Eccentric Strength Training Plan


• 7 Week, 5 Day/Week Strength Training Plan which deploys MTI’s Eccentric Strength Training Progression Methodology.
• Strength work focused on these exercises: Back Squat, Bench Press, Military Press, Bench Press and Pull Up
• Eccentric Strength progression is one of our most efficient ever, and has been deployed with SOF personnel, professional mountain athletes and high school athletes.
• This plan is one of the 200+ plans which comes with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This is a 7 Week, 5 day/week strength training program which deploys MTI’s Eccentric Strength progression methodology.

Eccentric training develops the muscles as they are lengthening under load, as opposed to “concentric” strength which trains muscles as they are shortening.

Consider a simple 1-armed dumbbell curl. As you curl the dumbbell up to your shoulder, you are training “concentric” strength. If you were to slowly lower it to full elbow extension, you would be training “eccentric” strength.

Consider a front squat and you quad. At the bottom of the squat, as push against the floor and lift the weight up, your quad shortens, and you are training “concentric” strength. At the top, if you were to slowly drop down into the squat, your quad would lengthen and you’d be training “eccentric” strength.

Now think about hiking up a steep hill, with a 45# backpack. With each step, as you rise up, you are using “concentric” strength – just like you were as you came up out of the front squat.

Now, hiking downhill: with each step your foot touches the ground at full knee extension and your quad has to “catch” your weight as you weigh the food. You knee bends some to do so, and your quad lengthens – you are using “eccentric” strength.

Studies have shows eccentric strength training is much more intense on the muscles and central nervous system than “concentric” strength training.

This strength plan deploys eccentric strength training for five exercises: Back Squat, Bench Press, Split Squat, Military Press and Pull Ups by causing you to slowly lower the weight over a 5-second drop for each rep.

You’ll begin by finding your 1RM (Back Squat, Bench Press, Military Press) 3RM (Split Squat), and max rep bodyweight Pull Ups, then use a percentage based progression (for all but Pull Ups) to increase the weight each week.

You’ll also use eccentric strength for Pull Ups, but the progression is based on your max pull up number.

 You’ll train strength 4 days/week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, you’ll complete a short, intense gym-based, multi-modal work capacity effort.

On Mondays and Thursdays, you’ll grind through a 10-15 minute Chassis Integrity circuit.

On Wednesdays you’ll complete a mid-distance 4-5 miles easy run.

Here is the Weekly Schedule:

  • Monday: Strength, Chassis Integrity
  • Tuesday: Strength, Work Capacity
  • Wednesday: Endurance – Easy Run
  • Thursday: Strength, Chassis Integrity
  • Friday: Strength, Work Capacity

Who is this plan appropriate for?
Anyone who wants to dedicate 6 weeks to building strength. We’ve deployed MTI’s Eccentric Strength Progression with SOF personnel, professional mountain athletes and high school athletes. 

How Long should the strength sessions (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) Take?
60-75 minutes. It will take a week or two to figure out the flow, and these sessions may extend to 75 minutes for the first couple weeks. But beginning week 3, you should have a good idea of the flow and move through them quicker. Aim to finish right around 60 minutes.

If after Week 2 your are taking much longer than 65 minutes, you are resting too long between rounds and/or lingering with the mobility/stretch exercise too long.

If these sessions are taking 50 minutes, you aren’t lifting heavy enough. Each circuit is not a mini-Crossfit WOD. You want the load to be as heavy as possible, but still make the prescribed reps. Work briskly, but not frantically.

What does “1RM” Stand For?
1RM = 1 Repetition Maximum … the most you can lift for 1 rep of that exercise

How do I work up to 1RM?
For the Bench Press, Back Squat, and Military Press, Do this:

  • Set of 5 Reps, …. add weight
  • Set of 3 Reps, …. add weight
  • 1x Rep …. add weight and keep doing singles until you reach your 1RM. Aim to get there by your 4th or 5th Single.

For example, here’s how I would work up to my 1RM Bench Press:

Round   Reps   Load
1           5          135#
2           3          165#
3           1          195#
4           1          205#
5           1          225#
6           1          225#
7           1          250# …. 1RM

How do I work up to 3RM (3 Reps Max) for the Split Squat?
Same Idea as the 1RM above, but use 3 rep for each level:

  • Set of 3 Reps each leg …. add weight
  • Set of 3 Reps each leg …. add weight
  • Set of 3 Reps each leg …. add weight
  • Set of 3 Reps each leg …. add weight …. etc. until you reach your 3 Rep Max load. 

For example, here’s how I would work up to my 3RM Split Squat:

Round   Reps   Load
1           3          95#
2           3          115#
3           3          135#
4           3          145#
5           3          155#
6           3         165#…. 3RM

How long should it take to work up to my 1RM/3RM?
10-15 minutes. Work briskly, not frantically. Generally, by the time you add weight, chalk up, and rest for a second, you should be ready for the next round.

What does “4/8x” mean? How about “15/25#”?
First number is for women, second is for men, both for reps, and loading. Examples:
4/8x Chin Ups = Women do 4x, Men do 8x
15/25# = Women us 15#, Men us 25#.

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 5 days in a row, and take 2 full days off for rest. If for some reason miss a session,  do not skip ahead. Start again where you left off and complete the sessions in order throughout the plan.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
On our “Exercises” page HERE

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.

Note about Safety and Having a Spotter
Eccentric strength training is intense and taxing. Often, you will need help to stand up out of the “bottom” of a Back Squat/Split Squat and help needed get the barbell back to the “up” position for the bench press and military press. We strongly encourage the use of a spotter or at a minimum, safety bars on the rack for the back squat, split squat and bench press. For the military press, you can use your legs and “push press” the barbell back to the top position if needed.

What if I have more questions?

Required Equipment

What Equipment is Required?
Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including racks, barbells, bumper plate, dummbells/kettlebells, plyo boxes, slam balls and sandbags.

Sample Training

Below is the First Full Week of Training from the Plan:


Obj: Strength

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 8x Back Squats @ 45/65#

  • 4x Scotty Bob @ 15/25#

  • Hip Flexor Stretch


(1) Work up to 1RM Back Squat


(2) 6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Back Squat @ 80% 1RM (5 Second Drop)

  • Instep Stretch

(3) Work up to 1RM Bench Press


(4) 6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Bench Press @ 80% 1RM (5 Second Drop)

  • Lat/Pec Stretch

(5) Max Reps Strict Pull Ups


(6) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Eccentric Weighted Pull Ups… See Comments for Loading


The 5-Second Eccentric Drop is just that …. 5 full seconds. Count, “one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand,” etc. until “five-one thousand.” Drop slow and time it so you reach the bottom of the lift at 5 seconds.

Pull Up Progression ... for the purposed of this sample week of training, Male Athletes wear a 25# pack for their eccentric pull ups, and female athletes use a 15# pack.


Obj: Strength

Warm up:

3 Rounds

  • 8x In-Place Lunges

  • 8x Curl to Press @ 15/25#

  • Pigeon Stretch

(1) Work up to 3RM Split Squat


(2) 6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Split Squat @ 80% 3RM (5 Second Drop)

  • 3rd World Stretch

(3) Work up to 1RM Military Press


(4) 6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Military Press @ 80% 1RM (5 Second Drop)

  • 5x Shoulder Dislocate


Obj: Endurance


(1) Run 4 Miles at Easy Pace

Easy = you can speak in full sentences

(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back


Obj: Strength, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 8x Back Squats @ 45/65#

  • 4x Scotty Bob @ 15/25#

  • Hip Flexor Stretch


(1) 4x Back Squat @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Back Squat @ 75% 1RM


6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Back Squat @ 80% 1RM (5 Second Drop)

  • Instep Stretch

(2) 4x Bench Press @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Bench Press@ 75% 1RM


6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Bench Press @ 80% 1RM (5 Second Drop)

  • Lat/Pec Stretch

(3) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Eccentric Weighted Pull Ups… See Notes for Loading

(4) 15 Minute Grind

  • 5x Kneeling Slasher @ 25/35#

  • 5x Cauldron@ 15#

  • 5x Sandbag Get Up@ 40/60# - Alternate shoulders each round

Pull Up Progression ... for the purposed of this sample week of training, Male Athletes wear a 25# pack for their eccentric pull ups, and female athletes use a 15# pack.


Obj: Strength, Work Capacity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 8x In-Place Lunges

  • 8x Curl to Press @ 15/25#

  • Pigeon Stretch


(1) 4x Split Squat @ 50% 3RM, then...4x Split Squat@ 75% 3RM


6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Split Squat @ 80% 3RM (5 Second Drop)

  • 3rd World Stretch

(2) 4x Military Press@ 50% 1RM, then...4x Military Press@ 75% 1RM


6 Rounds

  • 4x Eccentric Military Press @ 80% 1RM (5 Second Drop)

  • 5x Shoulder Dislocate

(3) 5 Rounds for Time

  • 30x Step Ups @ 15” Box

  • 5x Burpees

  • 4x 40ft Shuttle

  • 15 Second Rest

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