FreeSkiers train plyometrics during their summer dryland cycle.
FreeSkiers train plyometrics during their summer dryland cycle.

I Don’t Know Where to Start….
Options to find out ….

(1) Spend some time visiting our fitness pages under the program you’re interested in. Links below:

(2) Use our “Start Here” flow chart. Click HERE.

(3) Email Rob … he answers dozens of emails monthly from athletes seeking programming guidance.

How long will sessions take?
This somewhat depends upon the training session, but in general, 45-60 minutes for most gym-based training sessions. Some endurance and stamina sessions can last up to 2 hours. Some “mini events” in selection and other programs can last several hours.

Should I work as fast as I can through circuits?
This is a common question for our strength sessions and our guidance is to work briskly, not frantically. For example,

6 Rounds:

  • 5x Front Squat – increase load each round until 5x is hard but doable, then immediately …
  • 2x Squat Jumps
  • Hip Flexor Stretch

The goal here is  to move as much weight as possible on the front squat – but still get all the reps. The hip flexor stretch at the end of the circuit is a “working rest” to allow you to recover, then hopefully add more weight, and hit it again.

Sometimes, however, we do prescribe you work through a work capacity circuit “for time” – or as fast as possible. This will be clearly indicated.

What does “Increase weight each round until Hard but Doable” mean in your strength circuits?
In general, we want you to get as heavy as fast as possible – while still making the prescribed reps – and use that load for as many rounds as possible. For example:

6 Rounds

  • 5x Bench Press – increase load each round until 5x is hard, but doable
  • Rope Climb
  • Lat + Pec Stretch

Sample Bench Press Loading for an athlete with a 225# 1RM
Round  Load
1             115#
2             135#
3             165#
4-6         195#

What about Stretching?
Each session includes mobility and other durability drills. No additional stretching is prescribed.

What if I miss a day?
If you miss a day, make up the session you missed the next day and follow the programming as prescribed. Don’t skip ahead or jump around.

Why are there sometimes 2 numbers for an exercise?
5/7x Push-ups, for example, is 5x for women, 7x for men. The first number is women’s rep count, second is men’s. Same for loading – for example, 5x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25# means women use 15# dumbbells and men use 25# dumbbells.

How do I count Step-ups?
50x Step-ups is 50x total, 25x each leg.

How do I count Sandbag Getups?
50x Sandbag Getups = 50x total. Ideally, 25x each shoulder.

How do I count unilateral exercises like lunges and kettlebell floor press?
5x Lunges = 5x each leg, or 10 total. Same method for all unilateral strength exercises.

How do I find my 1RM (1 Rep Max)?

Unfamiliar exercises?
Please visit our Exercises page for video explanations/demonstrations. Also check our our Common Mistakes video series to ensure correct form. 

What about supplements?
We are not big proponents of supplements. If you decide to take supplements, all we can endorse is a recovery whey protein shake after training.

What about Diet?
6 days a week – Eat only meat, nuts, vegetables, cheese, and non-tropical fruit. Drink only water, coffee, tea (non-calories). Do not eat rice, grain, bread, oats, pasta, sugar. Do not drink calories – including alcohol.

1 Day/week – Cheat like a mother.

 More on our dietary recommendations:

What makes your program different? Is it like CrossFit?
Here are the ways our program differs from CrossFit:

  •  Focus in on field performance, not gym performance: CrossFit is “the sport of fitness” – and gym numbers/exercises are paramount. We understand that for Mounain Athletes, all that matters is outside performance. This allows us to constantly modify/change/improve our programing as we learn and evolve.
  • Programming Detail: Military Athlete training sessions are thoroughly periodized, programmed and designed. Nothing is random about our training sessions.
  • Fluid Periodization: Military Athlete mesocycles have a cyclic emphasis which rotates between strength, work capacity, stamina, endurance, climbing fitness and durability. To our knowledge, typical CrossFit programming does not deploy periodization or mesocycles of any type.
  •  Bias toward Strength: Mountain Athlete programming has a bias towards relative strength, as opposed to the work capacity emphasis of CrossFit programming.
  • Volume and Training Session Length: Mountain Athlete programming pushes more volume, and its training sessions are longer than typical CrossFit WOD’s. Strength, Work Capacity, and Climbing sessions are designed to be 60 minutes long. Stamina and Endurance Sessions can be 60-120 minutes long, and include 2-a-days.
  • Durability Included: Mobility and durability drills are included in these training sessions, sometimes worked into strength circuits, and sometimes worked into durability-only circuits.
  • Focused Core Strength Training: Several sessions included dedicated and focused core strength training circuits. We believe a strong midsection is essential to durability and our programming reflects this.
  • Not every training session or circuit is a race: Circuits or other training session parts which are “for time” or are to be sprinted through are clearly indicated in this training plan. Unless the training plan calls for “for time” or “sprint effort” work briskly, not frantically. In general, these sprint efforts will be relegated to parts of Work Capacity training sessions.


Other exercise/programming questions?

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