• 7-Week Plan
• Combines Gym-based Barbell with Military Endurance (running/rucking)
• Includes Core Strength and Durability
• This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.



Fortitude is a 7-week, gym-based training plan which concurrently trains strength, military endurance (running, ruck running) and Chassis Integrity.

Fortitude is specifically designed for military and other tactical athletes who have good work capacity, but need to increase their strength and endurance.

This training program combines heavy, barbell-based strength training with moderately-paced running and ruck running, and Chassis Integrity circuits. Chassis Integrity is MTI’s functional core/mid-section training methodology.

Fortitude’s strength programming is built around three classic MTI barbell exercises: (1) Craig Special (hang squat clean + front squat); (2) Bench Press; and (3) Back Squat and our Big 24 progression methodology.

Also trained for strength are weighted pull ups (10# for women, 25# for men), walking lunges and MTI’s Kneeling Curl to Press exercise.

Fortitude’s endurance programming will have you running unloaded 2x/week, and ruck running @ 45# + 10# sledge, dumbbell or rubber rifle, 1x/week. The plan’s unloaded running pushes to 9 miles. The ruck runs push to 7 miles. All endurance in the plan is at a moderate pace.

This is Version 2 of the plan, updated March 2017.


Monday: Strength, Endurance (unloaded run to 5 miles)
Tuesday: Strength, Chassis Integrity
Wednesday: Ruck Run (pushes to 7 miles)
Thursday: Strength, Chassis Integrity
Friday: Endurance (unloaded run to 9 miles)

This is the second version of this training program, updated in March 2017.


What equipment is required?

  • Fully Equipped Functional Fitness Gym including barbells, racks, bumper plates, sandbags (40# for women, 60# for men), Dumbbells and/or kettlebells, plyo boxes, etc.
  • Ruck and 45# of filler/load
  • Backpack for weighted pull ups. We find it’s easier/faster to put on a backpack then wear a dip belt.
  • 10# dumbbell, rubber rifle or sledge hammer
  • Stop watch
  • Foam Roller

Who is this plan appropriate for?
Fortitude is not appropriate for severely de-conditioned athletes. It is appropriate fit athletes who want to concurrently build strength and endurance.

How long do the training sessions last?
– Monday’s sessions may push to 90 minutes, and can be broken into a 2-a-day if needed.
– Tuesday’s and Thursday’s sessions are designed to be completed in 60 minutes.
– Wednesday’s Ruck Run may push to 90 minutes depending upon your pace
– Friday’s endurance run may push to 90 minutes depending upon your pace.

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?
See our Exercise Library HERE.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

What if I don’t have Dumbbells or I don’t have kettlebells?
All the dumbbell/kettlebell exercises in the training plan are interchangeable. For example, if the training session calls for a “5x Slasher @ 16/20kg” and you don’t have kettlebells, women use a 35# dumbbell and men use a 45# dumbbell. You’ll need to make the pound to kg conversion. Use google.

My gym doesn’t have sandbags. What should I do?
Make one and take it to the gym when you train … a sandbag (40# for women, 60# for men) is required for this program. We sell sandbags at, other venders sell them, and you can make your own. Be resourceful.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

Good Luck!

Required Equipment

- Stopwatch
- Fully equipped functional fitness gym with barbells, racks, bench for bench press, pull up bar, kettlebells and/or dumbbells, plyo boxes, etc.
- 45# Ruck for men, 35# Ruck for women plus a 10# dumbbell, rubber rifle or sledge hammer. We prefer old ALICE packs for rucking.
- Recommended - GPS Enabled Sport Watch such as the Garmin Forerunner 10. A GPS watch will allow you to add variety to your running and rucking routes.

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from this Training Plan:


Obj: Strength/Endurance

Warm up:
3 Rounds
5x Craig Special @ 45/65#
10x Push Ups
10x Sit Ups
Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds
2x Craig Special- increase load each round until 2x is hard, but doable
Hip Flexor Stretch


(2) Run 3 Miles, Moderate Pace

Moderate = comfortable, but not easy.


Obj: Strength Assessment/Chassis Integrity

3 Rounds
8x Bench Press @ 45/95#
4x Walking Lunge
1x Pull up
Instep Stretch


(1) Max Rep Weighted Pull Ups # 10/25#


(2) 8 Rounds
3x Bench Press - increase load each round until 3x is hard, but doable
3x Walking Lunge - increase load each round until 3x is hard, but doable
30% Max Pull Weighted Pull Up reps from Part (1) @ 10/25#
Lat + Pec Stretch


  1. 15 Minute Grind

6x Sandbag Getup @ 40/60# (alternate shoulders each round)
3x Keg Lift with Sandbag @ 40/60#
Sandbag Pick Up and Carry @ 40/60#

(4) Foam Roll Legs and Low Back


Obj: Loaded Endurance


(1) Ruck Run 4 Miles @ 35/45# Ruck + 10# dumbbell, sledge hammer or rubber rifle at a moderate pace.

Moderate = comfortable, but not easy. 


Obj: Strength Assessment/ Chassis Integrity

3 Rounds
8x Back Squat @ 45/95#
8x Dumbbell Push Press @ 15/25#
1x Pull up
Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds
3x Back Squat - increase load each round until 3x is hard, but doable
3x Kneeling Curl to Press - increase load each round until 3x is hard, but doable
30% Max Pull Weighted Pull Up reps from SESSION 2 @ 10/25#
Lat + Pec Stretch


  1. 15 Minute Grind

5x Kneeling Plate Half Moon @ 25/35#
5x Slasher @ 16/20kg
15/15 Standing Founder

(4) Foam Roll Legs and Low Back


Obj: Endurance


(1) Run 6 miles at a moderate pace.

Moderate = comfortable, but not easy. 
Show More

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.


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