All posts by SSD

Arete 8.22.19

Military / Foreign Affairs

Italy government crisis: Fate of coalition to be decided as PM faces removal, BBC

Army study recommends more sleep for recruits at basic, which drill sergeants will absolutely not disregard or anything, Task & Purpose
US progresses F-16 sale to Taiwan, Janes 360
Navy in the process of developing an unmanned “Ghost Fleet”, War is Boring
Army announces more deployments, sending two brigades to Afghanistan & Europe, War is Boring
A Guide to Becoming an Admiral in the Russian Navy, War on the Rocks
US Southern Command head focused on ‘day after’ in Venezuela, Stars & Stripes
The US Just Launched a Long-Outlawed Missile. Welcome to the Post-INF World, Defense One
Syria Changed the Iranian Way of War, Rand Corp
Millions more will be soon be allowed to shop on military bases. But some veterans wonder how they’ll get access., Marine Corps Times
Trade Dependence and Politicization: Lessons From the Japan-Korea Conflict, The Diplomat
The US Army Is Struggling to Staff Its Cyber Units: GAO, Defense One
Japan Officially Selects F-35B for Its STOVL Fighter, The Diplomat
Russia’s New Arms Give the U.S. Room for Pause, Real Clear Defense
Why Vanguard Bank and Why Now? Explaining Chinese Behavior in the South China Sea, Rand Corp
It Matters If Americans Call Afghanistan a Defeat, The Atlantic

First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

Spain’s Worst Fire This Year Engulfs 25,000 Acres on a Canary Island, NY Times
California adopts country’s strictest law to curb police killings, The Guardian
French Police Suicide Rate Climbs, French Govt Is Flummoxed, In Homeland Security
What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S., Pew Research Center
Cops: We can’t fix everything. We have limits. Now it’s time for the public to step up., LE Today
California Police Deploy Knightscope Robot to Monitor Public Areas, Officer.com
New rules require Phoenix cops to report every time they point their firearm at someone, LE Today
8 firefighters, 2 residents hospitalized after garage fire spreads into Pa. home, Fire Rescue 1
Missouri Youth Football Team Choose “Thin Blue Line” Uniforms, Police One
The True Story of the Pulaski Fire Tool, Wildfire Today
Oops: Fake cop pulls over unmarked van full of real detectives, LE Today
AG Barr: “We Must Have Zero Tolerance for Resisting Police”, Police Mag
Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually, Science Daily

Mountain

New Regulations Could Limit the Number Of Climbers On Everest, Unofficial Networks
Seven Ways to Explore Patagonia, Outbound Collective
Hoka One One’s New Hikers Helped This Foot Pain Sufferer Enjoy Trails Again, Adventure Journal
Industry Buzz: Everest rules, Jeremy Renner, POW, OutsidePR, deadly rockfall, and more, SNEWS
The Nine Circles of Hiker Hell, Outside
prAna Offers $100K to Quit Your Day Job and Chase Your Dream, SNEWS
In The Land of Happiness, There Should Be No Tears, Arcteryx
Best Rain Jackets for 2019, Outdoor Gear Lab
The Burrito Manifesto, Freeskier

Fitness / Nutrition / Health

The rise of digital fitness: can the new wave of high-intensity home workouts replace the gym?, The Guardian
Form Swim Goggles Review: Fitness Tracking at the Pool, Gear Latest
Garmin 45: Dollar-For-Dollar This Is the Best Garmin GPS Watch For Runners, Gear Institute
Is It More Important to Run Faster or Run Longer?, Outside
Tired of Feeling Tired? Boost Your Brain Power With This All-in-One Brain Training Bundle, Futureism
Japanese Weightlifter Eishiro ‘The Tank’ Murakami Lives Up to His Nickname, Muscle & Fitness
Children Make You Happier — Once They’ve Left Home, WebMD
The Keto Diet Is Popular, but Is It Good for You?, NY Times
Regular Exercising Improves the Quality of Your Sleep In More Ways Than You Think, Science Times
Need a mental break? Avoid your cellphone, Science Daily
Kevin Hart Reminds Us that You Don’t Need a Gym to Stay Fit, Muscle & Fitness

Interesting

Amazon under fire for new packaging that cannot be recycled, The Guardian
How Life Became an Endless, Terrible Competition, Real Clear Politics
A Guide to Not Killing or Mutilating Artificial Intelligence Research, Homeland Security Newswire
RAND’s Summer Reading List for Congress, Rand Corp
Why You Should Never Borrow Someone Else’s Charging Cable, In Homeland Security
FedEx’s visionary founder is a disrupter at risk of disruption, The Economist
CAKE ‘Kalk&’: E-Moto Brand Launches 1st Street-Legal Model, Gear Patrol
Pirates, Slavers and Poachers: Violence on the High Seas, NY Times

Q&A 8.22.19

QUESTION

Is it feasible to perform the ACFT Improvement Plan in the morning in conjunction with the Rucking Improvement Plan in the evening after work (more specifically the block of weeks which train the 6 mile ruck assessment)? I’m relatively fit and want to ensure that I’m training all aspects of military fitness, but want to minimize injury. Any advice would be appreciated.

ANSWER

It depends upon your fitness. If you stop making the progressions on either plan, pull back from one.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a cop in Philadelphia, having trouble putting on size. I had the same issue in the army. I have a super fast metabolism. I want a plan that will add size but still keep my core tight , because we fight a lot with bad guys in Philly. So I guess what I’m asking is what would you recommend to but on size but still maintain endurance?

ANSWER

I’d recommend focusing on hypertrophy for a cycle, then moving to a mission-direct training plan.
Start with our Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys. This plan is laser-focused on adding mass. Be sure to increase your protein intake while completing this plan – drinking whole milk is an easy way to do this.
Follow it up with Whiskey, which is the first plan in our Spirits Packet of plans for full time LE Patrol and Detectives. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, short endurance, chassis integrity (core), tactical agility and upper body hypertrophy.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am greatly interested in the monthly subscription but, have many questions!  First I am not 100
5 sure where to start.  Im a 30 year old Active Duty Marine in OK physical condition.i have tried SEALFit for a number of years and haven’t  worked past the first few week preliminary plan to even start the 8 week program.  What I need is a better base I need to slow down and develope better roots of fitness and strength.  So my question is where do I star? I see “base” workout plans with many sub catagories and not sure what road to take.  My end goal is to Prep for A&S / MARSOC 2-2.5 years down the road (with an actual goal of SOCS attached to MARSOC not actually a Raider- shooting for stars hoping to land on clouds). One last question, are the work out plans printable, or PDF downloadable, or does it require internet access?  How compatible is it with apple?  Thank you so much for your time all info is greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

I recommend our the plans and order in our Pirate Packet of plans. These are designed for LE/Military SOF with water-based mission sets, and include swimming/pool work.
Plans are all online, accessed via a computer online or smartphone via our app.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m just about to start Week 2 Build phase (Everest Training Plan). I feel healthy and strong. I was wondering if the easy pace per mile was programmed as a maximum or minimum pace for the longer runs. I’ve been running faster than recommended but understand that this could cause more fatigue or potential injury, etc. Is it ok to run as fast as I feel comfortable? should I make myself slow down and stick to the advised paces?

ANSWER

Easy Per Mile Pace is the maximum pace. It should feel really slow. Don’t go faster … we’re training aerobic base with this slow stuff.
– Rob
FOLLOWUP
Also, I suffered an injury during box squats yesterday. It was a sharp pain in my adductor area that reached its most severe pain when I was low and pressing up. Since then it’s radiated around my ham and quad and caused discomfort in the back of my knee. I seem to remember something similar that came and went a few years ago when climbing. After my self diagnosis from internet research 😉 it seems like it could be a minor impingement.
As you know, I’m on a tight training schedule. Given that, would you rest a day (more – until it subsides)? Or continue with the program and avoid exercises that antagonize it?
I want to push through – in my previous experiences most injuries will sort themselves out.
What do you recommend?
ANSWER
I expect athletes to train hurt, but not injured. The difference? Training hurt won’t make it worse. Training injured will.
Use your best judgment.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m nearing the end of a trail running program and I’m looking for a program to start to get ready for ski season and gain overall body strength again. I haven’t been in the gym in quite some time and will be looking to do backcountry skiing but I’m not starting from a strong gym base. Where should I start and how should I progress later into the preseason?

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting back at strength with the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
After, complete Wrangell St. Elias, then Bob Marshall form our Wilderness Packet of plans.
7 weeks out from your ski season, drop into and complete the Backcountry Ski  Preseason Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before your season starts.
– Rob

QUESTION

I used your Afghan training plan prior to deployment in 2010 – thank you for sending it to me.  It got me in great shape to run up and down mountains made of lose shale with a bunch of Army 18-25 year olds (I was 41).  Since then my son has gifted me your Combat Dive training plan (I dive for work) and he has bought a few of your plans for himself (he gets commissioned and goes active duty Army in December.)

I turn 51 in November and have a question about age.  I have found very little research on the body’s changing nutrition and supplement needs as it ages – specifically goes over 50.  What I have found on the internet says that generically the substances that help when you are younger (protein (from food and/or powder), creatine, beta alanine, etc) keep on helping performance as you get older.  It is hard for me to believe that supplement companies have not or are not specifically looking at aging athletes and what they need for their bodies to keep performing at a high ability level.  The folks I know at 50+ have a LOT more money now that they could spend on supplements and quality food than they had when they were younger.

Have you and MTI looked at this issue – nutritional and supplement needs of 50+ athletes?

ANSWER

We don’t recommend any nutritional supplements. Eat real food. I would say that you’ll need to get super strict on your diet … HERE are our guidelines. Not in terms of caloric intake, but avoiding bad carbs and all sugar. I’m 51 and in January cut out my cheat day. It’s made a huge difference in my weight and fitness performance. Older I get, the more my metabolism slows down, and less I can get away with diet cheating.

The only supplement I recommend and am prescribed for, is testosterone. This will make a huge difference for you. If you haven’t already, have your doc get you a blood test for this.
Finally, in terms of programming, our SF45 Programming is specifically built for tactical athletes ages 45-55, and makes allowances for knees, etc.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just signed up for MTI and I’m looking for a good plan to fit my needs, I like strength and hypertrophy training but I’m also trying to lose weight and enjoy some short endurance cardio or circuit type training to assist with that as well  as help with just getting in overall better shape. I’ve looked at the officer sessions and those have some good training points that appeal to me but I am not a LEO, what would you recommend ?

ANSWER

Yes on the LE Programming. It includes upper body hypertrophy, plus strength, work capacity, short distance endurance, chassis integrity, and tactical agility.
Start with Whiskey.
Lots of civilians do our tactical programming. No worries.
– Rob

QUESTION

Not sure which plan is best for me? 16 year SR NCO of the ARSOF community. I recently did a 40 minute grass drill team PT event with some Co workers and realized how far i have dropped off; i was the anchor limiting our success. Current ball park times: 2000m row-6:55, 2 mi run-16:30, 5 mi run-49:00, 12 mi ruck-2:50:00. Goals: increase overall aerobic capacity with some lifting mixed in to keep my sanity (just finished 12 week conjugate lifting block). At first i was drawn to the ultimate work capacity plan, but also saw benefits of the valor plan. The plan was to do one of these then jump on a running plan, thoughts?

ANSWER

Go right to our Greek Hero plans designed for full-time soldiers and military SOF. Start with Hector.
These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, tactical agility and military endurance (run/ruck).
– Rob

QUESTION

I spent some time browsing through your plans and have been having issues narrowing down the options- hoping you can help me out. Specifically I was looking at your backcountry big game program- I guide in Southwest Montana and am looking to get better conditioned for the upcoming season. I am not sure how to gauge my current conditioning level so I am struggling with whether that plan is right for me or if I need to look at something else, also due to the fact that the season opens in just a little over a month- so I realize I may be behind but I guide through December so would need to keep the fitness level up.

ANSWER

You’ll want to do as much of the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan as possible before your season starts.
The plan is progressive – it gets harder as you work through it.
– Rob

QUESTION

I bought the program for my son, he is going to try and become a Navy Seal or SARC
( Special Amphibious Recon Corpsman), just wondering what program he should be using? He is going to boot camp in November. He is going to try and get a Corpsman in order to go SARC. But if that doesn’t happen he is going to try fo Seals.

ANSWER

I’d recommend he start with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, then follow it up with Barbossa from our Pirates Packet of plans. These plans are designed for LE and Military SOF with water-based mission sets and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), endurance (run, ruck, swim), and tactical agility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been doing the LE officer sessions and was wondering what are your thoughts about adding an extra strength workout 2x a week to bring up my bench or DL?

ANSWER

Better would be to drop out of the LE Sessions for a cycle and focus on strength with one of our strength plans, then move back to the Officer Sessions.
Options:
1) Big 24 Strength – awesome programming. Replace the Walking Lunges in the plan with the Dead Lift and follow the same progression for the dead lift as does the Back Squat in the plan.
2) Big 3 + Run – focuses on the Back Squat, DL and BP, plus running!
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you know when you will be holding the next Advanced Tactical Programming course?

ANSWER

Looking at the first week of November. We’ll announce it in our newsletter, Beta.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question regarding the strength portion of the Big 3 + Run plan. From what I can see in the sample training, this program is strictly working percentage-based progressions for the 3 lifts throughout the plan. Is that correct, or do auxiliary lifts get incorporated along the way?

ANSWER

Plan deploys what we call “density” training, which combines a percentage based work and a clock.
Focus is on the Big 3, plus pull ups only. No auxiliary strength work. Strength sessions will run 50-60 minutes as designed.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a trooper in MD and a K9 handler.  We are thinking about adding dogs to our SWAT team.  I am wondering do you have a daily swat workout and what plans you would suggest for passing the initial PT test.  Thank you in advance.

The test is one day. Below are the details:
Timed 22 mins
1.5 mile run
Weighted rope climb 25 lbs
62 sit ups
30 push ups
5 weighted pull ups 25 lbs
2 sets of stairs run.  Approx 15-20 steps
All exercises completed in under 22 mins

ANSWER

Do the pull up assessment, and follow on progressions, in a 25# weight vest. The plan doesn’t include a rope climb … so make sure you can do that. Technique is key for doing it in a vest.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a TAC at the United States Military Academy Prep School and was recently put in charge of the Sandhurst Team for this upcoming year. This year there is an informal Sandhurst competition at the end of OCT and then the actual international competition is in April.

I can begin training August 5th and will have to approximately October 26-27th for the fall competition. And then I will have from post fall competition until April to train for the international competition.

My original thought was to do 2 weeks of the Ramp-up program and then the 8 week Sandhurst prep for the fall competition and then continue the build from there.

Looking for your recommendations on how to properly program with the endstate of being ready for the Spring Competition but the fall one is mandatory for us to participate in.

ANSWER

Your plan is solid. After the Oct event, drop into the plans/order in the Virtue Packet (skip OnRamp and start with Humility) until you’re 8 weeks out from the April Comp, then re-do the Sandhurst Prep Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Quick questions for you- is there a big difference between the busy operator plans? If so, how do they differ? Thanks for the info! If it helps, I’m going to Civil Affairs selection October.

ANSWER

Each Busy Operator Plan has the same general goal – multi-mode training for SOF where strength, work capacity endurance (ruck/run) and chassis integrity (core) are trained concurrently.
The specific way each individual plan trains strength, work capacity and endurance are different, but the overall goals are the same and the plans can be completed in any order.
– 6 weeks, 5 days/week
– Weeks 1-2 have a strength emphasis
– Weeks 3-4 have a work capacity emphasis
– Weeks 5-6 have an endurance emphasis
– 6 Weeks, 6 Days/week
– Weeks 1-2 have a strength emphasis
– Weeks 3-4 have a work capacity emphasis
– Weeks 5-6 have an endurance emphasis
– 6 Weeks, 5 days/week
– Every week is relatively balanced and includes 2x strength sessions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had surgery to repair torn quadricep tendon on my left knee. I am in a brace from my hip to my knee and currently have to keep my left leg straight. I looked at the MTI leg injury program but several of the exercises require the injured leg to bend. Do you have any additional suggestions?

ANSWER

You could do most of the exercises in the Leg Injury Training Plan. Some would be awkward, but it could be done. This is the plan from our stuff I recommend.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently deployed and was referred to you by my XO and DET Commander. I purchased a subscription and have been browsing over the last two days, I have to say your programs look to be top notch but the selection is a bit overwhelming and I cant seem to pin point which one I want to start with, I was hoping you would be willing to take the time to help me out.

Currently, I am aboard the airfield in Kuwait so I have access to a decent amount of equipment and nutrition (which can be supplemented if necessary)

A little about me

Current stats 31 years old 73” 215lbs average build, approximately 29% BF

Initial goals 190 @ 10% BF with an overall improved fitness level.

Up until about 5 months ago I was very active with biking, snowboarding, running and two a days in the gym. I am not a stranger to putting out but also listening to my body and not over training (too much too soon). If we could work towards a program to get me back on my feet, in the gym, motivated and moving in the right direction I will be eternally grateful.

I have 6 months to dedicate to reaching my goals of (PFT and CFT high scores and possible competitions upon returning to the states. My XO also wants me to join him for a Marathon a few months after returning but that isn’t my focus right now.

ANSWER

As well, fix your diet. HERE are our dietary recommendations. You can’t outwork a shitty diet – clean it up and you’ll shed fat.
Email back after completing the OnRamp Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in the Army SF Q-Course. I have been doing the bodyweight training plan, however I feel like my overall strength is declining. I was wondering if you have a plan that includes bodyweight training (mostly for apft’s), endurance training (rucks/runs), as well as gym based strength training? I guess I’m looking for one that hits it all. Any recommendations?

ANSWER

Instead of trying to train for everything at the same time, we’d rather have you train the mission-direct fitness demands of a soldier (“base fitness”) until your 3-6 weeks from the next APFT, then drop into a focused APFT Training Plan into the assessment. After the assessment, go back to base fitness programming.
However, our Airborne School Training Plan includes focused training for the APFT, as well as weight-room based strength work, multi-modal work capacity (think sandbag cleans to a 200m run), and chassis integrity (core).
Better for you now would be to do Hector from our Greek Hero Packet now. This plan concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), tactical agility and military endurance (run, ruck run), then use the APFT Training Plan directly before your next scheduled APFT.
– Rob

Q&A 8.15.19

QUESTION

Love your plans and have been following them for a while now! I just had a quick question I know the diet philosophy Rob talks about but is there a goal for calorie consumption? I am currently 190 but am really hoping to put on size. Thanks!

ANSWER

No goal for caloric consumption.
Muscle mass development involves specific programming (set/rep scheme) primarily. Under our nutritional recommendations, there are no caloric restrictions, or goals. For skinny guys/hard gainers I generally suggest they a small jar of peanut butter/day or add whole milk to their diet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently in the guard, and have severely laxed on my PT. I used your APFT plan to pass my PT test back in January and haven’t done much since. I’ve looked at the plans and am thinking about purchasing a packet but not sure which to choose. Virtue or Greek hero.

ANSWER

Greek Hero Packet.  You’ll start with the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been consistent with my prep program and am looking toward the back country hunting training plan with excitement and dread.
Had two questions:
1.) I want to scout quite a bit this summer on the weekends. The plan is six days a week with a mini event. How do I incorporate the scouting days into the plan?
**2.) I have the timing set up for the BCBGH program to complete at the beginning of the season in September but my season lasts until end of November. I mostly hunt weekends and day hunts. What program should I follow during the week in between hunts?

ANSWER

1) Full rest on Fridays (skip that session) and replace the Saturday mini event with your scouting trip. This is what I do.
2) Jedediah Smith …. but don’t let training affect your hunting because of fatigue or soreness. So if you hunt Sat/Sun, take Friday off for sure, and possibly Thursday depending upon your backcountry approach. If you get hammered hunting, rest Monday.
– Rob

QUESTION

I subscribed to Mountain Tactical last month. I am currently 30-years-old. I followed the recommendation of starting with Bodyweight Foundation plan before moving on with the Military On-Ramp plan. I’m also on active duty, and I also do PT with my unit every other day. I’ve been looking at all of the plans and packets under the Military Athlete section, and have some questions pertaining to training. Specifically, I want to know what do you recommend for preparation for Marine Corps Basic Recon? As of right now, I have a year to a year and a half at most before I’m able to try out for Recon. I noticed your year plus long packets for people that want to try out for Special Forces, as well as for BUD/S. I want to do a packet style, but specifically for Recon so I can be at my peak when I try out. Any extra help and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

Water confidence and pool work are the greatest challenges at BRC. Start with the Swim Improvement Training Plan as a 2-a-day to your current programming.
After, drop into the plans/order in the Pirate Packet of plans – which are “base fitness” training for SOF with water-based mission sets and include swimming. Complete Barbossa and Black Beard back to back.
Then complete the full Basic Recon Course Training Plan for the first time.
This is 28 Weeks of Programming:
– Swim Improvement (5 weeks)
– Barbossa (7 weeks)
– Black Beard (7 weeks)
– USMC BRC Training Plan (9 weeks)
Email back after completing the BRC Course Training plan with how you did and your final timeline.
You’ll re-complete the BRC Plan again directly before your course date.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m thinking about purchasing your ruck based plan for SFAS. My only question is that I’m about 11 weeks out and I’d like to use every bit of time I have to crush SFAS. Is this the best plan for that time span? Do you recommend something between now and the 8 week plan?

ANSWER

Do Fortitude for the first 3 weeks, then drop into the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan for the 8 weeks directly before SFAS. This plan includes a taper week, so you can run it right into selection.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

Is there a break between sets of barbell complex exercises?

ANSWER

(1) 5 Rounds

Barbell Complex – Increase load each round and reach your Barbell Complex Max Load at Round 5

Hip Flexor Stretch

– Rob


QUESTION

I recently purchased your FBI special agent training plan and I have been enjoying it immensely. My wife is going to give birth soon and she’s concerned about getting back into bodybuilding shape, which along with strength training, she was doing before she got pregnant.
In your opinion, what would be the best program for her after she gives birth for general fitness, with a focus on hypertrophy? She has lost a lot of muscle mass during her pregnancy and she wants to be able to gain it back in a functional manner.

ANSWER

I’m not a bodybuilding coach – or an appearance coach – so know that with my recommendations.
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope you’re well. When convenient, will you please let me know if there’s a push up/pull up combo or progression that can be used for the V-sum score? Sadly, there isn’t a climbing gym within two hours of my home; but I’d love to take the assessment and complete the subsequent training (I’ve already purchased the plan).

ANSWER

Upper body push and pull strength have little to do with V-sum performance. Much more important is finger strength.

Start doing a Hang Board 5×10 3 times/week, and a Hang Board Primary Position Complex  2 times/week.

Work up to doing a Hang Board 10×10 4x/week and a Hang Board Primary Position Complex 2 time/week.

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m looking to purchase one of your programs, but am unsure if I’m of the right demographic. I’m a 28 year old civilian female who was never able to join the military due to vision problems (inoperable). Despite that I’ve always wanted to at least be as fit as those that do serve. I’ve struggled for years to get there on my own and recently ran across your site. I’m very intrigued by your programming, After some poking around I’ve been thinking of going with Humility first, as I feel I rely too heavily on the barbell and have neglected my relative strength. I also like Fortitude as my endurance could also use work- I’m a bit of a meathead clearly. After either, or both if you recommend, I was hoping to do the Greek Hero series. However, I train martial arts several times a week and am unsure how to balance the two. Ultimately though, I’m curious if my lack of military training will be a large hindrance to my doing well with your programming.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Greek Hero Packet, beginning with the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
This is fitness programming – there’s no tactical technical stuff in it … so no prior military experience is needed to train.
– Rob

QUESTION

My goal is to maintain a baseline of fitness for general outdoor activities and the ability to easily throw on a pack and do an 8-10 mile day hike or 15ish mile weekend backpacking trip without any additional ramp up. If I have a larger trip coming up I’ll switch to the appropriate event plan, i.e. Big Mountain, Peak Bagger, or whatever’s appropriate. Since I joined MTN I’ve been using the Greek Heroine series, which I’ve liked. It seems like in a couple Q&As recently you’ve recommended using the Game Warden series for baseline fitness between events. Is the Game Warden series your newer recommendation, or what’s the rationale for choosing between Game Warden and Greek Heroine?

ANSWER

The Mountain Base, Greek Heroine Plans, devote one day/week to climbing fitness – mostly bouldering work. But many multi-sport mountain athletes don’t rock climb – so for their base, I’ve been sending them to the Wilderness Packet (Wilderness professionals – wardens, rangers, etc.) plans. These plans hammer mountain base attributes, but don’t include climbing.
I just finished updating two of our Tactical Packets of plans, and will start on updating the Greek Heroine Plans next week. In the update, I’ll figure out a non-climbing option for the climbing days in the Greek Heroine plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I enjoy your programs very much, I just would like your recommendation on which plan you prefer for being at a bare base with little equipment? I purchased one of your sandbags as well.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am curious about the run calculator and how it works. My main question is how much time can be expected to drop utilizing the calculator and run improvement exercises/intervals. For example, if I run a 15 minute 2 mile and followed either the 2 mile run plan, APFT plan, or even the Ruck based selection plan how much improvement would I reasonably expect to see?

ANSWER

It depends upon how run fit you are coming it. The more fit, the less improvement. The less fit, the more improvement.
We generally see a 5-10% improvement for fit athletes, and 15-20% for the unfit ones for our running-specific plans and the APFT plans.
I’d expect less for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, given it’s huge volume.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am going from Humility to the Back country plan next week.
FYI. I have completed this plan for the last 3yrs leading into my guiding/hunting season.

I have a trip for 14 days to the Yukon and it will be a combo of Horseback and Backpack hunting  so not overly difficult. But then I  will have 6 days at home and then leave for a 8day pure backpack hunt for mountain goat in Kodak island.

You always mention finish plan directly leading up to trip, but I am unable to do this before my pure backpack hunt?

Am overthinking this?

Should I handle this any different or just complete the plan and head out?

ANSWER

Complete the BC Hunt Plan before your trip to the Yukon, and maybe do some step ups and leg blasters on your break before Kodiak.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have just commissioned this past month and am on standby waiting for The Basic School to pick up in September. I am very interested in the TBS prep your site offers. Just a quick question. Does this specific program have any weight lifting at all? I was just looking at the sample week 1 and it looks like there is no weight lifting. Also, should this program be the only workout I do, or can I use it to complement my current training?

ANSWER

The USCM TBS/IOC Training Packet is focused on the events/demands at school/IOC and does not include general fitness free-weight training. It’s a limited equipment training plan.
This is an intense training plan, I wouldn’t recommend doubling up. If you wanted to lift, I’d recommend 2-3 days/week, a one each of a Total Body, Lower Body and Upper Body barbell exercise, heavy load, and low volume – think 8×3 or 6×4 sets/reps – and to stop extra training if you’re not meeting the progressions in the training plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was hoping you might have some advice/ a plan recommendation for strengthening my legs & running for sand/soft sand…but without the sand—I
unfortunately do not have access to a beach and all the trails near me are relatively hard packed dirt.What about the Afghanistan Pre-Deployment plan—would that have any carryover being that it’s designed for such uneven and unstable terrain?

Right now I’m working on building my base for running, but I am planning to use your 5-Mile Run Improvement in the near future.

Thank you very much for your time!

ANSWER

I’ve got nothing specific for that. The Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan is leg/lungs focused and going in as strong as possible won’t hurt.
– Rob
FOLLOW UP QUESTION
Awesome. So since there’s nothing specific other than actually being on sand, any opinion on what type of strength plan I could use? Primarily one that’ll compliment running?
I do like how your Afghanistan plan seems to be primarily unilateral based. I was looking at that or your Super Squat plan for a bilateral approach.
Once again, thank you for your time.
ANSWER
If you want to focus on just heavy lifting and running, do the Big 3 + Run Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am searching for a workout program and am trying to find what your team would recommend. I am 27 yrs old, and currently am serving in the Army Rangers. I have an average high school level athletic background and generally have excelled at endurance style events (completed Best Ranger Competition).
Due to a variety of factors (nagging elbow injury, lack of time to train) most of my recent training has been focused on maintenance of endurance, work capacity, and general strength (able to max APFT, sub 30 minute RPAT) and I have not been able to devote the time desired to developing strength, lifting weights, and focusing on durability and well roundedness.
I weigh 165 lbs and 12 months ago was hitting all time PRs of front squat 205, dead lift 305, bench press 210, and squat clean 195. This was also when I could run 5 miles in 34:20, and did an RPAT in 27:00.
I would like to increase my overall strength, greater size and mass would be a bonus, while retaining general versatility in fitness, and durability/mobility. Being able to handily complete Operator Series workouts is the goal (at the prescribed weight thresholds).
I have six months of deployment to work with and standard equipment. However, due to the location and exterior environmental health hazards I am not attempting  to ruck, run, play sports, sprint, as cardio is not advised. Anything in a gym I should be able to do with occasional cardio (row, jacobs ladder ,treadmill etc.) As a result I view this time as a great opportunity to increase in size / strength and then redeploy and increase work capacity, endurance, classic cardio, while maintaining the strength gains realized over deployment.
What plans would you have me utilize during this 6 month time period?

ANSWER

Your note is a little confusing, but from what I understand you want 6 months of primarily strength training because of your deployment location.
Based on your strength numbers and bodyweight, your relative strength (strength per bodyweight) needs work. I wouldn’t advise adding mass – but rather staying the same or lose weight and getting stronger. I’d like to see you at 1.5x Bodyweight for bench press and front squat, and 2x BW for dead lift.
All of our strength-focused plans include Chassis Integrity and limited work capacity efforts, which you could modify/work with for your equipment locations. I wouldn’t advise staying away from endurance for 6 months, however – even if you’re running miles on a treadmill – but I’ll leave that up to you.
Here’s what I’d recommend for a strength focus from our programming:
Weeks       Plan
6-12          Big 24 Strength
13-18        357 Strength
19-26        Rat 6 Strength
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an active duty US Marine looking for year-round programming in
order to build all-around fitness. I’ve never had any issues with
hiking and the majority of my time is spent doing staff work so I
don’t feel like rucking would be valuable use of my time, but ideally
I’d like to be able to maintain fitness for whatever may arise and be
capable of performing well in a PFT/CFT at any time.

I recognize there probably isn’t any one plan that will give me
everything all the time so I’m interested in finding a rotation of
plans that will allow for progression across all mediums. I’m
particularly concerned with building my running speed over
medium-to-long distances, increasing overall strength and
work-capacity, and preventing injury.

Thank you in advance, any guidance is appreciated.

ANSWER

Our Greek Hero Packet of Plans are designed as day-to-day programming for soldiers/SOF. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, tactical agility, chassis integrity and military endurance (run/ruck).
I just updated all of the plans in the packet to improve the flow and focus from one plan to the next.
Start with Hector if you’re fit. If your fitness is suspect, start with the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you guys have any reference in Seattle area?  I am located at Seattle area and my son is trying to pass westpoint CFA testing, but his basketball throwing is not good, do you have any recommendations for a physical training, your reply will be appreciated.

ANSWER

Sorry -no trainers in Seattle. We do have a CFA Training Plan – which I’d recommend.
There’s a lot of technique to the basketball throw.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for a plan for a US marshals academy. Would the Fletc PEB plan suffice or would you recommend something else?

ANSWER

Congrats on the academy!
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m active duty coast guard and I wanna get stronger but at the same time build endurance and look better. I’m usually on a boat for 2 months and have roughly 2 months where I have a better opportunity to workout. I was wondering what plan you recommend when I come back for my next 2 months.

ANSWER

Training? Big 3 + Run Training Plan. Great training plan which focuses on the big 3 power lifts (Back Squat, Bench, Dead Lift) plus pull ups, and endurance, beginning with a 2-mile run assessment and follow-on 800m interval repeats.
Simple, focused, efficient.
Look better? 90% of fat is diet related. Clean up your diet and you’ll lean up. You can’t outwork a shitty diet. Here are our recommendations.
– Rob

 

Arete 8.15.19

Military / International Relations / National Security

Poland: Caught in the Crosshairs, Hoover Institution
The Army’s next infantry assault buggy might be a classic ‘G.I. Joe’ battlewagon, Task & Purpose
Russian nuclear engineers killed by explosion, Al Jazzera
Norse Heathenism believing airman gets beard waiver granted, paves way for more religious exemptions, War is Boring
Deterring and Defeating Chinese Neo-Imperialism, Small Wars Journal
Marine major who emailed classified information to warn of a potential Afghanistan insider attack should be retained, panel finds, Marine Corps Times
Soldier accused of stealing 43 pairs of night vision goggles from Fort Bragg due in court, Stars & Stripes
Eid al-Adha attack kills Filipino soldiers, child in Sulu, Al Jazzera
Ukraine’s president offers citizenship to Russian political refugees, Reuters
U.S. Military Calls ISIS in Afghanistan a Threat to the West. Intelligence Officials Disagree., Homeland Security Newswire
Making Sense of U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan., Rand Corp.
WWIII the only option to reboot the world?, Pravda Report
The Marine Corps has reinvented itself throughout its history. The new Commandant is doing it again., Task & Purpose
Why Are the Taliban Reluctant to Declare a Ceasefire?. The Diplomat
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley’s Four Myths of War, Small Wars Journal
NATO jet chased off by aircraft escorting Russian defense minister’s plane, Moscow says, The Hill
Military probes possible friendly fire in Marine death, Politico
Deep in the Mountains of Honduras, Few Know What this U.S. Military Task Force Does, Small Wars Journal
A-10 re-winging completed, will keep Warthog in the air until late 2030s, Air Force Times
Russia Orders Evacuation of Village Near Site of Nuclear Accident. NY Times
Rocky Bleier’s vulnerability on display in documentary following his return to Vietnam, Stars & Stripes
Coast Guard officer on Maine-based ship relieved of command, Stars & Stripes
Commandos’ Behavior Prompts Pentagon Review of Special Operations Culture, NY Times
FBI seeking to question alleged Al Qaeda operative in Brazil, Reuters

 

Homeland Security / First Responder / Wildland Fire

Mass Shootings Give Rise To Bullet-Resistant Backpacks, In Homeland Security
Border Numbers Dip Below 100k For 1st Time In Months, In Homeland Security
Mont. lab provides firefighters with insights and tools to battle wildfires, Fire Rescue 1
Good for Google, Bad for America, Homeland Security Newswire
To avoid future “El Pasos” and “Daytons,” it’s time to invest in prevention, Brookings
The Notre-Dame fire: Battling “something bigger than life”, Fire Rescue 1
NYPD Officer Dies by Suicide—8th this Year, Police One
Rikers Island officers save coworker from brutal sexual assault, LE Today
What’s new in fire department apparatus bay design and technology, Fire Rescue 1
Protestors threaten ICE contractors, their kids and pets: “We know where all your children live”, LE Today
Are mass shootings in America actually “lost cause terrorism”?, LE Today
5 children killed in fire at Pa. daycare center, Fire Rescue 1
The dirty dozen: Updating the ’10 deadly errors’ of policing, Police 1
Wildfire Devastated Town Offers $20K Signing Bonuses to Officers, LE Today

 

Mountain

6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers: Anticipating and Avoiding Injury, Climbing Magazine
Wolf Tried To Drag Camper From Tent At Banff National Park, Unofficial Networks
Industry Buzz: Hobie, ORU, microplastics in our rain, a hiker death, Mystery Ranch’s climbing packs, and more, SNEWS
Road Kill Costs Millions, Endangers Lives, and Hurts Wildlife Populations. Here’s a Plan to Fix That, Outdoor Life
Mikaela Shiffrin Joins Adidas In Multi-Year Partnership, Unofficial Networks
Why Thru-Hikers Are Obsessed with Fantasy Books, Outside
New Eberlestock Technical Hunting Apparel!, Eastmans
More Multiyear Snow Droughts Are Probably in Our Future, Adventure Journal
We Tried to Do Vanlife Right. It Broke Us Down., Outside
Lessons from Extreme Adventures with Jerry Holl, Julie Hotz and Ryan Higginbotham, REI Co-Op Journal
Police Believe That Criminals Cut Sea-To-Sky Gondola Cable Causing A Major Disaster, Unofficial Networks

 

Fitness / Health / Wellness / Nutrition

The fertility business is booming, The Economist
Mail-in DNA test results bring surprises about family history for many users, Pew Research Center
The Secret to Better Performance? Restful Sleep., OUtside
Up to half of patients withhold life-threatening issues from doctors, Science Daily
Teen vaping tied to marijuana use, Reuters
The World Happiness Report and the science of personal happiness, Stuff.co.nz
Here’s What It Takes to Feed an Entire NFL Team, Muscle & Fitness
Science-Backed Weight Loss Exercises That Just Work, Yahoo
5 Red Flags To Look Out For When Choosing a Personal Trainer, Muscle & Fitness
Eating Red Meat Tied to Increased Breast Cancer Risk, NY Times
Eating Red Meat Tied to Increased Breast Cancer Risk, Web
Your Guide to ‘Female Viagra’, Web MD
Opinion: Five things I wish I knew earlier in my journey with chronic pain, STAT
Is Doing Too Many Reps Killing Your Strength and Muscle Gains?, Stack
The Fine Art of Drinking the Right Amount of Water, Outside

 

Interesting

Why aren’t there any left-handed quarterbacks in the NFL?, Stars & Stripes
Portland, Oregon, braces for far-right rally and counterprotest, Stars & Stripes
The Rural America Death Spiral, Real Clear Defense
Blue Origin Files Protest Over Flawed’ Air Force Launch Procurement, Real Clear Defense
The Best Multi-Tool, NY Times
The Truth About Asia’s Elephant Tourism, The Diplomat
Marine who sent Nazi imagery to ‘Terminal Lance’ creator gets busted down to private, Stars & Stripes
Uber lost over $5bn in the second quarter, The Economist
The Best (and Mostly Affordable) Classic Cars You Can Buy from 1985-1995, Gear Patrol
Ancient pigs endured a complete genomic turnover after they arrived in Europe, Science Daily
The New Ford Ranger Was Outsold By The Notably Ancient Nissan Frontier, Gear Patrol
NASA’s First Water-Powered Spacecraft Successfully Orbits Earth. Mashable India

6 Common Mistakes in Work Capacity Event Design

By Rob Shaul

In my programming rubric, “Work Capacity Events” are extended bouts of cardiorespiratory and muscular stress at high, but submaximal levels. Work Capacity is where it all comes together – aerobic base, sprint cardio, raw strength, strength endurance, and mental fitness.

Gym Based Work Capacity Efforts are multi-modal, intense events lasting up to 30 minutes. These combine Aerobic Base + Aerobic Power + Muscular Strength + Muscular Endurance – or the ability to perform at a high percentage of VO2 max, with a high percentage of muscular strength.  Understand that Anaerobic Training cannot be continued on forever, unlike steady-state aerobic exercise – which is why I try to limit these events to 30 minutes.

Anaerobic work is so intense cardiac output exceeds oxygen consumption, glycogen (carbohydrate) replaces fat as the primary fuel source. But glycogen is metabolized and broken down into lactic acid. We believe Anaerobic events are the type most probable in an intense/dangerous tactical or mountain situation – movement under fire, ground pursuit, hard, fast final push to the summit.

Gym-based Work Capacity efforts are Anaerobic training and are so intense that the athlete will fail in a relatively short time (<1 hour.)  Intense work capacity efforts trains the athlete to tolerate lactic acid, and train at a higher percentage of his or her VO2 max. The athlete develops a higher tolerance for intensive endurance-type exercise.

In MTI programming, when you see “Work Capacity” as one of the training session objectives, what follows will be 1-3 work capacity “events” depending on duration. I generally program events with target durations of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes.

Most individual training session will have 2-3, 5-minute work capacity events, 1-2, 10-minute events, or a single 15, 20 or 30 minute event. I consciously design the events, and format in the event to match the intended duration.

In the perfectly designed work capacity event, the athlete will reach cardio and muscular failure right at the end of the prescribed event duration.

I’ve found over the years that work capacity event design is as much an art as science, but beyond the duration, there are several mistakes I’ve made and seen in work capacity event design which negatively impact the intent to “work capacity.”

(1) Prescribing Load which is Too Heavy.

Crossfit founder Greg Glassman is credited with popularizing gym-based multi-modal work capacity events which include barbell or dumbbell exercise. One of the common mistakes I’ve made myself in designing these, and have seen in other coaches and programming course students, is making the prescribed load too heavy.

If the load is too heavy for the free weight exercise in the event, the athlete will have to “break” the reps, which results in a short rest, and subsequent decrease in heart rate. By definition, coaches what to keep the heart pumping throughout the work capacity event, and stop because the load is too heavy works against this.

See the 5-minute work capacity event below, and the two different loads for the Power Clean. (Note, “75/115#” = women use 75# and men use 135#)

(1) 5 Rounds for Time

    • 5x Power Clean @ 75/115#
    • 5x Burpees
    • 5x Box Jumps @ 20/24″

(1) 5 Rounds for Time

    • 5x Power Clean @ 115/185#
    • 5x Burpees
    • 5x Box Jumps @ 20/24″

In the top example, most mountain and tactical athletes we work with will be able to complete the 5x power cleans in all 5 Rounds unbroken – though doing so would be progressively harder. However, in the bottom example, after the first round, most athletes would have to “break” the power cleans into sets of 1-2 reps because of the loading and strength – thus allowing a cardio rest.

The bottom event is an example where the load is too heavy for a work capacity event.

Identifying the proper loading for these events is where the “art” of work capacity design comes in, as well as the coach’s experience with his/her athletes. As well, understand that for MTI, fitness programming’s focus is outside performance. What this means is I’m less concerned with the athlete’s finish time with this event, and more concerned with ensuring he/she works hard for at or near the 5 minute duration.

What if I had a strong athlete smoking through the 75/115# Power Cleans in the top example and looking to finish this event in 3 minutes? I’d modify the event on the fly for this individual. I’d say, “boy Johnny, congrats on being so strong!  Change it to 8 rounds!”

(2) Overworking The Shoulders, Low Back or Grip.

See the example work capacity event below. See the problem?

(1) 6 Rounds, Every 90 Seconds, wearing a 25# Weight Vest

    • 10x Hinge Lift @ 95/135#
    • 10x Swings @ 16/20kg
    • 4x Prone to Sprint

In this example, the athlete’s low back will get smoked, and he/she may need to rest prematurely because every exercise in this work capacity event is low back intensive, including the prone to sprints in a vest. Each time the athlete pushes himself up from the floor, the low back is worked.

Here’s another example which overloads the shoulders:

(1) 6 Rounds, Every 90 Seconds, wearing a 25# Weight Vest

    • 8x Push Press @ 65/95#
    • 8x Sandbag Burpees @ 40/60#
    • 4x 1-Arm Dumbbell Snatch @ 25/35#

In this example, it’s likely the athlete will need to stop and rest, no so much because of the loading, but because every exercise in this event hammers the shoulders. This is bad design.

Finally, here’s an example which overloads the grip:

(1) 15 Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)

    • 10x Dumbbell Hinge Lift @ 25/35#
    • 20x Step Ups holding Dumbbells @ 25/35#
    • Run 200m with Dumbbells

Would this work the grip? Absolutely. Would the athlete likely have to stop and rest multiple times because his/her grip is smoked? Yep …. and with every stop, the heart rate slows down, negating the cardio intent of work capacity training.

(3) Not Working the Legs.

The legs are the biggest muscles in the body, and it’s difficult to push heart rate without working them. See the example below:

(1) 6 Rounds for time

    • 10x Bench Press @ 75/135#
    • 3/6x Mixed Grip Pull Ups
    • 10x Sit Ups

Would this event raise the athlete’s heart rate? Yes … but not to the near panic-level breathing we’d like to see. Replace the 10x Sit Ups with 15x Box Jumps and the effect on the heart rate would be dramatic. Remember … work capacity trains both strength and cardio, simultaneously. To do so, you have to work the legs.

(4) Garbage Reps

The focus of avoiding “Garbage Reps” in work capacity event design is to help preserve knee health.

“Garbage Reps” are loaded, deep squat or lunge movements not heavy enough to build strength, and generally designed as part of a work capacity effort.

Here would be a work capacity event example from my own programming:

(1) 10 Rounds for Time

    • 10x Back Squat @ 95/135#
    • 5x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#
    • 10x Box Jumps
    • 10x Ankles to Bar

Those 100x Back Squats are the “Garbage Reps” – and I’m concerned about the effect of this type of high volume, light to medium load in a work capacity event on long term knee health. Years ago I began to consciously eliminate this type of effort from MTI’s work capacity event design for mountain and tactical athletes.

Again, “Garbage Reps” are high volume, lightly or moderately loaded, deep squatting or lunging exercises in a work capacity event. Exercises to avoid:

  • Lightly loaded lunging movements including high volume, loaded, walking lunges, in-place lunges, Rob Shauls, Curtis P’s, overhead walking lunges, etc.
  • High volume squatting movements including hand squat cleans, overhead squats, front squats, back squats, goblet squats, wall balls, etc.

Importantly, bodyweight lunging or squatting movements (unloaded) don’t count as “garbage reps” and can be prescribed, however, I rarely do this. Why? Shuttle sprint repeats work the legs, hammer the lungs, and don’t involve deep knee flexion, and are incredibly transferrable to outside performance.

As well, some light or moderately loaded deep squatting or lunging movements in MTI programming design are purposely used to train strength. The best example of this are Quadzillas, which use light dumbbells and are specifically designed to train eccentric leg strength for skiing and downhill hiking/running.

As well, loaded exercises which use the legs, but don’t involve deep knee flexion are not Garbage Reps and can be prescribed in work events. Examples include power clean variations and hinge lift variations.

Some of MTI’s older and legacy plans still have Garbage Reps prescribed in work capacity events. When I see these changed to sprints, box jumps or something similar which work the legs but aren’t Garbage Reps.

 

(5) Too Many Exercises

I went to one of the first Crossift Certifications – way back in 2005, and I distinctly remember Glassman caution not to use too many exercises when designing these work capacity events. “Two to three are best” he said.

I had just started coaching then – part time, but as soon as I returned to Wyoming totally forgot Glassman’s wisdom and began designing work capacity events with 5, 6, 7 and on up different exercises. My events would look something like this:

10-1 Countdown for Time

    • Hinge Lift @ 135/185#
    • Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#
    • 2x Swings @ 16/20kg
    • Box Jumps @ 24″
    • Pull Ups
    • Ball Slams @ 25#
    • Keg Lift

I would forget all about weightroom flow, limited equipment, limited space in this design, and get caught up not in how effective the event trained the fitness goal, but rather how hard it was, and how clever I could be in grouping multiple exercises together.

In all my program design, as I’ve learned, and improved, stuff has been cut away. With myself, and with coaches who’ve worked for me, at first you just make stuff too darn complicated, or “sophisticated.” We often say “sophisticated design is immature” …. and that after running through a this event myself I’d realize it had 4-5 too many exercises, and was just overly complicated and stupid. Today, this event would look like this:

20 Minute AMRAP

    • 10x Hinge Lift @ 95/135#
    • 5x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#
    • Run 200m

(6) Complicated Rep Counts

This is a simple mistake, but important one. The rep count for the different exercises in a work capacity event need to be easy to remember. So, instead of this complicated to remember rep scheme:

8 Rounds for Time

    • 7x Power Cleans @ 75/115#
    • 13x Burpees
    • 4x Prone to Sprint

Use this:

8 Rounds for Time

    • 8x Power Cleans @ 75/115#
    • 8x Burpees
    • 8x Prone to Sprint

 

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

 

 

 


You Might Also Like Garbage Reps


Packet Focus: Busy Operator Training Packet

 

By Rob Shaul

The MTI Busy Operator Training Packet is composed of our 6 Busy Operator training plans developed for tactical athletes with limited daily training time.

 

 

 

 

 

The Busy Operator plans deploy the most recent iteration of our Fluid Periodization model where we train 4 primary fitness demands of a Tactical Athlete:

  • Relative Strength
  • Work Capacity
  • Endurance (running, rucking)
  • Chassis Integrity

The Busy Operator training sessions are designed to last 35-45 minutes and are meant for tactical athletes with limited training time.

The Busy Operator I – VI Plans were updated or built in July 2019.

 

Click the links below to see sample training and the specifics of each training plan:

 

BUY Packet and save 30% NOW

 

OVERVIEW 

 

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT

  • Fully-Equipped Functional Fitness Gym including bars, racks, bumpers, plyo boxes, sandbags
  • 25# Weight Vest, IBA, or back pack
  • 45# Ruck

 

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

What order should the plans be completed it? 
We recommend the order listed above, I, II, III, IV, V, and VI

What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

What if I can’t do the whole session?
If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole session, you can split the session into two.

What is the difference between the Busy Operator Plans and Greek Hero plans or Daily Operator Sessions
1. Session Duration – The Busy Operator plan training sessions are designed to last 35-45 minutes. The Greek Hero/Daily Operator gym-based sessions are designed to last 60 minutes, and some endurance sessions can extend to 75-90 minutes.

2. Tactical Agility is not trained in the Busy Operator plans.

3. Both Series are designed as day to day programming for tactical athletes, but the Busy Operator Plans are designed for Tactical Athletes who can’t commit to train 60+ minutes per day.

I’m a Tactical Athlete and have plenty of time to train each day, but why shouldn’t I just do the Busy Operator Sessions to save time?
There is no shortcut in fitness training. Training 35 min/day won’t leave you as fit as if you trained 60 min/day. If you have the time, do the Greek Hero or Daily Operator Sessions.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculators are listed as an exercise.

Can I see sample training?
Yes – click on each individual training plan above, then click the “Sample Training” tab at the plan product page to see sample training.

How do I access the plan?
You can access the plan via username and password either through our website or through our app ((Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

More questions? Email coach@mtntactical.com

Q&A 8.8.19

QUESTION

I was hoping to begin either your Navy PST or CCT/STO PAST prep program soon, but would like to continue training maximal strength during this program. (I was thinking some kind of minimalist barbell training on the three days calisthenics are programmed). Which of your strength templates, if any, would be good to pair with the Navy PST or CCT/STO PAST prep programs to maintain maximal strength during this time period?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve seen your videos on how to make the sand bags filled with the rubber mulch and sand. I’m looking to make something similar for a rugby team I help coach. All I’m finding are top loading duffell bags, which are canvas. They dont look like the bags you use in the video. And they have a clip and a strap that I dont see on the video. Can you point me to the company you get the bags you use or the type of bag that it is?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question in regards to your Sandbag ethos programming. I’m an EMT, work pretty long hours and usually keep a 75 pound sandbag in my truck so I can take a few minutes at the station to work out in between calls. I see your program has some pretty sick conditioning metcons in it, however, I also see some longer cardiovascular work such as 3 mile runs which really aren’t that long (20 minutes or so) but from what I saw, it may prove difficult to run away from the station while I’m on the clock. My question is, can I subtract some of that other work and simply perform the sandbag routine and still benefit from the program in my conditioning? I can run in the mornings before work or after. But sometimes, time is priority.

ANSWER

Yes – you can do that.
– Rob

QUESTION

Any field craft methods to modify duffle bags, Alice packs and or make sand babies for equipment the unit or base gym does not have.

ANSWER

Nothing beyond the obvious – duct tape reinforcement. Many athletes have made their own sandbags out of an old seabag and/or any duffle bag. Be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking over the Stamina Training Cycle and I have a few questions:

1. How long is the rest period in between the workouts? Is is one after each other or do we have a 5-10 minute break before we begin the next workout?

2. How much calorie and protein intake do you recommend for these long sessions? I don’t want to lose strength and mass but I still want to gain the effects of this training program.

ANSWER

1. I think you’re referring to parts of the training session, (1), (2), (3). Answer is no programmed rest. Roll right in.
2. It’s okay to supplement with gels if needed, but we don’t. MTI doesn’t endorse any supplements. Here are our nutritional guidelines. There are no caloric restrictions … just eat “clean” 6 days/week. You may find esp. early in the plan that you are more hungry than normal.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had a thought yesterday while I was riding my mountain bike.  It was a trail in an area that was once a strip mine for coal.  It has many short but steep climbs and descents.

As I would approach these short climbs I would pour lots of effort into my fat bike to get up the hill then coast on the back side.  At points when I get a few in a row or even some of the larger ones the effects on me seemed build from previous efforts.  Would this have the same effect on my fitness as work capacity sessions or are work capacity sessions different since I’m lifting weights during them?

Not trying to change or substitute my training…just a question that came to mind as I rode.

ANSWER

I’m not sure your question.
Work capacity is mostly mode-specific. We’ve found our athletes can adapt quickly from our work capacity event design to other modes, but not immediately. What this means is if you want to build work capacity for mountain biking, the most efficient way is to mountain bike.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thank you for all of the follow up emails. It’s reassuring that you care enough about your clients as you do your programming.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to start my program yet because of current scheduling issues and finances. However, I WILL use the program I’ve purchased as soon as things “even out” a little more.

My only question would be…is there a time limit or expiration date for the program that I bought?

Thank you and once I begin training I will keep you posted on the results, which I cannot wait to see myself.

ANSWER

No. If you bought a single program or packet of plans, there is no time limit.
– Rob

QUESTION

Years ago, I was following your daily workouts (2009-2011), and then I slipped into crossfit.  Not bad…  but not ideal.

I’m 42, retired Air Force, and 2.5 years post-peritoneal Mesothelioma .

Sport specific – I ride dirt bikes, and motorcycle trials.

I need endurance, and strength, but no ruck specific stuff.

I currently am 5’8”, 195 lbs.  Can squat 345 X 5 (I’m out of weights @ that point), can Deadlift it for 10…  pullups I’m good for 6-8 “good” ones with no kip.

So.  Which plan?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Country Singer Packet I. These are are designed as “Base Fitness” for civilian athletes, and I use our Fluid Periodization methodology to concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity (core).
Start with Johnny.
At 5’8″, and 42, I’d like you to lose 20 pounds – even if it’s muscle. The decreased mass will help everything – esp. impact to knees/hips/ankle joints. Here are our  nutritional guidelines:  http://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition
– Rob

QUESTION

I just got my new dates for Army PSYOP assessment and selection 17 Sep about 10 weeks from now. I was wondering if I can run both your POAS selection plan and run improvement plan together? Your programs have work great for me in the past but now I’m trying to get job specific and focus on my running as it is my weak point.
Any advice as always would be greatly appreciated thank you for all you do!!

ANSWER

Awesome! Excited for you!
Answer: No. The PSYOPS Assessment & Selection Plan includes running.

– Rob

QUESTION

What is the most challenging strength program that MTN, have to offer?

ANSWER

Big 24 Strength. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to throwing up in the gym.
A close second would be Gladiator. Don’t be fooled by the direct simplicity of the Barbell Complex.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m very sorry to bother you, but I purchased your V1 of the ruck based selection plan years ago and I had a brief hiatus from training because of career moves. But I got back into it and I’ve strained my Achilles and quad from overuse. I fully intend on purchasing your most updated plan but I can’t see any samples of it on your website? Is there anyway you could send me a picture or something of the first couple days of training or something along those lines before I purchase it?
I am remarkably pleased with the results I’ve gotten from your plan but as I said the workload has proven to be a bit excessive for my current fitness level (took a lot for me to admit that haha)

ANSWER

Click the “Sample Training Tab” at the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan product page to see the entire first week of programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been working through Operator Achilles V2 (in week 4 now).  The strength and work capacity components are awesome and I’m really enjoying them, but my running has really been hindered by some lingering MTSS issues.  As a fellow S&C professional, I can make my own mods and did so this week (reduced the 6 mile assessment to a 2 mile moderate-pace), but as the designer of the program, I’d really like your input if you have time.  Let me know your thoughts and if you want any further info.  Thanks for all you do for the profession.

ANSWER

It seems you’re asking a question about an injury affecting training. In general, my response is you should train “injured” but not “hurt.” Injured = training won’t make it worse. Hurt = training will make it worse.
I don’t know what MTSS stands for (I’m a dumb strength coach), but if you need to avoid running to get over it, that’s an option. Achilles is a “Base Fitness” plan for military athletes. For soldiers, the primary endurance modes are running, and rucking. You’re not a soldier, so you could switch out of the running mode to another …. I’d recommend a 12-mile bike/or spin with 4 mile follow-on intervals … or a 1500m Swim and 500m intervals.
Your drop to a 2-mile moderate run …. if you’re going to run I’d rather have you drop to a 1.5 mile assessment, and follow it up with 800m repeats. We train endurance 2 ways, generally, fast and short and long and easier. I haven’t looked at Achilles for a while but the 6-mile assessment should be followed by hard/fast 2-mile repeats. Dropping to the 1.5 mile assessment and 800m repeats will keep with the fast/short programming methodology in the plan but still accommodate your running issues (I think).
– Rob

QUESTION

I purchased your apft plan and have an apft in 5 weeks should I start the plan from the beginning or should I modify it at all? Thank you

ANSWER

Start the plan at the beginning. Don’t modify it.
– Rob

QUESTION

My goal is to climb Denali next season. I have one year to get as physically ready as possible and will be using your programming. I am physically pretty strong upper body wise but endurance and lower body is something I plan to work on (24 years old, played college baseball, currently work a desk job, about 160lbs and 5’7, BF% is estimated to be ~16%, workout 5 days a week).

I am currently working through Johnny to establish some more base fitness and was planning to go through the base fitness progression (programs after Johnny, in order) ending with the Denali specific programming near the climb. Is that the progression / plan you would propose? I would also plan, if possible and okay, to come visit the Institute in Jackson prior to starting the Denali specific programming so you could asses were I was at / make any last minute tweaks. Thanks for the feedback!

Second, a few training questions so far based on the Johnny program:

-when you say something like “Barbell complex @65” or “Power Clean @ 95” -> does this mean 65 and 95 total pounds with bar or without bar?

-“(1) work up to 1RM” Does this mean work up through the course of multiple training sessions or work up to the 1RM max during that session?

Thanks and looking forward to working “with you” over the next year.

ANSWER

After Johnny I’d recommend you complete the Denali Training Plan.
Take a week off after completing this plan, then pivot from the Country Singer Plans to the Wilderness Packet of Plans for Wilderness professionals … rangers, wardens, etc. The endurance in these programs is more sport specific for the climb you’ll do on Denali.
Then, 9 weeks before your climb, re-complete the Denali Plan.
Answers:
1) Load includes the barbell.
2) Work up to 1RM (1 Rep Max) during that session.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have used several of your plans with great success.  Thank you for that!!

I have recently come off of a 3-month injury leading into a 2 month Field Excercise. I am behind on running and all lifts. I will be going to EBOLC, sapper school, and taking the ACFT within the next few months.

Which training plan of yours would be best to help with preparing for all three of those and getting back into fighting shape?

Thank you!!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

First, I wanted to say I LOVE Mountain Base Helen. Your programming helped me prepare for the Grand Teton Triathlong (“The Picnic) last year.
Second, I wanted to see if there was a good follow-on program that held true to the principles of Mountain Base Helen – the strength/work capacity, the long distance running, and the rock wall climbing. I guess I could just repeat Mountain Base Helen every six weeks with some modifications, but wanted to get your input on “what’s next”.
I did purchase Big Mountain V2, and am excited to begin that in five weeks, and figure I could just work a long run in on Saturdays and climbs throughout the week.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Artimes, the second plan in the Greek Heroine Packet of mountain base training plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m prepping for DCC and JAG school. A couple months ago, I teamed up with a running coach and that has been a great success. He has me running about five times a week.
I’ve been incorporating strength training for a bit. But, it is not well-coordinated. (I’m also cross-training almost daily with swims, biking, and stair stepping.)
I’ve heard from folks that their unit is already using the ACFT. My leg tucks are laughable.
So, I’d like a plan that I could use in addition to my training that preps me best for the ACFT.
Thanks a bunch!

ANSWER

ACFT Training Plan. It includes running.
– Rob

QUESTION

What packs have you found to work best for ruck running?  I’ve tried my old school Alice pack but it bounces around a lot which is very uncomfortable. Any advice would be great. Thank you.

ANSWER

We like the medium ALICE packs – but whatever works for you.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve used your Dryland Skiing Plan and never had stronger legs or felt so confident on the slopes. I plan on doing it annually to prep for ski-season. I’m currently in the middle of your Rat 6 plan to build overall strength and power and I’m so far very happy with it. I’m a military helicopter pilot and fly extensively at night on NVGs. I’m often plagued by neck and back pain from the additional weight unevenly placed on my head and from the odd back posture that helicopter pilots have to be in for hours on end. Do you have any exercises or stretches you recommend to add to my current program to help?
Additionally do you have any advice for my crew chiefs who crew my aircraft. Due to space constraints they end up sitting in awkward positions on metal seats in a high-frequency vibration environment. As a community they often have knee and lower back pain. Any ideas to fortify knees and backs to alleviate the pain or recovery techniques post-flight?
I really like your articles and your simple nutrition plan as well.

ANSWER

Your Neck/Back Pain?  I don’t have an answer for you. A few years a go I had an intern/mentoree working on this problem specific to Blackhawk Pilots but the work wasn’t completed and nothing came of it. As I understand it, not only is it the weight from the helmet/NVGs, but also the seat/head rest configuration in the cockpit. Without knowing more my inclination would be to strength the neck specifically with wrestling-style neck bridges and other exercises. We’ve never programmed these or worked with them in the lab so I can’t offer any solid exercises/programming right now. I might be interested in lab ratting yourself and some other pilots if you can find some interested. 4-5 pilots would work to get started.
Crew Chiefs? I’d have them start with our Chassis Integrity Training Plan. These are 30-minute circuits they can work in with their regular training if they are doing any training. If they are not training now, have them start with Johnny – which includes chassis integrity work.
– Rob

QUESTION

Could you please recommend a 5-6 month program progression, starting from very basic, and ending with the SFRE program?
If any of this helps with a baseline:
-Starting Strength & Texas Method for past 10 months
-squat 385 x 5
-bench 295 x 5
-deadlift 430 x 5
-strict OHP 185 x 5
-2 mile run 14:58

ANSWER

5 Months = 21 Weeks
Weeks    Plan
8-14        Valor
15-21      SFRE Training Plan – the 7 weeks directly before SFRE
– Rob

 

Labs Rats Needed Starting August 19, 2019 To Test Strength Progressions, Loaded vs. Unloaded Running

By Rob Shaul

 

MTI is looking for remote lab rats for an upcoming, multi-modal 5 day/week, 3.5 weeks “Mini-Study.”

 

The Mini-Study will test the following:

1) The effect of Kettlebell/Dumbbell Swings to improve Hinge Lift 1 Rep Max strength.

Details: Lab Rats will be broken into two groups. Both groups will perform a 1RM Hinge Lift early in the cycle. Group A will use the 1RM Hinge Lift load and complete MTI’s Density Strength Progression. Group B will perform a max dumbbell/kettlebell swing effort in 90 seconds, and a follow-on volume progression based on the athlete’s swing assessment. At the end of the cycle both groups will re-test the 1RM Hinge Lift.

2) Density vs. Super Squat Progression to Increase Bench Press and Back Squat 1 Rep Max strength.

Details: Lab Rats will be broken into two groups. Both groups will assess 1RM Back Squat and Bench Press early in the cycle. Group A will continue with MTI’s Density progression. Group B will continue with MTI’s Super Squat progression. At the end of the cycle, both groups will re-test 1RM Back Squat and Bench Press and the results will be used to compare the effectiveness of the two progressions.

3) Loaded vs. unloaded running to improve 1.5 mile run performance. 

Details: Lab Rats will be broken into two groups. Both groups will assess a 1.5 mile run for time early in the cycle. Group A will continue with MTI’s Speed over Ground Progression based on the athlete’s 1.5 mile run assessment. Group B will run 800m interval repeats in Individual Body Armor or a 25# Weight Vest or back pack. At the end of the cycle, both groups will re-assess for the 1.5 mile run and the results will be compared between both groups.

Required Equipment:

  • Weighroom with rack, bench, barbell and plates for the Hinge Lift, Back Squat and Bench Press
  • 35# Dumbbell or 16kg Kettlebell for women in Group B, 55# Dumbbell or 24kg Kettlebell for men in Group B.
  • Track or known 1.5 mile and 800m distances for the run efforts. Group B will need either Individual Body Armor (IBA) or a 25# Weight Vest or backpack.

Cycle Duration and Schedule:

This MTI “Mini Study” will take 3 weeks, plus the Monday and Tuesday of Week 4, so 3.5 weeks total. It will begin next week, Monday

Below will be the daily schedule:

  • Monday: Strength – Hinge Lift or Swings, Bench Press, Back Squat
  • Tuesday: 1.5 Mile Assessment or 800m repeats (loaded for Group B)
  • Wednesday: Strength – Hinge Lift or Swings, Bench Press, Back Squat
  • Thursday: 1.5 Mile Assessment or 800m repeats (loaded for Group B)
  • Friday: Strength – Hinge Lift or Swings, Bench Press, Back Squat

 

Below is the Cycle outline by Group:

 

To Participate

  • You’ll need to commit to train and 5 days/week for 3.5 weeks, and follow the programming.
  • You’ll need the required equipment (see above)
  • You’ll need to be an experienced, relatively fit athlete. This isn’t a cycle for unfit athletes, or athletes new to free weight-based strength training. You’ll need to know your way around a weight room.
  • You’ll need to communicate back to MTI your pre and post-cycle1RM strength assessment results for the Hinge Lift, Bench Press and Back Squat, as well as your 1.5 mile assessment time, and for Group B, your pre-cycle 90 Second Max Swing effort.
  • The cycle will begin Monday, August 19 and end, Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

 

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

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

Please include:

  • your age
  • sex
  • height and weight
  • training experience.
  • please indicate if you already have an MTI account, and if so, the email for the account. Access to the cycle will be via the website.
  • Finally, please verify you can commit to the 3.5 weeks, 5 day/week training cycle.

You’ll be assigned to Group A or B, and provided with further instructions next week. Training will start August 19.

 

 

Apply NOW

 

 

 

Arete 8.8.19

Military / Foreign Affairs / National Security

Tensions Spike as Turkey Threatens Syria Offensive, The Guardian
Admiral that oversaw Eddie Gallagher prosecution implicated in ‘Fat Leonard’ probe, Navy documents indicate, Task & Purpose
‘If we don’t kill these people they will kill you’: policing Africa’s largest slum, The Guardian
Taliban say differences resolved on US troop withdrawal, Stars & Stripes
Iran Has Hundreds of Naval Mines. The US Has a Handful of Old Minesweepers, Defense One
Pentagon chief: US would prevent ‘unacceptable’ Turkish invasion of Syria, The Hill
Shelling kills four Ukrainian soldiers in eastern Donbass, Reuters
Russia’s B-2 Lookalike Stealth Drone Just Flew for the 1st Time, Real Clear Defense
New Zealand decides to end Iraq mission, as Esper visits to boost overall defense cooperation, Stars & Stripes
Anti-Japan banners in Seoul taken down after public outcry, Al Jazerra
Chinese state media accuse US of ‘destroying international order’ – business live, The Guardian
Beyond Grunts and Pilots: Senior Leader Talent Management in the Marine Corps, War on the Rocks
Trump Imposes New Sanctions on Venezuela, NY Times
Drone strike on town in southern Libya kills at least 43: official, Reuters
Who Will Invade Brazil to Save the Amazon?, Foreignpolicy.com
New Army Laser Could Kill Cruise Missiles, Breaking Defense
North Korea took $2 billion in cyber attacks to fund weapons program: U.N. report, Reuters
Nordic countries see Russia flex its missile muscles, Defense News
Navy SEAL and Marine face hearing on Green Beret’s death, Navy Times
Australia won’t host U.S. missiles, prime minister says, Task & Purpose
New vice chief commits to ongoing US Army reform to build future force, Defense News
TacJobs – US Army Ranger, Soldier Systems
Hot Off The Press – TC 3-20.40, Training and Qualification, Individual Weapons, Soldier Systems

 

Homeland Security / First Responder / Wildland Fire

Gun violence in America: A true national security threat, Brookings
U.S. Military Spends Millions On Dangerous Chinese Tech With Known Cyber Risks, In Homeland Security
Hackers’ Latest Target: School Districts, Homeland Security Newswire
Mass Shootings and Mass Media, Officer.com
Texas grandmother foils mass shooting plot, LE Today
70 years ago today: Mann Gulch Fire, Wildfire Today
55 People Shot, 7 Killed in Bloody Chicago Weekend, Police Mag
New York State Lawmakers Propose Making Throwing Water on Cops a Felony, Tactical-Life.com
Video: Dayton Police Ended Shooting Rampage in 30 Seconds, Police Mag
Warrior mindset: 8 elements of tactical performance, Police One
Kan. man buys 1958 Navy plane to benefit state during wildfires, Firerescue1
Conservative cops are starting to run for office against police-hating politicians, LE Today
Filson Celebrates Wildland Firefighters With Stories From the Trenches, Gearjunkie
How wildfires trap carbon for centuries to millennia, Science Daily

 

Mountain

How To Get Out OF A Tree Well, Globosurf
The 5 Best Camper Trailers for Any Adventure, Gear Patrol
How to Clean a Hydration Bladder and Keep It Mold-Free, Outside
Poll | Do pedal-assist bikes or e-bikes belong on non-motorized trails? SNEWS
Affordable Satellite Phones: We Test 3 of the Best, Gearjunkie
10 Best Ski Exercises, Globosurf
Three Minutes of Mindblowing Footage Atop the Mont Blanc MassifAdventure Journal
45 Ski Areas Have Closed In The United States Over The Past 20 Years, Unofficial Networks
The Political Battle for America’s Public Land Is Happening Below the Radar, Outdoor Life
Video: Mountain Biker Fights Off Grizzly Bear With Ski Pole And Knife In Life-or-Death Struggle, Unofficial networks
Geotagging and Social Media in Our Modern Age of Conservation, REI Co-op Journal
Opinion: As Olympic Qualifiers Approach, Outdoor Sends Are Irrelevant for Comp Climbers, Climbing Mag
It’s time to stop blaming “influencers” for everything and move on to solutions, Outdoor Collective

 

Fitness / Nutrition / Wellness

Norseman triathlon tests toughest minds and bodies, BBC News
Garmin MARQ Athlete In-Depth Review, DC Rainmaker
5 Mind-Blowing Facts About CrossFit Games Winner, Mat Fraser, Men’s Health
Three Emerging Insights About Happiness, Berkley University
New ‘smart gym’ in the Valley provides shorter, more effective workouts, Fox News Phoenix
Preventing ACL Tears, Fitness Myths, and Rotator Cuff Repair Failures, Mike Reinhold
Haider Warraich: ‘We do everything in our modern lifestyle to hurt the heart’, The Guardian
Jogging and five other exercises ward off weight gain despite ‘obesity genes’, Science Daily
A Brain Scan May Predict Alzheimer’s. Should You Get One?, NY Times
How to Treat Elbow Pain (AKA Tennis Elbow), Outside
Bulletproof Your Ankles, Breaking Muscle
Nike Just Revealed New Data on the Vaporfly, Outside
How Tom Brady’s Still Defying the Laws of Football At Age 40, Mens Health
The Four-Week Strongman Training Plan, Muscle & Fitness
6 Exercises for a Stronger Back, Outside

 

Interesting

Freak rainstorm cut Oslo in two, Newsineng.com
Bjorg Lambrecht dies after crash during Tour of Poland cycling race, The Guardian
Are most people actually working two or three jobs? Not really – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise, AEI
10 facts about Americans and Twitter, Pew Research Center
The foodoo economics of meal delivery, The Economist
These 4 Cars Were Named the Best In the World This Year, Gear Patrol
Which States Have The Most Vacation Homes?, Unofficial Networks
Ford’s New Super Duty Packs the Strongest Gas Engine in a Heavy-Duty Pickup, Gear Patrol

Q&A 8.1.19

QUESTION

I just wanted to drop a quick update with a question that follows. I employed your APFT training packet for my recent testing.

Six weeks prior, my beginning assessment was:

Pushups: 50
Situps: 55
2 Mile: 19:03
BW: 235lbs
I tested yesterday and my results are:
Pushups: 68
Situps: 70
2 Mile: 16:30
BW: 221lbs
I am very pleased with the progress/results. Thank you for solid programming.
What might you recommend to maintain my newly earned level of fitness. I recently began regular jiu jitsu / boxing training. Attritbutes i am most concerned with are as follows: agility, high strength to bw ratio, good work capacity and moderate distance running capabilities and chasis integrity.

ANSWER

Thanks for the note – glad the plan worked for you!
Next? Actaeon from our Green Hero packet of plans for military athletes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m feeling super discouraged. I’ve followed your program precisely and just cannot get over the 1.5mi hurdle. I crush the sit-up, 300m, and push-up but I am stalled on the 1.5 at 12:49-12:52 each mock test. Any other regimen I should follow?

ANSWER

Couple things could be going wrong ….
– The run programming/progression doesn’t work for you. It works for 99% of the athletes we work with, but not for everyone.
– You simply hate running or this run assessment and mentally are holding back your performance. This happens.
– Your running form sucks  …. and work on your running form will help push your performance and make you enjoy running. Investigate/google “Chi Running” or “POSE Running”
No other plan I can suggest for you for this specific assessment. You could do a longer running assessment/plan and see if extra volume helps, but the 1.5 mile run is really just an extended sprint.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking into buying one of your fitness plans. I am just having trouble deciding on what would be best for me. I am a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps. I have finished The Basic School and I am at my first duty station in Okinawa, Japan. I’ve always loved being in the gym. I played football in college (tight end) so I’m obviously not your typical Marine Corps body type. It took all I had and partly starving myself to get down to my allowed weight for OCS. Here’s some background on some training I’ve done the last couple of years; I’ve done CrossFit, I’ve done strength and conditioning programs for college football, and I’ve ran a few half marathons. I’m not naturally great at the USMC PFT so I have to incorporate it into my training plans.

My goals are to lose about 10 pounds, get my 3 mile time close to the 20 minute mark (currently about 22 minutes), and I still want to incorporate strength training. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

ANSWER

The plans in the Greek Hero packet are designed as day to day programming for military infantry and SOF (without water-based mission sets) – and these are the plans I’d recommend for you.
These are multi-modal training plans which concurrently train strength, work capacity, military endurance (run, ruck), chassis integrity (core) and tactical agility.
Start with Hector – the first plan in the packet.
Email questions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have recently started Hank and have Sand bag Toss and Chase programmed into a forthcoming workout.

I train at home in an undercover area attached the house, early o’clock before my wife and kids are awake. Given the SB t&c is very likely to wake the household, I’m thinking to sub for a 40k Power clean and press. So rather than a 10min grind with the sandbag, I would complete a 10 minute EMOM of 5 Pwr Clean and Press @ 40k.

Grateful for your views on this or an alternative sub

Cheers and my continued thanks for your awesome programming

ANSWER

You’re sub will work but drop the load to 65 pounds .
– Rob

QUESTION

I am headed to SFAS in October and have been following some of your workouts for the last two months. I finally bought the Ruck Based Selection program and noted that it is only two months. I have a little over 3 months before selection. Do you recommend repeating the first 5 weeks in order to get the taper at the right time? I am in pretty good shape right now and want to capitalize on time but avoid injury by over stressing the body and joints.

ANSWER

No – don’t extend the plan … it’s too intense. Do 4 weeks of Fortitude, then take a full weeks rest before starting the RBSTP.
– Rob

QUESTION

First want to say thank you for all the info and quality product you put out on the web and your site. Question for you..
I did a DNA test recently and found out 60% of my DNA comes from Scandinavia..doing more research since then and on Vikings, etc..I’ve come to be fascinated on how men, warriors back in those times would train to be “mission specfic” to go on a raid? With the weapons they had to carry back then, row for miles, walk for miles, etc do you have any programs of yours that you can recommend to me towards that? Or if not would you consider designing a program based on that?
Thank you for your help and time sir

ANSWER

Sorry – I can’t design a specific training plan for you. From what we do have, I’d recommend the Urban Conflict Training Plan – which will cover the fitness attributes you describe with the exception of the rowing.
This is an intense training plan designed for military athletes to complete directly prior to deployment to downrange to places like Iraq and Syria.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi, I was interested in purchasing an Athlete Subscription package. Having a multitude of plans seems like a great fit for me. However, I was wondering how to structure the available plans to continuously progress my fitness. I was considering starting with Bodyweight Foundation followed by Bodyweight Build. That makes sense as the website specifies that order, but where should I go from there? I was thinking of doing Humility and then Military-on-Ramp so that way I would have a great overall base of fitness to do any of the plans. I am just someone looking to get fit and do not have any specific goals or events to prep for so would this be a good plan of action? I am not a professional tactical athlete. However I plan on volunteering for my local Search and Rescue team sometime in December or January. So I would have about 6 months to train until then. I only have a doorframe pull-up bar at the moment, which is why I wanted to start with bodyweight work. I understand most of your plans require either a professional gym or well-equipped garage gym and I can get equipment as need be. I have been doing bodyweight training since January, but have not been doing any cardio. My bodyweight training has consisted of pull-ups, push-ups, dips and squats. I have been trying to do it three times a week, with my routine being 3 sets of 6-8 reps per exercise.

ANSWER

Yes on Bodyweight Foundation to Bodyweight Build. After look at Humility …. you’ll need some limited equipment for this plan, but the gains and intensity are progressed from the bodyweight-only plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just finished the Body Weight Foundation. I liked it and thinking about the next plan. I don’t have a home gym or the time to go to a gym. I stick with mostly body weight routines. I can get some equipment (i.e. dumb bell and sandbag. I also have a ruck sack with plates and weight)
I am considering the Limited Equipment Packet. But I had one question.
Does it have a good strength component in any of the plans? I mean where I can build muscle and strength not just strength endurance.
I’ve done a body weight strength program from someone else and seen some good muscle growth and strength improvement. If one of these plans has a good strength component then I would rather transition to just these.

ANSWER

The only way to ramp up strength is to increase load …. which is difficult to do with just bodyweight training. For example, at some point doing bodyweight pull ups, you’ll stop building max effort strength, and continue building strength endurance. The way to build strength is to add a backpack with load, and continue from there with weighted pull ups.
To that end, the Sandbag/Dumbbell/Weight Vest Training Plan, Humility and Courage all include limited equipment … and would all increase your strength over a bodyweight only plan. Humility is intense, and one you could jump to now.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a new subscriber and will be taking a PT test similar to the APFT (1.5 mile run instead of 2) in about 7 weeks as part of an LE academy.
I currently hit the 75-80% performance on the test (65 push-ups, 80 sit-ups, 10:50 1.5 Mile Run). My primary goal is to exceed at the test, but I am also interested in strength training. I have seen you recommend the APFT with the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan to those who want to continue strength training. Would you recommend this training plan for someone who scores around a 4.0 on the MTI test? My main concern is that the 1RM strength focus of the MTI plan may diminish the endurance aspect of the APFT training plan. What would you recommend? Thank you for what you do.
Additional Info:
Age: 30
WT: 165
Bench: 205
Front Squat: 175
Power Clean: 145
Pullups: 12
I am 5′ 9″

ANSWER

You could certainly double up with two-a-days. Do the APFT Plan sessions in the AM, and the Monday/Wed/Friday sessions from the MTI Relative Strength Assessment in the evenings. Skip the Tuesday and Thursday sessions from the relative strength plan.
But know this may impede all the benefits you’d get from doing the APFT Plan in isolation. How much? I’m not sure … we’ve never tested it. It will somewhat depend upon your fitness  …. but several athletes do this or something similar.
Try it, and if you find you’re not making the progressions in the APFT Plan, pull back from the two-a-days.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve recently decided to attend SFAS within the next year, starting with SFRE and the guards try one contract. I havnt re enlisted yet mainly because of the shape I’m in. I’ve been focused on strength training the last 2 years being a police officer and let my cardiovascular conditioning suffer greatly.
I’ve looked at both your SFRE plan and the Ruck based plan and was wondering if you had a scaled back suggestion I could purchase. I havnt run 6 miles in over two years and considering that’s one of the first workouts, doubt I could complete most of the workouts given the shape I’m in. I was thinking of purchasing the SFRE plan first, running it once with all the workouts cut in half. Then doing it again as prescribed for another 7 weeks. Just seeing what yall suggested. Thanks.

ANSWER

Your plan would work. Another Option would be to start with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, then rolling into the SFRE Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I climbed The Grand a couple weeks ago. Thanks for stuck in a motel and peak bagger plans—definitely would have slowed the group down without those two plans. It was still a blood bath though with all the snow and wind on a summer’s solstice day but had the time of my life.
I started the backpacker preseason and pull up improvement plans yesterday. I may do an early September trip (75 miles, 13,500’ elevation gain, 6 days) on high Sierra trail that culminates with Mt. Whitney summit.
Any advice on plan selection for next 8-9 weeks? Definitely want overall general/chassis fitness while being ready for potential upcoming trip of 15-20 miles/day with a 30-35# pack and up to 5,000’ elevation gain. Also would like something that incorporates strength for beginner level climbing (arm, wrist, finger strength) hence the pull up plan.

ANSWER

15-20x miles/day for 5-6 days is no joke. You can add programming while you’re training for this event, but you can’t do general fitness and not train for this and expect to do well.
I’d recommend our Rucking Improvement Training Plan, beginning at week 6. This plan has you in the gym 2 days/week training leg strength, upper body strength and chassis integrity, and rucking 4 days/week.You can add pull ups to the gym days.  Drop the prescribed load in the plan down to 35#.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking to get back into shape, with the end goal of testing for law enforcement( not the FBI, but it’s the Same pt test). Which program should I start with? I’m coming off of an injury, I haven’t been active in really over a year. I have the FBI pft program, and the army apft program.  Which one should I start with,or which program? I would like to be able to start testing out for the law enforcement physical testing in Jan 2020.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve decided to start training for The Tactical Games in March 2020 (think CrossFit Games + Shooting 5.56/.223 and pistol). I’m prior service and have used MTI’s programs in the past for selection and wildfire training on the civilian side. Wondering what you would recommend for this competition or should I follow a series of training plans on the road to March 2020? I’m in “decent” shape but not putting up the 13 minute 2 mile times I used 6 years ago. Definitely room for improvement across the board (strength, stamina/cardio, flexibility). Also how should I integrate my range time? I’ve never shot competitively outside the Army. Thanks for all your help and keep up the good work!

ANSWER

Fitness? Greek Hero Packet of plans.
Range Time? Depends on your easy access to a range and how much money you have as .223 runs about $.30/round last time I looked. Our Range Fitness system is designed to use around 100x rounds per training session, but that’s still $30/day in ammo. You would want to be doing airsoft/dry fire work several times per week and this far out, perhaps a 90 minute range session for each weapon system, 1 day/week. As you get closer to the event, you’d want to increase your range time to 3 sessions/week per weapons system, would be my guess.
I’m not super familiar with these events, but deep diving into scoring would be advised, My guess is that marksmanship would be weighted heavier than fitness, but I’m not sure.
We’ve found that when it comes down to marksmanship under stress, trigger control is everything!
– Rob

QUESTION

Hey guys, love your plans and have used them in the past for military applications to awesome results.

I’m transitioning careers fields to climbing towers as a tower tech and I was wondering if you had any recommendations as to what plan would best suit this field.

ANSWER

Without knowing much about the actual fitness demands beyond the obvious, I’d recommend the Notorious Prison Packet of Plans designed for correctional officers … These train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and some endurance, but also have a significant grip strength component – which I feel would transfer.
Another option would by our Country Singer Packet of plans which apply MTI methodology to general fitness programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been looking into your plans with my goal being to apply for an be admitted to my local Mountain SAR team. There is an assessment but it isn’t posted online.

I do not believe there is a swimming portion. Not much water in Colorado.

I was wondering what you might suggest as training program/package to consider?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the training plans/order in the Wilderness Packet of plans, which are designed for Wilderness Professionals including rangers, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (run, uphill hike under load) and chassis integrity.
Not sure the technical rope system climbing responsibility on your team, but if there is any I’d recommend a V-Sum once per week to keep your finger strength fit.
– Rob

QUESTION

I got a test coming up next year wich consist of a 8km ruck run carrying 22kg. basically 5 miles with 50lbs ruck. this is a standard test for alot of selection courses in the norwegian army. the requirment is 52 minutes, i got 50:31 on my last test and would like to get sub 40 next year, this would mean i would need to keep a pace of 12km/hour in fairly hilly course. im basically curious what you would recommend someone with my goal in mind. i think running 50-60 miles per week of speedwork and long slow runs combined with some weightlifting would be the best approach. i would love to hear your opinion on this.

ANSWER

Best to train sport specifically for the event … which means rucking.

If you’re fit for rucking now, I’d recommend the 5-Mile Run Training Plan, but do the entire plan ruck running with your 22kg ruck. The run progression will work and the plan includes leg strength work.
If you’re not fit for rucking, do the Rucking Improvement Training Plan, Weeks 1-10. Weeks 1-5 deploy a 3-mile assessment and progressions, and weeks 6-10 deploy a 6-mile assessment and progressions. The plan includes strength work. Use a 22kg ruck for all the ruck runs in the sessions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently on week four of the TLU strength program, which I am really enjoying.  I am going camping for five days, when I get back I will pick up where I left off but what sort of training do you recommend while I am in the woods?  I don’t want to stop working out while I’m gone but obviously I wont have access to my typical gym equipment.  Just rocks, logs, tree branches for pullups, and bodyweight.  Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

ANSWER

Best: Do nothing and just enjoy your vacation.
Next Best: Get up at 0-dark 30 every morning and take a trail run and/or hike a nearby hill/peak.
– Rob

QUESTION

I wanted to start training again to do Mt Rainer next year.
I’m 47 yr old female, 5’2” weight 145 lbs.
I cannot run anymore due to knee issue. Very little cartilage. I can however hike with a pack and can do stadium steps with little pain and swelling.
Can you recommend a training ?
I’m hoping to do Rainer next year Kine July

ANSWER

SF45 Packet. Sub biking (2x the prescribed running distance) or rucking/hiking with a 15 pound pack (1/2 the prescribed run distance) with a  for the prescribed running in the plans.
6 months out complete the Rainier Training Plan, then drop back into the SF45 Plans.
7 weeks directly before your trip, re-do the Rainier Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Really appreciate all the information you put out there. Your packets are excellent.
I’m looking for a plan that primarily focuses on strength/hypertrophy first, secondary focus being short work capacity efforts (similar to an AMRAP) and third a running effort.

ANSWER

This fits the bill almost perfectly for our LE Programming. I’d recommend Whiskey– which trains strength, work capacity, upper hypertrophy, chassis integrity plus you get to run 1x/week!
I just updated this plan in March, 2019. Solid.
– Rob

QUESTION

I graduate ABOLC soon and have a been slotted to begin ARC on 12AUG2019. I’ve spent the last month in the field with little to no PT. I know I could pass an APFT with around 270, but I feel like I’m out of shape. I have roughly five weeks to prepare for the physical demands of ARC.
Below is the physical fitness overview provided by the ARC website (https://www.benning.army.mil/Armor/316thCav/ARC/PT.html). My friends in the classes before me have told me that the FTXs are composed of 25-30 mile movements over the course of three days, with minimal to no sleep. What plan would you recommend?

ANSWER

I don’t have a plan specifically for this course. From what I do have I’d recommend the Sapper Leaders Course Training Plan.
– Rob