The following is a sport-specific 8-week, 6 day/week program is specifically designed to prepare athletes for the Sapper Leader Course. The plan includes a 1-week taper, and is designed to be completed the 8 weeks directly prior to your course start week.
This is a very intense, 6-day a week, often 2x/day training program with high levels of volume and stress. The intensity of the plan reflects the intensity of the Sapper Leader Course
This program gets progressively harder each week, until week 8, when the training tapers down into the start of selection. Don’t skip ahead!! The plan is designed to build upon itself. If you have to miss a training day, start up back where you left off.
To successfully complete this program you’ll need to make training for selection a priority during your work day.
Ruck & Run Intensive
This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness demands you’ll face the Sapper Leader Course – specifically rucking, running, calesthenic-based “smokers,” upper body strength endurance, etc. The plan includes:
- Extensive rucking and running
- Testing and progressive training for the APFT
- Testing and progressive training for the 12 mile Ruck, and a 6 mile run
- Short (10-20 minute) mulit-modal work capacity events
- Intense core, mobility, and stabilzer strength training for durability
- Long, intense, Saturday “mini events” lasting from 2 to 4.5 hours designed to prepare you physically and mentally for the long days you’ll face during the Sapper Leader Course
The plan includes 48 Total Training Sessions.
Here is the general training Schedule:
- Monday: AM – APFT Work & PM – Heavy Ruck intervals (2-a-day)
- Tuesday: Short Work Capacity, Core Strength, Durability
- Wednesday: AM – Sandbag Get up Intervals & PM – Running Intervals
- Thursday: AM – APFT Work & PM – Heavy Ruck intervals (2-a-day)
- Friday: Work Capacity, Low Back Fitness
- Saturday: Mini-Event
The plan deploys 4 specific assessments, and follow-on progressions based on your assessment results. This way the plan automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness level.
You’ll take these assessments 2x times over the 8 weeks – during Weeks 1 and 4:
- APFT+ – Max Sit ups (2 minutes), Max Push ups (2 minutes), Max Pull ups and 2 Mile Run
- 10 min Sandbag Getups @ 60# for reps
- 12 Mile Heavy Ruck for Time – 45# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle or Sledge Hammer, or Dumbbell
- 6 Mile Run for Time
Exercise progressions for the assessments are based on your most recent assessment results for the APFT+, 10 minute Sandbag Get Ups for Reps, 6-Mile Run, and 12 Mile Ruck.
- Stop Watch with Repeating Countdown Timer – Timex Ironman is best.
- 60# Sandbags
- Ruck – same ruck you will use at selection, 45# of filler, 10# Rubber Rifle (No rifle? Use a 10 lb sledge hammer or a 10# dumbbell)
- Pull up Bar
- Climbing Rope
- Foam Roller
- Highly Recommended – GPS-enabled Stop Watch with repeating countdown timer (Garmin Forerunner 10 is recommended ) A GPS enabled watch will make measuring run and ruck distances much easier.
What if I miss a day?
Don’t skip ahead. Start where you left off. The plan is progressive, and its training sessions designed to be completed in order.
What if I have less then 8 weeks before I start the Selection Course?
Still start at the beginning of this training plan anyway. Don’t skip ahead.
What if I can’t handle the training volume at first?
Building stamina and resilience is a key training goal of this plan, and physical and mental stamina is also key to completing the Selection course. If you can’t handle the training volume at first, its better to cut training sessions short, rather than take unscheduled rest days.
What if I can’t make the prescribed reps for the bodyweight exercises, or the prescribed interval times for the rucks or runs?
Do your best, and be sure to do the total number of rounds, even if you can’t make the reps or the time. Don’t quit. Push ups – it’s not unusual to have to break sets and/or go to your knees to make your prescribed reps.
How do you count reps for Sandbag Getups?
Sandbag Getups – The prescribed rep count is total reps, so 50x Sandbag Getups at 60# sandbag = 50x total reps, 25x each shoulder.
Unfamiliar Exercises? Questions?
Go to www.mtntactical.com and click the “Exercises” link to see unfamiliar exercises.
Rob Shaul, Military Athlete