All posts by Mintra Mattison

Q&A 7.22.21

QUESTION

I am currently following the SFAS packet with the plan on entering the Army and going to SFAS. As I follow the training programs I have increased my mileage i.e Humility week 6 calls for a 9 mile run I increased the run to a 14 mile run and maintained the prescribed average mile speed. I want to run 50 mile race in August. How should I prepare for a 50 mile race in conjunction with the SFAS packet and the ultimate goal of becoming Army SF? Thank you for your time

ANSWER

You have to train long to go long. Best would be to drop out of the SFAS Packet programming and complete the 50-Mile Ultra Training Plan. Then, after your race, drop back into the SFAS Packet where you left off.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve just been on and passed the Officer version of the Potential Royal Marines Course. I’m now looking into starting a program to build a base level in aerobic fitness and strength training.
I’ve done various forms of training previously but I’m really keen to start learning how to program for myself. I have done bits of CrossFit but I’m not convinced how much it makes me fitter for military style training as opposed to just making me fitter at CrossFit. I like the idea of doing OCR style training where the emphasis is still on running but also strength and weight bearing.
Time is on my side as well so I don’t need anything which is designed to make me feel beat up all the time, as I have just come off an arduous course and intense training block.
It would be great if you could make some suggestions or tell me to go back to the website to find some of the answers. I think that the membership suits my needs the most as I’d like to have a look at various programs and do the learning portion too. Any extra info please send my way!
Equipment – everything on the essential list apart from the #25 dumbbells but I’m ordering some right now (are your weights in lbs instead of kg?).
I live by a beach with good sand dunes and trails and have a road bike and swimming pool which is also close.
If you need any more contact info let me know.

ANSWER

Congrats on passing the course!
It’s a little unclear from your note how much equipment you have to train with.
Fully Equipped? I’d recommend the plans/order in Virtue Packet, starting with Humility.
Limited Equipment? I’d recommend starting with Humility, then pivoting to the plans/order in the Tribe packet of plans, beginning with Apache.
– Rob

QUESTION

1) Loved your answer re sharing plans…your plans are fairly priced. FUCK people sharing that.

2) I’m a wildland firefighter on an engine. My goal is to go 18X at some point after this fire season. I’ve been following your hotshot/smokejumper plan getting ready for the season because with my goals it makes sense to be over prepared vs under.

3) What do you recommend in the season? On some fires we end up doing nothing day after day…some days we end up absolutely smoked. It’s hard to predict. Do you have a minimal morning/evening PT plan for the days that end up easy? Or just improvise with push-ups, core, etc?

4) Post-season…straight to your SFAS prep? Or, if I have time, other plans first? What training plans maximize chances of success in SFAS (up against endlessly training which ends with nothing because at some point you’ll train your whole life and never go for it).

I appreciate the service you provide as a “private employee” in terms of providing a service to a lot of public employees as such. If people can’t find money to buy your plans or subscribe…drink less beer and take your goals more seriously. With all due respect to them: take your goals seriously, the plans aren’t that expensive.

Thanks for all you do Rob!

ANSWER

In-Season? I’d recommend working through the limited equipment Tribe plans, starting with Apache. If you’re smoked at work, just don’t train that day. Goal is to maintain.
SFAS? It depends on your timeline. If you’re going 18x, we recommend completing the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan directly prior to Basic.
Here is our SFAS Packet – which is 52 weeks of progressive training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am thinking about purchasing the Chassis Integrity training and can’t find out how many weeks it is or workouts are included.  Please advise.

ANSWER

30x total training circuits – and each is 20-30 minutes long.
These are designed as an add on or supplement to your current programming. We’d recommend doing 2-3x circuits per week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 32 year old Canadian Forces reservist and also a paramedic and volunteer firefighter. I’m a very skinny dude but I’m trying to bulk up and gain strength. What program would you suggest? I saw your food suggestions, how come you have advised against foods that aid in mass gain? Foods such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, milk, etc?

ANSWER

Rice, grain, pasta add fat, not muscle. If you want to get fat, eat these.
Milk/protein add muscle.
– Rob

QUESTION

This e-mail is a bit different… Looking for dope on what a “Broken Operator” or “Old Guys Rule” program would look like. Do you all have a Seasoned Operator program? Can’t find anything in the searches. Been a user of Military Athlete or MTI for nearly a decade.

I’ve had bulging and herniated disks from C2-C6, torn achilles tendons, broken hands with open fractures, pin, resets of bones, casts, torn hamstrings, surgeries for a Lvl3 MCL, ACL, FCL, Hamstring autografts, bicep tendinosis and relocation, torn rotator cuff, and PRP done on my arms for years of chronic tennis and golfers elbows (bilateral), and partial tears of almost everything else.

Have you thought about making programs for the broken? I can’t keep up with the programs, even after clearance from the various doctors, to begin working out, I’m not there or will never be 100% like I was at 20, or 30, as I am now at 40. I still have to operate. I can scale everything, but it takes days to recover sometimes.

ANSWER

Quick answer is no.
The fitness demands of the job are the same regardless of your age/injuries and at 37 (I’m 52) – so you’re not old.
I’m not sure how I can get you to the fitness demands of the job without training those demands. So the training and its intensity is the same. What could change is the recovery time – you may need to take more time between training sessions, etc.
Overall, in our programming, we’re moving toward efficiency by reducing volume. We’ve conducted a couple studies now that have proven we can achieve the same results in a 45-minute gym-based session as we can in a 60-min session, and we’re changing over all of our tactical programming with this in mind.
As well, over the years our emphasis on strength work, and our strength standards for all the athletes we work with, have decreased. Part of this is the result of my improvement and maturing as a strength coach, and learning more about the actual fitness demands of the jobs/events. Our focus on relative strength has been key here.
We haven’t found a shortcut for endurance, yet … i.e. you can’t ruck for 3 miles max and expect to do well and recover from a 12-mile ruck. You have to train long to go long.
As well, for all athletes, and esp. older athletes, I recommend you lean up. Here are our ideal body weights based on height. What I’ve found for myself (hip replacement, foot fusion) is dropping 10-15 pounds is huge in terms of speed over the ground performance and day to day arthritis, low back and other pain. But … to get to these standards you really have to tighten up your diet. Here are our recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
There are some small technique things that can make a difference esp. for running. (1) Shoes (Hoka One One or others with extreme cushioning) and (2) Running Form – look at POSE Running or Chi Running – form fixes can help your knees incredibly.
Some claim to have found improvement from supplements (fish oil, cbd, etc.) – but the research on all this stuff is shakey at best and I don’t recommend any over the shelf supplementation. However, if it works for you, do it.
One thing I do recommend for older men (40+) is getting tested for testosterone and getting prescribed testosterone if you need it. I do and it helps a lot. You may be young for this but there’s no harm in asking your doctor to get tested and see.
Yoga, stretching, cold baths, saunas, etc? Again – there’s no research that backs up that any of this stuff works – but, several have had anecdotal success with it. Not me, but several have. Again, I can’t endorse any of it but if it works for you, keep doing it.
So – from a training perspective, if you want to stay in the game, you have to do the same training as your younger self, and as you and I both know, deal with the pain (my knees hurt today from training vertical yesterday ….)
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently serving in the military and have been using your programming for military fitness for the past 6 years and it’s beyond helpful. Recently I’ve gotten into more Climbing and Mountain style training for a hobby outside of work. I wanted to send an email to see if there was a recommended program that has the Military athlete standards and exercises but also has a climbing improvement potion, similar to your climbing training that is in the Mountain Athlete part of the website.

If there isn’t a program that exist that has this type of training would you recommend mixing two programs together and use some of the training methods from the Climbing plans and include it on some of the military plans?

Thank you for all the helpful advice and training programs that have helped my men and I get ready for anything we could face down range.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Greek Heroine series on the Mountain Side. Much of the non-climbing fitness will transfer to the military side, and weekly climbing work is included.
– Rob

QUESTION

Question I have done big 3 and the 2 and 5 mile in the past. But looking at the sfas selection pack. (I am former army sof) so no upcoming selections or anything but like to maintain peak fitness. I got off track and went heavy on lifting this winter gained about 12 lbs of muscle but now running sucks need to drop weight and run times. If I were to do the sfas pack how would you recommend tying in the run improvement pack or 2 mile run work? Any way besides the big 3 plus run? Big 3 plus run was great but looking to mix it up some gain more work capacity and run fitness and drop 10 lbs of well mostly muscle but. Thanks coach for any suggestions and options. Keep getting after it!

ANSWER

Too complicated, and you don’t want to combine plans.
To cut some muscle, stay away from the weightroom. I’d recommend the 5-mile Run Improvement Training Plan– which deploys bodyweight strength work.
Follow it up with the Country Singer 1 Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a freshman cadet at Norwich University in the naval battalion (Marine Corps Option). Since being home from school I’ve been taking summer classes, working, and lifting weights. I decided it was time to start doing some more training towards the PFT. I subscribed to the athlete’s program in the hopes that I could max my next PFT which should be late July. I already have a max pull up and crunch. Running is my down fall. I was hoping to maybe to the marsoc program as well for the swimming and rucking benefits. All in all my issues with all of this is that between weight lifting, classes, and working a physically demanding job my body only has so much to give and I haven’t quite found the drive to create a diet that will give me the energy and calories that I need. Any suggestions on time management with exercising. Sorry for the bit of a jumbled up email, I look forward to hearing back.

ANSWER

You’ll want to start the USMC PFT Training Plan 6 weeks before your July PFT. This plan includes focused running.
Between now and then in terms of managing all fitness and life, I always recommend training first thing in the morning, and not doubling up on programming.
From our stuff, for you right now, I’d recommend completing Valor until you start the USMC PFT Plan. Valor is a multi-modal plan which includes strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck run) and chassis integrity.
You have access to all our plans with your subscription, but don’t bounce around.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just signed up for a subscription and am looking for help picking the right plan for my resources and goals. I will be going on a trip to Oregon to do some sport climbing including at least one multipitch (~4-6 pitches) for a few days during the second week of August (12 weeks out) I’ve climbed at the gym regularly throughout the winter but the walls at the only gym readily accessible during covid were short, so I need to build my climbing endurance back up. I have decent fitness otherwise; I ride my bike 7 miles to work and 7 miles home about twice a week, I generally lift three days a week, and climb about twice a week, indoors or out.

I now have access to a climbing gym with taller walls, a bouldering area (not my favorite), and lead climbing, but it’s an hour away so twice per week is the maximum number of visits I can reliably commit to. I have outdoor climbing relatively nearby when the weather is good.

I’m hoping to build my mental strength as well.

My partner is available for training during the week but will be taking three consecutive weeks at the end of June/early July to hike the Long Trail, so I’ll need to be ready to do some solo training then.

Can you point me to a plan?

Thanks for your help!

ANSWER

Your case is tricky with your restriction to the climbing gym.
Some things we’ve learned ….
– By far the most important key to rock climbing fitness is climbing-specific finger/grip strength
– The most efficient tool we’ve found to train rock climbing fitness is the Bouldering V-Sum at a bouldering wall
– It’s best to use the rock gym to fitness + technique, and real rock to train technique
– Total body strength via freeweight strength training (lifting) has little transfer to rock climbing
– Use endurance and multi-modal work capacity, plus a restrictive diet to cut weight during pre-season training.
Recommendations from what we have:
Now …. Mountain Base Artemis and add in a second day of rock climbing. Do the Wednesday prescribed day at the rock gym doing the Bouldering 4×4 which will push technique and grip endurance, and on Saturday, or whenever, get to some real rock and push your technique.
6 Weeks prior to your trip, Pivot to the Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Plan … as best you can given your schedule. You’ll want to be in the rock gym 2x/week doing the Bouldering V-Sums prescribed in this plan (Mon/Thurs). You’ll also want to be getting in 60-90 minutes of endurance (run is best, but cycling is okay), 2x/week. If possible, add in a third day on real rock, pushing your lead climbing and technique.
Schedule could look like this:
Mon- Bouldering V-Sum
Tues: Run/Bike
Wed: Real Rock pushing lead climbing
Thurs: Run/Bike
Fri: Bouldering V-Sum
Sat: Real Rock and/or Run/Bike
Also – for this six weeks, clean up your diet. Here are our recommendations …. you’ll want to follow them and cut the cheat day. Losing 5-10 pounds of bodyfat will make a huge difference in your climbing performance.
Approach your real rock training in a professional manner … aim to lead climb 6+ routes/day (if you have a full day with a partner) with a focus on technique, efficiency and confidence. Push the ratings as the summer develops.
Finally – if you can do it, set up a tree limb and/or rings, or even a finger board at work and work through MTI’s Grease the Groove Pull Up protocol over the summer. Pulling strength isn’t super important for rock climbing, we’ve found, but it doesn’t hurt.
Email back with questions now and as your summer proceeds.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a long LE training week about 8 weeks from now. A physical and mental grind that will include many physical events (fartlek-like courses, hill grinders, some long distance, etc.).. while my endurance is pretty good, the short burst endurance over a long period of time will be necessary (likely with hills incorporated).

I’m currently considering purchasing one of the four below plans:
-Gratitude
-Bourbon
-Operator Vl
-SWAT/SRT Beretta

I have about an hour a day to train a week (more on weekend) and will need to keep in mind that I’ll likely have to taper down the week prior (and want to ensure I’m not hurt going in)..  appreciate any guidance/thoughts before I make my choice.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the SWAT Selection Training Plan. or one of the specific LE selection plans – FBI HRT, DEA FAST, etc – the one which you feel most closely matches the events you will face. All of these plans have a taper/unload week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m recovering from a hip labral tear and I wish to increase my performance with the multi-stage beep test whilst minimising any further injury to the labral muscle. Is there a multi-stage beep test program provided by yourselves you would recommend as a gradual increase minimising jarring or stress as much as possible, I’m only training for personal goals not job activity.

ANSWER

I’m sorry – but as you know the beep test is a shuttle sprint repeat test with multiple change of direction and I’m not your doctor – and don’t know where you are in your recovery, so I can’t recommend our Beep Test Training Plan.
There are a couple other options:
(1) Leg Injury Training Plan – this plan will work the rest of your body around your injured leg/hip and is a good way to try to maintain fitness while you recover.
(2) Check with your doctor about training on a spin bike, – including sprinting on a spin bike. If you’re cleared, I’d recommend our Power-Based Endurance Training Plan. I’m not sure of the transfer to the beep test when you are ready to run, but there should be some transfer.
– Rob

QUESTION

Would there be a proper running form, such as slight lean forward or keep straight posture, land on forefoot/mid-foot, large strides or shorter steps and fast cadence?
Also in the SERE plan it requires a ruck with 60 lbs, but would a weighted vest (also with 60 lbs) work as well?

ANSWER

Running Form? Research/google POSE Running or Chi Running.
Ruck –  no, use a ruck.
– Rob

 

Q&A 7.15.21

QUESTION

I recently graduated Army BCT and I am currently an Officer Candidate at Ft Benning. I aspire to branch Infantry and then attend IBOLC, Airborne, Ranger, and any other high speed schools the Army can send their butter bars. Long term aspirations include attending RASP and SFAS / SFQC.
Some fitness background: I ran D1 Cross Country and Track at The Citadel, and since graduating 2 years ago I’ve been working out at a CrossFit box (courtesy of my wife who is a coach and personal trainer). My current fitness level is a 568 ACFT score, which includes maxing 4 of the events, a near max deadlift (320 lbs), and a sub-optimal standing power throw. I began basic training at a very lean 175 lbs standing 5’9” tall, but I am now 165 lbs with less muscle mass / strength.
I’m highly interested in many of the programs you have to offer, and I will most likely take the subscription route. However, I’m struggling to decide where to begin. I’ll be at OCS the next 12 weeks, IBOLC for 19 weeks after that, and then Airborne / Ranger School for another 12+ weeks. I need a program that will prep me for Ranger but also keep me growing and at my peak capacity while grinding through OCS and IBOLC. I’m considering working through the programs in the SFOD-D Packet, just putting it on hold while I’m at Ranger (and certain portions of OCS / IBOLC) and then continuing on with the packet after that. Long term, I want to continue to prep my body for challenges later to come at SFAS or RASP.
What is your advice? Is there a specific program or packet that you believe suits my needs best? I’m ready to begin a program ASAP, I just need the proper guidance.
Thank you, MTI! I look forward to your response.

ANSWER

MTI has three types of programming: (1) Base Fitness, (2) Event-Specific, and; (3) Fitness-Specific.
Our Base Fitness programming for military athletes concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (functional core), endurance (run, ruck) and for some plans, tactical agility. Most of our base fitness plans are 6-7 weeks long.
Our Event-Specific programming is focused on the fitness demands of the event – so when you look on the website you’ll see specific plans for IBOLC, Ranger School, SFAS, Airborne School, etc. The duration for these plans depends on the event, but most are 6-8 weeks long.
Our Fitness-Specific programming is focused on improving 1-3 areas of fitness – for example, Strength, Endurance, Work Capacity, and/or a combination of the above – for example our Big 3 Strength + 5 Mile Run Training Plan builds 1RM strength for the bench press, deadlift, back squat, and max rep pull ups, while also training to improve your 5 mile run time (endurance).
In general, I like military athletes to use our Base Fitness programming as your day-to-day programming, and then, directly before an event, drop out of Base Fitness and complete the appropriate “event-specific” program. It’s okay once in a while to swap out base fitness for one of the fitness-specific plans, but all the time.
MTI programming is not designed to be completed in addition to regular PT .. and I’m not sure what you’re doing now at OCS, but my guess is you’ve got daily PT. If you do have daily PT, my guess is it’s mostly bodyweight work and running.
If so, now until 6 weeks out from IBOLC, if you have any extra time to train, you should focus on strength. Specifically, I’d recommend you complete the strength sessions from the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan as a two-a-day with your PT. The strength work in this plan is super efficient – and you should be able to complete it in a 50-60 minute evening gym session. 6 weeks out from IBOLC, complete the full IBOLC Training Plan – this will mean two-a-days with your daily PT. Watch for overtraining.
If you’re not completing any daily PT, I’d recommend between now and 6 weeks before you start the IBOLC plan, you complete Fortitude.
Email back after IBOLC with your anticipated timeline to Ranger and I’ll give you another recommendation.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 6’ 1”. 165 pounds. I would love to be 200. Which plans should I be looking at?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’ll be brief.
Female.
Age: 30
Height: 5′ 2”
Weight: 111.6 oz as of this morning.
I am almost 4 months post-op from an artificial disc replacement (ADR) at L5/S1, have been doing physical therapy twice a week for 10-ish weeks and am cleared by my surgeon to begin training however I want. I don’t want to be babied but I also want to slow roll back into snatches/squats, etc, because my mobility is only now on the upswing after 8+ years of spinal injury, 2+ of which were totally debilitating. I’m also in the hiring pipeline for an agency listed in your LE academy/selection sections, so I need to get working harder if I want to be competitive. Push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, 1.5 mile run.
Goals are to: build my cardio endurance to something respectable because it’s hot garbage right now; build a strong core and chassis; kick the shit out of the PT test I’ll have to take in the next 4-5-ish months; be an asset to my team, not a liability. Currently considering a subscription – I would do the 1.5 Mile Improvement Plan and the Core Strength Bodyweight plan, I think.
Please advise. Thanks, Coach.

ANSWER

I’d recommend beginning with Bodyweight Foundation – which includes running and core.
Follow it up with the Big 3 + 2 Mile Training Plan until 6 weeks out from your PT Test, then complete the US Secret Service PFE Training Plan – which should match your events – directly before your test.
– Rob

QUESTION

Short Question:
I want to do the KSK-Plan from you (since I think its the most similar to my unit), but since I am not that fit, what Plan should I do bevor the KSK plan respectively whats a plan one level under the ksk?
Long Question (if you have time):
So I want to join the special forces in my country (mountain dominated).
I have to do something like that for example:
  • 8 km rucking with 20kg in hilly grounds/ mountains in max. 60 minutes
  • 30 m rope climbing in a diagonally tensioned rope (hanging upside down)
  • 300 m swimming with clothes on (without shoes) within max. 11 minutes
  • Obstacle course in under 5 minutes

Or a Test of following exercises in a row, within 60 sek rest inbetween the exercises:

  1. Pull ups: Min: 6 Best: 19 Time for it: 60 sek
  2. Air Squat: Min: 48 Best: 90 Time for it: 120 sek
  3. Push ups: Min: 31 Best: 60 Time for it: 120 sek
  4. Sit ups: Min: 25 Best: 60 Time for it: 120 sek
  5. half burpees: Min: 19 Best: 36 Time for it: 60 sek
  6. running 2,4 km: Min: < 12 min Best: 9 min

My thougth was that I get a plan like for the KSK or Green Beret.

But since I not that fit to start directly with the KSK training, I want to ask you, what plan you would recommend to get fit for the KSK plan (or which plan you would recommend)?

ANSWER

If you’re reasonably fit now, start with Fortitude, then Valor, then the KSK Plan.

If you’re current fitness is suspect, start with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, then Fortitude, Valor, KSK.

– Rob

QUESTION

Thanks as always- I’m wrapping up crow and have been really enjoying the variety of the tribe programming.
In the next couple months I’m moving into an assignment that should get me back into a full gym. I would really like some strength emphasis as I transition; thoughts on big 24 followed by restarting the virtue series? Or is there another sequence you’d recommend to move from the limited equipment year back to full-time military programming?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Big 3 Strength + 5 Mile Run Training Plan – just to maintain your running endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

Love your programming. I have been following your work for about 6 years. Currently working on the Ranger School Plan in preparation for Ranger and Civil Affairs Assessment & Selection. This is my first email contact. I have two questions…
Question 1:
One issue I’ve had with rucking for several years is developing severe neck and shoulder pain during long movements. The epicenter of pain is the base of my neck and expands out to my shoulders.
The most recent event I’ve completed in training is the 12-mile ruck assessment in the Ranger School Plan…so I was wearing my helmet and carrying a sledgehammer as well.
I ALWAYS use my hip belt. I’ve adjusted shoulder and sternum straps every which way to shift weight off my shoulders. I’ve policed my posture as well as I could during the ruck. But nothing seems to prevent the neck/shoulder pain and I am unsure of its cause given that I always use the hip belt to take most of the weight off. I’ve experimented with sledgehammer carrying methods and whether or not or how much the helmet affects the strain.
I use the standard issue MOLLE rucksack, currently with hip belt and shoulder straps in the standard configuration. I am male, 135 pounds, 5’5″ tall, with a 36″ chest and proportional shoulder width.
Do you have any recommendations for adjusting my kit set-up to alleviate the neck pain? Is my neck pain simply part of the experience or am I doing something wrong? What supplementary exercises/stretches do you recommend to beef up my neck and shoulders and aid in recovery for the Ranger School Plan?
Question 2:
Your exercise library is extensive. Have you considered categorizing the long list of exercises on your website by type / muscle group / intent?
I’d be interested in a stretching / pre-hab exercise list to build my own routine which may not be included in the plan I am working on.
For example: I love the “Shoulder Teacups” but have only seen them on an old legacy plan. I have not seen an equivalent mobility exercise on newer plans. Or the 4-square drill, which appears on ruck-specific plans, but I have not seen on the Ranger Plan.
A categorized exercise list would be extremely helpful to finding useful exercises that a trainee may not be aware of because it wasn’t on the plan he or she was following.
Thank you for the help and your continued work on Mission-Direct Fitness!

ANSWER

Neck Pain? You’re asking a medical question and I can’t help you there. It’s not normal, and I’ve never worked with anyone who felt something similar. I’m sorry I can’t offer more.
Exercise Categories? Yes, but most don’t use them the way you suggest. Most athletes new to MTI programming want to quickly find an exercise from a plan they are working on and we’ve found the alphabetical listing is the easiest, most intuitive, and fastest for them.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m in my early 30s, and in the hiring process for a few federal agencies that all have a PT test of some sort–most have a pre-employment test and several tests during academy (and in some instances, quarterly or semi-annually once on the job).  I’m working on becoming an agent, so I need a program that will help prep me for PT at the academy and kill the tests.  I went to an academy once, and was so fatigued and unprepared that I had to drop out.  Not doing that again!
What program(s) do you recommend for me?  I’m working with a running coach at the moment, so I don’t need anything to help me with cardio specifically.  I need to get better at push-ups and sit-ups, and just want to become stronger so I can keep up with the guys and impress my training coordinators.  Being able to improve my bench press and finally getting a pull-up would be great, as I know these will come up in group workouts.
I’m willing to sign up for the subscription and try a few out, but I need to kind of hone in my training a bit so I can begin work on the most appropriate plan ASAP and not waste any more time spinning my tires, not getting stronger.  I will eventually age out of this process, and I realize CrossFit wasn’t cutting it for me.
Any advice is greatly appreciated!

ANSWER

To focus on the PT Tests, now I’d recommend the Cooper Physical Fitness Test Training Plan. You can add pull ups to the plan, and just follow the same progression as the push ups and sit ups. It already includes the bench press.
Next, I’d recommend the LE Academy Training Plan .
– Rob

QUESTION

I am getting ready to start the Echo workouts. My gym does not have a sandbag. What would be a good alternate to the sandbag get ups? Not sure my knee will endure the running. What would be a good cardio alternative to running?

Thanks for your help,

ANSWER

No good sub for the sandbag. Best would be to build your own and take it to the gym. Others have done this. If not, do Turkish Getups with 25 or 35 pounds.
Spin/bike instead of run. Sub time instead of distance and assume you run a 10 min mile. So if the plan calls for a 3 mile run, bike/spin for 30 minutes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a former LEO, separated in November 2020 due to a move away from where I was employed. I’m going to be looking at entering a police academy in the state I live in the next year.

I’m out of shape and overweight.
Where do I start so I can get to where I need to be to begin preparation? I’m impressed with the plans so far, just a little overwhelming on where to start!

ANSWER

Start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan – which includes strength, work capacity, core and running endurance.
Also – fix your diet. 95% of fat loss is diet-related. Here are our nutritional guidelines.
Email any questions that come up.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have about 14 weeks until my bow hunt. I was hoping you could help me with a specific plan to better myself for the hunt. I plan on buying the whole program

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.   Plan
1-6          Backcountry Hunting Base (First 6 weeks)
7-14        Backcountry Pre-Season Hunting Plan (8 weeks directly before your hunt)
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an active duty law enforcement officer in WA state and have used your programs off and on for a few years now. I recently transitioned back into your daily LEO plan (whiskey) and I am loving it! One of my goals in addition to getting fit is upper body hypertrophy. I am on the thinner side and want to gain some mass, ~20 lbs or so, to help with work. I am definitely a hard gainer. I am currently 5’11” 163 and have a goal of 185-190. What is your teams recommendation for programs and diet plans to match my goals?

ANSWER

Plan? Hypertophy Plan for Skinny Guys – do this cycle, then roll back into Whiskey.
Diet? Here are our Nutritional Guidelines. Protein first.
– Rob

QUESTION

I signed up for access to begin a new challenge.
 
Looking to do the rocking improvement plan.  A couple of questions:
 
Are the warm up or other prescribed exercises meant to be conducted with ruck on?
I am a firefighter/Battalion Chief. 51. Former college football player and NSW prior to entering the fire service. I am 6’5″ and about 275 right now. I continue to battle my weight and it is common to drop 30 lbs on a year. Hard to sustain and noticed a big slow down in metabolism over the last 5 years.
I would like to incorporate a lift program with the rucking program. I chose rucking because walks and hikes agree with the knees as running does not. I am accustomed to weight vest movements and walks.
I lift quite a bit and take part in crew workouts but the consistency isn’t there.
Looking for some guidance and a good lift program to blend with the rocking program. It is very easy for me to put on mass…much harder to put on functional strength.
Thank You very Much!

ANSWER

  • No ruck for the warm up
  • The Rucking Improvement plan includes bodyweight strength work – and the lower body work, esp. is intense – you can add in extra freeweight work but if you’re also interested in losing weight, I’d recommend completing this plan as prescribed and not adding in extra lifting. If you’re stubborn and do want to lift also, I’d recommend the strength sessions from the TLU Strength Training Plan, 2-3 days/week.
  • Bodyweight? 95% is diet related. Fix your diet and the weight will stay off. Here are our nutritional guidelines: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
– Rob

QUESTION

I read the article on the “Keto-ish/ P:E” diet.

Is it recommended to follow that diet through the military plans? Especially ones that involve rucking/ long distance running.
I noticed it is recommended to not eat: oats, rice, grains, bread, pasta etc
What other sources of carbs could I eat to maintain during those programs?

ANSWER

Here are our nutritional guidelines: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
All vegetables have carbs. Many of us are doing the same programming and don’t need to eat bread. You’ll be fine.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently looking into improving my ruck around 70# for a max of 18 miles and my 5 to 6 miles run time any suggestions ?

ANSWER

Ruck Based Selection Training Plan to train for the full selection, including rucking, running etc.
To just train run and rucking, I’d recommend the Run & Ruck Improvement Training Plan – and use 70# for the ruck load in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hey coach.  I was intrigued by your mini study wherein you found that leg blasters were just as effective at building strength as front squats.  I know it’s been some time since you did the study.  I wanted to know how many reps and how many times a week would you need to do the leg blasters to see that kind of result?  Thank you for all that you do.

ANSWER

5-8 Full Leg Blasters, 2-3x week.
– Rob

 

Q&A 7.8.21

QUESTION

  1. How many step-ups would sub for 200m run?
  2. I’m hoping to have access to a full gym this summer. So far I have done a lot of your limited equipment programs (body weight foundation, sandbag packet, Gym closure, and now into Apache).My plan is to do one strength program and then move back to limited equipment. My question is which one strength program would you recommend?

ANSWER

1. 25x
– Rob

QUESTION

I have researched the gun maker series and it looks attractive to me except for one caveat that I wanted your thoughts on. The progression barbell work to gain heavy load strength appears to be absent in some of them. I want to continue to increase my strength through progression (forced or gained) in some of the “main” lifts, but switching on and off the barbell and barbell lifts (front squat to back squat), it doesn’t seem possible to make these continued progressions. I know MTI has significant knowledge in fitness programming, so what’s the thought process behind this? I have experience with MTI’s other programs, 5/3/1, and Tactical Barbell.

ANSWER

Burden of Constant Fitness – tactical athletes, like strength coaches, can never really afford to be out of shape, which means they must constantly train, and I’m cognizant of this.
Assessment-based, progression driven strength programming is laser focused and effective, but from a burden of constant fitness perspective, it comes with cost … every training session comes with a certain level of mental stress/burden to make the progression loads. As well, the exercises don’t waiver.
Sig Sauer and Glock deploy strength programming that doesn’t follow the classic model, and as a result, relieve the athlete of this mental stress for a cycle, and include more variety in exercise selection. Strength is still trained but in a different way.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have an upcoming Hip surgery (arthroscopic FAI repair) this is my second hip surgery (opposing hip joint same surgery 4.5 years ago/ good outcome). I was wondering what would recommended for a training plan, I didn’t see any relating to hip injuries. I was told by ortho 6 months I could return to “sport specific training”, then 12 months I should be returning to pre surgery performance. For my last hip surgery I pretty much just went with the military protocol of only doing physical therapy with light functional fitness training until I was returned to full duty which was at 12 months…. my performance after a year “off” was terrible (passing pt test but no where near personal standards of performance). I am trying to maintain upper body fitness and as much as possible and healthful activity for the right side of my combat chassis. My sport of choice is climbing (bouldering and sport). Any advice is appreciated. I was told crutches for a few months but I still want to work what I can while recovering. Thanks for the advice.

ANSWER

You should be able to complete our Leg Injury Training Plan while you’re on crutches and can’t use your injured side.
Once you can use it, I’d recommend working through the Single Limb Strength Plan, then following it up with the Post-Rehab Leg Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am considering purchasing this program.  It says only do the program 2x back to back.  I’ve always been OK with Pushups, but have struggled with pull-ups/chin ups.  At my mid-60s I’ve set the goal of conquering this challenge.

After two run throughs on this program what do you suggest for progressing on?

I am currently working through the Run Improvement Program getting back to preparing for marathons/ultras after a long bought with bi lateral plantar fasciitis.  If I read the description correctly I need to drop the upper body portion of the RIP if I jump into this program, correct.

ANSWER

Everything works, nothing works forever, – so you’ll need to change the programming. Look at our Pull Up Improvement Training Packet for 4 more programming methodologies.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m getting ready to start the air assault train up plan. I was wondering if you have any ideas on what I can do to substitute any barbell lifts overhead or back squats as I have 2 herniated disks at C5-C6. I have no problem just sucking it up and just pushing through it (which is what I’ll do for the rucks), but looking at longevity and to keep surgery as far away as possible. I have a sandbag and was thinking of doing front squats with that instead but not sure where to start. Thank you for your help, I really do appreciate it.

ANSWER

I’d recommend just being really cautious on the loading … i.e. keep it light and don’t let your ego get in the way.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking through training plans for SFAS.
My target class date is the beginning of January.
Starting in June I will have 7 months of train up time until then, how should I structure my program with the 52 week train up schedule?

ANSWER

7 months = 30 weeks. Here’s what I recommend
Weeks.   Plan
1-7         Military OnRamp
8-14       Valor
15-21     Fortitude
22          Total Rest
23-30.    Ruck Based Selection Training Plan – 8 weeks directly before selection
– Rob

QUESTION

I will be deploying to Afghanistan.  I don’t have any idea what kind of equipment there will be where I am going.  I am wondering if you could suggest a workout that would only require enough equipment that I could carry on a plane?  Too much to ask?

What are your thoughts?

ANSWER

Take an empty sandbag and start with Apache or Humility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking for a suggestion as to which program you would recommend for me.
I am training for an overhead lineman progression school that will incorporate  full body strength and endurance, especially in the legs. I have a good base level of both strength and endurance, but I was hoping to jump on a program so that I could use it to make sure I show up prepared for this program come August.
I understand your programs are tailored to mountain and tactical athletes, but I have used your programs in the past, and found them to be incredibly helpful. I was hoping I could follow your program(s) as neither a mountain nor tactical athlete, but as an “industrial athlete”.

ANSWER

Yes – look at our Country Singer Packet I. Start with Johnny.
These plans deploy the MTI programming approach for civilian athletes.
– Rob

QUESTION

Was wondering if you could help me? I’m currently applying for to join the parachute regiment in the UK and was wondering which military program you have would suit that best?

App looks awesome and can’t wait to get stuck in.

ANSWER

I’d recommend beginning with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, and following it up with the Airborne School Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I love your work and systems. I have also purchased a few of your plans over the past several years. The selection and assessment plan, the fat loss plan, and 1 or 2 others to help me get ready for some US Army Special Operations Training programs I participated in from 2013-2017.

I would like to start the fat loss program and was wondering if you recommend another plan (perhaps a basic plan) to get me ready for the fat loss program. I am in terrible shape as a result of working my ass of, eating like shit, drinking too much (although I cut out alcohol 72 days ago), and not working out much at all during the past year. I am committed to getting back into world class shape and need some help.

What are your thoughts? I know you are busy and value your time. If not you, do you have a coach or another person that I should talk with? I do not mind paying for coaching or your time.

ANSWER

Start with Bodyweight Foundation.

– Rob


QUESTION

For your backpacking pre-season, can you tell me more about why all of the training for elevation gain is through step ups and the like and none through hiking / rucking elevation?  Is that your preferred way of training or is that to make the program accessible to people who don’t live near elevation?   Usually when I backpack, I backpack with elevation losses and gains.  Because I have that terrain available to me, should I modify the training plan to include less milage for rucking but more elevation?
I have three trips planned for this summer:
end of May:  two days, ~25lb pack, ~12 miles each day, total elevation gain 4,842ft
early July:  5 days, 50-60 miles, ~25-30lb pack, almost no elevation gain, hiking through muck / water / sand
mid September:  1 day, 20 miles, ~13lb pack
I was thinking to start the Backpacking Pre-Season program now.  Then taking a break and do something different.  And then maybe do the Peak Bagger V4 the 7 weeks prior to my September trip.
Do you have thoughts / recommendations for me?

ANSWER

Two reasons for using step ups: (1) Flatlanders can do it without any excuses; (2) It standardizes the programming and the progression.
You can use elevation gain – but you need to calculate it out … so, if the plan calls for 500x step ups, assume a 16″ box, 500 x 16 = 8000 inches = 667 vertical feet. Ideally this is steep … not a gentle slope.
Use the prescribed load, and I’d recommend carrying water uphill. At the top, you can dump the water and save your knees some on the downhill.
Your programming plan is solid.
– Rob

QUESTION

Is it advisable to train for SFAS and still continue to train BJJ.
What can I do in order to train both and minimize chance of injury/ overtrain?

ANSWER

Depends on how fit you are. If you aren’t making the pressions in MTI programming, pull back on BJJ.
– Rob

QUESTION

I will be attending Marsoc Selection in August 2022, however, in this upcoming year I will be deploying on ship for 7 months. I was wondering if you could suggest a year long training program built around my deployment on ship, which starts early August 2021 and ends early spring 2022.
On ship I have access to Kettlebells 2per from 25, 35, 44, 53, and 62lbs, pull up bar, and the flightdeck and a 40yd ramp for cardio.

ANSWER

Ship …
2) Humility (treadmill for running)
3) Work through the plans in the 3-Stooges Kettlebell Training Packet until you’re back ashore
4) Upon Return I’d recommend Barbossa, and Blackbeard from the Pirate Packet, then re-completing the MARSOC A&S Training Plan directly before selection.
You’re gonna need a 60# sandbag on ship. Be resourceful….
– Rob

QUESTION

I work part-time in a Law Enforcement role and have been following your Spirits programs for several months now, with great success. My goals practically match that which the Spirits programs target.

As a Muslim, right now during the month of Ramadan, I fast from dawn to sunset from food and drink. During this time, my training has lapsed on some days due to the fatigue and lack of energy needed to power through the Spirit training days. I thought about taking the month off from training until the fast had finished but have opted against this.

That being said, is there a program you recommend to follow during the four weeks of Ramadan that is perhaps less intensive than the Spirits training, but will also allow me to somewhat maintain my physical fitness so I can jump straight back into the Spirits program once Ramadan ends?

ANSWER

Easiest would be to modify the Spirits Plans. Options include complete the full training session, but train every other day. Next would be to complete the training session, but cut the number of rounds for each training circuit by 1/3 – so instead of 6 rounds, do 4.
Finally, I’d recommend training first thing in the morning, if possible.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have 20 weeks until I go to RASP, can you help advise on how to best prepare? I was going to use the RASP 1&2 train up plan

ANSWER

Weeks    Plan
1-7         Fortitude
8-12       Valor
13-20     RASP I&II
– Rob

Q&A 7.1.21

QUESTION

I am currently active duty name with 18 months left then going to Border patrol academy with plans after another 24 months to apply for BORTAC or is Customs and Border Protection hires me then SRT selection. Looking for a plan to build me up to that level of fitness. Would like advice on everything. I am currently 6ft1in and 218lbs main equipment I have is a 60lb sandbag, 200lbs in dumbbells, 12 14 16in step box, parachute for sprints, police vest with approximate weight of 20 to 35lbs, resistance bands from 10 to 50lbs agility ladder and cones. Looking to buy a ruck bag or just use my Seabag issued from navy if that works. Will also be going back to a keto-ish diet.

ANSWER

Right now, given your equipment list, I’d recommend you work through the plans order in our Great Plains Limited Equipment Training Packet.
Diet? Here are our recommendations – they differ somewhat from Keto: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
– Rob

QUESTION

I’d like to thank you for the zoom on quiet proffessionalisim, I really enjoyed it.
My question is what is the best way for me to gain weight and strength. I’m a 21 year old male at 5′ 9″ and 155-160 lbs, I’m pretty light for a tactical athlete, I also scored a 5.1 on your relative strength assessment.  I will hopefully be going to the border patrol academy in 6 months to a year, and I would like to be close to 170lbs and be able to score a 6.5 on the assessment by then.  One of the problems I have is that I have a hard time gaining weight regardless of how much I eat, I haven’t had any lasting weight gains since highschool.  What are your reccomendations for me to put on 10-15lbs of muscle? I have just started whisky, should I do a dedicated strenght plan after it, or keep up with the LE plans?

ANSWER

My guess is you’re still growing into your body, and by 25 this won’t be an issue.
But what you can do now is train hypertrophy – complete the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys Program. 
Super intense and designed to add mass – but it will help with strength too.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have purchased several of your workout plans. I’m currently performing the backpacking pre-season program.
Have you considered changing the 400-900 reps of step up’s to a timed event? My main line of work is as a physical therapist. But, I do also have the TSAC-F and CSCS certifications. All this is just background information so you don’t think I’m a random person pulling ideas out of one’s backside! 😉 When I want a patient or client to perform an exercise for many reps, I’ll give them specific time instead so they are not having to track a high number of reps. I noticed with your step up exercise that I average around 100 reps every 5 minutes. For me, it’s easier to just do 20 minutes of step up’s than to tap each rep on my phone click counter app.
As this is your program, the above is just general feedback. Obviously, you can program your workouts however you see fit!

ANSWER

Couple problems with that approach for this plan:
1) Total distance, in this case vertical gain, is important. So if I prescribe 30 min of step ups and want someone to do 600x reps, but they are slow and only do 300x – this is a problem. In running terms, if I’m training them to run 5 miles, but use time as you describe and because they are slow, never get there, I haven’t done my job.
2) You’re assuming everyone will move at your pace. They won’t.
Several of our programs do include different applications of step ups, including assessments for both time (max step ups in 30 min, for example) and timed events (Time to complete 500x reps) – and then follow on progressions. This plan just doesn’t do that.
– Rob

QUESTION

I followed your recommendations through OSUT and airborne, thank you for sticking with me. I’ve got about 4-6 months in student company before I start SOPC…could be more or less depending on holdover time  What progression of plans would you suggest I follow before completing the RBSTP again prior to SOPC?

Thanks so much!

ANSWER

Valor & Fortitude if you haven’t done those already.
If so, Hector and Apollo from the Greek Hero Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was hoping to get your advice on what program to pick based on my goals.
I’m an endurance athlete in my mid 40s. My focus for this year is long-distance gravel cycling and a couple of running races. I also want to find the right program to help complement my training and also for overall health and be proactive about being strong and healthy the closer I get to my 50s and older.
For the strength training I want to find a program where I don’t need tons of equipment and that I can do at home (I want to build a home gym but that won’t happen overnight.)
I’ve been doing some kettlebell exercises and I’m really liking the approach/idea of trying to follow a program around one tool, in this case the kettlebell.
A few questions
  1. Do you think that the Single Kettlebell/Dumbell program would be a good start?  Or any other one?
  2. What would be the next step, or next program after that one that you would recommend?
  3. How do you know what’s the appropriate kettlebell to use for your training? I currently have a 35lb kettlebell, that I can lift fine but I always wonder if the weight is right for me, because I don’t want to grow muscle (or get buffed for a lack of a better word), I want to get toned, lose fat(of course eating healthy too) and use it to complement my training
  4. Any other advice you may have based on my background and goals?

ANSWER

  1. Yes – or any of the Kettlebell/Dumbbell Strength Plans.
  2. High Rep Kettlebell Snatch Training Plan – super interesting!
  3. The Single Kettlebell/Dumbbell plan will adjust to whatever kettlebell you have. The High Rep Snatch deploys an initial assessment – and if you score too many reps on the assessment, you have to increase your KB size and assess again. Understand muscle growth is dependent on your individual biology, and not the training load, but the volume. Bodybuilders interested in building mass do 10-15 reps each set. Powerlifters, interested in increasing strength with minimal weight gain, do 1-5 sets/rep. So your KB size depends on your strength. I do high rep snatches with a 40-45# Kb (500+ reps in one session) – but complex exercises like 2 handed clean and press – 45# works good for me. I don’t know you or your strength – so I’m not sure.
  4. KB’s are expensive …. a barbell and rack with pull up bar might be a better strength and all around tool for you. The barbell is far more flexible than the kettlebell because it’s much cheaper to change weight …
– Rob

QUESTION

I have heard good things about your programs.  I need some advice on where to start.  I just turned 50.  My fitness level mediocre.  I joined the military (Reserves) two years ago (midlife crisis) and have a deployment coming up in a few months.  I want to improve my fitness level but am a novice.  I am looking to improve basically in all areas as well as some weight loss (or at least convert some of that extra weight to muscle).  I have been looking through your plans but there is a lot to process.  Do you have any recommendations regarding best place to get started with your program.

I have a busy work and home life.  I need something that does not require 2 hours per day.  I have access to a fitness club and some limited equipment at home.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am getting ready to start training for the 3rd SFG best diver competition. It is a two day event focusing primarily on endurance training. I have primarily been focusing on short distance sprint work and strength training to stay in shape. What is your recommendation on one of your programs that will help me maintain my strength while increasing my endurance? The events are an SFPA, 3k fin, 1500m nav dive, 12.8 mile ruck and some pool stress events so it’s very cardio heavy.

SFPA is the special forces physical assessment which is 2 mins push-ups, 2 mins situps, 5 mile run in under 38 mins, and max rep dead hang pull ups. I’ve attached the flyer for the competition, were about 7 weeks out so monday my partner and I are going to start getting after it.

ANSWER

It’s not perfect but close is the DEVGRU Selection Training Plan – it’s what I’d recommend.
– Rob

QUESTION

Starting Fortitude today. Reviewing the plan, strength days call for warmups with 3 sets x 8 reps of squats, bench press, etc @ 95# – then heavy lift at 8 sets x 3 reps. With MTN’s recent revision of programming & veering away from garbage reps as per the recent article, wanted to check if I should stick with the plan as designed or adjust.

ANSWER

Light front squats in the warm up aren’t “garbage reps” – they are designed to warm you up for the heavy lift coming next.
– Rob

QUESTION

47 y/o male
6ft 2in
200 lbs
Currently  AF Security Forces  plan to cross train  to S.E.R.E.
I saw you have a S.E.R.E. program but I want more than that. I’m a bit of a dumb@$$ and wondering which program is the best over all/ most challenging? If someone was into S & M in a non-sexual way to increase fitness.

ANSWER

Many of our plans deploy assessments and the follow-on programming is based on the athlete’s assessment results – so the plan pushes the athlete no matter what.
If you don’t have a SERE date and want to move in that direction, start with Humility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a former Team USA(tandem pilot) and National Champion cyclist and after years of grinding myself down from all ends I hung it up in 2018 and since then I have not really been active. I mainly play soccer 3-4 nights a week as a keeper or midfielder and that is the only working out I do consistently.
I am in the final process of a police department’s hiring process and I have some applications with fire departments as well. I would like to increase my overall fitness and lose the belly fat that I have accumulated in the last 3 years. I can pass the CPAT and the police department physical without any issues. I am looking for a program that can ramp me back up to what I consider a good fitness level with running/hiking/rucking and more than likely bodyweight/sandbag/minimal equipment. I travel on the road for 7-10 days at a time a month and would like to find something that can work for me whether I am home or on the road with little to no access to a gym. I like a challenge, but also want to be mindful that I am overweight and after 10 years of cycling, my shins hate me if I ramp up too quickly on  running mileage.
Happy to hear any suggestions given just combing through your catalog there are tons to choose from.

ANSWER

Start out with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, and by cleaning up your diet. Here are our dietary recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
Follow Bodyweight Foundation up with the plans/order in the limited equipment Tribe Packet, beginning with Apache.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m targeting joining the Army as 18X in 2 years. I’ll need to do all the prep schools (OSUT, jump school, SOPC) before I get my shot at SFAS.
  1. The SFAS pack is 1 year long. Should I start that so it ends right on SFAS, or so that it ends when I start OSUT?
  2. What plan(s) do you recommend for this first year? I’m doing Bodyweight Foundation right now to get back into things.

ANSWER

1. It ends when you start OSUT. You can’t count on the training time once you’re in.
2. Plans/order in the Greek Hero Series.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thank you again for taking the time to read and reply to these emails, it has been beyond helpful. Starting the 1st of January this year, I made a commitment to myself to go all out in the name of fitness and nutrition. It has been tough, however, it has been a very rewarding and fun process.

Starting on 1/1/2021 I weighed in at 229lbs with 31.1% body fat. Yesterday I weighed in at 209.6lbs @ 28.5% body fat.

Since the beginning of the year I have completed the Fat loss plan and I am on week 6 of the Whiskey plan right now. I have also been doing my best to follow the nutritional guidelines to a T.

I am at a point in my weight loss where I get kinda lost. I want to be gaining muscle but also losing fat. My focus is to become the best tactical athlete that I can be but not sure where I should go from here.

I work EMS for now and am putting in a packet for Navy Aviation in November. I work as the medical element for our local SWAT team as well.

What plan should I move onto next? Should I make any changes to my nutrition if I am following the guidelines you set forth? Do I need to worry about being in a deficit or surplus? My long term goal is be the best tactical athlete I can be.

I am hoping to incorporate the push / pull plan as well as may pull-up are in desperate need of attention. (If I can only do 2 straight pull-ups, is using a band acceptable during the push / pull plan).

I know that was long winded but any advice is good advice.

ANSWER

Nutrition? No changes.
Plan? Tequila – the next plan in the Spirits Packet.
Just. Keep. Grinding.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m preparing for swat selection and have got 10 – 12 months left.

The key events on selection day are:
– max pull ups
– max reps bench press @ 80% of bodyweight
– an obstacle course, lasting for about 5 minutes
– 90 minutes of random stuff, working continuously with much of running, burpees, carrying stuff, planks, kettlebell exercises,  …
– 6km (3.7 mi) run

Now I’m wondering which of your programs would fit the most to prepare for this event.
I have to set a focus on running because it’s my biggest issue.

I’m looking forward to your answer, thank you for your time!

ANSWER

Here’s what I.Recommend:
Follow it up with the plans and order in the Gun Maker Packet – these are designed as day to day programming for full time SWAT/SRT and concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run/ruck), tactical agility and chassis integrity.
Then, repeat the SWAT Selection Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before selection.
– Rob

QUESTION

After I completed the big 24v4 I failed to take the deload as I thought I was undertrained due to plateauing on the 4th week on all the lifts besides the hang squat clean.  I started a 40 day endurance/muscular endurance program directly after  and lost 8 lbs in muscle even though I had sufficient calorie intake. I feel stressed and irritable and I feel as though I am highly overtrained. I have done nothing but bike, walk and the recovery training for my shin splints for the past 4 days staying within 120-140 bpm and only getting aerobic for short periods.

How much longer would you recommend I rest for if at all and what should my training look like to get back to training at the level I was?

ANSWER

You’re asking a medical question and I’m not a doctor. As well, my sense is that the program after Big 24 isn’t from MTI … so I can’t help much. What I would recommend is a full week of full rest and then see what you feel like.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 67 my wife is 58.  We are Jackson resort and BC skiers. The pre season BC plan is great. We follow it in the fall.

No gym work this winter. Looking for a limited equip plan to restart fitness. We do a ton of cycling, mostly hills so we use that for aerobic.

Thoughts?

ANSWER

– Rob

 

Q&A 6.24.21

QUESTION

I wanted to ask a question regarding Humility V3. I find with the burpee intervals, by the last couple of rounds, I can’t meet the interval anymore. I end up doing burpees until the rep count is over. With all the other assessments and the intervals associated with them, while still very challenging, I’m able to meet or even beat the time standard. Meeting rep goals is not an issue either.  Is this OK? Thank you in advance.

ANSWER

Increase the interval from 90 seconds to 120 seconds.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if I could get some help on selecting a program. I’m planing on running my first Xterra triathlon(1mi swim, 18mi MTB, 10k run) and I’m quickly realizing that programing myself may not be working optimally for me. I have used your programing in the past and it has never failed in preparing me. So I was wondering if there was a program that you feel would be a good fit.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking to get started again and looking for a plan to start up.
I want to train for hunting but I think the full back country hunting plan is more than I need. I hunt weekends and stay within 3 miles of the road. And live close enough to the hunting grounds I can sleep in my own bed every night.
Looking to be prepared for big day hunts and heavy pack outs but no multi day stuff needed.

ANSWER

Plans/order in the Wilderness Packet for Wilderness Professionals.  These plans are designed as day to day programming for game wardens, field biologists, Mountain SAR teams, etc, and have a significant mountain endurance component.
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed the Bodyweight Foundation plan and really loved it. I’m in the middle of the Bodyweight Build plan and love the ruck runs. Was looking at your plans for my next move and saw Humility. Would you guys consider that a good progression? Thanks!

ANSWER

Yes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I often have trouble training without a specific plan or goal in mind, so I love your programming.  I am looking at some of your longer training packets, intrigued by the near-year-long program design. I also like the idea of having the goal of finishing that long of a stretch of programing.  I love being in the water and would like to have swimming be part of my training regimen (as pools are starting to open again in my area).
Having said all that, the BUD/S or CTT/PJ/CRO packets piqued my interest.  As I’m not actually training for BUD/S or PJ selection, the heavy ruck runs seem more than I need/want.  With that in mind, I dig the Greek Hero packet, which doesn’t have the heavy ruck runs and has TAC SEPA training.   I’m wondering if you have any advice on how to integrate swimming into the Greek Hero program (aside from simply repeating the swim improvement program).  Maybe an alternate combination of plans from Greek Hero and the SOF packets?   Or would it make sense to just stick with one of the SOF packets and simply scale back the ruck running distances/times/weight?
I noticed the Pirate Packets too, but I feel I dont’ have the baseline stenght/fitness to move right into those.  The progressive aspect of the SOF packets is part of what interested me about the those plans.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Pirate Packet plans. 
Start with the Military OnRamp Plan …. then move to Barbossa. Military OnRamp will give you the base needed.
These seem to check your boxes.
– Rob

QUESTION

Your new power-based endurance training plan launch looks really interesting! I work for a wildland fire agency that uses the dynamic WFX-Fit assessment instead of the pack test.
I recognize that there are lots of different low(er)-equipment work capacity events in your programming, including forestry-specific training plans. That said, would you recommend other types of metrics to stand in for power, like calorie counts generated on treadmills or fitness apps or distance traveled?
Thanks for your excellent programming, and for your advice.

ANSWER

You can use any metric. The beauty of power is it’s not based on environmental factors. For example, if are cycling and you do your assessment with a following wind, and then use your assessment time and a distance-based progression, it’s possible sometime you’ll be riding into the wind, which will throw your prescribed pace off.
Closest to power is heart rate.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just purchased my athlete’s subscription and I’ve just completed week one of the body weight foundation. Loving it so far. I’m active duty enlisted Air Force looking to get selected/commission for STO or CRO in about a year and a half time frame. I’m looking for your recommended progression through the various programs offered. I’ll be looking to take my official AFSOC PT test that will be submitted with phase I application about a year from now. I was going to mirror the CCT/PJ packet program similarly and just replace the PAST program with the AFSOC pt test program, and then at the end use the Phase II selection prep rather than PJ/CCT. So my plan was kind of as follows:

1. Body Weight Foundation
2. Military On-Ramp
3. AFSOC PT Test Prep
4. Valor
5. Operator Pentathlon
6. Humility
7. Big 24/Swim Improvement
8. Phase II STO Selection

Looking for feedback based on the time frame and my goals. All of these programs are kick ass and I would like to take advantage of your knowledge and experience to best prepare. Thank you for your time.

ANSWER

Only change I’d make is to replace Big 24 / Swim Improvement with Barbossa.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve got a quick question about your 50 mile ultra-marathon training plan. I would like to use it to prepare for a 45ish mile race 13 weeks from now. I noticed that the plan is only 8 weeks in duration. How can I use it to best utilize the time I have? Should I continue my normal training schedule (35-40 miles per week with about 4-5K of vert) until 8 weeks out or should I repeat sections of the plan?  I ran the 50K distance several times (sub 6 hours on hilly courses) last year if that helps.

ANSWER

Your plan should work, or if you wanted more of a ramp up, I’d recommend the first 5 weeks of the Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

A couple of comments, kudos to you and a question or two…
I wanted to reach out and let you know that I completed the Bataan Memorial Ruck (virtual) yesterday, and then some…I finished the 26.2 and said to myself “30 miles is in reach,” so I made a sock change and busted out the last 3.8 with a headlamp.
Your Bataan program was key!  Throw in good nutrition during the ruck and some proper advance planning and it was a success.  In all honesty, I never even got into a “gut check” mode and, get this, aside from a couple of swollen tendons in my ankles and a new blister or two, I don’t even have so much as a sore muscle.
Thank you very much for the Bataan programming.  It works.
Now to the questions…
I want to do a 50 mile ruck in a day next year (if I’m feeling chippy, maybe 61-ish like the men at Bataan).  Would you suggest that I add a month to the existing Bataan program culminating in a doubling of distance during the last month of training?  Alternatively, is there another plan that would work better?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
FWIW, I’m back on to training for my sheep hunt in August if the damn border with Canada opens..

ANSWER

Thanks for the note.
50-mile Ultra Plan – and ruck instead of run.
Good luck on your sheep hunt!
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a program like fortitude (squat cleans, squats, bench, long-runs) but that has hinge lift progression?

ANSWER

Big 3 + 5-Mile Run Program. You’d need to add power cleans.

– Rob

QUESTION

I had a question on the “gladiator program”, would this program be good for an infantryman i would include rucking on the weekends. I’ve done the barbell complex many times and I love it I feel like this benefits me to my job. Would you recommend doing this program for a national guard infantryman/police officer? If not i appreciate your honesty and professionalism that’s why I use your guys stuff.

ANSWER

Sure … just watch for overtraining.
Gladiator is intense and awesome.
– Rob

QUESTION

First, I wanted to say kudos and thank you for the work you do putting together all the plans/sessions.  I’ve used your programming on and off since being introduced while on deployment to Afghanistan ~2011 (operator sessions, Rat 6, APFT improvement, bodyweight foundation, etc.) and it’s been great.  That said, I took a bit of a hiatus from working out regularly and didn’t start back up until November 2020 right as gyms were shut down in the UK where I’m currently stationed.  Since then, I’ve completed the bodyweight foundation plan twice, took a few weeks to focus on mostly running, and am now on week 6 of the gym closure and week 5 of the core strength bodyweight only plans.  As the gyms are finally opening back up, I’m hoping you could recommend a good plan, or if you think that I should jump right into the operator sessions. Thanks in advance.

ANSWER

Start back with strength and the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan, then move into the Operator Sessions or the Greek Hero Series.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just completed Gladiator and liked it a lot.
Could you recommend my next plan? So far, Johnny and Big 24 have caught my eye.
My goals are to get stronger and faster and lose 15-20 lbs. So, leaner. I’m a Paratrooper and I’ve found that being light is an advantage.
Thanks for any help you can provide!

ANSWER

Hector next.
Also – fix your diet. Here are our recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking at doing the 18-xray program with the army and want to make sure I am selecting the right program for myself. I am planning to ship out for basic in early July and want to make sure I am in the best shape I can be in when it comes time for selections. What programs would you recommend?
If you need any more information please let me know.

ANSWER

By my count you have 11 weeks.
Weeks.  Plan
1-3         Miliary OnRamp Training Plan (first 3 weeks)
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m inquiring to learn more about your programs. I am an USMC OCS candidate going up for the July board and hopefully going to the fall (OCS 238 class). My current stats are a 287 PFT with 9 pull ups, 148 crunches and a 21:25 3 mile.

I am trying to decide on possibly exploring a new program to follow. While my goal is to get a 300 PFT, I want to ensure I am doing the right things to succeed for the total of 10 weeks come the Fall. I belong to a CrossFit gym and I do enjoy their workouts, but I want a more tailored fit as I cannot go to their offered class times.
I saw there are several options, such as the USMC OCS prep, TBS prep and just the PFT prep. If I was to choose one of these, are they to be done alone, or should they be supplemented with a lifting regimen?

I did a reflection on my current workout scheduling and I feel like I am spending too much time trying to decide what to do vs actually just doing it. Right now I lift 3-4x a week, along with body weight workouts 5x a week and running 3-5x a week, but do not really follow any plan. I love running, and I understand that aspect the best, but for lifting and overall translating that to things that will help me as a Marine in the future is what seems to be slowing my progress.

ANSWER

You’ll want to do the programs alone.
Right now I’d recommend you do Humility, followed by Fortitude. Drop out of Fortitude 3 weeks before your July Board (if you have to take the PFT) complete 3 weeks of the USMC PFT Training Plan, then go back to Fortitude. Follow Fortitude up with Valor.
Start the USMC OCS Training Plan the 6 weeks directly before reporting.
– Rob

Tell us your Mentor Story

 

By Rob Shaul

 

I’ve never had a close, long-term mentor in any of my 3 professional careers. But I’ve spoken to several tactical athletes and professional mountain athletes who have. 

I’m interested in these mentor stories and relationships ….. And am asking the MTI community for your mentor stories.

  • Where were you in your career when it the relationship with your mentor 
  • Describe this person … did he or she mentor several others, a few, or just you?
  • How did this mentorship manifest itself? Be specific – was it taking you aside for individual professional instruction? Did it extend beyond professional topics to more wholistic life mentorship – like how to be a “whole” man, or “whole” woman? 
  • When you were no longer working together how did the mentorship endure? How often does/did your mentor contact you – or you contact him or her for advice or assistance? 
  • Did this mentorship influence you to mentor others? 

Please be as specific and thorough as you can.

Not a tactical athlete or professional mountain athlete? No worries – please submit your mentor story as well. 

Please paste your Mentor Story in the comments below and/or email it to me at: rob@mtntactical.com

Q&A 6.17.21

QUESTION
First off I’d like to give you guys major kudos on your programming. Its simply fantastic, and I’ve been using it for a while now. I especially appreciate how versatile and how many different scenarios you have answers for.
On that note, when i’m not deployed or training specifically for a school I struggle with finding a base program that isn’t super time consuming but allows me a good platform to jump into a school or deployment program while also trying to involve my love and passion of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If you’re not familiar, a good hour and a half of rolling can really smoke you and can be pretty sore after. I struggle trying to stick to one of your programs and roll at the same time both time wise (dont have time for 2-2.5 hours of working out in a day), as well as the physical toll that takes on my body.
I was curious if you guys would be able to create a program with 5 training days a week that would incorporate workouts that would keep a base level of strength, endurance, mobility, power etc, and incorporate 2 days of BJJ as well. I’m not sure if what i’m asking is even reasonable or plausible and if I’m asking too much but I figured if anyone knew or would be able to come up with an idea of what that would look like it would be you. Of course I would more than willing to pay for such a product, i just wanted to see if that was something you guys might be open to?
Looking forward to hearing back from you guys.
ANSWER
Sorry – I don’t do any individualized programming at this time – but you don’t need it.
Real simple would be to do Hector, and skip the training sessions the day you’ve got BJJ.
So 2 weeks of your schedule would look like this:
Mon Hector Session 1
Tue BJJ
Wed Hector Session 2
Thur BJJ
Fri Hector Session 3
Sat Rest or recreation
Sun Rest or recreation
Mon Hector Session 4
Tue BJJ
Wed Hector Session 5
Thur BJJ
Fri Hector Session 6
Sat Rest or recreation
Sun Rest or recreation
You can’t skip sessions in Hector … so follow the sessions in order as above.
– Rob

QUESTION

Is there a recommended sandbag program for beginners?

ANSWER

First plan in our packet, Sandbag Ethos. 
You may want to start with a 40# sandbag and increase to 60 or 80# as your strength improves.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m going to be on my 7th week of Bourbon next week and the last part of the spirit package for patrol law enforcement is Gin. What type of chest workout does Gin employ? Does it combine the last 4 or is a different routine all together? Thanks

ANSWER

All the plans in the Spirit Packet train upper body strength and upper body hypertrophy (mass) – chest, arms, shoulders.
Gin differs from Bourbon in the way strength is progressed, and in the exercises, it uses for mass.
The plan will complement the work you’ve already done.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 2 weeks away from completing the “Ultimate Meathead” plan. Prior to this one I did “Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys”.
I’m trying to cut some fat next.
Looking through your Q&A’s it seems like the “Fat Loss” plan isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all recommendation you make for this goal.
Fat Loss seems to have plenty of dedicated steady-state cardio so I’m drawn to that as it warms up and I want to get out and run.
I’m thinking I can leverage the work capacity focus in “Fat Loss” into beginning “Ultimate Work Capacity” afterwards.
No sport-specific goals, just looking to get lean, run far, and stay strong.
I don’t follow your diet recommendations but I do eat clean and will change things up as appropriate with fat loss objectives.
Based on all this, what are your thoughts on picking the next plan to complete?

ANSWER

95% of fat loss is diet-related.  Cut sugar (including fruit and carbs) from your diet and you’ll shed fat.
Your training plan is solid.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off, love your guy’s training. It’s easy to follow and really takes the guessing out of what you should do to accomplish your goals. That being said i’m looking to go to Go Ruck Selection in October, that’s about six months away.  Looking at the Go Ruck Selection plan it only goes to 10 weeks. What would be a good plan(s) to lead up to October? At my current fitness level I can already meet the standards but I’d rather be dealing with my mental game then worrying about my fitness at Selection.

ANSWER

6 months = 26 weeks. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.   Plan
1-7          Fortitude
8-15        Valor … Repeat Week 6 to stretch to 8 weeks
16           Total Rest
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed the hotshot pre-season 2  program. Now I am at my duty station and we are on a hike, run, hike, run schedule. The rest of the crew doesn’t show up for another six weeks. I was considering just doing the hiking and running supplemented with recovery runs and the in season strength training for endurance athletes program. I would like guidance on what program to follow or what to add in addition to the existing running and hiking? Goals are injury prevention; improve: running, hiking, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and job specific  work i.e. – running saw, digging line.

ANSWER

In-season Strength Training for Endurance Athletes since you’re on the run/hike schedule.
If you could make your own schedule, I’d have you complete Blackwater, the first plan in the Wildland Fire Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Is there a program that combines the big 3 and big mountain (non technical) I have an assessment on the big 3 (1RM) coming up followed by a multi day big mountain ascent in Alaska a month later.  I could not find a program that balances these two and was curious if there is a program you would recommend.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Big 3 + 5 Mile Run Plan, then after your strength assessment, turn to the Big Mountain Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Today I decided that I am going to attend SFRE at the end of this month. I was looking at your SFRE training plan and was wondering how I should approach that program without a full 7 weeks to train up. I was thinking I would do weeks 1-3 and then 7.

ANSWER

Do Weeks 1-3 as prescribed then jump to week 7 the week before your event.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m forward-deployed, constantly moving, and if the gym on-site isn’t backed up with a line for hours, there isn’t one at all.  I’ve searched for hours through the plans, and I keep running into the problem that I don’t have some or any of the equipment needed to do the program.  Even pullup bars are hard to come by in some of the remote sites.  Aside from the limited equipment programs, are there any programs that require ‘No Equipment’ aside from maybe a watch and some open ground to workout?

I cannot wait for these COVID mitigation measures are done and gone for good.  Thanks for all the hard work and service to the fitness community.  I recommend your programs and subscriptions to every Soldier, NCO, and Officer I come by.  Great for ‘hazing new lieutenants’!

ANSWER

You’ll need to get creative without a pull up bar … find a step/ledge/door jam, etc to use, or simply skip them.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thanks again for looking at this.  I really enjoyed the live session you did.

I have limited equipment at home (treadmill, dumbbells, bench, step-up box, pull-up bar, rowing machine, weight vest, ruck, and a sandbag).  I have access to this on the weekends and maybe 1-2 weeks per month.  The other 2-3 weeks of the month I typically have access to hotel gyms (treadmills, maybe dumbbells, and a bench, but I have a portable pull-up bar I take as well).

I have a Fire Fighter PT Test coming up (details attached). I have seen the treadmill activity substituted with 20m beep test with a minimum score of 7 to move on.  There is not a defined scoring system for the rest of the activities, but they have minimums, and usually take the top 20% to progress to the next selection.

What plan would you recommend?

ANSWER

The trick is your travel schedule and it sounds like most of the time you’re training in motel gyms.
The test itself doesn’t seem super difficult – but an overall increase in fitness will help with your vo2 Max Test (treadmill test) – which is what that will look like.
Given that – I’d recommend with the Stuck In a Motel Training Plan. This is a great, multi-modal training plan (strength, work capacity, endurance, chassis integrity) designed around motel training equipment.
On the weekends, when you’re home, I’d recommend one day a week taking a long run – trail run if possible. Start at 5 miles and try to push to 8-9 or 2 hours.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking for a plan w/ the following parameters, but open to suggestions that may not meet all:
1) 5 days/week with weekends as active recovery/rest
2) Workouts from warm-up to cool-down not to exceed 90 minutes
3) Trains following lifts/exercises: bench press, back squat, trap bar deadlift, pull-ups, hand release push-ups
4) Allows for some short intense work capacity (thinking no longer than a 15-20 AMRAP session in a given training day)
5) Allows for some endurance cardio (currently working through a knee issue when running, so to be honest been using a stationary bike and rower for the time being)
I am in the Army, but don’t need any ruck running programming nor am I training for any particular selection or school. Do you have anything that might align with my goals?
Thanks in advance for your time and any assistance you can provide. MTI has always been an outstanding resource and judging from the website and the wide array of options, the bar has only been raised.

ANSWER

Closest is the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan. You can substitute your Back Squat for the Front Squat in the plan, and your trap bar dead lift for the hinge lift in the plan.
You’ll need to add hand release push ups … which you can do at the end of the assessment and every strength session. (after the other exercises). Follow the same progression that is programmed for the pull ups.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off I just want to say your programming is great and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the programs I’ve purchased. Currently I am halfway through the 50 mile ultra plan. My question is regarding maintenance going into the summer. I have mountain races throughout the summer, culminating with (my first) ultra at the end of July. After I complete this training program, how can I help ensure I remain at this fitness level? I am thinking continuing two gym days a week, a tempo run, a longer base run and a long trail run each week. Looking forward to your feedback!

ANSWER

I don’t have much experience in the maintenance area – so I’d encourage you do more research.  Given that, I’d recommend rotating through total volume weeks of  35, 45 and 55 miles. So week 1 –  35 miles, week 2 – 45 miles, week 3 – 55 miles, then back to 35 miles.
Each week, work to get in 70% of the volume in two back to back days.
35 x .7 = 24.5, so on Saturday, run 15 miles, and Sunday, run 10 miles.
45 x .7 = 31.5, so on Saturday, run 18 miles, and Sunday, run 12 miles
55 x .7 = 38.5 so on Saturday, run 23 miles and on Sunday, run 16 miles.
In terms of pacing, run your shorter distance runs earlier in the week at either a threshold (fastest possible) or moderate (comfortable but not easy / tempo) pace.
Saturday runs are at the moderate/tempo pace. Sunday runs are at an easy pace.
Work in strength 1 day/week.
– Rob

QUESTION

Longtime subscriber and huge fan of what you do.
I’m looking at a potential 1SG position with a reserve unit.  It appears that PT each drill day will be mandated by higher, despite the fact that PT 2x/month is largely pointless.
To mitigate this and attempt to build an off-duty physical culture in the unit, I intend to build the PT plan off of a different PFT each month.  This not only provides a specific physical goal to strive for each month, it introduces the soldier to the unique expectations of the different groups we may work with (Joint, Combined, indigenous, etc. efforts are common to our missions).  Aside from mandated APFT/ACFT stuff, this would be purely diagnostic – no one would be professionally tied (promotion, OoM, etc.) to any scores outside of official requirements.  They’d simply know which test was coming up 2-6 weeks in advance and be told to prepare the best they can.  Naturally, I’d take the test right alongside my joes.
This leaves me with a couple questions:
1.  I’m a subscriber, but I cannot imagine most of my subordinates and officers are.  If I schedule a test for which you have a plan designed (UBRR, Cooper Test, etc.), I would feel like I’m stealing were I to share your plan with them.  At the same time, I’d feel disingenuous if I didn’t give them access to every tool at my disposal.  Do you offer any kind of unit rate that might allow such sharing?  I can’t promise any buy-in from my potential command, I’ve yet to meet them in-person.
2.  If a soldier comes directly to me for advice on how to approach a particular test, could I share that plan with him/her on the understanding that they must look to your material for future guidance?  Would it be acceptable if they train alongside me as I follow the plans (less likely, given the scattered nature of reserve units)?
3.  I’ve brought this drill PT idea up to a few peers, and a number of them have asked about the WWII PFT listed here:  https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/are-you-as-fit-as-a-world-war-ii-gi/ .  Do you have any plans that might suit such a test?
Thank you, and I love what you do.  There’s no way to tell, equivocally, but I bet a good number of us are alive today because of your plans.

ANSWER

Appreciate your integrity.
Answers:
1) Unit Rates? Yes – for both plans and subscriptions. Price depends on the number of athletes.
2) No. Plan purchases are for individual use unless there’s a unit purchase.
3) Not specifically … we use many of these elements in many of our plans, but not one that puts it all together. One of the issues with this test would be the range of motion for the squat jump …
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like your opinion laying out the ruck-based selection programing on a tighter timeline.
I’m looking to attend psyop selection in late November (32 weeks from now). The POAS plan is eight weeks which leaves me with 24 weeks of base training.
Out of the following plans, which should I replace with the eight week POAS train up? Fortitude, Resilience, Valor, or Big 24?
Thank you for the insight and I appreciate your time

ANSWER

I’m not sure I understand your question … but here is my recommendation:
Weeks.   Plan
1-7          Humility
8-14        Fortitude
15-22.     Valor (repeat week 6 to stretch to 8 weeks)
23           Total Rest
– Rob

QUESTION

Im going to Airborne and Air Assault school before attending to Ranger School. My questions is if I buy the Ranger training packet,  would be prepared me as well for Airborne and Air assault ?

ANSWER

Yes …. but you’ll want to complete the Ranger Plan directly before reporting to Airborne.
– Rob

 

Arete 6.10.21

Military / National Security / Foreign Policy

Supreme Court won’t review men-only draft registration law, Air Force Times
US Navy zeroed in on LCS flawed parts, maintenance slow-downs to improve operational days, Defense News
Where the U.S. Army’s Cut List and Wish List Overlap, RealClearDefense
US Air Force completes tests of swarming munitions, but will they ever see battle? Defense News
U.S. Special Operations advances Bronco II aircraft from prototype to flying phase, War is Boring
Navy Drone Refuels Fighter Jet, a Key Step Toward Adding UAVs to Carrier Wings, Defense One
Mapping China by the Numbers: Organizing to Win, The Cipher Brief
Why NATO Should Not Offer Ukraine and Georgia Membership Action Plans, War on the Rocks
Cyberattacks on US targets are ‘here to stay,’ says US commerce secretary, War is Boring
The Army embraced zodiac signs and people lost their minds, Task & Purpose
The Army Isn’t Getting Rid of Its M4s and SAWs Any Time Soon, Military.com
The Air & Space Brief: Space Force wish list; AF2 plans, scrapped; Supply rockets?; And more…, Defense One
Talking the Talk: Language Capabilities for U.S. Army Special Forces, War on the Rocks
Pentagon’s Accelerating ‘Connect-Everything’ Effort Hinges on Uncertain Cloud Program, Defense One
Austin Asks Top General For ‘Options’ to Evacuate Afghans, Defense One
Taliban seizes eight districts in the past week, Long War Journal
Supreme Court asked to review men-only draft registration law, Military Times
India returns K-152 Nerpa nuclear submarine to Russia, Pravda Report
Former Arizona National Guard leader jumps into US Senate race, Military Times
2 officials have resigned after veteran’s mic was cut during Memorial Day speech, Task & Purpose
Responding to Gray Zone Conflict: Countering Russian in the Donbas and Beyond, Small Wars Journal

 

Wildland Fire / First Responder / Homeland Security

US Could Close Kabul Embassy If Future Afghanistan Government Includes Taliban, Top General Says, Defense One
How fire chiefs get in trouble: The top reasons chiefs lose the top spot, FireRescue1 Daily News
Researchers Discover Novel Class of Vehicle Cyberattacks, Homeland Security Newswire
Documentary about the 1977 Honda Canyon Fire accepted at film festivals, Wildfire Today
5-year push improves NC county fire department response times, FireRescue1 Daily News
Factors influencing the development of violent pyroconvection. Part I: fire size and stability, International Journal of Wildland Fire
Global drone map provides directory of public safety and emergency services drone programs, Police1 Daily News
Federal Agencies are Failing Wildland Firefighters, Real Clear Policy
Report: It’s not just a “blue flu” – correctional officers are leaving the job in droves as well. Goodbye, law and order., LE Today
Public access to Honolulu police and fire scanners to end,  Fire Rescue 1
5 years later: Pulse nightclub MCI highlighted need for first responder mental health support, Fire Rescue 1
How an Alaska police department increased shooting accuracy by changing its duty weapons, Police 1

Shining a Light on DARKSIDE Ransomware Operations, Fire Eye Threat Research
Study Shows AI-Generated Fake Reports Fool Experts, Homeland Security Newswire
Union fd structure fire – 23 Greenfield ave, Firefighter Spot
Judge rules Minneapolis residents have standing in their lawsuit against city over ‘defunding’ police, LE Today
Smokejumper Tim Hart passes away, Wildfire Today

 

Mountain

Run to the hills! These Colorado resorts are open for summer activities, FREESKIER
Kangchung Shar North Face first ascent by Jaroslava Bansky, Zdenek Hak, Planetmountain.com
Being a Yosemite Climbing Steward, Outbound Collective
By the Numbers: Is Synthetic Insulation Warm When Wet?, Backpacking Light
The Simple, Mental Wildness of Running, Adventure Journal
Developing Mindful Eating Habits for Climbers, TrainingBeta
Mountain Biker’s Ballsy Wallride Nabs Him 1st Place, Unofficial Networks
Standards Watch: Dan Durston Talks Design and Business, Backpacking Light
Suunto 9 Peak: Everything you ever wanted to know, DC Rainmaker
No Assembly Required: Ventum Delivers Custom Carbon Bikes to Your Door, Gearjunkie
Arc’teryx Alpha Shell Jacket Comparison, The Alpine Start
Best Outdoor Gear Deals of the Week, Gearjunkie
LISTEN UP: Eight must-hear podcasts for skiers, Freeskier
Here’s What It’s Like to ‘Hike’ 272 Miles in Four Days, Adventure Journal
Spring Fever in the Alps, Freeskier
Jonas Schild sends Bain de Sang at Saint Loup in Switzerland, Planet Mountain

 

Fitness / Health / Nutrition

China Just Banned All Ultra Races and Extreme Sports, Outside Magazine
4 Ways the Pandemic Saved My Gym, Breaking Muscle
Inspiratory Muscle Warm-up Improves 3,200-m Running Performance in Distance Runners, Journal of Strength and Conditioning
The Most Memorable Moments in Olympic History, Men’s Health
Sprinting, Jumping, Losing Body Fat, And Cultivating Gratitude), Mark’s Daily Apple
Introducing the Outside Games, Outside Magazine
Optimal Loading for Force Production in the Straight Bar Deadlift: Force-Time Characteristics in Strength-Trained Adults, JCSR
Meet Drake Deuel, the New King of the Strava KOM, Outside Magazine
Will the United States Declare Freedom from COVID-19 Too Soon?, RAND Corporation
Food scientists aim to make plant-based protein tastier and healthier, Science Daily

Girl’s Self Pep Talk For Her First Ski Jump Is Awesome, Unofficial Networks
Similar Anaerobic and Aerobic Adaptations After 2 High-Intensity Interval Training Configurations: 10:5 s vs. 20:10 s Work-to-Rest Ratio, JSCR
A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men, JSCR
Lead in Seafood and Wild Game, NutritionFacts.org
What Causes Muscle Cramps?, mysportscience.org

 

Interesting….

This Boy Wants To Save The World From Plastic, Outside Magazine
How to Travel Light and Still Go Anywhere, The Adventure Blog
VIDEO: Canadian Kayakers Rescue Distressed Moose Calf From Glacial River, Unofficial Networks
Kim Jong-un shows dramatic weight loss PravdaReport