All posts by Mintra Mattison

Q&A 10.7.21

QUESTION

I have completed the FBI SA PFT Plan for the first time now. My push-ups got tremendously better! The form looks good and I have more reps which is amazing. My run times have stayed about the same since I started the program, which isn’t bad because they’re both in the point range I was hoping for. However, what’s concerning to me is the sit-ups. My first PFT, I scored a 37 (this was solo. I didn’t have someone hold my feet, but had them anchored, so I’m not 100% positive this score is correct), I then scored a 27 for the second one (I had someone anchor my feet and count) and the third one I scored a 27 (someone anchored my feet again). What’s concerning is this isn’t in range for 1 point and it stayed consistent. Any advice? I was going to up my reps for the next iteration of the program, but don’t want to do any damage.

ANSWER

The programming is assessment-based and therefore scales to your incoming fitness. If you were making the progressions/intervals in the plan as prescribed, you should have seen some improvement.
Follow the programming as prescribed.
You could add in some longer work on the weekends …. I.e – do 150-200 sit-ups for a few rounds.
– Rob

QUESTION

I wanted to pick up one (a combination of) your programs for the following goals:

1. Overall/ full body strength increase.
2. Load work for longer runs and rucks.

Is there one program or complimenting programs you’d recommend?  Thanks a lot!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m planning on running the Army Ten-Miler this year and was wondering if y’all have any land that fit in with the event?

ANSWER

10-Mile Run Training Plan.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m looking to use one of the MTI plans but don’t know which one. I’m looking for a strength workout that is work capacity focused and more anaerobic since I’m a Marine and it’s CFT season, so if it can help me get stronger in high intensity performance for short intervals, that’d be ideal. There’s probably multiple plans that fit this so any that sounds like it covers some or all would be great. Thank you for the help!

ANSWER

I’d recommend 357 Strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just bought your GoRuck Selection Training Plan and when going through it I noticed that there doesn’t seem to be any overhead exercises to prepare you for log carries or shoulder presses with your ruck.
What do you recommend that I do for shoulders that will also fit in nicely with the rest of the MTI program?

ANSWER

Several have used the plan successfully and we’ve never received any feedback for shoulder issues – but given that, replace the Bodyweight Bench Press for Reps throughout the plan with a 50% Military Press for reps and follow the same progression.
– Rob

QUESTION

What are you thoughts on zero heel drop shoes?
I have been wearing them for several months but have not run as much as your foundations plans has me doing. I used to run with them on our 3 mile pft but it’s been several years since I’ve run like that since being out. I’m starting to have some pain in my Achilles tendon and up the back of my calf and am starting to think I should change shoes. What do you guys recommend? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER

I recommend Hoka One One.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am planning to start the AFSOC training plan in a couple of weeks. I am going through the requirements and the movements. I noticed that on your program you mentioned using fins as part of the 1500 meter swim on test day and during the 500 meter interval swims. My question is, should I be using fins during this program when we cant use them on the past test? Please advise.

ANSWER

Our understanding is the PAST Test is only the 500m Swim for time (no fins) – but the fins are used for the 1500m.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in subscribing to the Athlete subscription but I was wondering if you could point me toward which program might be good for me based on my goals and equipment before I sign up.

My Goals:  General strength, endurance, and mountain hunting.

My Equipment: Dumbells sets 20#, 35#, 60# , bench, 50# – 125# Sandbag, pull up bar, quality sturdy hunting pack frame, also I live in the mountains so terrain is mostly steep around my home.  I am also open to getting additional stuff I might need but a full weight set is not going to be doable in my situation.  I have an outdoor area that I can exercise that is flat concrete.

I’d love to really get a program that I can follow to get back in shape.  Formerly I had been going to the gym but with covid closures and limited hours I have been frustrated at re-inventing my routine working out from home.  Can you suggest one of your programs that might be a good fit for me?

ANSWER

I assume you’re hunting this year, and if so, the Backcountry Hunting Preseason Training Plan. This is a limited equipment plan.
If your current fitness is suspect, start with Backcountry Hunting Base.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am employed in Law Enforcement and I am currently working through your Spirits Packet, with great results–I love it.
From January 2022, I want to take up competitive Trail/Mountain Running and cover 40-miles plus distances, however I also don’t want to sacrifice my strength (and size) needed for work.
Would you recommend:
– Spirits Packet plus a running plan? Or,
– Big 3 + Run, repeatedly, and constantly increase the running distance? Or,
– An entirely different approach?
Appreciate your work.

ANSWER

Chances are you’re not going to complete that distance without losing both strength and weight. I can’t design a plan that makes you good at everything, all the time.
What I’d recommend is you take a break from the Spirits Plan and spend some time putting in the running volume you’ll need to complete these distances without totally suffering.
Long runs  …. I don’t believe you can go long without training long. From our programming, I’d recommend starting with the Ultra Running Preseason Training Plan and then progress to one of our Ultra Plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

In regards to the APFT Plan, I wasn’t sure if I should be supplementing long slow distance runs into the training and if so where should I be inserting them? I ran a 14:14 last apft and would like to get that down as much as possible during this 6 week period. Thank you for all information you can give me!

ANSWER

The issue is over training. you could add in moderate-paced distance work (4-6 miles) on Saturdays – but pull back if you’re not making your threshold intervals paces in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a new subscriber and have been impressed by your products from the get-go. I am reaching out for some scheduling/programming advice based on anticipated SFAS attendance.
– Anticipated SFAS immediately after new years 2022 (5 months)
– Currently in week three of APFT improvement
– My thought was to follow up with the 5-Mile improvement plan directly into Ruck Based Selection Plan
– That leaves two weeks of training unaccounted for; what to program?
I can provide whatever metrics would be helpful; age, H/W, APFT, etc.
I appreciate your input and look forward to hearing from the team!

ANSWER

Replace the 5-Mile Run Improvement Plan with Fortitude and you should be good to go.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 29 year old male. I am 5 ft 10 in and weigh 222. I have been on a 1 pound calorie deficit using my fitness pal to log intake for several months now and was able to drop down from 230. I’m on the second week of your foundation plan and I’m starting to see my weight loss stall. My numbers from session 1 are :
Session 1-

30 squats

22 push-ups
11 heel taps
19 lunges
8 pull-ups
9 dips
35 extension
14:50 1.5 mile
Ive looked at your weight guidelines and I’m seeing I should be between 160-170 and honestly haven’t weighed that since Marine Corps boot camp. I will say I do eat grains and pasta but maintain the calorie deficit and am conflicted on following your guidelines completely because I feel like if I eat to satiety even with the lack of grains and milk and dairy, that I will gain a ton of weight. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER

The type of calories matter. Carbs go to fat cells.
I’d recommend the book, “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes.
– Rob

 

Arete 9.30.21

Military / Foreign Relations / National Security

Meet Lt. Col. John Marks, the airman with the most time in the A-10C ‘Warthog’, Air Force Times
US Army makes headway on Synthetic Training Environment, Defense News
An Army Pilot Just Re-Invented Flight Training for the Digital Era, Defense One
4 Marines still hospitalized nearly a month after suicide bombing in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Times
Boeing delivers first Block III Super Hornets to the US Navy, Defense News
Strengthen U.S. Security Through Nuclear Arms Reductions, Defense One
Afghanistan probably never stood a chance, reports show, Military Times
As U.S. Shifts Arctic Strategy to Counter Russia, Allies Offer Valuable Info, The RAND Blog

 

First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

3 Steps to Prepare for the Law Enforcement Hiring Process, AMUEdge
Bringing the Power of AI to help Firefighters, Homeland Security
Respond to ‘I can’t breathe’ like it’s a mayday – because it is, FireRescue1 Daily News
Characterisation of initial fire weather conditions for large spring wildfires in Alberta, Canada, International Journal of Wildland Fire
Chicago installs 426 bleeding control kits in city facilities, FireRescue1 Daily News
Why your department should focus on firefighter resilience, FireRescue1 Daily News
The Value of Motor Units, POLICE Magazine
Report: Most Americans trust the police, but many want cops to have more training, Police 1 Daily News
5 Texas police officers sue Tesla over ‘Autopilot’ crash, Police 1 Daily News

Mountain / Outside Adventure

Could Thru-Hiking Colorado’s Fourteeners Become a Thing? Outside Magazine
Living Maps of Patagonia: Toward a New Future of Exploration, Alpinist Weekly
Elk Feedgrounds Shut Down by Environmental Groups, Eastmans’ Official Blog
Can I Have This Dance? A first-timer experiences FREESKIER Fest in all its glory, FREESKIER
Rower Completes First Solo Journey from New York to London, The Adventure Blog
10 Campsites for Fall Camping in the Southeast U.S, The Outbound Collective
18 Exercises To Build Boulder Shoulders, Men’s Health
48 Hours In Jackson Hole, The Outbound Collective

Fitness / Health / Nutrition

E-bikes jolt U.S. cities, Axios
Wiggling worms suggest link between vitamin B12 and Alzheimer’s, Science Daily
Carrots Can Be Keto-Friendly, But There’s a Catch, Men’s Health
Why Thinking About Death Makes Us Happier, Outside
Children who eat more fruit and veggies have better mental health, Science Daily
6 Food Additives That Might Be Giving You Trouble, Mark’s Daily Apple
Why Exercise Is More Important Than Weight Loss for a Longer Life, NYT

 

Interesting

YouTube expands COVID move to block all anti-vaccine content, Al Jazeera
The U.S. is the drug industry’s goldmine, Axios
Misinformation Is About to Get So Much Worse, Defense One
The Best Way to Prepare Our Coasts for Climate Change? Nature Itself., Outside Magazine

Q&A 9.30.21

QUESTION

I am a 24 year old male, who are interested in joining the police and then hopefully joining the Swat team.
I am in decent shape, I run blot and have done some home training since corona shut down the country I live in. But I want to start in fitness agian and train up for swat. I just manna know which program to start with ?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

My SWAT academy is currently is about 33 weeks out. What would be the best way to prepare for this in conjunction with your preparation plan. Thank you

ANSWER

Weeks    Plan
8-14       SWAT/SRT Ruger
15-21     SWAT/SRT Glock
22-25    SWAT/SRT Beretta
26         Total Rest
27-33     Repeat the SWAT Selection Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before selection
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently trying to train my body to succeed in performing the PFT standards to get into the US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer school.
I saw your website has a training program to help people train for the events, but I don’t know too much about this program all together.
I wanted to ask if this is a program that can be done at home or are all programs performed where your gym is located?
Hope to hear from you soon and hope you have a great rest of your day.

ANSWER

It’s done at home. Obviously, you’ll need pool access.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a hunter who wants to be able to go on backpack hunts in the next couple of years. My fitness level is not yet ready for the Backcountry program you have but I want to do something to better my general fitness. Where should I start or which one of your programs do you recommend? I can walk for miles just fine and can do moderate hikes. My stats are: 28 years old, 5’9”, 295lbs.
I appreciate your help and time,

ANSWER

Diet? You can’t outwork a shitty diet and you need to lose 100 pounds. Here are our nutritional guidelines. Follow these and you’ll shed fat.
Email back on the other side of Bodyweight Foundation.
– Rob

QUESTION

Six weeks ago, I had surgery for a rotator cuff tear and just started physical therapy. Problem is …. I have an OGA PT Test coming up in eight weeks.
It includes:
1) 31 sit-ups in 1 minute
2) 1.5 mile run in 13:30
3) 25 push-ups in 1 minute
4) 300-meter sprint in 68 seconds
5) Dummy crossover (exit front passenger seat, remove 185 lbs dummy from the rear seat of suburban, drag the dummy 50 feet and place and place in the trunk of another suburban, and return to the front passenger seat of that suburban) in 62 seconds.
5) 4 pull-ups in no time limit.
Thank you,

I’m not looking to be on the Leader Board, but HAVE to pass. What plan do you recommend?

ANSWER

DEA PTT Training Plan – with a couple changes:
1) Do max rep pull ups as the first event and follow the same progression as the push ups.
2) Add a 1-minute time limit to the push ups.
This plan doesn’t include training for the Dummy Crossover event – but my guess is this event is as much technique as fitness. I’d recommend practicing it 2-3x weekly.
Shoulder? This plan doesn’t accommodate for your shoulder and I’m not a doctor. I wouldn’t recommend completing the shoulder work in this this plan (push ups, pull ups and dummy crossover) until you’re cleared from PT. Re-injuring your shoulder would be stupid.
What does OGA stand for?
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question about the “Training for Athletes Suffering from a Leg Injury” program. I’m a climbing/ski guide and recently had surgery for an ACL with meniscus repair and am in a knee immobilizer with leg fixed straight for 6 weeks. I’m not allowed to do pushups or plank type exercises at this point in my rehab, but can otherwise weight-bear as tolerated with my leg locked straight in the brace. Is the Leg Injury program something I will be able to pursue with these limitations?

ANSWER

The plan does include single leg push ups – so you’d need to replace those with bench press or similar. Click the “Sample Training” tab at the product page to see the first week of programming. Try it and see how you do before purchase.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am trying to get a slot for RTAC on January 14th because my unit makes us go before we can actually get a slot for Ranger school.  From my knowledge it’s a 3 week preparation for ranger school. It does include a RPFT and I would assume rucks aswell but I can’t really find too much info on it

I was looking at the ranger school training packet, however january 14th is only 24 weeks away and we have a good amount of training coming up. I was curious if you guys had any other training program recommendations you guys offer or if i were to buy the training packet what is the best way i should schedule the training?

ANSWER

I’d recommend completing the Ranger School Training Plan the 8 weeks before RTAC.
Between now and then try to work through Fortitude, then Valor – given your schedule ….
So …
Weeks.   Plan
1-7.        Fortitude
8            Week of Rest
9-15       Valor
16          Week of Rest
17-24     Ranger School Training Plan – directly before RTAC
– Rob

QUESTION

I had recently started Resilience after finishing fortitude and then Valor. About for days in to the first week of Resilience I got sick. That was last week, turns out I have covid so this week I have been in bed and only getting up for food and water. I’m doing better and think I may be able to get back to working out by Monday. If I’m well enough to start training again on Monday should I restart Resilience or go another route? If I need another week to recover what program would you recommend for me after recovery?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the first couple weeks of the Military OnRamp Training Plan after you finally recover, then move over to Resilience once you feel you have your feet underneath you.
– Rob

QUESTION

Getting after the Apex plan beginning tomorrow.stoked!
 I’m tempted — even though I know there’s no better way to piss off a coach — to substitute deadlift for back squat with same sets and reps.  Why shouldn’t I?
More: I saw in the readout of the article that you might tweak the next lab rat run to use deadlift instead of back squat so it gives me a glimmer of hope that it’s not all bad.
Deadlift seems better for what I need and I still look at 2.5x deadlift as the “apex” goal for an athlete since talking it through with Mark Twight in 2009.
Aside from my iceberg that tweaking a plan makes it no longer the plan, any reason  I shouldn’t I use deadlift?
Thanks,

ANSWER

You can absolutely sub in the deadlift instead of the Back Squat. I feel the back squat is a better overall test of total body strength, but many coaches think the deadlift is better. You would need to use 2.5x Bodyweight as the goal as a 2x bodyweight deadlift is not that impressive.
– Rob

QUESTION

Im active army and putting a team together to compete in the Bataan death march heavy division. I have 8 months from Aug to Mar to train; Nov will have to be light body weight as ill be at JRTC (field training). Ive done it before and finished 8th with a time just under 8 hours, ideally id like to be deep in the 6s or high 5s for a time. What training plans and order would you recommend?

ANSWER

I don’t have an 8-month train up for this event.
Our 8-week Bataan Death March Training Plan is specifically designed for this event – but the focus isn’t winning the event, but rather to finish strong.
The 12-week Max Effort Marathon Training Plan is designed to do your personal best on a marathon – which is the same distance as the Bataan event. If you want to do your personal best, I’d recommend this plan and ruck instead of run.
So …
Now: I’d recommend the 8-Week Bataan Death March Training Plan
At JRTC – Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan
After JRTC – Fortitude, then Valor until you’re 12 weeks out from the event, then drop into the Max Effort Marathon Training Plan the 12 weeks directly before the event.
– Rob

QUESTION

Im contemplating buying your jtf2 selection prep program, but I am wondering what insight into their selection do you have? Or is it more of a prep for what you assume will be thrown at the candidates?

ANSWER

Our selection program process is the same across the board.
We learn what we can from what is publicly available.
Those who ask us for the plan – we ask them for any insight or info they may have such as “gate” pfts, long events. overall duration, etc.
Then we design the program based on these outcomes and our decade and a half of doing this successfully.
Then, we ask for feedback from those who have used the plan for selection. As you know, candidates can’t say a lot about details, but we ask them to be as specific as allowed in terms of our program’s strengths and weaknesses for preparation. Then we update the plan and start the process again.
– Rob

QUESTION

Any advice for a training plan for completing the Spartan beast race (25k 30 obstacles).  I want to keep as much of my current power/strength as possible.
Current 450 back squat, 475 dead, 240 bench.   I generally am solid with mtbing 2 hours and moderate effort.

I’ve done your St Elias program, BC ski program and core programs prior all with good results.

ANSWER

Maintaining Strength – little tricky as this is an endurance event. You could work in 1 strength day/week – and just lift heavy back, dead and bench. 6×4 or 8×3 set/rep scheme.
– Rob

Q&A 9.23.21

QUESTION

I’m a Fireman, I just subscribed to your program and I am very excited. I am in a bind though, at my fire station I do not have a treadmill/elliptical and I do not have enough distance to run for some of the workouts on the program I am starting with (fat loss). I do have a rowing machine and I have a “push/pull bike” with resistance adjustment, also the bike has no way to monitor distance. I’m a year out of Academy and not terribly out of shape but is there anyway I can substitute the runs using any of the items I do have? I want to do this right and any help would be great.

ANSWER

You can do the rower. For the conversion row 500m for every 400m of a run. So if the plan calls for a 1-mile run, row 2000m.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just completed a second run-through of Johnny while following a more keto version of the nutritional guidelines. I went from 175# at the beginning, to 158# at my absolute lightest so far. I’m 6’0” and am nearly 30# under the weight for a tactical athlete. However my strength has improved quite a bit. Went from 275 to 295# front squat. Im wondering if you recommend I hop on the Hypertrophy plan. Im a hard-gainer as it is and I’ve grown to dislike some of the meathead training, however (this may be vanity) I don’t fill out my clothes quite as well. But if the body seeks to rid itself of unnecessary weight anyway, it’s almost like “what would be the point.” Would like to hear what you think.

ANSWER

Take the MTI Relative Strength Assessment and report back.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking to attend MARSOC A&S in either April or August of 2022 and wanted to inquire into what MTI can provide in regards to training plans beyond the 11-Week pre-built program. Additionally, between now and then, I plan to attend Marine Corps Water Instructor Water Survival course in January of 2022. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter and any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

I’d recommend ….
Now – MARSOC A&S Selection Training Plan – full 11 week program….
Then drop into the plans/order in the Pirate Packet 1, These plans are desgined as day to day programming for SOF with water-based mission sets and include swimming.
Then, 11 weeks before selection, repeat the MARSOC A&S Selection Plan.
The one kicker is your January course …. I’m not sure the Pirate Plans have enough swimming for those. If not, complete the USCG Rescue Swimmer Plan the 7 weeks before your course.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have an observation to make and a question on moving forward.

I’ve tried a few times to do the big 3+5 or Rat 6 plus running and I always seem to pull my left calf. I have an old back injury from soccer and I think the lifting tightens it up and then my mechanics get out of whack and something gives.  I finished a 25k in late May, then did Rat 6 (sub rowing for running) and started the Big 3+5 only to pull my calf on the first run. I switched to biking and it was doing ok, tried to run again and pulled it again.

On the other hand, I’ve done your 25k training plan 2x (without the calf injury) and have been able to run no problem and complete my 25k races.

I’m coming to the conclusion that some lifting (not sure which) is exacerbating some injury (likely low back/hip). I really enjoy lifting, but I also really enjoy running and biking. I don’t think I can keep doing leg blasters forever without getting bored.

Also, important to note, I’m 46. I’ve looked at the SF45 plans (specifically Bravo) and am intrigued, but I don’t have sandbags.  I do have otherwise a “full“ home gym, including a rowing machine, squat rack, pull up bar, box jump, kettlebells and dumbbells, treadmill.

I’m not training for anything in particular, but I do an occasional 5k, mountain and road bike when I can, play soccer with my kids. I’ve been considering another 25k for this fall, but was hoping to build some strength before I started that training. Any thoughts?  SF45 the right choice?

ANSWER

I have no idea what is causing this calf issue. You’ve correlated it to lifting, but it could be that you get away from running, then get back to it and it occurs. The first run on the Big 3 + 5 is a 5-mile threshold assessment – so perhaps a more gentle running “onramp” may have helped. In other words, it may not be related to lifting at all.
I do know that as I’ve gotten older I’ve enjoyed heavy lifting less and less (I’m 53) – and the main reason is joint pain, esp. knees.
That being said, working with sandbags really works the midsection – including the low back.
So again, I have no idea. That it’s just your 1 calf tells me it’s some kind of injury.
You can do SF45 Bravo – and just be smart with loading. The plan deploys sandbags for the chassis integrity work.
Wish I could be more helpful.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope the week is off to a meaningful and enjoyable start and y’all are doing your best with the above average temps out West.
Wondering if you could offer up a few suggestions for what plan I can tackle next.
I am wrapping up Ultimate Meathead this week, which I decided to do after a few months on the road sapped me of some muscle mass. The Meathead did its job, and I’ve tacked on all the muscle I lost and more.
That said, I’m hoping to ID a plan that can get the endurace pumping a bit more, while also maintaining muscle (understanding that I might lose a bit not Meatheading it all day everyday). Have no physical issue with rucks, have access to a fully equipped gym, and have been mixing in a swim 3/4 times a week during this Meathead cycle.
As always, appreciate all y’all do there to keep folks like me rollin along!

ANSWER

Options:
1) Waylon – multi modal plan that includes work capacity and chassis integrity in addition to strength and speed over ground focused endurance around the 1.5 mile assessment.
2) Big 3 + 5 Mile Run Plan – focused on strength and the 5 mile run
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently came across your company and I am trying to chose a strength program. I am in ROTC and trying to gain strength and weight (muscle) to serve in a combat arms branch. I recently have been doing the CrossFit football program but I want to switch to something else. I found your 357 and TLU programs, however I’m having difficulty distinguishing the difference between the two. Could you elaborate the differences and which one would be best for me?

ANSWER

The difference is the way strength is programmed.

357 deploys short, intense, complimentary work capacity efforts following the strength work.
If you are interested in building strength, primarily, I’d recommend the Big 24 Strength Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a general mountain town athlete that spends the summers mountain biking and hiking, and the winters splitboarding and sledding.

I love weight lifting and notice increased injuries and a slower recovery when I get slack about it.

I’ve been mostly following the “ In-Season strength training for Endurance athletes” plan and have been enjoying the workouts.

I’m looking for suggestions to either modify this plan or maybe a complimentary plan for more mass building work as I’d like to pack on a few pounds before the snow flies again. I’m currently 6’0 and 185# but feel much more durable around 195-200# when it comes to biking and sledding when things go sideways.

Curious to hear your thoughts,

ANSWER

I’d recommend the strength work from the Ultimate Meathead Cycle. This plan trains upper body mass, lower body strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for some advice on which plan(s) to pursue. I’m 23, 5’10” 192 lbs, and I’d describe myself as “skinny fat”- I can pass for skinny or in shape, but I definitely have some extra padding. I’m in the US Navy and generally do well on PRTs. Would like to do better, but that isn’t my primary motivation either. Ultimately I want to become the best overall, functional athlete that I possibly can be, with a secondary motivation of just shredding away the padding I’m carrying around. I just completed Military On-Ramp and definitely saw improvement along the way. If there was any area in that plan that I need to improve still it’s definitely endurance running- I have always been a fairly weak runner and want to change that, while also increasing functional strength. I’m deployed right now (land based) and I’m slightly limited with equipment depending on where I am, but generally I at least have access to bench/barbell/squat rack, pull up bar, kettlebells and/or dumbbells. Sandbags have been the hardest to come by, but I’ve done my best to find alternatives. Any advice you could give would be helpful. I’m trying to become a better asset to my team, my family, and myself- and I also want to be smokin hot when I get home to my wife in a few months! If you need any more info please feel free to reach out. Thanks for all you do, I’ve loved your stuff so far!

ANSWER

I’d recommend Johnny next.
Also – 95% of fat is diet related. Follow our diet and you’ll cut fat fast.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking to put a little muscle on here in Estonia as I don’t really have access to most of the functional equipment/space I normally have. What plan would you recommend that focuses on a traditional weight room set up?

ANSWER

Ultimate Meathead Cycle.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m interested in some guidance as to which programs to follow this year at school. I am a big fan of MTI and have been using your exercise library and articles for a while now. I would like to have a rigid workout plan for this year that I can follow while I finish out my senior year of college.
My short, medium, and long term goals for fitness are to get more explosive power/ work capacity, do well at TBS, and eventually try out for the more high speed units in the Marine Corps like Infantry, Recon, and Marsoc.
My last PFT I scored 291 (23 pull ups, 4:20 plank, 19:29 run), I can bench 225, squat 325, swim a 10:00 CSS 500m, and I most recently hit 70 sand bag get ups in 10 minutes to paint a picture of my current physical fitness.
My TBS report date is in June and I will be taking a two week break for Christmas, but beyond that I would like to know the best training layout for the next year of my life to get in the best shape possible and lay a strong foundation to succeed in the Marine Corps.
Thank you for your time, please let me know if I can answer any further questions to help out.

ANSWER

Now …
USMC TBS/IOC Training Packet  – both plans, back to back with a week rest between them.
Followed by the plans/order in the Virtue Packet, starting with Humility, then 6 weeks before departing to TBS, repeat the TBS plan from the packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Can you recommend a set of plans that would optimize my performance in Service Rifle competitions?

Service Rifle competitions are primarily stationary and very un-tactical.   We shoot 16lb rifles from 3 positions:  standing, sitting, and prone.    The competitions involve 20 minutes of slow fire from in the  standing position,  two sets of rapid fire sitting and prone in 1 minute periods, and then 20 minutes of slow fire in the prone position.    The biggest energy expenditure is walking to the pits and pulling the targets up and down.   The competitions run from 2 hours to the more normal 6 hour length.   The rapid fire portions start from the standing position and then we drop into the sitting and prone positions all on the clock.

I’m 60 years old and been doing your plans for many years.   Generally I’m fit and presently in the middle of Body Weight Foundations.     I have only a couple years to achieve my goal: earning a Distinguished Rifleman badge.    I want to make sure I’m a complete competitor and to have no regrets.

ANSWER

I’ve yet to design a fitness plan for a stationary activity and am not sure I’ve got one for this.
My guess is a general fitness plan, and long practice sessions doing your actual event will help prepare you best.
From my stuff, and your age, I’d recommend the Tribe Packet Plans next – and training 2 days on, 1 day off, or 1 day on, 1 day off – depending on your recovery.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently in the military and have been looking heavily into prepping for ranger school, I’ve mostly done my own programming and prepping for the last year and a half but I really want to bump it up a notch and take it to the next level! Recently I’ve fallen off the training path between having to attend training and family life but I need to get back into training! I plan to either attend Ranger School around Mid October or Mid to End of November and just needed guidance on which plan you recommend I get? I saw the 8 week Ranger School Training Plan but I figured before getting it, I should reach out to see what y’all recommend? I’ve got a decent baseline in strength/endurance but I just want to make sure I get the right level of training to be prepared to handle the physical demands of the school! Thank you again for any help you can provide!

ANSWER

By my count, you have 10 weeks
I’d recommend the Ranger School Training Plan – repeat weeks 3 and 6 to stretch it to 10 weeks.
– Rob

 

Q&A 9.16.21

QUESTION

I’m planning on going Rim to Rim to Rim on the GC with a couple friends in November. It’s about 48 miles and close to 11k feet down and up (~5000 down over 9mi, flat for 7mi, up ~5000 over 7mi, repeat in reverse).

I’ll be coming off being on a wildland engine with what’s shaping up to be a busy season. I’m doing my best to maintain fitness during the season working out on slower days, but simply won’t be getting the type of miles in that a hand crew would.

The amount of time I’ll have to train daily before the hike will depend on when fire season wraps up for me: I’m anticipating between 2-5 weeks and understand that I’ll mostly be relying on my base fitness with such limited training time. What plan for those weeks? Any other training advice for during the season?

ANSWER

From the common questions:
I’m planning an over and back trip …. Down and up, then back down and back up to the start. Should I change the plan?

Yes … increase the step up volume by 30% for each training session, and double the prescribed Wednesday recovery run distance and the Saturday rucking distance.

How to train for this during fire season? This is a limited equipment plan – and you should be able to get in most of it when you’re not actively working a fire.

If you have a busy season – which is likely, you don’t want to be training anyway – as you want to save your fitness/energy for the fire.

All that being said, the Grand Canyon doesn’t care about your personal work schedule, and this is a no-joke event. Be smart about your fitness before you commit.

– Rob


QUESTION

I plan on joining the Army as an 18Xray when I graduate from college next spring (May 2022). Thus it will be at least a year until I ship to basic and another six months at least until I can attend SFAS.
With my lengthy and uncertain time frame how should I approach the 7 training plans in the packet. *I am currently on week 3 of military on ramp*
I would really appreciate any advice you could give.

ANSWER

I’d recommend completing the plans in the Ruck Based Selection Packet in order now, then email back next Spring when your plans are firmed up for a pre-basic recommendation.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an active duty military member and was wanting to do the Jackson Picnic in the summer of 2023. I will be 43 years of age. I have little climbing experience and will be joining the Mira Mesa climbing gym in San Diego to take classes and train for the Grand Teton summit for the Picnic. There will be others attempting the picnic that have mountaineering, climbing experience. I was wondering if you have any recommended training plans for me to prepare two summers away. I want to show these young bucks that I still have it. I have been purchasing your fitness plans and am a true believer. I go to Jackson on average twice a year. Please let me know what plans I need to tailor my training for the Jackson Picnic and if you need any other info.

ANSWER

I don’t have a specific plan for the Picnic. From what I do have I’d recommend the 11-week Half Ironman Triathlon Training Plan with a few changes right before your trip:
(1) Double the easy and moderate pace running and swimming times/distances in the plan.
(2) Double the Saturday Triathlon swimming and running distances
(3) Run as much of the non assessment, and non-interval distances on trails with as much vertical as possible.
(4) Add leg blasters to the weekly strength work, and progress up to 8x leg blasters, with 60 second rest between
You’ll be climbing the Owen Spaulding Route up the Grand, and you don’t need to go to a rock gym or practice for it – esp. if you have experienced guys going with you. There is only one short part of the trip where you’ll want to be roped up – not because it’s technical, but because you’ll die if you fall.
– Rob

QUESTION

I train Jiu-jitsu, not a competitor, just a hobbyist, about 3 times a week. If I’m following the LE spirits program how much time would you recommend putting between training and Jiu-jitsu on days that I have to do both?

ANSWER

I’d recommend doing your fitness training first thing in the morning, and JJ in the evenings or at lunch.
– Rob

QUESTION

What plan would be best for someone getting ready for the military and wants to building endurance and strength as well as size?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Thank you for your great programming. I currently only have access to a 100lb sandbag, kettlebells, and a pullup station but really want to try out the gladiator program.
Would you recommend attempting it with a sandbag? If so would I keep it as the traditional complex or should I attempt it by doing the sandbag complex listed in your exercises?
Thank you for your time.

ANSWER

The problem with one sandbag is you can’t progress it easily – i.e. add or reduce load.
Rather, I’d recommend doing the barbell complex and using kettlebells – I’m assuming you have a full set.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am approximately 36 weeks out from HRT selection and I was wondering if you have any suggestions on which plans to do and in which order. I have a powerlifting background and I’m a shorter guy, so the running/endurance events are a weak point for me.

ANSWER

Weeks   Plan
10         Total Rest
11-17     Ruger
18-24     Glock
25-26     Beretta (first 2 weeks)
27          Total Rest
28-36    Repeat the FBI HRT Selection Training Plan the 9 weeks directly before selection
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 29 year old male who has been doing Crossfit for the past 7 years and I am beat up.  I struggle taking a day off and have dealt with overtraining related to Crossfit.  I weigh 212 pounds, would like to be 195 and still be able to consistently rep 1.1 body-weight bench, 1.5x body-weight squat, 2x bodyweight deadlift.  I am looking for a periodized program that incorporates olympic lifts, push, pull, squat days and maybe 2 days of running (~3 miles fast and 5 mile slow recovery run HR z2) that will allow me to recover the right way, not overtrain, and still remain fit and strong. Do you have any recommendations based on this info?  Ideally, I’d like to follow a plan for 6 to 10 weeks and then move on to another to keep it interesting and keep me from overtraining.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I recently committed to running a 50k ultra in September. I know you have the 50k ultra plan but I noticed it doesn’t have much trail running/incline training and the race I’m doing has 16,000 ft of elevation gain. I have 7 weeks before the race. I’m active duty SOF and I’m  used to doing 20 miles of loaded/unloaded running per week but never much incline training besides step ups. Ive completed many of your plans and they have all been super solid. Let me know what you recommend, thanks!

ANSWER

Not true. The 50K Ultra Plan has you trail running 3 days/week – and I assume that this includes vertical. As well, the strength work has leg blasters for eccentric strength (downhill).
The problem you have is the plan is 10 weeks long and you have 7 weeks. You could skip ahead and start at week 4, and work forward from there but Week 4 includes a 16 mile and a 13 mile trail run …..
So, I’d recommend you start at week one and work forward.
Understand I don’t think you can hack endurance efforts. You have to train long to go long and the volume in this plan endorses that.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 47yo LTC in the USAR.   I am also a BJJ hobbyist who trains BJJ Tuesday and Thursday. My training goal is to be able to maintain a physical presence for the younger soldiers and officers at my unit and have the durability to continue to train BJJ.  I struggle most with running, my 1.5mile run was 11:50 last Monday.  Should I do a running improvement plan or SF45?   How should I combine either plan with BJJ?

Also, I have 2 daughters that play soccer, ages 14 and 11.  Is the 11 yo too young to start your girls soccer prep training?

ANSWER

Combine with BJJ? Depends on your fitness and the Running Session for that day. If it’s just running or intervals, you should be able to do 2-a-days. If it’s one of the strength sessions – I’d either skip it or alternate days with BJJ – i.e. Run Imp Monday, BJJ Tues, Run improve Wed, BJJ Thurs, etc.
11 year old?
She’d be okay and will want to train with her sister anyway.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have exactly 5 weeks before my pft. Should I skip week 1 and start with week two in-order to conclude the program in time for the pft; or, would it be better to start with week one and modify the fifth week? I took a mock PFT just this Saturday so numbers are fairly recent.

ANSWER

Skip week 1.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just registered for the MCM, which takes place on 10/31/21. I have ran the 1/2 marathon distance in the past. I am coming off a leg injury and have been strength focused for the past 8 weeks, running between 5 to 10 miles a weeks for the past 4 weeks. I saw you offered a few marathon programs and was hoping you could point me in the right direction. I have 15 weeks until the start of the race.

ANSWER

Max Effort Marathon Training Plan. You can repeat weeks 2, 3 and 4 to stretch it to 15 weeks. It’s a 12 week plan.
– Rob

Introducing Prep Strength

 

By Rob Shaul

I began volunteer-coaching prep-strength (high school) athletes here in Wyoming several years ago – both at the local high school gym, and in my Wyoming Facility.

In addition, over the years multiple MTI community members have asked for general fitness and sport-specific programming for their high-school-aged children.

Today we’re announcing the addition of MTI’s Prep Strength programming to Mountain Tactical, and to our Athlete’s Subscription.

This programming follows the simple, direct, progressive, effective and if appropriate – sport-specific programming MTI is known for to prep-strength athletes.

Similar to our other plans, these can be purchased individually, or in sport-specific packets. As well, all these plans come with the other 250+ training plans available to you if you have an Athlete’s Subscription.

Prep Strength includes training plans for Soccer, Football, Volleyball, Basketball, and Cross Country (see below). All the plans were researched, designed, tested, and written by me.

None of the training is random, overly complicated, or inefficient.

Each plan trains to specific fitness demands, and each training plan deploys progression in pursuit of those demands. Nothing is wasted.

Below is a list of all Prep Strength Plans:

 

SOCCER

Q&A 9.9.21

QUESTION

Sir, our SWAT selection is 16 weeks out. I’ve been following the gun maker series, do you have any further recommendations?

ANSWER

What I’d recommend:
Weeks.      Plan
1-4            Weeks 1-3, then week 7 of the SWAT Selection Training Plan – Don’t do the whole plan, just weeks 1-3, as prescribed, then jump to week 7.
5-9            Drop back into the first 5 weeks of Sig Sauer from the Gun Maker series
10-16.       SWAT Selection Training Plan – 7 weeks directly before selection
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a few weeks away from graduating OCS, and I don’t report for IBOLC until next July. With that said, I want to take full advantage of the time in between to get in the best possible shape for these schools. I was looking at the Ranger School Training Packet program, and it looks awesome. Would you recommend doing this full program leading up into IBOLC and then supplementing IBOLC PT with further workouts from the program?
I’m also planning on becoming a firefighter when I finish these schools and return home (National Guard). These programs sound like they would do a great job of preparing me, but I see that you have Fire Rescue specific programs as well. What is the major difference between the two sets of programs?

ANSWER

The Ranger School Packet will likely overprepare you for IBOLC – but it’s okay to go in overprepared.
What might be better is to complete the plans in the packet in order, but swap out the final plan, the Ranger School Training Plan, with the US Army IBOLC Training Plan to prepare specifically for the event.
The difference between MTI’s programming for structural firefighters and military infantry has to do with the mission-direct fitness demands of each profession. The major difference is on the endurance side – i.e. the military athlete plans include much more running and rucking than the Fire Rescue plans as captured in the Big Cat Series.
– Rob

QUESTION

  1. No access to area where sled drag possible for 45 minutes. Alternatives to this?
  2. Alternatives to sand bag get ups since no sand bag, assume DB work?

ANSWER

Answers:
1. Do 60 seconds of max effort Jingle Jangles for each sled push.
2. No good sub for a sandbag. Many build their own and bring it to the gym. Be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’d like to purchase a training plan but want to make sure I’m making the right purchase and using it at the right time. I’ll be climbing Mt. Kili in February 2022. The Rainer Plan looks appropriate, but is it too early for me to start training? Is there a better plan for me? I’m pretty fit, but this will be my first big climb. I’m 69 years old.

ANSWER

By my count, you have 30 weeks.
Weeks.     Plan
1-4           Mountaineering and Hiking Prep – Drop prescribed step up load to your Kili daypack load, and step up height to 12 inches
5-11         Bodyweight Foundation
12-14.     Atalanta – First 2 Weeks, but follow a 3 on, 1 off schedule.
15-18       Repeat Mountaineering and Hiking Prep– Drop prescribed step up load to you Kili daypack load, and step up height to 12 inches.
19-30       Big Mountain Training Plan  – with a couple modifications: (1)  use the load you expect to carry up Kilimanjaro (day pack, I suspect) for the prescribed step ups,  and drop the step up height to 12 inches.
At  69, I’m not sure you’ll be able to keep the 10 week, 5 days/week schedule because it will take you longer to recover. I’d recommend you complete the plan sessions in order, but train 3 days on, 1 day off. This will stretch out the plan a couple weeks at least. 
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking for a new plan recommendation.  I’ll be honest, I’ve been feeling bit burned out lately and due to timing, travel and life I haven’t worked out in almost 2 weeks.  I feel like doing some old school lifting. Chest/tris, back/bis, shoulders/legs type of plan.  I want to feel the “pump” with some longer runs mixed in.  I avoid cleans these days to keep the back feeling healthy.
Any recommendations?

ANSWER

Enjoy ….
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking into doing the SF 45-55 program I. I am 50 years old. I am n the description it is pointed that at this age we should be doing 1-4 reps with heavy loads instead of 8-12 reps in order to protect the joints. Can you give me some more detail on this. the reason being is that some trainers ask for people my age to do low weight with more reps. I had thought as your program that it should be as your program details.

ANSWER

low weight, high reps = adding mass
high weight, low reps = adding strength
Older people don’t need to add muscle. We (I’m 53) need strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I will finish the Ultimate Meathead program in the next 2 weeks. I have a SWAT selection course tentatively scheduled for mid-October or early November. The PFT for SWAT selection is similar to the MTI SWAT selection training program obstacle course but includes an 800m run to start the course. Any programming suggestions to prepare for selection?

ANSWER

You have 14 weeks until Oct 15, here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.   Plan
1-4         First 4 weeks of the SWAT/SRT Selection Training Plan
7            Total Rest
8-14       Repeat the full SWAT/SRT Selection Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before selection.
Not sure I understand the concern/issue with the 800m. This plan includes multiple 800m repeats.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am searching for guidance on a 12 month training plan.  I am an early 30’s grunt on active duty, and have spent a year (and will eventually be 2 years) out of the field and in the A/c… getting kind of soft and not in the best if shape.  Im in first class pft/cft condition but would like to get better. I have order to embark on in 12 months and would like to gradually build up for something comparative to basic recon course or ranger school, with a goal of excellent cardio and endurance, better combat fitness, and increased pull-ups and get closer to 18 min 3 mile.  What programs would you suggest progressing through over the next 12-11 months?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Ranger School Training Packet.  (10 months) or the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet (12 months).
– Rob

QUESTION

I purchased your Greek Hero Series Packet and loved it. I just graduated IOC and I’m headed to 29 Palms. I have my eyes on putting in a packet for BRC or A&S in the future and I want to begin preparing right away. Coming out of IOC I feel strong and in “combat shape” but the last few weeks of running, swimming, and lifting have definitely been a bit of shaking off the rust. I was looking at your A&S prep packet, but I figured I would shoot you an email with recommendations since I have an entire work up and deployment before I submit any paperwork. Thank you!

ANSWER

Seems early perhaps to complete the A&S training packet without orders or firm plans – but it’s up to you.
Alternately, you could complete the plans/order in the Pirate Packet which is like the Greek Hero packet, but includes swimming/finning, etc.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just have a quick question about managing missed training days. Tomorrow will start the second week on this plan and with this being a six day a week program, I can usually swap a day or two here or there to get everything done. Between now and the completion of the program/beginning of archery season there are going to be two weeks, the first being next week, that I won’t be able to do anything other than bodyweight work due to work travel. How would you recommend I manage this? Come back and pick up on week three or do what I can for the week and pick up on week two when I get back? Thanks in advance for your help.

ANSWER

The program is progressive – i.e. it builds upon itself. But it’s also fairly limited equipment. By far, the step ups, leg blasters and rucking are most important – and you can do this anywhere. Get those sessions in and keep grinding through during your travel week. I advise you get up early and train first thing.
– Rob

QUESTION

Bought to buy the sandbag training packet and curious if it is foolish to pair that with training for marathons? Have ran a few marathons but also want to build muscle and not sure how working them together would be safe.

ANSWER

Depends on your fitness and training age. I’ve you’ve done a lot of distance running you should be able to manage 2-3x sandbag sessions/week.
– Rob

QUESTION

Starting bodyweight foundation and seeking advice for substitution for the running portion of the exercises. I suffered a lower back disk injury and my doctor and PT both don’t recommend running or riding an upright bike for exercise. I do walk regularly for exercise and can walk a mile in about 15 minutes. Should I just walk for the running part? Other low-impact options I’ve considered are: Split Shuffle, Total Body Extensions and riding a recumbent bike. Maybe one of these would be better than walking to replace the running?

ANSWER

Recumbent bike – you need to get your heart rate up.
– Rob

Q&A 9.2.21

QUESTION

Good afternoon, I am looking to sign up for your monthly subscription plan but don’t know where to start in regards to what plan to start with. I have been out of the military for 6 years and want to get into PJ shape, even though I am unable to become a PJ. I was thinking of starting with your daily exercise program and when I build up my strength and endurance needed switching to the 53 week PJ/CCT program you offer. If you have any suggestions that would be great that way I can get signed up and started. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Again thank you and have a great evening.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the PJ/CCT Packet – the first plan in the packet is the Military OnRamp Plan – which is a good place to start and build fitness as you prepare for the follow on plans in the packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like to purchase the Smoke Diver Training Plan but your website states that if I have more than 9 weeks before selection, to email and notify you before purchase. I am 11 weeks out.

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:

Weeks.     Plan
1-4            Humility (1st 4 weeks)
5-11          Smoke Diver Training Plan
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a guide or any personal guidance you can give regarding how to choose between different programs that seem to be similar?
i.e. the military Greek Hero, Pirate, and Virtue Series… are they meant to be run in sequence, i.e. as listed, or can you run them in any order, and if so, how should I go about deciding which one to run?
Also, what are the differences between the various series, (greek hero vs pirate vs virtue)?
Some of them are clear in their purposes, but I’ve been a little confused as to how to choose between certain programs that are seemingly similar (even after reading through some of the plan overviews).
Any guidance and help would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWER

Pirate is for Military and/or LE SOF with water-based mission sets. These plans include pull/swim work.
Virtue and Greek Hero are in the same family, but different generations. The plans in both packets are designed as day to day training/programming for ground based military infantry and SOF.
Virtue is the first generation of these plans. Without getting too geeky, the Virtue Plans have sharper edges in terms of programming goals than the Greek Hero Plans. Valor, for example, has a work capacity emphasis – and the emphasis is significant. When I have athletes training for a specific selection or school where fitness is key, I’ll prescribe the Virtue Plans.
The Greek Hero plans are the second generation, and represent the latest iteration of my Fluid Periodzation. The programming goals and still there, but the edges are less sharp. For athletes already the infantry / SOF, but not training up for a specific school or selection, these are the plans I usually prescribe. These are great day-to-day fitness for these types of athletes. Another difference is these plans include programming for tactical agility – whereas the Virtue Plans don’t.
In terms of how to complete the plans in the packets – unless you have a specific fitness need, it’s best to follow them in the order listed. There is a rmacro-level reason behind this ordering – it’s not random. Nothing MTI does is random.
– Rob

QUESTION

Wanted to get another opinion from you.  Btw… kept pressing with intervals and such.  Improvement is there.  Just slow.  A friend of mine recently went through FBI HRT selection and made it through.  We both work in the same agency and he said his success (physical portion) came from the grinder/capacity work programs you suggested for him about 9 or so months out from selection.  So my question is what would you suggest I do in terms of your programs?  Selection type: FBI HRT.  Recommended attributes are good upper body strength-endurance and above average running.  Thank you for all that you do.  I really appreciate your time to answer my dumb questions.  Have a great day.

ANSWER

By my count, you have 32 weeks. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.   Plan
18-.23    Valor (1st 6 weeks)
24-32      Repeat the FBI HRT Selection Training Plan directly before selection.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m starting my big mountain training program next week. I’m going to be doing most of it at home to begin. However I don’t have barbells. Can you suggest something else I can do?

ANSWER

No easy answer for you here – you could purchase a set of adjustible dumbbells and do the dumbbell equivalents of the exercises (better), or purchase a couple sandbags, make one 40 and the other 60# and do the sandbag equivalents of the exercises (okay), or get a gym membership and do the strength work in a gym (best).
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking to start a new training plan. I’m active duty in the seal teams and currently trying to lose about 10-15lbs. I’m 5’9 190 trying to get to 180/175ish. In the past I have followed ultimate work capacity, TLU strength, and the rat6 but we just finished a 9 months deployment work up and didn’t have time to really follow a daily program which is probably why I put on about 10lbs, but now I have the time. Based on the MTI relative strength assessment I’m scoring a 6.3, and on the endurance assessment i scored a 22. I started following your nutrition guidelines about 3 weeks ago as well. I was leaning towards starting operator ugly or one of the work capacity tracks to gain fitness while losing lbs but wanted to get your input on what you think is best. I appreciate your help!

ANSWER

Valor plus the nutrition guidelines and you should shed weight – 95% of it will be the diet. If you don’t cut the cheat day ….
– Rob

QUESTION

I heard about your programing from a guy I know who just passed csor selection and is moving onto phase 3.

My goal Is to go for selection aswell and right now I’m approximately 1 year out. I believe they are held every spring.

Looking for some help finding the right program to follow and maybe how I should plan my training all the way up until game day.

I am 23 years old and 162lbs. General fitness is pretty solid I think. I have a background in rowing in highschool, and I’ve bounced around between crossfit, oly and powerlifting style training. Currently just programing for myself becuase I actually do enjoy learning alot and just trying different things.

Fitness prs:
Pullups 19
Pushups 63
Plank 8:03
Deadlift 405
Bench 235
Squat 320
5km run 23:50
10km run 57:20

Hope this helps a bit with showing where I am at but let me know if there’s anything you would like to know.
Thanks and I’m super excited to tryout a program.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet, but replacing the final plan in the packet, with the CSOR Selection Training Plan, and completing the Gateway Fitness Plan directly before you take that assessment in the process.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just wanted to update you and seek more guidance. On 07/01 I ran my final PFT before selection boards and PRed my pull ups for 13, maxed crunches (137, 105 is a max score), and ran slower than My best at 21:42 for a total score of 295 out of 300!
I did a bit of both the PFT training plan and fortitude for the week prior (I usually try to hit around 40 pull ups 5x a week).
Now that I’m just waiting for the board of selection to occur and then convene with results, I’m just re-evaluating.
Looking to see if I am still on track.
I plan to continue fortitude (I did week 1 and 2 twice due to a setback and family dealing with flood aftermath) so I’ll get on back for week 3 and push to finish the weeks. Six weeks prior to my supposed (depending on selection) ship date (September 11th) is the beginning of August, which, at that point I can start the OCS prep.
Is there anything I should compound with these plans? I’m running more on my own and against the typical cardio set up that is listed for fortitude (today I ran 7 miles, tomorrow with the heat I’m doing speed work, etc, we ruck on Saturdays as a pool so distance is varying between 3-12miles). I want to not only ensure I continue to meet standards but also excel past them. So if that means running two plans together, I’m committed.

ANSWER

I’m generally opposed to doubling up on plans – it’s easy to overtrain. You could add in an easy Saturday long run (8-12 miles) to Fortitude, and perhaps add 20% to the prescribed running and rucking distance in the plan, but no more. Take at least one day full rest, every week.
Many of our selection plans include 2-a-day sessions – but these are focused train ups with a limited duration – not long term, day to day programming.
The issue is overtraining or burnout.
Not sure your diet, but if you haven’t already – start following our guidelines. My guess is you’re pretty lean already,  but cutting even a couple pounds of fat will help everything.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off thanks for your awesome programming! Last winter I can honestly say I was in the best ice climbing shape I’ve ever been in to start a season! It’s also the only climbing season I’ve ever had where I was in better shape to start the season than when it wrapped up.
So I’ve been steadily purchasing your plans over the past two years. I was going to buy the full Greek Heroine Packet for solid and varied base periods. As soon as the banks open from the long weekend I’ll be purchasing! I was looking at the sample training and noticed it has a bouldering V sum day on Thursdays. I don’t have access to a bouldering wall or anything similar. Which doesn’t really bother me because I’m mostly training for ice and mixed climbing off tools anyways. I already have the ice preseason and ice/mixed expedition plans, and built an angle adjustable system board for my tools with old door hinges as holds.
So my question is, I’d like to substitute some ice tool climbing work in there instead of the rock bouldering. Is that advisable? If so, what programming would you recommend? I’m thinking the ice climbing stamina workouts (with dead hangs too) since it calls for 50 minutes of climbing! Plus I seem to have the most trouble with the stamina workouts and seem to be better with the work capacity ones anyways. But maybe that just boils down to efficiency of movement while I climb for extended periods. Anyways I digress. Let me know what you guys brainstorm about this! I’m very curious if my gut is right on this hunch.
Thanks again for your hard work. You guys are amazing! I’m a dedicated follower/customer as long as you guys are up and running the internet stuff. Any advice or insights you have would be greatly appreciated

ANSWER

Your plan is solid for the ice climb stamina/work cap sessions in place of the V-Sum.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking for some assistance. I’m a firefighter looking for a program that keeps me in good shape for work, I also like to golf, as well as I like bodybuilding. I’m really looking for a good variety in about 3 or 4 days per week. Can’t seem to find anything I like or can stay on track cause I get bored.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in our Big Cat series for structural firefighters. Start with Jaguar.
 These deploy mission-direct, fire/rescue programming including strength, work capacity, short endurance, chassis integrity (core) and tactical agility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 38 y.o. man ~4 weeks out from a backpacking trip through the Wind Rivers with my dad, wife, and two daughters.
I’m have been doing MTI plans for the past 16 months (Johnny, SF45 Alpha, Big 3 + 5 mile run, Gladiator) and in relatively good shape based on MTI assessments. I’m just finishing up Bodyweight Foundations with my wife and need to bridge the next 3.5 weeks until the trip. Would love something that would incrementally help the pieces of conditioning that will be helpful for backpacking, even if I just complete part of the plan.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a retired  Captain Firefighter from the United States Forest Service. The government sent me on a few hills in my career.  I was glancing at your training for Wildland  Firefighter  and must say you are spot on.  Endurance cant be valued enough in our occupation. I am retired now but reflect often. There is a big mental component as well.  Pushing thru walls of doubt and what seems impossible  in some of the most uncomfortable  environments.   Mind conditioning is valuable because the body will perform and follow.  I really like your platform,  I stumbled across it and was able to find your page from a refreshing article from a Retired Air Force  Colonel.  It was so spot on, and made me realize  something very valued.   We are not alone.  Great Stuff.  Thank you for all your hard work, commitment  and dedication for a variety of communities.   I was very impressed.   I will be passing your page on to others that are currently Serving  today in Leadership roles in our Fire Community.   If I can be any assistance for impute please feel free to contact me.   Knee and back are the top injuries just due to the brutality of the ever changing vertical environment and physical demands.   I had 18 knee surgeries and 3 total knee replacements in one leg.  Many Dr.’s are amazed,  I was able to loose 185lbs in 8 months after being immobilized to a wheelchair for 1.5 years.  learning how to walk again took some time.   I was able to do it without  running.   I will never be able to run again.  We did a ton of running. I told many puzzled Dr.’s  that we as Firefighters learn quickly how to be well tuned to our bodies and the personal mental component is such a powerful  force.

ANSWER

Thanks for your note and email.
From a programming perspective, Wildland Firefighters’ mission-direct fitness demands are on par with ground-based military SOF.
Respectfully,
 – Rob Shaul