All posts by Rob Shaul

Mini-Study Results: Performance Impact of MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines Mixed

By Rob Shaul, Founder

BLUF

Eight remote lab rats completed an assessed, 3.5 weeks multi-modal (strength, endurance, work capacity) training program while following MTI’s recently updated Nutritional Guidelines.

Their final re-assessment results were then compared to the results from 18 remote lab rats who completed the same 3.5 week training plan in September, 2020, but who did not follow MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines. The results between the two groups were then compared. We’d hoped to find a discernible performance difference the two groups that could be attributed to the Nutritional Guidelines.

However, the results were mixed.

The Nutritional Guidelines Group (April 2021) saw significantly greater improvement in max rep pull up and prone to sprint assessments.

The September 2020 group (no guidelines) saw significantly greater improvement in Front Squat 1RM results.

The two groups saw the exact same improvement in Push Press 1RM and the 3-Mile Run.

Results & Discussion

The multi-modal, 3.5 week, 5 day/week  training cycle, both groups completed began with strength, work capacity and endurance assessments. After the assessments, assessment-based progressions for all three fitness attributes were completed. Because these progressions were assessment-based, the plan automatically “scaled” to the incoming fitness of the individual athletes.

Below are the individual results from the April 2021 lab rats (Nutritional Guidelines Group).

 

Below is a result comparison between the September 2020 lab rats and the April 2021 lab rats (Nutritional Guidelines Group):

One obvious difference between the two groups is the number of actual lab rats. There was a much smaller sample size for the April 2021 group – and we say approximately 50% lab attrition. Because this group was smaller, outlier data points such as Todd’s 100% improvement in pull up max reps can easily skew the results.

Going in, I was unsure of the effect of the Nutritional Guidelines on the strength gains. Some athletes struggle with cutting out all sugar and most carbs initially, and I felt this could impact strength work for the first week or so.

On the other hand, all but one of the April 21 lab rats lost weight, and I felt this might lead to a greater improvement in pull ups and 3 mile run times. However, because of the smaller sample size, even though the April 21 group saw greater pull up improvement, we can’t confidently say it was a result of Nutrition-Plan caused weight loss. As well, there was no difference between the groups in terms of 3-mile run improvement.

Concerning the Nutritional Guidelines themselves, all the April 21 who answered when asked how they felt on the diet said they felt good, were surprised they didn’t experience lower energy or more cravings, and most reported they planned to continue the diet.

Next Steps?

We are currently conducting another Mini-Study of 50+ lab rats that all complete the same multi-modal training cycle (strength and endurance). Half of the lab rats complete the cycle on their normal diet, and the other half is completing it while following MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines.

We should have those Mini-Study results in approximately 4 weeks.

 

Questions, Feedback, Comments? Email rob@mtntactical.com

 


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Valor Update: Lab Rats Increase Strength and Ruck, Run, Speed over Ground

By Rob Shaul

 

BLUF

This 7-week Mini-Study investigated the tactical fitness building capacity of an update to Valor – one of MTI’s most well-known tactical athlete training plans.

Ten remote lab rats completed the full 7 week, 5 day/week mini study and saw an average …

    • 12.9% improvement in max effort Barbell Complex strength
    • 14.1% improvement in 3-mile ruck run @ 45# time
    • 3.3% improvement in 1.5 mile run time

 

BACKGROUND & STUDY DESIGN

Valor was one of the first military-specific training plans MTI designed after the first big evolutionary breakthrough in our base-fitness program design.

Like many of the military training plans that can be purchased individually, Valor originally began as a cycle in our Daily Operator Sessions. At that time, base fitness cycles had a much more pronounced single fitness attribute (work capacity for Valor) and were just 3 weeks long.

As the programming methodology evolved, we lengthened the duration of most of our base fitness training cycles company-wide to 7 weeks, at the same time decreasing somewhat the specific fitness-building emphasis of each individual plan. Valor continued to emphasize work capacity, but not to the degree it did before.

This evolution was reflected in the current version of Valor (version 2). As well, by that time in the company’s history, we were receiving more and more requests for macro-cycle programming (multi-month), especially in preparing for various military selections and schools.

Version 2 of Valor continued with this work capacity emphasis, but combined speed-over-ground focused endurance programming, including short, threshold intervals, as a 2-for-1 programming tool: (1) increase run and rucking speed for short distances, and: (2) elicit work capacity-level effort.

Version 2’s strength programming was not assessment-based, but instead deployed a moderate-volume strength set and rep scheme.

Changes to Version 3
(1) Changed the strength programming to deploy an assessed progression built around MTI’s Barbell Complex. The MTI Barbell Complex (BBC) is a choreographed complex of six barbell exercises, completed in succession.

For several years the MTI Barbell Complex has been deployed routinely in strength-focused training sessions as a warm-up. Last year we conducted another Mini-Study which demonstrated the total-body strength-building capacity of the BBC.

The barbell complex trains strength, but it also comes with a significant work capacity hit … which better aligned with the slight work capacity-emphasis of Valor.

As well, building Valor V3’s strength training around the Barbell Complex sneakily increased its mental fitness-building ability.

(2) Kept the 3-Mile Ruck Run @ 45# and follow on pace-based threshold intervals, but decreased the run assessment down to 1.5 miles.

(3) Decreased the gym-based training sessions from 60 minutes, to 45-50 minutes in duration.

(4) Added a mid-week, 45-75 minutes long, easy paced, “recovery run.”

Below was the weekly schedule for the plan:

      • Monday: Strength, Chassis Integrity
      • Tuesday: Ruck Run Assessment or 1-mile Threshold Intervals
      • Wednesday: 45-75 Minute Recovery Run
      • Thursday: Strength, Work Capacity
      • Friday: Run Assessment or 800m Threshold Intervals

One concern I had going into this lab-ratted cycle was its intensity, especially the impact of the Barbell Complex. This is the reason I decreased the run assessment distance to 1.5 miles, and the corresponding decrease in running threshold intervals from 1-mile to 800m. This is also the reason I added in the mid-week “recovery” run.

A final change I made with my concerns about the intensity of the Barbell Complex was to continue with the complex but change it to a shortened “Modified” Barbell Complex mid-cycle. This was a simple change – all the exercises stayed the same, but the reps per exercise decreased from 6 to 3. While the load increased, the duration of each complex decreased, and the overall intensity went down. I was concerned going in that 7 weeks of a progressed full Barbell Complex would be too much for the lab rats, and post-cycle feedback confirmed this concern. The lab rats were appreciative of the mid-cycle switch to the Modified BBC.

Finally, this is the second time I’ve run a 7-week cycle mini-study with remote lab rats, and the first time one this intense was completed. I was concerned about attrition and we lost approximately 30% of those who started. One change we did make over previous lab rat cycles was to connect all the lab rats together, with me, on Slack – where they could post assessment results, ask questions, and see how the other lab rats were fairing. Several commented that this mini, short-term “community” was a refreshing and motivating way to train remotely.

RESULTS & DISCUSSION

See below for the results:

Overall, I was pleased with the results and we are going to update Valor to this Version 3.

The one lagger was the 1.5 mile run improvement – which could be a result simply of leg fatigue from the barbell complexes and ruck running which occurred earlier in the week. But – it’s something to watch and consider moving forward.

My sense is that the inclusion of the Barbell Complex and Modified Barbell Complex took the efficiency, intensity, and effectiveness of an already solid military base-fitness training cycle to the next level.

We’ve found that the Barbell Complex has a “hardening effect.” Athletes come out on the other side with more strength, bigger engines, and more mental fitness.

 

NEXT STEPS

I’ve recently updated Humility to Version 3, and next is Fortitude. Not sure we’ll offer Foritude V3 for remote lab rats, but it’s a possibility. Again, I’m very pleased with Valor V3, and feel this update is worthy of the reputation this plan has coming in.

Questions? Email rob@mtntactical.com

Comments? Please comment below.

Lab Rats Needed to Test MTI’s Big 3 + 5 Mile Run Training Plan

 

Sorry – No more applications being taken for this Mini Study.

By Rob Shaul

MTI is calling for fit remote lab rats to test MTI’s Big 3 Strength + 5-Mile Run Training Plan – one of MTI’s most popular and prescribed plans for athletes looking to increase raw strength and running endurance, concurrently.

Big 3 Strength + 5 Mile Run Training Plan is an intense, 7-week, 6 day/week training plan but selected lab rats will complete the first 3.5 weeks of the plan.

The training will begin Monday, April 26, 2021.

The deadline to apply is 1700 Mountain Time, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

 

Details

All lab rats will complete the same, focused training cycle. Programming will be consistent entirely of gym-based barbell strength and running.

The strength work in the plan is focused on the “Big 3” strength exercises – back squat, bench press, and dead lift, plus max rep pull ups. The strength programming is assessment-based, and deploys MTI’s classic “Density Strength” progression methodology. Training Session 1 of the plan you’ll find your 1RM (1 Repetition Maximum) Back Squat, Bench Press and Dead Lift, and you’ll test for max rep strict pull ups.

The running work is also assessment-based. Training Session 2 you’ll complete a 5-Mile Run assessment. Follow-on programming will be assessment-based, and include short, hard threshold intervals and longer runs at a moderate pace.

Below is the Training Schedule

  • Monday: Strength Assessment or Strength Progression
  • Tuesday: 5 Mile Run Assessment or Threshold Intervals
  • Wednesday: Strength Progression
  • Thursday: Threshold Run Intervals
  • Friday: Strength Progression
  • Saturday: 6-8 Mile Run at a Moderate Pace

We’re looking to get 6-10 committed, fit lab rats for this mini-study and communicate frequently together during the program which will involve a group-only message board/forum, and may include an occasional zoom call.

You’ll work directly with MTI Founder Rob Shaul for the duration of the study.

Priority lab rat selection will be given to current MTI subscribers, ages 22-40.

What We Hope To Learn

  1. Is the program progression and intensity doable? Do athletes recover?
  2. Assessed improvement across the Big 3 Strength exercises and the 5-Mile Run after 3.5 weeks of training

 

Required Equipment

    • Barbell, Rack, Plates, Bench for Bench Press, Pull Up Bar
    • Track and/or known distance for the 5-Mile run Assessment and 2-Mile Repeats

 

Cycle Duration

This study project will take 3.5 weeks. It will begin Monday, April 26, 2021. The program will end Tuesday, May 18.

 

To Participate

      • You’ll need to commit to training 6 days/week for 3.5 weeks, and follow the program as prescribed
      • You’ll need to commit to following only this programming as formal fitness training for the study project period.
      • You’ll need the required equipment (see above)
      • You’ll need to be 22-40 years old, and fit.
      • You’ll be required to follow MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines for the duration of the study.
      • Priority lab rat selection will be given to current MTI subscribers, ages 22-40.

 

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email rob@mtntactical.com, and put “Big 3 Strength + 5-Mile Run Lat Rat” in the subject line.

Please include:

      • Age
      • Bodyweight
      • Current fitness level and your current training plan/regimen
      • If you’re a current tactical athlete (military, LE, Fire/Rescue)
      • If you’re a current MTI subscriber
      • Which MTI plans you’ve completed in the past
      • Verify you have access to the required equipment

We’re hoping to get 6-10 lab rats for this study.

Priority lab rat selection will be given to current MTI subscribers, ages 22-40.

APPLY NOW

Mini-Study Results: Rock Climb Lab Rats Improve Bouldering Performance 57%

By Rob Shaul, Founder

BLUF

Remote lab rats following 4.5 weeks of MTI’s 6 day/week, Pre-Season Rock Climbing Program and nutritional guidelines increased an assessed bouldering performance an average of 57.35% and decreased bodyweight an average of 1.28%.

 

Background and Study Design

This mini-study tested the effectiveness of MTI’s current/published Rock Climbing Pre-Season programming to improve bouldering performance, and MTI’s nutritional guidelines, combined with the climb programming, to decrease bodyweight.

Seven remote lab rats with access to a bouldering gym and/or Moon Board, and a campus board, completed the study, three men and four women.  In addition to following the programming, the lab rats were required to follow MTI’s nutritional guidelines in an effort to cut body fat, which can have a dramatic effect on finger/grip relative strength and climbing performance.

MTI’s Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Plan is built around the Bouldering V-Sum – a unique, timed, assessed event completed in a bouldering gym and/or on a Moon Board. Over the years we’ve found the Bouldering V-Sum a powerful tool to improve climbing fitness, climbing mental fitness, and technical climbing ability, concurrently.

The training cycle began with a V-Sum assessment, and the lab rats completed a 50-minute and a 40-minute Bouldering V-Sum weekly. The plan also included short, intense single-mode work capacity (sandbag getups and shuttle sprints), interval climbing strength work, a 1.5 mile run assessment and follow on 800m intervals, and a moderate weekend run.

Week 1 of the plan included a Bouldering V-Sum, work capacity and 1.5 mile run assessment. The lab rats re-completed these assessments at the end of the study and the results were compared.

Below was the weekly schedule:

  • Monday: 50-minute, 8-Problem Bouldering V-Sum
  • Tuesday: Climbing Power, Sandbag Getups
  • Wednesday: 1.5 Mile Run Assessment or 800m Intervals
  • Thursday: 40-minute, 4-Problem Bouldering V-Sum, Work Capacity
  • Friday: Foot-on Campus Board Intervals, Work Capacity Intervals (shuttle sprint repeats)
  • Saturday: 5-7 Mile Moderate Pace Run

Athletes were allowed to complete other training during this mini-study – just no additional Dead Hang or Front Plank work.

The initial and last Max Effort for Time Dead Hang and Front Plank results were compared.

What we hoped to learn:

  1. Is the program progression and intensity doable for remote athletes? We’ve coach climbers through this intense program at our Wyoming facility but have never tracked athletes completing it remotely.
  2. The effect of work capacity and endurance programming plus dietary restrictions on weight loss and the impact of weight loss on climbing improvement. With our in-person athletes, we’ve never required them to follow our nutritional guidelines.
  3. Assessed improvement in climbing proficiency from the programming. As measured through improvement on the Bouldering V-Sum.

 

Results and Discussion

A total of 7 individuals completed the entire training 4.5 week cycle. Below are the individual lab rat results.

 

The lab rats increased an assessed bouldering performance an average of 57.35%, and decreased bodyweight an average of 1.28%. As well, they achieved an 5.99% speed improvement on the 1.5 Mile run assessment.

This year’s remote lab rats outperformed our 2019 in-gym lab rats for V-Sum improvement. The cycles between the two groups were very similar, however the 2019 in-gym lab rats completed a full 6-week training cycle, and achieved an average improvement Bouldering V-Sum improvement of 37.5%.

However, this difference in improvement is likely attributed where both groups began. In general, experienced, better climbers will achieve less improvement over the course of the cycle, less experienced climbers will see more improvement.

The 2019 in-gym Lab Rats began with an average Bouldering V-Sum of 31, as compared to the average initial V-sum for this year’s remote lab rats of  19. On average, the 2019 in-gym lab rats were better climbers and has less room for improvement.

The 2019 results are below:

We were surprised the limited weight loss for the 2021 remote lab rat group. In our experience most athletes will experienced a 5-15 pound weight loss after four weeks of following MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines and the average bodyweight loss of 1.28% is below that.

Finally, it could be fairly argued that this study “trained to the test” by deploying the Bouldering V-Sum as both the assessment tool for the study, and as a primary training tool (2x/week) in the training program.

From our perspective, all that matters is outside performance, and we’ve found great transfer between improvement in Bouldering V-Sum and outside climbing performance. So ….  we don’t apologize for this but acknowledge how it affects the study.

Next Steps?

The one disappointing result of the study result was the limited weight loss the lab rats experienced following MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines. Next week we start another study with remote lab rats testing the performance impacts of these guidelines, as well as testing weight loss.

 

Questions? Email rob@mtntactical.com
Comments? Please comment below.

 


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Lab Rats Needed To Test the Performance Impact of MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines

Sorry – Applications No Longer Being Accepted

 

By Rob Shaul

MTI is calling for remote lab rats, ages 22-50, for an upcoming, focused, 3.5 weeks, 5-day/week Mini-Study testing the performance effect of MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines.

This mini-study will begin Monday, March 29. The deadline to apply is 1700 Mountain Time, Thursday, March 25, 2021. 

Priority Lab Rat selection will be given to current MTI Subscribers, and/or athletes with extensive experience completing MTI training plans.

 

Details

All lab rats will complete the same, multi-modal, 5 day/week training cycle. The cycle will include a strength assessment (1RM Front Squat, 1RM Push Press, Max Rep Pull Ups), Work Capacity Assessment (Prone to Sprint) and Endurance Assessment (3-Mile Run), and follow on progressions.

In addition to the programming, all lab rats will be required to follow MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines for the 3.5 week duration of the mini-study.

At the end of the study, the performance improvement results from this study will be compared the results of another group of MTI lab rats who completed the same training cycle in Aug/Sept 2020. Those lab rats were not required to follow MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines.

What We Hope To Learn

  1. How difficult it is for the lab rats to conform to MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines.
  2. If there is any performance change difference between lab rats who conform to the Nutritional Guidelines (this study) and those who didn’t (Aug/Sept 2020 Study).
  3. Weight loss and changes in relative strength.

Required Equipment

  • Squat Rack, Barbell and Weight Plates for heavy Front Squats and Push Presses
  • Pull Up Bar
  • 40-Foot of space for repeat Prone to Sprint Efforts
  • Running Track or known 3-mile and 1 mile distances for the running assessment and intervals.
  • Stopwatch with repeat interval timer (smartphone will work)

 

Cycle Duration and Schedule

This MTI Mini-Study will take 3.5 weeks. It will begin Monday, March 29, 2021, with the initial strength and work capacity assessments. It will end with the final 3 -Mile Run Assessment on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

Weekly Schedule

    • Monday: Strength, Work Capacity
    • Tuesday: 3-Mile Run Assessment or Threshold Run Intervals
    • Wednesday: Strength, Work Capacity
    • Thursday: Threshold Run Intervals
    • Friday: Strength, Work Capacity
    • Saturday: Rest or recreation
    • Sunday: Rest or recreation

 

To Participate

  • You’ll need to commit to training 5 days/week for 3.5 weeks, and follow the program as prescribed
  • You’ll need to commit to following only this programming as formal fitness training for the mini study period.
  • You’ll need to commit to following the prescribed nutritional guidelines. No menu substitutions or exceptions.
  • You’ll need the required equipment (see above)
  • You’ll need to be an experienced, fit athlete.

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email rob@mtntactical.com, and put “Nutrition Lab Rat” in the subject line.

Please include:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Bodyweight
  • Are you a current MTI Subscriber?
  • Are you a mountain athlete, mountain professional or  Tactical Athlete?
  • If not, Indicate the MTI Training Plans you have Completed.
  • Verify you can commit to the 3.5 week, 5 day/week training cycle
  • Verify you have access to the required equipment

Priority Lab Rat selection will be given to current MTI Subscribers, and/or athletes with extensive experience completing MTI training plans.

We’re hoping to get 8-12 lab rats, ages 22-50, for this mini study.

 

 

APPLY NOW

Nutritional Guidelines

 

By Rob Shaul

Updated March, 2021

 

Fundamental Principles

  1. What you eat is more important than how much you eat
  1. Any diet or nutritional plan that makes you constantly hungry isn’t sustainable
  1. Eat whole foods (nothing processed) and you’ll eat smaller portions, eat less often and still eat to satiety
  1. You can’t outwork a shitty diet. 95% of fat loss is diet-related

 

Guideline Goals

  • Increase Lean Body Mass
  • Decrease Body Fat
  • Build High Relative Strength (Strength per Bodyweight)
  • Increase speed over ground for work capacity and endurance
  • Improve mission performance
  • Keep it simple

 

How Much Should I Weigh?

This depends on your job, and height. See the chart below for the general approach, and click MTI’s Ideal Bodyweights for Mountain Athletes, Mountain Professionals and Tactical Athletes for specifics.

Guidelines for Athletes Under 40 Years Old – 6 Days/Week …

Eat only …..

  • Whole Foods – Nothing Processed
  • Start each meal and each snack with whole food protein (poultry, fish, beef, pork, eggs)
  • Vegetables that grow above the ground – leafy veggies, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, etc.
  • You can eat these in moderation – nuts, nut butters (no peanuts), seeds, seed butters, nonfat unflavored greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, berries, dark chocolate (85% or more cocoa)

Drink only …..

  • Coffee, water, bubble water, diet drinks
  • Alcohol – only hard liquor or low carb hard seltzer. No beer or wine

Don’t Eat …

  • Any processed sugar or corn syrup – candy, pastry, condiments with sugar/corn syrup, etc.
  • Grains of any type or format (wheat, corn, oats, rice, bread, rolls, tortillas, pasta etc.)
  • Beans – including peanuts/peanut butter
  • Vegetables that grow beneath the ground – potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, etc.,
  • Fruit other than tomatoes, cucumbers, or avocados (all technically fruit) and berries in moderation. Especially avoid tropical fruits – bananas, mangos, pineapple, etc
  • Limit processed/reduced-fat (oils, butter) to only what is needed for cooking or in typical oil & vinegar salad dressing

Don’t Drink …

  • Milk or cream
  • Calories – surgery soda, fruit juices, etc.

As well … 

  • At every meal, aim to eat more protein than energy (veggies + fats) based on weight.
  • Eat protein for snacks.
  • Eat to satiety – there is no caloric restriction. You should never be hungry.
  • 1 Day/Week – Cheat like a mother … eat/drink anything you want!

 

Guidelines for Athletes Over 40 Years Old – 7 Days/Week ….

    • Same as athletes under 40 years old, but no cheat day.
    • Sucks for you old-timer!

4 Weeks on a P:E-ish Diet

By Rob Shaul

This is an update to a post I published 4-weeks ago, “4-Weeks on a Keto-Ish Diet.”

Background

Over the past 10 years I’ve been following consistently the nutritional recommendations we have published at mtntactical.com. These are simple and direct. These diet recommendations come from Gary Taubes’ book, Why We Get Fat. He’s a journalist, not a scientist, and in putting together this book and his other, Good Calories, Bad Calories, took a look at all the nutritional research and saw where it pointed.

Below are the current MTI Nutritional Guidelines

  • Eat only … Meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, cheese
  • Don’t eat … refined sugar, wheat, bread, grain, rice, potatoes
  • Drink only … coffee, tea, water, zero-calorie drinks (bubble water, diet soda, etc.) Don’t drink sugar and drastically restrict milk/cream. No alcohol
  • No caloric restriction. Eat to saity. No need to count calories or ever be hungry – just eat “clean”.
  • Do this 6 days/week, then Cheat Like A Mother one day/week.

This is the diet I recommend for the majority of the athletes who contact me asking for advice, and literally hundreds, over the years, have reported losing fat eating “clean” as described above, 6 days/week.

However, as I moved into my 40s and now into my 50s (I’m 52) my metabolism has slowed and eating clean as described above 6 days/week has still left me with 5-10 pounds of fat regardless of my training at the time. This is one of the changes that comes with age.

Over the past several years I’d go through periods of skipping the “cheat day” and this would help, but I wouldn’t drop the extra weight I wanted.

Understand my interest in losing weight is not primarily appearance-driven. I’ve had foot fusion surgery, hip replacement surgery, and suffer from some fairly severe knee arthritis. Being “lighter” will significantly help with these issues.

My adult “natural” weight has been 160-165 pounds. I’m 5’7″ (on a tall day) … and have a mesomorph build – naturally muscular – which adds to my weight. I’d love to get down to 145-150 pounds as my “natural weight.”

 

4-Weeks on A Keto-Ish Diet

Taubes recently published a third nutrition book, The Case for Keto” and I followed Taubes’ recommended Keto diet for the last week of January and the first 3 weeks of February. Over that time I shed  5-10# pounds of fat and became significantly leaner.

To review – below are Taubes’ Keto Diet Guidelines:

  • Eat only … Meat (beef, pork, poultry, fish), veggies that grow above ground, berries in season, cheese, unsweetened cream and yogurt, eggs, avocados, tomatoes
  • You can eat this stuff in moderation – low sugar chocolates, nuts and nut butters (no peanuts), seeds and seed butters
  • Don’t eat … refined sugar, grains of any type (rice, wheat, oats, corn, etc.), no sauces that use corn syrup/sugar, no veggies that grow below ground, fruit except avocados, tomatoes and in-season berries, no beans or legumes, sweetened yogurts
  • Drink only … coffee, tea, water, zero-calorie drinks (bubble water, diet soda, etc.)
  • Don’t drink sugar/calories, including fruit/vegetable juices, milk
  • No caloric restriction. Eat to saity.
  • Do this 7 days/week

There are two main differences between Taubes’ Keto diet recommendations and the current MTI nutritional guidelines:

  1. Taubes’ Keto diet recommendations significantly restricts all types of carbs – not only “bad” carbs like bread and sugar, but also vegetables and fruit. The goal is to try and to reduce your carb intake to 20-30 grams per day. Vegetables are okay – but only if they are grown above ground … no potatoes, carrots, etc. Also, no beans, including soy and peanuts.
  2. Increase in fat consumption. Based on my age/bodyweight, the recommendation is that I eat 165 grams of fat per day. Sources of fat are limited – avacodos, olive oil, butter, nut butters, etc.

Over the 4 weeks I followed Taubes’ Keto Diet recommendations, I didn’t strictly count my carb intake – but did watch it closely. To put his in perspective, a single apple has 25 grams of carbs, and prior to dropping in to Taubes’ Keto diet, I was regularly eating 3-4 apples/day, plus berries, oranges, etc. So… a major difference for me when I began following Taubes’ Keto Diet recommendations was an total elimination of fruit from my diet – only avocados, tomatoes and cucumbers remained (all are technically fruit).

Following his recommendations, I also increased my fat intake – but doubted I ever achieved the recommended 165 grams/fat/day for my bodyweight. I drank “bullet-proof” coffee (coffee with added butter and artificial sweetener), added butter to scrambled eggs, tried to eat 1-2 whole avacados/day, and lathered all my meat with olive-oil pesto – but still struggled to eat the fat he recommended.

Taubes’ Keto approach recommends eating to satiety and I did this. I don’t count calories or restrict food – I eat when I’m hungry and just eat what’s on the menu: meat, veggies, fat, nuts. I did drink no-calorie, diet soda to give me a break from coffee and water. For “sweets” I ate dark chocolate – which has very few carbs.

I experienced no negative side effects – training is as normal, no headaches, etc. One thing I have noticed is that I was much less hungry. My food consumption has decreased significantly, and I eat less at meal time. I’m ate my breakfast later in the morning – 10 or 11am, and then skipped lunch because I’m not hungry. I dropped down to 2-2.5 meals/day, and was never hungry.

I did drink alcohol 2-3x/week … but limit it to hard seltzers or hard liquor – which both have very few carbs. No beer or wine.

Below was an example of my diet following Taubes’ Keto recommendations:

AM Coffee

1 Cup “bullet proof” coffee – coffee, 1 tablespoon butter, zero-calorie sweetener
1 Cup black coffee (no added butter)

Breakfast @ 1000

    • 3x Scrambled Eggs mixed with 1.5 slices of cheddar cheese, topped with butter
    • 1/2 Avocado

Lunch/Snack @ 1400

    • 1x Chicken Thigh topped with olive-oil pesto sauce
    • Handful of almonds and square of dark chocolate

Dinner 

    • Salad topped with fish
    • Square of dark chocolate
    • Can of hard seltzer

Other … 1 can diet soda, 1 cup “bullet proof”, water/bubble water,

 

4-Weeks on A P:E-ish Diet

Following my posting of “4-Weeks on a Keto-Ish Diet” I received a note from a Beta subscriber, around my age, who recommended the P:E Diet.

Developed by Ted Naiman, M.D., “P:E” stands for the ratio between protein and energy in individual foods and meals. Naiman classifieds “energy” as both carbs and fat – he groups them together for simplicity.

Continuing with the simple approach, Naiman writes that if you eat foods/meals higher in protein, than energy, you’ll lose fat.

If you eat foods/meals with a one to one ration of protein to energy, you’ll maintain weight/fat.

If you eat foods/meals with more energy (carbs, fat, or both) than protein, you’ll increase fat.

In general, Naiman writes that it’s pretty much impossible to over eat protein. On the other side, it’s pretty much impossible not to overeat when the bulk of your diet is food/meals high in carbs and fat.

 

 

 

In general, here is the P:E Diet
  • High Protein
  • Avoidance of Carbs & Fat Together
  • Try to keep the Protein to Energy (fats + carbs) ratio of individual foods and/or means, equal to 1, or greater (more protein than carbs, fats or carbs + fats).
  • Avoid all refined carbohydrates and fats by eating whole food (no sugar, processed food, reduced fats like oils, etc.)

Eat mostly protein, he explains, and you are mostly protein (muscle) and bone. East mostly energy (carbs and fat), and you are mostly energy (fat).

The difference between the P:E diet and Taubes’ Keto Diet recommendations? More protein, less fat. Writes Naiman … “Going out of your way to eat fat instead could fail to increase protein percentage. Example: “butter-chugging” keto dieters.

Like Taubes, Naiman doesn’t encourage calorie counting and does encourage eating to saity. You should never feel hungry on the P:E diet.

You can eat to satiety as long as protein and/or fiber (leafy veggies) is the dominant macronutrient. This pretty much means every meal should consist of protein and vegetables that grow above the ground like leafy greens, broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower, string beans, etc.

Below are Naiman’s P:E Diet Guidelines:

  • Eat only … Meat (beef, pork, poultry), fish, veggies that grow above ground, eggs, nonfat plain greek yogurt, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados
  • Don’t eat … refined sugar, grains of any type (rice, wheat, oats, corn, etc.), no sauces that use corn syrup/sugar, no veggies that grow below ground, fruit, most cheese, reduced fats (oils, butter- use only enough needed to cook with)
  • You can eat this stuff in moderation – low sugar chocolates, nuts and nut butters (no peanuts), seeds and seed butters, low fat cottage cheese
  • Drink only … coffee, tea, water, zero-calorie drinks (bubble water, diet soda, etc.)
  • Don’t drink sugar/calories, including fruit/vegetable juices, milk, cream
  • Eat meals and snacks with at least a P:E (carbs + fat) ratio of 1:1. To lose fat, eat more protein then energy.
  • No caloric restriction. Eat to satiety. You should never be hungry.
  • Naiman specifically recommends aiming to keep your daily carb intake below 100 grams/day.
  • Do this 7 days/week

What this has meant for me practically is I stopped “chugging butter” and forcing myself to eat fat, and made sure to begin every meal and snack begin with protein. So …  if I’m hungry between meals, for a snack I’ll eat another chicken thigh with salt and pepper.

 

The Result?
  • I’ve dropped another 5 pounds of fat (I’m down to 150 pounds at 5’7″) without ever being hungry. I’d like to get down to 145 pounds – which was my college freshman bodyweight the ideal weight for a mountain athlete at my height.
  • I eat less at meals, fewer meals and less food in general. Snacking is down.
  • Fitness performance has maintained – I’m still making my strength, endurance and work capacity progressions.
  • I’ve begun to experience some of the “mental clarity” benefits described by keto followers – my energy level is more even over the course of the day and the early afternoon “crash” isn’t there anymore.
  • My fat itake is significantly less – no more “bullet-proof” coffee, lots of olive oil pesto or 2 avocados/day.I like this better.
  • The diet is easier for me to understand and implement
  • I still have a square of dark chocolate to satisfy my post-meal sweet tooth, drink diet soda to break up the coffee and water, and drink hard liquor or a hard seltzer 2-3x week. I’m no saint …
  • Food was never a big part of my life (I’m not a foodie) – but it’s become significantly less important.
  • Naiman writes and I’ve experienced, that if you eat whole foods (nothing processed) you eat less in portion size and eat less often. You’re simply not as hungry.

Below was what I ate yesterday:

Early AM

1.5 Cups of black coffee and handful of almonds

Lunch @ 1130

    • 3 Chicken Thighs with Salt & Pepper
    • Raw String Beans
    • Few mouthfuls of leftover cauliflower

Snack @ 1500

    • 2 slices of turkey breast with salt and pepper

Dinner 

    • Salad topped with fish
    • Square of dark chocolate
    • Tequila, Lime Juice and bubublewatter

Other … 2 cans diet soda, water

 

Problems with the P:E Diet
  • Not much variety … Protein and above ground vegetables can only be dressed up so much. You pretty much eat the same thing everyday. Is this sustainable? If you’ve followed the current MTI diet guidelines for years like I have, it is. If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself you could never live without fruit, milk, bread, etc., my answer is, yes, actually you can.
  • Partner Problems – my move from Keto (where I was eating 2 avacados/day) to P:E – which is even more restrictive in terms of food choice – has caused issues. In the past, I was able to solve many of these issues with a weekly “cheat day” – but I’ve cut the cheat day now so I eat clean/strict all the time. What this means is I always have some grilled up chicken breasts or thighs, or leftover protein ready to go and for a couple meals, my family ate pizza and I ate chicken thighs and a quick salad. My partner is a foodie and thinks I’m an extremist ….

Will this lead to changes to the current MTI nutritional guidelines? Yes. I’m still working these through but I’ll likely soon update the MTI guidelines to the following.

For Athletes Under 40 Years Old – 6 Days/Week

  • Eat only Whole Foods – nothing processed
  • Start each meal and each snack with whole food protein (poultry, fish, beef, eggs)
  • Eat only vegetables that grow above the grown – leafy veggies, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, etc.
  • You can eat these in moderation – nuts, nut butters (no peanuts), seeds, seed butters, nonfat, unflavored greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese
  • Don’t Eat eat any processed sugar or corn syrup – candy, pastry, condiments with sugar, grains of any type (wheat, corn, oats, rice, bread), potatoes, sweet potatoes or any vegetable that grows underground, fruit other than tomatoes, cucumbers or avocados
  • Drink only coffee, water, tea, bubble water or no-calorie soft drinks
  • Alcohol – only hard liquor or low carb hard seltzer
  • Don’t drink milk or cream.
  • Limit processed/reduced fat (oils, butter)
  • At every meal, aim to eat a more protein than energy (veggies + fats) based on weight. Eat protein for snacks.
  • Eat to satiety – there is no caloric restriction. You should never be hungry.
  • 1 Day/Week – Cheat like a mother … eat/drink anything you want.

For Athletes Over 40 Years Old – 7 Days/Week

  • Same as above, but no cheat day. Sucks for you old-timer!

 

Conclusion

I recently published MTI’s Ideal Bodyweights for Mountain Athletes, Mountain Professionals and Tactical Athletes. Based on my own experience, without eating “clean” as described above, it will be difficult to achieve these recommended bodyweights unless you’re one of those freaks of nature who has a high metabolism and can eat anything you want. I have found most can’t outwork a shitty diet … and that fat loss is 95% diet related – so eating “clean” is necessary.

My own recent push to lose fat/weight has been driven by evolving fitness and health goals. As I’ve gotten older, pushing weight under the barbell has decreased in importance, while endurance has increased. This shift has been driven by the outside sports I enjoy (surfing, backcountry hunting, mountain biking, trail running, peak bagging, Nordic skiing,) but also by health issues including foot fusion and hip replacement surgery, and chronic knee arthritis.

Intuitively, my body is telling me that being 15-20 pounds lighter will simply be easier on the joints and help me move faster and longer (both short and long term) in the mountains. As well, stiff knees, a chronically sore foot and recovering hip means I simply don’t want to do heavy back squats anymore.But without these injuries, I’m confident I would be able to score “good” or “excellent” on MTI’s Relative Strength Assessment for Mountain Athletes and/or Mountain Professionals at 145-150 pounds bodyweight.

The major adjustment is food choice, and with that how I think about food. Again, I’ve never been much of a foodie, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t easily eat a pint of ice cream or bag of chips at one sitting. For many of us, unhealthy food was a way we rewarded ourselves for doing good (Job promotion – “I deserve ice cream”) or consoled ourselves when things didn’t go our way (bad day … “I’m going to drown myself in ice cream”). Sometimes this has made me feel a slave to bad food … and now I feel freedom from food, and a greater appreciation for whole food.

One major constant in the “slave to food” behavior for most is sweets. Two months ago, I rarely ate any processed sugar, but did eat a lot of fruit – especially apples – which are sweet and pack plenty of carbs and sugar. Dropping into the Keto-ish diet, and now the P:E-ish diet, I’ve cut fruit from my diet – and I wonder if this hasn’t been the main cause of my fat loss. My sweet tooth endures, but I’m able to satisfy it with diet soda or a square of dark chocolate.

Right now I think I’ve found the nutritional guidelines that work for me – will allow me to continue training hard and doing the outdoor sports/activities I enjoy, and keep me light and lean. There’s a cost in food variety/choice – and I do miss ice cream, and my restrictive diet causes some relationship issues – but being lean and light is worth this trade off esp. if my mountain performance improves (movement over ground), and it reduces chronic pain from foot surgery, hip surgery and knee arthritis.

 

Feedback? Please comment below.

 

 


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Ideal Bodyweights for Mountain Athletes, Mountain Professionals and Tactical Athletes

By Rob Shaul

 

For years I’ve answered questions from individual mountain and tactical athletes and/or given unsolicited advice on a target bodyweight based on height, but until now, I’ve never formalized these ideal bodyweight targets.

Everything MTI does is focused on improving and/or maximizing performance, and the same is true for the height vs. bodyweight charts below.

From a performance perspective, both mountain and tactical athletes have a wide range of mission-direct fitness demands. On one end of the fitness spectrum is movement over ground loaded endurance. On the other end is a high relative strength – or strength per bodyweight. In the middle are demands for multi-modal, intense, short-duration (<30 min) work capacity, chassis integrity (functional core) and tactical agility for tactical athletes.

From a bodyweight perspective, strength and endurance work against each other. One key element of traditional strength training is hypertrophy – or added muscle, which means added weight. For endurance athletes, every excess ounce of muscle which isn’t helping with movement is just extra load to carry, and thus slower movement.

My challenge in identifying ideal bodyweight for mountain an tactical athletes is to meet in the middle between these two ends of the spectrum – allow for enough muscle mass for all around, high relative strength, yet not so much mass that it significantly hampers endurance because of unneeded weight.

 

Strength and Endurance Demands by Athlete Type – Mountain Athletes vs Mountain Professionals vs Tactical Athletes

Acknowledging that Mountain Athletes, Mountain Professionals and Tactical Athletes all have similar work capacity and chassis integrity demands, what separates them in terms of fitness programming and and thus, ideal bodyweight, is strength and endurance demands.

Tactical Athletes have a higher strength demand than Mountain Athletes because of load carriage. A pro alpinist will strip his equipment to the lightest possible to go light and go fast. It’s not unusual for pro alpinists to attack peaks on overnight trips with packs 25-pounds or less. My personal 2-3 night backcountry hunting pack weighs under 25#, before water.

A soldier’s ruck weight begins at 45 pounds, often before food and water, and this load does not include 25 pounds of body armor and ammo, 8 pound helmet and 10 pounds carbine. Ruck weights on long FTXs, and military schools like Ranger and Sapper can reach up to 100 pounds.

Even LE Patrol can carry 25 pounds in body armor and duty belt equipment.

Turnout gear and breathing apparatus for urban firefighters can approach 70 pounds and Wildland Fire hotshot crews carry 45 pound packs plus a helmet, chain saw or some other hand tool. Smoke jumps will parachute into fight fires with 90# packs and other gear.

All this external load means an increased relative strength (strength per bodyweight) demand. More strength generally means more muscle, which means more mass/weight.

Mountain athletes generally have a higher endurance demand then tactical athletes. Most mountain missions begin with an approach of some type and many, like mountain biking, backcountry skiing, peak bagging, etc. are an endurance effort beginning to end.

In contrast, the endurance demands for tactical athletes are not as predictable. The a military deployment to the mountainous region of Afghanistan may take significant endurance because of long mountain patrols, while a deployment to an urban area like Syria may not as movement will be by vehicle.

Things are more nuanced for law enforcement.

Urban SWAT/SRT teams primarily get to the mission via vehicle, but occasionally are called out on rural missions and/or manhunts where significant endurance is required.

LE Patrol/Detectives generally don’t have a strong mission-direct endurance demand, but upper body mass (big chest and biceps) can act as a deterrent to would-be bad guys, and MTI LE Patrol/Detective programming includes upper body hypertrophy.

Between Mountain Athletes and Tactical Athletes are the Mountain Professionals – Game Wardens, Ski Patrol, Mountain Guides, SAR, etc.

Mountain Professional mission sets, like mountain athletes, always have a significant endurance demand. However, the loads they carry are greater. While a pro alpinist can get buy with a 20# pack, a mountain guide’s pack will approach 45# as he/she need to carry a first aid kit, extra food/water equipment needed to care for any client issues that arise.

Also in this category are Backcountry Hunters – who’s pack weight can approach 150-pounds when packing game out.

MTI already accommodates for the difference in mission-direct strength and endurance demands between mountain an tactical athletes through programming. In general, the base fitness program design for mountain athletes has more endurance, and the base fitness program design for tactical athletes has more strength.

Specifically to relative strength, the MTI Relative Strength Standards for mountain athletes and tactical athletes are also different. See HERE for our MTI Relative Strength Assessment and the athlete-specific scoring charts. We don’t expect lighter, mountain athletes, to be as strong in terms of relative strength (strength per bodyweight) as tactical athletes.

 

Ideal Bodyweights By Athlete Type and Height

See the charts below for MTI’s ideal bodyweights by athlete type and height.

For each chart, a 1-inch increase in height results in a 5-pound increase in ideal bodyweight.

I began this process with the BJ Devine Bodyweight formula he developed in 1974 to determine drug dosage. In looking at Devine’s chart, it matches closely what I’d observed and recommended for Mountain Athletes over the years and so his chart/formula are what I used for Mountain Athletes.

Each inch of height increase results in a 5-pound increase in ideal bodyweight.

The differences between the charts above is where they start out. For the same height, Mountain Professionals can be 10-pounds heavier than Mountain Athletes, and Tactical Athletes can be 5 pounds heavier than Mountain Professionals.

Again, these ideal bodyweights are based on the endurance and strength fitness demands of each athlete type, but also what I’ve seen anecdotally over 15 years in working with all of these athlete communities, especially when it comes to relative strength, or strength per bodyweight.

Not heavy enough for your athlete type? Take MTI’s Relative Strength Assessment and see where you score. If you score “poor” it’s time to do a strength cycle and increase protein intake.

Too heavy? Either you’re carrying too much fat, or too much muscle. Take MTI’s Relative Strength Assessment and see where you score. Understand that there are two ways to increase you relative strength score …. increase strength or decrease bodyweight.

If you score super high on the strength assessment, you’ve likely been training too much strength, and could stand to cut some muscle. Your endurance may have suffered. Take the appropriate MTI endurance assessment for your Athlete Type and see how you score.

If you don’t score high on the strength assessment, you need to lose some fat. You can’t outwork a shitty diet …. and 90% + of fat loss is nutrition-related. Clean up your diet and you’ll shed fat.

HERE are our nutritional recommendations.

 

Feedback/Comments? Please use the form below.

 

 


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Mini-Study Results: Sinister vs Density Progression to Increase Dead Hang and Front Plank Max Efforts for Time Inconclusive

By Rob Shaul, Founder

BLUF

Density progression outperformed Sinister progression on Dead Hang Improvement, and Sinister Progression outperformed Density on Front Plank Improvement. Overall, the goal to identify which progression is best to improve these type of efforts was inconclusive.

 

Background and Study Design

This study tested two types of progression to improve bodyweight, max effort, isometric holds – the Dead Hang from a Pull Up Bar and Front Plank.

Twenty-three remote lab rats were split into to groups, (1) Density and (2) Sinister.

Each group began with max effort for time for both the Dead Hang from a Pull Up Bar and Front Plank.

After these assessments, each group performed different progressions 3 days/week over  the next 3 weeks, then retested their max efforts on week 4. The week 1 and week 4 max effort for time Dead Hang and Front Planks were then compared.

Density Progression is a percentage-based progression based on a max effort. In this case, the progression began at 5 Rounds of 30% of the athlete’s most recent Dead Hang and Front Plank times, with a 30 second rest between efforts. For example, if the athlete’s max effort Dead Hang was 90 seconds, 90 x .3 = 27 seconds. For the first Dead Hang progression, this athlete would complete:

5 Rounds
27 Sec. Dead Hang
30 Second Rest

Each Training day the Density Lab Rats completed this for both Dead Hangs and Front Planks. Here is an example:

Training:

(1) 6 Rounds

    • 30% Max Effort Dead Hang
    • Rest 30 Seconds between efforts

(2) 6 Rounds

    • 30% Max Effort Front Plank
    • Rest 30 Seconds between efforts

“Sinister” Progression is simply 5 Rounds of Max Efforts, with a 60 second rest between. There is no built in progression. For example each training day the athlete completed

Training:

(1) 6 Rounds

    • Max Effort Dead Hang
    • Rest 60 Seconds between efforts

(2) 6 Rounds

    • Max Effort Front Plank
    • Rest 60 Seconds between efforts

 

This mini-study applied MTI’s pace-based programming to power, and measured the results.

Modern spin bikes, rowing ergs, and assault bikes can measure power, both in terms of total kilojoules produced, as well as current power output in watts.

Twenty-three remote lab rats completed  the 3.5-week mini study.

All lab rats will completed the same, 3-day/week programming. Below was the weekly schedule:

  • Monday: Dead Hang/Front Plank Max Effort or Dead Hang/Front Plank Intervals
  • Tuesday: No Dead Hang or Front Plank Training
  • Wednesday: Dead Hang / Front Plan Density or Sinister Intervals
  • Thursday: No Dead Hang or Front Plank Training
  • Friday: Dead Hang / Front Plan Density or Sinister Intervals

Athletes were allowed to complete other training during this mini study – just no additional Dead Hang or Front Plank work.

The initial and last Max Effort for Time Dead Hang and Front Plank results were compared.

 

Results and Discussion

A total of 23 individuals completed the entire training 3.5 week cycle. Below are the individual lab rat results.

 

The average percent Dead Hang / Front Plank max effort for time improvement for both groups was impressive, but the results between Density vs Sinister progression were split.

The Density group outperformed the Sinister group improvement by 41.51% to 29.74%.

But the Sinister group outperformed the Density group in Front Plank improvement – 66.9% to 29.74%.

As well, the results between lab rats with in the same group showed wide variations. For example, Density group improvement in the Front Plank ranged from 7% to over 117% and Dead Hang improvement in the Sinister group ranged from -6% to 59%.

The one fairly consist part of the results is the overall average improvement.

Density group Dead Hang improvement of 41.51% and Front Plank improvement of 47.36% average out to 44.4%.

Sinister group Dead Hang improvement of 29.74% and Front Plank improvement of 66.4% average out to 48.1%.

We’re fairly confident in stating that either progression will increase isometric hold time by around 40% over 3 weeks.

Next Steps?

This was one of the more cruel mini-studies we’ve had remote Lab Rats complete. It’s hard to describe how painful max effort Front Planks are … and these poor lab rats endured them 3x/week for three weeks. Pain from max effort dead hangs is not quite as acute, but not much less.

From a programming perspective, right now in terms of increasing isometric holds, I consider Density and Sinister progressions to be equally effective, and interchangeable. One advantage of Sinister progression is its simplicity.

Our current bodyweight exercise programming primarily deploys a version of Density progression. What may be interesting is to deploy Sinister progression for max effort bodyweight rep exercises like push ups and sit ups – and compare the results to what we’ve seen with Density progression over the years. Not sure we’ll pursue this – but it’s possible.

 

Questions? Email rob@mtntactical.com
Comments? Please comment below.

 


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Fit Lab Rats Needed To Update Valor

Sorry – Applications no longer being Accepted.

 

By Rob Shaul

MTI is calling for fit remote lab rats to test an upcoming update to Valor – one of MTI’s more well known military athlete training plans.

Valor is an intense, 7-week, 5 day/week training plan. The training will begin Monday, March 9, 2021.

The deadline to apply is 1700 Mountain Time, Friday, March 6, 2021.

 

Details

All lab rats will complete the same, focused training cycle. Programming will be multi-modal, military-specific fitness including running, ruck running, chassis integrity, gym-based strength and single and multi-modal work capacity. Valor was last updated in 2017, and this update will incorporate the most recent evolution of MTI programming for military athletes. The lab rats will test the programming and provide data and feedbacks.

Valor is an intense program and potential lab rats need to be fit, have access to a fully functional gym, and familiar with rucking and ruck running. The update will the most recent evolutions of MTI strength, endurance, chassis integrity and work capacity programming. The current version of Valor has a slight work capacity emphasis.

We’re looking to get 6-10 committed, fit lab rats for this update and communicate frequently together during the program which will involve a group-only message board/forum, and may include an occasional zoom call. You’ll work directly with MTI Founder Rob Shaul for the duration of  of the study project.

Priority lab rat selection will be given to current MTI subscribers, ages 22-40.

What We Hope To Learn

  1. Is the program progression and intensity doable? Do athletes recover?
  2. The applicability of continued improvement modifications to MTI’s endurance, strength, work capacity and chassis integrity progression methodologies.
  3. Assessed improvement across multiple fitness attributes

Required Equipment

  • Fully outfitted functional fitness gym
  • 40# Sandbag (women), 60# sandbag (men)
  • Ruck with 45# of Filler

Cycle Duration

This study project will take 7 weeks. It will begin Monday, March  9, 2021. The program will end Friday, April 16.

 

To Participate

  • You’ll need to commit to training 5 days/week for 7 weeks, and follow the program as prescribed
  • You’ll need to commit to following only this programming as formal fitness training for the study project period.
  • You’ll need the required equipment (see above)
  • You’ll need to be 22-40 years old, and fit.

 

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email rob@mtntactical.com, and put “Valor Lab Rat” in the subject line.

Please include:

  • Age
  • Bodyweight
  • Current fitness level and your current training plan/regimen
  • If you’re a current tactical athlete (military, LE, Fire/Rescue)
  • If you’re a current MTI subscriber
  • Which MTI plans you’ve completed in the past
  • Verify you have access to the required equipment

We’re hoping to get 6-10 lab rats for this study.

Priority lab rat selection will be given to current MTI subscribers, ages 22-40.

APPLY NOW