Backcountry Big Game Hunting Packet


• Includes 4 training plans and 7 months of training to lead you into your hunt
• Begins with bodyweight training, then transitions to gym-based total body, lower body and core strength, running and rucking (movement with a pack)
• Packet finishes with the hunting-specific Backcountry Big Game Training Plan –
intense focus on uphill hiking under load, downhill hiking under load, core strength and heavy load carriage
• You can purchase these plans together in this packet, individually, as well, all are included with an Athlete’s Subscription to the website.


The four training plans contained within this packet details 29 weeks (approx. 7 months) of training in preparation for your backcountry big game hunting trip. Start the plan exactly 29 weeks before your first day of the hunt.

Backcountry Big Game hunting is one sport which bridges the mountain and tactical focus of our training speciality.

On the tactical side, the fitness demands of backcountry big game hunting include loads and rucking distances similar to long rucking events at military selections. Game pack outs from successful backcountry hunts can include rucking 100-pound+ packs up to 10 miles over rough terrain and mountain trails to the trailhead. Often, these loads not only include your boned-out game, but also your backcountry bivy camp. As well, it’s not unusual to have to make 2-3 trips.

On the mountain side, expect a 30-45 pound bivy pack, moving up and down miles of trail-less drainages and ridges to find the game. This uphill hiking strength and cardio, and downhill hiking fitness and durability, are fundamental fitness demands for mountain athletes.

The four plans in this this packet is organized so that each plan will build your fitness for the next. The purpose is to build sufficient fitness to prepare you physically and mentally for your hunt.

This training packet is designed for athletes with a reasonable level of fitness. If you are unfit, overweight or deconditioned, we recommend you add 7 weeks to the timeline, and complete the Bodyweight Foundation training plan twice, then move on to the remaining plans.

The 4 plans, in the order you’ll complete them are listed below. Note the rest weeks between plans:

Weeks        Plan
1-6               (1) Bodyweight Foundation – Bodyweight Strength Training, Bodyweight Power Training, Endurance Training (running)
7                   Total Rest
8-14            (2)  Resilience – Gym-based Strength, Chassis Integrity, Heavy Rucking and distance running
15                 Total Rest
16-22         (3) Humility – Bodyweight Strength, loaded work capacity, IBA runs and long, unloaded runs
23                 Total Rest
24-31         (4) Backcountry Big Game Training Plan – Sport-specific endurance for uphill hiking, focused core
work, eccentric leg-strength training for hiking downhill. 

It’s very important you complete the final, Backcountry Big Game Training Plan the 8 weeks directly before your hunt.

The price for this packet of plans, $159, represents nearly a 20% savings over the combined price of the individual plans.


What’s included. Is there an app for your phone or is just access to website?
No app. Access is online via a desktop or phone.

Do you get all the training at once?
Yes. With purchase, you can see every plan and every training session.

How many times per week are you training? How long is each session?
For most of the training plans, 5 days/week. Most sessions are 60 minutes long, but some of the endurance sessions and sessions in the final plan can extend for 2-3 hours.

How do I know if I’m fit enough to start this training?
This programming is designed to address the fitness demands of a backcountry big game hunt in the Western US or Alaska …. not the individual hunter. However, the programming is “progressive” in the sense it gets harder as you work through the plans in the packet. Will you be able to do it? We recommend clicking the “Sample Training” tab for the first plan, Bodyweight Foundation, and trying those sessions. If you survive, you’re ready.

What Equipment is Needed?
3 of the plans, Bodyweight Foundation, Humility and the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Program are limited equipment programs. Resilience requires a fully-equipped weight room. Click on the individual plan links above, and then the “required equipment” tab for specifics.

What’s the difference between this product, the “Backcountry Big Game Training Packet” and the “Backcountry Big Game Training Program”? 
The “packet” is a set of 4 training plans, 7 months of training, and concludes with the program. The program is just one plan, 8 weeks long.

Do I need the packet, or should I just purchase the program?
It depends upon how fit you are and how well prepared you want to be. It’s up to you.

I live in the Mid-West, East Coast, South or somewhere else where it’s low elevation and flat as a plate. Will this packet prepare me for mountain travel? 
Yes … as best we can… the kicker is elevation. The packet includes focused “mountain endurance” training for uphill movement, eccentric strength training for the downhills, core strength endurance, movement under load, etc. However, there is no magic bullet way to prepare you for the effects of elevation. Best we can do is get you as sport-specifically fit as possible when you arrive. It will take a few days for you to adjust to the thinner air in the mountains.

Does purchasing this packet mean I’m guaranteed to get my elk?
If it were only that easy. But, if you purchase this packet, complete the programming as prescribed, go on your hunt, and find you were not physically prepared, we’ll refund you, no questions asked.

What if I have more questions?

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

• Fully equipped functional fitness weightroom
• 40/60/80# Sandbags
• Ruck (backpack) for rucking and ruck running

• Stopwatch with interval timer (Timex is best)
• GPS Watch (recommended - will make measuring rucking distances and pacing much easier)

1)  Mission Direct

Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI's fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI's programming is not "re-tread" bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We've built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan "Lab Rats" at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming's effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn't.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to "Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe." To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI's Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI's library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We've developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI's programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we've taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We've saved these individual Q&A's and now thousands are archived on our site.

We're not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn't for everyone. If we can help, we'll let you know. If we can't, we'll let you know that, too.

- Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.


Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman - so I can't put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there - our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we've put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.



Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email

If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

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.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?



"This fall I spent 2.5 months in the mountains and backcountry hunting Dall Sheep, caribou, mountain goats, moose and Stone Sheep. As a hunter and camera operator, my pack would routinely weigh 60 lbs, with a day pack of 40 lbs or more. We would do 20 km days, up to 60 km with light packs (overnight sprints) and up to 4500’ (1400 m) of elevation in a single day (60 lb pack). A third of a caribou and camera gear is north of 100 lb. Hunting days could run from 5:00 am to 1 am on occasion, but we were always up before the sun. I started the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Packet with Humility. I completed over 90% of the workouts, though sadly was unable to do all of the “mini-events” found in the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan. I began the program in good shape and had been completing weekly rucks with 60-80 lbs (two hours) since January of this year. As the mountain hunting season comes to a close, I have some observations about the results of my training:

- I never had sore shoulders or chassis from carrying the weight.
- I never had sore legs, even after the hardest days.
- I felt 100% capable of doing what was needed.
- My upper body was sufficiently strong to meet all challenges
- My weight didn’t drop during training (I could work on my diet a bit).

My 30-minute step-up results went from 815 (July 15) to 824 (September 26). I would associate much of the modest increase to determination and technique, so it does not indicate a substantial fitness improvement. My weight would have been about five lb heavier in September. In summary, if anyone wants to be capable in the mountains, this program will get them there. The only aspect of my fitness I will change for next season is related to my anaerobic threshold and my ability to push into a higher gear and go harder. As long as it was a slow grind, I was capable. When the time came to push up steeper country, the wheels would more or less fall off and I would be left working at a higher than I thought I should need to (heart rate of 170, for example). The elevated heart rates compromised my ability to think and film, and in steep goat terrain, this can be a liability."
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