All posts by SSD

Q&A 4.2.20

QUESTION

I am at a fork in the road of how to continue my training. I have 8 weeks before I go to Air Assault school and I plan on beginning the program here in two weeks. Prior to this I was working my way through Greek Hero, I was on week 2 of Ulysses. I had to divert my training to Willie for a 10K run and then changed it again when I was informed on short notice that I had to take a PTA for the DEA academy.
The two issues I have is what to do with the two weeks prior to beginning the Air Assault plan. I was either going to continue Ulysses for two weeks or work on my 5 mile run time since it needs work.
The other issue I have is that although I haven’t been given a definite yes, I may be inserted into the the next DEA Academy class. In your opinion is the DEA PTA plan a good prep for the rigors of the academy or just the initial PTA? The good thing is that the DEA PTA somewhat mirrors the APFT so the Air Assault plans segues into the DEA PTA plans.
I apologize for the long email, but greatly appreciate your knowledge as your advice in the past has aided my in performing well in events where I had to divert my training.

ANSWER

Do the DEA PTT Training Plan for 2 weeks until you get some clarity, then start the Air Assault Plan 6 weeks before your course. Assume the Air Assault Plan will prepare you both for DEA Academy and Air Assault School.
– Rob

QUESTION

BLUF: I need to mix workouts from the PAST Plan into the TACP V3 and I could use some guidance on the most effective way to do so.
I am training for TACP Officer and my application goes in sometime in late May. If I’m selected I’ll go to Phase II selection in late August.
The application still requires Officer candidates to take the standard USAF PAST and submit it with our package, additionally we take the PAST again at Phase II. I was using the TACP V3 plan but while it will definitely prepare me for selection, my PAST scores are still not where they need to be and that plan focuses more on the Tier 2 OFT.
I was hoping to get some guidance on how to mix workouts from the USAF PAST plan into the TACP plan. If I could get a recommended weekly schedule I would really appreciate it.
Thank you for your valuable time and assistance, have a great day!

ANSWER

One plan at a time. Now … PAST. After you submit your packet in May, pivot to the TACP Selection Course Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a huge fan of your programs, and while I work with LE and military athletes, I am a government analyst during the day and attend law school at night. Unfortunately, between a very busy day job and school at night, I am pretty strapped for time.
Do you happen to offer any shorter programming options for (45 minutes or less) for general athletes? Or any recommendation on how to modify programs for shorter windows? I realize that what makes MTI so great is the work required in the programs so I understand if this is not possible.
Thank you very much for your time.

ANSWER

Not for General Athletes, but our Spirits Packet of Plans for LE Patrol/Detective have training sessions designed to last 45-50 minutes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently starting the hypertrophy program for skinny guys this Monday 3/2/20 from your website. I am someone who previously liked to work out but felt as if I was stuck and couldn’t gain anymore size which is why I am trying your program! With this, the program is only 4 weeks long and once it is over, I want to continue to work out, so I don’t lose my size and/or strength. What would you recommend I do at the end of these 4 weeks to continue my physical health so I can keep my size and strength? Thanks for your time as I hope to hear back soon.

ANSWER

After the Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys, pivot to strength. I’d recommend Big 24.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was somewhere in the middle of your Humility plan when I hurt my shoulder playing sambo. I couldn’t lift my arm up past my collar bone so I assume it’s a rotator cuff. I’ve had issues before with it.

Took a few weeks off but now I’d like to get back at it. I’m starting your half-marathon plan to use this opportunity to concentrate on my legs, but I’m curious if you have some advice.
I’m guessing as an experienced coach you’ve seen a few shoulder issues before.
I can now lift my arm over my head and do a couple push-ups and pull-ups without crying, but I want to work on my shoulder to fix it for good. I used to think that military presses and dips and chin-ups or rows were all I needed to have healthy shoulders, but I’m wrong of course.
I’ve been practicing a few exercises from your library specific to shoulders, but I’m curious if you’d recommend any in particular, or even a shoulder-specific routine.
I’m aware you’re not a doctor and would probably hesitate to give advice over email, but I’m a fan of your practical approach and experience, and figured I’d reach out. Thanks much.

ANSWER

Right – I can’t give medical advice or diagnose your shoulder remotely.
Given that – a couple recommendations:
1) Purchase and use “Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff” or a similar book from amazon.
2) Try MTI’s Shoulder Blaster exercise (unloaded) and Y+L Exercise. Do both unloaded.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently training for the FBI academy which I will start in 4-6 months.  What training plan would you recommend to get the most improvement on these events and prepare me for being all around better shape.  At my last PFT my scores were as follows:
Sit-ups: 57
300m sprint: 48 seconds
Push-ups: 39
1.5m run: 10:48
Pull-ups: 7
Please let me know where you think I should be starting out in your programming.

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
1) FBI SA PFT Training Plan
2) Whiskey, then part of Tequila – both plans from our Spirits Packet of plans for LE Patrol/Detective
3) LE Academy Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before the Academy.
– Rob

QUESTION

Peak Bagger Plan: While box steps are listed for the exercise, what is your thought on replacing (at times) just good ol fashion stairs or a nice long, aggressive hill?

ANSWER

Okay, but you have to do the prescribed vertical … so if the plan calls for 600x Step ups @ 17″ box, 600 x 17 = 10,200 inches = 850 vertical feet. (uphill only) … so you’ll have to somehow measure the vertical feet of the steps and get in 850.
– Rob

QUESTION

First and foremost, thank you so much for the phenomenal training plans you’ve generated over the years. I have the Greek Hero set, the LEO Spirit set, and the SWAT selection programs. They’ve been instrumental in helping me hit several milestones for my endeavors in the FL Army National Guard (I’m an Infantry Company Commander) and as a LEO for a local sheriff’s office.
The purpose of this email is to ask what recommendations you have for someone recovering from a leg injury. Long story short, I severed two tendons in my right foot (the tendons that connect my ankle to my foot), and partially severed another one (a tendon that connects the outside of your foot to the bottom of your calf). I had surgery to re-attach my severed tendons and fix the partially torn one. As of now, I have not begun physical therapy but am losing my mind at home (the doctors have placed me on a “no work status” until further notice). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

Training Plan for Athletes Suffering Leg Injury. This will train the rest of your body around your injury.
I had foot surgery 14 months ago and this thing is amazing. Soon I was doing sandbag keg lifts and clean and presses wearing it … much better than crutches for training and everything else!
– Rob

QUESTION

I had read your ministudy on heavy barbell complexes, which followed a 2x/week protocol.  What are your current thoughts on the 3x a week that Gladiator prescribes? Would you recommend that for older ppls (I’m 53, but have been training for several decades).

Also, what are your plans for the mountainathlete.com domain? I see it points to mtnathlete branded clothing now. Are you going to add a link to mountain programming too? I still wear your old tshirts with the “Train Hard Climb Fast”  line, hah.

ANSWER

Gladiator is intense – and awesome. Too intense for a 53 year old? Could be … I’d recommend diving in and trying the first week (3x/week). If it’s going okay keep going, and if not, rest Wednesday, and do Wednesday’s session on Thursday and Thursday’s session on Friday and drop the Friday session.

Go for 3 weeks and do the re-assessment on week 4. Decide then if you want to continue.

I’m slowly working to move the mountainathlete.com domain to apparel …. having programming both there and at mtntactical.com was just too confusing for everyone.

– Rob


QUESTION

I got a connection with an active guy and decided to go active instead of Guard. That puts me at an estimate of July 01 being my basic training date. In time I have until then, I’d like to complete the SFAS training plan 8 weeks before, but I’m stuck on what plan to complete before that. I will say, coming from LEO, my distance running and rucking is lacking but I am still very strong.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for all you do!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if your program increases in difficulty as you progress or is it on the user to add difficulty? For example I have an app that has you start at a weight for bench press that I chose, but it only tracks the weight I lifted it does not tell me to increase the weight.

Secondly; after purchased do all the programs open up? As in my if I did a ACFT course twice but noticed my I am used to those movements and need a shock can I choose another program or do I have to stick with one program?

Third; is there any single workouts that I wouldn’t have to start a whole program to use. Sam example I’m bored or I have more energy and want to do something harder?

Hope that makes sence, if not let me know.

ANSWER

1) Most programming include progression across multiple modes …. i.e. the programming increases in difficulty as you work through it.
2) If you purchase a subscription, you have access to all the plans … you don’t get locked into one. If you purchase an individual plan, you cannot see the other plans.
3) No …. not exactly. MTI programming is all planned and progressed and the focus is to improve mission direct performance for mountain and tactical athletes. It’s not built around the idea of random programming or focused on just working out. It’s professionally designed strength and conditioning programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

What is the best preworkout to use while training. I am a sheriff deputy and often after a 12 hour shift I need a boost especially when running.

ANSWER

If you’re asking about a supplement – caffeine.
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like to first say thank you for your services and knowledge. My brother used your programs over the course of about 10 months following up to his selection for CCT selection, to which he graduated 1st in his class. All we both can say is that we are both very much believers in your methods and programming.
Now for as for myself. I am currently 25 serving in the United States Marine Corps as an 0331(Machine gunner). I am currently in the process of attempting my hand at MARSOC A&S. I have about 9 months until I would be attending the course. I was wondering what yout advice would be for programs to follow from now until selection? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

Thanks for the note!
Follow the plans/order in the Pirate Series of plans between now and 9 weeks out from selection. Exactly 9 weeks before selection, drop out of the Pirate Series and complete the MARSOC A&S Selection Training Plan. 
The Pirate Series Plans are designed as day to day programming for SOF with water-based mission sets and concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck, swim), chassis integrity, and tactical agility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I will be attending the Florida smokediver course at the end of the year and wanted to go ahead and start preparing. I am unsure what program to select considering it is a very physical intense program. On the first day of class I will have to complete a fitness test consisting of 50 push ups in 2 min. 70 sit ups in 2 min. And 1.5 mile run in less than 11:15. After that I must compete for a spot by doing an obstacle course race consisting of wood chop, 50m hose drag, 5 pull ups, 5 story stair climb with 50ft of 2.5 inch hose and hose hoist 50ft of 2.5 inch hose up 5 floors the 24 foot ladder raise. This obstacle course will be done in full gear on air and you complete as many rounds as possible on a tank and individuals with most completions get selected. Any advice will greatly help. Thank you very much.

ANSWER

Between now and exactly 14 weeks out from your course, complete the plans/order in the Country Singer Packet I, beginning with Johnny. This programming concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity (functional core).
At 14 weeks out, drop out of the Country Singer plans and complete Valor (7 weeks), followed by the SWAT Selection Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before your event.
The SWAT Selection Plan will prepare you well for the fitness assessment and obstacle course work you’ll face in Florida.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been following you guys for a bit and have a question on a long term plan for pursuing FBI Academy.
Do to current work commitments, I will not be able to apply for the FBI for 1 year. In the meantime, I am studying BJJ/Muay Thai 4x per week. These sessions are typically 2 hours long.
What would be a good long term plan? I want to focus on building strength and fighting ability as I expect there to be less time for this as an agent. However, I know that moving closer to the application the PFT will become a priority.
I have access to standard gyms, but there aren’t any functional gyms in my area outside of CrossFit, and they do not allow outside programming unfortunately.
As background, I did pursue Marine OCS and attended OCC in 2017 with a 285 PFT (max pull-ups, crunchies, 19:45 run). I was pretty successful in the physical components, especially the rucking and endurance, and decent on the running but never faster than 6:45’ miles. I was injured out of the program half way through. Since then, I’ve bulked up and am about 205 with 21% body fat.
Happy to provide more information, but the main question is what would be a good long term plan to build technical fighting ability/strength right now and then phase into PFT specific and academy specific training in the next year.

ANSWER

Now? I’d recommend the Big 3 + Run Training Plan. My concern with your current 4 day/week, 2-hour/day training program is overtraining, and the Big 3 + Run plan will complement the work capacity you’re getting in your fight training by adding in max effort strength and endurance. How to schedule is tricky. You could try 2-a-days, but that would depend on your fitness. If your fight training is most important, you’d want to do it first before anyone  other training. Better might be to alternate sessions so, Day 1 – fight, Day 2 Big 3 + Run, Day 3 Fight, etc., but take at least one full day off weekly.
Follow the Big 3 + Run Sessions in order.
Long Term? I don’t have a long term training plan for athletes focused on fight training. We do have a BJJ Training Plan which would complement your fight stuff, but it’s not a long term plan. Again, the issue is over training and avoiding fatigue which would impact your learning during your fight training. So, if you continue with the fight stuff, after Big 3 + Run, I’d recommend another of our strength plans – specifically Big 24, following the same alternating schedule.
FBI Academy? Not sure if you’ve taken the FBI SA PFT yet, but if not, complete the FBI SA PFT Training Plan the 6 weeks directly before your test.
Seven weeks out from the Academy, complete the LE Academy Training Plan.
– Rob

Q&A 3.26.20

QUESTION

In regards to Range Fitness, I don’t have a rifle but I have a pistol is there potentially a way of adapting the carbine plan to be done with a pistol.

I live on a rural area so the range of engagements can potentially be very far especially for a pistol, although short range work in a house is also a priority given a rise in armed robberies in my area.
I appreciate your assistance in advance.

ANSWER

We developed the Range Fitness system for pistols as well, but I never built a full plan like I did for carbines.
Here is one of the Pistol drills we developed: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/mil1687-shoot-fast-2013-07-29/
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if I purchase the usaf PJ packet (which has the 8 workout plans) would it show me when to implement the different programs?

ANSWER

You’ll want to begin the packet exactly 53 weeks before selection.
The 8 plans, in the order you’ll complete them, are:

QUESTION

I am an LEO in Vienna, Austria.
First I want to tell you that all of your plans seem very engineered and seem to be on point when it comes to the outcome that is targeted by each individual plan. I still have a question though and that ist as follows.
I have a selection for a particular unit of the police coming in May.
The selection consists of a very intense parcours which is about 450 meters (a quarter of a mile) long and should take about 2,5 to 3 minutes.
It consists of sprints and 29 obstacles (ladders, ropes, jumping,
Unfortunately, I have not found a training plan on your website that targets this specific goal. I do have access to it. My question now is if you could tell me which one of your plans fits my demandings the best or if there is no such plan, would you create one when I sign up fir your membership?
ANSWER
By my count you have 11 weeks until May 11. I’m not sure when your selection begins, but you’ll want to time it so you complete the second plan recommendation – the SWAT/SRT Selection Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before your selection … here’s what I’d recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-4          Ruger – First plan in our Gun Maker Packet of plans for full time LE SWAT/SRT. Trains strength, work cap, endurance, chassis integrity and tactical agility.
Obstacle Course – what we’ve found is familiarity and obstacle technique expertise are almost more important than fitness to completion time.
Since you have access to the obstacle course now, what I’d recommend is for Weeks 1-4, complete the O-Course 3 times on Saturdays, with a 5 minute rest between efforts.
For weeks 5-11 and the SWAT Selection Training Plan,  replace the Friday Dirty Dog Repeats with 3 more runs of your O-Course, with 5 minute rest between efforts.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently using your Bataan Death march race program to prepare for the event in March. After that I am planning to do the Monte Rosa Spaghetti Traverse in Switzerland Sept 3rd through 10th. I will have about 6 months after the Bataan Death March to prepare for the Monte Rosa. Any thoughts on what programs you would recommend directly after Bataan and in prep for MR?
As an FYI- I’ve used your Rainier and Big Mountain Plans for Ecuador and Mt Rainier climbs.
I appreciate your help and love your programming.

ANSWER

6 months = 23 weeks. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-7          Jedediah Smith
8-14        Frank Church
15-18      Wrangell St.-Elias (1st 3 weeks)
19           Total Rest
The first 4 plans are from our Wilderness Packet for Wilderness Progressionals and have a strong mountain endurance (running, uphill movement under load). Complete the Peak Bagger Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before your trip.
The route seems to be mostly scrambling and snow travel. Not sure there is enough rock work to dedicate much time rock training, but if so, I’d recommend working in a V-Sum at a local bouldering gym weekly.
– Rob

QUESTION

Love the work that you do, love MTN, best thing out there I think. So, my wife is struggling a bit to find a workout regimen that is helpful to her. She works as an accountant and during high peak seasons (Feb to April, July to Sept) can only get to the gym about 3 times a week. What plan would you recommend? She is most concerned these days about how her legs are conditioned, but I always remind to her to not forget her upper body conditioning as well. I recommended to her the Big 3 + Run, but she saw that it was a 6 times a week program, what plan do you recommend for her? Looking forward to your response. I’d say cardio wise she’s very fit, can run and swim with anyone in her age group with ease. She is 30 years old. She has good knowledge grasp around the gym, is familiar with other MTN plans (hypertrophy, push up improvement). She struggles with strength, she can do about ten pushups (chest to deck with good form), close to squatting her body weight, knows how to deadlift, bench, etc. She definitely uses the videos you all have, very helpful! Hopefully that helps.  Happy Friday brother!

ANSWER

Johnny from our Country Singer Packet. This is a 5 day/week plan – but just have her follow the sessions in order when she gets to train.
Johnny is multi-modal (strength, work cap, Chassis Integrity, Endurance) – and the strength in the plan deploys our TLU progression …. which means each session is self-scaling and she won’t need to remember past 1RMs, etc.
– Rob

QUESTION

What is the recommended rest between sets on big 24 lifts.

ANSWER

Each strength set is followed by a stretch or mobility drill. Ideally is your “working rest” between rounds.
However, in our experience, we’ll be able to finish the session in 50-60 minutes at the beginning of the cycle (-10 pounds), but at the top of the progression, it was taking 75 minutes simply because of its intensity – and we simply needed more rest to be able to make the lifts. So do the stretch, and then lift. If you’re not making the reps, rest a little after the stretch.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am into your mountain base program (Helen).  So, here my questions/recommendations so far.

– part of the program requires running. I am in a winter climate (Colorado), and running is quite difficult and often impossible.  Part of my intent was to have a strong indoor program for the winter months. I get out there to ski, etc.  But in lieu of running, I am using a rower/in door bike for cardio.  Can you develop goals/metrics for alternate cardio?  In the summer, I will be running mountain trails, and won’t have as much time to be in the gym, so this program can be seasonal.  Indoor PT in winter months and more outdoor in summer months.  Or do you have a program like that?

– in the App, once you’ve established your 1 RM, it should auto calculate the weights for you for the following weeks. Yes, I can do math, but during a workout, sometimes I have to refer back to the 1RM and then do the math.  It would be nice to just have the designated weight auto-populate. A more user friendly app.

ANSWER

1. Spin 8 miles for time and complete 2-mile spin intervals at a threshold pace, in lieu of the 1 mile run repeats. Do the step ups in the plan as prescribed.
2. Understand. We use a notebook.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just started the busy operator 1 program. I am looking to add in some rowing during the rest days to keep me moving and keep my stress levels down. Will this negatively impact the strength progression of the program? Or should I use the days off to foam roll and stretch?

ANSWER

You should be able to add rowing as long as it’s not super intense – easy pace.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have done the hunting package workout for the past few years. This year you changed it, in the past you had more military/full body workouts (Ex.Humility) for the few months before the sport-specific backcountry workout 7-8 weeks before the hunt. Why the change?

ANSWER

I was concerned the lead-up programming wasn’t adequately preparing hunters for the focused intensity of the final plan in the packet. The build plans do this now.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am attending OCS in July and want to get a jump start on preparing for the test. I know the PT test recently changed and was wondering if this was reflected on the OCS training program? Is the current program still up to date?

ANSWER

Our understanding is the ACFT will take over for the test at OCS in October.
Let me know if you have any documentation which says different. Our current plan uses the APFT.
– Rob

 

MTI’s Kettlebell/Dumbbell Training Plans

 

These plans and packets focus on different fitness attributes and can mostly be completed with a set of Dumbbells/Kettlebells, pull up bar, box /bench, and open space for sprints and shuttle runs.

Learn more about each plan by clicking the links below:

 

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

 

Q&A 3.19.20

QUESTION

What would be your best program before RASP? Before you do the actual 6 week program I mean. I’d like to stay strong but mainly work on work capacity and durability. I am old and can’t afford to get kicked out from injury! Thank you for all you do.

ANSWER

Valor – for work cap. Understand the best thing you can do for durability is be as event-specifically fit as possible going in to ramp. Nothing in the literature has shown that mobility, flexibility, recovery, etc. has as much to do with durability as sport-specific fitness.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently purchased your TACP training plan. When I did the 10 mile ruck assessment, my time was 2:27. When I enter the time into the calculator, it says my 3 mile interval time is around 35min. That is a considerably faster per mile pace than the 10 mile. Is this on purpose or am I entering something wrong. Thank you.

ANSWER

It’s actually between 36:47 and 37:40, and it’s accurate. Shorter Distance, Faster pace.
– Rob

QUESTION

Good afternoon from Hawaii.  A little background info.  I have been an avid cross fitter for 4 years and also a service member for 9 years.  I was looking for something more job specific and came across your program.
I just have a couple of questions for you regarding fortitude program that I started.
1.  Time between sets during the strength portions.  Is there a recommendation for rest
Btw sets?
2.  Steady effort on the time amrap events like sand bag get ups.  Does that just mean keep working at a pace where you don’t need a Break?

ANSWER

1. Each strength circuit includes a stretch or mobility drill – hold for 30-45 seconds – this is your working rest between sets.
2. Yes …. if it’s a Grind. If it’s an AMRAP …. It means As Many Rounds As Possible – threshold effort.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have taken your advice and purchased the BJJ Training Plan. I had a few questions about the program before I get started.
How long should the breaks be between rounds (especially the ones where you “increase load rapidly”)?
How much weight should I be increasing by every round (warm ups, main strength movements, etc)?
Is there any alternative item I can use for a sandbag? Like a ruck sack? Or should I make a sandbag?
Thanks again for the support. I really appreciate it.

ANSWER

1. Each strength circuit includes a stretch. This is your working rest between rounds.
2. I can’t dictate loading for you remotely. In general – light on the warm up if the load is not prescribed. Increase rapidly until “hard but doable” on these sets. Aim to be at your “hard but doable” load by round 4 or 5.
3. No sub for a sandbag. You’ll need to make one. Be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been a wildland firefighter with the hotshots for 9 seasons. I was dealing with some health issues most of the winter so now I’m a month and a half from the season in absolutely horrible shape. Wondering what my best choice for workout plan would be. I’m afraid the hotshot/jumper preseason one might be too intense for me coming back from these medical issues.

ANSWER

Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. This plan is no joke and assessment based – so it automatically scales to your incoming fitness, then, via re-assessments, continues to push you as you work through the program.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope you are doing well.  I am in a funk and was wondering if you could recommend a new program to try out.  I currently have the Helena Dumbbell, Johnny and Resilience programs that I have been rotating for quite a while and I think that I would like to try a strength program.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the programs but I am just a little burned and looking for a change, or might want to just stand around and push heavy weight for a change.  Do you have any recommendations on a 4 or 5 day a week program that mostly trains for strength with a day of endurance work?  I am 5 minutes from two different mountains here in Phoenix that I like to hit once a week with a 60# pack.  I would love to gain some strength but don’t want to loose anything on the endurance side.
I was looking at the “1-Lift Per Day” routine and I like the look of it but I am also having some issues with pain at the ball of my left foot.  I can ruck but running and box jumps are a little tough for me right now.  Could I substitute the runs with rucks and is there an alternative to box jumps so I can give my foot a rest?
What about the “Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys” program?  I know there is supposed to be total rest on Saturday and Sunday but would a ruck every so often be too much?
Any input would be appreciated, thanks!

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Big 3 + Run Training Plan. You can replace the running in the plan with rucking.
As prescribed – it’s running. Do the 2-mile assessment – but ruck, and use the rucking calculator for Tuesday’s intervals.
Skip the Thursday intervals, and on Saturdays, ruck instead of run.
– Rob

QUESTION

How do you feel about treadmills for the timed runs? For example, today was 4 sets of 800m sprints, so I set up the speed I needed on the treadmill and ran that. Is that hurting my progress?

ANSWER

I’m not sure the transfer is direct … i.e. if running on a treadmill transfers directly to running on ground. So, unless there is a very good reason, run outside.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have about 7 weeks until I report to 7th Special Forces Group. I’m in the middle of moving so I was wondering which plan would be best that uses little to no weights at the house. I’m in ok shape but want to tune up my cardio a bit but still keep/ gain strength and endurance.

ANSWER

Humility would be best. You’ll need a pair of dumbbells, sandbag and IBA/Weightvest or 25# pack.
Next would be Bodyweight Foundation.
– Rob

QUESTION

Since low back spasms are a regular occurrence, i’ve not been lifting heavy at all.
Mostly between episodes, i’m digging out, and then when i’m actually able to do some work – i’ll lift relatively lightly 4-6 times per week and run every so often. workouts usually consist of push one day and pull the next. hit legs most days and try to do lifts that at minimum don’t light me up.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you begin our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. This plan is no joke, and includes bodyweight core work.
Follow it up with your Low Back Fitness Training Plan.
Email back on the other side of the LBFTP.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m wondering if you’d be able to suggest a program based on my goals.
I’m a novice trail runner planning to run a half marathon in the next 6 months and avid hiker looking to complete the Tahoe Rim Trail (161 miles) in 8 days and scale Half Dome in under 12 hours.
I’m looking for a suggestion on plans that will allow me to accomplish these goals and still allow for me to run and hike for active recovery.

ANSWER

MTI’s approach is to complete “base training” programming relevant to your athlete type (mountain, tactical), and then do event-specific programming directly prior to your events.
So for multi sport mountain athletes like you, you’ll be moving between base fitness, and event-specific training ups.
For your Base Fitness, I’d recommend the plans/order in the Greek Heroine Series, beginning with Helen. Overall, these plans have a mountain endurance emphasis (running, uphill hiking under load), but concurrently train strength, work capacity, climbing fitness (rock), and chassis integrity (core). Start with Helen.
7 Weeks prior to your Half Marathon, drop out of the Green Heroine Plans and complete the Half Marathon Training Plan.
…. then drop back into the Greek Heroine Plans
8 Weeks prior to your through hike, drop out of the Greek Heroine Plans and complete the Ultra Running Pre-Season Training Plan. For the Friday/Saturday sessions, Ignore the heart rate restrictions in the plan and complete these sessions hiking, or hike-running, on trails, wearing the same weight pack you’ll carry on your trip.
…. then drop back into the Greek Heroine Plans
8 Weeks prior to Half Dome, drop out of the Greek Heroine Plans and complete the Big Wall Training Plan.
– Rob

 

Gym Closure Training Plans

 

1) Gym Closure Training Plan

Due to the current situation, we’ve designed a specific training plan for athletes affected by a social distancing related gym closure.

The Gym Closure Training Plan is a multi-modal training plan that deploys bodyweight strength,  multi-modal work capacity, single-mode endurance (run, ruck), and chassis integrity (core).

You’ll need:

  • Backpack with 45# of filler
  • Pull Up Bar, rings, TRX, tree limb, door jam or anything else for pull ups. Be resourceful
  • 16-18″ Step, box or bench for step ups
  • Jump Rope – if you’re stuck at home and can’t run or ruck

The sessions take 45-90 Minutes. “Gym work” is designed to take 45-60 minutes. Weekday endurance days will extend to 75 minutes. Saturday’s optional endurance extends to 90 minutes.

 

Learn More

 

2) No Equipment / Limited Equipment Training Plans

In addition, we offer several other plans (that each focus on different fitness attributes) that you can complete without a gym.

Below is a list of our current no equipment/limited equipment training plans and packets:

 

 

Not sure which plan? Email rob@mtntactical.com

Q&A 3.12.20

QUESTION

I am about to complete TLU, and I previously completed Big 24.  I was wondering what you would recommend next.  I am currently deployed, but it is easier to do gym-based workouts then incorporating any rucking, due to space on storing our rucks in our rooms.

ANSWER

Options:
1) Ultimate Work Capacity – you may need to modify/cut the Saturday endurance work depending on your location.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in the military and I am a comm dude in the community I need something that will maintain my cardio but I need to build my all around strength, my rucking could be faster, my running Is good but I really need to work on my strength I have started a better diet to support something to work on my strength I just don’t know what exercise to do could you please point me in the right direction please, thank you

ANSWER

I’d recommend beginning our stuff with Apollo. This is a multi-modal training plan designed for military athletes but has a slight strength emphasis. This should help build your strength while maintaining your running/endurance fitness.
– Rob

QUESTION

I do heavy back squats once a week
5X5 and after the back squats I do three 3X10 front squats for a burn
out. Not sure if doing back squats then front squats is beneficial.

ANSWER

Difficult to answer you question without seeing the overall program – as this isn’t mine.
I will say that training to burn out with the 3×10 front squats is what I’d call hypertrophy (mass building) rather than strength training and will work to add mass to your legs.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just read your Programming Holy Grail post and it mentions the idea of hybrid training- the example was a tactical/mountain athlete I believe.
When I am done the backcountry hunter packet and heading into October/November this year I’ll want to head into a strength/hypertrophy biased program I’m thinking for a period of time.

I am a firefighter so figure maybe a hybrid approach might be good??

What program(s) would you point a fella in for that type of programming?  Obviously not in a hurry but curious as I like to do my research ahead of time!

ANSWER

We don’t recommend hypertrophy training for most tactical, and all-mountain athletes. Extra mass, possibly without more strength, is just more weight to move around. The exception is for certain LE athletes – patrol/detectives and corrections – where a bigger upper body can be an intimidating factor to bad guys. That said … here are your options from MTI programming:
1) Ultimate Meathead Cycle – gym-based, 4 day/week plan with 3 days focused on strength (lower/total) and hypertrophy (upper body). Think heavy sets of 3 reps of back squats supersetted with sets of 10 reps of dumbbell flys. This plan most closely matches what you ask for.
2) Plans/Order in the Notorious Prison Packet beginning with Rikers – these plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, grip strength, upper body hypertrophy, chassis integrity (core) and tactical agility. Great, multi-modal programming.
3) Plans/Order in the Big Cat Series for Fire Rescue, beginning with Jaguar. Mission-Direct for Fire Rescue (strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, tactical agility) – but no hypertrophy.
– Rob

QUESTION

I did the body weight program and I participated in the trap bar deadlift trail. I’m getting over a pretty bad back injury that lasted for years. I just want to improve my overall strength and fitness level. I feel like an out of shape disgusting pig. I’m Marine Arty guy, so I don’t necessarily have to be SOF level but I would like to get back to above the average Marine. Any suggestions?

ANSWER

1) Plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet beginning with Hector. These are designed or military infantry/SOF and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), endurance (running, ruck), and tactical agility.
2) Plans/order in the Country Singer Packet beginning with Johnny. These apply MTI base fitness programming for athletes who are not tactical or mountain and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and endurance (running).
Both options are high level programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m an active duty Marine stationed aboard MCAS Miramar in San Diego. I was an avid bodybuilder my first few years in and just last year I started feeling burnt out and lost interest in the sport. Not to mention that being “big” didn’t help my functional fitness or PFT scores. I’ve been looking for a program that is more conducive to my career as a Marine and I found out about MTI after doing some research.

I’m interested in your Greek Hero series, but I can’t afford the entire packet right now. What would be the best program in the series to improve speed and endurance? That’s my biggest weakness. Would it be Actaeon?

I look forward to hearing from you!

ANSWER

Yes on Actaeon. Enjoy the 800m ruck run repeats …
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m working on the bodyweight programs (currently on week two of bodyweight I) and I have some renovations at my home gym so I had to take down my pull up bar and not every gym I go to has a pull up bar. Any suggestions for a good substitute for pull ups in the short term? Obviously pull ups are the best but I’ve been doing rows with a barbell and some weight and rows hanging from a barbell on a bench press rack (body almost horizontal). I’m open to suggestions though.

ANSWER

Horizontal Pull Ups — Hanging from a barbell on a bench press rack.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope all is well-I thought I remember reading awhile back that MTI had started a programming site for young athletes, but can’t seem to find it. Was I hallucinating?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Long time follower of your work. Recently Im just finishing up Ironman training and looking to move back into the Daily Operator cycle. Before I do, I wanted to double check my understanding-
The plan is to again go from Bodyweight Base, to Ramp Up, to the Daily Operator Hector through Actaeon.
Lets say though that loaded runs and ruck running isn’t what I’m looking for. Does it affect the goal of this cycle to exchange it with running or cycling? In addition, adding the swimming in the morning is another thing I’m interested in.
All in all, would you recommend my combination of ideas or should I look at spacing things out a bit smarter~
Regardless, love your plans. I added +100lbs to every compound the last time I ran your cycles and am hoping for the same effect.

ANSWER

Replace rucking with running or cycling?  – Yes, it will affect the goal of our military programming as one of the fitness demands of all military athletes is movement under load. The most mission-direct method we’ve found to train for rucking is to ruck – which is why it’s in our programming.
We understand from a long term durability perspective rucking may not be the best on the body, but that’s part of the job you chose, and the last thing I want as a coach is to have you arrive at a deployment or some other mission where rucking is a daily reality, and not have you physically prepared. This is the path to injury.
But, you’re a professional athlete, and inescapably responsible for your physical job preparation.
Swimming? Best not to double up with our programming. Better would be, after Military OnRamp if your current fitness is suspect, to drop into the Pirate Series of plans designed for military/LE units with water-based mission sets. These programs include swimming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve purchased a few programs in the past and I decided to humble myself and start with your body weight foundation followed by the body weight build. I was wondering, what was your opinion on doing the ultimate work capacity immediately after? Is it too ambitious?

ANSWER

You could try – the only thing I’m not sure about is some of the prescribed loading in the Ultimate Work Capacity events – which you may need to scale down.
Best would be to do a multimodal program first, which includes free weight strength, work capacity, endurance, and loaded chassis integrity – then do UMC.
So, after Bodyweight Foundation, I’d recommend Johnny, then Ultimate Work Capacity if you want to focus just on work cap for a cycle.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m 44, airport police and firefighter and just completed police Academy as well as Fire Recert. (Cpat was a breeze thanks to your program). I will recommend your CPAT plan for the upcoming potential recruits. Best anywhere and well worth the nominal price.

I am switching over to SF45 due to knee problems. I work two jobs and though the time to work out is not the problem but enough rest is.  I’ve found that when I kill it with the Humility plan or the Hypertrophy for Skinny guys  I can’t get enough rest and still work my 2 jobs, kids, etc.

Is SF 45 the right choice and should I start with Alpha or skip to packet 2 Echo?

Just trying to keep my weight down,  tone up and keep some good cardio fitness going.

ANSWER

Start with SF45 Alpha.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just finished week 4 of Jaguar.  I was wondering if you have a standard or an average of how many reps your athletes normally get on the 80# SB Get up and on the step over assessment.
Thanks.  I absolutely love this program!!

ANSWER

The plan and assessment calls for a 60# sandbag, not an 80. I had some lab rats do the full assessment years ago and can’t remember what the scores were for this event … but they completed it after all the other events prior … so that would push their scores down quite a bit.
But … use a 60#.
– Rob

QUESTION

I love what you guys are doing and thank you for providing a hard program. I’ve seen the bullshit programs from other sites (military.com or passranger.com) and none give me the confidence nor challenge me enough.
So I’m finishing up week 2 and I’m trying to follow the program to the T, but I had a question. On days where it’s 35% or 40% Max push up or sit-ups based off the RPFT. I typically start hitting muscle failure around the end of the third set. If I can’t do a push up with solid form, I begin to finish out the set doing modified push ups.
Is it more beneficial to take a knee,  and knock them out in mini sets of 2 or 3 until I finish the set. OR should I continue with doing modified until I hit that number for the set?
Also, is this typical to hit MF Midway through?
Thanks for your help.

ANSWER

Everyone is different on the push ups, but it’s not uncommon to have trouble with these  by the 3rd rounds, esp. later in the cycle. It’s okay to go to your knees to finish the prescribed reps. I have to.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m not in Army yet but I’m training to enter and to go through SFAS and I was just curious what programs I should do and what order I should do them before I do the ruck based training. Thanks.

ANSWER

Follow the plans/order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in getting back into good all around shape and feeling overwhelmed by the volume of plans at MTN Tactical.

I’m not overweight and in average shape. That said I haven’t been active since last May when I ran a marathon (4:21:34).

I live out west in the mountains so the game hunting plans sounded interesting but might be too much for me until I’m more fit.

Can you recommend any mountain beginner trainings to get into overall good shape before progressing to another plan?

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this plan is no joke and will lay a good foundation for follow-on MTI programming.
– Rob

Q&A 3.5.20

QUESTION

I am a new subscriber of the Athlete Subscription package and was wondering if I am able to do more than one plan at a time? As of right now, I have only started the Army APFT plan and would like to improve my rucking, swimming, and all-around fitness as well. If I were to do a ruck training plan, a swimming plan, and the APFT plan, would that screw up the progress timeline? Or would it just be better to stick to one plan? Please let me know and if you have any recommendations or tips.

ANSWER

Best not to combine plans. One that includes APFT work + pull ups, running, rucking and a little swimming is the Ranger School Training Plan. I’d recommend you do it, but drop the prescribed rucking distances by 50% of you’re just starting out.
If you don’t need to be focused on the APFT, and are interested in improving strength, work capacity, endurance (ruck, ruck, swim), chassis integrity (core) and tactical agility, I’d recommend Barbossa, the first plan in Pirate series for military SOF with water-based mission sets.
– Rob

QUESTION

What do you recommend/use for sand bag filler? I currently use pea gravel.
I’m wondering if there is a better option…Thanks!

ANSWER

We use rubber mulch … you can buy it from Home Depot or other garden stores. It’s cheap, and works well. For an 80# bag, using our bags, you have to combine the mulch and sand as the mulch is too bulky to stuff all 80# in. It does work well for 40 and 60# bags.
– Rob

QUESTION

In regards to the programming is with the RASP training plan are the time limits for the Saturday rucks time to complete the ruck, or minimum time under ruck?

ANSWER

From Week 1:

SESSION 6
Obj: Long Ruck

Ruck 8 miles over uneven, hilly terrain. Load: 35# ruck and

10# rubber rifle, sledge hammer or dumbbell.

1:40 hr Time Limit

– This means you have to complete the 8 miles in 1:40. It’s okay if you go faster. Don’t overthink it.

– Rob


QUESTION

I have purchased a couple of your programs. I am 61 years old, active as a mountain biker and snow skier, but have not been to the gym in awhile. I feel like I am losing muscle mass readily and would like to slow the inevitable down if possible and ideally bring some of that muscle back. Can you recommend a general, well rounded program to get me started down that road.
I have recommended you guys to many over the last couple of years.

ANSWER

If you want a multi-modal plan, I’d recommend SF45 Bravo, which trains strength 2x week, and also trains work capacity, endurance, and chassis integrity.
If you want to focus just on strength, I’d recommend the M/W/F sessions from MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
I’m assuming you know your way around a weight room and are familiar with basic barbell/free weight exercises. If not, do the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m training for Mt. Marathon in Alaska on July 4. I need a training plan for this 5K with 3K elevation gain.

Do you think cutting the intensity of the Alpine training plan in half would work for this type of race? It’s more than I need but I like the mix of running, mountain climbing and strength training.

ANSWER

Better would be the Ultra Running Pre-Season Training Plan and do all your long runs on trails with vertical gain/loss.
If not – the Alpine Running Plan as prescribed – but drop the weight for the 5-mile run and increase the distance to 7 miles. Do the long run on trails with plenty of vertical gain/loss.
– Rob

QUESTION

I intend to try out for National Guard SF. If training time isn’t an issue
(I plan on progressing through the APFT plan IOT to take my APFT, then move
into the Top 5, and then the Ruck Based Selection), is there a reason I
should use the SFRE versus Ruck Based Plan?

ANSWER

The plans are different because the events are different. SFRE is generally 2-3 days and SFAS is 2-3 weeks. You can use the RBSTP for both.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just started doing your Jaguar program after a pretty long layoff from the gym. After doing the TAC SEPA Box Jump Lap Complex, my knees are killing me. I cut the second round out for the workout because I could feel they were taking a beating towards the end of round 1. In your opinion, would it be better to simply keep the volume cut in half and let my knees get used to the training, then add it back in as I am getting used to the exercise,  or should I substitute another exercise to keep the volume up? I don’t have any existing knee problems but I am a big, 6’3 280lbs.

ANSWER

Options …. swap to the TAC SEPA Tactical Pro Agility Drill … or drop the size of the box to 8 or 12″.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am working through your hypertrophy for skinny guys and set to finish at the end of the week. As this is a 4 week program I’m obviously still a skinny guy.
What plan would you recommend I do next if my fitness goals for over the winter are to try and gain muscle mass?

ANSWER

This is the only plan we have that is solely focused on hypertrophy. My recommendation:
1) Roll right in and do another round of the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys Plan which will be 8 weeks total.
2) Follow it up with 5 weeks of strength – specifically the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
3) Re-Do the Hypertrophy Plan (4 weeks)
You can roll right in and re-do the plan. Then after, focus on strength, then go back.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve already purchase the BJJ training plan (a few months ago) and was using it here and there.
I recently had my first competition and felt my strength and conditioning wasn’t up to par with my competitors (granted I didn’t really follow a S&C program leading up to it).
I want to avoid that happening again so I went back into the program details to see what, if anything, it said about competition prep.
I have 13 weeks until my next competition and the program seems to fit my schedule leading up to it (3 sessions per week, so the 6 weeks of training would total 12 weeks time, and the deload week would be the week prior to the competition)
So I guess my question is, is this a good approach using the program in this manner to prep for my competition? I feel like the answer is yes, but I guess I’m looking for validation from an expert to make sure I’m prepping correctly.
Thanks for you let time.

ANSWER

Sure – esp. if you’re also doing a lot of BJJ training as well.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi. I am almost through your fat loss plan and have had good results – 6-7 lbs. down without much improvement in diet and feel great. Will clean up the diet a bit for the next phase. Was looking for a plan suggestion based on the following (slightly incoherent) list of attributes/objectives:
1. 39-year-old male looking to lose 30-40 more lbs.
2. Have good garage gym with barbell, pull-up station, kettlebells, sandbag, rings, box jump, and rowing machine.
3. Current sports are tennis and trail running.
4. Somewhat limited by time due to small child and busy job. Can set aside an hour most days but can only do longer maybe 1x/week.
5. Legs are “strong enough” based on barbell maxes. Could use more explosiveness/agility.
6. Primary weaknesses is pull-ups (due largely to too much bodyweight) but also grip strength.
What plan would you recommend for this mess of attributes/objectives?

ANSWER

Johnny next. It’s the first plan in our Country Singer Packet and concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance, and chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am researching your workout and nutrition plans and am wondering if its suggested in using any sort of protein shakes/powders after workouts. If so is there a specific brand that helps keeping the sugar and carb intake down?

ANSWER

No. We’ve actually studied this and found post-workout shakes have negligible effect on performance improvement.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in the second week of my APFT Plan, and things are going generally well.  The push-up progressions seem to be right on.
My question is about the sit-ups.  I am a tall, thin guy and sit-ups have always been the most challenging PT test exercise for me.  In the sit-up progressions, I find myself starting to grind really hard during the 4th or maybe even 3rd round.  I then start missing intervals and taking extra rest to slog through the rest of the reps.  Is there a scaled version of the sit-up that you would recommend, similar in purpose to the knee push-up, that I should be doing when my sit-up form and tempo start to deteriorate?  Or should I keep on limping through the last couple of rounds without paying attention to the timer as much?  Also, do have have any lower back exercises you would recommend to balance sit-ups, and/or can the lower back recovery plan be done in tangent with the APFT plan?
Thanks for your advice, and let me know if you’d like more info or a better description of my issue.

ANSWER

Stick with the prescribed situp reps, but increase the interval to 90 seconds.
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys and I loved it.
I read Why We Get Fat and followed that and your diet recommendation.
I gained 11 pounds and gained definition to the point where my wife commented, “You look jacked!” So, that was cool. I also noticed an increase in strength as all of my lifts got much heavier over the course of the program. I believe in your process and I am ready for more.
I am entering my 5th year on a Hotshot Crew, my first as a squad leader. With that being said, I just want to be able to out hike and outrun my guys. I wont be doing the labor intensive stuff anymore as this is more of a supervisory position. I’ve seen your programming specific for Wildland guys but I wanted your feedback on the idea of stacking “Running Improvement” and “Peak Bagging” or “Ultimate Work Capacity” given my goals.

Thanks for the help.

I appreciate your willingness to answer these questions and I love what you are doing.

ANSWER

Thanks for the kind words – glad our stuff worked for you.
Rather than cobbling together two plans, I’d recommend you complete the Alpine Running Training Plan – which includes vertical feet climbing under load, and extended running. This is a 7-week plan and you’ll want to complete it directly before reporting to your crew.
If you’ve got more than 7 weeks, work through the plans/order in the Wildland Fire Training Packet until your 7 weeks out.
– Rob

QUESTION

I purchased your women’s country singer packet. I’m 52 active I run quite a bit but have never been into resistance training or weights. Not over weight probably at my perfect weight or close. I have not started the country women’s packet yet because I am a little intimidated by the time involved. I can run for and hour easy but to work out for an hour w weights is a stretch for me. I would be curious about a 3 week program that would
Include more running and shorter resistance sessions.

ANSWER

Are you comfortable training with barbells/dumbbells? If so, complete Patsy, only do the warm up and Part (1) in the gym-sessions, and change Thursdays ruck to a run and follow the same progression. You’ll be in the gym 2 days/week, and running 3.
If you’re not comfortable training with free weights, we can refund you for the Country Singer Packet and I’d recommend SF45 Delta – which deploys bodyweight strength and lots of running.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was planning on going for JTF2 selection in October 2020. What program and/or series of programs do you suggest?

ANSWER

I haven’t been able, in all these years, to learn enough about the specifics of selection to confidently design a specific JTF2 plan. The main issue is the amount of swimming at selection.
From what I do have I’d recommend the DEVGRU Selection Training Plan. I just updated this plan last month, and my sense is the PFT work, rucking and swimming in the plan will transfer well. I’d recommend doing the prescribed swimming in the plan without fins. As well, add in some tread work.
This is an 8-week plan. What I’d recommend is completing the plan now, then dropping into the plans/order in the Pirates Packet -which are designed for tactical athletes with water-based mission sets, then re-completing the DEVGRU Plan 8 weeks directly before selection.
– Rob

 

Q&A 2.27.19

QUESTION

Good afternoon coach. In 2 years I am going to try out for special forces. I’m also very curious about getting into mountain climbing as well. What would be a good plan for me to follow and would it be beneficial to my plans of going to selection?

ANSWER

Greek Heroine Series, starting with Helen.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m about to start the virtue plans, starting with humility. With the army’s ACFT coming into effect later this year, I’d like to start training leg tucks, which are currently one of my weakest events. Is replacing EOs in humility a good place to start, or would you suggest I add them in addition to the plan, or even do something entirely different?

ANSWER

Sure – replace the EO’s in the plan, and/or work them into every chassis integrity circuit.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just read the killer fitness challenges article and intend to give a few of them a try soon, but have a question about the burpee challenge in particular.
What exactly makes for a “correct” burpee during this challenge?  Specifically, how high of a jump will count?   It seems like there is an incentive to not explode as much as possible in the jump because it will take longer and expend more energy, so I was wondering if you use some kind of metric such as feet must simply leave the ground or anything like that.  Or is it just on the athletes honor to push as hard as possible each time?
Thanks for what you guys do, I really enjoy the programming.

ANSWER

On your honor on our side. The CrossFit guys would have you jump over something like an unloaded barbell.
Up to you.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in training remotely with you. I just accepted a Smokejumper Rookie position beginning May 4th, and looking to program my next 3 months of training. I’ve tried a sample week of the optional training (Smokejumper Selection), however with where I’m at physically, my equipment access, and including cross-training, I’d probably make a few changes to the program to fit my needs.
I’m wondering if the best move for me is to purchase a subscription for the next three months, then possibly cancel to program other PFT specific components (essentially self-programming with the smokejumper package as the base), or to purchase the rookie smokejumper package and improvise my own small changes. I’ve been really interested in mission-specific programming and outcomes (for example Himalayan climbing vs. Rookie Training), and have heard awesome things about the program you all are running from folks both in Jackson and out of Jackson.
I don’t want to step on any toes by purchasing the subscription then canceling, however, I’m really looking to create the best program for where I’m at and some equipment constraints March and April.
Let me know what works best,

ANSWER

It’s a little unclear what you’re asking.
If you’re asking if it’s okay to subscribe, print out a bunch of programs, then unsubscribe, I can’t prevent you.
Some douche bags do this. Please don’t be one.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am just starting to improve my fitness after having my second baby this past fall. She is 4 mo now and so I am cleared to progress in my training. I did some prenatal/postnatal fitness classes (strength training program for peripartum folks at my local cross fit gym).
I have started back to running but am very slow (11-12 min miles for five miles was my latest trail run 2 days ago). My core strength is still also pretty low.
I’d like to complete a 50K trail race in October so I have lots of time to prepare. My goal would be to finish (not trying to win the race or anything like that for my first ultra!).
I was looking around at the various run training plans and wondering what you’d recommend for a series plans for my situation? I have the monthly membership.
The core strength for runners looks great, but will that be included in some of the other general running plans?
Appreciate all your great plans and excited to get back to a higher level of fitness again!
Thanks for helping me have a plan for doing that effectively.

ANSWER

By my count you’ve got 35 weeks until Oct. 1. Also – I don’t have a 50k Ultra Plan, but do have a 50 Mile Ultra Plan … Here’s what I’d recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-5        Running Improvement Training Plan Weeks 1-5
6           Total Rest
7-11      Running Improvement Training Plan Weeks 6-10
12         Total Rest
13-17    Running Improvement Training Plan Weeks 11-15
18         Total Rest
27         Total Rest
28-35    50-Mile Ultra Training Plan, But repeat weeks 1, 2,3, then jump and do week 5, then do Week 4 before your event … so it would look like this:
Week     Week in 50-Mile Ultra
1            Week 1
2            Week 1
3            Week 2
4            Week 2
5            Week 3
6            Week 3
7            Week 5
8            Week 4
Each of these plans includes general strength and chassis integrity (core) training – so you wouldn’t need to add on anywhere.
– Rob

QUESTION

I currently want to improve my 1.5 mile time for Air Force BMT. I only have about 8 weeks until I ship out for basic training. I am currently at 11:40 mile and half run. Which program would you recommend for me?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I have an athletes subscription and am currently training on the military on-ramp plan. I like it enough that I find I want to find something that my girlfriend (civilian) can do but there’s not a whole lot of information on whether the plans are unisex or if there are plans specifically suited to women. As for her fitness she is what I would consider your basic active female (plays sports and does cardio but not a whole lot of coordinated physical training).

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Thank you and have a nice day, cheers!

ANSWER

Most our training plans are unisex (assessment-based), or include scaling for women. For example, the plan will say 4/8x Pull Ups – which means 4x for women, 8x for men, or it will say, 8x Hinge Lift @ 95/135# – which means women use 95#, men us 135#.
This includes the Military OnRamp Training Plan … she can do that with you. Another option would be the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just rolling of SF45 foxtrot.
I’m currently 5 months out from the Seventy48, a seventy mile race with a 48 hour time limit.  I’m paddling a sea kayak.
I’m looking for a plan that will support and build core strength 2-3x per week to supplement swimming 2x week for endurance, and paddling Saturday (either technical skills or intervals) and Sunday (easy distance).
What would you recommend?
Also I’m co-opting your phrase “the mountain doesn’t care” when teaching kayaking skills with “the ocean doesn’t care”.  I am giving you full credit though :).

ANSWER


QUESTION

A few friends and I used the Ruck-based selection program to prepare for selection, and we were successful. I have had a subscription to your service since I have returned. I have completed Operator Hector, and I am on week 6 of Achilles. I will be attending MCCC in July, with the Q course following in Jnauary.

I am 37. 69″ Tall. 205lbs. I have bad Achilles tendonitis in my left ankle. I have had a meniscal debrievement on the left knee, and I have(at this time) unrepairable meniscal damage on the right knee. I also tend to have pain in my IT band on my right side, but the pigeon stretches and foam rolling helps out alot.

My fitness goals are to reach a healthy weight of 185-190, with a body fat around 12 percent. I would like to be running 2 miles in under 13 min, and be durable enough to conduct the long distance foot marches that I will be doing during the Q course. Other performance goals are to bench 315, squat 405, and deadlift 495. So a 3, 4, 5 plate. If you could provide me with a suggested next training plan that I should use to begin work towards my goals, I would appreciate it. I am able to do two a days at least 3 days per week, but my current unit requires a foot march on Wednesdays.

My wife has also started working with me on days that we can. Her fitness goals at this time are general fitness with primarily weight loss, but she needs a lot of work with mobility and stretching. She has sciatica from a previous back injury that she is forced to work through, as well as knee, hip, and shoulder pain. She is working to reduce inflammation through diet at this time and would like to know if a particular plan would be good for her to get started.

Thank you and your team for all that you do

ANSWER

Training? Now I’d recommend the Big 3 + Run Training Plan. After, drop back into the Greek Hero Series with Ulysses and continue with those plans. Complete the Special Forces Qualification Course Training Plan the 6 weeks before starting.
Your Bodyweight? – if you’re fat 95% of it is diet-related. Here are our nutritional recommendations … do these but cut the “cheat day.”
Wife? I don’t have a mobility or flexibility plan – and it seems that’s what you’re asking for. In terms of fitness, I’d recommend Bodyweight Foundation.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am trying to create a workout plan that can be diverse to a broad array of Soldiers in various levels of fitness.

We do have access to on post facilities such as:
1. Crossfit Gym
2. Regular Gyms
3. Indoor Pool
4. Tracks

Which plan would be recommended for this type?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am needing help in finding the right workout program. I am starting the police academy in December 2020. I watched one of your videos describing MTI training philosophy on to focus on base fitness and then hone in on specific training. I tried to figure out the plans I would use but I am having a hard time putting it all together. If you have a suggestion I would really appreciate your input.

ANSWER

Start with the LE OnRamp Training Plan.
Next, drop into the plans/order in the Spirits Packet. These plans are designed for full-time LE Patrol/Detective and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, upper body hypertrophy, short endurance, and tactical agility. Start with Whiskey and follow the plans in order.
Finally, complete the LE Academy Training Plan the 6 weeks directly before the academy.
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope this email finds you well and thanks again for your relentless work -I always appreciate your emails and the valuable insights they provide.
Rob I wanted to ask you if you have ever done any studies on the effect of music and associated ‘sounds’ that can help or hinder an athletes performance?
I know that there is a base line understanding that some music can provide a lift in adrenaline however I was wondering if this has ever been formally captured scientifically?

ANSWER

No – and I won’t, but I did read about some research into the best workout music in one of the many sports performance books I’ve read over the years.
Could have been in, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance or Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed, or The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance, or Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes – and What We Can Learn from Them….
Sorry, I can’t be any more specific. You might want to search Google Scholar. Whatever I read didn’t impress me enough to take action.
At MTI, music choice is to entertain the coach (me), not the athletes. We pretty much play only Tool or Country. Sometimes I’ll make ’em suffer and put on Taylor Swift or Katy Perry just to be a dick…
– Rob

QUESTION

In regards to the 3 week pull up and push up training. I can barley do one pull up. How do I calculate and incorporate that into the training?

ANSWER

Do 5x Negative Pull Ups for all the pull up progressions.
– Rob

QUESTION

So I’m looking through your programs, and I cant seem to find something that completely works with sar tech selection. the ruck based selection work up is perfect, but the distances are unnecessary for sar tech. it’s almost like it would be a combination of rasp prep and mountain warfare school prep, with double the weight (at least) and half the distances as rasp. there is very little swimming (enough to warrant the 1 day a week from rasp), and the majority of events and time spent moving are ruck runs/loaded runs through snowy, mountainous, and wooded terrain in mukluks with heavy (90+ lbs) rucks on.

the fitness test consists of:

1.5 mile run (<10.15)
31 push ups
33 sit ups
8 chin ups
450m shuttle run
2x 6m rope climbs
(<17 mins)
with a direct transition to the pool for a 675m swim <20 mins.
the rest of the time is spent on calisthenic smokers (focusing on static holds and push ups), and nav or survival skill classes and applications.
is there anything I’m not seeing that you could recommend?

ANSWER

Replace the 12-mile ruck for time @ 45# with a 6-mile ruck for time at 90#. For the intervals, use the MTI Rucking Calculator and do 2 rounds of 2-mile intervals, with a 10-minute rest between.
For the mini-event rucking, cut the prescribed distance in half, and use a 90# ruck.
Email questions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am four weeks into the in-season ski maintenance program (ski season starts late in Eastern WA).  My strength and conditioning are much better than last year thanks to your program, but I am having what seems to be tendonitis/ overuse type discomfort in both knees.  I’m 44.  Do you typically scale the sets / loads for older clients?
Due to a back injury last spring, I was unable to do much off-season strength work until way too late.  So some of the soreness may be because I did not build enough of a base.
I appreciate your work, and would appreciate any thoughts you may have.

ANSWER

Can’t help much there … if it’s both knees could be typical arthritis which comes with age. Mine started when I was 44.
Scale? I’ve modified range of motion for athletes 60+ and you could try that.
– Rob