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Lab Rats Needed Starting October 14, 2019 to Test the Effect of Different Training Volumes for Strength, Work Capacity and Endurance

By Rob Shaul

MTI needs remote lab rats for an upcoming, multi-modal 4 or 5 day/week, 4-week, “Mini-Study.”

The Mini-Study will test the effect of training volume across three training measurables: Strength (barbell and bodyweight), Sprint-Based Work Capacity, and Endurance (3-Mile run Performance).

Specifically, we’re interested to see if we can reach the same fitness results by training 2/3 of the total volume for Strength, Work Capacity and Endurance.

Details:
Lab Rats will be broken into two groups, Group A and Group B. Both groups will complete a Strength, Work Capacity and Endurance Assessment at the beginning of the cycle.

Over the next 4 weeks, Group A will train 5 days/week. Group B will train 4 days/week, and complete 2/3 the total training volume of Group A.

Below are the specific assessments –

  • Strength – 1RM Front Squat, 1RM Push Press and Max Rep Pull Ups
  • Work Capacity – Max Rep 40-Foot Prone to Sprint Shuttles in 3 minutes
  • Endurance – 3 Mile Run for Time

Required Equipment:

  • Weight Room with rack, barbell and plates for the Front Squat and Push Press, and a Pull Up bar for the Pull Ups.
  • 40-Foot indoor or outdoor space for the 40-Foot Prone to Sprint Shuttles
  • Track or known 3 mile and 1-Mile distances for the run efforts.

Cycle Duration and Schedule:

This MTI “Mini Study” will take 4 weeks. It will begin Monday, October 14. Below is the Cycle outline by Group.

 

To Participate

  • You’ll need to commit to train and 4-5 days/week for 4 weeks, and follow the programming as prescribed.
  • You’ll need to commit to only do this training, no other fitness-specific training is allowed as it will skew the results. Regular weekend activities are okay.
  • 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-cycle 1RM strength assessment results for the Front Squat and Push Press, max rep pull up results, and your 3-mile assessment time.
  • The cycle will begin Monday, October 14, 2019 and end, Friday, November 8, 2019.

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email rob@mtntactical.com, and put “October 14 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 4 weeks, 4-5 day/week training cycle.

You’ll be assigned to Group A or B, and provided with further instructions next week. Training will start October 14,2019.

 

 

APPLY NOW

 

Arete 9.26.19

Military / National Security / Foreign Affairs

US troops to Saudi Arabia? Stand by. Air Force Times
The U.S. Marines Are Eyeing An Exoskeleton Straight Out of Aliens, Foxtrot Alpha
Following attacks, Pentagon prepping to send troops to Saudi Arabia’s aid, Defense News
Russian S-400 can easily desacralize F-35 Lightning II fighters, PravdaReport
Stealth at Sea: Three New Navy Destroyers Now ‘In the Water’, RealClearDefense
US, Polish presidents sign pact to boost American military presence in Poland, Air Force Times
The Devil You Know: Trust in Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence, RealClearDefense
Former SEAL, SOCOM Boss McRaven Says We’re Going To Be In Afghanistan ‘For A Very Long Time’, Small Wars Journal
Japan takes lead on Malabar exercise with US and India for first time, Stars and Stripes
Five Power Defense Arrangements in the Spotlight with Command Post Exercise, The Diplomat
Osprey-styled drones may be protecting fleets in the near future, War is Boring
Colt says it will only sell AR-15 to military & police forces, ends public sales, War is Boring

First Responder / Wildland Fire / Homeland Security

Trump’s Ukraine scandal could be ‘impeachable offense’ key national security Democrats, veterans warn, Defense News
What the Saudi Oilfield Strike Says about Modern Deterrence and Homeland Defense, Modern War Institute
The Eastern Mediterranean in the New Era of Major-Power Competition: Prospects for U.S.-Israeli Cooperation, Hoover Institution
Ex-intelligence officer gets 10 years in espionage case, Stars & Stripes
Why not using SCBA will kill firefighters, FireRescue 1 Daily News
How many seats should a fire truck have? FireRescue 1 Daily News
Department of the Interior collaborated on 2,500 fuel treatment projects last year, Wildfire Today
Orange County introduces pilot program for real time wildfire mapping, Wildfire Today
15 things ’70s-era cops can teach today’s LEOs, PoliceOne Daily News
Ford Police Interceptor Utility: Making Hybrid Standard Issue, POLICE Magazine
How PDs are using data from the National Law Enforcement Applied Research & Data Platform, PoliceOne Daily News
Dallas PD Welcomes Largest Academy Class Ever, POLICE Magazine
Everything law enforcement agencies should know about the benefits of transitioning to NIBRS, PoliceOne Daily News

Mountain

This is How You Get Kids from the City to the Mountains, Adventure Journal
Climbing Technique: Footwork, American Alpine Institute
Fascinating Relief Maps Of The World’s Tallest Mountains, Unofficial Networks
Classic Routes: Evolution Traverse (VI 5.9), Sierra Nevada, California, Climbing Magazine
Everything You Need to Know About Crashpads (Plus Our Top 11 Crashpad Picks), Climbing Magazine
The Best Hike in Every National Park, Outside Magazine
Christophe Henry, Juan Señoret ski Colmillo Del Diablo in Patagonia, Planetmountain.com
Climbing The World’s Highest Artificial Climbing Wall (500+ feet), Unofficial Networks
How the Outdoor World Joined the Youth Climate Strike, Outside Magazine
Backcountry Lunch, The Cleanest Line
How to Explore the Dolomites, The Outbound Collective
Mt. Bachelor Releases New Trail Map and Names To New Lifts, Unofficial Networks

Fitness / Health / Nutrition

Tapering for a Race or Event: What to Do and What Not to Do, Unofficial Networks
Include Rotational Movements In Your Training, Breaking Muscle
RHR: A Deep Dive into CBD, with Will Kleidon, Chris Kresser
Need More Iron? When You Consume It Matters, Runnersworld
Our society’s culture of fear is holding back children’s fitness, The Globe and Mail
Wearable medical devices: ungluing the fact from the fiction, Verdict
Stamina may trump strength in health stakes, The Irish Times
What to Know About Kids and Nutrition, Outside Magazine
Here’s How Long You Need to Foam Roll to Reduce Your Risk of Injuries, Men’s Journal
This Is How Much Weight You Could Gain From Sleeping 5 Hours a Night During the Work Week, Men’s Journal
How an Ice Bath May Undermine Your Weight Workout, NYT Health
Best sources of Vitamin E, The World’s Healthiest Foods

Interesting

U.S. Navy: Yes, Those UFO Videos Uploaded By Blink-182’s Former Frontman Are Real, Foxtrot Alpha
The Final Season of “Game of Thrones” was Full of Strategic and Tactical Stupidity, Just Like Real Wars Usually Are, Modern War Institute
How Did Drones Take Out 5 Percent Of The World’s Oil Supply? Foxtrot Alpha
‘The men who plundered Europe’: bankers on trial for defrauding €447m, The Guardian
Statewide Rent Control Will Make California’s Housing Crisis Even Worse, Hoover Institution
The Dangers of Modern Technology, Prague Post
Blueprint For America: The Art And Practice Of Governance, Hoover Institution
Coast Guard stops self-propelled vessel holding more than $165M in cocaine, The Hill
A Mysterious Illness is Sickening Florida Panthers, and No One Knows What’s Causing It, Backpacker
Did a common childhood illness take down the Neanderthals? Science Daily
What is medtech and why does it matter for business? Verdict
The Secret Is Out: Penguins Are Promiscuous Too, NYT

Q&A 9.26.19

QUESTION

Im on week 4 on Operator Hector and here are my thoughts as I prepare to choose my next plan:

I ‘feel’ like I need more running as that’s my weakest area, my running comments below will reflect that.

I love the lifting on days 1 and 4; these are my longest sessions and sometimes I need to cut the work capacity out at the end. I think I may be working to hard to find that days 1RM and wasting time/ energy instead of just getting it close and doing my .85% off of it.

I love the agility on Day 2. Probably my favorite day because its things I never have programmed before.

The rucking on Day 3 is fun and challenging based off of my recommended times.

My hands down worst or hardest day has been the Run on day 5. The work capacity before the run absolutely crushes me and makes the run very difficult. Should I be scaling my effort down on the work capacity a little bit if those 4-5 mile runs are so difficult?

What plan should I progress to after Hector?

ANSWER

Thanks for feedback!
You could drop mileage on Fridays, but I’d rather you follow the programming as prescribed. As your fitness improves so will your capacity to complete higher volume.
Apollo next.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in the National Guard getting ready to go to BOLC training in a year and also am currently a guard at a Prison. I would want to know what program would cover both areas for fitness.

ANSWER

Train for your current job now and complete the plans/order in our Notorious Prison Packet for full time correctional officers, beginning with Rikers. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, grip strength and tactical agility.
6 Weeks out from BOLC, drop out of the Notorious Prison Plans and complete the IBOLC Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Got a question in regards to gaining weight. I completed the hypertrophy for skinny’s plan and saw some great gains in regards to weight and hypertrophy. I’m now going thru mil on ramp after completing big 24. I got some great gains in my lifts with big 24 however did not gain weight at all.

Anyways, my question. Should I just be eating more if I intend to gain weight? Or should I switch up my training to be more hypertrophy oriented? I have an set goal in mind in how much weight I want to gain, then get back into a more mission/sport specific training.

Thanks!

ANSWER

Best advice is to stop worrying about your weight, and start worrying about your mission/sport performance.
Mission-direct programming for military involves plenty of work capacity and endurance. The endurance programming, especially, will work against your mass gains, and unnecessary excess mass will work against your endurance and work capacity performance.
This is why our focus is on relative strength, or strength per bodyweight. Instead of wondering if you are big enough, ask if you are strong enough? To answer, take our MTI Relative Strength Assessment. 
Not sure your age, but if you’re still in your 20s, you’ll naturally fill out as you age.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a new rifle hunter and have been interested in learning about how to train the skills around hunting as well as the fitness. Such as how to shoot under stress / while winded as well as working towards a rifle general accuracy goal.

The internet is strangely bereft of hunting and shooting skill drills, and literally, no rifle hunter’s shooting standard (e.g. a beginner should be able to shoot a 3-inch group at 200 yards in a prone position 4″ sitting, etc.) that I can see.

I see that you guys have developed the Apache archery training/test… (1) do you have anything for a rifle equivalent for that and (2) have you seen anything out there that would guide a green hunter to build shooting training plan in preparation for hunting season?

This might be outside your scope so apologies if it is, I just thought with your focus on training for events/missions and your exposure to the tactical community you might know of something that also looked at skill training.

I appreciate it!

ANSWER

We’ve developed an entire system and plan to train accurate marksmanship under stress for the military using assault rifles, called Range Fitness. Here is one of the drills we deployed.
I’ve never thought to apply the system to long range rifles and a hunting situation, but you certainly could. I’d keep it simple like our stuff for archery, but a longer time limit.
Start at 100 yards, then do a 40 yard shuttle (down 20, back 20) and shoot. For each distance I’d shoot prone, sitting, and supported. I’d use an 8″ circle for the target. Best would be a metal target so you could get instant feedback.
Once you can get all 3 @ 100 yards, move back to 150 yards, then back to 200 yards. When hunting with a rifle I personally won’t shoot past 200 yards, and feel it’s unethical to shoot past 400 yards.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m planning to run a half marathon in January and wasn’t sure which program to pick because I already own the Running Improvement plan.  My concern with it is the 6/week frequency.  I’ll likely continue the SF45 – Hotel plan until I start training for it.
Will the Running Improvement plan suffice or should I purchase the half marathon plan?

ANSWER

Do weeks 6, 7, then 11-15 of the Running Improvement plan prior to your 1/2 marathon.
– Rob

QUESTION

A few months ago I made the decision to change my life and enlist in the army. I’ve dropped from 260lbs down to 210lbs and still have 35lbs to go. My eventual goal is to enlist as an 18x after I complete my degree in December 2020. To reach this goal I was planning on doing the “Ruck-Based Selection (SFAS) Training Packet” starting at the beginning of January. I have been rucking and lifting to lose weight but I’m still starting from nothing. Is there a program that you would recommend to get me from zero to fit enough to complete this program?

ANSWER

The Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan would be a good lead-in plan to the plans in the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have purchased several of your courses over the years, used by both myself and my military professional son – thank you for many quality workouts.

I started mountain bike racing in April, and suffered a significant crash (broken collar bone and 6 ribs).  Recovered quickly and enough to finish out the last two XC races of the year.  I’m looking at programming for the 2020 racing season and have identified general core and upper body weakness as area’s that need my attention.  I believe you would refer to that as “chassis strength”?  I have a 12 to 14 week block of time prior to my 12 week MTB specific training program (bike specific/intervals and low rep high # gym work) that I’m interested in using to address my weaknesses.  I’m 56 years old, have access to a full gym when home, but do travel for business quite a bit.  I own your Humility program which I am thinking will be the first 7 weeks.  I’m struggling a bit with a second 7 week program.  Perhaps one of the Alpha/Bravo series?  What are your thoughts?

ANSWER

SF45 Delta. Strength in this plan is all bodyweight … so you’re travel won’t interfere with your training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m about to start the sandbag ethos and the question I have is for each session, for each round of the exercises how much rest time before you start the next round? And then how much time before you start the next round of different exercises?

ANSWER

Each circuit generally has a mobility drill – this is your working rest between rounds.
No rest between circuits.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just finished my first program with you this week (Johnny). Thought it was incredible – put on about 8lbs of lean muscle, increasing max squat and hang clean (losing some on max bench) while increasing endurance measurables. I am still tracking towards a potential Denali climb summer 2020. However, I don’t want to jump into the Denali specific program just yet. I was hoping to continue training strength while starting to shift more towards endurance. I think for me, I want to continue crushing base fitness before getting too specific too soon.

I was thinking the Mountain Base Helen as the next program. Also interested in doing the next Country Singer.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for taking the time!

ANSWER

I’d recommend Wrangell-St.Elias from the Wilderness Packet. These plans are designed for Wilderness Professionals, and this plan has an endurance emphasis (step ups, running). It trains strength 2x/week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for a general fitness plan to purchase for the fall before I get into ski specific training.  I’m in pretty bad shape vis a vis years past.  I can realistically work 45-60 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  I have a pretty fully equipped gym.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a third generation Montanan and I am 53.  I work in San Francisco but spend 100% of my free time on my ranch in Napa or in Montana (increasingly in MT).  I hunt and spend a lot of time outdoors.  I am always interested in new ideas for hunt prep and training as most of my training is home grown.  A friend of mine suggested I talk with you regarding you helping me with a customized program to accomplish some of my goals.  I’m not sure how this works, so I thought I would send you an email to introduce myself.
I train to accomplish a few things;
  1. Personal health
  2. Hunting fitness / prep for trips
  3. Better Accuracy/Precision (with my bow, primarily, although I also hunt during rifle season)
  4. Be outside in nature
The nature of my training is a combination of outdoor work (moving bales of hey, digging holes. moving dirt – farm type stuff) and some conventional exercise (push-ups) along with seasonal training where I run on trails with my bow, stopping to shoot, then continuing to run.  I find this to be good cardio, but also forces me to steady the shot and simulates an adrenal surge just prior to “pulling the trigger” on a larger game.
I weigh 187 pounds, and I’m 6′ tall.
Hopefully this gives you something to go on – please let me know if the above fits into your area of expertise or if we should talk.

ANSWER

I’m sorry, but I don’t currently have the time to design customized programming. However, we have nearly 300 plans available now, and I can generally find one that fits most athletes.
What I gather from your note is you don’t have a garage gym or other equipment that you use. Also – it’s not clear your training background – if you have any free weight training and or structured training experience.
From our stuff, I’d recommend you start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this is an intense training program which deploys assessment and includes upper, lower, core strength training, work capacity, and endurance.
Follow it up with SF45 Delta, which comes from our SF45 Packet of plans designed for tip of the spear tactical and mountain athletes ages 45-55, and uses bodyweight strength training.
8 Weeks prior to your bow hunting season (assuming you’re hunting backcountry in the West), complete the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan.
Wonder about your hunting fitness for this season? We’ve developed a Backcountry Big Game Hunting Fitness Assessment.
Bow accuracy under stress? We’ve developed a system for this Here and Here, and completed a quick mini-study on the effect of stress Here.
– Rob

QUESTION

I seem to find doing the walking dumbbell lunge places a lot of stress on my adductors. I don’t have the same issues when I deadlift or squat.

Is there an exercise I should do to strengthen the adductor or an alternative to the Walking DB Lunge I should insert into the program?

ANSWER

Best would be to continue with the Walking Lunges, and just go unloaded or use lighter load. Another option would be to shorten the range of motion, – only if needed. Or you could try a lung substitute – the Shoulder Hold Lunge or Bulgarian Split Squats. 
– Rob

QUESTION

This will be third time through a version of the Dryland plan. That being said I wanted to run by a potential structure modification.

Since I usually average around 8 hours of endurance activities (cycling / trail running) across the weekend with a majority time of the time spent between Zone 3 to 5 – I found myself having trouble recovering or being able to efficiently exert myself across the past M-Th weekly cycle. Obviously it’s key to have the rest days, which are easy to resist when I mainly have the weekends to recreate. I was thinking of lengthening the cycle to 14 weeks. I’ll complete a session each on Tuesday and Wednesday with a higher intensity bike / run each Thursday. Will plan on doing longer effort mobility work or active recovery on Monday / Friday, regardless I complete mobility work daily. If you think this plan will severely reduce the gains, I’ll reconsider my weekend activities.

For the Legblaster / Scotty Bob couplet is the goal to complete back to back and then rest 30 seconds or has the rest period increased?
Thanks for your help!

ANSWER

Okay on extending the cycle … as long as you are making the progressions. You may not be training enough for accommodation.
Don’t understand your question on the LB/SC … the updated plan has a stretch between rounds for these.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 20 yrs old and am looking into joining the Army. I am fairly physically fit and work as a personal trainer currently. I practice jiu jitsu nearly everyday, and keep to a fair running schedule as I train for distance races periodically. I really love your programs, and am curious as to what you believe the best program would be for someone who hopes to succeed with an 18X contract in the Army. They say it is hard enough for people who have been in the Army and understand the training, and it is nearly impossible for those who take the 18x contract, however I never believe anything is impossible with the right preparation. I have been piecing together my own program based off of the physical demands I have seen from the training, however I would like your opinion on what you believe may be the best fit for me.

Truthfully I have never worked heavily in one area, I do not have particularly high strength percentages (I believe my max bench is 160. Front squat is 150), but I have a fair level of work capacity and chassis integrity (utilizing your terms from your other programs I felt best in those categories with a scaled down version of the Operator Achilles program). I have your monthly subscription and have been looking at the Q course packet but I don’t believe that will prepare me properly strength and endurance wise. I think the Operator programs may be a good fit but am unsure. Guidance from someone with a better understanding would be invaluable.
Thank you for any help you can offer! Have a great rest of your day, sir.

ANSWER

Complete the plans/order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet, completing the last plan in the packet directly before Basic.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently came across your website as I searched for a better means of programming my fitness. I am ready to dive into one of your plans, but with all your options I am having trouble finding one that would best help me at my current level of fitness. I was wondering if you would be able to steer me in the right direction as to where to start.
I have a general background in fitness but am looking to work on a few specific areas before moving on to one of your military/firefighter plans. I am looking for a general fitness plan that would help me lose weight (10-15lbs) while building a base of strength and work capacity before focusing on improving relative strength and endurance. I understand that training all of these at the same time may not be the best approach. I was wondering if you could recommend a specific program or sequence of programs that will address my goals.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping me achieve my fitness goals.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Follow it up with the Military OnRamp Training Plan. 
Weight loss – 90% is diet-related. You can’t outwork a shitty diet. Here are our diet recommendations: http://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently looking to attend SFRE in about 9-12 months. I stand 5’8″ and weigh 140 lbs. I am obviously drawn to the Ruck based selection packet but I was wondering if it would be advisable to gain some weight before kicking this all off. Or should I just jump in at the military on-ramp program and while eating more and just gain weight that comes with the selection packet?

ANSWER

Jump in with Military OnRamp and follow the plans in the packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I need to lay off hinging and squatting for a few weeks because I strained my lower back and didn’t give it enough time to heal. I decided that doing the APFT program would be the safest bet. What are your thoughts on incorporating some additional resistance training to maintain strength? For upper body, since the program is pushup heavy, I was thinking of adding in over head presses and pull ups. For lower body I was thinking of weighted lunges and step ups, alternating push and pull variations. I would do these lifts prior to the day 3 and 4 sessions.

Thanks for the help,

ANSWER

Okay – but pull back if you’re not making the progressions in the APFT Plan. Also – overhead presses are low back intensive – so be careful with those.
– Rob

QUESTION

thanks for the all-around lifestyle coaching. It’s rad, I would say that your blogs and articles are on par with a military or NOLS leadership curriculum. I have often started MTN Tactical institute workouts and found that I was under conditioned to finish them. I have a new plan and wanted your advice. I am a North Carolina Park Ranger for NC State Parks. What does that mean? Well it means that I wear many hats and have many different responsibilities. Not only do I do the interpretive work of a NPS Park Ranger, but I am also a NC Commissioned Law Enforcement Officer, a wilderness first responder, mountain athlete, SAR team member, biologist, and soon to be redcarded fire fighter. As you can see my job has a huge amount of physical demands. I wanted to share with you what I am doing now and prepping for and wanted to know what you thought. I am transitioning from a small rural weight room gym to a fully functional fitness gym and pool. In that time I am almost 3 weeks into doing mobility training every morning, followed your core bodyweight improvement plan (which is great). I am prepping to add your pushup/pullup improvement plan once I hit week 4. Until then I am training my pull/push strength by doing scapula pull-ups, and forearm training. I would like to go into the virtue series training packet afterwards. Should I pad that by doing the body weight foundation before the virtue series? Or should I just subscribe and do your daily WOD’s? Ultimately I would like to be in better shape than when I was on a tactical response team in the air force, in operator shape again so the doors are open to me if I have the opportunity to be in SWAT or an Operator in the ANG.  Basically I want to establish a lifestyle change, so I am starting over from the ground up with mobility and core work. Any advice would help? Anyways, I love what you guys do over at MTI and couldn’t be more grateful for your hard work. Keep it up?

ANSWER

Rather than the Virtue Series I’d recommend our Wilderness Series of plans. I built these this year as day-to-day programming for Wilderness Professionals … Game Wardens, Park Rangers, Field Biologists, etc. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and mountain endurance (run, uphill endurance).
Like all MTI programming, these plans are intense. What is missing from your current programming is leg strength and endurance, so yes, I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Plan first.
– Rob

QUESTION

I wanted to reach out to see what plan you would recommend for me. I am in law enforcement and have a garage gym outfitted with a rack, bumpers, a 150 lb strongman sandbag, ropes, kettlebells, a weighted vest, and gymnastic rings.

I don’t have any dumbbells, normal sandbags, or a box. Which law enforcement plan would you recommend?

Thank you for your time. I plan on training for a SWAT program down the road, and want to make sure I am proactively training hard and smart. I also travel frequently for work, and don’t have more than an hour to train a day in a perfect world.

I appreciate your help and advice,

ANSWER

I don’t have a perfect plan on the LE side for your equipment. You’ll need some smaller sandbags and a plyo box or two..
Given that, I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Big 3 + Running Plan, then follow it up with the plans/order in the Spirit Series for LE Patrol/Detective.
You’ll need to gear up for these …. lighter sandbags, some dumbbells, and a plyo box or two for the tactical agility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I train condition regularly, I saw ur training plans I got interested. i want to ask your recommendation for me. I want to add some condition strenght/resistence in my jiu jitsu game. I am also a police officer,  regularly I have to make physical tests like (run, pull ups, push ups and abs) and I want to improve my run if possible because my poor qualit in the tests. I have basic, a bar to do pull ups, and material to do squat, deadlift and bench press with some nice amount of weights. A nice basic gym. But I can adjust for the exercises.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Big 3 + Running Plan – which will increase raw strength (squat, deadlift, bench press, pull ups) and your running fitness at the same time.
Follow it up with Whiskey, which is the first plan in our Spirits Packet, designed for full-time police officers.
After Whiskey, complete the BJJ Training Plan.
– Rob

Q&A 9.19.19

QUESTION

I live out in the country so going to the gym is difficult. I am in the National Guard so I need to train for the new PT test with limited equipment. What would you recommend?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I completed Marine Corps OCS this past summer and head back to college for a semester before I commission in December.  I am planning on starting the pirate training packet as I have aspirations to join MARSOC.

My question relates to the running (or lack of) that I see on the training schedule in Barbossa.  I am used to running at least 20+ miles a week and love running.  From what I see on the training schedule in Barbossa, there seems to be very little running compared to the way I normally train.

What are your thoughts on how/if I can add more running in to fit my needs and preferences?

ANSWER

Depends upon your fitness level and available training time.
Barbossa has the appropriate amount of endurance split between running and swimming for a balanced training plan. You can add in additional running as a 2-a-day with a run in the evenings and on Saturdays. However, if you’re not making the progressions in the plan, pull back.
I’m not sure how much lifting, work capacity, swimming and chassis integrity you’re currently doing, but if not much, you’ll be sore/fatigued initially.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 41 yo M who just recently fell out of the US Army air assault 12 mile ruck(average at load 35-50 lbs).  I’m 5’6” 166 lbs rather short stocky legs.  I cannot seem to increase my stride length to pace walk <15 min/mile so I run-walk my rucks.  I’m frustrated as I almost always start to cramp by mile 8.  Which package do you recommend I subscribe to?  How do I avoid cramping? I’ve tried hydration salts products and ensured adequate water consumption but still cramp up.  Thanks for input.

ANSWER

Complete the Ruck Improvement Training Plan to include just your ruck, and then 6 weeks directly before attending Air Assault School again, complete the Air Assault Training Plan.
Plan on run/walk your rucks or, just run. Cramping is mostly nutrition related, but can also be related to fitness.
I’m prone to cramping also, and have had luck with the Hammer Nutrition Electrolytes.
Also, mustard and/or pickle juice have also worked to relieve muscle cramps during marathons and other events when they occur. Always carry some mustard packets in your pocket during these train ups and try it – see if they work for you. https://www.roanoke.com/archive/the-people-s-pharmacy-why-mustard-works-for-muscle-cramps/article_97bba576-25fb-5e9d-a80c-b8c0af6a91d8.html
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking into your programs for military, as I’m wanting to join soon. I’ve been working out for a year now, and have gotten in relatively good shape. I was wondering what program you would recommend to prepare for bootcamp?

ANSWER

Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently completed the Grand Traverse training plan (which was an ass kicker for sure) in preparation for doing the GT just last week (which was also an ass kicker). Sadly, my partner and I didn’t complete the GT, so we are already thinking about a second try.
My question is, what would be your suggestion for a solid base improvement before starting the GT plan over again. I am not sure we will try the GT again next year, might need to wait until 2021. I am looking for some plans that I can use to throughout the year to improve general fitness, and keep me in peak condition for the activities I enjoy.
My activity/physical summary is:
  • 47, almost 48 yr old male
  • generally active – 6′ 2″ 192 lbs
  • activities I enjoy: tele skiing (about 40 days / yr), climbing (alpine and crag), mtn biking
  • I am a slow runner, but want to improve
Thank for the help!

ANSWER

I can’t design one set of programming that will best prepare you for each of your seasons. Rather, our approach is to complete “base fitness” between season or event-specific train ups, directly before the season. The Grand Traverse Training Plan is an example of one of our season/event-specific training plans.
Our Greek Heroine Series of plans are our “base fitness” for multi-sport mountain athletes. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, climbing (rock), endurance (run, uphill), and chassis integrity (core).
So now, you’d want to complete Helen, the first week in the packet, until 7 weeks directly prior to your tele season start, and drop out of the Mountain Base plans and complete the Dryland Ski Training Plan.
After completing the Dryland plan, drop back into the Mountain Base Plans until 8 weeks out from your MTB start, then complete the Mountain Bike Pre-Season Training Plan.
Then drop back into the Mountain Base Plans until your 6 weeks out from the Alpine Rock season start and complete the Alpine Rock Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am preparing for a week trip to backcountry ski the Italian Alps in March,2020. I will be a 70 years old woman by then. I am an excellent professional skier, and in good physical shape for my age, but this trip will require endurance and injury would be a serious problem. Are your training modules designed or could they be designed for someone my age?

ANSWER

Our programming is specifically focused on the fitness demands of the event or season or event. As you know, the Mountain Doesn’t Care about your age, fitness level, injury history, time to train, etc. and the fitness demands of a difficult bc ski trip are the same for everyone, regardless of age.
The Backcountry Ski Training Plan is intense, and designed for athletes ages 20-50, however, 60-70 year olds have completed it. The issue is recovery, and they’ve self-accomodated by stretching out the plan over a few more weeks, and reducing the range of motion on the a few of the exercises to accommodate for creaky knees.
Also, you’ll need to consider when your season will start. I’m assuming you’ll be bc skiing prior to this trip, and you’ll not want to be completing this plan at the same time you’re busy bc skiing. You’ll want to complete this plan before your BC ski season starts, and then maintain as necessary prior to your trip.
– Rob

QUESTION

Currently on week 2 of the IBOLC MTI workout program. During the APFT work, specifically pushups, I’m not getting through round 5 in the allotted time, and round 6 I just go until failure and make sure to get the required reps in. Is this a normal problem for the end goal of increasing my max or am I doing something wrong?

ANSWER

It’s normal. Go to your knees as needed on Rounds 5-6.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just got done reading the grip strength article and I have a few questions.

Is it better to focus on grip, in hopes of increasing strength during lifts like the hinge? For example lighter weight with palms towards the bar? Or is that lift more focused on strength so mixed grip is ok with heavier weight?

As a firefighter, should I be wearing gloves with all my exercises to try and increase strength?

If you could email me back when you have a moment I would greatly appreciate it.

ANSWER

1) The goal of the hinge lift is to increase posterior chain strength, not grip strength. Use an alternate grip (one palm forward, one backward) when the load gets that heavy.
2) No. Better would be to work in our Gi Grip Assessment and progression into your sessions.
Another simple grip strength progression we’re actually testing in the gym now is a max dead hang for time on a pull up bar, and then following, 2 days/week for 3 weeks, 5 rounds of a max dead hang on the pull up bar, 60 seconds rest. After 3 weeks, re-test your max dead hang time.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was hoping to get a little guidance before selecting a program. A little about myself; I am reporting to FABOLC in October, and generally average a 260 on the Army APFT. However, I want to be able to max and therefore am interested in starting that training program. I am also wanting to get ahead of the new ACFT to be able to crush that at my first unit.
My questions:
1. Will the athletes subscription allow me to train both the APFT and ACFT (limited equipment) programs simultaneously, and would you advise for or against that?
2. Would you advise hitting the fitness test improvement programs in addition to regular gym workouts aimed at physique (and not improving functionality; like me doing a mtntac workout in the morning and “hitting chest day” at night)?
3.. Would it be worth it to check out your IBOLC program as well?

ANSWER

1. Yes … but you wouldn’t want to do it. Focus on one thing at a time.
2. Our focus is Mission-Direct fitness. Stop worrying about how you look in the mirror and start worrying about how you perform in the field.
3. Yes.  The Army IBOLC Training Plan includes focused training for the APFT.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m wanting to find what plan is best for me I’m going to Air Force Basic training in October and am wanting to cut fat while but do more than just run pushups and sit ups. What would you recommend? Thanks

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Workout wise, what would you suggest for someone to be a survivalist? As in being able to adapt to an area, with no civilization, hunting, and foraging for food, and being able to thrive.

ANSWER

The plans in our Country Singer Series are intense and far ranging – they concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck), and chassis integrity (functional core).
Start with Johnny.
– Rob

QUESTION

Alaska Backcountry bow hunting is my sport, pretty much what I stay in shape for. I saw your back country training plan and was wondering, after I complete that, how do I remain in that shape, is there anyway to modify that plan to keep doing training that directly effects my hunting performance in the mountains? Also, I like to long distance run and want to incorporate marathon style training in as well. Any information or thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

P.s your ruck based selection packet was awesome.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Wilderness Packet of plans. These are designed for Wilderness professionals – game wardens, rangers, etc., and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, and mountain endurance (run, uphill loaded movement). These plans include running – but you could add more if you have training time. These will lay a great foundation of “base fitness” upon which you can do a pre-season train up directly before the hunting season.
Complete the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan the 8 weeks directly before your season starts.
I got my first antelope with a bow, Monday (spot and stalk … only took me 3 years!)  and head out for deer and elk here Sept 1. I’m jonesing!
Have a good season.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was hoping you could help me with this and to see if I’m being realistic or not. I’ve been using your programs to maintain a lot of my fitness and I think they’re excellent.
I’m looking to go to CSOR selection in April however; I’m concerned about my strength. I weigh 160lbs and my deadlifts sit at 260, squat 215 and bench 180. I am not concerned about my endurance or rucking other than maintaining them; your programs have helped me tremendously with that (I used your rucking selection program last year for a Recce course).
Is selection realistic in April with those one rep maxs’ and can you recommend a good strength program that would allow enough time to still mix in the CSOR pre-screening program and selection program? The testing is not based on one rep maxs’ however I feel I should be building my strength much more than it is.
As of now I was considering the programs in this order: 1) Some type of strength, 2) on ramp to build on the rucking again, 3) CSOR pre-screening and 4) CSOR selection.
Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

Your rucking performance and endurance are more important than max effort strength for selection. Don’t get too caught up in strength. What strength does do for you for this time of event is add a lot of durability. You’ll simply be harder to injure if you were stronger.
I would like to see you stronger, but not at the cost of rucking performance and overall stamina. You can build both simultaneously.
By my count there are 32 weeks until April – here’s what I recommend:
Weeks    Plan
6-12        Fortitude
13-18      Resilience (First 6 Weeks)
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope you’re doing well.  Back in 2008-2010 I was an avid militaryathlete.com user.  I followed the daily workouts, in some cases I utilized some of the programs, and I even still have the old “strong, swift, durable, deadly” T-shirt.  In fact, you gave me training advice when I broke my foot back in 2009 (by way of the Q&As after the daily workouts).  Recently my goals have shifted back toward a “constant readiness” attitude.  I got great results on the dailies back then, and I wanted to ask: does a monthly membership come with access to the archives?

I know you’ve probably improved upon/updated the workouts, but I think it would be fun to go back through those old workouts.  I’m not an operator, first responder, or LEO in any capacity, so I’m not necessarily worried about specific performance metrics.  I also want to be clear: I’m 100% ready and willing to pay the monthly membership fee.

ANSWER

With a subscription to the website you get access to our Daily Operator Sessions and the archives, which go all the way back to March of 2009.
– Rob

QUESTION

MTI programming has helped me significantly improve my fitness and I’m thoroughly satisfied with it. That being said, I have a couple questions.
I’m 5’11” and 150 lb, should I follow the nutritional guidance you publish, or should I adjust it?
My battalion frequently conducts training, during which my access to a gym can be limited. During these training exercises my access to food and time to sleep is also limited. This makes it difficult to train consistently. Do you have any advice on maintaining physical fitness between and during training exercises?

ANSWER

1. Yes. There are no caloric restrictions – you can eat as much “clean” food as you can choke down.
2. No magic bullet here – do your best but don’t let fitness training interfere with exercise performance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ll start off by saying thank you for making a great product. The app really makes it worth it. I’m following the ruck based selection routine right now. I was wondering if there is somewhere to look where I measure up comparatively in the assessments. Just to get an idea of what I’m looking like.

ANSWER

Quick answer is I’d look to Ranger School minimums on the APFT events, run times and Ruck Times. Our concern is to see improvement as you re-asses these events two more times during the train up.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was recommending your programs to my future son in law who is a 65kg 31 year old, sprinter and footballer who would like to bulk up a bit before his wedding. He has had issues with weak hips and calf muscles and can’t spend too much on gyms or equipment.

Recommendations welcome. I am loaning him 2x10kg dumbbells and might gift him one of your programs.

ANSWER

I’d recommend he do the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, given his limited equipment.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking to purchase one of the training plan packets and looking for some guidance. My end goal is either Navy EOD or Army Special Forces. From what I have read on the website the BUDs packet is recommended for SEAL’s and EOD. Would following that packet include enough rucking to be ready for SFAS? If not do you a recommended order if I am not sure which way I want to yet? If it helps currently I am 29 and have trained in MMA and triathlon for the last 3 years. Prior to that I played college football. Any input would be appreciated and I thank you for your time.

ANSWER

Until you decide your path I’d recommend you complete the plans and order in the Pirate Packet. These are designed for military and LE SOF with water-based mission sets, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck, swim), chassis integrity and tactical agility. Start with Barbossa.
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a recommendation for scaling the running for the CRO/STO Phase 2 program? I feel confident that I can wrestle through the other aspects of the program, but I’ve been neglecting my running for awhile. Any advice?

ANSWER

If you’ve got one of these selections on the horizon, suck it up. After the Week 1 assessments, the follow-on progressions are based on the assessment results. Also – if you can do the week 1 12 mile ruck, you should be able to handle the Week 1 3-mile and 8-mile run assessments.
If you’re doing this for fun, cut the running distances in half and run at a moderate pace.
– Rob

QUESTION

For the last two months I have been doing one of your workout plans with a buddy of mine that is training for the Rut in Big Sky, Mt. I have really liked the workouts but I need to shift gears into something more specific to what I do. I compete in Taekwondo. Looking for something that encompasses speed, agility, hip flexibility, core , along with hip strength and overall body fitness. I really like the dumbell workouts we have doing. Our rounds are usually 3x 2 minute, and usually three to four fights. I have a competition coming up October 26. Look forward to hearing from you and what program you would recommend.

ANSWER

I don’t have a plan for Taekwondo. Closest would be our BJJ Training Plan – and it’s what I’d recommend.
– Rob

 

Arete 9.19.19

Military / National Security / Foreign Affairs

Trump Is Either Telling Us We Have Superweapons More Powerful Than Nukes Or He Can’t Do Math (Or Both), Foxtrot Alpha
‘Waiting for All of It to End’: A Marine’s Battlefield View of U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan,NY Times
Nile Gardiner: “Best Thing” For Britain Is to Hold A General Election, Get Brexit Done, Heritage Foundation
Putin proposes Russian weapons for Saudi Arabia after oil industry attacks, Reuters
Saudi wealth and weaponry still can’t guarantee oil’s protection, Stars & Stripes
Johnson says he will obey the law but still take UK out of EU on OctOBER 31, Reuters
Brexit turmoil has quietened other countries’ calls to quit EU: ECB’s Villeroy, Reuters
AFSOC: Special warfare manning becoming healthier, Air Force Times
Middle East drones signal end to era of fast jet air supremacy, The Guardian
US warship runs another FONOP near Paracel Islands, Navy Times
In new book, veteran recounts Army’s response to her sexual assault ordeal, Stars & Stripes
The Future of American Power Will be Shaped in the Indo-Pacific, The Diplomat
It’s Time for NATO to Engage in the Arctic, Defense One
New Delhi, Moscow Discuss Production of S-400 Air Defense System in India, The Diplomat
Canada: arrest of ex-head of intelligence shocks experts and alarms allies, The Guardian
Air Force May Soon Have No Go-To Bomber, Real Clear Defense
Al-Qaida today, 18 years after 9/11, Brookings
Russia to Be First to Field Hypersonic Cruise Missiles on Submarines, Forbes
Exclusive: Germany wants to cap next EU budget at 1%, seeks more funds for climate and migration, Reuters
A Code of Conduct for AI in Defense Should Be an Extension of Other Military Codes, Rand Corp
Americans Have Faith in the Military, but They Don’t Understand It, Rand Corp
Everyone Is Getting Sucked Into the Iran Morass, Defense One
Army activates new units in Europe to support Poland, Stars & Stripes
Army Research Looks at Pearls for Clues on Enhancing Lightweight Armor for Soldiers, Soldier Systems

 

First Responder / Wildland Fire / Homeland Security

Three Words Terrorism Hates: ‘Let’s Do Business’, In Homeland Security
London police and Facebook move to stop live streaming of terror attacks, Reuters
Violent crimes are shooting up, but victims aren’t calling the cops. What’s happening?, LE Today
Police arrest woman who threatened to shoot 400 people at her former school, Police One
OK FIREFIGHTER SUFFERS SEVERE BURNS AT WILDFIRE, Firefighter Close Calls
Border Patrol Agent Shot, Wounded at Traffic Stop in Texas, Police Mag
Report: 43% of fire stations are 40-plus years old, Fire Rescue 1
LODD: MAINE FIREFIGHTER KILLED IN EXPLOSION, FIRE, Firefighter Close Calls
These officers came under attack this weekend. The media largely ignored it., LE Today
In era of legal pot, can police search cars based on odor? Police One
270 firefighters working out of remote spike camp on the South Fire, Wildfire Today
In California, murderers and violent criminals could soon start serving on juries, LE Today
Seattle Police Seek to Bolster Recruitment and Retention with $1.6M Plan, Police one
The Environment Is Being Weaponized for Hate, Outside Magazine
Gary Sinise Foundation to Build Homes for Wounded Missouri Officers, Police Mag

 

Mountain

10 Best Ski Resorts In Iceland, Globosurf
My 3 Favorite Insulation Layers, Arcteryx Athlete
Company Working To Expand Surge Pricing On Lift Tickets Based Partially On Ski Conditions, Unofficial Networks
Brave, Not Perfect: My NOLS Semester in Baja, The Outbound Collective
Quiz: Can You Guess the Meaning of These Bizarrely Specific Outdoor Words?, REI
The 10 best ski boots of 2020, Freeskier
The Shiner Guides of Florida are the Kings of Stress-Free Big-Bass Fishing, Outdoor Life
Where Does Alex Honnold Go From Here?, Adventure Journal
6 Stuffsacks and Drybags for Every Situation, Outside
BOLLÉ BRANDS™ ACQUIRES SPY OPTIC, SNEWS
The Great Public Lands E-Bike Rush of 2019, Outside Mag
65-Year-Old Hardman Steve Swenson on Knowing When a Huge Climb is Your Last, Adventure Journal
Popular Mechanics Tells Us How to Clean Our Sleeping Bags, Adventure Journal
For the Love of Climbing: Tokenism in the Outdoor Industry, Climbing Magazine
The Shot I Still Think About, REI
Luck of the Irish, Arcteryx Blog
When Hate Became Love: How the Moonboard Helped Me Send a Long-Term Project—and Became a Lifelong Obsession, Climbing Magazine
FFKT*, Patagonia
Environmentalists Demand Halt To Austrian Ski Resort Expansion That Would Destroy Untouched Glaciers, Unofficial Networks
How to go Fast & Light, Outdoor Research

 

Fitness / Health

New Data on How We’re Measuring a Culture of Health, Rand Corp
Why is Extra Salt Injected into Meat? Nutrition Facts
A Brief History of Nutrition in the West, The Paleo Diet
Everything We Know About Exercise and Depression, Outside
New Half-Marathon Record: Geoffrey Kamworor Shatters Previous Mark, Gearjunkie
Why people gain weight as they get older, Science Daily
High-protein bedtime snacks no problem for active women, Science Daily
Four Weeks of Finger Grip Training Increases the Rate of Force Development and the Maximal Force in Elite and Top World-Ranking Climbers, JSCR
Is Training to Failure Right for You? Breaking Muscle
What We Miss by Studying Mostly Men, Outside
Influence of Foam Rolling on Recovery From Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage, JSCR
Bulletproof Your Grip Strength, Breaking Muscle
Validity and Reliability of a Wearable Inertial Sensor to Measure Velocity and Power in the Back Squat and Bench Press, JSCR
Load-Carriage Conditioning Elicits Task-Specific Physical and Psychophysical Improvements in Males, JSCR
How My Fitness Routine Has Evolved, Mark’s Daily Apple

 

Interesting

Millions of US women say first sexual experience was rape, Al Jazerra
Here’s How To Solve the Student Debt Crisis, Heritage Foundation
EU defends ‘European Way of Life’ idea after Le Pen claims it for far-right, Reuters
How highly religious Americans view evolution depends on how they’re asked about it, Pew Research Center
Porsche is small but highly lucrative, The Economist
Key findings about the online news landscape in America, Pew Research Center
Laws Targeting Vehicle Campers Could End Dirtbagging, Outside
The eyes have it, The Economist
France to give iodine to more people living close to nuclear plants, Reuters
Are You Arrestable? Patagonia
The Best Space Heaters, NY Times
Here’s a List of Companies That Support Gun Control, Recoil Magazine
Toyota Sells the Vintage Land Cruiser–Based Truck of Your Dreams, Just Not In the U.S., Gear Patrol
NOAA: Why Don’t We Try To Destroy Hurricane By Nuking Them? Unofficial Networks
Women Poop. At Work. Get Over It. NY Times

Mini-Study: Density Strength Beats Super Squat Strength, Hinge Lift Beats Swings, Loaded vs. Unloaded Running Inconclusive

By Rob Shaul, Founder

BLUF

We conducted a 3.5-week Mini-Study using remote lab rats to test:

(1) Density Strength Progression vs. Super Squat Progression for 1RM Increase in the Back Squat and Bench Press

(2) Kettlebell/Dumbbell Swings vs a Hinge Lift Progression to improve Hinge Lift 1RM Strength

(3) Loaded vs. Unloaded Running to Improve 1.5 Mile Run Performance

Results

(1) Density Strength Progression outperformed Super Squat progression for the Back Squat and Bench Press. Density Strength Back Squat average 1RM increase was 8.8% vs a 6.1% increase for Super Squat Progression; Density Strength Bench Press average 1RM Increase was 7.4% vs. a 4.0% increase for Super Squat Progression.

(2) A hinge lift progression outperformed kettlebell/dumbbells swings to increase 1RM Hinge Lift strength. Study subjects which did kettlebell/dumbbell swings only increased their 1RM Hinge Lift by an average of 5.4%, vs an average 8.4% increase in the study subjects who completed hinge lifts.

(3) Loaded vs. Unloaded running to increase 1.5 Mile Run Performance was inconclusive. Study subjects who ran unloaded decreased their 1.5 mile run time by 2.5%, vs. a 2.6% decrease by study subjects who ran loaded.

 

Background

MTI’s strength and conditioning research is focused on delivering actionable results to improve mission-direct program design.

In past studies, we’ve seen solid strength gains from both MTI’s Density and Super Squat strength progressions, but have never compared them side by side. This study accomplished this.

Kettlebell advocates have indicated gains in Dead Lift / Hinge Lift strength achieved by doing only swings, and anecdotally, we’ve seen similar results using a the similar kettlebell snatch movement. This study tested this theory. With the introduction of the 5RM Trap Bar deadlift in the new Army ACFT and UASF TIer 2 PFTs, offering swings as an alternative to deadlifts for athletes without ready access to a trap bar and plates could be useful for unit fitness leaders.

Loaded vs. Unloaded running to improve 1.5 mile running performance was something we’ve wanted to test for some time. In the past we’ve explored and experimented with different ruck loads to improve rucking performance, but have never done similar for unloaded running performance.

From a Lab Rat / Study Subject perspective, in the past, MTI has conducted most of our Mini Studies using a cadre of local athletes, or working directly with an individual tactical unit. This is the first time we’ve solicited study subjects from the larger MTI community, so in a sense, this study also tested the availability and reliability of remote lab rats for future Mini-Studies. A larger lab rat pool will allow MTI to conduct more frequent Mini-Studies, as well as potentially running multiple Mini-Studies concurrently.

Mini-Study Design/Deployment

A 3.5-week cycle was designed to test the study questions above, and MTI advertised for Lab Rats via our weekly newsletter, Beta, which has 30,000+ weekly subscribers.

Lab Rat volunteers were randomly divided into two groups, A and B, and given access to the individual group programming. Both Groups began their cycles with a Monday 1RM Strength Assessment and a Tuesday 1.5 mile run assessment, which were repeated 3 weeks later.

The Study was completed in the August – September 2019 time frame, and study subject self-reported their pre and post cycle assessment results.

Below, 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:

 

Results/Discussion

A total of 107 individuals volunteered as study subjects for this mini-study, and 59 completed the entire training cycle – a 45% attrition rate.

Nine of the 59 subjects who completed the study were women, and the average study subject age was 35.

Below are the results by Study Group:

 

 

No study design is perfect and this study had potential flaws which would affect the findings. Primarily, the effect of the loaded running by Group B on overall fatigue, and its potential influence on strength gain increases. This could be especially evident in the Back Squat, when looking at the Density Strength (Group A) vs. Super Squat (Group B) 1RM gains.

However, that Group A’s density progression also outperformed Group B’s super squat progression on the Bench Press 1RM gives us confidence that density progression would have outperformed for back squat strength improvement, regardless.

Swings vs. Hinge Lifts … Group B (Swings only) saw an average improvement (5.4%) on 1RM Hinge Lift over the course of the cycle, which may indicate the potential of swings to improve 1RM Hinge strength, however, the improvement was noticeably less (5.4% vs. 8.5%) than the Hinge Lift progression. The simple takeaway is if athletes want to improve hinge lift strength, it’s best to do hinge lifts.

Both subject groups saw a similar average decrease in 1.5 mile run times – both around 2.5%. The take away here is the added impact on joints and the body from loaded running does not result in significantly improved unloaded run performance and isn’t needed.

Next Steps?

We were encouraged by the remote lab rat participation for this difficult, intense, mini-study, and are not surprised by the 45% attrition rate. While we haven’t experienced that level of attrition with our local athletes, it’s not unusual to see this or a higher rate for typical academic exercise science research conducted at universities using college students. 

From a raw training perspective, this was a very intense training cycle – by design. While we wanted to address the study questions, we were also curious to see the viability of remote lab rats for future mini studies. Would remote athletes who are part of the MTI community suffer through the intense gym-based strength work and loaded 800m repeats? Fifty-nine did!

We were encouraged by what we saw here – the higher training age of the lab rats who completed the cycle –  indicating their advanced training experience, and the overall professionalism of the MTI community terms of communication back and forth with MTI.

Several of the study subjects reported “enjoying” the cycle, and seeing improvement. Many have asked for more!

Again, we see potential to significantly accelerate our research with a greatly expanded “lab rat” pool, to include running multiple studies concurrently. In the past, our restricted number of local lab rats has hampered our research ambitions. Remote lab rats get access to great programming, and the opportunity to train with a purpose, while MTI gets the ability to gather data which will improve its programming for the MTI community.

In terms of specific research, we see potential here to continue to test MTI Strength Progressions against one another in an attempt to identify the most effective of our eight strength progressions in a multi-modal training cycle.

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

 

 


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Arete 9.12.19

Military / National Security / Foreign Affairs

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth approves law seeking to block October 31 no-deal Brexit, Reuters
Religion, Beards, and Uzbekistan’s Secular Government, The Diplomat
Mnuchin considering U.S. sanctions over Turkey’s S-400 purchase, Reuters
Germany to resume training border police in Saudi Arabia, Stars & Stripes
Russia works on new missile that deactivates all enemy weapons, Pravda Report
Germany pulls police advisers out of Afghanistan after Kabul Green Village attack, Stars & Stripes
The End of the Wilsonian Century?, The National Interest
Seventeen Great War Films: One Army Officer’s List, Modern War Institute
The Problem With the Pentagon’s Lethality’ Branding, The Hill
Now that there’s new Army leadership, what will change?, Defense News
Pakistan arrests protesters after pro-independence Kashmir rally, Al Jazerra
Russia’s ruling party loses a third of seats in Moscow election after protests, Reuters
Poland requests missiles & planes from the U.S., Defense News
Bahrain files complaint against Al Jazeera with Arab League, Al Jazerra
Could the Air Force retire entire aircraft fleets?, Defense News
Suspected American ISIS sniper indicted on terrorism charges, Stars & Stripes
Intelligence Official: U.S. not prepared to defend against hybrid warfare, a favorite of Russia and China, War is Boring
Afghanistan draw down: 5,000 troops could return home if Taliban peace deal is signed, War is Boring
‘We’re at War’: A Covert Social Media Campaign Aids Military Rulers, Small Wars Journal
Special Forces throws uniforms back to the 1960’s, wears “Tiger Stripe” camouflage during training exercise, War is Boring
To Set Up ‘Safe Zone,’ US Wades Into Muddled Syria Politics, In Homeland Security

First Responder / Homeland Security / Wildland Fire

Homes lost on sunshine coast as Queensland bushfires continue to burn, The Guardian
Elected leaders are emboldening criminals and gang activity is skyrocketing, LE Today
Australia Bushfires Arrive Early, Destroying Historic Lodge in ‘Omen’ of Future, NY Times
As Bolivian forests burn, Evo’s bet on Big Farming comes under fire, Reuters
Australia blocks access to eight websites showing video of New Zealand mosque attacks, Reuters
California boat fire probe widens; FBI, Coast Guard serve search warrants on owner, Stars & Stripes
American Airlines Mechanic Accused Of Sabotaging Flight, In Homeland Security
More Than Half of U.S. Adults Trust Law Enforcement to Use Facial Recognition Responsibly, Pew Research Center
AUSTRALIAN FIREFIGHTER SERIOUSLY INJURED AT WILDFIRE, Firefighter Close Calls
Fire department shut down for “failing to address volunteer’s Proud Boys ties”, LE Today
Fire Fighting Plane Extreme Near Miss (Almsot Crashes Into Ridge), Unofficial Networks
Report: San Diego chief told his officers not to patrol minority neighborhoods, LE Today
Texas doubles down on freedom: new executive orders issued after recent mass shootings, LE Today

Mountain

We Love The North Face’s Classic ’90s Styles With a Twist, Gear Patrol
Long-Term Review: Therm-a-Rest UberLite Sleeping Pad, Outside
Nepal Will No Longer Allow Plastic on Everest, Gearjunkie
It’s Been Snowing In The Alps And Ski Resorts Are Already Open, Unofficial Networks
The Best Outdoor Documentaries Ever, According to You, Outside
Several Colorado Ski Resorts Plan To Open Early, Unofficial Networks
Poll | Who makes the best instant coffee?, SNEWS
Two Alpinist stories included on the longlist for Banff Mountain Book Competition; Boardman Tasker shortlist also announced, Alpinist
2020 BACKCOUNTRY EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS, Backcountry Magazine

Fitness / Nutrition / Health

A ruthless approach to decluttering completely transformed my life, The Guardian
Suicide kills one person every 40 seconds, says WHO, Reuters
The fast and the curious: Fitter adults have fitter brains, Science Daily
Death by Diet Soda? NY Times
hims Is the Lifestyle and Wellness Brand We All Need, Men’s Journal
The Athlete’s Friend, Eggs: Best Buying Practices, Breaking Muscle
Men’s Eating Disorders Often Not Recognized, WebMD
Running Is the Worst Way to Get Fit, Vice
Los Angeles County resident dies of lung illness, fifth U.S. death possibly tied to vaping, Reuters
A new blood test can predict when you’ll die. Would you take it? Big Think
Alternatives to the Big 3 Lifts, Breaking Muscle
Not All Interval Workouts Are Created Equal, Outside

Interesting

Volkswagen bets big on electric. Will consumers buy in?, Stars & Stripes
How Google Discovered the Value of Surveillance, Real Clear Policy
Avoid All Pig-Ear Dog Treats: U.S. Officials, WebMD
Search for Amelia Earhart’s Plane Comes Up Empty, The Adventure Blog
India’s ISRO says lander lost on final approach to moon located, Al Jazerra
Teens who don’t date are less depressed and have better social skills, Science Daily
Norway dogs die in mystery illness, BBC
Warning Issued After Malware Is Found to Have Hijacked Bitcoin Blockchain, Homeland Security Newswire
Where to Find the Best Deals on Secondhand Clothing, Gear Patrol
The Best Cash-Back Credit Cards, NY Times