USAF CCT/PJ/CRO Selection Training Plan


•Intense, 9-Week training program specifically designed to prepare athletes for the USAF Combat Control, Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer selections
• Focused PAST training and improvement
• Ruck running, heavy rucking, extensive swimming/treading. Multiple 2-a-Days and long, weekend “mini-events”
• This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


Intense, 9-Week training program specifically designed to prepare athletes for the USAF Combat Control, Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer selections.

This 5 day/week training plan includes multiple 2-a-day training sessions, as well as Saturday mini-events, and swimming, lode carry, and extensive rucking and running.

Emphasis is on PAST improvement, running (1.5 and 6 mile), Ruck Running, Heavy Rucking, extensive swimming (1500m, Hypoxic Swims), treading water, and bodyweight calesthentics – the exercises and events you’ll face at selection.

The plan includes 5 specific assessments, and follow-on progressions. You’ll take these assessments multiple times over the 9 weeks:

(1) PAST – 25m Underwater Swims, 500m swim, 1.5 Mile run, Max Pull ups, Max Sit ups, Max Push ups (2 minutes)
(2) SWIM POOL PFT – 1500m Fin using UDT/Combat Side Stroke, Max Air Squats (1 min), Max Flutter Kicks (2 min)
(3) 10 Mile Heavy Ruck for Time – 60# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle, Full Cammies/Boots, Helmet
(4) 5 Mile Ruck Run for Time – 45# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle, Full Cammies/Boots, Helmet
(5) 6 Mile Run for Time, shorts and t-shirt

General Training Schedule
Monday AM – PAST Work,  PM – Heavy Ruck Intervals
Tuesday AM – Swim PFT Work, PM – Run Intervals
Wednesday AM – Core/Work Cap, PM – Ruck Run Intervals
Thursday AM – Swimming
Friday AM – Stamina or Rest
Saturday – Mini Event or Rest


  • Stop Watch with Repeating Countdown Timer – smart phone will work.
  • 60# Sandbags
  • ALICE Ruck or same ruck you will use at selection, 60# of filler, 10# Rubber Rifle (No rifle? Use a 10 lb sledge hammer or a 10# dumbbell)
  • Pair of 45# and 55# Dumbbells
  • Pull up Bar
  • Olympic-size swimming pool
  • Rocket or similar fins and goggles for finning/swimming
  • Individual Body Armor (IBA) or 25# Weight Vest
  • 15-18″ Box or bench for step ups


What equipment is needed to complete this program?

  • Stop Watch with Repeating Countdown Timer – smart phone will work.
  • 60# Sandbags
  • ALICE Ruck or same ruck you will use at selection, 60# of filler, 10# Rubber Rifle (No rifle? Use a 10 lb sledge hammer or a 10# dumbbell)
  • Pair of 45# and 55# Dumbbells
  • Pull up Bar
  • Olympic-size swimming pool
  • Rocket or similar fins and goggles for finning/swimming
  • Individual Body Armor (IBA) or 25# Weight Vest
  • 15-18″ Box or bench for step ups
  • Optional – GPS-enabled Stop Watch with repeating countdown timer. A GPS enabled watch will make measuring run and ruck distances easier.

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.

How do you count reps for Sandbag Getups and 25m Shuttle Intervals?
Sandbag Getups – The prescribed rep count is total reps, so 50x Sandbag Getups at 60# sandbag = 50x total reps, 25x each shoulder.

What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This programmed is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

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. 
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I can’t do the whole session?
If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole session, you can split the session into two.

How do I access the plan? Pdf? Online?
Plan access is online, via username and password.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

What if I have more questions?

Required Equipment

- This plan does not require a weightroom, but does require the following equipment to complete....
- Swimming pool, swimming goggles, scuba mask, fins
- Waterproof Stop Watch with repeating countdown timer (Timex 100-lap Ironman is recommended)
- 60# Sandbag
- Ruck (ALICE), 45-60# of filler, 10# Rubber Rifle or 10 lb sledge hammer)
- 10-pound swim brick
- Pair of 45# Dumbbells (used for core and grip work)
- Individual Body Armor (IBA) or 25# Weightvest.

Also, the training time required to devote to complete the time is extensive. During the train up, training for selection needs to be a priority during your work day.

Sample Training


Obj: PAST Work

(1) 5 Rounds Pull ups

  • 35% of your Max Reps Scored on SESSION 1 Every 60 Seconds,

  • 1 Round, Max Reps Pull-ups in 60 seconds

(2) 5 Rounds Situps

  • 35% of your Max Reps Scored on SESSION 1 Every 60 Seconds,then...

  • 1 Round, Max Reps in 60 Seconds

(2) 5 Rounds

  • Push-ups 35% of your Max Reps Scored on SESSION 1 Every 60 Seconds, then...

  • 1 Round, Max Reps in 60 Seconds

(3) 3 Rounds

  • Run 800m at Interval Pace based on SESSION 1

  • 1.5- mile Run Time

  • Rest 2 Minutes between runs

Obj: Heavy Ruck Work
(1) 4 Rounds

  • 2 Mile Ruck at Interval Pace based on SESSION 6 Heavy Ruck time.

  • Rest 5 Minutes between Rucks

Obj: Swim Work Cap
Warm Up:
100m stroke of choice

  • 50m arms only

  • 50m legs only (kick board)

  • 100m freestyle

(1) 75m freestyle Hypoxic ladder:

  • 1x75m @ 1 breath every 2 strokes

  • 1x75m @ 1 breath every 4 strokes

  • 1x75m @ 1 breath every 6 strokes

  • 1x75m @ 1 breath every 8 strokes

  • 1x75m @ 1 breath every 10 strokes

  • * Rest 30 Seconds between Swims

(3) 6 rounds

  • 25m underwater swim

  • Freestyle Sprint back to start

  • Rest 60 Seconds

(4) Tread work:
3 rounds:

  • 30 seconds treading water,

  • 30seconds left hand out,

  • 30 seconds right hand out,

  • 30 seconds both hands out of the water

Then immediately ...

(5) Tread water for 12 minutes, hands in water

Obj: Mini Event

(1) 6 Mile Heavy Ruck (60#)

Travel to pool ....

(2) 15 Rounds Swim PT

  • Swim 100m

  • 10x Push ups

  • 20x Situps

  • 30x Air Squats

  • 10x Flutter Kicks

Change Clothes ....

(3) Ruck Run 5 Miles, 45#,
then ....

(4) 10 Rounds

  • Run 100m

  • 5x Burpees

  • 10x Flutter Kicks 

  • 10x Sandbag Getups @ 60#

  • 50m Farmers Carry Run @ 45# Dumbbells

  • 5x Seated Russian Twists with 45# Dumbbells

(5) Heavy Ruck 6 Miles

  • 60# Ruck, boots, rifle, helmet

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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.

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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.



I wanted to send along my gratitude for the programming and assistance you provided over the past few months. Last week I went through a USAF Special Tactics Officer Selection. The week was full of grueling workouts and leadership challenges. Your CCT/PJ/CRO Selection plan left me more than prepared to handle it all.

Each of the focus areas (ruck run, heavy ruck, swim work cap, PAST, etc.) was spot on for what we saw at selection. The workouts provided a meaningful and objective challenge each day, with logical progression towards improvement. I've used other selection workouts with success, but none of them matched the logical layout and sensible progressions for your workouts. All of this is to say that I was extremely successful at selection and was picked up. I couldn't be happier with my Mountain Tactical Institute experience and will be returning to the site for tune up training as I get ready to hit the pipeline.

Can recommend some changes as someone who followed your program exactly and then went to selection? First, put STO in the title! It works perfectly for those of us trying to become STO's as I'm sure it works for CRO hopefuls too. Personally, I was weak in my sit ups to begin with. Overall the PAST preparation was great, but I wish there was more of it. The once a week focus on calisthenics might not be enough for people needing work on their muscular endurance. I might suggest throwing in an extra day or workout for calisthenics. Overall the plan is great. These were minor things that I altered or fixed on my own, but might help another hopeful in the future.

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