• 7 weeks, 5 days/week
  • Training plan focus is multi-modal, gym-based endurance, unloaded running, chassis integrity, and to a lesser extent, bodyweight strength, power and strength endurance
  • Limited Equipment Training Plan
  • Perfect for mountain and tactical wanting to improve mission-direct endurance fitness
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.



Gratitude is a 7-week, 5 day/week training program with a strong focus on the athlete’s endurance. It is the fifth plan in our “Virtue” series for tactical athletes and joins Humility, Fortitude, Valor and Resilence.

Gratitude deploys our new Gym-Based Endurance programming, as well as unloaded running to train an athlete’s endurance.

In terms of strength and conditioning, “endurance training” generally refers to training single mode efforts – running, rucking, swimming, biking, etc.

“Gym Based Endurance” is a methodology MTI developed in the winter of 2016-2017. For the Mountain and Tactical Athletes we work with, we understand there is another kind of constant movement endurance which can be multi-modal, and is often loaded. Examples on the tactical side include long team events at military selections and line clearing for wildland firefighters. An example on the mountain side could be hours digging out tent placement locations on big mountain alpine climbs.

Often these efforts have a significant demand on the “combat chassis” – the musculature between the knees and the shoulders, and Chassis Integrity. “Chassis Integrity” is the MTI mid-section programming methodology of functional, transferrable core strength programming to the battlefield and real world.

We built our gym-based endurance programming around these demands … loaded, multi modal and with a significant chassis integrity emphasis.

The gym-based endurance events you’ll experience in Gratitude extend from 30 and 45 minutes in Week 1 to 60 and 75 minutes in Week 6.

In addition to gym-based endurance, Gratitude also trains single-mode endurance in the form of unloaded running. You’ll run two times per week. Tuesday’s runs are at a “moderate” pace and extend to 7 miles. Friday’s runs are at an “easy” pace and extend to 10 miles at Week 7.

The first 4 weeks of the plan you’ll also train body weight strength, power and strength endurance.

Gratitude is designed for Mountain and Tactical Athletes looking to improve there overall mountain/tactical endurance.


  • Monday: Gym-Based Endurance, Upper Body Strength, Power, Strength Endurance
  • Tuesday: Moderate Run which builds to 7 miles in Week 6
  • Wednesday: Gym-Based Endurance, Upper Body Strength, Power, Strength Endurance
  • Thursday: Gym-Based Endurance
  • Friday: Easy Run which builds to 10 miles in Week 7


  • Monday: Gym-Based Endurance
  • Tuesday: Moderate Run which builds to 7 miles in Week 6
  • Wednesday: Gym-Based Endurance
  • Thursday: Gym-Based Endurance
  • Friday: Easy Run which builds to 10 miles in Week 7

This is the first version of this training program, built in March 2017.


What equipment is required?

Gratitude is a limited equipment training plan. The following equipment is required:

  • Kettlebells and/or Dumbbells 12kg/25# for women, 15kg/35# for men
  • 40# Sandbag for Women. 60# Sandbag for Men
  • 20” Plyo Box or Bench
  • 16” Plyo Box or Bench
  • Pull Up Bar
  • Stop watch
  • Foam Roller
  • ***Optional: 30-Foot Rope for pulling sandbags

Who is this plan appropriate for?
Gratitude is an intense training plan not appropriate for athletes with questionable fitness. It is appropriate fit athletes who want to build their mission-direct overall endurance.

How long do the training sessions last?
Training sessions are designed to last 60-90 minutes.

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 does “Grind” Mean?
Work briskly, not frantically. Keep moving and work steady through the circuit(s).

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.

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 below to see the entire first week of programming.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calulator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

See Clip Below for an example of a Gym-Based Endurance Event and it’s pacing:

Sample Training

Below is the First Week from this Training Plan:


Obj: 30 Minute Gym-Based Endurance, Bodyweight Strength Endurance


(1) 30 Minute Grind …
6x Sandbag Getup @ 40/60#
3x Keg Lift @ 40/60# Sandbag
6x 40-Foot Shuttles (3x Round Trips) with Sandbag @ 40/60#

(2) 30 Minute Grind …
3x Push Ups
3x Hand Release Push Ups
3x Clapping Push Ups, then…
1/2x Pull Ups
1/2x Mixed Grip Pull Ups
1/2x Chin Ups, then …

3x 1-Leg Box Squat or Pistol
3x Walking Lunges
3x Jumping Lunges

(3) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back

No rest between Parts (1) and (2).


Obj: Endurance


(1) Run 5 Miles, Moderate Pace

Moderate = Comfortable but not Easy


Obj: 30 Minute Gym-Based Endurance, Bodyweight Strength Endurance

(1) 30 Minute Grind …
10x Swing @ 12/16kg
75m Shuttle (down 25m, back 25m, down 25m)Walk Back to Start

(2) 30 Minute Grind …
4x Hand Release Push UPs
4x Alligator Push Ups
4x Clapping Push Ups, then…

Rope Climb or Kneeling Rope Pull @ 60/80# Sandbag, then…
6x Air Squat
6x Squat Jump
3x Broad Jump

(3) 2 Rounds
Hip Flexor + Instep + Pigeon Stretch

No rest between Parts (1) and (2).
No Rope to climb or pull for Part (2)? Do 2/3x Tarzan Pull Ups instead.


Obj: 45 Minute Gym-Based Endurance, Bodyweight Strength Endurance


(1) 45 Minute Grind …
3x Getup and Run @ 40/60#
6x Sandbag Clean + Push Press @ 40/60#
20x Step Ups @ 20”

(2) 15 Minute Grind …
4x Squat
4x Push Ups
4x Burpee, then …

Lee Special @ 40/60#, then …
3x In-Place Lunge
3x Jump Lunge
6x Jump/Touch/Jump

(3) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back

No rest between Parts (1) and (2).
No Rope to pull for Part (2)’s Lee Special? Do 3/6x Chin Ups instead.


Obj: Endurance


(1) Run 7 Miles, Easy Pace

Easy = Able to speak in full sentences

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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.



"As a follow up, I completed the long biathlon and used Gratitude as my training base.  A few deviations to tailor it more towards this event and my weaknesses:  1)  All runs were done with 27 # (plate carrier and hydration pack) 2)  My Long runs were longer than prescribed, longest being 14 miles (I’m accustomed to running with weight so wasn’t concerned about the extra stress)  3) During the last 2-3 weeks I integrated rifle/pistol dry practice into the grinds since that mimicks shooting done in a biathlon.

Loved the program, less physically intense than Humility but perhaps mentally harder, i.e., knowing you have to do 45 minutes of KB swings and 75m shuttles can wear on your mind.

Little scared going into this event because I won it last year but trained heavily on running.  This time I didn’t run near as much.  No problem on race day, felt strong throughout and shot very consistent, 1 of only a few competitors that cleared all 14 stages.  Did a negative split on the 2nd ½ and outran the 2nd place competitor by 21 minutes and took 1st place again.

Next up is a Kentucky 10k biathlon, I’ve chosen SWAT H&K to prepare for it.  Will keep you posted.

Thanks for all you do."
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This Plan is one of 200+ plans included in the Athlete's Subscription.