessment; be it the Fitness Assessment plan, recruit class plan, a big cat, BW, limited eqt, etc. Then the PFT can help with exercise questions and track their progress. I do not know how many people would use a product or multiple products.
Currently we only have 6 active PFTs and they aren’t being used very often. We do not have a full-time trainer, the PFTs are assigned to apparatus and this is an extra, non-paid duty. We don’t have a centralized workout facility though each station does have some equipment (dumbbells, a couple kettlebells, multi-station piece and maybe a cardio machine). It’s a slow process in terms of culture change. I followed your articles regarding that very same subject. Our program is currently voluntary and we do not have a physical fitness requirement or work performance evaluation (for example, can you still lift a ladder and drag a dummy).
Thank you for your help and consideration of the matter,
Quick answer to your question is yes, we do have a multi-user license option for our Athlete’s Subscription. Click HERE
Next … you’re experience with the PFT’s mirrors ours across Military, LE and Fire/Rescue … Unit Fitness Leaders don’t have the time to program are better used as coaches and/or leading training sessions. They don’t have the time or inclination to hand hold unfit members in weird personal training sessions.
You used the “wellness” term in your note to me. I’d recommend you avoid this term and only use “fitness.” Wellness brings in all kinds of other stuff – stress management, diet/nutrition, personal habits, family life, etc. – I understand all this other stuff is important, but it’s unfair on your fitness leaders to ask them to be diet nannies, counselors, social workers and everything else in addition to fitness leaders.
Just focus on fitness. You’ve probably read this before – but here
are my thoughts on the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of a Unit Fitness Leader.
If you can successfully fight for and make fitness a safety issue – and focus on the safety of the other team members and public put at risk by the unfit firefighters – you’ll go a long way to making the cultural change. I understand this is a huge paradigm shift and super difficult.
In the meantime, there is a lot of good work you can do toward improving your fitness culture there.
Let me know if you need anything else.
Hope your hunting season is continuing to go well!
As you might recall, I mentioned I got my garage setup with barbell, bumpers, and a rack. This is my first time barbell training since HS (and even then I didn’t do much). I am doing linear progression on squats, dead/hinge, bench, and press for the rest of 2017, while still working in some work capacity and chasis integrity weekly.
I am 6′ 2″ and have been steady at 187-189 for the past year. I am not afraid of gaining some weight, and I know that doing so might help my LP. I’ll do it smart, take it slow (thinking about .5lb/week), and do it “clean”.
Just wondering what your thoughts were on an ideal weight range for a guy like me. I know you have seen countless athletes and varying levels of performance from different builds. I want to be a hybrid athlete — not a powerlifter, not a marathoner.
The direct answer to your question … I’d like to see you at 200-210 pounds, but before you start eating ice cream and slamming protein shakes, here are a couple things to think about:
1) Performance – from a performance perspective what is most important is relative strength or strength per body weight. Both mountain and tactical athletes have to carry their body weight around … and excess mass which doesn’t add to mission-direct performance in some way, is just extra weight to carry.
In our programming, we do have a couple “exceptions” to this general rule. First, for patrol & detective LE, big chest and biceps can have a deterrence effect in douche bag confrontations – and so our programming for these athletes includes upper body hypertrophy.
On the mountain side, in the past, I’ve programmed in hypertrophy volume for my freeskiers – most of who use the lift or a helicopter to get to the top of the run. Why? You’d be surprised at the number of shoulder injuries these athletes have from nasty wrecks. Extra upper body mass can simply act as armor and help protect them some.
As a backcountry hunter, your upper body mass is not that important. Where it could help is with the pack out … depending upon how you carry the load. Most carry 2/3 or more of the load on their hips with the hip belt. I, however, carry 100% of the load on my shoulders – the hip belt, no matter the pack, puts my butt and hips to sleep, and I can’t walk. So for me, the strength and mass to carry the load up high is important. However, I am the exception to the rule.
2) The Burden of Constant Fitness – This is mostly an issue for mountain professionals like year-round guides and all tactical athletes (esp. first responders and SOF), who can never responsibly allow themselves to not have mission-direct fitness. This means they not only must always be training but also be training those fitness attributes they need for the job. But the “Burden of Constant Fitness” can also affect others who simply need to train and be doing something physical. I’m one of those people and perhaps so are you. The advantage we have is the further from our most important sport season, the more non-sport-specific our training can be. This means we can take a few months to train something different, just because we’re curious, want to try something new, or in your case, have always been skinny and would like to add some mass. We have a couple mass-building plans in the MTI Library you might want to consider if you want to have some fun and do something different – which for you may be getting jacked!
First is the Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys
. This plan is designed to add mass everywhere – upper and lower body and is high volume and intense. I’ve seen crossfitters and others make fun of body builders, but I can tell you first hand, some of the most painful and puke-inducing weight room training sessions I’ve ever experienced were in my 20’s when the only resource we had for programming was bodybuilding mags and books by Arnold. If you do this plan, drink 1/2 gallon of whole milk a day.
Second is Ultimate Meathead
, which trains hypertrophy for the upper body, and strength for the lower body. Drink the 1/2 gallon of milk each day if you do this plan, also.
When it comes to mass, your genes may limit you. So you may not gain as much as someone else focusing on hypertrophy. Also, as a backcountry hunter, the endurance you’ll need to train going into next season will likely “melt” away some mass you gain if you chose a hypertrophy route now. At the end of the hunting season this year, I was down 5 pounds in muscle. Just know you’ll have plenty of time to get in shape for hunting and don’t have to worry about it year round.
I just completed Military On-Ramp and will be moving on to Humility. I saw a lot of improvement compared to when I started, but I have a few questions about proceeding. First, let me give you a breakdown:
Started at 177 lbs, ended at 180lbs. My nice slacks no longer fit my thighs. Those were expensive, but I can’t say I’m upset.
Event: Test 1 / Test 2 / Test 3 // Total Change
Hand-Release Push Up: 36 / 39 / 39 // +3
Pull Up: 21 / 21 / 21 // +0
Box Jump: 25 / 28 / 30 // +5
3mi Run: 22:11 / 21:24 / 21:10 // -1:01
The shuttle runs were rough, but I was able to maintain speed as the time got shorter each week.
I like the progression of the chassis integrity circuits as I moved through the program, although I can’t say I enjoy dumbbell crawls. I feel like this part of the training really helped my rucking and combatives practice.
For the Burpee/Box Jump/Weighted Sit Up circuits I saw measurable improvement. The 8-round one took me about 18:29, the 9-round one took me around 18:11, and the 10-round one took me 17:40. That kind of circuit training has never been my best area in the past, I was very pleased to see improvement like that.
Questions moving into Humility:
I saw no improvement in hand-release push ups from Test 2 to Test 3. I notice that progression scheme for this exercise is the same in Humility. Should I stay the course, or do you have a recommendation for improvement?
I saw no improvement in pull ups throughout the entire program. I’ve read about your relative strength assessment and see that pull ups are not scored past 20 reps, so maybe 21 is satisfactory. Regardless, I would still rather try to improve. I see that the progression scheme is the same in Humility. Should I stick with the original programming, or do you recommend any sort of modification?
Some feedback on the running: Mile repeats did end up making me faster, but I think I needed more base building. My first mile split was reasonably quick by the end of the program (6:05 vs 6:44), but the third mile split actually ended up being slower than my first assessment (7:49 vs 7:32). It was hot, sure, but I think I just suck. Looks like Humility will sort that right out, though.
Since I started I’ve recommended MTI to a couple of other NCOs in my unit and they are now using the athlete’s subscription. My brother, too, who’s looking at getting commissioned soon. Your programming seems to work for a ton of people, so thanks for doing what you’re doing.
Pull ups & Push Ups… do the assessments and the progressions in your IBA or a 25# pack/weight vest.
Humility is a different animal than the Military On-Ramp Plan. Military On-Ramp chunks fitness attributes together. Humility is more wholistic and comes with a mental hardening effect the On-Ramp plan laid the base for.
Email questions as they come up.
FOLLOW UP QUESTION
Humility is aptly named. It has definitely hurt my feelings.
I’m running into a small problem. I went for it on that burpee ladder test and managed 84 reps, which I imagine is about average. Unfortunately, I’m sucking at the actual burpee density stuff on the second and fourth session each week. I was able to make the 8 rounds at 20%. I’ve failed to keep pace on both sessions calling for 25%, though. Around the end of round 6 and beginning of Round 7, I lose pace. I promise I’m not sandbagging it, I still come away from this breathing heavily with a headache each time. I have the wind for it but I seem to be weak; my chest, shoulders, and arms can’t keep up. It’s going to be worse next week with 30% each round.
When this happens, I’ve been just grinding through as best I can until the end, basically doing 2-3 rounds worth of burpees unbroken at the fasted speed I can manage without crapping out. Is that the right way to do it when I can’t make pace?
Yes …. everyone suffers in the later rounds of the progression.
Just wanted to say I love you programming. Currently forward deployed and running a strength program 4 days a week (531 bbb) and running 2x a week in the morning. Im trying to supplement work capacity efforts 3x a week to prepare for military schools in 7-8 months. Any recommendations? I have access to majority of equipment besides rings. Thanks!
It’s best not to mix and match plans. Better is to complete a cycle which combines multiple attributes. From our stuff, I’d recommend Valor
– but you’d need to find someplace (laps or treadmill) to run and ruck run 3 miles. Many downrange have run/rucked in circles around the compound or used a treadmill to complete our programs.
If you’re just looking for work capacity efforts to supplement your strength work, look at the Ultimate Work Capacity I
You could alternate your strength session days and the UWC I days in terms of sessions.
Been a subscriber for the last couple years or so and have recently made some career/life changes that have drastically altered my training. Looking for some advice on how to direct my training i.e which plans to gravitate to, especially after reading Rob’s recent articles on us “aging” athletes.
Some of my particulars:
- 48 y/o lifelong athlete with back pain (two blown out discs) and knee pain. Everything below is quickly catching up.
- Crossfitter since 05, but tired of chronic soreness, injuries and lack of periodization (why I switched to your programming; much better)
- Ultramarathoner/24 hour Mtn Biker back in the day
- Retired from US Navy Dec 16, mostly Specwar/Marine Corps as Hospital Corpsman Master Chief
- New civilian job; Can’t PT at work anymore, as they expect results
- 3 year old and 1 year old kids – “PT time limiters”
- Tried 0430 PT, but can’t warm up enough to not get hurt
- Started afternoon PTs, but only get approx. 45 min before my wife is giving me “the eye”
- Home gym
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I’d recommend starting SF45 Delta
– which is designed for high impact athletes age 45-55, and has a bodyweight strength focus and a strong endurance component.
– Gym-based sessions are 60 minutes long. Endurance efforts are longer.
– Train early in AM before work.
– You wrote: “can’t get warmed up enough to not get hurt.” My answer: Then get up earlier and get warmed up, but train early if you want to be consistent.
You don’t get too old to train. You start getting old when you quit training.
I’m going to be doing a 50 mile race in June 2018 that involves summiting a 10,000 foot volcano and trying to find the best way to train – I’ve been wanting to follow your programming for a while and hoping you can help me get started.
I’m usually on the trail 2-3x/week and cross train in the gym with weights. I currently do a bit of dedicated running, but most of my mountain days consist of fast hiking and climbing a peak, then trail running back to the car. I did recently do a 32 mile day, but I don’t know if I’m at a place to jump in and run 40+ miles/week right now, so I’m wondering if it makes sense to do the “Peak Bagger” training plan to build up a stronger base while continuing to run on my own and then later doing the 50 Mile Ultra” training plan? Or maybe there is another plan that I haven’t seen yet that you would recommend? appreciate any sort of input 🙂
Thanks so much!
You’ll definitely want to do the 50 Mile Ultra training plan directly before your event. Here’s a progression I’d suggest:
– Good luck!