All posts by Mintra Mattison

Arete 3.14.19

Military / National Security

Building Modern Screw-Sloops? Strategic Choices about Artificial Intelligence in Defense, War on the Rocks
Georgia woman arrested for allegedly helping ISIS build ‘kill lists’ of US service members, Air Force Times
No sign of 74 new squadrons in budget — but Air Force says effort is not dead, Air Force Times
Pentagon signs directive to implement transgender military ban, The Hill: Defense Policy
Fort Bragg shuts down gate after foreign national refuses to give ID and tries to enter base, Task & Purpose
US looks to trim budget for deterring Russia in Europe, increase ‘burden-sharing’ with allies, Stars & Stripes
New Pentagon policy will bar most transgender people from serving, Task & Purpose
What Keeps Nuclear Analysts up at Night?, Real Clear Defense
Special ops snipers will soon shoot this new rifle that can fire three different calibers, Navy Times
Special operations pilot charged with raping senior airman while deployed, Air Force Times
Spec ops in trouble: Mired in scandal and under Pentagon review, what will it take to clean house?, Navy Times
‘Cost Plus 50’: Welcome to the US Mercenary Force, Defense One
The US Navy is ‘under cyber siege’ from Chinese hackers — and hemorrhaging national security secrets, Task & Purpose
The Corps seeks Reaper drones in budget request, but will only add 100 Marines in 2020, Marine Corps Times
Air Force budget calls for 510K airmen; 1,480 new pilots in 2020, Air Force Times
Germany’s Self-Delusion About a ‘No-Spying’ Pact with China, War on the Rocks
Unmasking War’s Changing Character, Modern War Institute
US warns Germany it will end intelligence sharing if Huawei is given 5G contract,
U.S. Still Hunting for Allied Cooperation in Syria, Small Wars Journal
AFSOC gets latest, most advanced AC-130J gunshipAir Force Times
Niall Ferguson: This Is What Happens If China Wins The New Cold War, Hoover Institution
Don’t Rush Into Afghan Peace , Rand


First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

Nev. city to begin AED drone delivery service, Firerescue 1 Daily News
Respect for Authority is Dead in America, Law Enforcement Today
Mobile Printing Essential for Public Safety, Officer
Optimized K-9 Protection, POLICE Magazine
An Oscar-style reveal of future Coast Guard posts, Stars & Stripes
Estimates of U.S. unauthorized immigrant population, by metro area, 2016 and 2007, Pew Research Center
How refurbished SCBAs and cylinders can help maximize your equipment dollars, Fire Rescue 1
Man Holding Gun to Wife’s Head Shot, Killed by Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy, Officer
33 NY fire departments respond to 5-alarm fire, Fire Rescue 1
Detroit Police Chief Fires Second Officer Over Snapchat Post, Officer
‘Facing the monster’: Spokane firefighter battles PTSD, Firerescue1
Houston mayor calls for 400 firefighter layoffs to raise pay for others, Firerescue 1
Proposed Tenn. legislation would arm fire, EMS workers, Firerescue 1
The Dumbest Things You Can Possibly Say To A Cop, Police One
California to activate National Guard to help reduce wildfire risk, Wildfire Today


The Awesome Things Helping Me Regenerate Knee Cartilage, Avoid Surgery and Snowboard a Whole Lot, Breaking Muscle
“Cholitas Escaladoras” summit Aconcagua and make history for Indigenous women, Alpinist Newswire
Why North Carolina May Force All Cyclists to Pay Bike Registration Fee, Adventure Journal
Congress Moves to Protect 600 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers, Outdoor Life
Bodies of 2 Missing Climbers Spotted on Pakistan Mountain, Envoy Says, NY Times
It’s Time For Ski Towns To Start Anti-Marketing – Only then may we be able to actually live in a ski town without having to sleep in a Subaru, Powder
Another Skier Death At Hunter Mountain | 3 Deaths in 2 Months On Newly Cut Ski Runs, Unofficial Networks
There’s Nothing Quite Like the Beauty of Skating on Thin Nordic Ice, Adventure Journal
Big Sky Resort General Manager Pens Letter To Locals: Be Kind to Ikon Pass Holders – We Need Them, Unofficial Networks
Editors’ Choice Awards 2019: The Best Gear of the Year, Backpacker
Is Skinning Painful for You? Read This. – Don’t let hip flexor pain make you hang up your skins forever, Powder


Fitness / Health / Nutrition

Comparison Between Unilateral and Bilateral Plyometric Training on Single- and Double-Leg Jumping Performance and Strength, Journal of Strength and Conditioning
Starving leukemia cells by targeting amino acids, EurekAlert
What’s Up With All the Coconut Water?
How Likely Is a Sub-Two Hour Marathon in 2020? Outside Magazine
Here’s the Link between Osteoarthritis and Exercise, Chris Kresser
Mediterranean diet boosts endurance exercise within days, study finds, Fitness News
4 International Marathons You Need To Add To Your Bucket List, Men’s Health
From Adequate Nutrition to Optimum Nutrition,
Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared. NYT Health’
We’re Inching Toward Equality for Women in Sports, Outside Magazine
Autophagy and Coffee, Robb Wolf
How To Lose Weight With Swimming, Globo Surf
Study offers clues for why birth control may fail, Science Daily
The power of gratitude in the workplace, Science Daily
9 Reasons Why Stretching Your Psoas Isn’t Working, Breaking Muscle
Consider yourself warned: The war on sitting is coming, Daily Journal
3rd Infantry Division Soldiers host Georgia Southern students as part of Fort Stewart Tactical Athlete Program, DVIDS
Can a genetic test predict if you will develop Type 2 diabetes?, CT Post
Is a Low Fat Diet Really Ideal for Athletes?, Barbend
No, “Skinny Genes” Aren’t Really a Thing,
30 Best Bodyweight Exercises, Muscle & Fitness
Why Mobility Training Will Increase Strength And Decrease Injuries, Men’s Fitness
Ice is cold comfort, but can delay healing, The Ledger



The Type Of Plane That Crashed In Ethiopia Will Still Fly In S, Men’s Health
Can artificial intelligence solve the mysteries of quantum physics? Science Daily
Opinion: Deregulating buprenophine prescribing for opioid use disorder will save lives, STAT
An Unvaccinated Boy Got Tetanus. His Oregon Hospital Stay: 57 Days and $800,000., NYT
Scientists Spot Potentially New Species of Killer Whale, Adventure Journal
Navy names new ship class after Navajo tribe, Stars and Stripes
Episode 2: Soldier turned contractor explains Blackwater training, security detail in Iraq, Stars & Stripes
The American Dream is Dying Where Civil Society is Eroding, Heritage Foundation
Breaking the Bank: Weakness in Financial AI Applications, Fire Eye Threat Research
Opioid-Dependent Newborns in My West Virginia Hometown Point to a Path Out of Drug Crisis, Rand Org.
The Best Shower Caddy, Wirecutter
The 2019 Ford Ranger Is This Year’s Best Midsize Truck, Outside
How to Charge Your iPhone Twice As Fast, Wirecutter
10 Best Cheap Paddle Boards In 2019, Globosurf
Embrace the End of Ownership and Just Rent Your Clothes, Gear Latest
WATCH: Yellowstone Bison Struggle To Break Trail Near Old Faithful, Unofficial networks
Experts call for halt to gene editing that results in ‘designer babies’, Reuters

Responses to Rob’s “Failure Resume”

Rob’s essay, My Failure Resume  struck a cord with several last week. Below are some of the responses we received from the MTI Community.

I have just finished reading your essay ‘My Failure Resume’ and it hit hard. The level of self-reflection necessary to conduct an internal evaluation such as this must have been tough and, honestly, not something I think I would have been capable of until now.

I think people these days get caught up in the ultra-positive mindset of ‘reach for the stars’ and ‘don’t look back’ mentality. Maybe, myself included, what a lot of people really need is to sit themselves down and take a cold, hard look at what they’ve done and what they want to do and think about how the decisions that they’ve made in the past are preventing them from reaching their current goals.

A common phrase is ‘what’s meant to be will be’ but all this phrase is, is an escape from taking ownership of your actions and recognising a failure when it’s staring at you in the face – something I am finding myself do more and more.

I’m in a point in my life where there are about to be a lot of big changes and having a clear head before taking on the next round of challenges is necessary if I want to achieve the things I want.

After reading your failure resume, I believe it’s time for make to write my own before I enter this next stage in my life and all I can say now, is thank you.

I can’t thank you enough for this.  I’m sitting in a hotel room working for an agency (Diplomatic Security Service) that is, for lack of better phrasing, the little engine that could….but won’t.

When I saw the headline today, it immediately struck a cord.  I reflected on the meaning and finally sat down to read the article and it floored me.  I served as an officer in the USCG for good nine years and always felt out of place.  I was an early CrossFit koolaid drinker and swore by it.  When I made up my mind to give SF a go, I was fortunate to meet a couple of 5th group guys at a CrossFit seminar.  They quickly instructed me to look up military athlete and start following your programing.  I still have the email between us when you graciously sent me the first version of the SFAS selection plan.  Long story short, it worked…well.  I passed easily at age 35 and was on top of the world.  My mistakes came when I got my current job and failed to complete the Q.  I regret it every day.

I’m finally getting to where you are now.  I am using those (and many more) mistakes to find what I have always been looking for.  I really want to thank you for boldly sharing your story.  It’s a poignant reminder to keep reaching and not falling into the trap of settling.

You probably know that you have saved lives.  On the battlefield and the the windowless offices. I used to run a USCG CF affiliate and lead loads of classes but realized your mission direct approach is the way things should be.  Because of you, I have made some of my closest friends and (you) helped renew a passion for health and fitness eventually help themselves.  Not 2 hours ago, I was speaking with a no shit old timer/war hero who told me :”Mistakes are our classroom…”

Thank you for what you do, your service, humility and leadership.  There is an army of people that owe you a huge debt of gratitude.  I look forward to following your lessons for a long time.  Please let me know if there is anything I can ever do for you.

Thanks for such a great piece in my inbox this morning, very inspiring and a testament to your professionalism.  The message of “the grind is all” is also well-received.

As a former collegiate strength coach/sports med guy who came up roughly during the same time frame as you, I’d also like to express my appreciation for MTI’s programming – I well remember the temptation of unnecessary complexity and gimmicky elements that too often derail the science.  Your material has truly set the highest standard in the field and my team members love it.

Thanks again, please keep up the great work!

We’ve corresponded a few times and I’ve visited the gym, though Charlie was running the session so we haven’t personally met. There isn’t a great way to post comments on your site (good thing!), so I just thought I’d say kudos for sharing the failure resume, especially the stuff about relationships and marriage. If more men had your candor about failures specifically in that venue, I think we as a culture would be much better off in a myriad of ways.
My wife and I are actually in the process of listing our home in Dallas and, pending successful sale, trying to buy one in Jackson to move our young family there, so I hope to meet in person some day soon. I can’t pretend to know anything about you personally beyond this article, so no idea if you have a faith, but my prayer is that your note might help some other men avoid a few mistakes and be that much bolder in their lives as well.

Thank you for your authenticity in sharing your resume failure. It has encouraged me to do the same. I’ve greatly enjoyed reading your articles more frequently the last 2 months. You are a huge inspiration to me as a fitness coach. The failure resume was very valuable to read as a young coach to learn from the mistakes and successes of others as I am in the beginning stages myself.
Macey Hickox
P.S. Man my legs are sore after 16 400m sprints this morning as my husband and I are trying for a spartan sprint with your obstacle race programming. Thanks for that! Some of the speed workouts I’ve been substituting with hill sprints since Spartans are on very variable terrain.
Have a great weekend, thanks again for all you do!

I just finished your Failure Resume essay. That was ingenious. Something i would not have thought to do, but will now. The perspective i think that can offer anyone willing to do so i think would be invaluable.
I’ve been following MTI for a long team, mostly readership. I have yet to buy into a plan, but will be attending Air Assault next year and will more than likely buy that plan from you guys.

Read through “My Failure Resume” between taskers today.  Just wanted to take a second to say thanks.  I’m mid-30’s, recently Navy separated, wife pregnant w/3rd boy due in April, condensed physical therapy doctorate program starting in May, tight finances, and ton of other real life gnarlies that seem to take too much time and energy.  Generally terrified of the next few years, but have also never been this motivated or capable.
One of the most valuable things I’ve found to keep me on task in my grind is good insight from the guys who have gone before (originally typed “old guys”).  “My Failure Resume” is impactful and useful.  I’m sure you got plenty writing it.  I got a lot reading it.  My goal is to clear as many trails as possible for my boys and any others who come behind.  You’ve been clearing trails and it’s very appreciated.  Keep grinding.

Just wanted to take a moment to drop you a line and say thank you. I have been a LONG time follower of you and your programs for years. The failure resume is something I have thought about and wrote down in short form here recently. Glad that we can get it out there and learn from it. My only comment, and I see both side of the argument, is that I’m glad you stuck with your content and didn’t jump on with the box mentality. I have brought many colleagues over from boxes and they love your programing.

Keep up the amazing work.

I have been following your website for years now, and yesterday I read you article on “My Failure Resume.”  It gave me a lot to think about; about, my own failure.  I often wonder where I would be if I took the road not taken.  Unfortunately, I would never know.  For the most part, I can put that out of my head, but I also have a lot of days where I live in the past, preventing me to not enjoy the present.  In fact, very seldomly do I enjoy the present.  Many days I feel like a hamster on the wheel, or Groundhog Day.  Even though, I managed to realize quite bit in my life, including starting a new life in the US and succeeding in most of my goals, I still can’t shake the feeling that somewhere along the way I have lost my way and my passion.  I feel stuck and lost.

Honestly, under different circumstance I think we could have been friends.  Just like you, I’m an introvert and I have always had a warrior flame burning in me.  Due to some bad advice, I back out of the military, but I took a LE way.  Now, many years later, I learned many things about myself along the way, and learned a lot about the world.  But I have also made mistakes.  I got married out of loneliness and had a child.  Even though she is a great person, I am stuck in a loveless marriage with a person that I have nothing in commune.  Just like you I have found someone else in my life and I’m on my way of making your mistake number “4.”  I often wonder if in a big scheme of things losing my son is worth it.  But also over the years a bake a provider only.

Anyway, the article gave a look into your soul, if you want to call it that.  This statement: “These days, I’m hesitant to travel to teach a course to a unit without first vetting the students to ensure they are ready for this high level of a course. And many times, I’ve decided they weren’t and turned down the business. I didn’t want to waste the students’ time and the unit’s money teaching a course many would not gain from,” made me realize why I start reading your posts.  It confirmed me how humble you are and honestly you should be proud of it.  I deal with a lot of people daily, and Sir, being humbled and not chasing money, it is such a dying thing.

Thank you for the great article.

Rob – Thank you for sharing this.  I could see myself in so many of the failures you shared, not because I’ve lived the same life (I’m a 32 year old woman with a newborn baby, married, live in Texas, etc) but because failure is a human experience & the threads of failure tie us together.  Ultimately, all our failures share immense similarities.  I may try to write something similar.  I see the value.  Thanks for the idea & example.

It is a little after 5 am here in Okinawa, Japan and I just read your “Failure Resume” article while I sip my coffee in preparation for my morning workout.  Thank you for sharing that with all of us.  I think I will do the same and write my own.  But, I have a warm start as I share some of the same failures as you.  Today, that article hit me particularly hard.  I need to stop making excuses, change some things, and own the past in an effort to have a better future.  I am about to turn 39 next month. I keep telling myself I am getting old and fat.  I can change one of those things.  My fitness level has been relatively high and I keep leaning on that crutch while my waistline has grown.  As an active duty Marine, a company commander for that matter, I need to work on looking the part more than I have.  (There is a lot more to this, but I am trying to fit this email in the 8 minutes it takes for my eggs to boil.)  But really, I owe it to my family to take care of myself so I can be around as long as possible.  I too wish to be fortunate enough to live near my two young boys when they are adults.

I’ve been a follower of your work for some time now and often get a lot of value out of the knowledge put out on the website, especially the Quiet Professional stuff.  I recently read your failure resume and found it very inspiring.  I’ve been in an interesting professional quandary as of late and needed to read something akin to that.
Just a quick synopsis of my career: I’ve been a professional Firefighter for 13+ years and a National Guardsman (Infantry; combat deployed) for 10+ years.  I’ve consistently put myself into “the grind” over those years by way of changing departments, volunteering for OCS and subsequently commissioning back into the Infantry with the Guard, pursuing my degree, taking the promotional exams and making rank in the fire service. This has somewhat alienated me to peers who I leave behind and constantly put me back into the “novice category” for my respective positions.  I don’t mind it because it keeps me humbled and hungry for improvement. It does however make my transition more difficult as I’ve often felt the interpersonal relationship struggles working against me.
I too feel the sting of my previous failures and regrets while on my way toward professional development. I too may have done a few (or perhaps a lot of) things differently; but I know I’ve been at least true to my own ethos and beliefs and will continue to move along the path I’m on.  So, in closing, thanks for sharing your story.

Good Morning Sir,

I read your article this morning and just wanted to say thank you for sharing. It struck a chord for me and reminded me to remember my Failure and Successes and most importantly to focus on the important aspects of my career.
I’m a law enforcement officer for a municipal city in Southern California and am currently applying for a lateral position to a neighboring city of much better standing. I fell victim to a specific supervisors practice of writing people up when they’re applying out as a selfish unspoken method of retention and it’s caused great stress; However, the background investigator is aware of these practices from the this agency employs and is continuing me onward regardless.
Your thoughts and opinions reminded me to try and avoid the negativity, stay professional and and just keep working hard so, sincerely, thank you.

If you haven’t yet, read Rob’s original essay here: My Failure Resume 


Q&A 3.14.19


I have two questions.
1.  I am approaching the end of my latest program (TLU Strength) and am looking for the next one. I’ve narrowed it down to two…MTI Strength Assessment Plan and Hector. Obviously a bit different in what they target. I’m leaning toward hector due to the TAC SEPA as I feel that my agility has suffered a bit with doing quite a bit of strength training. My fear though is I might lose a bit that I’ve worked hard to get hence my curiosity with MTI. It has Work Cap and then endurance as well.  All that being said, and I know it’s a bit all over the place, but even the three base gyms and a 24 hour fitness here have limited equipment for y’all’s programming  so I’ve really had to dig to find a plan that can be covered by them. Hector seems like it will be and MTI definitely will be.  Which would you recommend?  I did Achilles on deployment and loved it but have also done a couple of your strength plans as well and loved those too. If I’m just a crazy person all over the place I understand…I feel that way too.

2.  This is a short one. KB swings…do y’all teach the hip hinge (hard style) or the one other where there is more knee bend and the bell actually goes higher than your head (CrossFit way I guess),just curious.

Thanks for all that y’all do. Your programming has changed my life in terms of overall fitness and not just PFT/CFT shape.


1. Neither – do Apollo. Hector’s strength work also deploys TLU methodology and it will be good to do something different. The Strength Assessment plan is another strength-focused plan and you need to do a multi-modal plan.

2. Not a kettlebell nerd, so I’m super-righteous about your KB swing form. I will say I’ve had an athlete go full overhead with the kettlebell and lose it behind …. which is why we chose to go just above the eyes … but it’s up to you.

– Rob


I have been a member for the past several months or so and have really enjoyed several of your general fitness plans (especially the ones that are highly varied as I tend to get bored doing the same workout every day). Do you have a recommendation for plans that are best suited in pregnancy?
Thank you!


Quick answer is not specifically, as I don’t want to get between you and your doctor.  I’ve been asked several times to develop a Pregnancy Training but have avoided it simply because it seems no woman, or pregnancy it seems, is the same.
I’ve have directly worked with pregnant women in the past and heart rate and overhead hanging positions (pull ups) have been doctor-imposed restrictions.
Intensity is an issue – and super intense work cap efforts and heavy lifting are something I would avoiding. The risk of a complication or worse simply isn’t worth it.
I’ve seen new moms fret over weight gain and body changes, but 2nd and 3rd time moms embrace the experience, body changes, and roll with it.
Morning sickness can be a huge challenge for some.
In general, the further you’re along, the less you’ll want to do and be able to do. Listen to your body and baby.
Given all that, from our stuff at least initially I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan out of the gate, but fast walking, instead of running for the distance work, and being super cautious and or simply avoiding the intense work cap events. As well, cut the bw strength progression rounds down to just 4.
Experienced and/or long term athletes completing our stuff have reported that the Chassis Integrity work we do has benefited them through pregnancy, birthing, and esp. recovery. The BW Foundation Plan includes core work.
Sorry, wish I could offer more.
– Rob


I was just curious as to what the difference was between the LE Spirits
Packet and the LE Cop Movie Packet. They both seem to train the same fitness
attributes and I’m not sure if there is an advantage in choosing one over
the other. Thank you for your time!


You’re correct, both packets are designed for LE Patrol/Detective and train the same fitness attributes.
The Spirits Packet was the first set of plans. Then athletes who worked through the packet, didn’t want to subscribe and do our daily LE Officer Sessions, asked me to build another packet of plans so they didn’t have to keep repeating the Spirits Plans …. hence the Cop Movie packet.
Start with the Spirits Packet to keep it simple.
– Rob


I recently bought your SWAT HK plan. I haven’t started the plan yet, although I am excited to do so. Before I begin, though, I was hoping to get a little advice.

I work full time Corrections, and while I am pretty fit at the moment, I suspect this plan will smoke me some. I’m okay with that and look forward to the challenge of reaching that higher level of fitness.

Between my job and having both a toddler and a teenager at home, my life is pretty busy and defies having any sort of established routine. I don’t want to use either my job requirements or my home life as an excuse for not focusing on fitness, but I have to acknowledge them as challenges to be overcome.

My overall question is this: would I be better served by having pushing myself with that higher intensity plan like the one I bought, knowing that there may be times when I miss a day or have to change when my rest days are, or should I focus on shorter workouts that will be easier to get done consistently? And also, is it worthwile to sacrifice sleep for exercise? I work graveyard at the moment, so sleep is worth it’s weight in gold, but, again, I don’t want to make excuses for not putting a focus on fitness.


First – just a couple weeks ago I built a packet of plans specifically for Correctional Officers – the Notorious Prison Packet. For you, I’d recommend not doing the HK plan, and instead of doing Rikers – the first plan in the prison packet.
Time, family, sleep, etc. Here’s the deal, not being fit for your job can get you killed, and/or lead to injury or worse for your fellow correctional officers. We believe Tactical Athletes, like you have a professional responsibility to have mission-direct fitness for your job. This responsibility is yours, and yours alone – it’s not the responsibility of your boss, employer, department, etc.
Mission-direct fitness is much more difficult for LE athletes than military athletes. Military athletes have required high-jeopardy fitness assessments, scheduled on-duty time to train, base gyms and equipment, etc. Most LE athletes have none of this stuff and individuals are often on an island – you have to sacrifice sleep or family time to train, buy your own equipment or pay for your own gym membership, etc.
Whatever. The fact is, as you know much better than me, your work can turn deadly in an instant.
So back to your question about sleep, family stuff, consistency, etc. Lose sleep to train if necessary. Sacrifice family time because the best thing you can do for your family is come home safe from work everyday. Be professional about your fitness, hold yourself accountable and be consistent with your training. Know that for Tactical Athletes, Fitness = Armor.
Want to know where you stand right now? We created a Correctional Officer Fitness Assessment. Take it and see how you score.
Finally – copied here is Mintra. If you take my advice and want to swap from HK to Rikers, let her know and she’ll make it happen.
– Rob


Any recommendations for substituting  sandbag movements? Like the toss&chase for example? I looked into buying a sandbag and they’re like 150 bucks which is outrageous.. and I’m worried a normal bags stitching wouldn’t hold up with 80lbs of sand. I don’t wanna skip those crucial portions of the workout though, any ideas?


Sorry – no sub for sandbag exercises. I made my first out of an old duffle bag and duck tape and it lasted for months!
We also sell them – ours are $65 including shipping.
Be resourceful.
– Rob


I have followed your programing off and on for the past 5 years and have always had great results. After a ten-year hiatus, I recently started training Brazilian Jujitsu (“BJJ”) and Muay Thai (“MT”) again; this has prevented me from doing the typical 5-6 day a week MTNTactical program.

Currently, I have consistently been doing the following:

Monday:         BJJ/MT
Tuesday:        BJJ
Wednesday:   BJJ/MT
Thursday:      TLU
Friday:            TLU
Saturday:       Heavy Sparring/TLU
Sunday:          Rest

I would like to work in daily running 5 days a week, but every time I have tried to integrate the running improvement program to the above schedule I end up developing an injury and have to pull back. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

Please let me know which of your programs I should consider. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thank you for all the great training materials.


Your ability to train multiple times/day improves with increasing fitness. At the same time, you don’t want your outside fitness to negatively impact the technical work you’re doing/learning at your BJJ/MT sessions. In other words, if you’re fatigued from outside fitness training when you go to your BJJ/MT sessions, you’ll get less out of the sessions. Your body is telling you now that running every day is too much.

So – I’d let your BJJ/MT work be the bulk of your endurance/work capacity/cardio training.

Here’s the schedule I’d recommend:

Monday:         BJJ/MT
Tuesday:        BJJ, Easy evening run – 3-5 miles, easy (slow) pace
Wednesday:   BJJ/MT
Thursday:      TLU – Strength Session Only – no work cap events
Friday:           Total Rest
Saturday:       Heavy Sparring/Easy evening run – 3-5 miles, easy (slow) pace
Sunday:          Total Rest

Taking Total Rest Friday will set you up best to get the most out of/learn the most during your Saturday sparring. One day/week strength will help you maintain strength, without fatiguing you for your BJJ/MT technical training/work.

– Rob


Just subscribed to the site and wow there is a lot of content!  It’s kind of overwhelming.  I’m a firefighter and I have what I consider to be above average fitness.  My strength is low and is a priority for me but I don’t want to lose any conditioning.  Where do you think I should start?  Thanks for any tips or advice.


Follow it up with the plans/order in the Big Cat Series of plans. These are designed as day-to-day training for full-time firefighters.
– Rob


I work harder on your programs than I have on any other I’ve been on.  Why don’t I get as sore?


Maybe you’re a mutant! Perhaps you’re not pushing your loading on the strength efforts. Perhaps you haven’t run into a strength exercise in our programming that’s new to you.
Everyone is different. However, if there is one exercise that consistently makes everyone sore it’s heavy walking lunges – butt’s hurt for 3-4 days – even for fit, experienced athletes.
– Rob


I am looking to be fast and strong in the mountains alpine style, which leads me to your big mountain workouts but I am also looking to increase my sport and trad climbing to the next level. I am worried about working out my legs too much because of the added weight it puts on when im rock climbing. Let me know your thoughts.


Weight gain from legs? Not much I can do for you here if you’re a natural endomorph. The AFA plan above does include distance running, which will help with the weight gain from the step ups.
– Rob


I have a few Questions about your plans.

I’m in the german army and I have a Slot for the „Einzelkämpferlehrgang“ (aka Ranger / Commando Course)

My Course is going to start at the End of September, thus I have ~7 Months of Preparation time.

The starting Events are an Standard obstacle Course and a 3000m ruck run in uniform, boots and with a 10k ruck. The rest of the Course is 4 weeks of ruck running everywhere and a lot of marching with loads in excess of 30kgs.

I have only very limited Equipment (no barbells, only sandbag, ruck, pull up bar).

Which plan should I use or rather which combination of plans? As I see it I’m currently not in good shape and I would break myself going into one of your selection plans now.

I was thinking About using the running improvement or bodyweight foundation plan first.


Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks   Plan

1-6       Bodyweight Foundation

7          Total Rest

8-14     Humility
15-22   Gratitude
– Rob


I have been out of climbing and consistent gym training for almost 4 years. I want to get a solid level of fitness back before I start training for any specific climbing. What would you suggest for a plan to start with at a basic gym?


I generally recommend folks new to our programming begin with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan – which includes strength, work capacity, core and endurance training.
If you want to start with weight training, I’d recommend Johnny, from our Country Singer I Packet of plans for general fitness. Johnny also trains strength (free weight based), work capacity, endurance (running) and Chassis Integrity (core).
– Rob


Im going to be doing field work for the next several months and wated to know if you have any plans for no equipment body weight programs.  I may be able to bring one kettlebell.


– Rob


I am about to finish week 2 of the  Backcountry Big Game Hunting Packet. I  realized that at this schedule I will finish the packet 8 weeks before heading to the mountains in CO to hunt. Should I do some other program in between so I can finish the last part right before the hunt? Any recommendations? I am 47 years old and I do a lot of traveling for work. Thanks in advance


Do Fortitude (7 weeks) after Humility, then take a full week’s total rest before beginning the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Plan.
– Rob


I’ve transitioned out (hey! Thanks for the help with getting a tab/29 months overseas/11+ years without my physical fitness ever being a liability!), and with that comes some high demand in the day AFTER my workout (I start at 6, start classes at 10).

How the heck do I stop being so fatigued all day? I moved to country singer packets, I’m avoiding booze, I get 7-8 hours. I do a session, and I am dying for a solid span between lunch and dinner.

Thank you for your time and your awesome work, as always.


Not sure I can help you here – could be emotional stress, relationship stress, just plain stress, you could be sick, depressed, etc.
Now – take a full week’s rest from training, and go to the doctor for a physical, including a blood draw with a full “health fair” work upon the blood.
– Rob


I am looking for an intense training plan and am not quite sure what you recommend as there are so many options on your website.

My goals are to increase muscle endurance and cardiovascular endurance.  I do not care about size and strength as I don’t require ridiculous numbers as a mil guy.  I recently saw a workout from some SEAL buddies that included stretching with the workout and liked it.  Thus, I was wondering do you guys have something that:

  • takes about 2 hours per day
  • is 5 days per week
  • has stretching mixed in between lifts
  • will keep me fast and proficient at running distances around 5 – 6 miles
  • utilizes lots of sand bags, kettlebells, D-balls, and dumbbells
  • includes a weekly ruck with 45-65#s
  • will maintain 75 pushups in 2 min, 80 sit ups in 2 min, and 21 pull ups in 1 min
  • will keep me durable for any operation anywhere

If you have any recommendations on a program to purchase please let me know. Thank you for your time.


Valor – balanced, “base” fitness training plan for military infantry, SOF, with a slight work capacity emphasis. Concurrently trains strength, chassis integrity (core), work capacity, tactical agility and endurance (run, ruck).
Includes a 3-mile run assessment and 3-mile ruck run assessment @ 45# plus 10# sledge or dumbbell, with follow-on progressions. Designed to push your Speed over Ground. You could add a long run on Saturdays, if you like, but watch your recovery.
Work capacity and Chassis Integrity (core) include lots of sandbag work, sprints, and some kettlebell work.
Does not include specific progressions for push ups, pull ups, sit ups, etc, and gym sessions are designed to last around 60 minutes – so not exactly what you’re looking for – but it’s what I’d recommend.
Valor is no joke, – so I’m assuming your fit.
– Rob


I recently started the SFRE training course. I am using this as training for some GORUCK events as well as setting the groundwork for potential military service. I have been doing Crossfit for sometime so the strength is not an issue, but the running/ruck running has been a struggle. I do not have a running background and I definitely underestimating my ability to jump into it. I ran the 2 mile assessment in 15:21 and I was unable to complete the 5 mile before stopping with painful shin splits. I am able to get through the 800m intervals with a bit of pain, but I think the 2 mile intervals will be a struggle and I am a little worried about causing some damage. Do you have any suggestions on either scaling or building up that running strength while minimizing the potential for injury?

Thanks for any advice you could provide.


Pivot to and complete the Military OnRamp Training Plan, which has a more gentle progression for running and rucking, then re-visit the SFRE Training Plan.
– Rob


I’m a former marine and new to your workouts. Previously my training was limited due to lower back problems. I am currently on week 5 of your lower back rehab training plan and I have never felt better.  Usually for the 30 min ruck with 25lbs pack I can cover 3 miles without any lower back problems however, running unweighted my back seizes up just .5 miles into my run and forces me to stop. Do you have any suggestions on how I may fix this problem? Also what training plan do you recommend after I finish the rehab program. I am not training for anything specific at this moment and unfortunately the gym I attend limits me to a traditional weight lifting gym with a small area for circuit workouts with limited equipment. My goal is to build strength but also increase my strength endurance. Thank you for your time.


Running? My best guess is you need to work on running form, and perhaps get some new shoes. Shoes? – I recommend Hoka One Ones … they are super cushy – and will help with impact. Form? Check out POSE Running or CHI Running – google and search Youtube …. this can make a huge difference on impact.
Next Plan – I like Tammy for you next, but you may run into issues with your gym space/equipment for the work capacity efforts and may need to be resourceful – and/or ask me for subs.
– Rob


Just wrapping up my first plan – Helen – and loved it. Huge progress and stoked about it. Thank you! About to head on six weeks of travel with limited gym access – any base or other programs you’d recommend given that limitation? Many thanks!


– Rob


Couple of questions on your programming.
Question One: For these kinds of work outs (I see this kind of programming in several of your programs0 – are they meant to be done as fast as possible or is it more about increasing load? What kind of rest period do you envision?

1) 8 Rounds

  • 2x Craig Special – increase load each round until 2x is hard, but doable

then immediately ….

  • 2x Explosive Squat Jump – Unloaded
  • Foam Roll Low Back
Question Two: For the running portion in Mountain Base Helen, are these road runs or trail runs? If there’s a preference one versus the other let me know. TY! Love your stuff. – BD


This a strength circuit – not a work capacity circuit or event. MTI is definitely not like Crossfit where everything is a race.
In this case, we want you to get as heavy as you can on the Craig Specials, as rapidly as possible – in terms of rounds. For example, this would be my loading ….
Round   Load
1           95
2          135
3          155
4-8       170
The “Foam Roll Low Back” is designed as “working rest” between heavy Craig Special sets.
While this isn’t a crossfit event, it’s also not a powerlifting-esque circuit, where you’ll take 5 minutes between heavy sets.
Work steadily, not frantically through this effort – aim to finish all of Part (1) in around 15 minutes.
– Rob


I am sure you have heard of the methods of Dr. Phil Maffetone and the MAF Method. I am wondering what your take is on that methodology compared to your own when building a base? To me, it would seem that efficiency is the ability to do more work at a lower heart rate/perceived effort. Therefore, training to run at faster paces at a lower heart rate would appear to be the best way to develop a base before layering more advanced sport/job specific training. I notice that many of your programs rely on intervals. To the best of my knowledge, this may place athletes at risk for myocardial hypertrophy and may lead to less ideal training outcomes. However, I also recognize that your knowledge, experience, and research is far superior to my own. I worked for Ed and Dave in Colorado Springs during college and was highly successful in utilizing your methods. I have also seen the merit in the MAF method as well. I am curious if you would be willing to explain your thinking behind aerobic and anaerobic development compared to that of the MAF Method. Thank you so much!


I am familiar with Maffetone’s approach but understand there is a significant difference between the endurance-only athletes he works with, and the tactical/mountain athletes I work with.
Endurance athletes, esp. competing athletes like distance runners, don’t need high relative strength, strong midsections, sprinting-based work capacity, tactical agility or often, multi-mode endurance (run/ruck for military, run/uphill hike under load for mountain).
What this means practically is Maffetone can take his athletes during their base building period and run long and slow every day – because he doesn’t need to train anything else. As well, the volume – in terms of distance and time for his programming is substantial. As well, the closer to the event, his and other typical endurance programming introduces more tempo and speed work on top of the base to Peak at the event.
Some of our sport-specific programming deploys this approach – and is even heart rate based – like our MTB plan, and ultra plans, but for our Base fitness and selection/course/deployment based tactical plans, we simply cannot dedicate that much time to endurance programming. So what this means practically given the limited time we have for endurance work in addition to training all these other attributes, is we need to find the most efficient way both in terms of time and simplicity, to build endurance performance. While many of our base programming endurance work does include “easy paced” longer runs, you are right that assessment-based intervals are common. This is because, for our athletes, I’ve found this the most efficient way to build endurance performance.
– Rob