Chassis Integrity Training Plan


  • 30x Chassis Integrity training circuits which implement the most recent thinking of MTI’s Chassis Integrity programming theory
  • Circuits train rotation, anti rotation, total and extension (low back) midsection strength and strength endurance from a standing or kneeling position
  • Circuits extend 10-20 minutes, and can be completed as stand alone training sessions or add on components to any training session.
  • This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.



Our Chassis Integrity programming theory evolved the Summer 2015 after a personal experience. I had moved away from the tactical programming to some distance running and bodyweight work. The bodyweight training included plenty of core work – sit-up variations, bridging, lower back complexes, EO’s, and some ground and equipment based work such as Russian Triangles, Ankles to Bar, GHD Sit ups, etc.

Further, my core circuits pushed beyond what I commonly programmed for athletes in both rounds and duration. I really hammered it – or so I thought.

After a couple months I got back underneath the barbell for some front squats and struggled to go heavy. My legs were strong, in isolation, and my core was strong, in isolation, but the link and coordination between the two wasn’t there – I lacked “chassis integrity.”

This had a real impact on me – as I’d hammered my mid section, but all that work hadn’t translated into a the functional task of lifting heavy while standing. It caused me to question my core programming theory to that point and I began to develop the Chassis Integrity model.

Before Chassis Integrity
My prior core training theory had alternated between two circuits – FIRE, and LBC.

“FIRE” is an acronym for “Flexion / Isometric / Rotational / Extension”. A FIRE Circuit has one exercise from each, for example:

4 Rounds

  • 10x Weighted Sit up @ 25# (Flexion)
  • 30/30 Side Bridge (Isometric)
  • 10x EO’s (Rotation)
  • 10x GHD Back Extension (Extension)

“LBC” is an acronym for “Low Back Complex” and we learned this approached from the book “Foundation Training,” by Eric Goodman and Peter Park. The authors note that few miss a day of work because of ab pain, and correspondingly wondered why so much core training focused on the front of the body, and not the low back. They aimed to change this, and our typical Low Back Complex circuit comes from their exercise menu. Below is an example. I’ve since expanded the scope of our Low Back Complex to mean a circuit of four extension exercises.

4 Rounds

  • 20/20 Standing Founder
  • 20/20 Low Back Lunge
  • 20/20 Kneeling Founder
  • 10x Face Down Back Extensions

Chassis Integrity Theory
My experience last summer caused me to question three things about this core training approach.

  1. Why were we doing so many ground or equipment based core exercises when in reality most core work is done standing? I reasoned that not performing core exercises from a standing or kneeling position had compromised my chassis integrity.
  2. I questioned the need for isometric and flexion core exercises in general. Real life core for the athletes we serve (mountain/tactical) is seems dominated by extension and rotational movement patterns. Real life also includes isometric work, but not in the way we had been training it. More specifically, rather than isometric work, what really occurs is anti-rotation. Mountain and Tactical athletes must fight force trying to torque them rotationally.
  3. Previously I had programmed core circuits using the standard round and reps format used as examples above. This approach seems to train strength, but not necessarily strength endurance. Perhaps grinds for time would be more transferable outside the gym, I reasoned.

What evolved is a new approach to core training – Chassis Integrity.

First, I moved away from most ground-based core exercises to prescribing exercises performed either standing or kneeling. To achieve Chassis Integrity I needed to train the system holistically.

Second, I began to replace the FIRE circuits in favor of Chassis Integrity circuits and move from rounds and reps, to time. This Plan deploys 5 types of Chassis Integrity Circuits – most with 3x exercises. Each circuit deploy a combination of these movements:

  • Anti Rotation
  • Rotation
  • Total
  • Extension (low back)

The first 10 circuits in the plan are 10-15 minute long grinds, and use relatively light loading. Beginning with Cirtuit 11, the duration jumps to 15-20 minuts, and loading increases.


How Should I Use These Circuits in My Training?
These Chassis Integrity circuits are 10-20 minutes long and are designed to either supplement existing training by serving as focused mid-section “finishers” to other training sessions, or replace current core training in extisting training. The circiuts can also be completed as stand-alone training for endurance and other athletes.

Required Equipment?
These circuits are designed to be completed in any commercial or functional fitness gym. Exercise substitutes are included for gyms which don’t have sandbags or kettlebells.

How Fast should I work Through the Circuits?
The circuits are to be completed as 10-20 minute “grinds.” “Grind” equals work briskly, but not frantically. These are not “As many rounds as possible” efforts. Again, work briskly, not frantically.

What does “45/65#” or “12/16kg” mean?
This is the prescribed loading for women/men – so in the first example, women use 45# and men use 65#. In the second example, women use a 12kg kettlebell and men use a 16kg kettlebell.

Why is Chassis Integrity Is More Appropriate for Mountain and Tactical Athletes?
Foremost is its transferability outside the gym to the real world. The Chassis Integrity movements and exercises closely mirror the mid-section strength and strength endurance demands faced by mountain and tactical athletes. Most likely, these athletes will be lifting or moving something fairly heavy, bulky and awkward and deploying extension, rotation and isometric strength (total core) in one movements.

As well, sometimes real world midsection strength demands a single movement. But more often, mid-section strength is a strength endurance effort – think uphill hiking with a heavy pack for miles. Chassis Integrity, with it’s extended “grind” duration, trains not only the absolute midsection strength for single events, but also the strength endurance needed for extended work.

Have you and your athletes noticed a difference?
Absolutely – anecdotally, myself, I’ve seen a significant improvement in real-world midsection strength for activities like hauling out game from a backcountry hunt or getting firewood. Several of my athletes, both mountain and tactical, have reported similar improvement and experience. It’s like we’ve built and integrated band of muscle and functionality around our midsection.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calculator is 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.

Good Luck!

Required Equipment

These circuits are designed to be competed in any commercial or functional fitness gym. Exercise substitutes are included for gyms which don't have sandbags or kettlebells.

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from this Training Plan:


Obj: Chassis Integrity

(1) 15 Minute Grind

  • 3x Kneeling Plate Halfmoon @ 25/35#

  • 3x Keg Lift @ 40/60# Sandbag or 35/45# Plate

  • 3x Sandbag Clean** @ 40/60# or 6x Power Clean @ 65/95#

** 3x Sandbag Clean = 3x each side, 6x total.


Obj: Chassis Integrity

(1) 10 Minute Grind

  • 20/20 Standing Founder

  • 8x Good Morning @ 45/65#

  • 20/20 Kneeling Founder

  • 12x Swings @ 12/16kg


Obj: Chassis Integrity

(1) 15 Minute Grind

  • 5x Cauldron @ 10#

  • 5x Slasher @ 12/16kg

  • 10x Good Mornings @ 45#


Obj: Chassis Integrity

(1) 15 Minute Grind

  • 5x 1-Sided Dead Lift @ 10/20#

  • 5x Sandbag Get Up @ 40/60# or Turkish Get Up @ 10/20#**

  • 10x Hinge Lift @ 55/75#

**5x Total. Alternate Sides each Round


Obj: Chassis Integrity

(1) 15 Minute Grind

  • 5x Standing Russian Twist @ Empty Barbell

  • 5x Sandbag Toss and Chase @ 40/60# or 5x Power Clean + Push Press @ 55/75#

  • 10x Swing @ 12/16kg

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All that matters to MTI is outside performance. We are driven to continuously improve and evolve. To this end MTI is not beholden to any fitness programming methodology, equipment or exercise. We continuously research, deploy, assess and iterate our programming with an emphasis on Mission-Direct application and performance. Here is the MTI Method:

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.

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.

Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers.

It doesn't stop there. We take what we learn by deploying our mountain and tactical programming with our Lab Rats, go back, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.

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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.

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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.

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