Low Back Fitness Training Program


• 8-Week, 5 day/week low-back focused training plan
• Designed to rehab and strengthen your low back, core and confidence
• Intended for athletes with a history of low back issues
• Progressive plan – training gets harder as you work through the plan
• This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This 8-week training program is designed for athletes with consistent lower back weakness. It is not a rehab program for an injured lower back, but rather a fitness program for an individual with chronic weakness, or given permission from medical professionals to begin training (if you’ve suffered an injury and have healed completely).

The program is progressive (starts easy and gets more difficult) and aims to build back lower back strength and athlete confidence so athletes can transition into a regular training program.


Required Equipment

• Fully-equipped gym including barbells, racks, benches, dumbbells and/or kettlebells, pull up bar
• Plan can be completed in any commercial gym

Sample Training

SESSION 1 - (Begin Week 1)

Warm up: 4 Rounds
5x Air Squats
5x Push ups
200m Walk with 20# Backpack
Pigeon Stretch


(1) 6 Rounds
5x Hinge Lift @ 65#/45#
5x Y+L @ 2.5#

(2) 6 Rounds
5x Goblet Squat @ 12kg/8kg
5x PVC Shoulder Dislocates

(3) 6 Rounds
5x Standing Military Press @ 20#/10# Dumbbells
3rd World Squat Stretch

(4) 4 Rounds
10/10/10 Low Back Complex
10/10 Kneeling Founder
10/10 Low Back Lunge
10x Face Down Back Extensions



(1) 30 Minute Walk With 25# Backpack

(2) 4 Rounds
3x Ankles To Bar
45 Sec Front Bridge
10x Kneeling Slasher (unloaded)
5x Poor Man’s Reverse Hyper


Warm up: 4 Rounds
200m Walk With 20# Backpack
HUG Hip Mobility Drill
5x PVC Shoulder Dislocates


(1) 6 Rounds
5x Walking Lunges unloaded
5x Kettlebell Swings @ 8kg/4kg
Foam Roll Lower Back

(2) 5 Rounds
2x/3x Pull ups (women/men)
4x/6x Push ups (women/men)
Instep to Pigeon

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



(1) 300x Step ups unloaded

(2) 4 Rounds
10x Sit ups
30 Sec Farmer’s Carry @ 16kg/8kg
10x Russian Twists each way unloaded
10x Good Mornings unloaded

(3) 3 Rounds
50x Glute Leg Lifts each side
Elevated Pigeon
30 Sec Shoulder Scarecrow unloaded
3x Floor Slide


Warm up: 4 Rounds
5x Air Squats
5x Push ups
200m Walk with 20# Backpack
Pigeon Stretch


(1) 6 Rounds
5x Hinge Lift @ 65#/45#
5x Y+L @ 2.5#

(2) 6 Rounds
5x Goblet Squat @ 12kg/8kg
5x PVC Shoulder Dislocates

(3) 6 Rounds
5x Bench Press @ 95#/65#
3rd World Squat Stretch

(4) 4 Rounds
10/10/10 Low Back Complex
10/10 Kneeling Founder
10/10 Low Back Lunge
10x Face Down Back Extensions
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.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. 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.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email coach@mtntactical.com.

If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

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.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com


"I'm in my 8th week of the low back plan after Laminectomy/Discectomy surgery last spring.  The plan has worked great.  A lot better results than the watered PT I was going to.  As a 45 yr old swat operator in good shape, I feel a lot stronger and more flexible in my low back region than prior to the surgery.  I can't say enough about the plan and have passed your website onto my team in hopes they will use the site and have the same results."


"Hi! It is only day 4 but, I am feeling way better. I'm 23 and am used to training heavy and at high volume and about 2 weeks ago my back just went out and I just kept tweaking it. The pain and tightness was so bad I couldn't bend past my hips (couldn't even tie my own shoes), I had trouble getting up from a chair and even walking was so painful. I am glad I started your lower back program I can already feel the tension being relieved and I am virtually pain free!! I feel like there is hope to lift heavy again in the future! Thank you!"

"I am finishing up week 5 of the Low Back Training Plan. After 20 years of chronic low back pain, I have made significant gains in strength and flexibility and most importantly in pain reduction."  - J


"Hey Rob,
I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for making the low back fitness program for those who have had a back injury. I have been dealing with lower back issues for about a year and nine months due to two herniated discs. I've had physical therapy and two cortisone shots and nothing seemed to help with tightness and mild discomfort. I bought the low back fitness program (currently going on week 7) and after the first week I experienced no discomfort and had no tightness or pain. I felt whole again, like I did before the injury and have enjoyed being active again. I have enjoyed the program and have nothing but admiration for your programs, website, and no fluff approach to training, focusing on hard work, discipline, and dedication. I do have a question however, I am currently in graduate school and going to school full time and working on my thesis. I am not currently training for anything specific due to schedule but have really enjoyed the low back fitness program. I am looking to continue to strengthen my core and lower back." - S


It has been close to a year now since my injury and I wanted to say thanks for your help and programming. It was hard getting back into the groove of working out and not being afraid of re-injuring myself, but your low back training plan allowed me to get back to doing the things I love. I am happy to report that this January I was able to summit Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Chimborazo in succession (~19k, 18k, and 20k feet respectively) with no problems whatsoever! I have also been able to begin pushing myself on sport and trad again. I am very excited for this spring climbing season. Just thought I'd share, and wanted to say thanks once again." -A

Show More

Athlete’s Subscription Package

Sign Up

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