RECON Platoon completing MTI programming at Fort Bliss.

MTI exists to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and survivability. 

This focus on “mission-direct” solutions, enhancements, and improvements drives our work and research.

All that matters is mission performance.

To this end, MTI is not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces. All work is driven by first principles. 

Our roots are in Strength and Conditioning.

We began in 2007 as Mountain Athlete with the aim of developing programming for mountain guides, ski mountaineers, alpinists, whitewater kayakers, and other mountain athletes. We learned early on fitness programming for these unique sports was immature and incomplete, and soon realized we needed to build the programming from the ground up.

To do so we developed this methodology:

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Research what’s been done before.
  • Identify the best and most effective components of previous work, fold these components into a unique program design, and deploy them.
  • Assess the results.
  • Improve and repeat

Soon our fitness programming for mountain performance gained the attention of US and NATO soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Multiple inquiries led to the development of our first tactical training plan – the “Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan” – which implemented the proven programming we’d developed for mountain athletes and prepared soldiers for deployment to the mountainous regions of that country.

We gave this program away to hundreds of individual warriors and 15+ US Army and US Marines battalion commanders for implementation with their entire battalions prior to deployment.

Requests for more mission-specific, and tactical-specific programming on the military side poured in, leading us in 2009 to start “Military Athlete.”

We applied our programming process/methodology to the unique fitness demands of military athletes, and again found existing programming either severely lacking or non-existent. Our military fitness programming isn’t re-tread programming developed for a stick and ball sport and thousands of military athletes have used MTI programming to prepare for Special Forces selections, military schools and courses such as the USMC Basic RECON Course and Ranger School, and multiple PFTs including the APFT, ACFT, USMC PFT and CFT and US Air Force IFT. 

We’ve built our military programming from the ground up.

In the following years, Law Enforcement and Fire/Rescue personnel noted our work on the military side, and inquiries and requests began for LE and F/R-specific programming – which lead to us starting LE Athlete and Fire Rescue Athlete in the following years. Thousands of first responders have deployed MTI programming as their day-to-day fitness, and to prepare for elite team selections (SWAT/SRT) and department PFTs.

In 2013 we folded all of these fitness programs under “Strong Swift Durable.”

In 2015, our attention and efforts began to extend beyond strength and conditioning to other areas of mountain and tactical mission performance including gear, policy, and technical training. In the summer of 2015, we brought on an on-staff Ph.D. and began a significant research push into many of these new areas.

Excited by the possibility and need for “Mission-Direct” research, in the Fall of 2015 we changed our company name to the “Mountain Tactical Institute” or “MTI” and expanded our mission to include mission-direct research in addition to mountain and tactical strength and conditioning programming.

On the research side, we quickly realized traditional academic research was too narrow, too slow, and too constrained to effectively give mountain and tactical athletes real-world, directly applicable answers, solutions, and improvements for mission performance.

MTI’s  “Mission-Direct” research methodology includes rapidly completing studies, assessing, iterating, and improving our mission-direct programming.

MTI is a veteran owned and veteran-staffed small business.

Have a mission-direct problem we can work on? 
Please email:

– Rob Shaul


Our Promise To You: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.