Hotshot Crew/Smoke Jumper Pre-Season Training Program


• 6 weeks, 5 days/week
• Laser-focused design on the demands for Hotshots and Smokejumpers
• Includes field sessions to mimic long days in remote areas.
• This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


Intense training plan designed to work-specifically prepare elite, professional wildland firefighters – Interagency Hotshot Drews and Smoke Jumpers, for the wildland fire season.

This program is designed to build legs and lungs in preparation for fire season and the steep, rocky environment in which hotshots and smokejumpers operate. This is a 6-week long program and makes the assumption that athletes will be training 5 days/week, yielding 30 total training sessions. At the end of each week, with the exception of Week 4, you will perform a long Field Session, culminating in a 6 hour non-stop event. You will train Monday through Thursday, take Friday off, then do the Field Session on Saturday.

The plan is leg, lung, endurance, core strength and grip strength focused.

Required Equipment

The plan uses minimal equipment.
- 25# Dumbbells - men, 15# dumbbells - women
- 45# Dumbbells for Farmer’s Carry
- 45# Barbell, rack, and bench, for Bench Presses
- 80# and 60# Sandbag for men, and 60# and 40# Sandbag for women).
- 16-19” Box, bench, stool or whatever for step ups
- Watch with second hand or countdown timer (Timex Ironman is best)
- Pull-up and Dip Bars
- 5# Ankle weight for Jane Fondas
- 8-10# Sledgehammer and a tire or log to hit with it.
- 2.5# Plate for Shoulder Hand Jobs
- 5’ long 1” PVC pipe for Shoulder Dislocates and Lat + Pec Stretch
- Backpack for rucking

Sample Training

Approx. 75 minutes

4 Rounds
10x Sit-ups
8x Goblet Squats - 15/25#
6x Push-ups
4x Jingle Jangles
Instep Stretch

(1) 3 mile Ruck in boots, 45# pack, and tool or chainsaw at these mile paces:
Mile 1: 18-20 min
Mile 2: 16-17 min
Mile 3: 13-15 min

(2) 2 Rounds
Full Leg Blasters
Rest 30 seconds

(3) 6 Rounds
Mini Leg Blasters
Rest 30 seconds

(4) 3 Rounds
Hip Flexor Stretch
Lat + Pec Stretch
5x Shoulder Dislocates
3 Rounds
30 sec Farmer’s Carry (35/45#)
4x Scotty Bobs (15/25#)
Run 4x 25m Shuttles (moderate pace)
Instep Stretch

7 Rounds every 3 min.
6x Sandbag Get-ups (40/60#)
20x Step-ups
6x25m Shuttle run (don’t touch the line)

(2) 3 Rounds
20 sec Calf Raise
10 sec Hold in up position
20 sec Calf Raise
10 sec Hold in up position
30 sec Rest

(3) 4 Rounds
15/15 Standing Founder
15/15 Kneeling Founder
15/15 Low Back Lunge
10x Face Down Back Extensions

(5) 3 Rounds
3rd World Stretch
Lat + Pec Stretch
5x Shoulder Dislocates
4 Hour Squad Field Session


(1) In boots, 45# pack, and carrying hand tool or saw, perform a 1.5 hour ruck at moderate pace, then take off pack and drop hand tool/saw and immediately...

(2) As many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
5x Dumbbell Front Squats (15/25#)
10x Sledgehammers into log/tire
15x Step-ups holding sledge hammer

(4)  In boots, 45# pack, and carrying hand tool or saw, perform a 1.5 hour ruck at moderate pace, then take off pack and drop hand tool/saw and immediately...

(5) As Many Rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
5x Sandbag Burpee (40/60#)
Run 400m

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Fitness Programming Focused on
Mission-Direct Performance

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.

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.


Athlete’s Subscription Package

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This Plan is one of 200+ plans included in the Athlete's Subscription.