SF45 Alpha


  • 7 Week, 6 Day/Week Training Plan designed for tactical and other high impact athletes ages 45-55 years old.
  • Plan concurrently trains gym-based heavy strength, chassis integrity, endurance, work capacity and chassis integrity.
  • This training plan is one of the 190+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


“SF45” is an acronym for “Strength and Fitness 45” and this programming is designed for older tactical and other high impact athletes in the 45-55 age range.

SF45 Alpha is the first of a series of 4 training plans in this collection – Bravo, Charlie and Delta are the other 3 plans in this series.All four plans can be purchased together in a packet, HERE

SF45 Alpha is a 7-week, 6 day/week training plan with an emphasis on endurance. Week 7 in the plan is an unload/re-assessment week.

This is the first version of this plan, published May 2017.


SF45 Programming has the following general characteristics:

Heavy, Low Volume Strength – think heavy barbel and 1-3 reps per set. The goal is to increase or maintain relative strength (strength per bodyweight) in the most efficient manner possible. Some SF45 cycles will feature bodyweight strength training, but none will include moderately loaded free weight strength training in the 5-12 reps per set range. This is to avoid unnecessary joint impact.

Endurance – Recreationally, most activities for athletes in this age range are outside and have a strong endurance component – biking, hunting, trail running, hiking, alpine climbing, etc. As well, for experienced athletes who’ve spent decades throwing iron around in gyms, the appeal of training inside wanes. Endurance programming includes assessment based intervals at a threshold pace, long distance intervals at an easy pace, and gym-based endurance training. This programming may include rucking and ruck running, as well as loaded step ups.

Chassis Integrity – MTI’s mid-section training methodology aims at building transferable mid-section strength and strength endurance. Four movements are emphasized: Rotation, Anti-Rotation, Total Body and Extension. Chassis Integrity can be trained in focused circuits, as well as in complementary gym-based endurance events.

Non-high Impact Work Capacity – In this age group, gone are the days of hard, intense, high impact multi-modal gym-based work capacity programming. For day to day training, the interest and need for this type of fitness is not worth the joint impact. Work capacity training is limited to lower impact gym exercises and shuttle sprints.

Deep Squat Avoidance – For our over-40 lab rats, it’s nearly impossible to do heavy back or front squats without limited joint pain. Lower body strength training in these cycles will focus on lunges, hinge lifts and bodyweight or lightly loaded complexes.

Here is the weekly schedule for SF45 Alpha:

  • Mon: Heavy Total Body Barbell Strength, Gym-Based Endurance
  • Tue: Heavy Upper Body Strength, Low-Back Focused Chassis Integrity, Shuttle Sprints
  • Wed: 6 Mile Running Assessment or 2-Mile Threshold Repeats
  • Thu: Heavy Leg Strength (lunges), Gym-Based Endurance
  • Fri: Long, Easy Run/Trail Run
  • Sat: Athletes Choice: Long, Easy Run/Trail Run or Endurance Mode of Choice

Common Questions:

Who is this plan appropriate for?
Experienced tactical and other high-impact athletes age 40-55. This plan includes olympic and functional fitness exercises and knowing your way around a weight room will easy your learning curve for the programming. 

How long should I rest between Strength Circuits?
The strength circuits each have stretch or durability exercise. Consider this your rest between rounds. There is no- rest between circuits more then what is required to change equipment and load barbells. Understand the strength circuits not mini CrossFit-like WODs. Work briskly, not frantically.

How long with the Training Sessions take?
60-120 Minutes. Gym work is designed to take 60-70 minutes. Endurance days will extend to 120 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?
We use this term to describe the pace for your gym-based endurance efforts. In this training plan, these multi-modal circuits extend to 30 minutes and we want athletes to work through them steadily, not frantically. Effort is moderate, not threshold.

What Equipment is Required?

  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including barbells/dumbells, plates, bumpers, rack, bench, plyo boxes, sandbag (40/60/80 pound)
  • Stop watch with countdown interval timer.
  • Optional – GPS running watch to make finding running distance easy

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 6 days in a row, and take 1 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. The Run Calculator is listed as an exercise.

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.

Good Luck!

Required Equipment

What Equipment is Required?

  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including barbells/dumbells, plates, bumpers, rack, bench, plyo boxes, sandbag (40/60/80 pound)

  • Stop watch with countdown interval timer.

  • Optional - GPS running watch to make finding running distance easy

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from this training plan:




Obj: Strength, Gym-Based Endurance

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • Barbell Complex @ 45/65#

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 2x Power Clean + Push Press - increase load each round until 2x is hard, but doable

  • 2/5x Pull Ups

  • Hip Flexor Stretch


(2) 20 Minute Grind

  • 4x Sandbag Getup and Run @ 40/60#

  • 20x Box Jumps @ 20”

(3) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back




Obj: Strength, Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity

Warm up:

4 Rounds

  • 8x Bench Press - Men start at 95# and add 10# each warm up round. Women start at 45# and add 10# each warm up round

  • 10x Goblet Squats @ 12kg

  • Instep Stretch

  • 5x Shoulder Dislocate


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 3x Bench Press - increase load each round until 3x is hard, but doable

  • 4/8x Chin Ups

  • Lat + Pec Stretch


(2) 6 Rounds

150m Shuttle Sprint every 1:15

(3) 12 Minute Grind

  • 8x Good Mornings @ 45/75#

  • 15/15 Standing Founder

  • 8x Ab Wheel

  • 15/15 Kneeling Founder

(4) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back




Obj: Endurance

Warm up:

4 Rounds

  • 10x Squats

  • 10x Push Ups

  • Run 100m

  • Instep Stretch


(1) Run 6 Miles for Time





Obj: Strength, Gym-Based Endurance

Warm Up:

4 Rounds

  • 5x In-Place Lunge @ 45/65# (barbell)

  • 3x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 2x In Place Lunge with Barbeel- increase load each round until 2x is hard, but doable

  • 2/5x Mixed Grip Pull Ups

  • Pigeon Stretch


(2) 20 Minute Grind

  • 6x Sandbag Burpee @ 40/60#

  • 3x Keg Lift @ 40/60#

  • 50m Shuttle with sandbag (down 25m, back 25m)

(3) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back




Obj: Endurance


(1) Run 7 Miles at the “Easy Per Mile” pace using Session 3’s 6-Mile Run Assessment and the MTI Running Calculator




Obj: Endurance


Athlete’s Choice:

(1) Run 9 Miles at the “Easy Per Mile” pace using Session 3’s 6-Mile Run Assessment and the MTI Running Calculator

Or ….

(1) 90 Minutes of Endurance of Choice …. swimming, cycling, rowing, hiking, etc.

Easy pace. Easy = you can speak in full sentences

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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.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com

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