All posts by Mintra Mattison

Q&A 1.13.21

QUESTION

I am trying to figure out my training for next year, and I am
interested in some of your training plans, but I am not sure which is
the best one for me. I am a “weekend warrior” that likes to engage in
a variety of recreational activities, with a focus on trail running,
hiking, skiing, and pending the draw, backcountry hunting. Next year I
would like to run roughly one trail race a month from march to august,
with the shortest distance being 7 miles and 3k feet of vert, but
primarily half and full marathons. I would also like to continue to
develop strength and improve the big 4 lifts. I recognize that these
goals are somewhat at odds, but would like to try and train them both.
I had planned to use your running improvement plan and then transition
to the 25k ultra, alpine running, and 50km training plans pending race
schedule. Do you have a strength program you would recommend pairing
with these?

ANSWER

A great place to start is the Big 3 Strength + 5 Mile Run Plan …. then continue with the strength sessions in the plan as you push your running distances. The plan is assessment-based, so the strength portions can be continued after you run through the first cycle.
Know that as you increase your running volume you’ll want to cut back your lifting to 1 – 2 days a week and do your best to maintain strength. High volume endurance works against strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been an athlete subscriber for two years and I am currently in the process of submitting my packet to DEA and do not have a specific date when I will need to conduct my PTT exam, however, the DEA has recently changed their process wherein the PTT exam is the first step in their application.  To establish a stronger baseline focused on pushups, situps, and aerobic capacity, I am currently wrapping up Week 2 of the Ranger PTT.
I have worked through the FBI PFT previously and I know that their fitness test mirrors that of the DEA (sans pull-ups). I noticed that the MTI DEA PTT plan was last updated in 2017 while the MTI FBI PFT plan was updated in 2019.  For my pending DEA PTT, would it be better to use the more updated FBI PFT or utilize the current DEA PTT as it exists?  Also, I would like to extend either plan to a sixth day where I do a longer, more moderate run (5-6 miles).  Would that be detrimental to the overall plan progression or not? Thank you for taking the time to read this email and I appreciate any assistance you can provide me.

ANSWER

Sure on the change …. It could be a date issue with the DEA PTT Plan as I’m fairly sure I updated it as well, but the FBI plan will work.
You can add in a Saturday moderate pace run …. but cut it out if you’re not making the running intervals in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Have completed body weight foundation and looking for next limited equipment plan for general mountain fitness (mostly long distance backpacking). What is the difference between humility and apache plans? Would you recommend one over the other for me?

ANSWER

Humility has a tactical focus and is one of our foundational programs on the tactical side. That being said, it has a significant endurance component.
Apache is a general fitness limited equipment training plan with a short endurance component.
What I’d recommend is Kiowa – another of the Limited Equipment Tribe Packet plans, but it has a longer endurance component.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve heard great stuff about your plans and am excited to start with one. I’m a 24 y/o male who is overall generally fit enough to do everything I want but I wouldn’t call myself in great shape. I enjoy rock climbing, mountain & road biking, ski touring, resort skiing, trail running and spend a lot of my free time doing those things. I’d like to prepare myself better for those things while also putting some muscle on my body.
My dilemma is I have tried lifting in the past but always fizzle out because I find myself not leaving enough energy or time to do those things listed above. That said, what plans have you seen to be successful in getting others in the gym but also leaving plenty of time and energy for their primary goals or sports? It’s definitely a mental switch too as I need to understand I won’t have the same level of time or energy as I do now, which I am (hopefully) prepared for.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

ANSWER

It sounds like you’re looking for a strength-focused training plan to complete in conjunction with your outdoors activities.
I’d recommend the In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes.
You can work through this programming 1-3 days/week depending on your outdoor activity. If you’re primarily a weekend warrior with mid-week outside efforts, I’d recommend starting 2 days/week, Monday and Wednesday, with the strength sessions in this plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for guidance on the right MTI plan for me. I have no present training objectives other than to build functional strength and endurance. I am not in a tactical profession (I sit at a desk 12 hours a day). I have some distant aspirations to complete a multi-day hiking trip at some point in 2022 (nothing planned yet).
My athletic background is below:
  • Age: 26 years old
  • Height: 5’5″
  • Weight: 143
  • Body fat %: ~10%
  • High school cross country runner
    • Suffered a stress fracture in my L5 vertebrae that has continued to bother me for the last 10 years
    • Worked with a physical therapist over the last two years who identified glute weakness, small leg length discrepancy, and multifidus muscle tightness as root causes of the lower back pain
  • Transitioned to powerlifting in college (Stronglifts 5×5 for 2 years and a PPL program for 2 years)
  • After college spent first two years working 80-100 hours a week in sedentary job with some lifting on the side
  • Second job (age 24-26) – worked 80 hours a week but completed a hypertrophy program (Jeff Nichol’s program). Once the pandemic started, transitioned to couch to 10K (beginners running program aimed at building up to running a 10K over 14 weeks). Then completed MTI’s FBI SA  program
  • In the spring of 2021 completed MTI’s whiskey program
  • Between March – August of 2021 no working out due to extremely high workload
  • As of August 2021 – Re-completed couch to 10K (beginners running program aimed at building up to running a 10K over 14 weeks), while also doing strong lifts 5×5 for 10 / 14 weeks until I stopped lifting entirely due to tweaking something in my back (same L5 vertebrae area)
    • At the time of stopping I had reached – 145 lb Bench 5×5, 175 lb Squat 5×5, 175 lb deadlift 1×5, 85 lb 5×5 overhead press,
  • Currently have no back pain and can run 7-8 miles at ~9-9:20 pace
  • Physical activities I do for fun: occasional hiking, long walks
Appreciate any guidance you may have for me.

ANSWER

If you think 5 miles is too much to start, do the Big 3 Strength + 2 Mile Run Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Which training programs do you recommend for someone getting ready for the Texas Game Warden Academy? Would you think the LEO programs are a good fit? Thanks.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the LE Academy Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before the Academy.
Between now and starting the Academy plan, I’d recommend the plans/order in the Wilderness Professional Packet of plans, starting with Jedediah Smith.
– Rob

QUESTION

Good Morning, Two days ago I was informed by my unit there is a good chance I will be attending Jungle School in 6 weeks. What do you think is the best plan to prepare me for this course? I know on day 1 I have a 5K run assessment and that the course has you do a lot of rucking through dense brush.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Blackwater from our Wildland Fire Training Packet. It includes a 3-mile run assessment and threshold paced ruck intervals based on a 1.5 mile ruck run assessment.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am expecting to attend the FBI Academy in February and will be starting your academy prep plan after passing my pre-Quantico PFT in a couple weeks. Your SA PFT program has been working well for me and I’ve seen consistent improvement in my running. However, I’ve been stuck at 45 sit ups, 35 push ups, and 13 pull ups for a couple months now. It looks like the academy plan uses the same density method for training calisthenics that the PFT plan does. Any suggestions for an alternate method I could try to push off this plateau?

Any insights would be much appreciated.

ANSWER

You definitely need to change up the progression. I’d recommend you try the MTI’s GTG progression for both push ups and pull ups.
– Rob

QUESTION

Long time follower and user of your programing. It is great stuff. I’m looking for a recommendation on a training program for Goruck’s 26.2 mile star course (click for link) . Gorucks star course format is less a smoke session and more of urban orienteering for time over 26.2 miles with a 20-30lbs ruck on.
I looked at your max effort marathon program and thought about modifying to replace the runs with ruck, however, I suspect there will be more chassis integrity required for the ruck. I’m pretty familiar with rucking. Completely willing to pay for a new program and to lab rat it. Alternatively, let me know what program you think is best. Currently on week four of the Fat Loss program.
Thanks for the insight!

ANSWER

Yes on the Max Effort Marathon Training Plan …. completing the programming with the ruck on will build your event-specific chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

Need your assistance in selecting the correct program. My goal is base fitness with a bias toward mountains, looking at “Helen” as it appears a well round program.

About me 56 years old male 218 lbs with some fat to lose but not bad. Pretty active, will probably do some ice climbing this winter, with plans for a weeklong sea kayak trip this spring and summer and some hiking and camping above 5,000 ft this summer fall. Spend a large amount of time on an adventure motorcycle so require some solid core work. I have just completed a 12-week cycle of “Starting Strength” which was good but I gained about 14 lbs mostly muscle. Also, this program really lacks any cardio focus.

Limiting factors Arthritis in my left ankle limits my ability to run distance but has not hinder me in rock climbing or hiking. ACL in the left knee has been reconstructed but is pretty stable and has full range of motion and I am 56 with a decade in the USMC combat arms and another 20 + working for other federal agencies around the world.

I do have access to both a climbing gym and a fully equipped standard gym. Any recommendations you can give will be appreciated.

ANSWER

At 5’10”, I’d like to see you down around 170-175 pounds – esp. at 56 years old. Losing this mass will especially make your mountain travel better – right now you’re hiking around with a 40 pound load that’s not adding to mountain performance.
First – fix your diet. HERE are our nutritional guidelines.
Programming? I’d recommend you start our stuff with Busy Dad Limited Equipment 1. The strength programming in this plan is bodyweight only – which will hopefully help you cut some mass. The endurance is shorter – 45 min – which will help you get back up to speed in that area. It includes extensive chassis integrity (core) work which will transfer well to your motorcycling.
– Rob

QUESTION

Love the V4 backcountry ski program and excited to try the in season maintenance program. Any use subbing step ups in on one of the days of the in season program?
Massive Thanks

ANSWER

Replace Tuesday’s session with step ups – look to do 500-1,000 a session. You can split them up to make them less torturing … i.e. 250x step ups, core work, 250x step ups,

5 Rounds
200x step ups
Run 200m
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 38 years old been a gym rat most of my career as a federal contractor and in the military. I love getting in there and crushing it.  I seem to have done everything from the bro split to CrossFit in my training days. I have tried a few of your works outs (particularly love the sandbag get ups BTW) with a full subscription to all of the programs available. I seem to always go back to the upper/lower split but, get bored and want to try something new. I have tried to even create my own training but as I look at it, it almost mirrored my previous routine. To sum things up I’m bored and don’t know where to go from here. I’m big into making sure I can function within my job but, I don’t mind seeing the glamour muscles either. Any help you can give me or point me in a direction of a new and challenging program would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Coach

ANSWER

When we program for ourselves usually we (1) Do what we’ve always done, or: (2) Do what we’re good at.  Often (1) and (2) are the same!!
The Busy Dad Programming I just completed is pretty awesome. 45 minute sessions – lots of chassis integrity.
– Rob

 

MTI’s Fighter Pilot Fitness Assessment

 

By Rob Shaul

Over ten years ago I was first approached by Air Force pilots interested in developing a fitness assessment to test the pilot’s ability to perform the Anti-Gravity Straining Maneuver.

The loss of consciousness caused by G-forces (G-LOC) is a hazard unique to fighter pilots. In high-G maneuvers, blood can be forced from the brain causing a blackout. If the pilot doesn’t recover in time, tragedy can occur.

Pilots are taught to fight G-Forces using the Anti-Gravity Straining Maneuver (AGSM), which is essentially isometrically tightening up of every muscle in the body, especially the legs and core, in an effort to keep blood from leaving the brain.

In response, I developed and personally tested an AGSM fitness assessment involving front squats, but I never heard back.

Over the years I received 2-3 more requests from fighter pilots and the request expanded from not only training testing for the AGSM, but also pilot general fitness. Most recently, one of the MTI mentors was a retired fighter pilot and we worked together to develop a mission-direct, practical assessment.

One area myself and the mentoree struggled with was developing a simple assessment for neck strength and strength endurance. Helmets, night vision equipment, etc. are heavy and neck issues are common amongst pilots. In the end, we were unable to find a simple, mission-direct neck event and one isn’t included in the assessment below.

 

MTI FIGHTER PILOT ASSESSMENT

Warm up:

3 Rounds:

 

Training:

1) 10 Rounds, 8x Front Squat @ 65% Bodyweight (women), 75% Bodyweight (men), every 45 Seconds.

Protocol:

After the warm up, complete …

  • 5x Front Squat @ 40% Bodyweight (women), 50% Bodyweight (men), rest 2-3 minutes,  then …..complete 5x Front Squat @ 50% Bodyweight (women), 60% Bodyweight (men), then, set up the barbell for your assessment load (65% bodyweight women, 75% bodyweight – men
  • Set a countdown, repeating timer to 45 seconds. On “Go” complete 8x Front Squat at your prescribed load as fast as possible. Once completed, rack the barbell and wait until the next round begins. The faster you finish your 8x reps, the more rest you’ll get between rounds.
  • Range of motion is from full knee extension at the top to 90-degree (thighs parallel to the floor) on the bottom. No cheating!
  • Continue each round as prescribed until you are unable to complete 8x reps at your prescribed weight in the 45 second time limit per round.

RECORD THE NUMBER OF FRONT SQUATS COMPLETED. So, if you made it through 8 reps for 5 rounds, and managed 4 reps on Round 6, your score would be 44.

Rest 5 Minutes, then …. 

2) Max Rep Bench Press @ 65% Bodyweight (women), 75% Bodyweight (men)

Protocol:

  • 8x Bench Press @ 40% Bodyweight (women), 50% Bodyweight (men), rest 2-3 minutes,  then …..complete 8x Bench Press @ 50% Bodyweight (women), 60% Bodyweight (men), then, set up the barbell for your assessment load (65% bodyweight women, 75% bodyweight – men
  • On “go” perform as many bench press reps as possible at your prescribed load. You may rest with the barbell in the up, elbow’s locked position, but may not rack the barbell or let it rest on your chest during this event.
  • Range of motion is from full elbow extension at the top to barbell touching your chest at the bottom. No cheating!

RECORD THE NUMBER OF BENCH PRESS REPS COMPLETED. 

Rest 5 Minutes, then …. 

3) Max Rep Strict Pull Ups

Protocol:

  • No warm up or time limit. On “Go” perform as many struct pull ups as possible. You may rest in the bottom, elbows extended position, but your feet may not touch the ground or a bench/box. Both hands must remain on the barbell for the entirety of the event.

RECORD THE NUMBER OF PULL UPS COMPLETED.

Rest 5 Minutes, then …. 

4) 1.5 Mile Run for Time wearing 25# Backpack

This event is designed to simulate a pilot’s rapid egress from his/her crash sight or parachute landing spot with his/her “bugout” bag.

RECORD FINISH TIME.

 

 

SCORING

In order to develop an initial scoring chart. I still need athletes between the ages of 22 and 45 to take the assessment.

If interested, please take the assessment, and email your results to rob@mtntactical.com Please include your age and bodyweight with your assessment results. 

 

Q&A 1.6.22

QUESTION

I am a former GS athlete looking to get back into it after a break for a few years. Is your High Rep Kettlebell Snatch programming designed to coach someone through a 10 minute kettlebell sport set? Thanks!

ANSWER

No … This program would be a great way to build snatch fitness prior to starting a focused 10-minute plan. I don’t have one of those, however. I might consider building one but have never been asked.
– Rob

QUESTION

Somewhere on your website, I remember seeing a training calendar that showed example plans throughout a year (i.e ski prep training, then a strength training plan, then something to get ready for running season, etc.). Do you know where I can find that resource?

ANSWER

I couldn’t find the article you saw … so I just put together a quick calendar which would be used by most recreational mountain athletes, – Rob


QUESTION

Hi there i am looking at buying a few of your programs. Just a few small questions. I am looking at the pre wildland season. and one of the trainings is. 15 minute Grind 2/4x Hand release push ups. What does the 2/4x stand For? Also there is one that is 300x step ups. would that be 300 each leg or 300 total? Thank you.

ANSWER

2/4x = 2 for women, 4 for men
300x Step Ups = 300x total, 150x each foot.
– Rob

QUESTION

Which wild land package can you recommend with more of an emphasis on building body weight as well as endurance and hiking.

ANSWER

Blackwater – the first plan in our Wildland Fire Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just signed up for your site and I’m hella impressed with the quality. I also have no idea where to start, so I’m hoping for some guidance 😀
I want/need to improve cardio, work capacity, and upper body strength to qualify for military recruiting. I have a decent strength base, but my engine sucks.
I’m also working around a shoulder and hip injury. This also sucks.
BUT – I know my way around a gym and am very comfortable with scaling things, making substitutions, etc. Cozy and happy with all the big lifts. I think I just need some suggestions on where to begin the search among the programs you have… because, you know, jumping into a JTF2 program tomorrow would probably be a stupid idea.
Notable: I have full access to just about any toy anyone could ever want in a gym/strength facility (including a pool), so equipment isn’t an issue.
Thanks so much!

ANSWER

Apollo from our Greek Hero Series. Strength is barbell based, and includes bench press and pull ups.
Intense, 20-minute work capacity efforts to build your engine.
Moderate paced runs to build overall cardio.
If it looks too intense, start with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, then move to Apollo.
Also – fix your diet if you aren’t already eating clean. Here are our recommendations.
For everyone, and women especially, bodyweight has a huge impact on upper body strength performance for pull ups and push ups.
– Rob

QUESTION

My wife and I are looking to climb Mt. Katahdin in Maine in July 2022. I am a runner with some background in backpacking and harder hikes. My wife doesn’t do much exercise other than walking the dogs daily. What would you recommend for each of us to prepare for the climb? My research tells me it is a strenuous hike with some bouldering and climbing elements, but nothing that needs specialized equipment.

ANSWER

Peakbagger Training Plan for both of you the 7 weeks directly before your climb..
Have your wife complete the Mountaineering and Hiking Prep Plan prior to beginning Peak Bagger. Wouldn’t hurt you to join her.
– Rob

QUESTION

Question about training environment:
I’m in Fairbanks, where the temperatures in December-January are usually -15 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the Civil Affairs Selection plan, I sometimes run/ruck on an indoor track or treadmill when it is dangerously cold outside (below -20 for anything over 4 miles)
When it’s -15 outside, my run and ruck times are slower than they would be at Bragg when the temperature is in the 40s and 50s (selection date is early February).
Should I run/ruck inside for the speed? Or continue staying outside as much as possible, even though it is slower?
Thanks!

ANSWER

It doesn’t matter (track our outside) as long as it’s consistent. I.e. – if you’re going to ruck inside, make sure you do the assessment inside.

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a subscriber and am trying to get back into shape.  I am a firefighter, married with 2 kids and 2 jobs.  I am working on consistently finding time to workout, nutrition is my down fall.  Do you offer nutrition or meal planning services?  If not, do you have any recommendations?  I don’t mind cooking and am looking for a way to learn healthier paleo-ish meals.

ANSWER

We’re currently running a Mini-Study with remote lab rats and I built my first meal plan for the participants …. but they are not completed yet and I’m not ready to publish it.
Until then – here are our nutritional guidelines – on which the plan is based: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
– Rob

QUESTION

I have used your Spirits programs for a solid while. However, several weeks ago my situation changed and I now have much less time each day to workout. I haven’t been able to successfully carry out the full program within my available time.

As such, recently I started conducting Pavel Tsatsouline’s PTTP program in the mornings as it only takes me 30-minutes or less. You may know it, but it focuses on strength only and involves the Hinge Lift and the Bench Press as such:

  • Hinge Lift 1 x 5 reps, then 1 x 3, then 1 x 2 – 85% 5RM
  • Bench Press 1 x 5 reps, then 1 x 3, then 1 x 2 – at 85% 5RM

There are 3-5 minute rests between sets. I do this 5-6 mornings per week. Every few days, I increase the weight by 5 lbs. So far, so good. I am managing to constantly go up.

Now, I want to add a “fitness” aspect to my evenings—to improve my conditioning/aerobic fitness. Would one of your MTI running programs be sufficient or do you recommend another MTI program which can be done in the evenings, in conjunction my morning routine as above?

ANSWER

Running Improvement Training Program is solid, Abraham – though I’m hesitant for you to double up. Skip the strength programming in the plans.
From our programming I’d recommend the new Busy Dad Full Gym training plans. I built these in November.
– Rob

QUESTION

Background:
I’m a 34 year old SF guy and monthly Mtntactical subscriber. I have 13 months to train for a 45 day ruck based selection held in the mountains (not SFOD-D). I’m currently in a teaching billet and don’t have any fitness tests or operational fitness needs for the next 2-3 years.

I’m built more like a line backer than an endurance athlete (6’0 / 215lbs) and historically my mid distance run and ruck times look similar (60 ish minutes for both a 6 mile run and 6 mile ruck). I’m following the PE nutritional guidelines and hope to be 200ish by April and 185 by Selection Start.

Question:
Since I don’t have a pressing requirement for traditional military base fitness right now, should I follow the RBSPacket as prescribed or do something more endurance heavy first (greek Heroine/ ultra pre season/ whatever) since it’s a pretty glaring weakness?

ANSWER

Since you know it’s an issue and you’re concerned about it, I’d recommend dropping into a focused endurance cycle now – specifically the Run & Ruck Improvement Training Plan. 
This is a focused, 7-week, 6 day/week training cycle which includes 1 day/week of bodyweight strength and chassis integrity.
Email back on the other side with you status/improvement/bodyweight and we’ll decide together what you should do next.
– Rob

QUESTION

was wondering if you could replace step ups with the stairmaster machine that is like a reverse escalator in your programs, specifically, the Teton Grand traverse plan.

ANSWER

Not sure the transfer, but if you do this use vertical feet. So, if the plan calls for 500x step ups, 500 x 16″ = 8,000 / 12 = 667 vertical feet. So do the stairmaster for 667 vertical feet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in the USCG program and was wondering does it include stretches and mobility work as well to prepare tendons and under used muscles such as rotator cuff?

ANSWER

The plan does include some mobility/stretches but this is not the focus of the plan. Event-specific is the focus.
– Rob

Q&A 12.30.21

QUESTION

I’m interested in the smoke diver training plan but wanted to reach out with some questions. Unfortunately the term “smoke diver” has become a bit unclear in the fire service. Is this program designed to prepare for the 6 day classes in Georgia,Indiana, Oklahoma etc? Secondly, I’ll be starting a bit further than 7 weeks out and the website advised that I reach out. I’ve been loosely preparing for a year, but will be attending the class in Georgia starting February 27th. Thank you for your time and i apologize for my long winded email.

ANSWER

1) Yes – the Georgia, Florida, and other courses.
2) Programming? You have 14 weeks until Feb 27th … Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.        Plan
1-7              Humility
8-14            Smokediver Plan
Humility comes from our military side, but it will transfer and it’s no joke.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking at signing up for the MTN Tactical monthly subscription and am wondering which programs you would recommend. I spent the last 7 years training competitively for CrossFit but am looking to train specifically for backcountry hunting moving forward. I go on 3 back country mountain hunts each year – a spring bear hunt in April, elk in September, and elk in early November. Given the timing of these hunts which programs would you recommend in between each hunt?

ANSWER

In general, MTI offers two types of programming: (1) Job or activity specific “base fitness,” which is designed as day to day programming, and; (2) Event-specific Fitness which is designed to be completed the weeks directly before the activity.
Base fitness programming is geared toward the sport/job/activity, but also includes general fitness elements which builds a solid base for event-specific plans and doesn’t lead to overtraining/overuse injuries and staleness. Event-specific fitness is laser-focused on the activity, very effective, but doing it year round would lead to fitness plateau, overuse issues and staleness.
I currently don’t have a backcountry hunting base fitness packet of plans – they are in my queue – but have others that are similar and will work. For someone with your training background I’d recommend the plans/order in our Wildland Firefighter Training Packet – which share the load carrying and mountain endurance fitness demands of backcountry hunting.
8 weeks directly prior to your Spring and September trips I’d recommend you complete the Backcountry Hunter Pre-Season Training Plan – which is laser focused and progressed based on the primary fitness demands of mountain hunting – uphill movement under load, mountain endurance, and load carriage chassis integrity.
Another option I’ll often recommend to midwest hunters heading on their first western hunt is the plans/order in our Backcountry Hunting Training Packet, which is 29 weeks of total programming and has a more gentle onramp and progression for athletes new to this type of hunting.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 69 years old. I have been strength training all of my life. I am still training. At this time I am training 5 by 3 rep range with basic lifts. Front squat, pressing movement, deadlift, back extensions and rowing. I had a bad case of shingles back in 2018, which took a lot out of my strength and lean body mass. I had a difficult time training due to the intense pain. I was able to resume training to a limited extent. I have cancer. In 2019 I had a terrible cancer episode. I spent twelve days in the hospital. I had two blood transmissions, six treatments of plasma cleaning,and. When I was released I had thirteen chemotherapy sessions plus partial amputation oftwo  fingers. During my hospital stay I still trained. I walked at least 20 minutes per day. Did bed squats, counter pushups, and band pull aparts. My goal is to increase my strength, build lean body mass, and be in condition to respond to any situation that comes up in daily life. What program would you suggest for me? I appreciate your time in reading my email.

ANSWER

Busy Dad Full Gym 4 is what I recommend. Be smart and conservative with the prescribed work capacity and chassis integrity work – I.e. go light and perhaps not as intense.
Also – take more rest days as needed to recover.
– Rob

QUESTION

It’s been a while and I wanted to let you know that I completed the Everest program for Ama Dablam and totally kicked its ass. I had no physical issues and the conditioning was more than enough for me to enjoy every moment of the expedition. Before the climb, I trekked nearly 200miles and climbed a few more peaks in the area as well.
Unfortunately, the past two years haven’t been so kind to me. Without getting into it too much, I’ve had some family deaths and been lazy and emotionally/mentally out of it. That being said, I’ve recommitted myself to picking up where I left off in 2019 and have planned heaps of fun, challenging adventures for 2022.
I’ll be ice climbing for a week in February and rock climbing all spring and summer in all my spare time. I have a big wall course planned in August and an alpine expedition in the Cascades right after. I’ll also be doing long weekend overnight backpacking trips 1x a month (50-80miles). I hope to be prepared for a big wall expedition in 2023 and/or an 7,000m technical climb.
This is where I come to you for training advice.
Aside from 3 months ago, I’m in the worst shape of my mountain athlete life. I’m looking for a program to reacclimate my body to general fitness and strength without getting too sport specific. Then I’ll probably revisit your rock program and invest in another alpine/big wall program.
How would you approach this training?
As always, thanks for the advice and help achieving my goals.

ANSWER

Thanks for the note.
Work through the plans/order in the Greek Heroine Series of “mountain base” programming – starting with Helen.
– Rob

QUESTION

Currently in week 3 of big 24. My Assessment weight for bench 3rm was 205 and workouts have been scaled to that assessment.
My past 2-3 bench workouts I have struggled to press anything over 185 for more than 1 rep.
My squats have been progressing rapidly. Other lifts progressing moderately.
Bench is the only move I can’t keep up with the prescription. Any thoughts or advice for me?

ANSWER

Can’t help here – esp. if your 3RM Bench press was 205# and now you can’t get a single at 185#? – Could be you’re injured, and/or you somehow made a mistake on your 3RM Bench press loading. I’d recommend you do another 3RM bench press assessment and re-start the progression.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a gym owner and educator from Asheville, NC.

Our gym, turns 10 next year and is a former CF affiliate.

I’ve followed your site, shared your essays, and consulted your programming for years, and just want to thank you for what you offer to so many.

I’m writing for two reasons:

  • I’d like to offer some sort of class or program out of our space for outdoor athletes and/or those that specialize in many of the tracts you program for. I realize I can subscribe to your programs and label it what I want, market it, etc. However, I wanted to reach out and see if you offer any type of official affiliate program or have any type of established, official relationships with any facilities outside of Jackson. If so, what does that look like? Asheville, as you may know, is an outdoors mecca with so many that may be interested in programming and a facility like this.
  • Second, I’m working on my doctorate in educational leadership and only have my final research project to complete. I’ve always appreciated your research and am seeking ideas on how we might be able to test intensive daily physical activity’s impact on certain populations. I realize your research targets performance primarily, but if you have any ideas or needs that could be applied to an educational and/or leadership direction, I’m all ears.

Thanks again for reading. Enjoy the weekend…

ANSWER

Sorry – we don’t have a gym affiliate program currently.
Study Project?  Work’s already been done in this area, but you could research a connection between fitness training and academic success – esp. at the middle school and/or high school level.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have contacted you in the past and you helped me 100% now I am asking for your help once more.

I have used your training plan for an Spartan Ultra and achieved success by following it exactly 100%.

Now things are more challenging (for both).

Due to the pandemic I stopped racing in Spartan Races and gained almost 15 kgrs. In August 2019 (last Ultra I attended to) I was nearly 82-84 kgrs and now I am almost 95-97. On August 2022 I will participate in the next Ultra which will take place in Slovakia.

Until then I have to lose some weight and get back to a more powerful form. The point now is to lose fat.

Is there any program that you would suggest to me?

Thank you in advance for your time and help.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Humility.
Also – clean up your diet. Here are our recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking into your programs. I would like to run a 50-100 mile run eventually, but would also like to lift. I was wondering if you have any programs that combine the both. I’m a heavier guy who is also looking to drop some #’s and get back to my running weight.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Howdy, Quick question about transition speed:

Currently doing Busy Dad Full Gym 2 (it came out at the perfect time for me), and I was curious about the following:
How much rest to take between part 1 (20min grind) and part 2 (strength piece)?
And then how much rest between the movements in part 2 (5 rounds, 5x kneeling curl to press, 5x dumbbell/kettlebell Craig Special, Lat+Pec Stretch.
I’m assuming the stretch part is 15sec or so?
Thanks for everything you and your company have done. Solid.

ANSWER

No programmed rest … it naturally takes time to move from Part (1) to Part (2), etc. You might have to put equipment away, get out new equipment, etc. this is your “rest”.
 Work steadily through the session – you should finish right around 45 min. Don’t overcomplicate it.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in the army with an 18x contract for special forces. I have just finished my final exercise at infantry school and graduate dec 15 to go on leave until Jan 3. I then either go on hold or start airborne school for 4 weeks . My best guess on when I will start selection will be some time in April. I have 6 weeks of preselection before that. I am just wondering what you guys would recommend as far as workouts between now and then.
(All within the last few weeks)
My last apft was 100 push-ups 84 sit ups 14:30 run
My last acft was a 587 total with a 14:07 2mile
My last 5 mile was 38:17
Last long ruck was 12 miles at 50+lbs
Last speed ruck 4 miles in 50 mins
Sorry for the long email and all the info I’m just at a loss on what to train and where to start since I have freedom now

ANSWER

Plans/order in the Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan – do as much of it as you can given your schedule prior to your pre-selection course
– Rob

QUESTION

I purchased the Bataan Training plan with the intent of doing Bataan in March 2022. I do not have an extensive rucking background, and was hoping to train a 16 week cycle prior to Bataan. What is your recommendation on utilizing the 8 week plan in a 16 week cycle? Can I run the first 4 week block multiple times before I peak and taper? Thank you!

ANSWER

Multiple times? No – but twice would be okay.
Better would be to complete the Rucking Improvement Training Plan for 8 weeks, then roll into the Bataan Plan. Rucking Improvement has a more gentle progression.
– Rob

QUESTION

What do you recommend for electric treadmills? How high of an incline should I get? How much incline do treadmill get? My wife and I live in a small apartment and don’t have a lot of money. I eventually will be doing your most challenging workouts so…

ANSWER

Can’t help here. I’d recommend consumer reports or a similar reputable review source.
10% incline if possible.
Better would be to use a steep hill, stadium, building stairs, stairmaster (perhaps), etc. If you haven’t done any of MTI programming yet, I’d definitely recommend completing a program before investing $1,000 or more in a treadmill … or finding a cheap gym to join.

 

Balancing Tactical Athlete and BJJ Strength and Conditioning

 

By Charles Bausman

 

In comparison to the professions and events MTI traditionally designs programming for, we were challenged to strike a balance between keeping tactical athletes fit and prepared for the demands of the profession, along with the physical demands of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in our latest Tactical BJJ Action Hero Training Packet.

To compound this challenge, we understand training time is limited for individual athletes. The tactical professions are generally physically demanding on a day-to-day basis, and each BJJ session will generally involve at least a few rounds of moderate to high-intensity sparring, therefore training intensity and frequency needed to be carefully balanced. 

As a professional firefighter with five years of BJJ training (as well as a husband and dad), I’m acutely aware of the difficulties of balancing both professional and sports training in a limited amount of time.

As with all our programming, we first needed to conduct a thorough needs analysis for BJJ, which will guide the nature of the programming as its balanced with the demands of the tactical professions. 

 

BJJ Fitness Demands Prioritized

BJJ is a year-round endeavor similar to the tactical profession demands … there is no off-season and in-season to periodize programming around. This calls for a balanced approach, where we don’t specifically focus on a single physical attribute, such as a heavily strength-focused 7-week cycle a football player might complete in the off-season. Instead, we take the long approach, building our fitness base with equal parts Strength and Conditioning. 

 

Physical Attributes

  • Strength 
    • Brute Strength mixed with Working Strength – BJJ/Grappling is primarily a Brute Strength oriented endeavor utilized repeatedly through sport-specific technique. Total body, powerful rotational, and anti-rotational movements are common in every ‘rolling’ session. 
    • Relative Strength – Same as tactical athletes, developing strength without additional bodyweight is a key advantage to grappling sports
    • Unilateral Strength emphasis – The irregular, off-balance movements put brief but excessive loading on individual limbs and joints. Unilateral strength development is key to injury prevention and durability
  • Full Chassis Integrity + Neck Strengthening – Chassis Integrity mixing standing, seated, knees on the ground, and semi-supine positions. Neck strengthening integrated as a means for injury prevention.
  • Grip Strength (Crush, Support, Pinch) – Different varieties of grips are utilized between Gi and No-Gi techniques, involving all of the major three actions of the grip. Strong grips, strong arms, and a strong back are significant advantages.
  • Short Duration Work Capacity (5-10 min w/repeats). Training rounds are generally 5-6 minutes, with 1-2 minutes of rest before another round. Competition matches are generally 5-10 minutes dependent on belt level. Work Capacity priority is lower on this list as every BJJ/Grappling practice involves multiple rounds of sparring, aka plenty of conditioning, is accomplished on the mats.
  • Aerobic Endurance – Moderate duration, moderate-intensity endurance training compared for maintenance of tactical requirements, as well as to improve overall aerobic capacity and recovery between matches/rounds.

Based on the needs analysis and the requirement of keeping training sessions between 30-45 minutes, we can begin to construct a framework of what the programming will look like within a 5x session period. For example, below is a breakdown of Casey Ryback, the first training plan in the Tactical BJJ Action Hero Training Packet

 

Casey Ryback

  • Strength Focus – 2x Sessions… Working Strength via modified TLU Progression
  • Work Capacity – 2x Sessions… Repeat 10-minute efforts utilizing primarily sandbag movements focused on rapidly and efficiently moving an irregular external load across different movement planes
  • Chassis Integrity – 4x Sessions … Anti Rotational, Rotational, Total Body, Low Back Extension, and Grip Strength in varying positions from the ground, kneeling, and standing positions based on BJJ demands. We can multi-task with Chassis Integrity using it as an effective warm up as well while meeting our demand for focused trunk strength training.
  • Endurance – 1x Session… maintenance focused on specific tactical athlete demands with separate options for each profession (Military, Fire, Law Enforcement). Law Enforcement shortens endurance work for upper body hypertrophy. 
  • BJJ Focus – This cycle primary BJJ focus is developing Grip Strength, which we integrated into Chassis Integrity circuits for most efficient use of time. 

 

Weekly Breakdown

 

Figuring out a Training Schedule

Our training plans are nearly always constructed around a weekly schedule, such as Monday through Friday or Saturday. These plans forced us to be a bit creative, as it needed to work in conjunction with BJJ training, with schedules that will vary from athlete to athlete. 

Instead, we made the plans ‘ self-paced’, meaning you should not necessarily complete the programming Monday through Friday. In order to prevent overtraining, we recommend the following schedule based on your BJJ training frequency.

  • Train BJJ 1-2x/week —-> Complete 3-4x training plan sessions/week
  • Train BJJ 3-4x/week —-> Complete 2-3x training plan sessions/week
  • Train BJJ 5-6x/week —-> Complete 2x training plan sessions/week

Training sessions should still be completed sequentially. See below for a week’s example for someone who trains BJJ 3x/week:

This self-determined training schedule requires self-awareness from the athlete. If you feel like you’re approaching a state of overtraining or overreaching, it’s time to take a break. 

We’re confident this training packet will fill a gap for athletes looking to balance tactical professional fitness with BJJ fitness in a time-efficient manner.

 

Questions, comments, suggestions? Email coach@mtntactical.com

 


You Might Also Like Introducing the Tactical BJJ “Action Hero” Training Packet


 

Q&A 12.23.21

QUESTION

Hope this email finds you well. I have a little over ten (10) years of military service (Army) as well as Law Enforcement and Security. I was in the process of applying to the United States Customs and Border Protection which I got accepted and have an academy date of this upcoming January. My end goal in joining CBP is to apply and luckily join, the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) and I am more than positive that this has to be hardly worked.
One of the questions that caught my attention glazing through your webpage was the following:
What if I have more than 8 weeks?
Email coach@mtntactical.com with the time you have and we will advise.
 
I know it is quite a long time but I am looking for a plan that can help me prepare not only for the BORTAC Selection but something that I can begin using indirectly from now and help me in some way during the Academy. I believe and I’m hoping to start preparing with as much time as possible instead of a “time constrict” period of time if you will. I’m looking for a twelve (12) month program, more less if available. Also, any other recommendation will be more than welcome.
Hope to hear back from you soon.
Thank you in advance!

ANSWER

Then, after the academy, drop into the plans/order in the Gun Maker Packet – which are designed as day-to-day programming for full-time LE SWAT/SRT. (Email me back when you’ve completed all of these plans.)
Approximately 6 months out from BORTAC Selection, complete our BORTAC Selection Training Plan, then drop back into the Gun Maker Plans.
Then, repeat the BORTAC Selection Training Plan 8 weeks before selection.
Last I heard was that you had to be a Border Patrol Agent for 2 years before applying to BORSTAR or BORTAC. But that could have changed.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in personal programming

Specifically :
  • Fast twitch fiber  ( I do Muy Thai ) Strengthening
  • Do not want to do  HEAVY  ( less than 8 rep range spine loading )
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Cleans
  • 3 day a week ( total body ok )
  • 75 min at most per w/o
Don’t want to go so heavy that I cannot do more than 6-8 reps. I’m 64  and heavy loading

increases my back pain hard on joints and recovery. Looking for improvement  in speed /power
Saw the 20 rep program, started signing up but then saw personalized. So reaching out.
Make sense?

ANSWER

In general, the heavier the load, the fewer reps … that’s why I’m confused. For example, I can squat 225 pounds for 3 reps, but 185# for 10 reps.
So…. if you want to avoid lifting heavy, you want to go with more reps, lighter weight. This is why I’m confused.
But, as always, be smart with loading – and cautious.
For you, I’d recommend the strength sessions from the Efficient Strength Training Plan. The loading in this plan automatically adjusts to your strength and comfort level, and each strength day you’ll train total body strength – total, lower and upper.
Take a look at the programming in this plan and perhaps try the first week of programming – click the “Sample Training” tab – and then email back if you still want a personalized plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just bought the Swat selection V2 plan and did the day 1 SWAT PFT. I recorded all my scores but I would like to know how I did on it. I don’t see anywhere on the plan that says what the minimums and maximums are for the PFT or how many points each event is worth. I was hoping you could tell me how to evaluate and calculate the score so that I may know how well I did. Please let me know if this is possible. Thank you.

ANSWER

I haven’t developed an official scoring system for this PFT – what we’re interested in primarily, as you’ll see as you work through the plan, is improvement. We tried to develop a PFT in the plan that mirrored or was similar to the gate PFT’s many departments use for their SWAT selections.
Given that – here are my thoughts on scores:
Push Ups – 40+
Sit Ups – 45+
Weighted Pull Ups – 8+
1.5 Mile Run – 9-11 minutes
Devil Dog? Don’t have a good time for this … as it’s designed to mimic an O Course.
– Rob

QUESTION

I go to selection in April. Is this a plan that I can repeat multiple times. If not, is there other plans you suggest. I am a strong runner with not so strong legs and grip strength.

ANSWER

By my count you have 21 weeks until April 14. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.    Plan
1-7           Fortitude
8-14         Valor (first 6 weeks)
15-21       Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan – the 8 weeks directly before SFAS.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was previously injured and had to take about two months off. I am now looking to get back into shape to take a PFT for a local community college, in order to get into the school’s criminal justice academy (police academy). The test consists of: max push-ups and sit-ups in 1 min, a timed 300-meter run, and a timed 1.5-mile run. The PFT is an entry test, to get into the academy. I’m not sure what types of daily workouts the school does daily with the cadets. I’m looking at your FBI SA PFT plan and the FBI academy plan. Which will be better for me? The academy starts in late Jan 2022. I figure I’ll be taking the PFT the first or second week of Jan.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a Marine Officer (attorney) looking for a training program.

I am interested in the Greek hero series. Two questions: (1) Do you recommend this program for me (attorney who just runs PFT and CFT every year, i.e. no real “tactical” strength required), and (2) on average, how long are the Greek hero series workouts?

Thank you for your time.

ANSWER

1)  You certainly don’t need to do the Greek Hero plans to train up for and do well on the CFT/PFT. We have event-specific plans for both of those and you can use these plans the weeks directly before your graded assessments and do well on them. The Greek Hero plans are designed as the day-to-day fitness programming for soldiers/Marines and are focused on mission-specific fitness demands. If you want professionally-designed fitness programming from MTI another choice would be the plans/order in the Country SInger Packet – which deploy MTI’s programming methodology for civilian athletes.
2) Greek Hero Sessions (and Country Singer) are 60-min long, on average. Some endurance programming will go longer based on your run/rucking speed. If you want shorter programming, I just built the Busy Dad Full Gym training plans which should be up on the site very soon.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m doing the preseason backcountry training program. I live in SLC and have a lot of access to mountains. If I run up a mountain on the days I’m supposed to do weighted step-ups, am I missing out on anything?

ANSWER

Would be better to hike up a steep under load – using the same load prescribed in the plan.
For load, use water …. at the top you can dump it.
Also – match or exceed the prescribed vertical in the plan. So, if the plan calls for 500x step ups … assume you’re using a 17″ bench.
500 x 17 = 8500 inches / 12 = 708 vertical feet. Make sure you’re hiking up at least 708 vertical feet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thanks in advance for the help. Just attended a selection and passed all events just not very well.

Ruck – Not timed just had to stay in formation
Push-ups – 65 in 2 min
Situps – 75 in 2 min
3 mile – 25:10

I did great on the assessment but I was 2% over body fat and was asked to reassess in about 6 months. Extremely embarassing.

I’m 5 ft 8 in around 205. I spoke to my wife and we are in on following MTI nutrition.

I was thinking about starting out with the Fat Loss Program to start but also thinking the bodyweight program to stay fit through traveling abroad over the holidays. Any advice for vacation nutrition? I’ll be in Italy two weeks.

I have already purchased RASP2 and the UBRR which I feel are both the most applicable but I was thinking:

Bodyweight
On Ramp
UBRR
RASP2

Thanks in advance. All the best.

ANSWER

Plan is Solid.
Vacation Nutrition? No sugar … including fruit. Only hard liquor to drink. Limit pasta/bread to one meal per day. Train first thing in the morning, every day.
Back home get strict with the nutrition guidelines. I’d like you to lose 30 pounds or so.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was hoping someone might be able to help me choose the right training plan for an upcoming expedition.
I am going on a month long trip to climb big peaks in Russia. We are approaching the mountains on skis but we are not climbing with skis. Right after the trip I am taking my AMGA Alpine Guide Course the first week of June.
I leave on April 8th but cannot start training until December 1. I have three weeks in that time frame between December 1 and April 8th that I won’t be able to do specific training because I will be on AIARE courses.
I am wondering what you all would recommend for training? I have already purchased the Backcountry Ski Pre-Season and the AGC Training plans. I was thinking of doing them consecutively to prepare. Then I noticed the big mountain plan and started wondering if that would be better. Thoughts?

ANSWER

Your plan is solid given it’s still a little early for you to be backcountry skiing – which I’m assuming you’ll be doing lots of this winter.
The one change I might suggest if you are guiding and/or doing a lot of bc skiing this winter is to rely on that activity to keep you fit for vertical climbing and switch the Alpine Guide Course plan to the Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Plan before your Russia trip. This plan is climbing grip training focused … something you’ll need on your Guide Course.
The Alpine Guide Course Plan includes rock/grip training, but also has a significant uphill endurance component – which you’ll already be getting if you’re doing lots of skinning.
If you want to make the change, copied here is Mintra – let her know and she can refund you for the Course plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an athlete progressing through the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet. I’m about to start the Big 24 program and am wondering if there is a recommended rest interval between rounds. Thank you for the clarification.

ANSWER

Each circuit includes a stretch and the stretch is you’re “working rest” between rounds.
In practical terms, our experience was early in the progression we’d finish the sessions in around 50 minutes. But later …. we’d need more rest between rounds and the sessions would push to 75 minutes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently went under the knife for a SLAP tear on my left shoulder about 9 weeks ago. I just bought the Injury Recovery Program from you guys since the doctor gave me the green light to start doing some light exercises. I’ve been running and pretty much doing left workouts for the past six weeks. Once I’m good to go, can I jump right into the SWAT/SRT program? Or do you guys recommend a different program to get back into the pull-ups, push press, etc while avoiding another injury. I’m a SWAT officer and the pull-ups event is one of our PFT requirements. Thank you for your help

ANSWER

You’re asking a medical question and I’m not a doctor – so I can only offer common sense … which is be smart and conservative.
Options would be the H&K Plan from the gun maker packet, which deploys bodyweight only strength training. But likely does deploy sandbags and other loading for chassis integrity and/or work capacity stuff – so you’d have to watch that loading closely.
Or … look at the Single Limb Strength Plan, which will allow you to keep heavy on your good side, and progress slowly with your recovering side.
– Rob

QUESTION

Love your programs I’ve done thus far, and your overall philosophy. Are you using ski synonymous with snowboard and utilizing the same exercises? If not any thoughts on snowboard, specifically big mountain freeride, exercises?

ANSWER

Our pro snowboarders trained alongside our pro skiers doing the same dryland training.
However, there is a difference between the Dryland Ski Pre-Season Plan and the Backcountry Ski Pre-Season Training Plan … so, if you’re skinning/bootpacking, you’ll want to do the backcountry plan.
– Rob

 

Plan Focus: Heliski Trip Training Plan

Owen Leaper in Valdez, Alaska with Pulseline Adventure.

 

Heliski trips are physically demanding and require a high level of ski-specific strength and strength endurance to maximize safety and the trip experience. These trips can include upwards of 40,000 feet per day of vertical, powder skiing, on multiple, successive days. Heliski operators say that athlete fitness, or lack thereof – is one reason epic powder days must be cut short.

This training plan was designed upon request and with the input from the lead guides of Alaska heliski company Pulseline Adventure in order to prepare athletes for a week-long heliski trip in Alaska or similar locations.

From experience, the most common reason powder days must be cut short is athlete fitness – or lack thereof.

The program is specifically designed for the recreational skier – who is primarily a weekend warrior at a lift-assisted ski area.

It prescribes specific vertical feet skiing on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as alternative workouts if you can’t make it to the mountains some weekends.  It is an intense, yet accessible 5-week, 6 day/week training program that is designed to be done in the five weeks leading up to your trip.  For those who backcountry ski or ski more regularly, please email us for modifications.  

 

PROGRAMM FOCUS

  • Build the eccentric strength and strength endurance in your legs to prepare you for the eccentric loading which will occur during you long heliski runs and multiple runs per day during your trip.
  • Build the lactate tolerance and recovery in your legs so you can ski harder longer, and recover quicker during stops or between runs.
  • Build your core/midsection strength and overall strength to add stability during skiing and increase overall durability
  • Build upper body strength and strength endurance for overall and shoulder durability – especially for hard falls
  • Build your backcountry skiing stamina so you’ll be prepared for skinning trips if/when weather grounds the helicopter during your trip.
  • Build your overall general endurance

The chart below outlines the fitness demand being trained, exercise used to train it, and end of cycle goal: 

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE 

  • Mon: Eccentric Leg Strength (Leg Blasters), Chassis Integrity
  • Tue: Leg Lactate Tolerance (Touch/Jump/Touch to Box), Chassis Integrity
  • Wed: Eccentric Leg Strength (Leg Blasters), Step Ups
  • Thur: Leg Lactate Tolerance (Touch/Jump/Touch to Box), Chassis Integrity
  • Fri (not skiing during the weekend): Eccentric Leg Strength (Leg Blasters), Step Ups
  • Fri (skiing during the weekend): Total Rest
  • Sat (not skiing during the weekend): General Endurance – Moderate Pace Run, 4-6 miles
  • Sat (skiing during the weekend): Purposeful vertical feet skiing (20K-40K feet) wearing a 10-15# backpack
  • Sun (not skiing during the weekend): Total Rest
  • Sat (skiing during the weekend): Purposeful vertical feet skiing (10K-20K feet) wearing a 10-15# backpack

 

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT

This is a limited equipment training plan. You will need the following equipment:

  • Sandbag – 40# for women, 60# for men.
  • Backpack with 25# of load for step ups and 10-15# of load for weekend, lift-assisted, skiing.
  • Stopwatch with interval timer (smartphone will work) and/or wall clock or watch with a second hand
  • Foam Roller
  • 12-16″ Box or bench for Step Ups and Touch/Jump/Touch to Box intervals

 

 


If you’re interested in Heliski Tours, Pulseline is excited to offer special pricing for MTI Athletes; learn more at https://pulselineadventure.com/ or contact Pulseline at info@pulselineadventure.com (and mention MTI)


Q&A 12.16.21

QUESTION

I’m trying to find MTI programs that would be a good fit for my PM training session.

In the morning I have to do the standard grunt/unit PT type training (calisthenics, run, and some ruck). In the afternoon I have access to the gym. My priority in the meantime is to up my Army/Ranger PFT score, I want to bring my pushups and situps from 80s to mid-high 90s, and get my 2-mile from 13:00 to a low 12-minute.

However, I also want to maintain the performance attributes I’ve acquired from doing MTI Greek Hero Series. I really enjoy the training such as the EMOM training and 15-20-25 minute chassis grind work and would like to keep doing them. My MTI tactical athlete relative strength standard levels are okay, they are about 90-95% to the bodyweight standard right now. I would like to maintain them but I suppose that its okay for them to decline right now as I focus on the calisthenics.

What sort of program(s) I can take on for the PM session for these few months?

What are your thoughts on concurrently training for high-reps calisthenics and maximal strength?

What are your thoughts on dedicating time specifically on training the triple flexion muscle groups directly like doing hamstring/Nordic curls, tibialis raises, and leg raises, for the infantry-type athlete?

ANSWER

I’m assuming you’re going to be following the APFT Training Plan in the morning PT sessions – or similar. If so – my answers:
1) Heavy Strength with a lower body focus – you could do the strength sessions from the Big 3 Strength + 2-Mile Run Plan, 3x/week, and skip the bench press – as it will likely interfere with your push up progressions/recovery.
2) I’m not sure – but you would want to do them on the same day simply because of fatigue, recovery. If you follow my (1) suggestion, you’ll be training high rep for push ups (upper body) and max effort strength for lower (back squat, dead/hinge lift) – but it’s also great for quads/calves …. awesome leg strength exercise which doesn’t depend as much on the core.
3) Not seeing the benefit to this focus. MTI programming covers the posterior chain in terms of lifting by usually balancing anterior (squats) with a posterior (butt/hammies) exercise in the same cycle. Understand my favorite posterior chain exercise is heavy walking lunges. In fact,yesterday I built a plan (Busy Dad Limited Equipment 5) where the only leg strength training in it is heavy walking lunges – hard to beat!
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking at getting one of your plans but I have some questions.
I am prepping for air assault, but I would also like to work on my running base as well. I noticed the running / rucking improvement plan, but is that the only one of that sorts? And is there a “minimum” fitness level that you should be at before? I haven’t ever really done distance running to any extent so I’d be pretty far behind as far as that goes.
I want to continue going to the gym and doing my workouts 4-5x a week but Im looking to improve my ruck time and get better at running 4-5 miles at the max.
I have at least 12 weeks, that’s when I PCS . I’m not sure if they’ll send me right away but I want to be prepared as soon as I get there to go. I don’t want to show up and tell my CC or BC that I’m not ready yet.
Which program would you recommend for me?

ANSWER

The first week of the Ruck & Run Plan includes a 3 mile run for time and a 5 mile run at a moderate pace. It also includes a 6 mile ruck for time at 45# and a 5 mile ruck at a moderate pace.
Here’s what I’d recommend for you:
Weeks.     Plan
1-6.           Valor – do this alone – it includes lifting as well as running/rucking built around a 1.5 mile run and 3 mile ruck assessment. It’s a 7-week plan, but just do the first 6 weeks
7-12          Air Assault School Training Plan – the 6 weeks directly before school.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 19 and in the army, but I have a lot of time to prepare for SFAS and I am looking for a good program to start doing that type of training instead of just powerlifting. Can you recommend me any programs that would help? Especially legs and back programs I am looking for.

ANSWER

The plans and order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Love your plans and what you do.
Trying to clean up my diet.
Like you older and slower metabolism now.
Any recommendations on salad dressings?
Or condiments?

ANSWER

You have to read the label – can’t be any sugar or corn syrup. Most have these but you can find some paleo options, or just use olive oil and vinegar. There are some that have artificial sweeteners which are okay.
I’ve given up on condiments for protein and just use salt & Pepper or similar.
Overall, you want to keep your carb intake to 30-50 carbs/day and cut all sugar (including fruit).
– Rob

QUESTION

What is the best plan to prepare for an AT through-hike?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Hope all is well with you. I had a slight left knee injury and a secondary right hip flexor overuse situation as a result, so am trying to give myself some lower body recovery time. Is there a plan that you can recommend, or a strategy to take here on how to keep working out without building in too many exercises that involve me pushing too much weight with my legs? Sorry if that’s confusing, but thanks in advance for your help!

ANSWER

Combine two plans:
1) Upper Body Work from the Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys and
2) Core Strength, Bodyweight Only
If you’ve got the facilities, perhaps work in some swimming with one of those buoys between your legs.
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a training program for higschool kids to prep for USMA?

ANSWER

Military OnRamp Training Plan. is what I usually prescribe but most don’t ask this early.
If you want to start now I’d recommend the plans/order in the Virtue Packet – which begins with the military onramp plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 71-year old man, in reasonable shape[I’d say], 5’6″, 170lbs. I walk or hike every day and do bodyweight exercises, aided by a pair of 25lb. dumbbells, a dip bar, and some rafters for pullups. I just recovered from the Chinese virus, and I’m preparing for lift-assisted skiing and snowshoeing. I live in Riggins, Idaho. I ride by outside whenever possible, but fall back on an indoor trainer in winter.
Where to start? I don’t have access to a gym, I don’t run, and I haven’t done any weight training in years. My goal is, of course, all around fitness without injury; any of your plans would get me into good shape, but I could use some suggestions. Maybe a plan with some modifications for equipment I don’t have?
Please respond with some suggestions; maybe you have some questions that would help.

ANSWER

You’re quite a bit older than the athletes I mostly work with. Given that, I recommend you start our stuff with Bodyweight Beginner. Email back on the other side of this plan and let me know how it went for you- and with that I’ll be able to give you further training direction.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for a full year of programming for JTF2 Assaulter selection and course.
What programs would you recommend prior to the JTF2 selection training plan you have? I was looking at the SOF-D stuff and thinking of running that right into the pre Selection plan.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

ANSWER

I’d recommend the JTF2 Selection Training Plan now.
Then drop into the plans/order in the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet, starting with Humility.
Then Repeat the selection plan directly before selection.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 26 y/o male who’s getting back into properly working out; it’s been approx. 3 months since I’ve regularly followed a workout regimen. I have access to limited equipment; various kettlebells (20-72lbs), 2x25lb dumbbells, 60lb sandbag, 80lb sandbag, pull-up bar, & rings.
In the past, I was able to complete most of the Apache plan & really enjoyed it. Currently, I’m not doing any strength training, but I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu two nights a week & kickboxing two other nights.
My question is what plan would be recommended for coming back to training given the equipment I have? Would it be advisable to start the Great Plains series with lower intensity and build back or follow another program altogether?
Thank you for your advice.

ANSWER

We’re actually designing a set of plans specifically for athletes who also practice BJJ 2-3x/week, but these plans currently require a full gym. Not sure if we’ll design a set for limited equipment.
For you now … options:
2) Busy Dad Limited Equipment Plans (35-45 minute sessions – designed these earlier this month).
– Rob

QUESTION

I am finishing up your Fat Loss Plan right now and about to start doing your ruck based selection work up. For the squats, what are your thoughts on the benefits of going ass to grass vs parallel? Is the risk worth the reward? Is there any risk in the first place

ANSWER

This has been studied before and my most recent understanding is there’s no health negative going super deep. Issue for most is the mobility to do super deep.
For my programming purposes, parallel or slightly below suffices.
– Rob

QUESTION

We spoke a few months back about a plan tailored to my needs, which was just prior to me beginning OCS here at Fort Benning. However, due to the rigid nature of OCS and the lack of any access to workout equipment, I had to put off being able to stick to your program. It’s been mostly morning PT on the field, the occasional beaverfit session, and runs around post. Thankfully, even with this abysmal “workout regimen”, I was able to graduate at the top of the OML and branch Infantry.

Now that I am commissioned and branched Infantry, I am ready to get back at it with your programming. I am struggling to decide on which day to day base programming to begin with. Unless you have another suggestion, I’m looking at the Virtue packet, Greek Hero packet, and Daily Operator Sessions. Which of these programs do you believe is the best you have to offer for military base programming, given their most current iterations? I’m stationed at Fort Benning with access to all the equipment I could possibly need.

I’m looking forward to your response, Coach. I’m eager to start a new program tomorrow.

ANSWER

Start with the Virtue Packet, beginning with Humility.
– Rob