::: GENERAL :::
"I am sending this email to let you know that after completing several of your training programs, I have been successful with a difficult Army course. I graduate from the Sapper Leader Course tomorrow. Your programs have changed my life when y comes to PT, and I want to personally thank you for all the hard work and dedication you and Mountain Tactical puts forth."
"To say the plan progression you suggested (Helen, Frank Church, Rainier) had me dialed for my Mt. Rainier climb would be the understatement of the year. Before I get to that: As I mentioned in a much earlier email, we spent six days on the mountain - four in glacier rescue/skills training, two focused on the summit objective. Because of the duration we began with pretty heavy (but not soul crushing) loads of around 60 pounds, working them down to 50 or so by day four at Muir. Our route took us around the southeast side of the mountain, over the Williwakas Glacier, and up the Paradise to Little Africa (amazing). From there we climbed the middle Cowlitz before crossing over to the snowfield above Anvil Rock. We then commenced our summit bid from Muir. To begin, my breathing was never labored; and frankly I was astonished. My heart rate was nice and steady. No burning anywhere in my body. The feeling was absolutely surreal. I was present, happy and having a damn good time. What's more, I felt rock solid moving back down off the summit. All in all I felt fantastic, and was really only sore in my quads for a day and a half or so after the climb. Overall your programming and suggested progression were five-star, A++, 10 out of 10. So I owe you and your team a huge THANK YOU! Although you're remote and work with hundreds of clients, I felt like you were part of my team, and the result speaks for itself. (I knew in my heart, and our lead guide actually verbalized to me after the climb, that I had a couple thousand feet left in me.) Please do feel free to share this testimonial as you see fit. The key for me is that you delivered on your promise that, if I followed the training AS PRESCRIBED, I would truly enjoy the climb, and not merely slog and suffer my way through it. Moving up that mountain was an absolute blast!"
"I just want to thank you for all the help and for the quick responses. Every time I have emailed in I have gotten a quick response. I have done a couple of plans that you have put out(valor, resilience, ruck based selection) and they have all been amazing. Thank your for your dedication to the military as well. You definitely make my job easier as a Squad leader for PT. Thanks for everything."
"Short context - I am 40 years old, had full ACL reconstruction on my knee 12 months ago and have been running/skiing and climbing for a few years. So far I have followed (in order): Mountain Base Artemis Mountain Base Helen Ultra Pre-Season
I also used 30 Minutes/Day Dryland Ski Training Plan before a week’s piste skiing and back country touring in between Artemis and Helen.
This weekend I finished my first 50km race since my op thanks to your programming. I had enough left in the tank to speed up and continue passing other racers in the last few km of my race. Thank you for designing great plans that reward hard work and discipline.
To anyone out there thinking of buying plans from these guys; do it, it works! They’re no joke and will test your resolve and commitment but if you follow them you will see results. After recovery I’ll be starting the 50 Mile Ultra Running Training Plan and have my first 50 miler booked in for late September this year. Thanks again Rob and team. Keep up the great work and feel free to post my feedback to your website.”
"Just wanted to say that I respect the work you put into your programming and the methodology you’ve developed. Articles like the “failure resume” are what keeps bringing me back to learn more. I print your articles out and share them with my Soldiers all the time. Arete has become my go to list for the best news applicable to me. So while, you may not have had direct command time you wanted, you are still very influential to countless military members, moreso than if you did take command or joined the Army. I’ve followed your Greek Hero series for a while now and it works! Minding the Grind is a real thing as I get older (only 33... but in the military that’s old already), I can’t take as many days off from endurance and have to be more strict with my diet than I used to be. Again. Just wanted to let you know that are appreciated and respected for what you do. Not that you need that validation but sometimes it does a person good to hear. From a Paratrooper in Alaska."
"I’m sure you get a ton of weekly questions and requests but I just wanted to send you and your team a compliment. Great job to all of you on the mobile app and website. Having the app really helps with my busy schedule and being able to reference exercises is a huge plus. Also your email posts with articles are super great! Keep them coming. Also — the workout plans are perfect and suite my style and schedule. I’ve been using them for the past couple of years and they’ve really helped me achieve specific goals surfing and climbing. I just wanted to say thank you and I appreciate your services !"
"Plans are kicking @$$ so far! I completed Mountain Base Helen; and prior to that I'd literally never run more than five miles. After six weeks - plus two with Frank Church - five miles is a "laid back" training morning. So the cardio/distance pacing has been great for me. More generally, the plans are very clear, exercise demos easy to find, and the training is flat out fun. There's enough variation of movement to keep my mind engaged, and my motivation high. I started Helen with a good base level of fitness; but after Helen, plus my start into Frank Church, I'm without question in the best shape of my life, at AGE 39 (and working as a full-time attorney). So grateful I heard about your company and started training with MTI."
"Excellent programs. As a combat engineer first sergeant I look at a lot of training plans from my platoon sergeants. Some are awesome others suck. A few months ago one of my guys brought one of your plans to the training meeting and I said run with it. The APFT averge in his platoon has increased 15 points. So I knew when I was looking for a change this winter MTI was the place to look."
"I have used almost every one of you strength programs, a good number of your endurance programs and some limited equipment programs in every environment imaginable. Aboard ship, while deployed and while back in the states. In my 17 years as a military professional the MTI training plans and methodology are head and shoulders above anything else I have found. They avoid repetition long enough so the individual does not get bored with the plan and most importantly they show results and are sustainable."
"I signed up for the subscription so I can have the option of changing programs when I want, and also getting access to the entire site. I worked through LE patrol/ detective bourbon and am currently working tequila. I find the workouts build upon each other in a well thought out manner. Unfamiliar exercises are well demonstrated in the exercise database videos. I mixed in exercises from the low back training plan when my back was tight with positive results. I feel more functional strong and conditioned due to this program. I opening speak about the program to people and have found several co-workers had been using it, but the program just wasn't well known out here in the northeast. We're spreading the word. I see myself using MTI for years to come."
"Just wanted to drop you a quick message about your program. Been hitting your plans for about 2 years now. I’m no young man anymore, 42 as a matter of fact. I’m still hanging in a young mans world though thanks in large part due to your training plans. I see many more years to come as well. Thank you sir."
"I just wanted to give you a quick shout and thanks for the excellent programs and overall resource that MTI provides. As a former licensed Athletic Trainer and collegiate strength and conditioning coach, I have perhaps more than an average appreciation for the amount of time, effort, and commitment to professionalism it takes to generate programming of such high quality. You've truly created a "gold standard" for the tactical fitness community in particular, and should be genuinely proud of what MTI has accomplished thus far. The ultimate effects might be hard to calculate but certainly will continue to include safer and better prepared agencies, units, individuals and communities."
"Above all, I wanted write so that I could thank you and your team for your awesome work at MTI. Your programming was key in taking me from a fully ruptured Achilles in the summer of 2017 to the best shape of my life this year. Your Chassis Integrity training has, in particular, been a game-changer, across every outdoor sport that I do (I’m primarily a skier and mountain biker)—I didn’t realize how weak my functional ‘core’ actually was."
"First off, your programming and operation at MTI is top notch and professional. I’m enjoying the dumbbell program with much success. I travel a lot right now and a majority of the hotels I stay in have a solid set of dumbbells in order to train. Your programs are easy to navigate on the app. I’ve used several other programs with great results as well. Thanks for your teams commitment to providing quality training programs and information for the military/law enforcement/fire rescue community."
"I have greatly enjoyed your QUIET PROFESSIONALISM writing. I am now working as a consultant in LE working on tracking down runaways and human trafficking. I hope many read and take in what you have written. We live in a dynamic and turbulent time. Men and women of professional fiber are needed. You have done yeoman service in describing your journey to QP. Well done."
"Coach, good morning from Grafenwoehr Germany. Just read your latest article under the quiet professionals series. You have penned some great comments here that I constantly attempt to drum into our young Soldiers minds as they go about building their careers in the Army. I really appreciate what you have said regarding “putting your ladder up against the wrong wall”. Often I find that we have personnel heading in the wrong direction. Thanks for this article. I found it to be refreshing. As a side bar, I also find your website a great tool. I just used your Air Assault program to prepare my driver for the Air Assault course here. He is doing great as we speak. He absolutely crushed the obstacle course. When I first met him a year ago he was struggling with the APFT. I used your PT improvement plan and he now comfortably passes the test. Thanks for what you have created here. I am indeed a fan."
"I am a career fire officer. Have followed a self modified cross fit regime for 10 years. I just found your site and am re-energized. I am one of the older guys in the department but set the bar very high in the area of our fitness. The exercises you post are great for my occupational athletes. Just wanted to drop a line and tell you I totally believe what you offer will save the life of myself, my guys, & the public we serve."
"I am an LEO for the USFS. As a side gig I struggle to bring to Law Enforcement and Investigations “Comprehensive Well-Being and Resiliency” (I’ve read your opinion piece on merging “wellness” and “fitness” and believe some open discussion and debate on this would change both our minds). Fitness is my gateway. Since I have my days filled with regular work and I aim to – in your words – not stray too far from the mission, I don’t have much time to program. That’s where your site comes in. Since I have found your programming effective and “simple but not easy,” I can evaluate people’s fitness levels, strengths, weaknesses, and goals, and then point them towards you for solutions. So, for all those that have benefitted, I’ll say thanks for what you are doing."
"Just wanted to mention how awesome things have been so far regarding the programs and training I have done through you guys lately. Have been seeing unbelievable progress in my workouts and work capacity! I have been at a plateau the past few years and going through your programming, I have already seen a difference and improvement in a lot of my workouts/exercises. I just did Murph today Rx and PR’d that as well at a 27:12! Thank you again for all the great content! Excited to continue my subscription and see even more!"
"I want to thank you for putting out such good programming, in fact I have stuck to the same few programs for the last year due to their success. A week ago I competed in the Austin spartan super age group competitive heats. I finished 7th overall and 6th in my age group. 3 weeks prior I completed the hyner 50k, finishing 30th out of 268."
"I wanted to let you guys know it has been a pleasure working out with your programing over the past month. I think you have wonderful programing and I love how it was adapted for my profession as a police officer. I worked through one of the speed strength plans over the past month, and honestly, I can tell a difference in my sprints with my duty gear on, in-fact about half way through the month I had a guy run from me on a traffic stop after bailing out of his jeep. I must say, I felt good when I caught up to him and was better prepared for the fight that come next. What you have WORKS and it is a great program! There are some amazing tools that are in every session you guys offer, and I can honestly say from experience, even though limited that it helped me that night after a foot pursuit that went to the ground."
"I just wanted to thank you for the years of knowledge I’ve been getting from you guys. I used the rasp plan with success a few years ago and then used many other plans in between and I followed the ranger school plan as much as I was able to before going to school. I went straight through with no recycles and even met some guys there that we’re talking about rob Shaul and caught my attention. They followed your programming and did the same thing. I’m with first ranger battalion, 75th ranger regiment"
"I just wanted to drop a note and say thank you for your programming. I tested for my 4th degree karate black belt yesterday, a four hour non-stop event. From following your programming I had enough energy to not only pass the test, but to be able to perform with solid intensity throughout. Even today I feel good enough to do the whole thing again if I had to. I know it’s not your typical story of a military or mountain athlete, but I still wanted to say thanks for doing what you do and that your programming really does work."
"I wanted to say thank you for all of the work you and your team have put into your programs. I just recently finished the TLU strength program and I had great results with it. I have been in EOD for 12 years with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and I have spent most of my career researching and trying different fitness programs to find the best way to prepare my body. I wish I found out about your company sooner because so far I think your programming is the best I have tried. A large number of guys in my career field have been severely disabled by injuries from years of deployments. I think a lot of those injuries could have been avoided if we were training properly. We have finally opened our eyes to the need for effective mission focused training but unfortunately that sort of programming is not that easy to come by. A friend of mine recommended your company and when I began to research your products I realized it was exactly what I needed. I will be recommending your company to everyone that will listen to me. Hopefully the research and time you guys have put in can better prepare this new generation of military for the future."
"I’m a professional in the fitness industry and I really appreciate what you and your staff are doing at MTI. I spend a lot of time programming classes and training sessions for my own clients that I don’t spend enough time programming for myself. But, like you, I like being a lab rat for others programs. I’ve done many online workout programs (both to learn new styles of programming and become familiar with new exercises) I’ve done programming from GYM JONES to Crossfit to Gymnastics Bodies and many in between, however none of them have addressed the combination of Strength, Conditioning and Mobility as well as MTI has."
"Thank you for providing the best online fitness programming, I’ve seen! As a law enforcement officer in Denmark, I am terrified by the physical standards among my colleagues. Taking care of your physical capabilities is not just safety for yourself but for the partner, citizens and society in itself. In that way you make the world a bit safer - thank you!"
"I am 25 year old Police Officer in the Australian Federal Police. I have aspirations of joining our Specialist response Group (our version of swat). I along with numerous other members have been utilising your programs. I just want to say that your programs are amazing, whilst utilising your programs I have noticed that I have been faster and stronger. I am following the military on ramp program, and building the progression to the buds program."
"Around 2012 I ended up dealing with a torn pec muscle and dislocated shoulder while I was deployed to Afghanistan. Through some rehabilitation with the Army and a long period of time of attempting to get back into shape, I saw that I was not going anywhere. I attempted different workout programs to no avail, I was getting in shape in other ways but my pec muscle still saw significant strength loss. I attempted rehabilitation one more time, but to no avail. I had pretty much given up trying to get back into shape at all. That was until I found the awesome programs and individuals at the Mountain Tactical Institute. I had emailed Rob with some questions, thinking I would not hear anything for quite some time, but I was pleasantly surprised to find an email with helpful answers to my questions. I started with the Military Ramp-Up program and through hard work and a simple, yet sophisticated, program I began to see real results for the first time in years. I am now on the Virtue program and have plans to return to the military as an officer. I can not thank Rob and the Mountain Tactical Institute enough for their assistance with bringing a 31 year old vet another opportunity to find glory."
"I stumbled across mountain/military athlete in 2011 while deployed. One of my good friends was following the operator sessions and I decided to tag along. Since that time I have completed the ruck based selection work out, SFOD plan V1, APFT prep, UBRR prep, and the Afghan pre deployment workout. No matter the challenge, I always find myself adequately prepared when using a military athlete program. From general fitness, to sport or training specific preparation, The military athlete sessions are always well designed and have never been the weak point for me! Thanks for everything you guys do to provide the best workouts"
"I am four days into my first program. I am very impressed with the detail, description and tools that are provided to help follow and accomplish my goals. Excellent video to describe what and how all exercises are to be performed! Looking forward to the results and then progressing with more programs! Thank You! Quick bio; age 58, 160lbs, 72" I was in crossfit for one year, then had to have rotator cuff surgery (I was in a tussle with a 1200lbs steer) but had a serious infection went from 180lbs to 140 now 3.5 years later working my way back into shape! So far your work is awesome! P.S. GO COWPOKES!"
"Hey guys and gals, I have recently seen a lot of haters commenting on your posts and workouts and kind of wanted to help out but also wanted to write a thank you for a while. I’d like to thank you guys for what you do and prove those haters wrong by telling you how helpful you actually are. From a military perspective all you do is great. I read most of the overviews of all your workouts almost like it’s a book. End state for all them is functionality which I believe is almost more important than drinking water. I have taken part in and completed a few of your workouts. Taking part meaning life got in the way of completing. I have done BIG 24, RAT 6, APFT (about 4 times), Valor, been a part of you operator sessions a few times, and probably a few more but those are off the top of my head. I have also followed Crossfit a few years and have completed about a years worth of sealift workouts. My biggest reason for continuing to follow you guys is the need to not think “what’s my workout today?”. I have gained enough trust in your will to serve the best workouts from the best research that you do. I have been in the military 11 years now, from combat arms going through some schools, taking many APFTs, and to now being a pilot with a family and little to no time to think about what my workouts are going to be. Please continue to do what you do. I still look for the questions/kudos posts you guys do, I hope you are getting them. Wish I could send a picture of my dirty, overused military athlete hat that has been through the majority of my workouts. God Bless." V/R - Your friendly neighborhood Blackhawk pilot
"I want to extend my appreciation to the team at Mountain Tactical Institute. The variety of plans, nutrition guidance, articles, exercise database, Q&A and so much more make MTI a go to for effective, time-efficient training. It has had a tremendous impact on myself and undoubtedly many others within the military community. Please extend my thanks to all the folks on your team."
::: MILITARY PLANS :::
BUD/s TRAINING PLAN "Just wanted to tell y’all I am loving the program. I purchased the BUD/S V2 program and have been sticking to it strictly with my training partner and we just took our week 4 assessment on Monday and both of us scored our personal bests in every event. I am now passing every part of the PST to get a SEAL contract except for the swim. But I’m confident by the end of week 8 I will be passing EVERY section. Thank y’all for putting together a simple, effective program that makes it easy to follow along and become 1% better each day. Keep up the great work, you are helping me get closer every day to my lifelong goal."
MOUNTAIN WARFARE SCHOOL I emailed you several months ago as I prepared to attend the USMC's Winter Mountain Leaders Course. I ended up getting pushed to a later class for admin reasons, but I got home this past weekend after graduating and wanted to send my thanks for an outstanding plan that prepared me well for the course. I had never skied before the course, and I did not pick it up very quickly, so once we put rucks on I fell a LOT. Having a different Marine fall every few minutes during movements dramatically slowed our pace down, and the problem was only compounded after several failed attempts to stand up in the powder resulted in the "victim" having to go through the lengthy process of wiggling out from under his ruck, sometimes removing his skis to get his legs in a better position, removing his sled harness, getting up, and re-donning all his gear. I was so grateful for all the chassis integrity work included in the plan - it allowed me to at least keep our halt time to a minimum whenever I fell because I was always able to get up quickly without removing any gear. I seriously benefited from the endless step-ups included in the plan as well - during individual movements I was able to make up the time lost from having shitty downhill technique and falling a lot by consistently taking long uphills much faster than most other students. Most importantly, I was able to cope with the mental fatigue of operating in very cold weather for extended periods of time because I was never too physically tired to maintain a clear head. I saw you were in Hawaii right before we graduated, sorry I missed it hopefully you'll come back to MCBH again soon. Thanks again for the work you and your team do.
APFT TRAINING PLAN "Mountain Tactical's APFT training plan has been incredibly rewarding so far. In 3 weeks I shaved over a minute off of my 2 mile run time and added nearly 20 reps to both my max push-ups and max sit-ups. The results speak for themselves. The app is easy to navigate and all of the workouts are laid out in a very simple, easy to understand format. I went from feeling really down on myself for my APFT score to confident that I will max it out. I will be using the "Hector" program next to work on my overall physique and performance. The fact that I can reach out at any time and get a quick response from the program coach is also a huge part of why I am so impressed with Mountain Tactical. Thank you for the awesome programs and I will be recommending you to any/all of my family or friends looking to better themselves and improve their performance."
GREEK HERO PACKET "First and foremost I believe the program is working. I’m currently deployed right now with the Army National Guard and a cop back home. I feel like this program (Operator Hector) has gotten me into the shape I need to be in to continue to be successful here and back at home. Prior to finding your workout programs, I developed one for myself. It was good, I was able to stay in pretty good shape but it was starting to get old and harder to find new things to integrate. Your programs have been just awesome. The workup and building up to the next program has been reasonable. There haven’t been a lot of workouts I haven’t felt like I could complete. For me the only improvement I could see is maybe in the military on-ramp program you could have introductions to the Olympic lifts. Prior to your programs I only had experience with back/front squats and RDL’s. It took a minute to grasp the power cleans. Most importantly the proper form. For that reason there were times were I couldn’t meet the suggested weight for the lifts. The Greek hero program can be pretty long and luckily I have time over here to be at the gym for 2 hours. At home, I won’t have that luxury so I bought the busy operator programs which I’m really excited to try."
OPERATOR UGLY TRAIN UP "Just wanted to thank you for the Operator Ugly Train Up. Had my tryout this past week and all my numbers went up over the course of 3 weeks. +2 Front Squats, +1 Bench, +3 Deadlifts, +5 Pull Ups, and most of all went from 34 sand bag get ups to 72. Additionally, I got my mile and a half done in under 10 minutes. Looking forward to starting your gun maker series next. Thanks again."
HUMILITY "I'm an engineering student here at the University of Arkansas. I was just wanting to tell you that I just finished the Humility program last week and saw great success in it. I lost about 12 pounds in the process and I'm able to run more now than I ever have in my life. I've always been a big advocate for more body building style workouts but I decided to switch it up and try out your program. I have been nothing but thrilled. Everyday I get to wake up early and go get after it I am grateful for. This week I started sample training for the Fortitude program as it was listed as a good successor to the Humility program. I am really excited about starting this plan because I love the tactical/functional aspect to it, especially since I do a lot of hiking and backpacking around in this area. Really looking forward to the ruck run tomorrow morning! But being a college student, the price of the program is of some concern for me as I am on a pretty tight budget. I was just wondering If you could allow me to use some sort of discount code for this program, so that I can continue to partake in the program. I would really appreciate it. I am extremely grateful that I found you all, as I find myself enjoying every day I get to do these awesome workouts. Keep up the great work!"
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "Big thanks on your ruck based selection packet. Myself and two buddies used it to train up for SFAS, and all of us were selected. We all concurred that we were very prepared for the time under load as a result of your training plan. The only thing we noticed was that our pushups seemed to suffer during the actual Ruck Based Selection Plan, we did identify this 4 weeks out and supplemented additional pushups as a result."
USAF PAST TRAINING PLAN I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. I am currently in a Battlefield Airman Development program with the goal of becoming a SERE specialist. Brett McKay's site made me aware of you and I decided to give your program a try, because the one my recruiter had prescribed quickly became too much volume to make recovery feasible. Although I only had three weeks between beginning your program and taking my first official PAST test, my results were solid. Your PAST prep program was effective and sensibly laid out. Now I am following the programming of our coach, a former Air Force Special Operator and will be shipping off to basic in 3 weeks. MTI will certainly receive my business in the future.
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "I used your ruck based selection plan v5 and reached all of my goals. Thanks for the great training plan. You are the man!"
SFRE TRAINING PLAN "I just wanted to say I think you guy's are great. I purchased, as you know, your SFRE training plan and i was successful my first time at SFRE last weekend (I got my welcome letter and am currently going through the administrative hurdles to transfer to the group). So now I'm currently building my game plan for the next 12 months I have until I have to go to SFAS and pass. I have 12 months as a member of the training team to be told I'm ready to go to SFAS. Grip strength, cardio speed and endurance are the 3 things i need most improvement on. my ruck time is optimal and i meet the minimum 2 mile and 5 mile run times at this moment. the current goal of mine is to be ready for SFAS in 6 months just in case i dont make it through so that i will have time for another training cycle this year to go again."
USAF PFT TRAINING PLAN "Hope this message finds you well. Big time kudos to you and the Mountain Tactical staff on the USAF PFT training plan. Tested out last week and scored a 99.5 out of 100. My last three scores have all been 99 or greater thanks to your training. Running in the TX heat this time of year can be humbling and the intervals were the perfect form of preparation. I was able to crank out the 1.5 mile run in the 9’s...the running prep was of particular help when it came to the final 1/4 mile push. Your training is always solid. Thanks for all you do to support the tactical athlete. You guys are always at the top of the list when recommending a training resource."
USMC TBS/IOC TRAINING PACKET "I wanted to let you know that I graduated from IOC this past Saturday and I owe you and your staff a huge thank you for your IOC and CET plans. I was the smallest guy to graduate (5'7", 150-160 lbs throughout the course) but I felt physically and mentally prepared every day, and I contribute that to simply being used to having to push way past my comfort zone during your workouts. The day of the CET I kept thinking to myself "my body has been here before a dozen times," especially when we were around the O-Course, and that enabled me to stay focused mentally - a pattern that would repeat itself throughout the rest of the course as well. Your programming's focus on chassis integrity and lower body strength were invaluable for the many miles of heavy hiking, and more important than allowing me to perform, it allowed me to remain injury free while so many others got hurt. Y'all do great work and make a great product, thanks again."
RANGER SCHOOL TRAINING PLAN "I just spoke with a soldier that completed the v3 training and recently graduated Ranger school. He is in the process of mobilizing so I wanted to share what he told me in regards to the program: The rucking was paramount to the training. He went straight-through and he mentioned that he didn't start to fall off until the beginning of the Florida FTX. While in school, you'll notice Ranger students have to get on the ground and strap up the ruck in order to even get the ruck on. His strength wasn't sapped, so he was able to pick the ruck off the ground and get up get ready to move. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you're the last one up before a movement or slower than everyone else, it does get noticed and will affect your peer ratings. The less tired you are, the more you can contribute. HUGE FACTOR! He added mountain climbers to the work capacity based off of what I told him. Before you move into Darby, you do these in these in gravel in the company training areas. It is absolute murder on your hands. You also do something called "Y Squats". They are a smoker but he said it wasn't an issue because of your programming. Last thing he mentioned was how most of his squad asked him how he prepared, and mentioned the programming from your team. They all went off of the RTB's programming which got them through Darby and then most of them were sucking starting out in Mountains. He definitely believed that your programming is what got him through the school in a first time go. So, thank you so much for everything Rob. He's a stud but that will only get you so far. We now have 2(!) Ranger-qualified soldiers with your help."
RANGER SCHOOL TRAINING PLAN "I want to note that I followed your Ranger program leading up to the course. I made it straight through with no injury. I owe this to MTIs programming. So thank you again."
RANGER SCHOOL TRAINING PLAN "Really love the website and training plans. I used the Ranger School prep plan and it got me through RAP week and the school straight through. I was very impressed how physically prepared I was by just following your plan and eating well. I use a combination of your plans now to make the PT plan for my platoon. Last week my platoon scored a 276 average on the APFT… the BEST in the entire battalion. So thank you all for your hard work in putting all these plans together."
Military On-Ramp Plan "I completed the on ramp program last week. It covered all aspects of fitness and I found it very balanced. The progression was excellent as was the testing and the calculators. Every workout felt like it was right at the edge of my physical limit. 10/10. The exercise library was a big help, also. I could tell that a lot of thought was put into the exercise choice - they were all effective and easy to learn."
RUCK BASED SELECTION PACKET "Just wanted to thank you for your ruck based selection packet. I followed it from humility to the actual selection training plan (Was only able to complete 5 weeks of the selection plan due to timing issues). I recently returned from SFAS and was selected and a large part of that was due to your programming. I was prepared physically and mentally for all events. I'll spend a week or so recovering then I'll start your airborne school training plan followed by your q course plan. It's comforting to know that I won't have to go digging for fitness plans for the rest of my career as long as you guys keep pumping out solid results. Thanks again!"
HUMILITY "I found this program to be fantastic! I thought I had a decent work capacity but this program definitely showed me some humility. I dropped about 4 pounds over the course of the 7 weeks. I felt great after each of the training sessions and had many looks of awe in the gym. I have recommended MTI to several people that asked what I was doing. The only thing that I didn't like was 30% Burpees but I think that had more to do with me than the program. I was diagnosed with a lung disorder while deployed and it can make it hard to breath and recover during HIIT training. This is one that I will come back to multiple times. Keep up the good work!"
RANGER SCHOOL TRAINING PACKET "Just a quick note to tell you that I have been doing the Ranger Packet starting with Fortitude and am now in Valor. Yesterday I did a 12 mile ruck for the OML to go to Ranger. My time was 2:32 with the standard 45 pounds over a hilly course here at Ft. Carson, with less than 12 hours notice prior to the event. Just another testament to your programming, to have an athlete able to complete such a taxing event on a moments notice and able to come in at the top of the pack."
RANGER SCHOOL TRAINING PLAN "First and foremost, I'm in the National Guard so I required RTAC before Ranger school. So, my experience is a bit different than most (IBOLC, Ranger Regiment, MCCC, etc). Prior to the Ranger training program, I already had completed the Valor program which gave me a nice base of fitness due to the 3 mile interval rucks and added running. I started the Ranger School training program 9 weeks before the start of the school (this was when the program was only 7 weeks). I doubled up on Week 4 and Week 5 since I had a little extra time. During Week 7, I did a lot of "active recovery" with walking and swimming. I believe this week was the most important..I also upped my diet so I could gain some "healthy" fat. I initially tested at the following numbers: PU: 57 (these are to "Ranger standard"...arms completely locked out, chest tapping the ground, back up at the pace of a metronome. Slow and methodical.) SU: 64 (also performed at perfect standard) 2 mile: 31:20 Pull-Ups: 10 (perfect, all the way down...even disengaging my lats so I knew they were to standard) 12 mile: 2:25 After the assessment I was pretty wiped out due to the 12 mile ruck. It's definitely normal because rucking sucks ass anyway. I finished the program at the following numbers: PU: 72 (this is without stopping during the 2 minutes, slow and steady) SU: 80 2 mile: 30:15 Pull-Ups: 18 12 mile: 1:55 (I was at an airborne shuffle the entire time) I reported to RTAC in January 2018 and graduated Ranger school in April. There were a couple of things that the RTAC cadre loved that wasn't in the Ranger programming: 1. Mountain Climbers - We did these more than push-ups 2. Hill Sprints - The infamous "tab runs" in RTAC were you run down a large hill, touch a Ranger tab and spring back up the hill. 3. Flutter Kicks - You do have these in the programming but I strongly suggest if you can go over the prescribed # in the Ranger program do it because you do a shit load of them. I had 2 days between RTAC and Ranger. Not much time recover but I definitely lived it up with food and some active recovery. As for RAP week I had no issues. I completed the ruck march in 2:28 and received a Major Plus for finishing before 2:30. A tip is to have 1 duffel bag filled with all of your clothes and use it to prop up your feet with the 1-2 hours of sleep you get each night prior to the ruck. It'll help a lot. I want to touch on a few things that I loved during the programming and a couple of things that I changed: 1. Mountain climbers during the Work Capacity - RTAC and Darby cadre preferred these 2. 2 mile intervals - After about 4 weeks of the interval training, I started to remove them and used that time for rucking. 3. Mobility work - The program does a wonderful job of hitting this. But, it's definitely worth stressing. Other than that, I suggest the program to any and every one. Just a reminder, I did the v1, not v2, so I'm not sure what has changed. Thanks for everything!"
SAPPER LEADERS COURSE TRAINING PLAN "Back at the end of 2016 I reached out to you asking for program advise prior to attending Sapper school. At the time I was deployed in Iraq and you recommended Big24 followed by the Greeks prior to the 8 week Sapper specific program. Let me tell you, that Sapper program was no joke and the Saturday mini events kicked my ass. I was in the best endurance shape of my life. Ultimately the work paid off and I received my tab as a first time go. I wasn’t the strongest or the fastest but I was overall one of the most rounded. One piece of feedback would be to adjust the end of the programming. Sapper always has a report date that falls on a Thursday with the initial PT test hitting at 0500 on Friday and the Ruck march Saturday at 0200. Both of these events are prereqs to classing up. Adjusting the rest days to account for this schedule would help. Hope this is helpful and thanks again for being so receptive to user questions."
GREEK HERO PACKET "I have been dabbling in the Greek Hero Fitness Plans for about a year now. I completed Hector, Perseus, and Achilles and then randomly gave myself an APFT plus an UBRR and an 18 mile Ruck in the course of about a week. I scored a 296, crushed the minimums of UBRR, and a 4:51:00 on 18 mile with @ 60lbs (Finish not Win pace). It should be noted that I suffered a Grade 3 ACJ in 2013 non surgical and that when I found out about you guys. I started with your bodyweight plan to get back on my feet. I know all of your plans work. Diet has been key. No Alcohol. I am 34. Thanks for what you do and I will be buying the rest of the Greek Hero plans. I just have to go do this “thing” first. They are the best blend of running, rucking, lifting, and explosive bodyweight exercises I have ever done. My friends that suffer through Thor 3 watch in envy. Some of the exercises go easy and I was able to add to them. For example, 6 rounds power clean followed by rope climbs is an awesome concept. It crushed me at first. Then I started doing 3rounds with a 25#vest 3 rounds bodyweight. Then that turned into the whole thing with vest. Then that turned into sliding 2x 5 lbs plated in my vest with plates in already. Then that turned into adding 6 pull-ups with vest after the rope before rest(which I would extend by 30sec) and then the next power clean. I learned that I was pushing it as I started to get major fatigue in my forearms so I backed off for a while and then move on to different plan. That plan also had power clean rope climbs (Yes!) I went back to splitting reps half vest half bodyweight and I highly recommend adding the change no pullups... I can sweep up the rope now like a 90lbs Pacific Islander and I am around 200 with an X frame and can’t dance. I say all this to give feedback. Help the plans evolve. Help you guys stay competitive. The Greek Hero plans have it all. Everyone comments on what I do. I don’t do it because of that. I do it because it’s not standing in front of a mirror curling or working cable tri’s meanwhile having a gut. Far too much of the warrior community are peacocks. They take the easy road by shaping muscle, by looking strong, not performing, hoping to deter aggressors. That is sheepdog mentality. They want to make a big display on the perimeter of their courage. That’s not for me anymore. I desire to live out past the perimeter now. I digress. If you asked what could be added I would say I am at a point where I need more emphasis on stretching rolling soft tissue stuff and your programming will knot you up fast. I have blended Thor 3, Some Squat University stuff, and your warmups and cools downs and it seems to be helping prevent injury. Over the last year the most common tight spots or pain areas were the arch of the foot tightness, calf’s, hamstring lower back. Thanks for what you do. Hope this helps."
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "I want to start off by saying thank you. Your Ruck Based Selection Program is an excellent training regimen. I attended SFAS last month and was selected! Your Ruck Based Selection Program helped immensely. I felt more than adequately prepared for the rigors of SFAS. I know the MTI team is always modifying their training programs and looking for ways to improve. I am by no means an expert in physical fitness but I do have a few layman's comments that may help out in future versions of the Ruck Based Selection Program. 1. After the first two weeks of the program I cut out the IBA runs altogether. I personally felt that I needed more recovery time during the program and to my knowledge there are no IBA runs during selection itself. I am sure you have good reasons for including loaded runs during the program, but I felt better prepared to conduct the rucks and unloaded runs after cutting out the IBA runs. After going through selection I feel like this was the right call in my case. 2. Prior to SFAS I felt like I was not getting enough APFT and distance running work. This fear turned out to be unfounded as I ended up scoring 300 on the SFAS APFT and ran the fastest 2-mile of my career! 3. The sandbag-based work capacity events were absolutely perfect training for Team Week at SFAS. In hindsight I would even consider progressively ramping up the weight of the sandbag from 60 to 100ish pounds. Candidates carry enormous amounts of weight on their backs during team week and I feel that the sandbag-based strength workouts correspond very well to those events. 4. The long rucks on Saturdays can seem extreme during the program but they are the most critical events to prepare for SFAS. I would encourage anyone preparing for SFAS to not cut these rucks short, because they will be rucking even further during selection. Thanks again for developing this program. I hope the comments help out!"
RANGER SCHOOL TRAINING PLAN "I just graduated Ranger School after 62 days and I would like to take a moment to thank both you and your team for helping to make that happen. I have been using your programs since December, 2016. Following a knee surgery in May, I used the post rehab leg injury training, Valor, Resilience, Gratitude, and finally the Ranger School plan to get me in the physical shape necessary to finish at the top of my class in IBOLC and spend the least amount of time in Ranger School. Specifically, I felt that the heavy focus on Chassis Integrity and durability work helped me move through without issue while many of my peers complained about their knees and backs. I look forward to starting your Afghanistan pre-deployment plan in preparation for my unit’s upcoming rotation overseas, as well as more of the school-specific plans as I progress in my career. Thank you again!"
SFRE TRAINING PLAN "I just complete the Best Warrior for the state of Arkansas utilizing your SFRE program. I won the competition and after the last event within 10mins felt like I could complete another event if I had to! Thanks to you guys for the program!"
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "Completed your Ruck Based Selection Program in the weeks leading up to my SFAS date earlier this month. I definitely felt prepared for everything that was thrown at me during the course and was luckily 'Selected' to top it off. Just wanted to say thanks for the knowledge and work that is poured into your programs. Without them I don't know how well I would have done."
PIRATE PACKET "Im an Army EOD tech. I first encountered your training programs when a Navy Chief, one of my instructors in EOD school decided to take over or PT program. He put us through some hellish PT sessions but at the end of it he had whipped us into pretty great shape. I asked him where he got his inspiration for the sessions he bestowed on us and he directed me to you fine gentlemen. I love your programming, I use it prescribed and as inspiration for my own programming new ways to approach exercises and fitness as a whole. Bottom line, the point of this email is to just say thanks for the great resources! "
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "I just recently returned from SFAS this weekend and wanted to reach back out to MTI to say thanks for the quality training program and for making the coaches so accessible throughout the process. I'm happy to report that I was selected and felt great throughout the course. I was able to continue performing long into the course when so many of my peers began to deteriorate. I'm taking a week off and then getting right back after it in preparation for the Q Course. The grip training, heavy rucks, and run/ruck intervals were the key pieces that I believe made me overall successful. Again, thanks to you and the MTI crew for pointing us in the right direction and making our goals obtainable."
HUMILITY "I finished up Humility recently and I have to say it was a pretty spectacular program. Other than wearing the vest for the hand-release push ups and the pull ups as you recommended, the only change I made was that I started doing the long runs at the end of the week at a moderate pace instead of an easy one. It felt better. I went from a 14:05 2-mile to a (hilly) 12:39. The final 10-mile run I averaged 7:29min/mi. The fall weather helped. I saw improvement across the board on my bodyweight exercises, to include increasing the 25lb pull ups from 13 to 15 reps by the end of the program. I now understand the hardening effect described in the overview, too. Reading through many of the MTI programs could be intimidating at first, now virtually everything seems very doable or like something I could adapt to. While I still think Military On-Ramp was a good build up into it, I think Humility is the program to really get people rolling. I'd recommend it to anyone fit enough to make it through the first week."
GRATITUDE "As a follow up, I completed the long biathlon and used Gratitude as my training base. A few deviations to tailor it more towards this event and my weaknesses: 1) All runs were done with 27 # (plate carrier and hydration pack) 2) My Long runs were longer than prescribed, longest being 14 miles (I’m accustomed to running with weight so wasn’t concerned about the extra stress) 3) During the last 2-3 weeks I integrated rifle/pistol dry practice into the grinds since that mimicks shooting done in a biathlon. Loved the program, less physically intense than Humility but perhaps mentally harder, i.e., knowing you have to do 45 minutes of KB swings and 75m shuttles can wear on your mind. Little scared going into this event because I won it last year but trained heavily on running. This time I didn’t run near as much. No problem on race day, felt strong throughout and shot very consistent, 1 of only a few competitors that cleared all 14 stages. Did a negative split on the 2nd ½ and outran the 2nd place competitor by 21 minutes and took 1st place again. Next up is a Kentucky 10k biathlon, I’ve chosen SWAT H&K to prepare for it. Will keep you posted. Thanks for all you do."
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "Just finished SFAS, and I can't thank MTI enough for the prep plan and all of your hard work (lab rats included!) I was selected and can confidently say your ruck based selection prep was a HUGE part of that. Now that selection is finished, I still have airborne and waiting on Q course dates. I'm looking at 6-8 month window until the Q.Thanks for everything you guys rock!"
RUNNING IMPROVEMENT "I've been doing the Run Improvement Plan you recommended for an upcoming 10k trail race. Even though I've never officially competed, I want to try and come in first. I would like to say the Quadzilla Complex just flat out sucks! But I have seen tremendous improvement on down hill running. I also understand that if I truly do want to have a good showing, I will have to perform in my Zone 3-4. I decided to run 3.1 miles and really push myself. I ran the first 1.3 miles around 6:40 then dropped to about 12:00 while running up hill to regain energy. By the time I was back on top of the hill, my time was back down into the 6:30s. Btw, I weigh about 215. Thanks for the advice and continued support!!"
RANGER SCHOOL "Just graduated from Ranger school today. I just want to tell you that following your planning was something that settled me up for success. I just med recicle Darby because one level 2 ankle sprain but I was able to recover in 2 weeks and be back on the game going straight through the end. Awesome plans and insight. RLTW"
HUMILITY "Wicked kudos on the Humility program. I just finished it (okay, I finished it over a month ago and I'm mostly through Big 24 now, but still), and I gotta say you couldn't have picked a better name for it. Some background - I'm a 27 year old male, 6'0" 195 lbs, never been more than an average athlete, but with a decent amount of hands-on experience with fitness in and out of the gym. Prior to Humility I'd been doing a lot of traditional heavy lifting exercises in the gym, and I hadn't done any serious cardio since finishing a GORUCK Heavy in May 2015. I looked at the Humility plan and figured, "Hey, what's the worst it could be. Just body weight stuff and light dumbbells and maybe some running." I'm an idiot. The program didn't make me any less of an idiot, but it did harden me up and grant me a little, er, humility. The running was a little rough at the start, but Tuesdays were my worst days b far. Usually I'd be totally burned up before I finished the quadzilla-Scotty Bob-pullups sets, thanks to the burpee sets that preceded them. The other days weren't much better - seven miles was the most I'd run all at once in a long, long time, for instance, and it only went up from there. But I'll be damned if I'm a quitter. Overall, I ended up seeing substantial improvement on just about everything, with the exception of the pullups (max: 20 to max: 21 after 7 weeks, a whopping 5% increase), which I admittedly kind of slacked off on. Won't do that again, I promise. The biggest benefit was the hardening that came from punishing my body, and I mean really challenging it, outside the sterile air-conditioned increasingly soccer-mom-populated environment of the gym. Humility did to me what I haven't been able to do to myself for some time now, and for that I thank you fine people at MTI. Big 24 is no joke, either, but I'm missing the daily ass-kicking that Humility gave me so I'm moving on to Fortitude after I'm done here in a week or so. Thanks again and Kudos on the good work."
UBBR "Just wanted to give my thoughts and opinions on your UBRR prep. First test scores: Age 30 BW 220 Bench 175 20 Pushups 53 Situps 40 Pullups 17 Dips 27 Rope pass Kipp up 10 (grip) 4×25m sprint 21sec 5mile ruck 62min Score 1,215 Finale score: Age 30 BW 222 Bench 225 25 Pushup 63 Situps 43 Pullups 22 Dips 33 Rope pass Kipp up 13 4x25m 18sec 5min ruck 55 min easy (very hot 90°) Score 1,408 I made some modifications (dread of any program author.) I increased the bench to BW in training and in testing (225.) Also dropped the shuttle sprint training to 50m or 2x25m I found that I was pacing myself with the full 100m and that my time decreased in my second test (week 3) by going shorter I stayed very explosive and pushed harder. I feel it helped. Limiting factor of my situps was speed of movement I can do high 70's in 2min. I tried moving fast in training but little change on test day. Grip was my limiting factor on the Kipp ups I started incorporating dead hangs for 10sec after my work sets during the rounds, but only for the last two weeks of the program. I feel if I had done this early it may have helped much more. The ruck was easy and I paced do to the temperature. Body felt fine and I recovered well from day to day. Obviously I made improvements overall to my score. You gentleman have a good day and keep up the good work."
APFT "I just took my APFT after running the 6 week program. It might not sound like much, but I broke 80 points in each event. I haven't done that in almost 8 years since I've been in the national guard. I just wanted to thank you for putting together the program. This is huge for me. I can't wait to try Humility next."
HUMILITY "I've been following the Humility V2 program to T. Currently, I'm working through week 4 of the program (the week in which you reassess your fitness), and I've never had such large improvements to my fitness in such a short period of time. Thank you for the excellent, specific, and well designed program."
HUMILITY "I'm finishing up Humility and it's been a complete smoker. I loved it! My overall fitness is the best it has ever been and I can definitely feel that "hardening" effect that you've mentioned a couple of times. This is my first real taste of your more difficult (but kick-ass) programming and I'm definitely hooked. Thanks for the work that you and the other coaches do!"
APFT PLAN "I used the APFT programme. After four weeks I went from 60 to 80 pushups, and 65 to 84 situps. Super pleased. 300 points after just a month. My run didn't improve (12:53) but I played sports all day the day before and that took a lot out of legs on test day."
HUMILITY "Last time I emailed you I was preparing to ship for Army BCT. I just got back from training a week ago. I just wanted to let you know I was by far one of the most physically prepared individuals throughout basic and AIT because of your programs."
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "Morning Rob, I hope you are well. Also I went to SFAS in May and got selected. I followed your Ruck Based Selection Plan and never had a problem - was told by the cadre I was a top 5 performer.It worked extremely well and I felt strong throughout. I know some guys have been saying there isn't a need for the longer rucks (12+ mile), but I felt that they made the difference on the land nav phase, where just being on your feet under a ruck for days on end started to break down the other lads. Because I had the extra milage in the legs and back, I felt my ability to recover was much better. The only thing I did change was on some of the 2 mile intervals, I carried a 50lbs KB in one hand to work on grip strength and replicate events on Team week, that really gave me the edge. I watched people quit because of that."
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "Good afternoon. I am following your program and its amazing. I am thankful I found such a comprehensive and effective routine. I go for selection soon. We did a 5 mile ruck/run so I took today off. Today was suppose to be a 10 mile ruck on week 7. I think pretty soon my body will adapt. Thank you for the amazing info. My LT was amazed, he said this was the most comprehensive plan he had ever seen. You guys really take pride in your work. That means so much to those of us who want to qualify to be the best in the world. Thank you again."
MILITARY ON-RAMP "I am in the Active Army, Special Operations and currently am deployed with my team to the mid-east. My team mates have been doing the military on-ramp program to start off the deployment and have since moved on to other programs. I have recently attended a female SOF course and wish I had known about these in depth, incredibly researched, programs offered here. I had a coach through my sof Thor3 center, and he trained me through fear of not knowing what to expect. That contributed to me going into selection past peak and over reaching. I was not physically consistent throughout the selection. Although I made it to the very end through pure relentless tenacity, it was extremely difficult and I have some sustained injuries resulting. I am in day two of the first week of mil on-ramp, and love it. This is what I was missing. What wonderful structure this program has and I assume all of the others do as well. Also, I appreciate that this program teaches patience. Through anxiousness and fear of the unknown of some of these schools and selections, its easy to go overboard and think its the right thing if you are not careful. Again, hindsight is 20/20 and boy this stuff is amazing."
AFGHANISTAN PRE-DEPLOYMENT PLAN "Wanted to reach out to you just to say thank you for recommending the Afghanistan pre deployment plan for me in preparation for Army Mountain Warfare School. I crushed it. Graduated at the top of my class. Other trainees were asking me how I trained for the school even. I only have good things to say about MTI and I look forward to the next program. I'm also looking forward to the big Idaho hiking trip in a couple weeks more than ever after seeing the results from your program. All the best!"
HUMILITY "Hey Rob, just thought I'd share an update. About 5 weeks into humility. Needless to say, this is the best training plan I have ever done this far. It's challenging, but I am seeing results. Can't wait to continue with the other ones. Thanks for all the R&D to help guys like me prepare for the future."
GENERAL "First I wanna say your programs have dramatically improved my fitness over the past 6 years or so. I’ve been following your programs from back when I was preparing for ROTC until now as an Engineer Officer getting ready to start BOLC. So, thank you for all the hard work and dedication to building quality programs. I’m a firm believer in your methodology."
GREEK HERO HECTOR "Just finished Greek Hero Plan Hector based on Rob and team's recommendations and I am once again hooked on another MTI /MilAth plan. I asked for a plan that would focus on explosive strength in short spaces and they nailed it. I will be continuing the Greek Hero series. MTI God bless you guys. I think it's apparent our military needs help in physical fitness training based on your Q and A posts. I hope you guys get broad recognition for this. Jealous at how fun your job must be."
AFGHANISTAN PRE-DEPLOYMENT PLAN "I've had great success with all of your programming I've tried, starting back more than handful of years ago with your Afghanistan prep plan before my first deployment. I ran the Virtue Series Packet throughout my most recent deployment last year, and left in some of the best shape I've been in a long while. I've got an older version of the APFT plan and have used it several times over the years with solid success, and I always recommend it to soldiers in my unit struggling with their scores- I've seen it turn a couple guys careers around at the last minute. It's amazing what working up to a decent PT score can do for a soldiers morale. I'm a big fan of your programming and the methodology/mindset behind it. Keep up the incredible work!"
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "I just wanted to send my thanks for your Ruck Based Selection Program. Just got back from SFAS and was selected! I was in the top 10% for all events and rucks. Was able to beast through Team Week even after the long days and nights of the STAR Course. I couldn't have made it through without your program. Amazing job in what you and your team do. As a guy who isn't infantry, it was difficult in figuring out where to start with my training. You took the guess work out of it, and it paid off in the end. Thank you so much." - A
RANGER SCHOOL TRAINING PLAN "I would also like to give you all some kudos. I graduated Ranger School on Friday (17OCT) and was able to make it through without any recycles. A large part of that I think is due to my training leading up to Ranger using your Ranger School Prep program. The program did an excellent job of preparing my physically and mentally for the rigors of Ranger School. I cycled through it once before our Brigade level Ranger Assessment Program, then cycled through it again before going to RTAC at the WTC in Fort Benning. I would recommend that you somehow incorporate more flutterkicks into the workouts as they seemed particularly fond of them in Darby Phase. Also, for those of us who are time-constrained, if push comes to shove between a workout and a ruck march on the plan, always pick the ruck march. During Ranger School you spend so much time under a ruck that rucking will serve you best instead of lifting weights. For the rucks in the plan, since you have two per week, I would recommend having one be for time (i.e. to prep for the 12 miler that weighs about 50lbs) and then one that is for distance and at a heavier weight (i.e. 60-80lbs). After RAP week, I can't think of a time when we rucked with anything less than 60lbs (maybe through Darby if you didn't carry any squad equipment). Just some thoughts and comments. All in all, I thought it was a great plan, and am still an avid fan of Military Athlete. Thank you for all you all do, and the support you give to the military and law enforcement communities." - J
SFOD-D(DELTA) SELECTION COURSE PLAN "I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the SFOD Selection Course Training Plan I purchased on your site. I did the program twice in preparation for A&S and it proved to be quite beneficial and I know it contributed to my success there. I would have to say the only thing I would change is that I would have increased the frequency of step-ups throughout the program. Other than that, I felt I was more than prepared for selection. I will definitely recommend your site and training plans in the future."
HUMILITY "I just finished Humility. I had previously been doing a mix of different workouts from your Ruck Based Selection Packet that I bought a couple years back. I'm finally starting to prep for SFAS and your new philosophy on prepping for it caught my eye, especially with all the research you put in to back up your change of programming. I decided to get Humility and see how the new programming method was. I loved it. The Quadzilla and Gorilla complexes thrashed me, as did the Devil Dog Circuits. Now that I've finished the program my "combat chassis" feels better than ever. The 7 mile IBA run and 12 mile unloaded run were once far off goals and are now a reality. Here are all my assessment numbers for Weeks 1 and 7. The program took me about 9 weeks to complete due to field ops etc. Burpees 66 81 EOs 60 72 Box Jumps 38 40 (Week 1 done with 16" box, Week 7 done with 20" box. My bad.) Hand Release Pushups 31 36 Jump Lunges 24 30.5 Pullups 23 24 3 Mi Run 22:14 21:29 20:49 Thanks for the great program. I really enjoyed it and made some great progress, especially on my lower body. Up next is Big 24 and I can't wait." Thanks - P
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "I am a little late to sending this, however, I wanted to take a moment and let you know that I appreciate what you do for our community. I recently successfully completed SFAS at the end of January and was selected to start the SFQC. A little background on me and your training program. I first found your Mountain Athlete in 2009, when I was a Sophomore at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. I stumbled upon your programming by doing some of my own research. I was initially extremely disheartened when the only programming I could ever find for Military (or sport specific) training was all body weight and running that included thousands of reps. I quickly became pretty burnt out conducting "Army" PT in the morning and my own lifting regiment that I picked up from high school sports in the afternoon. Anyway, I quickly began to follow some crossfit workouts, but I did not believe in the "random" training aspect. I wanted to get more sport specific. So I compared all different athletes and tried to figure out what sport is most closely related to "Military Fitness" needs. So I researched professional climbing workouts and coaches. I finally stumbled upon your website as well as Gym Jones. Since then, I have been following your Military Athlete programs to help me complete and exceed at IBOLC, Ranger, and most recently SFAS. I can tell you up front that I could not have been so successful without the training you and your team develops at Mountain Tactical Institute. I utilized your Ruck Based V5 Selection program to prepare for SFAS. I will say, the programming was definitely pretty difficult and required some dedication at times (but anything worth doing does). At selection, I was able to finish in the top 1% for the rucks, including the trek. However, the runs I was finishing more in the top 20%-30%. I would like to believe that is because the younger 18Xs are just ridiculously fast runners. I would like to offer some feedback to you from my thoughts on your training plan and its effectiveness in preparing for SFAS. - APFT - I maxed the APFT and ran a 12:25 2-Mile. Only thing I would recommend here is addition of some extra push up training during the week, maybe included in the 6 mile run workouts. - 6 mile running workouts - the 2 mile repeats were probably the thing I dreaded the most each week. I definitely got use to the mileage and suck factor, however, I was just curious on the effectiveness v. the recovery factor every week doing those repeats at a 13:30 pace after an AM workout. - Strength - I believe your sandbag focused strength training effectively helped with the "awkward" lifting of heavy shit that occurs quite often at SFAS. Only suggestion I would make is possible addition of some extra low carry training. - Rucking - obviously your ruck training was on point. It helped me finish consistently in the top of the class. I don't really have a recommendation here just kind of curious to the need of 16 Mile and 18 Mile rucks. Of course, I completed them because they were on my training calendar and for some reason I just can't skip something that's written down, possibly my stubbornness. However, I just thought maybe it was a little excessive to go over 12 Miles when we are focusing on a training effectiveness v. durability for Selection aspect. These are just me thoughts here, and like I said, I still completed the 16 and 18 miles. I just wanted to provide you and your coaches with some feedback. I logged every single one of my workouts on paper and I would like to send my data to you if you believe it could be useful for improvement in the future. It astonishes me that the Military and its personnel are not treated more like athletes when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and recovery. All the Army programs that are out there seem to me to be half assed and behind the power curve. Your programming is the closest I can get to having an individual trainer who knows what I need ( and I would not be against paying you for personal training). Again Rob, Thank you for everything you and your team does at MTI, keep up the good work because there are a lot of us out here that rely on programming like yours."
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN"I recently was selected through SFAS to continue in the SF Q-Course as a hand amputee. The difference between success and failure in many aspects was your Ruck Based Selection Training Plan. Thank you for your passion and ability in programming effective workout regimens."
GENERAL, RUCK BASED SELECTION PLAN "Just wanted to say thanks for all the work you've been doing in the functional fitness field. I've used your plans a few times in my military career. Most recently your Ruck Based Selection Plan. I attended SFAS in November of this past year and was Selected. I was definitely prepared for the physical aspect thanks to your programming." Keep it up! - A
GENERAL, RUCK BASED SELECTION PLAN"Sincere appreciation for y'alls work. I recently came back from SFAS and was completely prepared physically for what we faced. I appreciate the support!" - T
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "I'm a huge fan of your work. I appreciate the scientific rigor you use to create truly inspired workout programs for military guys like me. I just (mostly) finished the Ruck-based Selection train-up and it helped me finish in the top 10 of a support company of over 100 Soldiers during a week of physical events that included the APFT, pull-ups, rope climb, CWST, 5-mile run, and 12-mile ruck." - N
DEVGRU SELECTION PLAN "Based on your recommendation I completed the DEVGRU program (with a cut back in some ruck/run volume and adding in more bodyweight PT circuits) and it was definitely the right call for the SEAL screener. It was 28 hours, 50% got medically dropped or quit, and even several that finished came out of it with stress fractures and joint problems. Me and a buddy, who have been on your programming for a while, only experienced the muscle soreness of a really tough lift, and were consistently top performers. We credit your programming with that, so thank you!" - K
GENERAL, VALOR „I will be working through Valor before then doing the USAF PFT programming (this suits Australian Army BFA training) before taking a test in March. Not too sure after that but I'm thinking a gym based work-capacity program would be ideal. I've gone from a complete functional fitness beginner to nearing your strength standards and nearing my own endurance goals (12km in 60 minutes) in only 10 months. I cannot wait to see where I'll be at in another 10 months. Your programming really is the shit. Quite often when looking at the next days programming it looks easy. Then you start the workout and the lightbulb soon goes off that Rob Shaul won't let you off that easily. What I like the most about your stuff is that it is programmed, progressed and it works. I trust it. I don't waste emotional energy worrying if the work I'm doing is what I really should be doing. It's not "working out" it's "training" and that's also one of the things that keeps the motivation so high. Keep up the good work.“
USAF TACP PLAN "Just wanted to let you know I followed your USAF TACP plan and supplemented some weight training prior to the ALO assessment. Not only did I feel confident in my training during the extended training sessions, but I was selected out of a large pool of candidates." - D
GENERAL,HUMILITY "Wanted to send you another quick note and thank you for the recommendations and advice over the past year. As you know, I have completed several of your operator plans (Humility, Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell) and recently used the Pre-Deployment plan to prepare for a week-long backpack-style archery elk hunt in the Rockies. Long story short, I was able to connect on a 5x5 bull on the last day of the hunt, with an hour of daylight left. As you know, just covering ground in Rocky Mountain "elk country" is hard work — but doing that for 6 days straight and then spending the 7th day packing out and elk? That is quite a bit of demand. I credit your plans for giving me the physical ability, durability, and mental toughness to make it through a long week, hunt hard right up until the end, and then still have something left in the tank to get an elk out of the backcountry. I killed the bull about 5 miles and 2,500 vertical feet up from the truck, so doing two round trips of that with a weighted pack made for a long day. (Thankfully I had a great hunting partner and a few pack goats to share the load with!) The Pre-Deployment plan prepared me for the climbing, as well as the weighted descent, and improved my core stability to bear the heavy pack." - M
OPERATOR SESSIONS "Thank you for putting together the training programs and Operator Sessions. Everyday is a challenge and a felt sense of accomplishment once completed. This is THE best workout program out there for those of us burdened with maintaining a constant level of fitness."
OPERATOR SESSIONS "I just wanted to drop you a line and say thank you for the awesome programming. I just brought my company back from a very challenging 6 months in eastern Afghanistan. The bottom line is that without your program we would not have been able to accomplish half of what we did and we would not have brought home as many guys as we did. My Soldiers hated me when I first instituted mind numbing amounts of leg blasters, step-ups, and sandbag get ups, and training that was like nothing they had ever done before, but all these things became a rallying cry as the Soldiers realized how far ahead of their sister companies they were in their physical and mental fitness. Keep doing what you are doing, the benefit cannot be understated." – B
GENERAL, RUCK BASED SELECTION, BEST RANGER COMPETITION PLAN "Just got home from SFAS, successfully selected. I know you've got tons of athletes, but I'm going to run down a quick laundry list on how your program has had a direct and significant impact in my life: In 2009, I was first introduced to your program as my USMA Sandhurst team used it to get ready for the 2010 competition. The training helped us place first in the nation that year. At the end of 2010, after working through operator sessions over the summer, I used your ruck based selection program to get ready for Ranger School. Day 4 of Ranger School, I blew my knee out on the Darby Queen. Not knowing the extent of the injury, I got up, dusted myself off, and completed the next 59 days of Ranger School. I would later learn I had torn three ligaments and my meniscus. In November 2011, I had surgery on that injury and used your single leg program to get back in shape while my knee healed. With the help of the single-leg program, I recovered a month ahead of schedule and was able to assist in the rehabilitation of over twenty other soldiers in my unit dealing with leg injuries. My unit used your programming to prepare for our 2013 Afghan deployment, to much success. In February 2014, I coached a Best Ranger Competition team from Fort Campbell- we used your BRC prep. The team, first time competitors, finished 21st out of 50 teams with zero training or competition injuries. Finally, I used your Ruck Based Selection Program to get ready for SFAS this past May- I placed in the top 10% for the course with zero recovery issues and zero injuries. Thanks for what you do, from the programs to operator sessions to the forums and gear. Your work has helped me reach so many goals in this profession. Look forward to more." - J
GENERAL "Not only did I never fail a physical evolution throughout this past year and a half, I was able to excel in them and experienced no injuries. It’s true that BUD/S is a mental game, but I can remember several times thinking to myself, "I could not have trained or prepared any better for this". In any event, thank you for your program.“
HUMILITY"I need to take a moment to say thank you. I recently completed Humility. It took 11 weeks to finish your 7 week plan. At the time I finished I had dropped three minutes from my three mile time, I chalked that up to the possibility of it being significantly warmer than my last four time trials (from the plan and PT tests). Today I was given a short notice APFT and dropped 1 full minute off my 2 miler (I'm now 45s from maxing) and took my sit-ups from 66 to 76 (maxed out). I found this progress incredible considering the program was just building general fitness and not sport specific training for the APFT. I'll be finishing big 24 soon and rolling into Fortitude; even with the change in run volume I hope I can continue to see progress on my run. Thanks for great training plans!"
FORTITUDE PLAN "I just finished Fortitude... awesome stuff. I was doing some swimming concurrently (only time I could get coaching) which when coupled with the Big24 progressions of bench and push press, was just murder on my shoulders (impingement). I found the speed of my runs and rucks didn't increase much throughout the program, but I definitely feel that it built a solid base ready for some future speed work. I just did my assessments for Valor and my run and ruck times per mile at max effort have dropped considerably."
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "First of all, i just wanted to say thanks. I did your 8 Week Ruck Based SFAS prep program and just got selected. Physically i was well prepared for the events, and afterwards am recovering much faster than some others. A few days after the last event i actually felt completely fine. Thanks again!"
HUMILITY, DEA FAST SELECTION PLAN "I’d like to thank you for all you do and the knowledge and advice you share! I had the privilege of competing in the OCR World Championships this past weekend in Ontario and couldn’t be more pleased.. I finished in the top 20% for my age group (40-44) in both races and more importantly completed every single obstacle and kept both my wrists bands! If you fail an obstacle they cut your band off and your considered disqualified for any prizes etc. I’ve been following your programs for over a year now and felt lean, durable and prepared coming into this event. I did a mixture of Humility which I’ve done in the past along with the mini events from the DEA FAST program with the running improvement program thrown in there towards the end of my training leading up to races. I followed your new thoughts on chassis integrity and my lower back and all around core performed great! I can’t thank you and your hardworking lab rats enough for the guidance I’ve found in your emails, Q & A section and the tried and true real world programs that you guys put out! I look forward to branching out into more adventures of different types and will continue training and staying prepared for whatever may come thru your great programs and the strong mind that ensues as a result!" - J
OPERATOR SESSIONS "I'm a long time follower of your gym and Military Athlete training ideals from Australia - I've touched base with you a couple of times before. Just wanted to give you some feedback from my recent personal experience. I had after a few years of relatively successful Olympic Lifting seasons here in Perth (couple of years as state champ at 94kg) followed by probably a year of general inactivity - I had no real training focus. The last few months I have jumped back into you Operator Sessions starting with John and am now half way through Luke. What a change it's been! I've been strict with following your sessions in order - I don't necessarily train monday to friday because of work but I have maintained the order to your sessions. I've dropped 11kg of body weight and my running went from struggling to break the 5 minute barrier on a 1km sprint to last night running (as part of my 6 mile/9.2km run Luke session 16) consistent sub 5-minute kms for 10km and feeling great afterwards. My estimated VO2 has gone from low 40s to 52. I know my pacing is a little quick (quick for me!) compared to what you have prescribed on the run chart, based off my initial 3 mile test in session 2, but I'm generally pressed for time so if I can run it quicker I will. The run times aren't super quick by comparison to a lot of people but they are for me! The gym-based endurance stuff is also a fresh experience and a good mental workout for me. Your Operator Sessions are putting me in a good place for an upcoming exercise in a few months and deployment at the end of the year, especially after being a lazy POS for so long haha. I am also gearing up for an attempt at SASR selection in 2019 if everything goes to plan and I feel like your training is absolutely right direction for me." Thanks for the awesome work you are doing.
GENERAL "I wanted to send you a note thanking you for your article that I found here: What Does it Mean to be a Quiet Professional? I run an engineering company in support of SOF…..check it out if you are interested. I am having a company wide meeting next week and I found your article “What Does It Mean to be a Quiet Professional?” and it immediately struck a chord with me. I plan to read it to my entire company since I live by this same creed. My husband is a retired Tier 1 SEAL, so we truly know what it means. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your article, and wanted to send you a note of thanks."
GENERAL "Just got done at the gym and thought you deserved a quick note. I was sporting the military athlete shirt and hat and had two guys stop me to compliment your programming. I'm down here at benning and on behalf of all of us, thank you. Everyone that knows of your programming knows it works and has nothing but good things to say. Keep up the good work!"
CCT/PJ/CRO SELECTION PLAN "I wanted to send along my gratitude for the programming and assistance you provided over the past few months. Last week I went through a USAF Special Tactics Officer Selection. The week was full of grueling workouts and leadership challenges. Your CCT/PJ/CRO Selection plan left me more than prepared to handle it all. Each of the focus areas (ruck run, heavy ruck, swim work cap, PAST, etc.) was spot on for what we saw at selection. The workouts provided a meaningful and objective challenge each day, with logical progression towards improvement. I've used other selection workouts with success, but none of them matched the logical layout and sensible progressions for your workouts. All of this is to say that I was extremely successful at selection and was picked up. I couldn't be happier with my Mountain Tactical Institute experience and will be returning to the site for tune up training as I get ready to hit the pipeline. Can recommend some changes as someone who followed your program exactly and then went to selection? First, put STO in the title! It works perfectly for those of us trying to become STO's as I'm sure it works for CRO hopefuls too. Personally, I was weak in my sit ups to begin with. Overall the PAST preparation was great, but I wish there was more of it. The once a week focus on calisthenics might not be enough for people needing work on their muscular endurance. I might suggest throwing in an extra day or workout for calisthenics. Overall the plan is great. These were minor things that I altered or fixed on my own, but might help another hopeful in the future."
RUCK BASED SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "Well. I am hooked. My friend pointed me in the direction of MTI because he knew how excited I am about being athletic and outdoors. I shopped around, I liked the smell, and I settled on a package deal. I am so glad I did. I am seven weeks into my Ruck based Selection Plan. I am very pleased with my progress. I really appreciate the scientific approach to measuring and analyzing of every effort. I like the blog posts and Youtube content for when I am unfamiliar with a movement or need a little motivation. I feel like the focus on standard military movements and ruck fundamentals really set me apart from my peers during a competition last weekend and I would like to very humbly report that I have won the honor of being 2018's NCO of the year for the Oklahoma Army National Guard. I am moving on to the Region 5 competition in May and will definitely remain engaged with my MTI Ruck Based Selection Plan."
GREEK HERO PACKET "Hands down best program I have seen for fitness. Especially for those of us serving in the military with physically high demanding jobs. It gives a great knowledge base on how to achieve your goal. Would recommend to everyone."
::: LAW ENFORCEMENT PLANS :::
LE SPIRITS PACKET "I worked through LE patrol/ detective bourbon and am currently working tequila. I find the workouts build upon each other in a well thought out manner. Unfamiliar exercises are well demonstrated in the exercise database videos. I mixed in exercises from the low back training plan when my back was tight with positive results. I feel more functional strong and conditioned due to this program. I opening speak about the program to people and have found several co-workers had been using it, but the program just wasn't well known out here in the northeast. We're spreading the word. I see myself using MTI for years to come."
FBI SA PFT Training Plan "Rob!!! I went from an 18 on my FBI PFT self test to a 26 on my official test day! I went from 43 sit-ups to 49, and out of nowhere got a perfect 10 on my 300 sprint clocking in at 40 seconds! I followed the program to T, and while I had my moments I completely trusted the program and it paid off. Thank you thank you!!!"
DEA PTT Training "A month ago I took DEA PTT and used my tried and true Army technique and just tried to gut through (I am a 280-290 guy so fairly confident). That test was a beast, and I failed miserably. After, I dropped out of 357 and into the MTI DEA Program in the month before my next text. (The plan is 6 weeks and I was only able to do 4, while on leave). The first test I got 6 total points with 43 S/U, 52 sec 300M, 34 P/U, 12:29 Run. A month later in 90+ degree heat 53 S/U, 45 sec 300m, 40 P/U, 10:59 Run with 19 points. Advice for other applicants: take the test seriously, have a game plan, and put in the work."
TEQUILA "Just wanted to let you know how your program has impacted me. I’m only on week 4 of the Tequila program but have already seen drastic changes. I used to only weight lift and didn’t incorporate anything else. I have seen my cardio get better and I even feel better. I am State Trooper assigned to help the New Orleans Police Department in the French Quarter. Today I was involved in an incident dealing with a subject on “mojo” and had to wrestle with him for about 10 minutes until backup arrived. I think your program has helped me tremendously for situations just like that. Thanks for what y’all do, I’m looking forward to using some of the other plans."
LE "GUN MAKER" TRAINING PACKET "Just wanted to pass along my thanks for your programming. I wasn’t selected for my agency SWAT team last year. Since that date, I used all of the Gun Maker Plans and finished up with the SWAT Selection plan to help prepare for this year. I finished first in almost every physical event at Selection and just found out I made the cut. Can’t thank you enough!"
LE "COP MOVIE" PLAN TRAINING PACKET "I’ve being following you since 2007’ish when I joined the military, I did 6 years in the infantry and now am a cop in Canada. I’ve done all sorts of programming over the last ten years and (most recently Gym Jones) though believe I have finally found the closest thing to perfect. I’m a believer in your methodology of it better be useful in the field and of a commitment to fitness over time and not just lip service. Ironically enough I hate working out though believe in being the best I can be for my team and the people I serve… So I get after it day after day, week after week. I’ve been using your patrol officer programs and I find them to be well designed for not only for police but anyone with a physical job."
LE "SPIRITS" PLAN TRAINING PACKET "I’m on my 4th plan and I’m loving every one I’ve tried. I’m a Connecticut state trooper currently working out of our training academy and the exercise plans are awesome. One of my coworkers who is our pt instructor and a member of our tac team turned me on to your website and I’m hooked. Thanks for all the great information."
SWAT SELECTION TRAINING PLAN "I want to say thanks. Your SWAT selection plan worked incredibly well for me and I had no physical limitations during my selection process."
FIRE/RESCUE ON-RAMP TRAINING PLAN "I just finished my first training plan with mtntactical. I chose the On Ramp Fire Plan to prepare for our annual Work Capacity Test, followed by our (arduous) Pack Test for Wildland with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS. The On Ramp program was a great resource for me to work through to feel prepared. I placed the Preseason Wildland program in my cart and plan on working through it next. Now that I'm in my late 40's, I haven't been able to will myself through like I used to. This is a great resource for me, and I've learned I have to stick to a strict training regiment if I want to keep up, let alone, lead.."
VODKA "Just wanted to pass along that I had my 3rd degree hapkido/jiu-jitsu test on the 21st. I’m 42, will be 43 in April, 5’9 and 183lbs. A lot of our guys are former military and current Law Enforcement officers and they let me have it for over an hour. I was one week short of finishing “Vodka” prior to the test. And while I didn’t move quite as fluidly as I wanted to (not because of fitness, probably more adrenaline dump related and nerves from being the only one on the mat for all the spectators), I was able to work at a very high threshold (higher than even I thought I could!) for the entire test. I was to the point that it was pretty difficult to get me fatigued in training to simulate that dynamic. But of course I’m much more comfortable there, where I can just focus on training and teaching our lower rank members. I think that was why I wasn’t as fluid as I wanted, just because nerves and adrenaline and I just couldn’t seem to calm down. Anyway, love the programs you’re putting out, and even though I’m not your “target” market, hoped the feedback would be useful. And if you do get out to Des Moines anytime soon, please, let me know."
SPIRITS SERIES, SWAT GUN MAKER "I've been using your LE programming since April and have seen significant gains in strength, speed, and endurance - all while being pain free and without significant injury. I'm on a Federal SWAT team and the workouts are definitely applicable to the type of fitness required to do my job. I've done LE Whiskey, Tequila, SWAT Rugar and SWAT Beretta. I’m hoping to see you continue with the SWAT series as I feel its been the best programming for SWAT Athletes." - K
::: GENERAL FITNESS PLANS :::
CHASSIS INTEGRITY "I bought the chassis integrity training plan and I am not an athlete. I tweak my back easily after training. Regular core exercises with abdominal work usually only worsen the situtation. I stumbled on your website while looking for tactical/ rucking training tips. Your article on chassis integrity was the best core training article I have ever read. I tried some exercises, found them to be back friendly and invested in the training plan. My back feels stronger, no tweaks so far. Running and rucking feel better too. At first, I modified the circuits and integrated other exercises but found out that it was better to just follow the program. Thank you for the great program."
HYPERTROPHY FOR SKINNY GUYS "I just completed this plan, and I loved it. It was a little tough at my age (48) but I gained almost 4 pounds of muscle in 4 weeks. My major lifts SRM is all up, I improved by bench by 30 lbs! Taking a recovery cycle and then going to run it again next month. Fantastic program, would recommend to anyone."
ULTIMATE MEATHEAD CYCLE "Let me start by saying that I attended your workout sessions when you trained 28th EOD and I also did your test project for Grunt PT at Fort Hood, TX. I’m a believer in your programming from the start. This program is out-freaking-standing! I’m on the last week and can tell strength gains and mass accumulation in my upper body. The movements are simple enough and flow very well into the next. The only thing I would try and squeeze in are additional shoulder mobility drills to assist with OH work for those with limited shoulder flexibility. I understand this program is built for athletes with a generally good knowledge of functional lifting however, if there was one thing I would try and work in, it would be shoulder mobility. Overall, I’d recommend (and have to my co-workers already) this workout to any and everyone. Thank you."
BODYWEIGHT FOUNDATION "I just wanted to thank you for your programs. I am currently halfway through the Bodyweight Foundation program. After years of inactivity due to injuries, surgeries, and the mental health struggles that accompany chronic pain, I used to shy away from physical activity in any form. Not anymore. So far I have lost 10 lbs and have toned up. More importantly I feel great and look forward to the next workout. I really like how the program is scaled and based of my max instead of an arbitrary amount of reps. I also like how simple yet effective the exercises are. I plan to complete the program and start it again hoping to transition from sit-ups to pull up bar heel taps. I think that the program will still be effective and challenging even if I cannot transition from one exercise to the other due to the way it’s designed."
BIG 24 STRENGTH TRAININF PROGRAM "I just finished the Big 24 today. I must say that it was the most intense strength training I've ever done. Around week 4 it was becoming a little boring and redundant but I stuck with it lol. There was a definite difference in how my body responded during the first half vs. the last half. I found that I had to adjust the weight in order to make the reps for some of the lifts, specifically squats and bench. After the second assessment I had to adjust weight on bench and push press. My lower body seemed to adapt much better to the regimen than my upper. As such I made the biggest gains in my lower body, 35 pound increase with squats, 45 pound with lunges, and 30 pounds with hang squat cleans. My upper body showed smaller increases but I did get stronger. I gained 15 pounds in bench, 20 pounds with push press, and I don't really know how to measure it but I got 12 pull ups with 15 pounds on the first assessment and 15 pull ups with 25 pounds today. Speaking of pull ups, 30-40% was way too easy for me and so I went up in reps, as much as 65% of my max during the workouts. I'm 42 years old, 5'7", around 170 and I need to lose a few pounds around my middle, however, I'm pleased with my results. My partner is 29, 6'00", around 180, and not an ounce of fat on him. Interestingly enough, although he's stronger than me his average gains were the same as mine, around 30 pounds, give or take. The shuttle runs and core work were fine and broke up the week. I'm definitely interested in more of that kind of work. My results are as follows: squat: 295 lbs increase to 330 lbs lunges: 85 lb dumbbell to 100 lb dumbbell with 15 pound sandbag across shoulders (100 is the heaviest dumbbells we have) hang squat cleans: 175 lbs to 205 lbs bench: 235 lbs to 250 lbs pull ups: see above push press: 180 lbs to 200 lbs By the way the hang squat clean and push press are hellacious lifts that I've only rarely done but I'm very interested in them now. After resting for the remainder of this week I want to do the relative strength assessment and see where I'm at and later try Operator Ugly. My partner and I are Deputy U.S. Marshals and practical, functional training is very important to us. I'd like to come by your gym one of these days but in the mean time I think I will be working on the "Spirits" package. I'd hate to lose the strength gains I've made but I know my anaerobic capacity and endurance needs beefing up. You had recommended that package to accomplish this and after my success with the Big 24 I am much more open to structured programming. Thanks and take care."
CHASSIS INTEGRITY TRAINNIG PLAN "I just wanted to drop a note to say that I really took to heart your chassis integrity theory. I actually used to follow your programming when I was a tactical athlete back in Afghanistan. Now I’m the head coach of a prenatal and postpartum strength and conditioning program. We applied the theory to how we format our conditioning in our prenatal and postpartum strength and conditioning program, and we have had a lot of success with it. Our athletes are less affected by the discomforts of pregnancy and the postpartum, and are feeling stronger than ever. We had a mom tell us she picks up her baby now without pain. While our athletes aren’t tactical or mountain athletes, the functional demands of pregnancy and motherhood require a stable and strong core, and this theory was the missing piece for us."
MTI RELATIVE STRENGTH ASSESSMENT "Wanted to let you know I really enjoyed this program. It has been quite a while since I’ve spent this much time with barbell lifts. It was really rewarding to see the gains being made. Challenging program but well worth it. Below are my numbers. Thanks for all you do" Body Weight Day 1: 170 vs. Final: 168 Front Squat Day 1: 205 vs. Final: 235 Pull Up Day 1: 18 vs. Final: 19 Clean Day 1: 175 vs. Final: 195 Bench Day 1: 205 vs. Final: 215 Score Day 1: 4.70 vs. Final: 5.17
SF45 ALPHA "Just completed SF45 ALPHA-HOTEL. Took awhile and - at age 60 with 2 artificial hips - it was a great push - challenged me and pissed me off but was great (cannot ask for more than that). Took a week in between programs and will am heading for HUMILITY soon. Cannot state enough how fortunate I am to have been with you and MTN TACTICAL for years now. You continually garner my admiration for the relentless pursuit of the best programs over a range for professionals. I did 38 years active duty in the Marine Corps and over 60 months of combat and 2 hard rehabs from wounds/injuries. Your programs have always - ALWAYS - been in the core of my daily ethos."
ULTIMATE WORK CAPACITY I "I am deployed right now and currently about to start week 6 of the Ultimate Work Capacity Program 1. I was a little worried at first that I wasn’t making very much progress, then we did a hero WOD for one of our soldiers that was killed on this deployment and I crushed it! I was really happy with how well I was about to keep my pace throughout the entirety of the WOD. Coming up on the last two weeks of the program I am already researching which one I want to do next! "
SPARTAN BEAST TRAINING PLAN "Just ran the Spartan Beast this morning, finished in 3:29 which was good for a top 100 finish on what is probably a faster/flatter course (Chicago). Quads feel great thanks to the complexes and my grip did great other than slipping on a couple obstacles due to weather (rained entire time!). Thank you again! Great stuff and am looking forward to starting a new program."
RUNNING IMPROVEMENT PLAN "Hey, just wanted to say what a great program the running improvement program is. I’ve dropped 3 minutes in about 5 weeks and am back to my comfortable fast pace as it was in the army. I’ve been doing both the ruck based selection and running programs and have seen more improvement and better performance than ever. Again, Thanks."
ARM INJURY TRAINING PLAN "I am loving the MTI workouts. 8 weeks ago I got my labrum completely repaired. I started the arm injury training regiment after 1 week and it has been great. Despite being in a sling for 5 weeks I was able to maintain my fitness and feel somewhat normal. I can also say that since I started my physical therapy my progress has been accelerated. I honestly feel that keeping my fitness up is allowing me to recover faster as I notice drastic changes by the day in my ROM and strength in the repaired shoulder. Looking forward to being 100% so I can dive into another training program for backcountry skiing."
TLU STRENGTH "I wanted to say thank you for all of the work you and your team have put into your programs. I just recently finished the TLU strength program and I had great results with it. I have been in EOD for 12 years with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and I have spent most of my career researching and trying different fitness programs to find the best way to prepare my body. I wish I found out about your company sooner because so far I think your programming is the best I have tried. A large number of guys in my career field have been severely disabled by injuries from years of deployments. I think a lot of those injuries could have been avoided if we were training properly. We have finally opened our eyes to the need for effective mission focused training but unfortunately that sort of programming is not that easy to come by. A friend of mine recommended your company and when I began to research your products I realized it was exactly what I needed. I will be recommending your company to everyone that will listen to me. Hopefully the research and time you guys have put in can better prepare this new generation of military for the future."
RUNNING IMPROVEMENT PLAN "My run times are improving much faster than I anticipated, which I think has to do with the sprinting and METCON portion of the training. The long runs are a breeze. I honestly find it more difficult to run that slow, so I end up walking for 30-45 seconds/mile to level it out. The videos are easy to access, and the training flows pretty well. I enjoy how stretching is incorporated into the workout, and how explosive movements are used on the tail end of strength/circuit work. As for my goals, I'm a 37 year old ex-athlete husband and father, that's got a high stress, executive level job that requires me to travel constantly. My days of DL'ing 500+ pounds are over, and I'm sick and tired of being sore or having a program I can't incorporate into my daily life. The program works great for hotel gyms, staying lean, being flexible for weekend golf, and looking good naked."
BIG 24 STRENGTH I've seen awesome improvement under big 24. Below are the improvements I have seen, I can't speak more highly about this program. Hang squat clean Original: 160# New: 225# Back squat Original: 250# New: 295# Bench press: Original: 215# New: 285# I will recommend this to all of my friends, thanks for the great workouts.
LOW BACK TRAINING "I'm in my 8th week of the low back plan after Laminectomy/Discectomy surgery last spring. The plan has worked great. A lot better results than the watered PT I was going to. As a 45 yr old swat operator in good shape, I feel a lot stronger and more flexible in my low back region than prior to the surgery. I can't say enough about the plan and have passed your website onto my team in hopes they will use the site and have the same results."
FAT-LOSS TRAINING PLAN "After following your Fat Loss program and losing 21 lbs. I am just finishing week 1 of Peak Bagger and it is hard but awesome. The step ups and leg work are just what I need to attempt a Grand Canyon R2R2R hike this year. After following your site for many years and cobbling together my own routines, I jumped in on your programming. Needless to say, your programming is just what I needed. After laying down a hiking mileage base, the Peak Bagger program is going to help add the strength needed for the altitude loss and gain I will experience in the Canyon. If the 1st week is any indication, I should be ready for my next adventure. Thank you for the workouts! Definitely money well spent."
50 MILE ULTRA RUNNING TRAINING PLAN "Coach Rob, I stopped into the gym to meet you this past summer with my wife, when we were on our honeymoon in Jackson; she still jokes with people that meeting you and visiting the gym was the highlight of my trip. I completed my second ultramarathon this past weekend and wanted to thank you for helping me accomplish my goal once again. Last year, I used your preseason ultra/50 mile ultra plans for my first 50 mile race in Vermont, and I followed the same programming this year. This year, I broke ten hours at the JFK 50 (9:56:42), which was my goal. On the Appalachian Trail, my legs felt strong, and my cardio was spot on. I entered the trail behind a large portion of the pack, and it turned into a nightmare. The trail was too tight to pass a lot of people, and it bottlenecked at many points. Upon exiting the mountain portion after about 15 miles, I was behind on my pacing to break 10 hours but had plenty of fuel in the tank. After, I passed upwards of 450-500 people. In the final 10 miles of the race, my HR was steady, my legs/hips/body were strong, and I dropped the hammer even more, swallowing a handful of people who were trudging. Part of me wishes there were five more miles on the race because my body felt good enough to crank it up even more. With some more experience racing, I know that my times can continue to drop. The race was on Saturday, and while my legs are sore, I have recovered incredibly well. Your programming is unbelievable, and I would like to thank you for helping me accomplish my goals."
RUNNING IMPROVEMENT PLAN "I just wanted to give you guys so more kudos. I am a female Army Officer and I consistently score in the 280s on my PT test. I have never NOT maxed my push ups and setups, its always the run that gets me. Anyway I am REALLY busy and I needed a run program that wasn’t going to keep me tied down too long during the day. So I took a PT test 6 months ago and ran a 18:25 on the 2 miles. I signed up for your Running Improvement Program and was able to do about 50% of the workouts each week. The first two weeks I did all of the workouts but then my schedule got crazy and I only ended up doing the intervals and the 3-4 mile runs each week. I worked through the first 6 weeks and just took my PT test after doing the program and dropped my 2 mile time to 17:04. So even only doing 50% of the program each week I was still able to greatly improve my time. I have to admit though during my intervals I worked to be as far under the range time that I could. So if my recommended 800m time was 4:08 to 4:25 I was pushing harder in that a majority of my interval times ranged from 3:33 (fastest) to 3:50. Thanks for a great program! Maybe if I get time to follow it as prescribed I will see even bigger improvements!"
3-WEEK PUSH UP & PULL UP IMPROVEMENT PLAN "The push up pull up improvement plan is great! Just 20 mins per day and you can greatly improve your upper body strength in such a short time. It's week 1 but am already making progress"
RAT 6 STRENGTH "Its given me a great boost in strength, overall performance, and confidence in moving heavy weight. All my lifts increased. Ill send you my final numbers once finished. I am very happy I have a year subscription to Military Athlete. Wishing you well from Iraq. Thanks."
POST REHAB INJURY LEG TRAINING PLAN "I went through the post rehab leg injury training program. I've the confidence I had lost after my injury and am back to where I was at before the injury. Thanks a lot for your program."
100 MILE ULTRA RUNNING TRAINING PLAN "Rob - Just wanted to give out a huge kudos to you and your 100 Mile Training Plan. I just completed the Bryce Canyon 100 in 33:45 with the use of your training plan. This is the fourth 100 I've completed and I've used various other plans and expensive coaches, your plan crushes them all in my opinion. For the first time in all my training I enjoyed all the workout sessions, I could see week to week improvement in my speed, strength, and endurance. One of the most impressive things I saw from the training plan during my race was my consistent speed across the course and the distance. This was most impressive to me because I live in Chesapeake, VA where the highest hill is an over pass and 99% of my training is done on flats, while the Bryce 100 has 18,800 vertical gain. I also credit my quick recovery to your plan. While I had a few aches and pains following the run, with in a few days I was back to a relatively normal range of motion. I also never really felt "beat up" like I have during past 100's and I credit that to the strength and chassis work programmed in. Huge thanks to you and your training plan for helping make my run a success. This will be my go to plan for all my ultras - Thanks again"
GENERAL "I'd like to lead off by saying thank you. Thank you for providing an outlet for individuals to tap into your skill set, as it pertains to a deeper level of fitness knowledge. Myself and several of my friends and colleagues have utilized several of your workout routines, and the nuggets of wisdom contained within, to pass selection programs, train for personal improvement, and better ourselves for the mission sets we prepare for." - K
GENERAL "I'm a Spanish fan of your website and methods and Master of Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology) student at the University of Calgary, in Canada and I'm also studying to take the CSCS. And I also try to be a mountain athlete (even though lack of time and money are important limiters to my time spent in the mountains). I really enjoy the articles you share in your website and I have learned a ton from them and I appreciate your vision of training: train for mission performance, fluid periodization and efficient programming, the unorthodox way in which you plan training. I think you definitely are onto something and you and the MTI will help move the field forward" - F
50 MILE ULTRA RUNNING PLAN "I recently completed the 50 mile training plan to prep for my first ultra in 10 years, which was a 50k. I threw in a lot of "bonus" rest days to take it slow, and would have liked to have had a few more/heavier more upper body pulling exercises in the program, (but then, I have chronically unstable shoulders, so maybe that's just me). Anywho... After doing this program, (mostly on a treadmill), I went and did my trail 50k and got first place among the females (16th overall). My stabilizers were more than capable of taking the strain of a trail ultra, and nothing got pulled or strained or overly stressed. The aid station crews kept saying it looked like I wasn't even trying! I think that's the mark of some stellar training. Thanks for putting this together. You guys rock." - S
BODYWEIGHT FOUNDATION "Love love love LOVE your Body Weight Foundation so far! Today was Session 14 and I did not think 800s would EVER be that easy for me. Your program is AMAZING and follows the KISS principle of "Keep It Simple Stupid". Thank you SO much for creating these. I'm looking forward to the Body Weight 1 Training Plan when I'm finished with the current." - C
BODYWEIGHT FOUNDATION "I took your advice I jumped feet first into the Bodyweight Training Program and one week in I have been completely humbled. Honestly, I was worried about losing the strength gains I had made through Starting Strength, halfway through my first mini leg blaster I could care less and I realized how out of shape I really was. If anyone doubts the effectiveness or difficulty of this program, please feel free to refer them to me! Thank you again!"
LOW BACK TRAINING PLAN "It has been close to a year now since my injury and I wanted to say thanks for your help and programming. It was hard getting back into the groove of working out and not being afraid of re-injuring myself, but your low back training plan allowed me to get back to doing the things I love. I am happy to report that this January I was able to summit Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Chimborazo in succession (~19k, 18k, and 20k feet respectively) with no problems whatsoever! I have also been able to begin pushing myself on sport and trad again. I am very excited for this spring climbing season. Just thought I'd share, and wanted to say thanks once again."
ON-RAMP, 357 STRENGTH, RUN IMPROVEMENT, CHASSIS INTEGRITY, FORTITUDE "I previously completed On-ramp twice (second time with more running), 357 Strength+Run Improvement (alternating days), then your chassis integrity sessions from the subscription, before moving onto Fortitude. For someone as unfit as I was, I strongly recommend this or a similar progression of programs for true beginners. It built everything nicely to begin Fortitude."
STUCK IN A MOTEL PLAN "I utilised your stuck in a motel programming for a cruise I recently went on just after Fortitude. The program fitted perfectly with the equipment available on the cruise ship, though I did add some pull ups because there was a pullup bar. I did however get a lot of weird looks when doing such things as a renegade manmaker and treadmill run work capacity session in a pretty packed gym, but anyone who asked got pointed your way. It was also interesting doing exercises such as craig specials and front squats on a rocking ship, definitely taxed the proprioception. I feel that the programming has suitably maintained my fitness ready to start Valor."
TLU STRENGTH PLAN „Just a quick shout. The new TLU strength program you made is great! Loving the strength gains without the loss in endurance. I can walk right into a 5 mile run and complete it in under 40 minutes without straining. Same with weighted rope climbs, pushup/situp events, etc. Thanks again for the great program.“
LIMITED EQUIPMENT PLAN, BODYWEIGHT FOUNDATION I purchased the limited equipment plan back in January after hearing you on the Art of Manliness podcast. I had shoulder surgery back in September for an old rugby injury and was looking for a plan to get back in shape since my physical therapy was completed. I am a freshman in NROTC at UC Davis and totally latched on to your sport specific approach. I had always struggled with the idea of focused training to actually make progress, and the importance of being well-rounded. I had built great fitness running XC and track in high school with calisthenics in the mornings. By committing to and completing the bodyweight foundation and SB/DB/WV plan I am pretty much back to my pre-surgery level of fitness. I am starting Humility next week and looking forward to it. Most importantly, MTI's attitude has really helped me get back on track. Ever since I was a kid I loved to plan. Hell, I was working on my Halloween costume in August and had the my Lego cities organized to the T. In training, it's easy to have a great idea, but then before you give it a chance, you go down the rabbit hole of another modality. I was definitely in the paralysis by analysis camp. However, hearing you talk about being a professional tactical athlete changed that for me. I have now adopted a blue collar attitude towards training; I show up, put in the work, go home, and let the training take care of its self so I can focus on school and my other responsibilities. Developing the discipline and attitude of a professional athlete has been very liberating. In addition, your article on commitment struck a cord with me. I am currently in the midst of the "yolo" mentality in college and your article helped dispel some insecurities I had about not living that lifestyle. I share MTI's articles and work with my fellow Midshipman and it is appreciated. Just in case you are having one of those inevitable days where you wonder if what you do matters, it does.
::: MOUNTAIN PLANS :::
MOUNTAIN BASE HELEN "Wow. I'm three weeks into Mountain Base Helen, and the thoughtfulness with which this program was built is apparent. With the exception of the long cardio day, every workout takes about an hour, which is ideal since I workout at 6AM. You've even built in stretching and MFR. As I mentioned to my girlfriend, "they've really done all the thinking for me." More importantly in my case, Helen is hammering what was my weakest area during my last big climb: my quads. I know my efforts on that muscle group will pay huge dividends - not to mention the extra attention to my lower back, which forces me to stay mindful of core engagement throughout the day. All in all I'm enjoying Helen because it feels like I'm training to be a pack mule - which is frankly how I want to train. When I go to the garage in the AM, it feels like I'm out there working. Not just performing some exercises, but doing real work. As a result, my mental engagement is high. Next on the slate is the Alpine Fitness Assessment, which I'll begin mid February after one week of Helen recovery. After the AFA, I'll complete the actual Rainier program prior to my glacier course/climb. Kudos on a great program."
BACKPACKING PRESEASON TRAINING PLAN "I have been using your Back Pack Preseason programming to train for an Alpine Group Trek, titled Extremus put on by a group called the Endurance Society. This trek has been attempted in a few different variations over the last 5 years (4 attempts with 1 year looking for a new venue in the middle) and up until this year had never been completed. I'm happy to report that this year a large contingent of our group was able to finish this event, which was a traverse of the Great Range in the Adirondacks. 25 or so miles, over 21.5 hours, 11 summits and, as I'm sure you can imagine, some incredible memories and views. I have to thank you for the programming that you have put out, Rob. I whole-heartedly believe that it is what made the difference between not finishing and not just surviving but thriving in some very harsh environments. In the face of lots of adversity such as gear failures, going black on water multiple times and complex logistical challenges I was able to keep a smile on my face and just keep on rolling. Attached are a couple pics from the trek, hope you enjoy them. I do have a two questions for you regarding programming going forward: 1. Are there any adaptations you would suggest for taking on a wider stance for snowshoeing purposes in the mountains? I had some minor cramping in my hip flexors, so I was curious if there were any things you might suggest for strengthening and lengthening there, in addition to what is already in the programming. 2. I'm feeling fantastic a couple of days out from the event but I was curious what you would suggest as far as a de-load schedule before taking on a new program. I'm currently training for a half marathon (road) that takes place on March 17. I had added speed work and added some distance to the running in the program during the 6 weeks training and will continue that but I would also like to choose another goal and get back to MTI programming as soon as possible. The core work is fantastic and working on my Mountain Chassis is something I am very committed to after experience the fruits of following the Back Pack Pre-Season program. Also, it's definitely worth mentioning that lots of folks I have been talking to are interested in your programming and I'm hopeful that some of them will be signing up for a membership or picking up a plan. The info you are putting out is great and these ladies and gents would certainly benefit from it."
BACKCOUNTRY SKI PRE-SEASON TRAINING PLAN "Just wanted to let you know I was pleased with how well the backcountry preseason training plan prepared me for my summer ski trip to Argentina. I was only able to complete six weeks, since I signed up close to leaving and between waiting a couple days for my sandbag, travel days, and being extremely sore in the beginning, left me a few days less than I expected. It was not easy, I still have to modify some of the push ups, but it was definitely worth it. I felt the difference."
PEAK BAGGER TRAINING PLAN "I wanted to give you feedback on your Peakbagger as a prep tool for hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim in a single day (45 miles). Actually, we did it in 17 hrs, including test, with a 12-pound running pack. The program kicked ass in preparation for the base of the canyon and the downhills off of the North and South rims. We flew down the declines and had no pain at all when done. We actually ran down the North Rim. Thumbs up!"
DENALI TRAINING PLAN "I wanted to thank you for an excellent Mountain athlete programming and your recommendations of a training plan. I just got back form Denali. In only 7 days I solo summited Denali via West Buttress and safely solo skied off the summit. I moved from base camp to 14K camp in 3 days in single carries wearing 73 lbs backpack and no sleds (my body weight is 115lbs). I got weathered off for 2 days at 14K camp and then did a summit push from 14K camp. The next day I skied down back to BC in 3.5 hours. I felt strong and more than adequately prepared. I can't thank you enough. I ended up doing some fusion between your backcountry skiing program and your Denali program. Both are fantastic and really work great. My heaviest pack for carry uphills was 55lbs."
ALPINE RUNNING TRAINING PLAN "I just wanted to let you know that I purchased the alpine running program and it’s fantastic. I’ve especially appreciated the chassis integrity exercises. Thank you. Keep up the great work!"
30 MINUTES PER DAY DRYLAND SKIING "Just have to say, I started to dread Quadzilla complexes as I progressed in the Dryland Ski training, but holy shiitakes! I have never felt so strong on the mountain! You really helped elevate my skiing experience and I’ve been telling everyone I know who enjoys skiing about this program. Now I embrace the Quadzillas! My husband has been using your programs for years and finally convinced me last year to start. Not going to lie, I was intimidated at first even with some CrossFit experience, but I’m so glad I started because I haven’t been able to experience such improvement in strength and endurance that carries over so well in my every day life and outdoor adventures. He’s happy too, since it’s a rare occasion when I admit he’s right. ;) Thanks again for your awesome customer service, recommendations and all the work you guys do!! "
DRYLAND SKIING "Coach, A month ago my wife found out we had a few days where we could get away, so we booked to trip to Jackson. She needed some motivation to get ready and it needed to work with her grad school schedule that had made fitness less of a priority. I have followed your stuff for a while and will often refer my reserve soldiers to military athlete. Despite having a strength and conditioning background, there was no way my wife was going to stick to a plan I made. So we grabbed your ski conditioning program and we both completed it. The results were three great days of skiing, injury free, with legs that were not only able to keep up, but aren’t screaming at the end of the day. Having that fitness allowed us to focus on having fun and enjoying the mountains. She had never skied outside of the east coast, and nothing close to the powder we got these past couple of days. Without the prep work this could have been a tough trip. Thank you for putting out a great product. This has insured skiing will continue to be a part of our future get aways together. Keep up the great work."
BACKCOUNTRY SKI PRE SEASON PLAN "The training plan is great. I am an emergency doctor/search and rescue volunteer in Everett, Washington, an avid backcountry skier training for a trip to Hokkaido in January, and I am 5 months pregnant. The program is perfect for getting me in uphill shape and keeping my kinesthetic senses intact as I gain midsection weight. I have spent some great days on Rainier with much less quad fatigue than at the start of past seasons. I did the first version of this program a few years ago and really enjoyed it and find V2 even better. The structure is straightforward and easy to follow. Plus, it seems like great early training for labor and delivery, which I presume will be a 20 hour grind of full leg blasters. I spend most of the rest of the year doing the goddess base programming to get me ready for summer climbing and spring/fall trail running. You guys do a great job. I really appreciate having Mtn Athlete as an option since my schedule is far too variable to attend traditional group training sessions and get out in the mountains."
BACKCOUNTRY HUNTING PLAN "This fall I spent 2.5 months in the mountains and backcountry hunting Dall Sheep, caribou, mountain goats, moose and Stone Sheep. As a hunter and camera operator, my pack would routinely weigh 60 lbs, with a day pack of 40 lbs or more. We would do 20 km days, up to 60 km with light packs (overnight sprints) and up to 4500’ (1400 m) of elevation in a single day (60 lb pack). A third of a caribou and camera gear is north of 100 lb. Hunting days could run from 5:00 am to 1 am on occasion, but we were always up before the sun. I started the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Packet with Humility. I completed over 90% of the workouts, though sadly was unable to do all of the “mini-events” found in the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan. I began the program in good shape and had been completing weekly rucks with 60-80 lbs (two hours) since January of this year. As the mountain hunting season comes to a close, I have some observations about the results of my training: - I never had sore shoulders or chassis from carrying the weight. - I never had sore legs, even after the hardest days. - I felt 100% capable of doing what was needed. - My upper body was sufficiently strong to meet all challenges - My weight didn’t drop during training (I could work on my diet a bit). My 30-minute step-up results went from 815 (July 15) to 824 (September 26). I would associate much of the modest increase to determination and technique, so it does not indicate a substantial fitness improvement. My weight would have been about five lb heavier in September. In summary, if anyone wants to be capable in the mountains, this program will get them there. The only aspect of my fitness I will change for next season is related to my anaerobic threshold and my ability to push into a higher gear and go harder. As long as it was a slow grind, I was capable. When the time came to push up steeper country, the wheels would more or less fall off and I would be left working at a higher than I thought I should need to (heart rate of 170, for example). The elevated heart rates compromised my ability to think and film, and in steep goat terrain, this can be a liability."
RAINIER TRAINING PLAN "Sitting here in the airport waiting to head back to NYC. I just wanted to say thank you. I used your plan to train for a climb on Mt. Rainier. While we did not summit due to conditions on our route, we made it to the top of disappointment cleaver just over 12,000 ft. Even though we did not touch the top. Not once did I feel like my physical ability would keep me from getting there. People were taken aback by the volume of step ups I was doing. They paid off both physically and mentally! I look forward to using that plan to train for my next attempt at it. Thank you !"
PEAK BAGGER TRAINING PLAN "I just finished a Grand Canyon Hike (down to the river in one day and back up in two days) with a 25 lb pack. I am 66 years old and completed the “Peak Bagger” program prior to the trip. This is the 10th consecutive year for the trip and the Peak Bagger training was a huge success! Usually, the trip down kills my calves & knees. I normally had trouble walking the next day. No such trouble this time. The trip up was actually easy compared to the thousands of step-ups!! As feedback to you for my age group, I was able to do all of the reps and rounds for each session in the peak bagger. I was generally not able to achieve the intensity and in most cases the weight recommended. I think I can get up to it, but over a longer period of time. Do you have any suggestions for maintenance sessions in the gym through the summer? I will likely hike 4-5 days per week, and mountain or road bike 1-2 days per week. Thanks for your great programs and I look forward to any suggestions on maintenance!!! You helped me feel young and strong again."
GENERAL "I was an outdoor ed teacher for a long time and considered myself a backcountry athlete... even did the infantry thing when I was young. I say "considered" myself a backcountry athlete because I had a rude awakening about 5 years ago my buddy got me into hunting and back into fishing. After a few years of hunting from my truck, I decided to head back out into the backcountry. What I didn't realize was just how out of shape I'd let myself get. 2 years ago I tried to do a hard day trip over a traverse and my legs gave out... I was in total shock. This past fall I found MTI and your programming has, in all honesty, turned my life around. I finished an alpine lake hike in early July that no way I could have done last year. I've been out numerous times this summer, hiking, scouting and just enjoying being in the backcountry. I'm happier, stronger and having a much more fulfilling break from school."
RAINIER TRAINING PLAN "Thank you for your amazing Rainier Training Plan. I used it leading up to an attempt on Rainier’s Liberty Ridge. While we didn’t summit because of bad weather, I felt extremely strong and fit during the climb. The training plan did a great job of focusing on every aspect of fitness that one would need on the mountain. My 35 pound back weight didn’t even phase me. I was especially surprised and enjoyed the sandbag getups, the first few weeks they were murder, but by the end of the program I was just cranking through them. I did find the amount of time required to be excessive, and had to add in an extra rest day each week to catch up on my “adult” responsibilities, but I’m sure other people will be able to manage." Thanks again!
GENERAL "First I wanted to just say thanks for your great training plans. I’ve been using your programs for years and seen great results from both your mountain athlete programs when I was a ski patroller and in my current military career. Keep up the good work." - O
BACKCOUNTRY BIG GAME HUNTING PLAN "I just wanted to reach out to you about your Backcountry Big Game Hunting Program. I’m just coming off of a three week backpack trip in the Mackenzie Mountains in the Northwest Territories and I used your program to prepare for it. There’s no question in my mind that it more than paid off. I’d say that almost without exception, I was the only one not physically damaged in some way when we came out of the mountains. I think that endurance performance goes without saying, but the thing I noticed above all else was my durability. I mean we took some serious punishment and places where my body had previously failed me held up without the slightest problem. Seriously, well done on this and everything you guys do. I love your philosophy, your simplicity and the sincerity towards your athletes." - T
BACKCOUNTRY BIG GAME HUNTING PLAN "I recently purchased your Backcountry Program and have been enjoying it immensly. I have finally found something to really prepare me to haul out 3 Elk in 4 days out of Idaho's backcountry. I love it and find the specifity unparralled. I am a former crossfiter who became frustrated at the lack of focus applied to the sports I like best spent in the mountains (hunting, mountain biking, ruck-runs etc....)."
BACKCOUNTRY BIG GAME HUNTING PLAN I am 40 years old, a former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, and understand your methodologies well. One of my concerns though as I age is the wear and tear I put on my knees when completing 75 plus lb ruck runs and other mini-events within your program that emphasis lots of weight over distance and elevation. My body feels great when completing any of the routines with 50 pounds or less on my back. When I put 75 plus, the aches, pains, and wear and tear of years of CrossFit come out. I am seeking some guidance from you if you have heard the same concerns with the backcountry training program, and if you may have some suggestions at helping to curb the pounding on the knees at these high ruck weights? Again, I am not complaining but feel the need to reach out and see if you may have ideas to train with the same mountain endurance goals in mind but maybe have a few different applications of excises (mountain biking, ???, etc...) thought could be mixed in to help reduce the potential for overloading the knees from excess weight during the long rucks. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for your time. ANSWER Our job with this program is to prepare you for your event - your hunt - that's why the heavy loading is 75# - which in my experience, is a minimum pack out weight. It's up to you if you lower the training load to 50#, just know I can't guarantee rucking at 50# will prepare you for the real thing - the pack out. I'm 48 and have similar issues. The mountain doesn't care. - Rob REPLY Thanks for getting back to me. I agree the mountain does not care. Also agree the minimum pack out is 75 lbs minimum. More specifically, I am holding out hope there could be a smarter way to train as we get older and want to hunt for as long as we can. When I was 23, I could ruck as far with as much weight as I wanted. I would recover fast, probably not mobilize, probably drink a stupid amount of beer, get up and do it again the next day. After 20 years of this I have changed a thing or two. No Beer, added restorative Yoga, standing work-station, sleep more, even skip a workout if my body feels like crap. I used to just push through thinking it was the right thing to do. Now I am much smarter regarding recovery, nutrition, and can take an inventory so I dont push into an injury. I guess I would be interested if you ever design a workout study if as an older athlete there could be some periodic substitutions for an athlete in their 40's vs. in the 20's in regards to the heavy long distance rucks. It would be interesting to try and track injury rates of a couple groups as well. I guess you risk not being prepped on a packout but if you could get close and not risk the overuse, tendonitis type, middle age knee problems it could be interesting. Not sure what those substitutions are - have to research and reach out to my PT and training community for some answers. Anyways good dialogue, love what you guys do, and specificity you have brought to my mountain prep/training. Bought a sandbag from you as well. Love it! Very rewarding and efficient. ANSWER Believe me, I've considered this before. One change we've made to our programming is eliminated useless Garbage Reps, but I've yet to find exercise substitutions for heavy rucking, uphill movement under load, and especially, the downhill movement under load. There may be ways to train good enough for the muscular and cardio demands with substitutions. But I'm not sure there is a way to short cut the joint and connective tissue demands of a heavy, backcountry hunting packout - i.e. knee/ankle connective tissue strength and stability. As you know, backcountry hunting especially is 50% or more off trail - which adds to these joint demands. Walking off trail, down hill, with 75-100# on your back takes elements of leg, knee, ankle and mid-section strength which I'm not sure can be short cutted. There is a real risk of injury if the athlete simply doesn't know what it feels like to carry that load, and/or isn't strong enough. Overall, I'm developing a day to day programming system for 45-55 year old athletes still in the game ... but changes will be primarily to the day to day programming, not the sport-specific train ups - at least not until I can figure out how to do it.
::: COMPETITION PLANS :::
GO RUCK CHALLENGE "I completed a GORUCK Tough event after completing your GORUCK Challenge plan and the plan certainly did it's job. Firstly, the rucking was never an issue and my core never felt fatigued. The sandbag get-ups and low back complex forged a tough chassis that never failed me. Secondly, the Monday and Wednesday strength and work capacity session did there job, no single "smoker" during the event put me out for more than a minute or two and even on hour ten my recovery was quick. Finally, the Saturday mini events were also spot on, after the final and longest of them all I knew exactly what to expect for the event.During the whole GORUCK I felt like I had energy on reserve, enough so that I felt that my individual performance exceeded my expectations but I was also able to continuously contribute to the team and motivate individuals when things got tough. Thank you for the plan, it is perfect."
::: FIRE/RESCUE PLANS :::
CPAT TRAINING PLAN "I just wanted to send a quick note to say thanks. I took a practice run of the CPAT last month and definitely struggled more than I expected and ran out of time. I started the MTI CPAT plan the next day with a few modifications to focus on the things I struggled most with and it was a huge help. Today was my testing day and I passed with time to spare. Time to start the pre-academy prep plan now. Thank you for the work you do!"
JAGUAR "I just completed Jaguar, the first plan in the Big Cat series. Just wanted to share my results with you and anyone who might be interested in purchasing the packet. *About 182lbs Bodyweight* 3RM Front Squat: 255 --> 285 3RM Barbel Walking Lunge: 185 --> 225 3RM Push Press: 195 --> 200 10 MIN Sandbag Clean and Step-Over: 64 reps 9 MIN Sandbag Clean and Step-Over: 68 reps 8 MIN Sandbag Clean and Step-Over: 72 reps Program Comments: -I was training six days a week on this program. Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat was the Jaguar plan. Tuesdays and Thursdays I had group PT with 5 other officers I work with. Tuesdays were track days, 400m and 800m repeats. Thursdays were some type of upper body, bodyweight circuit. -The additional PT did not generally interfere with the Jaguar programming, however, that will probably vary with each athlete depending on fitness level. There were a couple days I felt beat up, but overall it wasn't a problem. Might have been able to see a bigger increase in my 3RM Push Press without the extra upper body work, but a 5lb PR is still a PR. I'll take it. -I think you've mentioned this in your videos a couple times, but that transition from 60lb sandbag get-ups to 80lbs was a b**ch. The 60lb isn't too bad, but for some reason the 80 just feels like a small elephant sitting on your shoulders haha. -There is definitely a hardening effect from this training. Throwing sandbags and doing farmers carries just naturally has that effect. My mid-section feels like a brick wall. It's great. I will likely take a de-load week, then start up Leopard. Thanks for all the great stuff Rob!"